Jared Noetzel - USA
Good afternoon, Ladies and Gentlemen, it is a pleasure to be with you all. As I said, my name is Jared Noetzel, and I have the pleasure of working at the ONE Campaign as the Faith Mobilization Manager. I am also glad to be joined by a couple of our Youth Ambassadors here, who you will hear from a little bit later.
ONE is an organization that was co-founded by Bono and other activists, back in 2004. It is a campaigning and advocacy organization of more than 7 million members around the world, taking action to end extreme poverty and preventable disease, particularly in Africa. In one way or another all of our work is aimed at accomplishing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The goal of my work, however, is to contribute to the effort to eliminate extreme poverty and preventable disease, by creating an articulate, faith-inspired advocacy movement dedicated to advancing smart policies and increasing the US Federal Government's financial commitment, to the same effort. At the ONE Campaign, we believe that effective policies, backed up by real financial commitment, can change the world. History has demonstrated the effectiveness of this approach; the Jubilee Debt relief campaign and the genesis of PEPFAR to tackle HIV/AIDS are two prime examples. Accomplishing the SDGs by 2030 will require leadership from the US government. Creating access to antiretroviral drugs, or expanding education for child refugees, requires support from Congress for the US Government to mobilize the necessary financial resources to implement solutions at scale.
So the question before us is simple, if confounding: how do you move the US congress to action on extreme poverty? That requires smart campaigning. ONE has always engaged the political process, focused on people, developed effective policy and leveraged pop culture to move decision-makers to prioritize ending extreme poverty and preventable disease. We bring these four strategies: people, politics, policy and pop culture, into a two-track political strategy. The first, insider politics; the second, public mobilization. Insider politics is compromised-driven brokering and is the art of the possible. However, outside, grassroots pressure has a unique contribution, it affords a sense of democratic mandate to pursue specific policy ends. In short, smart grassroots advocacy defines what is possible for insider politics. Effective grassroots campaigning requires understanding the political context of the US and the way in which key demographics exert influence on decision-makers.
In US politics young voters matter, Millennials are the largest generation in the US. And, in the US, faith matters. Despite the growth of those who select no affiliation, over 70 per cent of the US population still affirms some form of Christian faith. As a representative democratic republic, US decision makers make their policy choices based on the political outcomes of those choices in their home state or district. According to internal proprietary analysis, by the ONE Campaign, at least 18 members of our Congress, who serve on relevant committees, which influence US foreign policy on extreme poverty, are highly sensitive to the perspective of people of faith who they represent. In my work at ONE we seek, first, to develop a diverse, politically savvy voice from within US faith communities, with a particular focus on young adults, advocating on the issues of extreme poverty and preventable disease. And, second, to strengthen US faith communities in their ability to maintain long-term commitment to advocacy.
There are six specific strategies I propose to accomplish these two goals, they are described in greater detail within my project proposal, but they include developing a compelling congregation-focused resource set, recruiting volunteers in politically important areas to mobilize their constituents, leveraging media and deploying faith-based artists and talent, to garner broader support for the movement. If you are interested in the details I recommend you read the full project description, or grab me during one of the breaks and we can chat.
I will close with a brief comment about the upcoming election in the US. A week from Tuesday, we will select a new President, and almost everyone knows the names of those running for our highest office. What most do not know, is that that same election will decide who gets to set the agenda for the next era of our fight against extreme poverty. And, while the election does matter, the real challenge lies ahead of that, in the months to come, when the needs of our most vulnerable neighbours will come up for debate. At ONE we will be working to make sure people of faith are there to ensure that the US does its part to take us to the end of extreme poverty by 2030. Thank you very much