Press Release

Tom Daschle and Cindy McCain Join ONE in Accepting the 2008 Commitment to Development Award

March 18, 2009
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ONE Honored for Promoting Awareness of Global Poverty in the 2008 U.S. Presidential Elections

Center for Global Development

WASHINGTON, D.C.(March 17, 2009)— The Center for Global Development (CGD) and Foreign Policy magazine will present the 2008 Commitment to Development “Ideas in Action” Award to ONE, an advocacy organization that raised awareness of global poverty during the 2008 U.S. presidential elections, at an event at the National Press Club on Tuesday, March 17, 2009, at 4 p.m, on the 13th floor. Cindy McCain and former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle will be on hand to accept the award, along with three ONE volunteers from Florida, New Hampshire, and Colorado.

The award, granted annually since 2003, honors an individual or organization from the rich world that has made a significant contribution to changing attitudes and policies toward the developing world. Through its ONE Vote ’08 initiative, ONE mobilized thousands of supporters to sign petitions, raise awareness in their communities, and encourage the presidential candidates to explain how they would improve U.S. policies that affect poor people in developing countries. After the election, ONE pushed for President Barack Obama and other newly elected officials to keep their commitments to the world’s poor in the face of the global financial crisis.

Tom Daschle co-chaired the ONE Vote ’08 effort along with fellow former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist. Cindy McCain also became involved with ONE during the campaign and traveled with the organization in July 2008 to Rwanda to see how simple and effective U.S. efforts are improving and saving lives in the region.

“ONE’s presence on the campaign trail was noteworthy not only because of how many ONE members attended each and every town hall, but because of how smart, respectful, and effective those members were in talking to the candidates,” Cindy McCain said. “I can tell you firsthand that the candidates heard ONE’s message loud and clear, and I congratulate ONE on this great and well-deserved honor.”

“ONE and its membership elevated the issues of global poverty and disease during the presidential campaign,” Tom Daschle said. “ONE helped secure extraordinary commitments on global health and poverty from the candidates, including President Obama and Secretary Clinton. Equally important, ONE brought together leaders from both sides of the aisle to forge a durable consensus on the importance of America’s global efforts.”

ONE members—often sporting ONE T-shirts—were visible at town-hall meetings and election events around the country in 2008, catching the attention of candidates and voters. ONE members Danielle DePas, a high school teacher from Florida, Michael Castaldo, a father of three and former marine from New Hampshire, and Matthew McAllister, a University of Colorado student, will be in Washington to help accept the award.

“CGD and Foreign Policy magazine are proud to bestow this award upon ONE for its innovative use of online tools and real-world events to raise awareness during the 2008 U.S. elections about how the United States can make it less difficult for poor people in developing countries to escape poverty,” said CGD President Nancy Birdsall.

Foreign Policy Editor in Chief Moisés Naím said that the Commitment to Development Award, like the magazine, was designed to highlight the growing interdependency of societies in the 21st century. “We at Foreign Policy are pleased to be the co-sponsors of this award and delighted with this year’s winner, the ONE Campaign. We congratulate ONE for its creative and effective use of social activism and its successful Internet campaign supporting grass-roots mobilization around the country.”

“This award underscores how every American—no matter his or her ZIP code, career, or political persuasion—can make a real difference in the priorities of a president. Americans of all stripes tracked the presidential candidates at almost every coffee shop, town-hall meeting, and campaign rally, winning concrete commitments from the candidates to tackle extreme poverty and global disease. We were proud to have joined with so many other organizations in doing this important work,” ONE president and CEO David Lane said. “We thank CGD and Foreign Policy for recognizing this effort to make global poverty an important part of America’s political dialogue and agenda—and we look forward to working with others in building on these accomplishments.”

ONE also hosted high-level panel discussions on global poverty at the Democratic and Republican national conventions. Hundreds of students, activists, and convention delegates attended the convention events.

“ONE was ever present on the campaign trail and has established itself as a unique and influential voice heard on Capitol Hill and across the country,” said former senator and ONE Vote ’08 co-chair Bill Frist. “ONE’s accomplishments are a testament to the building, bipartisan recognition that saving lives and alleviating global poverty is both right and smart for America.”

ONE’s Internet presence spans many online communities and new-media tools, including YouTube, Facebook, Flickr, MySpace, and many more. Birdsall and Foreign Policy Editor in Chief Moisés Naím co-chaired the selection committee, which also included Eveline Herfkens, executive coordinator of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals Campaign; Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, managing director at the World Bank and former minister of finance and foreign affairs for Nigeria; Sebastian Mallaby, Washington Post columnist and director of the Maurice Greenberg Center for Geoeconomic Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations; and Kevin Watkins, director of UNESCO’s Education for All Global Monitoring Report.

Previous winners of the Commitment to Development Award are the European ministers of international development who constitute the Utstein Group (2003); Oxfam’s Make Trade Fair campaign (2004); then Chancellor of the Exchequer and now British Prime Minister Gordon Brown (2005), then U.S. Rep. Jim Kolbe (R-Ariz.) (2006), and Global Witness (2007).