Remember that I mentioned in my most recent post that my encounter with Rep. Harry Teague on Saturday was brief?
LaVerne Kaufman, our volunteer coordinator for Bread for the World in Las Cruces, caught up with him on Sunday and had a longer discussion with him about H.R. 2139, The Initiating Foreign Assistance Reform Act of 2009. Also present at that meeting was LaVerne's husband Bob.
LaVerne used a very helpful tool: a chart (contained in our Offering of Letters kit) developed by the Brookings Institution that shows that our foreign aid is adminstered by a confusing web of agencies.
Here's LaVerne's description
I got a phone message last night that Harry Teague would be in Las Cruces today.
I went to see him and took the chart from the Offering of Letters kit showing the foreign aid duplications of mission.
I had a chance to discuss it with one of his Las Cruces staff and she said she would bring it to his attention.
Bob and I met with Rep. Teague briefly and I told him about our letters and the chart and asked him to sign on to HR 2139.
Like Rep. Martin Heinrich on Saturday, Rep. Teague was noncommittal after the Sunday meeting. But I suspect that we managed to get the issue somewhere high on the agendas of two of our three members of Congress.
And as LaVerne said, "We've also made phone calls" And we're continuing to make those phone calls next week.
And thanks to Dick Steele at St. Thomas of Canterbury Episcopal Church and Estella Gahala-Lange at First United Methodist Church in Albuquerque, we will have several dozen letters to be delivered to Rep. Heinrich next week.
And thanks to Bobbie Rugg, we will also have about 22 letters from First Presbyterian Church in Santa Fe for Rep. Ben Ray Lujan, also next week
All those letters are to be sent by overnight mail to the Bread office first thing on Monday and delivered by the Bread government relations staff to Capitol Hill.
LaVerne is pictured above with BFW regional organizers Robin Stephenson and Meredith Story Williams