October 30, 2017
Press handout photos here: http://bit.ly/2z0BEgH
Watch the full event here: http://bit.ly/2y9Ouft
CHICAGO – Congressman Mike Quigley joined more than 100 Illinois leaders today at a forum hosted by the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition (USGLC) for a timely discussion on the importance of investing in America’s diplomatic and development programs in order to keep our country secure and Illinois’ economy strong.
“Most Americans vastly overestimate how much the United States spends on foreign assistance; when in reality, just a tiny one percent of the budget funds everything from State Department programs, to the Peace Corps, to USAID,” said Congressman Mike Quigley (IL-05). “In a major city like Chicago, the safety and security of our citizens will always be affected by events overseas, which makes investing in our diplomatic and development programs even more critical. There’s no question that we’re safer here at home when our diplomats have the tools and resources they need to root out poverty, disease, and instability overseas – conditions that drive extremism and spur conflict.”
Today’s conversation could not come at a more critical time for Illinois. As the State Department and USAID confront an ever growing list of global crises – from North Korea, to the Middle East, to famines and refugees – the Administration is pushing for devastating budget cuts that could jeopardize our safety and security here at home.
“Tackling the global crises we face today will require every tool of American power – from our diplomatic strength and development expertise, to our unrivaled military might,” said Lt. Gen. John Castellaw, USMC (Ret.). “In my 36 years with the United States Marine Corps, I saw time and again how valuable it was for our men and women in uniform to have the support of American diplomats and development workers in the field. And just like our service members, they too should have the resources they need to help advance U.S. security interests in every corner of the globe.” General Castellaw was one of more than 120 retired generals and admirals who wrote to Congress earlier this year to protect resources for the State Department and USAID.
Also speaking at today’s event was Victor LaGroon, Director of the Chicago Office of Veterans Affairs and Kathryn Reilly, Global Director of Public Affairs for Aon.
“We are living in a time of unprecedented need. With mounting humanitarian crises—from poverty and famine to ongoing conflict overseas—U.S. global development is more critical now than ever before,” said David Weiss, President & CEO of Global Communities. “Our nation’s foreign assistance programs offer a hand-up, not a hand-out, to vulnerable people around the world—working to lift up entire communities. And our public-private partnerships abroad have already helped cut extreme poverty in half —but there is still more work to be done.”
Here in Illinois, more than 1.7 million local jobs are tied to international trade and exports to foreign markets total nearly $60 billion a year – making U.S. international engagement a strategic economic issue for the state.
“American foreign assistance has a direct impact around the world, in our country, and right here in Chicago,” said Jason Gross, USGLC Executive Director. “Our development and diplomacy programs not only save lives overseas, but enhance America’s economic prosperity and national security. And it’s reassuring to see that we have global development champions like Congressman Mike Quigley in Washington who understand the importance of strong funding for our nation’s international affairs programs.”
With a strong and growing coalition in Illinois, the USGLC’s Illinois Advisory Committee brings together nearly 100 business, faith, non-profit, and political leaders who understand how much American global leadership matters for Illinois.
The U.S. Global Leadership Coalition (www.usglc.org) is a broad-based influential network of 500 businesses and NGOs; national security and foreign policy experts; and business, faith-based, academic, military, and community leaders in all 50 states who support strategic investments to elevate development and diplomacy alongside defense in order to build a better, safer world.