2009 Closes with Great Victories

Posted by Zach Maurin on December 18, 2009

I just sent an email to ServeNext members and wanted to post it here as well.  I highlighted the GREAT victories of 2009 and the work ahead in 2010 and beyond as we continue to build the voice for service/social innovation policy and ensure it remains a political priority.  If you don’t already get our updates, sign-up here.

– Show quoted text –
Hello Zach,

Great news!!! Since President Obama signed the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act into law earlier this year, the question has been: will Congress fully fund it at the President’s request for the Fiscal 2010 budget?

As we learned earlier this week, the answer is YES! And this means a record level of funding for the Corporation for National and Community Service, which oversees AmeriCorps, Senior Corps, Learn & Serve America, and other programs. The budget for 2010 will be $1.149 billion – a $260 million increase from 2009! Thank you for the work you did to push our Members of Congress!

Other great progress this week includes the passage of the Jobs for Main Street Act of 2010 in the House of Representatives. This legislation includes $200 million to support up to 25,000 additional AmeriCorps members. The Senate is expected to consider this bill in January.

These victories mean two important things:

First, that our elected leaders realize the importance of service to our communities as a strategy to tackle needs and employ people during these especially tough economic times. For example, service members and volunteers are helping the unemployed, assisting in food banks, adding capacity to local nonprofits, working to keep students in school, and so much more. This combination of creating service jobs and increasing services delivered is so critical right now.

Second, these victories show the power of great service programs combined with effective advocacy and political leadership. It is important to remember this as we approach other legislative campaigns in the future (congressional funding is an annual process, for example). There is much work ahead to continue growing and strengthening the service movement and to ensure it remains a political priority.

Thanks for everything you’ve done throughout 2009! Your efforts have helped make it an historic year for the role of service in America and in our political system.

Have a great holiday season and talk to you in 2010!

With Gratitude,

Zach and the Team

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