ServeNext.org Blog

Marchand inspires, explaining “Why Richardson?” and praising Huckabee for support of National Service…

Posted by aaronjmarquez on December 12, 2007

photo by Aisha Mitchell

Mayor Steve Marchand (D-Portsmouth) inspired those assembled for the ServeNext NH Day of Action with a message that only those truly familiar with the National Service Movement could deliver.

The acknowledgement of the challenges we face in this century – that’s on the record. So we don’t have any excuse now. We can’t claim ignorance, even if we wanted to. We can’t. We can’t claim that it’s too complex to get started because I think that some of the challenges – on both sides of the aisle – are being clearly articulated. So now we’re on the hook for it. … It’s exciting. It’s daunting, but it’s exciting.

Part of being good as people is giving time to be in the military, to be something along the lines of the Peace Corps, it could be something like AmeriCorps, it could be public safety, it could be teaching or providing medical care in underserved communities. There are a myriad of ways that we can provide public service.

New Hampshire’s youngest mayor recently signed on as a senior advisor to Governor Bill Richardson (D-NM) in his campaign for President. Marchand took the time to explain one of the reasons why he’s so excited about the former U.S. Congressman, Energy Secretary, and U.N. Ambassador.

One of the specific things on the day that I endorsed him that I mentioned – besides his foreign policy experience and record on key issues as Governor – is National Service. He has put a focus on that, I’d say, as strong or stronger than any other candidate running for President this year. He gets it. One of the key things that I like is that he’s tying together the need to focus on universal access to quality education and demanding excellence in education with public service. We’ll forgive 2 years of student loans if you’re willing to put back a year in National Service and broadly defining National Service.

We often focus on the cost of action… the time you’re giving up, the cost if you’re giving away money or giving away goods. One thing that we need to get people to think about is the cost of inaction. What happen when everybody says it’s someone else’s responsibility to help your neighbor? One of the things that Governor Richardson is talking about is that we need to educate the 21st Century. We need to educate the population that will be emerging as leaders. Part of that education – part of that ethos – that public service is not something that you do because you’re a good person or you do because you’ll get extra credit… you do it because you’re a human being in a country that’s supposed to care about its fellow man. That’s what we’re here to do. That’s what we’re here to do.

Marchand, who recently accepted a position on the City Year New Hampshire’s Board of Directors, also served as Co-Chair of the cyzygy’07 Host Committee with Mayor Frank Guinta (R-Manchester) this past June when Saint Anselm College played host to 1500 AmeriCorps members for their annual convention of idealism. He returned to the same spirit of bi-partisan cooperation on Saturday with some kind words for a certain Republican candidate in the Presidential race.

I’m a Democrat and one of my favorite candidates on the Republican side (besides my wife…) is former Governor Mike Huckabee (R-AR). I’ve heard him talk a little bit about National Service and I think it’s important to say that this is a bi-partisan issue. One of the things I like about him is – and I think it’s important for young people to keep in mind because a lot of the people that you’ll be working with in the months and years to come are members of the faith community – different faiths, to be sure, but the faith community… I think it’s think easy to separate those who are strong believers in their God from those who may be more casual or don’t really mention it. And that becomes a wedge to divide people. Some of the best service that is done by individuals or groups is done in the faith community. And the thing that I like about Governor Huckabee on the Republican side of the aisle is that I see him using faith as a way to bring people together… We have a global responsibility – whether it’s the environment, education, or health care, which he talks a lot about – or public service, which I’ve also heard him talk about. And that is a responsibility that it is unique; to give something back.

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One Response to “Marchand inspires, explaining “Why Richardson?” and praising Huckabee for support of National Service…”

  1. […] Marchand inspires, explaining “Why Richardson?” and praising Huckabee for support of National Se… […]

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