FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
New Poll: As President Biden Calls for National Unity, Majority of Americans Support National Service to Bridge Divides
Nearly 7 out of 10 Americans Believe President Biden Should Prioritize Programs that Work Towards Healing the Nation
WASHINGTON, DC – New polling data released today by the Serve America Together campaign show that the majority of Americans support President Joe Biden’s focus on healing the nation and believe an expansion of civilian national service opportunities for young Americans can help accomplish that goal. President Biden’s inaugural speech focused largely on the idea that for the nation to heal and move forward national unity must be prioritized, arguing that we never fail when we act together. More than three-quarters of respondents to the poll said they support Congress passing legislation that would expand national service opportunities, such as AmeriCorps and the Peace Corps.
The poll, conducted earlier this month by Change Research, had a sample size of more than 2,300 Americans of all ages and political affiliations. The results show that 62% of Americans would recommend civilian service to young people in their lives and that 44% of all young Americans are potentially interested in serving, including 60% of young people of color. Currently, there are only about 65,000 positions available.
"In his inaugural address, President Biden called on Americans to unite so that our nation can tackle the crises before us," said Gen. Stanley McChrystal (Ret.), Board Chair of Service Year Alliance, a national non-profit organization that advocates to make national service an expectation and opportunity for all young people. "Like military service, we know that civilian service brings young Americans from different backgrounds together in common purpose, and this data confirms that the majority of Americans agree. The expansion of national service can no longer be seen as a far off-goal but rather must be prioritized as the critical strategic necessity that it is."
“President Biden has made restoring the soul of our nation the core of his campaign and his Administration —national service does just that and more, and this poll shows that is something a bipartisan majority of Americans support,” said Jesse Colvin, CEO of Service Year Alliance. “National service is a human capital solution that the Biden-Harris Administration can apply as a tool to solve the challenges confronting our nation - from COVID-19 to climate change and unemployment to racial injustice - while allowing young Americans to get to know one another.”
Other notable data from the poll shows:
- 77% of respondents to the poll, including majorities of both Democrats and Republicans, said they strongly or somewhat support Congress passing legislation that would expand national service opportunities, such as AmeriCorps and the Peace Corps.
- 55% believe expanding national service should be a high or medium priority for the incoming Biden-Harris Administration.
- 67% believe that President-elect Biden should prioritize programs or proposals that have the ability to heal divides in the country.
- 63% agree that national service programs, like AmeriCorps, are a good way to help heal divides in the country.
- 62% of Americans would be very or somewhat likely to recommend a national service program to a young person they cared about.
Last year, the bipartisan CORPS Act was introduced by U.S. Senators Chris Coons (D-Del.), Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.), Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Bill Cassidy (R-La.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Angus King (I-Maine), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Richard Durbin (D-Illinois) and Roy Blunt (R-Missouri) to expand national service programs to help the country respond to and recover from the public health, economic, and social crises that emerged due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Full poll results are available here.
About Serve America Together
Serve America Together is a campaign to make national service part of growing up in America. The campaign is led by a coalition of over a dozen military and civilian service organizations as well as a group of bipartisan co-chairs including Gen. (Ret.) Stan McChrystal, Howard Schultz, Former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, Former Congressman Joe Heck, Former Gov. Deval Patrick, Arianna Huffington, Laura Lauder, Andrew Hauptman, and Jeff Huber. It is a project of Service Year Alliance, an organization working to make a year of paid, full-time service — a service year — a common expectation and opportunity for all young Americans. Learn more about Service Year Alliance at serviceyearalliance.org.