On the Web December 2008 + January 2009
»GFWC's Board of Directors attended a wreath laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknowns in Arlington National Cemetery on Sunday, Sept. 7. See photos from the event.
Democracy at Your Finger Tips
The official websites of the United State Senate and House of Representatives contact information for both Senators from your state, get up to date on Committee votes, read about various political nominees that must be approved by the Senate, and research its history. The House’s site also provides a way to find contact information for your Congressional Representative. You can also search the Budget Office and the Government Accountability Office. www.Senate.gov and www.House.gov
Learn Your Lesson
On page 14 of this issue, an article about Lilly Ledbetter’s fight for equal pay mentions that the bill named for Lilly has not been sent to the floor of the Senate for an up-and-down vote. What does this mean?
In the 110th Congress, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act was voted favorably out of the U.S. House of Representatives, but stalled in the U.S. Senate. Sixty votes are needed in the U.S. Senate to invoke cloture, a procedure to bring debate on a topic to an end. Without cloture, debate remains opens and a bill will never receive a vote, despite having a simple majority of supporting votes. This is the case with the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. The bill had the support of fifty-eight members of the Senate, but did not have the sixty votes needed to invoke cloture and end debate.
In the 111th Congress, however, GFWC is hopeful that the bill will be voted favorably out of both the U.S House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate and be delivered to the President for his signature.
Learn more about invoking cloture and other procedural considerations of Congress.
Celebrate the Day that Celebrates Volunteers
International Volunteer Day, Dec. 5, offers an opportunity for volunteer organizations and individual volunteers to make their contributions visible—at local, national, and international levels—to the achievement of the UN’s Millennium Development Goals. Over the years, rallies, parades, community volunteering projects, environmental awareness, free medical care, and advocacy campaigns have all featured prominently on IVD. www.WorldVolunteerWeb.org
Resolve To Find Out More
Speaking of the UN’s Millennium Development Goals, visit this site to learn more about each (there are eight!) and the role volunteers play in meeting the goals (there are many!). www.UN.org/MillenniumGoals
Create Bright Futures
The National Collaboration for Youth, a 40-year-old coalition of youth-serving nonprofits, released a national children and youth policy agenda, Toward a Brighter Future: An Essential Agenda for America’s Young People, which addresses meeting the needs of America’s children and youth in 2009 and beyond. While most Americans would agree that children are our greatest asset, the federal government’s investment in children and youth continues to decline—federal spending on children decreased by 10 percent in the past five years. The policy agenda offers an overarching set of recommendations for federal policy changes and investments. Read the full report and discover how volunteers can play a role. (PDF)
January is National Mentoring Month. This month-long outreach campaign focuses national attention on the need for mentors, as well as how each of us—individuals, businesses, government agencies, schools, faith communities, and nonprofits—can work together to increase the number of mentors and assure brighter futures for our young people.
Listen to the Voices of Volunteers
Sharing insight and information is a great way to mentor fellow members. And, being on the receiving end is beneficial, too. Listen to volunteers like yourself, who share what their volunteer work means to them, and how they commit to service and self fulfillment.