Monday, October 03, 2011

Take Action Today: Save AmeriCorps!!!

On Friday, a number of us had the privilege to meet with Robert Velasco, II, the CEO of the Corporation of National and Community Service, best known for its AmeriCorps program created in 1993.  Talking with Mr. Velasco for over two hours allowed me to rehearse some fairly amazing facts and stats about our AmeriCorps program here at CitySquare.  

For example. . .
  • 80% of our AmeriCorps resources go out the door to our partners in the community, typically very effecitve but smaller non-profits who use the members to build capacity in operating summer and after-school programs
  • Over the past year our members worked with 3,700 low-income children in these programs and at CitySquare
  • AmeriCorps members provided nutritious food products to 28,000 individuals, including 8,000 children in our mobile summer lunch program who also participated in enrichment programs focusing on learning and fitness
The list could actually go on and on as to the benefit and cost effectiveness of the AmeriCorps program.  I've witnessed amazing "return on investment" in human and community capital over the past 6 years that we've been involved with AmeriCorps and the Corporation for National and Community Service.

Upon my return to the office from my meeting with Mr. Velasco, I learn that members of the U. S. House of Representatives have crafted a legislative plan to end almost all of the work of the Corporation of National and Community Service!  A truly absurd, short-sighted, ridiculous plan.

Here's the briefing I received:

The Save Service Coalition learned yesterday that the House of Representatives has issued draft legislation to shut down the Corporation for National and Community Service and eliminate funding for AmeriCorps, the Social Innovation Fund, the Volunteer Generation Fund and Learn & Serve America. While we are pleased that the House bill includes funding for the National Senior Volunteer Programs, the bill dissolves the entire service enterprise, cuts over 100,000 jobs, and eliminates essential services that children, seniors, veterans and entire communities rely on.

Please visit the Save Service Take Action page to write and call your Members of Congress immediately to prevent this House bill from becoming law.

All of this comes at a time when the nation's investment in service should be growing to create jobs and better provide services to local communities. We will continue to work with the tens of thousands of Americans who are engaged in the Save Service initiative to ensure our country's policymakers recognize the value national service provides to our country and the critical role that the Corporation for National and Community Service plays in support of the 70,000 nonprofit and community organizations that mobilize Americans in service.

At a time when we need to find inexpensive ways to get things done, provide educational services for children and leverage scarce resourses, destroying AmeriCorps and its family of service solutions makes no sense whatsoever. 

Please take action today to tell your Senators and your member of Congress that you support continuing the vital work of the Corporation for National and Community Service.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"This American system of ours, call it Americanism, call it Capitalism, call it what you will, gives each and everyone of us a great opportunity if we only seize it with both hands and make the most of it."
—Al Capone