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Oneida resident is focus of new TV ad appeal to Senator McConnell and Representative Rogers

“We care about people that live in poverty, whether that person is halfway around the world or right next door”

LEXINGTON, Ky. — Kentuckian Jonathan Barnes — a history and government teacher in Oneida — is the focus of a new multi-platform advertising campaign in Lexington to protect America’s international affairs programs from dangerous budget cuts.

The advertisements are part of an effort to urge Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) — who is the Senate Majority Leader — and Representative Hal Rogers (R-KY-05) — who chairs the House Appropriations Subcommittee on State and Foreign Operations — to protect America’s International Affairs budget from cuts that would weaken America’s foreign policy and make Americans less safe. President Trump has proposed slashing the budgets of the State Department and U.S. Agency for International Development by more than one-third, and generally dismantling America’s poverty-fighting assistance.

A 30-second spot will begin airing in Lexington on broadcast and cable on Sunday during Meet the Press and Face the Nation. The spot will also appear as pre-roll to videos online and in other forms of digital advertising, and radio spots will appear on stations around the area. A three-minute version of Barnes’ story will also be shared via email and social media with ONE’s more than 20,000 members in Kentucky and 2.6 million members across the United States.

Barnes narrates the TV spot:

“I don’t think it’s America’s job to fix all the problems of the world, but I think it’s America’s job to do America’s part. I’m Jonathan Barnes and I live in Oneida, Kentucky. People here… they know what it’s like to struggle, they know that other people are struggling. We care about people that live in poverty, whether that person is halfway around the world or right next door. If you love God, then loving others is a byproduct of it. Senator McConnell and Congressman Rogers need to do the right thing and fight for foreign aid. It’s the difference between life and death… I’m going for life.”

Barnes has been a member of The ONE Campaign for eight years, repeatedly recognized for his advocacy work and invited to ONE’s elite “Power Summit” in Washington each of the last three years to participate in high-level training and leadership development of ONE’s top advocates. He is a Congressional District Leader for ONE in Kentucky’s 5th district, organizing local residents to raise their voices to advocate for policies to help end extreme poverty and stop the spread of preventable diseases.

A University of Georgia graduate, Barnes felt the call to serve and has done mission work in Rwanda and Nigeria. Barnes now teaches high school social studies — specifically Advanced Placement U.S. History, Government and Psychology — at Oneida Baptist Institute. He sees both his teaching and his advocacy work as ways to put his faith in action here in the United States.

The ONE Campaign’s North America executive director, Tom Hart, said:

“Senator McConnell and Representative Rogers will be incredibly powerful in the upcoming budget negotiations, and they need to know that our international affairs programs are actually a local issue. Foreign assistance, especially, is rooted in Americans’ deeply held values and demonstrates our shared covenant to help those in need. Jonathan’s story really embodies those values and we are excited to help share it with Kentuckians.

“Foreign assistance saves innocent lives, makes America safer, helps creates jobs here in America, and is simply the right thing for the strongest and most successful country on earth to do,” Hart continued. “Both Senator McConnell and Representative Rogers have shown that they get it, but we want them to know that they have a lot of constituents who want them to fight for it, too.”