Tuesday, June 28, 2011

It's Time for Action!!!!!

The "Kate Puzey Peace Corps Protection Act" has been introduced in both the Senate & House - now is the time for action to help pass the bill!!!

For information on how to help, go to our Outreach Homepage

You can also go directly to our Guide for Contacting Reps

You can view the full text of the bill here


Thursday, June 23, 2011

Upcoming Action Steps to Help Pass Bill

After many months of work, the time has finally come for public action to help pass the bill.

This is your opportunity to help enact legislation that will literally help save lives of future Peace Corps Volunteers, make sure Volunteers who are raped or otherwise attacked receive the support they need & deserve, and help build a stronger & safer Peace Corps that lives up to its legacy. (For all of us who love the Peace Corps and its wonderful Volunteers, this is perhaps the best thing that can be done to honor all the amazing good they do for the world!)

We have much work to do however to see this bill become law. There are still many members of Congress who have yet to be informed of the bill and understand its importance. Others may not understand what the bill does and/or mistakenly view it as a threat to the Peace Corps - instead of a law to help the Peace Corps become an even safer place for Volunteers to serve and thus help enhance its future reputation and accomplishments. 

Finally the legislation was crafted with the Peace Corps' close involvement on every step, and their leadership has told us (and Members of Congress) repeatedly that it fully supports the bill and indeed that it will help ensure their legacy of addressing many long-standing problems after the current leadership departs. However, the Peace Corps' press release today was disappointingly vague. We hope to soon see  public statements by the Peace Corps that match their private enthusiasm and the spirit of unity which both sides have been committed to throughout this process.

Your support can help make sure that the "Kate Puzey Peace Corps Protection Act" sustains the momentum it needs to get passed by Congress and signed by President Obama into law. 

Upcoming steps:
* We will post a "How to Help" guide here for writing letters and making phone calls
* Everyone can start by using our template (posted soon) to write a short letter
* Then - as we move forward - you can help by emailing your letter to your congressional representatives and anyone else whose support we need (ex: the White House).
[Please note: you can just modify a single letter for anyone you contact]
* Other actions for support - such as calling your representative's office - will also be suggested

PLEASE WAIT HOWEVER - It is better to start outreach at the same time

We will be providing updates soon on outreach details.


Today's Press Conference

This afternoon the "Kate Puzey Peace Corps Protection Act of 2011" was finally introduced into Congress!

We want to thank the Congress Members, staffers, supporters, and everyone else who helped get the bill to this point as we look forward to making sure it gets passed!!!

Here are video clips from the press conference:
Senator Johnny Isakson's Speech
Senator Barbara Boxer's Speech

Plus Representative Ted Poe's Speech Introducing the Bill on the House floor:

Some related media articles -
ABC News 

And the press release from Senator Isakson's office:

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Status Update on Building Support for the Legislation

Note: We have been putting shorter, more frequent updates on the Facebook page

Over the past two weeks we have been working to finalize an agreement on the language in the bill, which is tentatively named the "Kate Puzey Peace Corps Victims & Whistleblower Protection Act of 2011". The Peace Corps has been invited to collaborate as we definitely hope they will fully support the legislation - although we have been surprised & disappointed by some of their actions during this period and will certainly not stand to have the bill gutted simply to attain their approval.

On the other hand, we have been very encouraged by some of the initial support that has been expressed from numerous congressional Representatives and Senators. Members of our coalition - including Harvard/Columbia Professor Karestan Koenen (a RPCV who is a rape survivor & testified at the hearing) recently met with a number of prominent congressional Members to discuss the bill. We also have been contacted by many more former and present Peace Corps Volunteers who have experienced similar problems and contacted us to support the legislation after the massive media coverage from the hearing.

We hope the bill will be finalized next week, and then introduced the week of June 13th - June17th. In symbolic memory of Kate, it would be great if we were able to pass it by what-would-have-been her 27th birthday on June 19th.