|Success on TB||Success on User Fees & Debt Relief||Urgent action: TB Letter to Clinton|
The RESULTS twentieth anniversary conference was filled with speakers of national and international renown.FINCA founder John Hatch, who planted the seed that became the 1997 Microcredit Summit, returned once again to give a progress report on the now-unstoppable microcredit movement. He listed the shattered myths — that the poor aren't bankable, that the poor aren't reachable, and that banking on the poor isn't sustainable.
Marian Wright Edelman, founder of Children's Defense Fund, who planted the seed that became the Stand For Children demonstrations in Washington DC and ealsewhere, returned once again to inspire us to continue the struggle to provide for the needs of America's neglected children.
Frances Moore Lappé's 1971 book Diet for a Small Planet brought millions of readers an awareness of the environmental and social costs of a meat-centered diet, and her 1977 book Food First: Beyond the Myth of Scarcity was part of the spate of late-1970s works that spawned the "political will to end hunger" understanding at the core of our work in RESULTS. Lappé's talk, "What I've Learned after Thirty Years", highlighted the evolution in her questioning, which began with "Why hunger?" and then "Why hunger in a world of plenty?" and evolved to "Why have we created societies that we as individual abhor?" Lappé founded the Center for Living Democracy in part to promote creation of a society that reflects our true compassionate values.
Jonathan Kozol's 1968 book A Death at an Early Age raised awareness in a generation of Americans about the shameful gap the quality of schools and education in Boston and other U.S. cities. Most of his books since then focus on the injustice of inadequate resources for America's poor and minority children. His 2000 book, Ordinary Resurrections, and his talk, find inspiration in the lives of the children he works with now in the South Bronx, who have not yet been crushed by the Savage Inequalities (© 1991) they contend with daily.
Sam Daley-Harris, founder of RESULTS, spoke about the Microcredit Summit's goal of reaching 100 million of the world's poorest families (especially the women) with microcredit by 2005. He explained that, even without RESULTS and the Microcredit Summit, the goal of reaching 100 million would probably be met by 2005. The hard part, where we have to continue to work, lobby, remind, and cajole, is to make sure that the 100 million are the poorest. Sam's 1994 book, Reclaiming Our Democracy: Healing the break between children and government, was one of a growing library of texts on participatory democracy, the subject of several of Frances Moore Lappé's books.
Paul Loeb has also written several books on participatory democracy. His most recent book is Soul of a Citizen: Living With Conviction in a Cynical Time. He reminded us that social change requires an investment of time and energy. Rosa Parks didn't just one day refuse to move to the back of the bus; she had already been active in civil rights for over a decade. He spoke about the movement for campaign finance reform, which has reached success in several states, including Maine, where now ordinary citizens can seek $5.00 contributions at cub scout meetings instead of fatcat contributions from corporate special interests.
Other notable speakers at the conference included Dolores Huerta,
cofounder of the United Farm Workers;
Guyot, one of the organizers of SNCC, the Student Non-Violent Coordinating
Committee; Kraig Klaudt, Advocacy Campaign Coordinator of the World
Health Organization (WHO);
John Gershman, Research Associate
at the Institute for Health and Social Justice; Cheri Honkala, founder
and Executive Director of the Kensington
Welfare Rights Union;
Njoki Njehu, coordinator of the Fifty
Years Is Enough Global Network; and Mark Wiesbrot, Co-Director
of the Center for Economic Policy and Research.
Reps. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Tony Hall (D-OH) came and spoke at our banquet. Tony Hall, who led the House Select Committee on Hunger until it was abolished by a Congress frantic to show "frugality" to the voters, has been Congress' number one activist on hunger issues for a decade, and has frequently taken the lead on bills, amendments, and sign-on letters on RESULTS issues. Hall reminded us of the partnership we have with Congress. We seek support in Congress for legislation we want to be passed; Tony Hall thanked RESULTS for our support for legislation he wanted Congress to pass.
Holly Near sang for us and with us, interspersing her songs with some inspiring words. She said that usually hotel ballrooms have non-participatory, uninspired audiences, but we provided a very different experience for her, singing along with energy and enthusiasm. We sang our favorite RESULTS songs, including The Rose. Holly wanted to teach the song that emerged from the assassination of George Moscone and Harvey Milk, "Singing For Our Lives," but sang only a few notes before we all joined in chorus.
Every year at the RESULTS International Conference Banquet, we honor the contributors to and fundraisers for RESULTS. This year, RESULTS has broken into a bold new level of funding, as San Jose partner Peter Fiekowsky and his wife Sharon have committed to donate $1 million to RESULTS over ten years. Sharon spoke about how startled she was when Peter first declared this intent a year ago, but she shares Peter's belief that it is more important to give her children a world escaping from poverty than to give her children a lot of money for themselves.
For more about the RESULTS International Conference 2000: http://www.equality.net/RESULTSSeattle/IC2000/
RESULTS partners lobbied a majority of House offices on Monday, June 19, which by good fortune was the day before the House Foreign Operations Subcommittee of Appropriations marked up the foreign aid bill.
Inexpensive and reliable techniques can cure most cases of TB, the world's number one infectious killer of adults. But, in much of the world, only a small minority of persons with TB are receiving the correct treatment. Last year RESULTS succeeded in getting Congress to pass legislation increasing TB funding from $12 million to $35 million. This year, we worked to increase it again to $100 million.
The Senate Appropriations Committee passed a foreign assistance bill with $41 million for TB. California's two senators, Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein, joined by several others, introduced an amendment increasing TB funding by $10 million to $51 million. The Senate passed the Boxer amendment and the entire bill.
Action: Thank your senators for their work to increase funding for TB. Write to Senator ______, U.S. Senate, Washington DC 20510.
Rep. Sonny Callahan (R-AL), chair of the House Foreign Operations Subcommittee of Appropriations, marked up the foreign assistance bill with $40 million for TB. Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco), ranking Democrat on that subcommittee, offered an amendment increasing TB funding by $19 million, for a total of $59 million. This amendment passed, and the Foreign Operations Subcommittee passed the bill on to the full Appropriations Committee.
Action: Thank Rep. Pelosi for her work to increase funding for TB. Write to Rep. Pelosi, House of Representatives, Washington DC 20515.
RESULTS is one of many organizations working in favor of international debt cancellation, and have this debt cancelled without requiring countries to abide by punish-the-poor structural adjustment policies (SAPs) of the World Bank and the IMF. One of the most egregious SAPs is the imposition of user fees on the poor to obtain access to basic social services such as elementary school education had health care. Everywhere in the United States, education is free through twelfth grade. But, because of the policies of the IMF, in many countries in Africa, public schools are imposing tuition to attend first grade. As a result, millions of children, especially girls, have been withdrawn from school enrollment. This is not a prescription for economic growth, it is a prescription for chaos.
With support and encouragement from RESULTS, Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-IL) introduced an amendment in the Foreign Operations Subcommittee, which was accepted by Chairman Callahan, requiring the IMF and World Bank to certify for FY 2002 that no loan or debt relief agreement includes user fees for basic services.
RESULTS Legislative Director Joanne Carter summarized our success this way: "I've come to expect miracles in RESULTS but I was actually shocked by the difference our Hill visits made in the House foreign aid appropriations bill."
Reps. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Connie Morella (R-MD) have initiated a letter to President Clinton urging the administration to support $100 million for global TB (and thanking the administration for increasing funding for AIDS) in advance of the upcoming G-8 Summit of heads of state of the leading industrialized nations in late July. We expect a major announcement from the G-8 on increased efforts on "the diseases of poverty — TB, AIDS, malaria." We want the Administration to call for $100 million for global TB control or at least to support $100 million in the final end-of-year negotiations. The more reps who sign on to the letter, the more likely it is that letter will influence the Administration to take bold action. Please call ASAP. The aide to your rep can call Arlan Fuller in Brown's office or Lisa Boepple in Morella's office to include their boss on the letter.
If you don't know your rep's phone number, please call the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121. Ask for your rep. When your rep's office answers, ask to speak with the aide specializing in foreign aid. If you take only one action from this newsletter, this is the one.
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