Congressional Spotlight: Representative Dean Phillips

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SEATTLE, Washington — Representative Dean Phillips of Minnesota’s 3rd Congressional District has been fighting to end global poverty since he was first elected to office in 2018.

Congressman Dean Phillips is a member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, as well as a member of two subcommittees: the Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere, Civilian Security and Trade and the Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights and International Organizations. As a member of these committees, Phillips has made it a priority to co-sponsor legislation to enact true change. Among the numerous anti-poverty bills he has co-sponsored, two stand out as being especially impactful in protecting vulnerable groups and stimulating local economies in developing countries.

Anti-Poverty Legislation

One of the bills Phillips supported was the Youth, Peace and Security Act. The bill, which is still in committee, aims to help young people become more involved in the peacemaking process. Around 50% of people affected by the conflict in unstable regions are young people under the age of 20. Ultimately, the bill tries to rectify this problem by supporting youth civil-society organizations through additional funding as well as appointing someone to oversee the implementation of a U.S. strategy to support such groups. The goal of the bill is to help give power to today’s young people that are advocating for peace. As the next generation, youths can help communities torn by violence to rebuild over time.

The second bill is the East Africa Locust Eradication Act. This past year, East Africa saw record swarms of locusts destroy crops. Absent from any intervention, the food supply of 20 million people could potentially be at risk. The bill seeks to help resolve this problem by providing funding to local communities facing food insecurity. The legislation would also attempt to prevent any long-term harm locust swarms could cause in East Africa by supporting development efforts.

Phillips’ Second Term

Congressman Dean Phillips is aiming to build on his previous work in his second term. Recently, he has called on Cote D’Ivoire to push for free and fair elections. In a press release in October 2020, he stated that “As the 2020 election in Côte d’Ivoire draws near, the country must choose whether to continue an era of relative peace or return to the ethnically-charged violence that has stained its past.”

Representative Phillips has also vowed to continue the fight against global poverty in his congressional career. He will hopefully continue to advocate for the world’s poor as an important voice on the House Foreign Affairs Committee in support of anti-poverty legislation. In a press release in 2019, he explained the importance of thinking of others around the world. He expressed his belief that “We’re not going to solve these [21st-century] problems with outdated isolationist thinking.” It is this kind of mindset that will allow Phillips to continue to effectively continue the fight against global poverty.

Thomas Gill
Photo: Unsplash

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