THE BLOG
07/17/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

A Letter to Rep. Lowey on the Importance of the Peace Corps Vote

Dearest Rep. Nita Lowey,

This is a personal message to you from your buddy, your long time
supporter and your friend, Puff's "real" daddy.

In the vote coming up next week on Peace Corps funding, we have a
seriously important opportunity to send a message to our nation, and nations beyond, that could greatly help to rejuvenate the spirit of humanity, morality and generosity in America, so absent from our policies, our funding and our actions, during the Bush years.

We cannot lose this special opportunity, and I'm relying on you, as
one of my favorite and most respected members of the House, to "hang in there" for doing the right thing, as you have in the past. Though I fully expect that you'll be voting for doubling the funding for the Peace Corps when the vote comes up next week, if you are having any doubts, let me tell you why, in my opinion, this particular vote is both crucial and precedential.

I believe that, perhaps more than anything else we do as a nation,
the Peace Corps, as a person-to-person expression of America's decency and basic humanity, sends our most powerful message to its citizenry and to other countries around the world. Whatever programs lose their priority due to the current fiscal downturn/crisis, the Peace Corps and related service programs, as well as the education of our children and the providing of crucial services for our special needs population must, simply must, be prioritized and fully funded.

We need to celebrate and support the Peace Corps to demonstrate to
ourselves and others that we are, once again, without question, a caring nation with decent, caring priorities and policies. We need to win this vote to heal our hearts, so injured and so wearied during the Bush years when we saw respect for our country eroding
terribly, internally and world-wide. We need this vote for doubling the Peace Corps funding in order to demonstrate that our legislature is are willing to walk-the-walk and stand up for what's right, for hope, and for a return to the spirit of our nation as articulated in the brilliance of the Peace Corps founders Sarge Shriver, President John F. Kennedy, Senator Harris Wofford, and others.

My prediction: If we win this vote, we will establish a crucial precedent for our
nation to "do the right thing". Lose this vote, and we will show ourselves, our elected leaders, to
be less than courageous, less that doggedly moral, and we will thereby lose
precious momentum for restoring equity, humanity and social justice to our
land.

Please, if you have any doubt, prioritize this vote to fully double
the funding for the Peace Corps next week, knowing that victory on this one
vote will affect all forthcoming votes on where the heart of America now
stands. The bell tolls for you, me, for us all.

Please be courageous. We, so many of us, are with you.

With greatest respect and huge thanks to you for your moral
leadership now, in the past, and in the bright, though challenging future,
we face.