Advocacy is for Everybody!

Posted by Jerry Duchene Saavedra on September 4, 2012

Post by Nicole Schmidt, ServeNext Organizer for Ohio

Is there an issue that you care deeply about as a voter? I care about National Service and since you are reading this blog I assume you do too!

This election season, we are talking a lot about who we are voting for and why but voting is only the first step if you want to be a more engaged citizen. We cannot assume that our law makers know what is important to us as a constituent. Our law makers are not super human mind readers! They depend on their constituents to educate them about issues affecting their state. Advocacy is for everyday people who care about their country. People just like you and me. That’s why I love the work I do for ServeNext. I connect law makers with people on the ground in Ohio working to better their communities.

On Friday August 24th I arranged for a group of National Service Stakeholders to meet with Senator Brown’s Deputy State Director Beth Thames. We took her on a site visit to Towards Employment in Cleveland. This is a great organization that is empowering individuals to achieve and maintain self sufficiency through employment. We had representatives from several different organizations present to share how Americorps members help to meet community needs through service. The highlight of our visit was the tour of the jobs lab. We were able to see an Americorps member teaching a class on resume preparation, and how to complete a successful job interview. This was a huge hit! Ms. Thames was able to meet the actual recipients of service, and understand the impact Americorps members have on families here in Ohio. We are looking forward to our next visit with Senator Brown’s office.

On Wednesday August 29th, our ServeNext Ohio team had the opportunity to meet with Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur. We were so pleased that she took the time to hear about the important work being done by national service members in her district. During her visit Congresswoman Kaptur voiced her strong support for the CNCS. We shared with her our need for a champion on the Hill and asked her to consider joining the National Service Caucus. She said “I would be happy to join the National Service Caucus.” Our team was very pleased with her support and look forward to future opportunities with Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur. Check out The Chronicle Telegram article about our visit.

I hope that you will join ServeNext in speaking up for National Service! If you don’t, who will?

Nicole can be reached by email at or by phone at 567-224-7113.


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