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Service Year Alliance’s Statement on President Biden’s FY23 Budget Proposal

“Over the past two years, AmeriCorps members have stepped up to the plate, supporting public health outreach during the COVID-19 pandemic, fighting catastrophic wildfires and standing up recovery efforts to natural disasters, and helping students get back on track as schools reopened. Service Year Alliance is grateful to the Biden Harris Administration for their recognition of the value of national service in the President’s FY23 budget, which proposes investing $1.34 billion in AmeriCorps — a 16% increase above last year’s funding level. The President’s budget also opens the door to making national service more equitable by committing to increasing corps member benefits as well as allowing DACA recipients to participate in AmeriCorps. 

Service Year Alliance’s Statement on President Biden’s FY23 Budget Proposal
Service Year Alliance’s Statement on President Biden’s FY23 Budget Proposal

Service Year Alliance Celebrates the Retirement of Mary Ellen Isaacs of AmeriCorps Central Texas

Service Year Alliance is proud to celebrate the incredible Mary Ellen Isaacs, the brainchild of AmeriCorps Central Texas, the Service Year Alliance Central Texas Impact Community. For the last twenty years, Mary Ellen has been serving as the Executive Director of Literacy First, setting early elementary students up for success. With her retirement this month, we reached out to AmeriCorps programs in Austin to get a better sense of the impact she’s made and how she made this nationally-recognized model come to life. 

In 2015, Mary Ellen reached out to other AmeriCorps grantees in Austin hoping that deeper collaboration would help them better support current members and expand their reach to more local talent. It all started with the idea that when AmeriCorps staff come together and explore what is possible, there will be better outcomes across corps members, staff, and the community. Mary Ellen was the catalyst and the sustained energy behind the collective work. She has continued to be instrumental in supporting the now ten programs, from seeking funding for the collaborative, leading strategic planning to support the work over time, and solving national service’s most significant barriers. 

Service Year Alliance Celebrates the Retirement of Mary Ellen Isaacs of AmeriCorps Central Texas
Service Year Alliance Celebrates the Retirement of Mary Ellen Isaacs of AmeriCorps Central Texas

Kilmer, Fitzpatrick Introduce Legislation to Close the Digital Equity Gap, Expand Access to IT Jobs

Today, U.S. Representatives Derek Kilmer (WA-06) and Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-01) introduced the IT Service Corps Act, bipartisan legislation to support local digital equity initiatives while ensuring more people can gain experience to access jobs in the information technology (IT) sector. The IT Service Corps Act will establish IT Service Corps Volunteers focused on digital equity projects within AmeriCorps’ existing volunteer programming opportunities—ensuring that folks can have equitable opportunity to access valuable IT experience, while also supporting digital equity and literacy projects that bridge digital divides in underserved communities.

 

Kilmer, Fitzpatrick Introduce Legislation to Close the Digital Equity Gap, Expand Access to IT Jobs
Kilmer, Fitzpatrick Introduce Legislation to Close the Digital Equity Gap, Expand Access to IT Jobs

City of Philadelphia: MOCEVS announces plans to launch AmeriCorps Emergency Fund and Support Services project

The Mayor’s Office of Civic Engagement and Volunteer Service (MOCEVS) which, co-leads the National Service Task Force and Service Year Impact Community in the city with PennSERVE, the state service commission, is developing an AmeriCorps Emergency Fund that will support the emergency needs of AmeriCorps members serving with Philadelphia-based programs. Through several donations and grants, the AmeriCorps Emergency Fund is currently set to launch with $120,000 available to support local members, but MOCEVS and the National Service Task Force hope to continue to grow this amount through raising additional funds.

It is expected that the first round of emergency funds will be distributed to members in the Summer of 2022.

City of Philadelphia: MOCEVS announces plans to launch AmeriCorps Emergency Fund and Support Services project
City of Philadelphia: MOCEVS announces plans to launch AmeriCorps Emergency Fund and Support Services project

Service Year Alliance released the following statement in response to the FY22 Omnibus Spending Bill

Service Year Alliance released the following statement in response to the FY22 Omnibus Spending Bill: 

Service Year Alliance is grateful to congressional leadership for their continued support of and investment in national service  critical programming which meets urgent community needs, builds civic renewal, and prepares young Americans for next steps in their professional journey. This fiscal year’s modest increase in appropriations to both AmeriCorps (+$30M) and YouthBuild (+$2M) will allow more young Americans to serve in tangible ways over the coming year, helping communities recover from the pandemic, return to in-person school, and respond to natural disasters. Through FY22 funding, Peace Corps volunteers will also be returning to in-person service in countries across the globe. President Biden and members of the National Service Caucus, chaired by Reps. Matsui and Price, and Sens. Cassidy and Coons, should be commended for their support of national service, on the heels of historic increases provided through the American Rescue Plan last year.

Service Year Alliance released the following statement in response to the FY22 Omnibus Spending Bill
Service Year Alliance released the following statement in response to the FY22 Omnibus Spending Bill

Rep. Kim Introduces Package of Legislation to Supercharge National Service

Today, at the conclusion of Peace Corps Week – a celebration of the creation of the Peace Corps by President John F. Kennedy in 1961 – Congressman Andy Kim (NJ-03) introduced a package of legislation aimed at supercharging national service and encouraging more Americans to engage in service of all forms in their communities.

“Throughout American history, ordinary people have stepped up to accomplish extraordinary things in service to our country. From those serving soup and planting victory gardens, to volunteer first responders spending their nights in the back of an ambulance, to the millions who joined the Civilian Conservation Corps, rebuilding our country after the Great Depression, Americans have always served one another, and I’m calling on us to recommit ourselves to doing it again,” said Congressman Kim. “With this legislative package, I want to jumpstart and supercharge national service, incentivizing and opening up more opportunities for Americans to serve at home and abroad. I firmly believe that if we want to heal the divides we see in our country, recommitting ourselves to caring for one another through acts of service is a great place to start.”

Rep. Kim Introduces Package of Legislation to Supercharge National Service
Rep. Kim Introduces Package of Legislation to Supercharge National Service

9 Democrats, 9 Republicans Introduce Legislation to Reduce Polarization and Support Community Bridgebuilding

Today, nine Republicans and nine Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives introduced the Building Civic Bridges Act - bipartisan legislation to empower communities to tackle sources of division while assisting local civic and community organizations with ongoing efforts to address contentious issues and ultimately, bridge divides.

According to an NBC News poll conducted in January 2022, 70 percent of Americans agree with the statement that “America has become so polarized that it can no longer solve the major issues facing the country — and that those differences will only continue to grow” – up from 45 percent in 2010. The increase in polarization is prompting serious doubts about whether American democracy is under threat. That same NBC News poll showed that 76 percent of Americans — including 7 in 10 Democrats, Republicans, and independents — “believe there is a threat to democracy and majority rule in this country.”

9 Democrats, 9 Republicans Introduce Legislation to Reduce Polarization and Support Community Bridgebuilding
9 Democrats, 9 Republicans Introduce Legislation to Reduce Polarization and Support Community Bridgebuilding

Fulcrum: Returning to our common values through national service

Vice President Harris has been widely criticized for her assessment that “our democracy” presented one of the biggest threats to national security. Perhaps the vice president was more correct than the critics are giving her credit for, but the threat she identified (state laws with the proffered goal of ballot integrity) does nothing to address another insidious harm to democracy demonstrated over the last 20 years.

This past Sept. 11 marked the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on U.S. soil that resulted in almost 3,000 deaths and injuries to several thousand more. Our response to those attacks ushered in the longest uninterrupted period of combat operations in the nation’s history. Yet, although the 9/11 attacks affronted all Americans, only a small percentage of them have sought military service since that tragic day. But beyond the aggressive exercise of presidential war powers across at least four administrations and decades of congressional acquiescence, the people of the United States must also bear some responsibility for their inaction.

Fulcrum: Returning to our common values through national service
Fulcrum: Returning to our common values through national service

Service Year Alliance Statement on Michael Smith’s Confirmation as CEO of AmeriCorps

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Service Year Alliance Statement on Michael Smith’s Confirmation as CEO of AmeriCorps

WASHINGTON, DC (December 8, 2021) – Service Year Alliance released the following statement today congratulating Michael Smith on his confirmation to lead the AmeriCorps agency, formerly known as the Corporation for National and Community Service:

“Service Year Alliance applauds the Senate for confirming Michael Smith as CEO of the AmeriCorps agency earlier today. After a monumental year for national service, with investments in AmeriCorps through the American Rescue Plan, the creation of a new Public Health AmeriCorps, and the possibility for major expansion with the Civilian Climate Corps, Michael Smith is set to lead the agency through a new phase of growth,” said Kristen Bennett, Chief Strategy Officer of Service Year Alliance. “Michael’s long experience working with the nonprofit sector in pursuit of equity-driven reforms make him the right leader for this pivotal moment. He has the opportunity to lead the way in reimagining national service, so that every young person in America has the ability to serve and through that service is set on a pathway towards employment and further education. We look forward to his leadership, and are eager to work in partnership with him and the agency to bring young people together in common purpose as we recover from the pandemic and begin a new era for national service in America.”

Service Year Alliance Statement on Michael Smith’s Confirmation as CEO of AmeriCorps
Service Year Alliance Statement on Michael Smith’s Confirmation as CEO of AmeriCorps

National Service Leaders Praise House Passage of Historic Build Back Better Act, Including Civilian Climate Corps

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Media Contact: Aly Ferguson, [email protected]

           

National Service Leaders Praise House Passage of Historic Build Back Better Act, Including Civilian Climate Corps 

Service Year Alliance, the States for Service coalition, The Corps Network, and Voices for National Service thank House leadership for the once-in-a-generation investment in national service and urge passage of the Build Back Better Act, transformative legislation for our climate and working families

WASHINGTON, DC (November 19, 2021) – Today, on the heels of the House passage of the historic Build Back Better Act, leaders of four national service organizations — Service Year Alliance, the States for Service coalition, The Corps Network, and Voices for National Service — released statements praising the bill and its inclusion of a 300,000 member Civilian Climate Corps (CCC). The organizations called for the swift passage of the Build Back Better Act in the Senate. 

As proposed by the White House in last week’s framework, the Build Back Better Act includes robust funding for a Civilian Climate Corps that will engage 300,000 Americans in the fight against climate change over the next decade. From conserving our public lands to bolstering community resilience and addressing the changing climate, the CCC includes a flagship AmeriCorps program with increased benefits that reimagines national service in America and will put young Americans on a pathway to good-paying climate jobs... 

 

National Service Leaders Praise House Passage of Historic Build Back Better Act, Including Civilian Climate Corps
National Service Leaders Praise House Passage of Historic Build Back Better Act, Including Civilian Climate Corps
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