“Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country” ~John F. Kennedy January 20, 1961
This is a quote we hear so often through our schooling, as Peace Corps Volunteers and now as Returned Peace Corps Volunteers. What does this mean? well when we signed up for the Peace Corps, we viewed it as a request to serve our country. As Peace Corps volunteers we worked to help people help themselves all around the world. However, what does it mean when we come home?
“Helping promote a better understanding of other peoples on the part of Americans” Peace Corps’ 3rd Goal (http://www.peacecorps.gov)
A simplistic interpretation of the 3rd goal of the Peace Corps is to return home and go to schools, community organizations and present on our experiences, talk about the countries, the cultures and the people that we served and that is it.
However, lets think about this goal in another way! Not just talking about our experiences but practicing the Peace Corps ideals, this could mean so many things for so many RPCVs. It can be simply becoming teachers, doctors, nurses, scientists, non-profit leaders working to make our local communities better. There are countless examples of RPCVs doing amazing work and practicing these ideals.
However, let’s go beyond this and purposely and directly make an impact on public policy. Though we have countless examples of Returned Peace Corps Volunteers doing great work around the world, we have limited examples of RPCVs involved in local, state and federal government where changing and improving public policy has the greatest impact.
RPCVs are certainly generous, perhaps we view political office in a negative context and that is why we shy away. We fear we would loose our ideals.
This blog/initiative is to encourage the Peace Corps community to think about how we can make a difference in public policy at the local, state and federal level.
Peace Corps to Politics is here to identify, connect and support Returned Peace Corps Volunteers running for or in Political office.
Learn about RPCVs who are in office or running for office here, on twitter, and facebook
Follow us on twitter @pcv2politics and like us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/PeaceCorps2Politics