Friday, February 5, 2010

Geithner Responds to Congress letter about Haiti debt!

Great news from RESULTS!!!
Hi Folks – so often it can take months, years and even decades to see the results of our advocacy… and sometimes it takes a couple of days.

Following the receipt of the Waters/Ros-Lehtinen letter with 94 signatures – including Financial Services Chair Barney Frank and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer – Secretary Geithner announced today that he will work to eliminate all of Haiti’s debt and provide any further assistance in the form of grants. We were hearing nothing from the White House on its intentions, so this is a huge shift. Most of Haiti’s remaining debt is owed to multilateral institutions like the IMF and IDB, so this doesn’t guarantee that the debt will be cancelled, but having the full support of the U.S. is absolutely critical and a real turning point.

Thanks again for you work on this letter. In thanking your members for signing, you can let them know this had a real impact. The press release from Treasury is pasted below.


94 Reps Signed IMF Letter to Cancel Haiti's Debt!

Congratulations: 94 Representatives Signed the House IMF Letter to Cancel Haiti's Debt!

Responding to the urgent humanitarian crisis in Haiti, Representatives Maxine Waters (D-CA) and Illeana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) are sending a message that Haiti's debt must be cancelled.

Last week the IMF approved an emergency $100 million loan, adding to the $165 million already owed by Haiti to the Fund. Haiti owes an additional $447 million to the Inter-American Development Bank, and tens of millions to other institutions. As an influential member of these multilateral organizations, the U.S. will be critical in ensuring Haiti's debt will be canceled.

Representatives Waters and Ros-Lehtinen have sent a letter to Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner urging him to work to immediately suspend Haiti's debt payments, cancel any existing or newly incurred debt, and provide further assistance in the form of grants rather than debt-creating loans. Thanks in part to the efforts of RESULTS activists, so far 94 members of Congress have signed this letter, including IL reps Davis, Guiterrez, Jackson Jr, Quigley, Rush, Schakowksy.

We'll be watching to see if this strong message from Congress is heeded by the administration.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Help get ONE on the Colbert Report

A new website campaign has been launched to try to get the "Colbert Bump" for a ONE activist who is running for Congress in New Hampshire. Michael Castaldo is a highly respected activist for the ONE campaign who lobbies in many ways from writing letters-to-the-editor and op-eds to bird dogging candidates in town hall meetings to raise awareness and get action on global poverty issues. He is also now running as a republican candidate for U.S. Representative.

Castaldo is the famous ONE activist who travelled all over his state to personally give ONE bracelets to every presidential primary candidate in the last presidential election. He got his picture with every one of them and spoke to them on behalf of people living in extreme poverty.

And now he's got his own viral campaign going to get him on the Colbert Report. His friends who are grassroots anti-poverty activists and fans of Stephen Colbert's show think that he's got an interesting story to tell and want to see him wearing the ONE band, talking about global poverty on to the Colbert Nation. Colbert's character is known for liking to give the "Colbert Bump" by endorsing candidates that fit his interests. Given that Castaldo is a republican, ex-marine, and a chef, he certainly does seem to embody some of Colbert's favorite things. Now if only he were a speedskater, too...

Here is the website that gives information on how to tell Colbert that Castaldo should be on the show:
Colbert Bump for Castaldo site

From the "Get the Colbert Bump for Castaldo" site.....


Michael Castaldo is one of the most interesting congressional candidates running for U.S. Representative this year. He would be a perfect interview for the Colbert Report. Stephen Colbert's on-air persona loves the armed services, food, the Republican party, and kingmaking. Mike is an ex-marine, a chef and a Republican candidate who would appreciate receiving the Colbert Bump.

Mike is also a strong advocate for people living in poverty. As a key activist for the ONE campaign, he presented the white ONE bracelet to many presidential candidates on the trail through New Hampshire. An appearance on The Colbert Report would give him the chance to flash that poverty-awareness accessory himself and bring issues like foreign aid reform, debt relief, and global health to a national audience.