Peace Corps Supporters Rally for Program Expansion
Sunday, June 14, 2009
Dozens of Peace Corps volunteers rallied downtown yesterday, urging Congress and the Obama administration to expand the program.
"We want to help the president adhere to his vision," said Harris Wofford, a former Democratic senator from Pennsylvania who helped launch the Peace Corps in 1961.
Organizers said they hoped to prod President Obama to make good on his promise to double the number of Peace Corps volunteers and allot $450 million to the volunteer program, up from about $373 million the administration already has proposed.
"The time is now for the Peace Corps," said Kevin Quigley, president of the National Peace Corps Association.
The Peace Corps sends thousands of Americans around the world to work for two-year stints.
The event's speakers included several former Peace Corps volunteers; Anthony Johnson, Jamaica's ambassador to Washington; and Timothy Shriver, son of Sargent Shriver, the first director of the Peace Corps.
The group walked three blocks to the White House, chanting "President Obama, we need the Peace Corps. A bold, new Peace Corps!"