Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

Half-Hour for Haiti : 20 Co-sponsors Needed for Haiti Debt Relief Act

September 19, 2006
Half-Hour for Haiti: 20 Co-sponsors Needed for Haiti Debt Relief Act
Update:  Some good news on the debt relief front: the IMF announced today that it has approved Haiti for its Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) debt relief program, which also applies to World Bank loans. HIPC has its limitations- the process can take three years and can require conditions that will aggravate Haiti’s poverty- so we will need to keep working for complete, unconditional debt relief for Haiti. But it is a step in the right direction. The announcement also shows that our advocacy works. Neil Watkins of the Jubilee USA Network  that he thinks that the IMF was responding to pressure from the U.S. Congress, which in turn was responding to us letting them know that we cared.Some more good news: thanks to hard work from Haiti supporters, we are up to 60 co-sponsors for the Haiti Debt Relief Bill, H.R. 888 in the U.S. House of Representatives. Jubilee USA tells us we need only 20 more (out of 375 who have not signed on yet) to get the bill to a vote on the floor of the House. Many Representatives only need a nudge: Georgette Delinois of New Jersey asked her Representative, Steven Rothman to co-sponsor H.R. 888 at a community meeting in August, and he agreed on the spot.  Others may take more persistence- but with the elections coming up, there is no better time. Twenty is just not that many, well within our reach. IJDH has information packets, postcards and many other resources. Let us know what you need and we will do our best to get it to you.Coming Events: In Cleveland, Ohio, a coalition led by the Catholic Sisters for Justice and Peace is featuring Haiti at their observance of the United International Day of Peace, on Thursday September 21. Speakers will include Junior St. Vil of Pax Christi Haiti and Brian Concannon of IJDH.

Volunteer Translators Needed:  For the last three years, Mike Levy has led a team of volunteer translators bringing selected articles from the Haitian Press Agency (AHP) to an English-speaking audience. Unlike almost all other Haitian press available in English, AHP has no connections to the conservative media organizations that backed the 2004 coup d’etat, so the translation service plays a vital role in making balanced news from Haitian sources available.  After all this time, Mike and his team are wearing down, and need some help to keep the translation program going.  If you can translate from French to English, and can commit to one day per week or per month, or just want to subscribe to the free AHP translations, email

This week’s action:  Join Jubilee USA’s action, and help get 20 more co-sponsors for the Haiti Debt Relief Act. If your Rep. is on the list of co-sponsors below, take a week off from Half Hour for Haiti (or write a thank-you note). If he or she is not, call your Representative, preferably in the Washington office (just call the House Switchboard, 202-224-3121), but the District offices will work too. You need only tell the receptionist “my name is ___, and I support debt cancellation to release resources to fight poverty in Haiti.  I am calling to urge Rep. ____ to co-sponsor  House Resolution 888, which would immediately cancel Haiti’s debt.” That should take less than 60 seconds, including dialing. If you want to do more, ask for the staff member who covers debt relief or foreign policy issues, and ask what the Representative’s position is. To help, Jubilee has a sample phone script; for tips on lobbying by phone, click here.
To learn more about Haiti’s debt, see Break the Chains of Haiti’s Debt on Jubilee USA’s website, or the Debt Relief for Haiti section of


Rep Bachus, Spencer [AL-6]
Rep Berman, Howard L. [CA-28]
Rep Bishop, Sanford D., Jr. [GA-2]
Rep Blumenauer, Earl [OR-3]
Rep Brown, Corrine [FL-3]
Rep Brown, Sherrod [OH-13]
Rep Christensen, Donna M. [VI]
Rep Clay, Wm. Lacy [MO-1]
Rep Conyers, John, Jr. [MI-14]
Rep Crowley, Joseph [NY-7]
Rep Cummings, Elijah E. [MD-7]
Rep Davis, Artur [AL-7]
Rep DeFazio, Peter A. [OR-4]
Rep Delahunt, William D. [MA-10]
Rep Doyle, Michael F. [PA-14]
Rep Engel, Eliot L. [NY-17]
Rep Fattah, Chaka [PA-2]
Rep Foley, Mark [FL-16]
Rep Frank, Barney [MA-4]
Rep Gonzalez, Charles A. [TX-20]
Rep Green, Al [TX-9]
Rep Grijalva, Raul M. [AZ-7]
Rep Hastings, Alcee L. [FL-23]
Rep Hinchey, Maurice D. [NY-22]
Rep Holt, Rush D. [NJ-12]
Rep Honda, Michael M. [CA-15]
Rep Hooley, Darlene [OR-5]
Rep Jackson, Jesse L., Jr. [IL-2]
Rep Jackson-Lee, Sheila [TX-18]
Rep Jefferson, William J. [LA-2]
Rep Kilpatrick, Carolyn C. [MI-13]
Rep Kucinich, Dennis J. [OH-10]
Rep Lantos, Tom [CA-12]
Rep Leach, James A. [IA-2]
Rep Lee, Barbara [CA-9]
Rep Lewis, John [GA-5]
Rep Lynch, Stephen F. [MA-9]
Rep Maloney, Carolyn B. [NY-14]
Rep McDermott, Jim [WA-7]
Rep McGovern, James P. [MA-3]
Rep Meeks, Gregory W. [NY-6]
Rep Millender-McDonald, Juanita [CA-37]
Rep Moore, Gwen [WI-4]
Rep Moran, James P. [VA-8]
Rep Norton, Eleanor Holmes [DC]
Rep Oberstar, James L. [MN-8]
Rep Owens, Major R. [NY-11]
Rep Payne, Donald M. [NJ-10]
Rep Price, David E. [NC-4]
Rep Rangel, Charles B. [NY-15]
Rep Rothman, Steven R. [NJ-9]
Rep Rush, Bobby L. [IL-1]
Rep Schakowsky, Janice D. [IL-9]
Rep Serrano, Jose E. [NY-16]
Rep Stark, Fortney Pete [CA-13]
Rep Towns, Edolphus [NY-10]
Rep Van Hollen, Chris [MD-8]
Rep Wasserman Schultz, Debbie [FL-20]
Rep Wexler, Robert [FL-19]
Rep Woolsey, Lynn C. [CA-6]


For more information about the Half-Hour for Haiti Program, the Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti, or human rights in Haiti, see To receive Half-Hour for Haiti Action Alerts once per  week, send an email to Tax-deductible contributions to support IJDH’s work can be made on the website, or sent to IJDH, PO Box 745, Joseph, OR 97846.

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