The Foreign Service Journal, November 2013

THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL | NOVEMBER 2013 43 AFSA NEWS 9 WOMEN IN SECURITY AND DEVELOPMENT FOCUS AFSA NEWS CALENDAR THE OFFICIAL R CORD OF THE AMERICAN FOREIGN SERVICE ASSOCIATION 11/1/2013 12:00 - 1:30 PM Job Search Program Reception at FSI 11/6/2013 12:00 - 2:00 PM AFSA Governing Board Meeting 11/10/2013 - 11/13/2013 AFSA Road Scholar Program 11/11/2013 Veterans Day: AFSA Offices Closed 11/14/2013 2:00 - 5:00 PM Benefits Seminar: Social Security 11/28 & 29/2013 Thanksgiving: AFSA Offices Closed 12/4/2013 12:00 - 2:00 PM AFSA Governing Board Meeting 12/25/2013 Christmas: AFSA Offices Closed 1/1/2014 New Year’s Day: AFSA Offices Closed SHUTDOWN ENDS After 16 days of furlough, federal employees returned to work on Oct. 17. On Sept. 27, AFSA held a rally aimed at showing sup- port for tens of thousands of Foreign Service and Civil Service employees who faced the very real prospect of a government shutdown that would prevent many of them from doing their jobs. Dozens of AFSA members from the State Department, U.S. Agency for Interna- tional Development, Foreign Commercial Service, Foreign Agricultural Service and other foreign affairs agencies were joined by colleagues, members of the American Federation of Government Employees (the union for the Civil Service and cosponsor of the rally), members of the public and journalists.   More than 100 people gathered in the Edward J. Kelly Park opposite the State Department at 12:15 p.m., waving American flags, holding handmade signs and cheering. They showed sup- port for their fellow federal workers and reinforced AFSA and AFGE’s call for Congress to resolve its differences and pass a budget to avert a shutdown.  AFSA President Robert J. Silverman welcomed the crowd and emphasized AFSA’s strong interest in protecting the ability of the Foreign Service and Civil Service to promote Amer- ica’s national security and prosperity, both at home and abroad. “We are here to speak out about the work done in the areas of diplomacy and development, which contrib- utes to the national security and prosperity of all Ameri- cans each and every day,” Silverman said. “We know that the impact of a govern- ment shutdown does not end at our borders.”  AFSA State Vice President Matthew Asada identified some of the many ways in which a government shut- down would damage the U.S. economy and thereby affect individual Americans. He emphasized the many concrete benefits that flow to the U.S. from international engagement, and pledged that, “Diplomacy must go on, and will go on!”  AFSA USAID Vice Presi- dent Sharon Wayne spoke of the altruistic desire of Foreign Service members to make the world a better place by serving worldwide, regardless of the difficulties and dangers the environment may present. After leading crowd in a rousing chant, AFSA Rallies Against U.S. Government Shutdown and In Support of Federal Employees AFSA President Robert J. Silverman (right) addresses the crowd gathered outside of the Department of State to protest a U.S. goverment shutdown, as AFSA State Vice President Matthew Asada (center) and other federal employees express their support for the work they do on behalf of the American public. Rally continued on page 54 PHOTOBYÁSGEIRSIGFÚSSON