ServeNext.org Blog

Edwards signs Pledge after being pressed during House Party in Dover

Posted by aaronjmarquez on October 14, 2007

Former U.S. Senator John Edwards (NC-D) signed the Presidential Pledge to Expand National Service this afternoon following a House Party in Dover after being pressed by Spencer Tate, a member of ServeNext NH’s Seacoast Chapter. Sen. Edwards had agreed to sign the Pledge the day before on CSPAN, but he failed to do when presented with the opportunity at an afternoon event in Keene. The drama in Dover was captured as it unfolded in words by Tate and in photos by fellow ServeNext member and AmeriCorps Alum Lee Ellison.

Senator Edwards spoke for a little while about the typical political rhetoric (i.e. health care, the war, and alternative energy) then he opened it up for a brief question and answer session. I was ready. “I heard yesterday on CSPAN you said you would commit to signing a Pledge to expand National Service, I also heard that after that in Keene you were presented with the oppurtunity to sign a copy of the Pledge and you said you needed some time to look it over. So I was wondering if you finally did get a chance to look at the Pledge because I happen to have an extra copy right here and a pen if your willing to sign it.” After a couple snickers from the audience and a fist pound from a colleague, Senator Edwards accepted the copy and promised to speak with me after the event.

After the Q and A, one of Senator Edwards’ staffers asked to have a brief discussion about how they acknowledge the pledge but they are not sure if they can sign it. I asked about Edwards’ National Service policy and if they could get in touch with me or another ServeNext member to inform us about Edwards’ official stance on the issue.

On his way up to his vehicle and followed by a gaggle of supporters, the Senator pulled me alongside him and gave me a pat on the back and said “So tell me about this paper you got here.” I highlighted the main points about the expansion of AmeriCorps from 70,000 to 170,000 as well as the encouragement of every citizen to do 4,000 hours of service in their lifetime.

As he was getting into his rental van and being encouraged by his entourage to pick up the pace and move to the next stop on the campaign trail he gave it a good once over and asked for a pen and with a quick flick of the wrist he was the last leading Democratic candidate to sign the Presidential Pledge to Expand National Service.

YAHTZEE! Nice work out there, Team! Special props to Sara Chamberlin and Lauren Freedman of the ServeNext NH Keene Chapter for putting the pressure on yesterday.

Who’s next, friends?

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6 Responses to “Edwards signs Pledge after being pressed during House Party in Dover”

  1. […] Matt Wilhelm wrote a fantastic post today on “Edwards signs Pledge after being pressed during House Party in Dover”Here’s ONLY a quick extractSenator Edwards spoke for a little while about the typical political rhetoric (ie health care, the war, and alternative energy) then he opened it up for a brief question and answer session. I was ready. “I heard yesterday on CSPAN you … […]

  2. Luke said

    Awesome story!

  3. My fear is that these national service programs will be used by selective service as “alternative service ” in a coming draft.

    Would you be willing to spread the word about http://www.draftresistance.org? It’s a site dedicated to shattering the myths surrounding the selective slavery system and building mass civil disobedience to stop the draft before it starts!

    Our banner on a website, printing and posting the anti-draft flyer or just telling friends would help.

    Thanks!

    Scott Kohlhaas

    PS. When it comes to conscription, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!

  4. […] Read about this momentous event, and the tenacious work of ServeNext member Tate that it took to get it done, at the ServeNext blog, BlogNext. […]

  5. omelas said

    Americorps as a back door to a draft? One of liberal America’s greatest acheivements in the 1990s is really a covert tool of Republican war-mongers?

    That’s a bit much.

    Americorps is an incredible program and I applaud it’s volunteers. We shouldn’t be throwing mud on ourselves over Iraq. We need to throw the mud * at the Republicans!! *

    I have a contracted volunteer service with the US Holocaust Memorial Museum. I suppose I should start packing for Iraq, eh??

  6. Bulletin News said

    Kewl summary pertaining to Edwards signs Pledge after being pressed during House Party in Dover. Thoroughly enjoy this point of view.

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