Archive for the ‘Serve America Act’ Category

A big THANK YOU to the Members of Congress who stepped up for national service

Posted by Jerry Duchene Saavedra on April 13, 2012

Heading into the budget battle for FY 13 Appropriations for National Service, we want to thank the members of Congress who stepped up and added their name to letters of support urging robust funding for the Corporation for National and Community Service.

We hear from many members of Congress that tell us they are supporters of national service but we want to especially thank the members listed below who are leading in Congress to expand opportunities for Americans to serve their country and ensure the promises made in the Serve America Act are kept.

The National Service Caucus received the signatures of 63 members of the House of Representatives and 25 Senators.

  • Click here to read the House National Service Caucus letter
  • Click here to read the Senate National Service Caucus letter

Senate Signatories

  • Sen. Barbara Mikulski (MD)
  • Sen. Chris Coons (DE)
  • Sen. Max Baucus (MT)
  • Sen. Mark Begich (AK)
  • Sen. Jeff Bingaman (NM)
  • Sen. Barbara Boxer (CA)
  • Sen. Ben Cardin (MD)
  • Sen. Robert Casey (PA)
  • Sen. Dick Durbin (IL)
  • Sen. Al Franken (MN)
  • Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (NY)
  • Sen. Tim Johnson (SD)
  • Sen. John Kerry (MA)
  • Sen. Mary Landrieu (LA)
  • Sen. Frank Lautenberg (NJ)
  • Sen. Pat Leahy (VT)
  • Sen. Jack Reed (RI)
  • Sen. Jay Rockefeller (WV)
  • Sen. Bernard Sanders (VT)
  • Sen. Charles Schumer (NY)
  • Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (NH)
  • Sen. Debbie Stabenow (MI)
  • Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (RI)
  • Sen. John Tester (MT)
  • Sen. Tom Udall (NM)

House of Representative Signatories

  • Representative Todd Russell Platts (PA)
  • Representative David Price (NC)
  • Representative Doris Matsui (CA)
  • Representative Frederica Wilson (FL)
  • Representative Allyson Schwartz (PA)
  • Representative Henry Waxman (CA)
  • Representative Joe Courtney (CT)
  • Representative Gwen Moore (WI)
  • Representative William R. Keating (MA)
  • Representative Stephen Lynch (MA)
  • Representative Chellie Pingree (ME)
  • Representative Bruce Braley (IA)
  • Representative John Lewis (GA)
  • Representative Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC)
  • Representative Chris Van Hollen (MD)
  • Representative Mazie K. Hirono (HI)
  • Representative John Sarbanes (MD)
  • Representative Shelley Berkley (NV)
  • Representative Leonard L. Boswell (IA)
  • Representative Rush D. Holt (NJ)
  • Representative Zoe Lofgren (CA)
  • Representative David Cicilline (RI)
  • Representative Charles B. Rangel (NY)
  • Representative Jan Schakowsky (IL)
  • Representative Danny K. Davis (IL)
  • Representative David Loebsack (IA)
  • Representative Henry C. Johnson (GA)
  • Representative Earl Blumenauer (OR)
  • Representative Emanuel Cleaver (MO)
  • Representative John F. Tierney (MA)
  • Representative Raul M. Grijalva (AZ)
  • Representative Michael Michaud (ME)
  • Representative Carolyn McCarthy (NY)
  • Representative Louise M. Slaughter (NY)
  • Representative Nich J. Rahall II (WV)
  • Representative Larry Kissell (NC)
  • Representative Russ Carnahan (MO)
  • Representative Lloyd Doggett (TX)
  • Representative Mike Ross (AR)
  • Representative Andre Carson (IN)
  • Representative John Yarmuth (KY)
  • Representative Jerrold Nadler (NY)
  • Representative George Miller (CA)
  • Representative Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan (CNMI)
  • Representative Silvestre Reyes (TX)
  • Representative Lois Capps (CA)
  • Representative Edolphus Towns (NY)
  • Representative Gregory W. Meeks (NY)
  • Representative Lynn Woolsey (CA)
  • Representative Barbara Lee (CA)
  • Representative Carolyn B. Maloney (NY)
  • Representative Suzanne Bonamici (OR)
  • Representative John Conyers, Jr. (MI)
  • Representative Bob Filner (CA)
  • Representative Michael F. Doyle (PA)
  • Representative Hansen Clarke (MI)
  • Representative Karen Bass (CA)
  • Representative Martin Heinrich (NM)
  • Representative Chaka Fattah (PA)

Posted in Advocacy and Policy, AmeriCorps, Corporation for National and Community Service, Serve America Act | Leave a Comment »

Fully Fund AmeriCorps to Support Veterans and Military Families

Posted by Zach Maurin on June 4, 2011

The following is a letter to the ServeNext Community from Co-Founder and current board member, Aaron Marquez:

I spent five years working in the civilian service field – two as an AmeriCorps member with City Year and three helping to co-found ServeNext.  Following the passage of the Serve America Act two years ago I set off on a new national service journey as an Army Reservist. 

This week in The Huffington Post I had the opportunity to reflect on Memorial Day and how civilian service programs can help meet the needs facing our veterans and military families.  I’m very proud of the opportunities I have had to serve my country – both in AmeriCorps and through the military.  I hope you enjoy reading this excerpt and be sure to check out our new animated video below that illustrates the power of ServeNext’s mission, vision, and impact to expand national service opportunities in America.

“One of the lesser-known parts of the bi-partisan Serve America Act was the creation of a Veterans Corps under AmeriCorps to engage more veterans in service, help put their skills to work to address the needs of local communities, and help them transition back to civilian life. A robust network of Veteran Corps service programs across the country has enormous potential to meet the unique challenges of veterans and military families.”  “Despite the vision for a Veterans Corps under the Serve America Act, we have not moved aggressively enough to develop and grow these types of programs. The primary challenge with developing new programs over the last two years has been the uncertainty of AmeriCorps funding. The House of Representatives voted to eliminate funding entirely for the Corporation for National & Community Service in the FY11 budget before constituents from across the country called on their Members of Congress to save service programs. The Corporation for National & Community Service was saved with only a 6 percent cut in FY11, but the same Congress has again proposed its elimination in the FY12 budget.

Read the entire article on The Huffington Post

Saving national service and AmeriCorps funding is going to be very tough.  It’s going to require months of grassroots mobilization, and it’s battle that we will have to fight each year during appropriations.  We know it can be done again – but only with your help and many more.

As the campaign gears-up, we need to reach more and get them ready to fight for service.

That’s why we’re debuting a powerful, two-minute animated video.  It explains the high-stakes of this moment, what’s at risk, and the grassroots movement we’re building in response – a movement that relies on people all over the country getting involved.

We know a battle is heating-up over the nation’s 2012 budget. Now is the time to prepare, to make sure every person who cares about national service is ready to take action in the weeks and months ahead.

A great first step is to watch our new video that explains the problem and the response we need to save service – a response that’s not possible without you and many others.

Then, help us reach as many people as possible by sharing the video on Facebook.

ServeNext continues to work with the Save Service in America Campaign as the grassroots partner.  Plans are coming together and we’ll be sure to share details soon.  If you have any ideas about how to mobilize your community and fight for service let us know. 

In Service,

Aaron J. Marquez

Co-Founder and Board Member,


Posted in Advocacy and Policy, AmeriCorps, Corporation for National and Community Service, Serve America Act, ServeNext, Veterans | Leave a Comment »

ServeNext Des Moines Celebrates the Serve America Act

Posted by Jerry Duchene Saavedra on May 2, 2011

Post by Jordan Jones:

On Thursday, April 21st, myself and fifteen other service supporters (including an adorable six month-old) gathered at a neighborhood pizza parlor on Des Moines’ South Side. We were there to celebrate the 2nd anniversary of the Serve America Act, the landmark piece of bipartisan legislation that expanded national service and seemed to mark the beginning of a new era of service, volunteerism and community involvement in America.

The recent and ongoing budget battles in Congress, though, taught us that we cannot take anything for granted. The Serve America Act and the values it represents are in danger and if indispensable programs like AmeriCorps are going to be preserved, it will take a lot of hard work on the part of service supporters. That’s a daunting task, to be sure, and that was why we were all in the cozy backroom of Bordenaro’s Pizza.

We had come to share our stories of service with one another, to remind ourselves why we do what we do. It was wonderful to hear about the experiences of other service supporters. Their diverse stories underscored how adaptable national service programs are. Our guests had done everything from construction, to clerical work, to neighborhood revitalization. Service definitely can be a solution to many problems.

But the presence of all these great people in a room was also an opportunity to take action. During our little get-together, we authored fourteen letters to our members of Congress and recorded five video testimonials to put on You Tube. This was on top of the refreshing conversation and reinvigorating stories we shared with one another.

All in all, a good time. We all came away with the feeling that we had done something and that our purpose had been renewed. All that and free pizza too!

Posted in Serve America Act, ServeNext | Leave a Comment »

ServeNext Mt. Pleasant, IA Celebrates the Anniversary of the Serve America Act

Posted by Jerry Duchene Saavedra on May 2, 2011

Post by Monie Hayes:

April 28 — Today I gathered with nine of my neighbors, age 23 to 79, in a coffee shop on the town square, where we discussed the importance of service in our lives and our community. Our group included longtime community activists, an AmeriCorps alum, and the local Retired Senior Volunteer Program coordinator.

All of us recognize the vital role service programs play in our community, the tremendous impact they have on people’s lives. Several of us took the time to write to our senators and congressman to urge them to recognize the power of service to strengthen community, address social needs, and give both young and older adults (and others) a chance to share their gifts with their neighbors.

We thanked our leaders who have been champions for service. We count on them just as we count on one another — after all, isn’t that what national and community service is all about?

Posted in Serve America Act, ServeNext | Leave a Comment »

ServeNext Columbus host Serve America Act Anniversary House Party

Posted by Jerry Duchene Saavedra on May 2, 2011

Post by Rachel Diskin:

On Thursday, April 21st, Columbus citizens interested in fighting the good fight for national service embarked upon my home. My roommate, Kelsey Raines, and I had about 15 visitors between 7 PM and 9 PM.

At the beginning of the evening, I gave a small talk about what ServeNext is, what we hope to do in Columbus and what I’d like help with from the attendees throughout the year. Most of the attendees were people who were already invested in national service- AmeriCorps alums, program directors, etc. But we did get a few attendees from the private sector who I enjoyed speaking with!

The letter writing went over very well and I think it gave everyone a common purpose and something to collaborate on! I especially enjoyed reading everyones letters after they left! The Serve America Anniversary party was a big hit in Columbus and served as a great kick off event!

To get involved with ServeNext Columbus, OH email Rachel Diskin at

Posted in Serve America Act, ServeNext | Leave a Comment »

ServeNext Rochester Celebrating the 2nd Anniversary of the Serve America Act

Posted by Jerry Duchene Saavedra on April 28, 2011

Post by Stephanie Sacco:

In Rochester NY, 31 adults and 3 children gathered to celebrate the 2nd Birthday of the Serve America Act! The party was a potluck at the Flying Squirrel Community Space in downtown Rochester. It started at 7:30pm and went until 10:30 at night!

There was enough food to choke an entire family of hippos–although, thankfully, no one choked and no hippos were injured during the event. The ServeNext Rochester (SNR) Field Organizer, Stephanie Sacco, explained ServeNext’s mission, as well as why her macaroni and cheese was more like a giant hunk of bread than a dish of pasta. Clare Henrie gave a toast to the Serve America Act. Then, everyone sang “Happy Birthday” and ate a delicious cake!

Fifteen letters were written to Senator Chuck Schumer to inform him of our belief in the importance of service to New York State communities. Eighteen people video recorded an individual message to support service. Danielle Erway did a sample phone call to Senator Schumer’s office, and we all learned from Marilyn Rosche about the major aspects of recent budget cuts to the Corporation for National and Community Service.

The service community in Rochester is strong and SNR looks forward to hosting future events that will be creative, energizing, and inclusive.

For more information about ServeNext Rochester (SNR), please email the SNR Organizer, Stephanie Sacco, at

Posted in Serve America Act, ServeNext | Leave a Comment »

ServeNext Las Vegas Celebrates 2nd Anniversary of Serve America Act

Posted by Jerry Duchene Saavedra on April 28, 2011

Post by Daniele Monroe-Moreno:

The ServeNext Las Vegas Party to Celebrate the 2nd Anniversary of the signing of the Serve America Act was an event to remember.

Finding a tropicial setting in the middle of a “Sin City” office complex was an awesome find! We were very nervous about the turnout, Vegas weather was cold and windy. Braving the weather was Ms. Nicole Koval, representing Congresswoman Shelley Berkley’s office (and an AmeriCorps Alumni) joined us along with more than twenty-five adult and youth community members representing local non-profit and service organizations.

A very big thank you goes out to Chef on the Run-Las Vegas for providing dinner and dessert platters for our guest, and to all our guest that gave their “Save Service” testimonies on video. New friendships developed, Service relationships formed and re-commitments to Service in America and Las Vegas were pledged.

The mission continues, please email me at to join our Las Vegas Team!

Posted in Serve America Act, ServeNext | Leave a Comment »

ServeNext Miami host 2nd Anniversary Party for the Serve America Act

Posted by Jerry Duchene Saavedra on April 27, 2011

Post by Catherine Houlihan:

On Thursday, April 21, 2011, from 6-8pm at The Farm in Little Haiti (Miami), Florida, ServeNext Miami hosted a 2nd Anniversary party for the Serve America Act. A group of ten service professionals/volunteers from throughout Miami-Dade County attended the event to meet about the importance of the Serve America Act, discuss the mission of ServeNext Miami, eat wine and cheese on the beautiful and tropical deck of The Farm in Little Haiti (surrounded by ostriches, turkeys, hens, and goats!), write letters to Senators Bill Nelson and Marco Rubio, and enjoy a two-tiered, home baked buttercream cake! The following individuals were in attendance:

  • Catherine Houlihan, ServeNext Miami 2011 Community Organizer/AmeriCorps VISTA alum/Best Buddies International Grant Writer
  • Harold Silva, ServeNext Miami 2011 Deputy Organizer/Center for Community Involvement Campus Coordinator at Miami-Dade College/Executive Director for Latin America and Caribbean at Service For Peace
  • Korrin Stanek, Assistant Director of Orientation & Commuter Student Services at Florida International University
  • Georges Final of Service for Peace International
  • Marea Perea of Florida International University and Service for Peace International
  • Ross Torrence, City Year Miami Young Hero and I Have a Dream-Overtown, Inc. Dreamer
  • Madelaine Cardona, Teacher at South Florida Autism Charter Schools
  • Demetrius Dozier, Best Buddies Ambassador
  • Michael Pearson, Best Buddies International Deputy Director of Programs

Demetrius Dozier (left) is a Best Buddies Miami participant with autism spectrum disorder. Demetrius speaks on behalf of buddies with intellectual and developmental disabilities throughout the country, reminding communities that people with disabilities can have and maintain friendships AND employment. At the event, he wrote a thank you letter to Senator Bill Nelson for his continuous support for service and the Corporation for National and Community Service. This was truly awe-inspiring.

Ross Torrence (age 13, right) wrote his very first letters to members of congress. He wrote a thank you letter to Senator Bill Nelson as well as a letter urging Senator Marco Rubio to support service and funding to the Corporation. Both letters included a written request for their stance on the 2012 budget plan in regards to funding for CNCS.

Posted in Serve America Act, ServeNext | 1 Comment »

Celebrating the Serve America Act in New Haven

Posted by Jerry Duchene Saavedra on April 27, 2011

Post by Katherine Jones

The New Haven national service community met to celebrate the 2nd Anniversary of the Service America Act at the Public Allies Connecticut Office in New Haven, CT on April 21, 2011.  As the New Haven ServeNext Organizer, I was able to gather with community members to discuss the mission of ServeNext and our current initiatives to support national service through the 2012 Federal budgeting process.

Alex A. Knopp, Executive Director of Dwight Hall at Yale University, was in attendance and delighted in hearing about the goals of ServeNext for the upcoming year. With two VISTAs currently serving at his organization, Alex is looking forward to collaborating with ServeNext and actively engaging the New Haven community to learn more about service and spread the word to our local community leaders.

Also in attendance was Cody Norris, a local community member who has previously worked with AmeriCorps members and seen the benefits first hand of service in the New Haven community. As a graphic designer, Cody enjoyed the ServeNext campaign video and stated he is excited to do more hands on work with the organization.

Overall the evening was a great success in bringing diverse individuals together to talk about ServeNext and continuing our efforts to Save National Service!

Posted in Serve America Act, ServeNext | Leave a Comment »

Join us in Celebrating the 2nd Anniversary of the Serve America Act

Posted by Jerry Duchene Saavedra on April 18, 2011

April 21st, 2011 marks the 2nd Anniversary of the signing of the 2009 Kennedy Serve America Act.  All across the country, supporters of service will gather in homes, community centers, service organizations, and other locations to celebrate and take action to help ensure it has a 3rd.

With the 2012 budget for AmeriCorps and all national service back on the chopping block, it is critical that the service community come together to talk about the progress we have made since the signing of the Serve America Act and about what we must do at the local level to ensure the vision and promise of this historic legislation is fully achieved.  All supporters of service are welcome.

SAA Anniversary Party Locations

1.  ServeNext Charlotte – Thursday, April 21st from 6-8PM

  • Sarah Belk Auditorium
    Biddle Hall
    Johnson C. Smith University
    100 Beatties Ford Road
    Charlotte, NC  28216
  • RSVP to Ed Smith at

2.  ServeNext Chicago – Thursday, April 21st from 6-8PM

3.  ServeNext Columbus – Thursday, April 21st from 7-9PM

  • Home of Rachel Diskin
    2525 Deming Avenue
    Columbus, OH  43202
  • RSVP to Rachel Diskin at

4.  ServeNext Des Moines – Thursday, April 21st from 6:30-8PM

  • Bordenaro’s Pizza
    6108 SW 9th St.
    Des Moines, IA  50315
  • RSVP to Jordan Jones at

5.  ServeNext Las Vegas – Thursday, April 21st from 6-8PM

  • 6600 W. Charleston Blvd. (In the courtyard)
    Las Vegas, NV  89117
  • RSVP to Daniele Monroe-Moreno at

6.  ServeNext Miami – Thursday, April 21st from 6-8PM

7.  ServeNext New Haven – Thursday, April 21st from 6-8PM

  • 85 Willow St.
    Building A, Suite 1-2
    New Haven, CT  06511
  • RSVP to Katherine Jones at

8.  ServeNext Rochester – Thursday, April 21st from 7:30-9:30PM

  • The Flying Squirrel
    285 Clarissa St.
    Rochester, NY  14608
  • RSVP to Stephanie Sacco at

9.  ServeNext Salt Lake City – Thursday, April 21st from 1-2PM

  • Habitat for Humanity ReStore
    1276 South 500 West
    Salt Lake City, UT  84101
  • RSVP to Justin Hudspeth at

10.  ServeNext Bay Area – Monday, April 25th from 6-8PM

Posted in Advocacy and Policy, Serve America Act | 1 Comment »

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