Meeting Rep. Charlie Dent in Pennsylvania

ONE Regional Field Director Brian Sweeney reflects on the importance of advocacy and the significance of the voice of constituents.

As many of you know, in just a matter of weeks the US budget funding for global AIDS, hunger and poverty will be slashed – unless our elected officials act. This week, I joined fellow Pennsylvania ONE member Brian Kneasel at a town hall meeting with Representative Charlie Dent (R), who sits on the powerful Appropriations Subcommittee for State and Foreign Operations.

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After the meeting concluded, we made sure to express our concerns to the Congressman regarding the preservation of the International Affairs Budget in order to protect our investment in lifesaving development programs.

Photo caption: Brian Kneasel with Representative Charlie Dent (R).

These programs include those that fight HIV/AIDS, childhood diseases, and hunger.  We explained that cutting foreign assistance programs won’t put a dent in the deficit, but will put millions of lives at risk.

Representative Dent replied that he has always supported programs like PEPFAR and that such successful programs enhance our national security.  We thanked him and urged that he please speak with Chairwoman Granger and other members on his subcommittee about  these critical issues.

Please take a second and check to see if your member of Congress will be conducting a public event in your area.  If not, contact your Regional Field Director to see if there is an “Advocacy in Action” event nearby. There are a multitude of these events currently going on across the country!  Now is a critical time that our elected leaders hear from their constituents to protect programs that are fighting for the world’s poorest people.