ServeNext.org Blog

Member of Congress Promotes AmeriCorps AND Wants to Eliminate It

Posted by Zach Maurin on February 3, 2012

ServiceNation, the organization that ServeNext recently merged with, put out a statement today about this.  Hat tip to AmeriCorps Alums for noticing the contradiction.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

February 3, 2012

CONTACT:

Christopher Cashman, 212-804-6370

ccashman@servicenation.org

STATEMENT ON CONGRESSMAN MARLIN STUTZMAN BILL TO DEFUND NATIONAL SERVICE PROGRAM TOUTED ON HIS OWN WEBSITE

Stutzman Highlights Benefits of AmeriCorps Program While Simultaneously Working to Eliminate its Funding

Zach Maurin with ServiceNation, a national, bipartisan campaign dedicated to increasing opportunities for Americans to serve their country and elevating service as a core problem-solving strategy, released the following statement calling on Congressman Marlin Stutzman to clarify his stance on the benefits of national service:

“Congressman Marlin Stutzman recently introduced legislation eliminating the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), the organization that funds national service programs such as AmeriCorps.  His proposed legislation would result in the complete end of AmeriCorps, causing 80,000 young adults to be without jobs, nearly 1 million seniors living independently to require state-assistance, and more than 3 million at-risk children to lose vital educational support.

“What is most striking though is that Congressman Stutzman himself has touted the many benefits that programs like AmeriCorps have brought to Indiana communities.  On the Congressman’s official website, he advocates AmeriCorps and the AmeriCorps Education Award as a way for people interested in public service to get help paying for college – programs that he now advocates defunding.  Additionally, more than 870 of

Screenshot of Rep. Stutzman's website

the Congressman’s constituents serve as Senior Corps members with great local organizations like Catholic Charities of Fort Wayne-South Bend, providing critical services such as helping seniors remain living independently, saving taxpayers the expense of costly nursing homes.

“While we are glad that Congressman Stutzman appears to recognize the vital role that national service programs play in America, we are confused as to why he would now advocate for eliminating its funding completely.  Congressman Stutzman needs to look no further than his own website to see the vital economic and community health benefits that would be lost without funding for national service.  We hope he withdraws his bill and look forward to working with him to fully understand the value national service plays in American society.”
Facts About National Service:

  • AmeriCorps received 530,000 applicants for 80,000 positions last year.
  • Every federal dollar invested in national service yields $2.01 worth of essential services.
  • The 2006 estimated market value of the services CNCS grantees provide topped $2 billion annually.
  • Without federal support for national service organizations:
    • 3 million children would be denied vital educational support
    • 620,000 seniors wouldn’t receive life sustaining, in-home services
    • Thousands of veterans would be denied meaningful work opportunities and Veterans Association-supported services.
    • More than 745,000 medically underserved children and adults will not receive health outreach, education and immunizations from Community HealthCorps members,
    • More than 1.5 million students will no longer be engaged in active learning and civic engagement opportunities,
    • Thousands of healthy meals will not be delivered to the elderly every day.

###


ServiceNation is a national campaign to increase service opportunities and elevate service as a core ideal and problem solving strategy in America.  Reaching an estimated 100 million citizen through its 285 coalition members, ServiceNation played a leading role in drafting and enacting the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act, which authorized the greatest expansion of national service in a generation.  The ServiceNation coalition is working to inspire a powerful culture of volunteerism in our country and envisions an America in which a commonly asked questions is ‘Where do you serve?’  For more information, visit
www.servicenation.org.

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4 Responses to “Member of Congress Promotes AmeriCorps AND Wants to Eliminate It”

  1. I find it suspect that this posting acts like Rep. Stutzman has flip-flopped on his support of Americorps and CNCS-related organizations yet this page seems *only* to be reachable via direct URL and *not* readily reachable from the main page of Rep. Stutzman’s official Congressional site.

    The most reasonable and rational explanation for this is that the site was adapted from a boilerplate Republican (establishment) site and this page is simply an orphaned artifact of that boilerplate with no association to the actual site at large and as such, the legislation that Mr. Stuzman has proposed is not contradictory with previous stances simply because of the existence of this page. Americorps can do just fine asking for donations from the private-sector rather than depending on a public-sector hand out from the federal government.

    • Zach Maurin said

      MerlinYoda – Thanks for commenting. The webpage is accessible via his homepage (How Can I Help –> Resources –> Student Financial Aid).

      • Thank you for your reply. I do see now that there is a link path (albeit a bit buried among all the other links) and not just by URL (although there are no “breadcrumb” links to lead back to the previous sections some other pages on the site).

        However it still seems rather “boilerplate” as there is also mention of Army and ROTC programs. In, fact the military-based links are on par with the public-service links and seems very much something that a boilerplate Republican page would contain.

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