As the 2020 presidential election heats up, candidates are calling for national service on the campaign trail. From bridging divides to making college more affordable, presidential candidates are recognizing the benefits of expanding opportunities for young Americans to serve.
Pete Buttigieg has called for national service while on the campaign trail — both on MSNBC's Rachel Maddow Show and on MSNBC's Morning Joe. He has said, "We really want to talk about the threat to social cohesion that helps characterize this presidency but also just this era. One thing we could do that would change that would be to make it, if not legally obligatory, but certainly a social norm that anybody after they're 18 spends a year in national service."
Rep. John Delaney
John Delaney's national service policy proposal expands national service programs in the US so that each high school graduate can participate in national service through military service, community service — including AmeriCorps and Peace Corps — infrastructure apprenticeships, and a new climate corps.
Kirsten Gillibrand released her national public service policy proposal in a FOX News op-ed stating, "My agenda for national public service would provide a pathway to the middle class for all Americans and would ensure that those who dedicate themselves to their communities are rewarded for their efforts."
Gov. John Hickenlooper
Gov. Jay Inslee
Jay Inslee has called for the creation of a Climate Conservation Corps to combat climate change saying, "It is time to face an urgent crisis with the spirit of public service that is deeply embedded in our American tradition. That is why today I am calling for the creation of a Climate Conservation Corps (or “Climate Corps”) that will help mobilize the American people to rise to the defining challenge of our time: defeating climate change."
Sen. Amy Klobuchar
Amy Klobuchar released her national service policy to create more opportunities for all Americans to serve their country and their community. Her plan calls for investing in AmeriCorps, a Climate Civilian Conservation Corps, and the Peace Corps; creating a part-time volunteer national service program; and fixing and expanding the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program. To pay for these investments, Senator Klobuchar says she will pass bipartisan legislation that she has introduced in the Senate to reduce single use drug waste.
Rep. Seth Moulton
Seth Moulton released a national service policy proposal that expands on national service programs in the U.S. to reach 33.4 million young people ages 17-24. He calls for the creation of a Federal Green Corps to focus on climate change and wants to rename the current Corporation for National and Community Service as the "National and Community Service Administration" and make the head of the agency a cabinet level position.
Tom Steyer has committed to making national service a priority within the first 100 days of his administration. His national service plan includes a $50 billion investment to address challenges in public health, conservation, aging, and other areas, as well as growing the number of service year positions to 1 million annually within five years. The proposal also includes an increase to living stipends and education awards for those who serve.
Elizabeth Warren's Public Lands policy proposal calls for the creation of a “21st Century Civilian Conservation Corps” staffed by 10,000 young people.
Marianne Williamson released a national service policy proposal saying, "[National service] would remind all of us that we have a stake in America and that what happens here is bigger than any one individual’s gratification or success. It would help create a sense of responsibility to the country, and to the world, that should accompany every person’s growth into adulthood."