|A New Era in East Timor||
Best Wishes to
Constâncio Pinto and Welcome to Simon Doolittle
Constâncio Pinto, who represents the National Council of Timorese Resistance (CNRT) in the United States, worked for ETAN from January through July 1998, primarily in our Washington Office. Constâncio also spoke at public events throughout the U.S., participated in field organizing with Kristin Sundell, and worked with ETAN at the UN. In Washington, Constâncio described his experiences in East Timor to dozens of Congresspeople and their staffers and lobbied for S.Res.237, H.Con.Res.258, H.R.3802, and H.R.3918. He testified before a Human Rights Subcommittee Hearing on Indonesia and East Timor and shared the podium with Reps. Cynthia McKinney and Bernie Sanders at a press conference to introduce H.R. 3918 in May. Constâncios wisdom and energy proved indispensable in advancing our work to shift U.S. policy on East Timor. We will miss Constâncio this fall, as he begins graduate studies at Columbias School of International and Public Affairs, but we congratulate him on that academic achievement and look forward to working with him in the future.
In August, ETAN hired Simon Doolittle as our temporary Washington Organizer. As ETANs role in Washington expanded to address human rights in Indonesia as well as East Timor, it became clear that one DC staffer was not enough.
Enter Simon! This young man first learned about East Timor while studying political science and history at St. Michaels College in Vermont. In June of 1997, Simon helped plan for Bishop Belos visit to Cambridge. That work led to ETAN/Boston and an indefinite leave from college to be a full-time East Timor activist. Simon coordinated religious outreach for ETAN/Boston and campaigned to enact the Massachusetts Selective Purchasing Bill (see related story, p 3). He also organized training workshops on East Timor specifically for youth groups. We are pleased to welcome Simon to our Washington office through the end of this congressional year. Already hes doing a fantastic job, coordinating our work with our locals activism, collecting signatures on congressional letters and bills, and effectively lobbying congressional staffers.