ServeNext.org Blog

CONTACT YOUR U.S. REPRESENTATIVE TO PROTECT NATIONAL SERVICE

Posted by Jerry Duchene Saavedra on February 11, 2011

 


U.S. House Plans to Cut $100 Billion from Federal Budget
Appropriations Chair Rogers (R-KY) proposes to eliminate CNCS programs, including AmeriCorps

Call your member of Congress today and urge them to VOTE NO on the continuing resolution that eliminates funding for the Corporation for National and Community Service Programs, including AmeriCorps.

Background:

Starting on Monday, February 14, the U.S. House of Representatives will begin consideration of a Continuing Resolution that will fund the last 7 months of Fiscal Year 2011. House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers has announced that the bill will immediately cut $100 billion from the federal budget. Major news outlets including TIME, AP and others have reported that the bill will eliminate funding for programs of the Corporation for National and Community Service, including AmeriCorps. We know the Republican Study Committee wants to cut deeper, and has proposed to shutdown the whole agency and all service programs.

How You Can Help:

1. We need to reach every single Member of the House of Representatives and urge them to vote no on a continuing resolution that eliminates funding for the Corporation for National and Community Service and AmeriCorps. Talking points and information on how to contact your Congressperson are below.

2. Sign the letter from Voices for National Service, America Forward and ServiceNation urging Congress to fund the Corporation for National and Community Service. More than 300 people had already added their organizations to this letter. The deadline to sign is Monday, February 14th at 12pm EST. To read the letter and sign, click here. You will be asked to provide your organization’s full name, the name of your CEO or Executive Director, and a list of the states where your organization serves. Please note: We have made minor edits to the text of the letter to reflect the evolving situation on Capitol Hill.

Talking points for Calling the House of Representatives:

  • I am calling to urge you to vote NO on any proposal to eliminate funding for AmeriCorps or the Corporation for National and Community Service.
  • The CR will decimate vital services in our communities when millions of Americans need food, shelter, healthcare, job training and educational support.
  • Communities are counting on AmeriCorps members, national service participants and community volunteers to meet the increased demand for services.
  • Provide an example of your local impact and what will be lost if your program is eliminated. Example: My organization has 140 AmeriCorps members serving in 10 Boston Public Schools. They are providing targeted and school-wide interventions in literacy, match, attendance and classroom behavior.  If Congress eliminates AmeriCorps, nearly 2,000 high-risk 3rd-9th graders will no longer receive this additional support in the classroom.
  • The CR will only push unemployment rates up. Unemployment numbers — particularly for young people, veterans and military spouses, older Americans and people of color-remain alarmingly high.
  • For Americans who are struggling to find work, national service programs offer participants the opportunity to earn a subsistence-level stipend, develop skills, and create pathways to future employment. Eliminating programs like AmeriCorps will result in jobs lost for the corps members and the staff who supervise them. Example: If Congress eliminates AmeriCorps, our 140 AmeriCorps members and the staff that supervise them will be out of work.
  • The federal investment made in faith based and community organizations through the Corporation for National and Community Service leverages $799 million in matching funds from companies, foundations and other sources.
  • If you defund the national service programs, whole organizations will shut down and most will not be able to reopen again even if funding is restored.

HOW TO CONTACT YOUR MEMBER OF CONGRESS

  • If you need help determining the members of your congressional delegation, visit http://www.congress.org. This database will provide you with contact information for your elected officials.
  • You can call your Representatives directly or be connected through the House Operator (202-225-3121). Once connected, identify yourself as a constituent and ask to speak to the Legislative Assistant in change of national service and education issues.
  • Given the severity of the cuts proposed by the House, you may experience some difficulty calling the Capitol. It is important that you keep trying. If you can’t reach your representative by phone, please send a fax communication to their office. This is time sensitive ask. Emails or mailed letters will not reach the decision makers in time. It is critical that our lawmakers hear from the constituents directly impacted by their decisions.
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