TEMPLATE LETTER FOR ACTION ALERT (Please copy and paste the following text — with your state's specific information — in place of the Alliance letter included in the Action Alert email.) As your constituent, I am writing to express my strong support for the Senate State and Foreign Operations Subcommittee’s FY 2010 funding level of $635 million for U.S. Department of State international exchange programs. I also ask that you support the maximum possible funding for the U.S. Department of State’s International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP)—a program that U.S. ambassadors rank first among all American public diplomacy programs. The IVLP is ideally placed to foster international cooperation by building relationships with foreign leaders such as French President Nicolas Sarkozy, Turkish President Abdullah Gul, and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. These leaders, along with more than 250 additional current and former Heads of State and 1,700 cabinet-level ministers, are IVLP Alumni. Participants in the program develop a direct, personal understanding of the people, values, and democratic character of the United States. The IVLP supports America’s economy as well as its foreign relations: almost all of the IVLP’s budget is spent in the United States. The program helps American businesses, schools, and communities build international connections that strengthen American productivity and help build a globally literate workforce. In 2008, the IVLP brought $%%DOLLARS%% into %%STATE%% and helped %%NUMBER OF INTERNATIONAL VISITORS%% foreign leaders understand %%STATE%% and America better through direct, interpersonal experience. In her remarks at New York University, Secretary of State Clinton emphasized that America’s national interests require us “to be citizen ambassadors, using [our] personal and professional lives to forge global partnerships, build on a common commitment to solving our planet’s common problems,” and she challenged America to “harness the energy of a rising generation of citizen diplomats.” The dedicated citizen diplomats at the heart of the IVLP are answering this call as part of a stellar example of public-private sector partnership. Please support the Senate’s request for international exchange programs as well as maximum funding for the IVLP in FY 2010. With your help, we can restore the number of foreign leaders participating in the IVLP to 5,000 per year. Thank you for your understanding and your efforts. If you have any questions about the International Visitor Leadership Program, citizen diplomacy, or international exchange, please feel free to contact me at %%INSERT EMAIL ADDRESS HERE%%.
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