October Advocacy Update

Photo: ©2009 Raphael Palma/World Vision

Photo: ©2009 Raphael Palma/World Vision

This time of year there are many exciting things to look forward to – the changing colors of the leaves, mugs of warm apple cider, and holidays with family and friends. Not to be forgotten, it is also the season when signs go up in fronts yards and political commercials take over your television – it is Elections Season!

We know that elections may not be your most exciting event this time of year, but they are important, whether you consider yourself political or not. This November 4, elections will determine your voice in the Capitol. When there are issues on the table that affect the poor, girls’ education, clean water, human trafficking, or response to a conflict situation, what do you want your voice to say?

This is an election year for all Members of the House of Representatives and about a third of the Senate. Likely, candidates have reached out to you asking you to vote, and now we are asking you to reach out to them. Ask candidates to move beyond their normal talking points and start conversations about issues that matter for the least of these.

Below are some questions that you may consider asking. There are not right and wrong answers- these are your candidates and it is up to you to decide how you feel about their answer. Some things that you may want to consider are children who are affected in Syria and Iraq right now, mothers who give birth unattended and fear that their child will not live, girls not in school because they have to collect water for their families, and children trying to escape violence in their own country but with no place to go.

To find your candidate(s) check your local newspaper or look for a voting guide to come in the mail.

– Do you support the foreign assistance budget, which is less than 1 per cent of the total federal budget? Building stable economies, infrastructure and giving communities a path out of poverty is a vital tool in ensuring that developing countries thrive. This includes making sure communities have access to health facilities, schools, and even simple things like clean water. The US foreign assistance budget supports all of these investments.

– What do you see as the U.S. role in combatting human trafficking and modern day slavery?

– What, specifically, would you do to ensure that America is able to respond quickly and effectively to people in other parts of the world suffering from war and/or natural disasters?

– How do you think the U.S. should address the root causes of violence, abuse, neglect, and exploitation of children?

– Global health programs have a long history of bipartisan support, particularly the PEPFAR program that addresses the HIV/AIDS epidemic and has saved the lives of millions of men, women and children. One exception, however, is support for programs that promote the healthy timing and spacing of pregnancies. How do you plan to work in Congress to help build bipartisan support for this program, which could reduce preventable child deaths by 25 percent and save the lives of 175,000 mothers every year?

– How do you think responding to people who are being harmed by war and/or natural disasters, and leading other countries to do likewise, reflects American values and our national interest?

– Under 5 preventable child deaths have nearly been cut in half since 1990, yet the budgets for international maternal and child health programs are often targeted for cuts in the appropriations process. Do you support these programs and if so, what will you do next year to ensure that funding for these programs continues to be a priority of the US government?

This post has 2 comments

  1. Dennis Golding says:

    These read more like statements than questions.

    • Women of Vision says:

      Hi Dennis, Thank you for your input. We realize that some of these questions have a lot of context around them, but that is always helpful- especially since we know that candidates cannot be experts in every area. Each candidate will answer questions differently and it is up to you to decide whether you are content with the answer. There will absolutely be differing answers on how the U.S. should address child trafficking, if and how responding to international conflicts reflects America’s interests, and if the Foreign Assistance budget should be supported as is, raised or lowered. Overall, these questions are suggestions and we feel that the most important thing is that conversations about issues that affect the poor are not left off the table during election season. ~Women of Vision

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