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Readers Respond

Reauthorize the Peace Corps | READER COMMENTARY

President John F. Kennedy hands Shriver a pen used to sign the Peace Corps Act, on Sept. 22, 1961, giving the organization permanent status. File. (Los Angeles Times staff).

On Monday, Sept. 19, the U.S. House of Representatives approved the Peace Corps Reauthorization Act of 2022 (H.R. 1456) by a 290-125 bipartisan vote. This is the most comprehensive and consequential piece of legislation to support the Peace Corps in more than a generation. And, as a returned Peace Corps volunteer who served in Madagascar, I must say it could not come at a more opportune time.

Thursday, Sept. 22, 2022, marked the 61st anniversary of the signing of the original Peace Corps Act, which has not been fully reauthorized since 1999. Even more important, this legislation comes at a time when Peace Corps volunteers are returning to service. While the COVID-19 pandemic shut down global operations in March 2020, roughly 500 volunteers have now returned to posts in nearly 30 countries.

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As Peace Corps volunteers to work side-by-side with foreign counterparts in a spirit of collaboration, friendship and peace, we need to support them with updated improvements and reforms. Next, the bill will need to pass through the U.S. Senate. I encourage our senators to support this bill when it comes up for a vote in order to help promote peace for years to come.

— Teena Curry, Hyattsville

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