Last weekend, Orange County ONE member Gina Kim opened her home to her community to join her in writing letters to Senator Dianne Feinstein, asking her to oppose any cuts to the FY12 State and Foreign Operations bill. This bill funds ONE’s priorities, including agricultural development, childhood vaccines and HIV/AIDS treatment. Last week, we learned a vote would soon be coming to the Senate floor and ONE members across the country have been calling and writing their senators with a similar message: “International affairs programs help tackle the root causes of conflict and extremism, respond to humanitarian crises, and build new markets for US goods and services, so please oppose any more cuts to the foreign aid budget.”
Gina said, “Most of the people who came were unaware of the famine in the Horn of Africa and had no idea what ‘FY12’ was, but today we learned about the US budget and how it affects the world’s poorest people, among other issues.”
ONE members like Gina are recruiting voices to urge their senators to oppose any more cuts. Agriculture investments alone are proven to increase productivity and preparedness and provide better access to resources and economic opportunities. Health programs have proven to save millions of lives, allowing people to return to work and contribute to their family and community’s well-being.
Gina is not alone. Military leaders, including former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, retired Admiral Mullen and General Petraeus, have told us that cuts to development programs are detrimental to our national security. Fifty leading US business leaders and the US Chamber of Commerce have also written Congress to support a strong International Affairs Budget. Now we need your voice. Join our military leaders, join business leaders, join Gina Kim, and use your voice to call your senator today and urge him or her to oppose cuts and protect these critical programs.