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true share of America. He advocates a strong and stable minority business community as essential to the growth of our nation. In 1969 he called for the establishment of the Office of Minority Business Enterprise (OMBE). And an office to coordinate minority business development did indeed become a reality, designed to be a catalyst, to stimulate and to coordinate a federal-private partnership to assure America's minorities equal access to the reward of free enterprise.
    
Since he understood the complexity of any endeavor to assist minority business, Senator Brooke realized that OMBE alone could not bring about the desired result. In light of this the senator advocated the Small Business Administration's "8(a) setaside program." Under this law, the SBA is allowed to enter into procurement contracts with other Federal agencies and then subcontract the work to firms owned by socially and economically disadvantaged persons—primarily minority—in order to help such firms become competitive in the marketplace. Since inception the 8(a) program has provided millions of dollars in federal contracts to deserving minority enterprises.
    
Likewise, the Senator proposed the 10% minority business set-aside now contained in the "Local Public Works Capital Development and Investment Act of 1976." Unlike 8(a) setasides this law mandates that 10% of the $4 billion of additional grants authorized by the 1977 amendment be awarded to minority businesses. This program has been responsible for injecting sorely needed dollars into these thriving businesses.
    
Senator Brooke has used his access to the private sector to urge their participation in the growth of minority businesses. He has repeatedly prevailed on large corporations to provide minority businesses with more venture capital opportunities and to participate in joint ventures with minority businesses.
    
Brooke believes that a balanced approach of combining governmental and private initiatives is the only way that we may assure a viable minority business community. As for future initiatives, his office is presently working on a program which would allow minority business to expand and capture overseas markets.

Foreign Assistance
    
But Brooke's call for adequate attention to the needs and desires of the disadvantaged and suffering have not been limited to the United States. As a natural complement of his advocacy role for the poor and disadvantaged in our own country, he has been deeply involved in U.S. foreign assistance efforts designed to relieve the hardships of the third world's underprivileged and provide the hope of a better life. Through his years of service as the ranking Republican member of the Foreign Operations Subcommittee of the Senate Committee on Appropriations, he played an instrumental role in our response to the 
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needs of the poor majorities in other lands.
    
Brooke's particular interest in the international realm has been the effort to achieve dramatic increases in food production. He has sponsored numerous pieces of legislation on the issue including the "Right-to-Food" Resolution and a bill to bring about a significant U.S. participation in the International Fund for Agricultural Development. This Fund was established to provide monetary resources for projects specifically designed to increase food production in food-deficient countries. Brooke's successful amendment to provide a $200 million U.S. contribution to the Fund (with other countries providing the additional $550 million of the initial capitalization of $750 million), gave tangible evidence of his deep commitment to helping the world's poor.
    
As he has encouraged the establishment of the necessary institutional framework to deal with the problems of poverty in the world, Brooke has not lost sight of the nation's obligation to be responsive to pressing emergency needs. Such an obligation was never more evident than in the drought that afflicted the Sahelian countries of West Africa for much of the late 1960's and early 1970's. Literally millions of individuals raced the prospect of death by starvation as the rains so desperately needed by those living on the edge of the great Sahara Desert were inadequate for a number of years. Brooke was one of the first to recognize the seriousness of the situation. His efforts, along with those of his Senate and House colleagues and the Administration, resulted in a major relief effort by the United States that was instrumental in lessening the tragedy. As a follow-on multi-lateral Sahelian Development Program designed to bring about a long-term economic development of the area. Most recently, he was successful in convincing his colleagues on the Senate Appropriations Committee to provide $50 million as the 1977-78 U.S. contribution to that effort.
    
His colleagues cite more examples of his concern for the disadvantaged of the world. He has called attention to the suffering of the poor in Haiti; to the plight of the victims of two disastrous earthquakes in Italy during 1976; to the pressing needs of the innocent victims of the strife in Lebanon; to the denial of the basic human rights of many individuals throughout the world; and to the evil oppression visited upon  those in Southern Africa who for so long have lived under the yoke of white minority rule. As always, he takes on these causes for the long term. His has been the voice of constant and repeated insistence upon taking meaningful and realistic steps to lessen injustice and increase the reality of a decent existence for those who for so many ages have faced the future with only despair and dread.
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[[caption]]We, his Oak Bluffs neighbors, ask you to support Senator Edward Brooke's candidacy.[[/caption]]

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