Chuck Ludlam

From Peace Corps Wiki

(Difference between revisions)
Jump to: navigation, search
(Open Letter to oppose legislation to authorize a commemorative monument)
(Reports and Articles on the Wiki)
Line 51: Line 51:
-
== Reports and Articles on the Wiki ==
+
== Peace Corps related Letters and Reports ==
* http://peacecorpswiki.org/images/LudlamHirschoff.pdf
* http://peacecorpswiki.org/images/LudlamHirschoff.pdf

Revision as of 05:22, 23 October 2009



Chuck Ludlam
Flag of Nepal.svg
Country Nepal
Years: 1968-1970
Program(s) Agriculture
Chuck Ludlam started in Nepal 1968
Chuck Ludlam
Agriculture in Nepal:Agriculture.gif
Jonathan Bensky, Chuck Ludlam, Lloyd McCauley, Richard Pollard, John Thompson
Other Volunteers who served in Nepal
Flag of Nepal.svg
Bruce Belknap, Jonathan Bensky, Philip Cyr, Robert Frank, Marshal Haggard, Norma Harley, Thomas Hassett, Robert Lillig, Chuck Ludlam, Lloyd McCauley, Bruce McKeen, William Nordmann, Richard Pollard, Amanda Richardson, Christina Rudy … further results
Projects in Nepal
Flag of Nepal.svg
Don't see yourself, Add yourself or a friend!

Enter your first and last name




Chuck Ludlam
Flag of Senegal.svg
Country Senegal
Years: 2005-2007
Program(s) Agriculture
Chuck Ludlam started in Senegal 2005
Paula Hirschoff, Chuck Ludlam
Agriculture in Senegal:Agriculture.gif
John Brown, Tom Graham, Chuck Ludlam
Other Volunteers who served in Senegal
Flag of Senegal.svg
Margaret Basket, Richard Boucher, Claire Brittain, John Brown, David Campbell, Christine Carmouze, Jenna Dillon, Brian Edens, Janet Ghattas, Tom Graham, John T. Hand, Christopher Hedrick, Paula Hirschoff, Wilburn Johnson, Chuck Ludlam … further results
Projects in Senegal
Flag of Senegal.svg
Dindefelo Summer Camp, Girls' Summer Camp, Health Association Capacity Building, Health Hut Construction, Irrigation Initiative, Latrine Construction, Latrine Construction in Senegal, Seed Storage Facility, Senegalese Girls Bike Tour (Tour des Filles), Sirmang Community Garden Project, Well Construction
Don't see yourself, Add yourself or a friend!

Enter your first and last name


About Chuck Ludlam


Chuck Ludlam and Paula Hirschoff


Peace Corps related Letters and Reports

Open Letter to oppose legislation to authorize a commemorative monument

to the Peace Corps near the National Mall in Washington DC

Dear National Parks Subcommittee, Commission on Fine Arts, and National Capital Planning Commission Staff, and Judy Scott Feldman (Save the Mall): 09/02/09

Proposals are under discussion to seek introduction and enactment of legislation to authorize a commemorative monument to the Peace Corps near the Mall. We believe this proposal is ill conceived and should be rejected. Several of you have said you share our view that this commemorative monument does not fall within the ambit of the Commemorative Works Act (P.L. 107-217; Chapter 89) that "limits monuments to memory of an individual, group, event or other significant element of American history that have been dead or past 25 years." Clearly this proposal does not meet the "25 year" test and cannot be a monument to the Volunteers or the deceased Volunteers. Proponents of this idea seem to believe, however, that the Act leaves latitude to authorize a commemorative monument to an idea, in this case the idea of the Peace Corps. Several of you have said that this is not a reasonable interpretation of this law. In any event, the proposal should not be authorized for the reasons presented here. Is the idea of the Peace Corps so "monumental" that we need a monument to commemorate it near the Mall? If the Congress is going to authorize monuments to ideas rather than individuals and historical events, then we should start with the biggest ideas like the Bill of Rights, racial equality and tolerance, free enterprise economics, and liberal immigration policies. If a commemorative monument is authorized regarding the idea of volunteer service, it should focus on the American tradition of community service rather than on one particular, recent and government-run model of this service. If we single out one particular program, why the Peace Corps rather than, for example, the AFS or the Fullbright program? Why single out a government program when most of our society's volunteerism lies in the private sector? We must remember that the Peace Corps is one of hundreds of government programs that are authorized and funded year by year. It is not permanent. Moreover, it is not unusual in representing a great idea; all government programs represent ideas. Are the ideas represented by the Peace Corps exceptional compared to those embodied in other government programs? We have no monument on the Mall to the New Deal or Great Society programs. We have no monument to the space program. We have no memorial to the Land Grant College Act. Or to the national parks/wilderness systems. Or to environmental programs. Or labor rights or child welfare programs. The Peace Corps is but one of hundreds of well-intentioned government programs and a rather small one at that. Its 200,000 participants are few by government standards and a fraction of the number of participants in AmeriCorps/Vista. Many of us who served as Volunteers find the notion of a commemorative monument to be embarrassing. Our pride in our service is strong but we see no need to be lionized with a monument. Moreover, few Volunteers in the field would support a monument. Their view of the Peace Corps is that it should be reformed, not expanded (46% to 20%). If this proposal goes forward, we may well see pickets at the groundbreaking ceremony from Volunteers. Support for this proposal could be seen as self-referential and politically self-serving for the returned Volunteers who are Members of Congress. The monument that returned Volunteers do need is funding to help them fulfill the third goal (informing Americans about the countries where they served), which the Congress and the Peace Corps have never adequately provided. Strangely and sadly, the 2009 version of Senator Dodd's Peace Corps authorization deletes the authorization for these grants that was included in his 2007 bill. If the Congress wants to honor the RPCVs, these grants should be the focus, not a monument of marble and bronze. The principal proponent of this proposal, the National Peace Corps Association, has not as yet acted on a pending proposal to raise up to $7 million for the project. To begin to raise these funds before this monument is authorized would be premature. It should not do so, but rather, should focus its fundraising on endowing a program to support returned and current Volunteers. The proposed $7 million could endow 35 $10,000 grants per year for Volunteers, a much better use of these funds. The sentiment for the monument is seems similar to that driving NPCA's "more Peace Corps" campaign to double Peace Corps funding, e.g. that the Peace Corps should be immune from serious criticism and reform because it embodies great ideas and attracts idealistic Americans. This type of sentimentality stands in the way of reflection, renewal and reform and has led to atrophy at the agency. Indeed, The Peace Corps has deeply embedded and fundamental problems. The pervasive mismanagement is documented by the Volunteers in the 2008 Peace Corps survey. There are perhaps 15 well-managed programs out of more than 70. The Volunteers are voting with their feet with 35% terminating before completing their service. The Peace Corps claims that 20 countries are "shovel ready" for the Peace Corps and that there is a big surplus of applicants. Both assertions are contrary to fact. The Peace Corps record of First Goal results (development projects abroad) is undocumented and unevaluated. Can anyone name a single development idea or program that the Peace Corps has taken to scale worldwide? These issues are discussed in depth in the Peace Corps reform plan that we have published (see attached). Finally, the future of the Peace Corps is not clear. Congress has enacted legislation and supported funding for another program, Volunteers for Prosperity (the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act), which will compete directly with the Peace Corps. The new program relies on the AmeriCorps model of placing volunteers with NGOs at one quarter the cost per individual. Over the next 10 years we'll see if the Peace Corps model-one that is bureaucratic, risk averse and spending $45,000 per Volunteer per year-is more effective than a decentralized, private sector approach. Then we'll know if the Peace Corps has stood the test of time and competition. For now it's premature to say how relevant the Peace Corps model of service will be over the long term. We urge you to oppose this proposal and protect the National Mall from narrow and special interest commemorative monuments. We urge you to consider whether the Congress and NPCA will be embarrassed by this transparent act of self-congratulation. What we need is fundamental Peace Corps reform so that this program does not continue to atrophy. We need Third Goal funding. And, as for satisfaction and pride in service, RPCVs have those in their hearts. By way of introduction, we have both twice served as Peace Corps Volunteers (Chuck: Nepal, 68-70, and Senegal, 05-07; Paula, Kenya 68-70 and Senegal 05-07). Chuck serves on the Board of the National Peace Corps Association, served as an advisor to the Obama transition team for the Peace Corps, and founded Friends of Nepal. We were selected by Senator Chris Dodd to represent the 8000 Volunteers in his July 2007 hearing on Peace Corps reform, flying in from Senegal at our own expense. Chuck served on the staff of various House and Senate Committees between 1965 and 2005 and the staff of the Carter White House and Federal Trade Commission. He also served for seven and a half years as the principal lobbyist for the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO). Paula has served on the Friends of Kenya Board and has had a 35-year career as a teacher, journalist, writer, and editor. It is because we love the Peace Corps and believe in its ideals that we have led the push to secure fundamental Peace Corps reform and now take the lead in opposing the commemorative monument. Thank you very much for considering our point of view. Chuck Ludlam and Paula Hirschoff
Personal tools
Namespaces
Variants
Actions
Tell Your Friends
Navigation
Peace Corps News
Timelines
Country Information
Groups
Help
About
Toolbox