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Service Year Alliance Statement for the Record for the House Armed Services Committee Hearing

Service Year Alliance Statement for the Record for the House Armed Services Committee Hearing on: 

Recommendations and Report of the National Commission on Military, National, and Public Service

Thursday, May 19, 2021

Chairman Smith, Ranking Member Rogers and members of the Armed Services Committee,

Service Year Alliance is pleased to submit this testimony for the record for the hearing on the National Commission on Military, National, and Public Service.

Service Year Alliance is an organization working to make a year of paid, full-time national service — a service year — a common expectation and opportunity for all young Americans. We do that through our Serve America Together campaign, which brings together a coalition of military and civilian service organizations, among others, to advocate to make civilian national service part of growing up in America. We also support service year programs and help stand up new innovative models, and maintain the only online portal — ServiceYear.org — that connects young people to all different types of available service year opportunities, including AmeriCorps, Peace Corps, YouthBuild and non-federally funded programs. 

Service Year Alliance Statement for the Record for the House Armed Services Committee Hearing
Service Year Alliance Statement for the Record for the House Armed Services Committee Hearing

The New York Times: Should Young Americans Be Required to Give a Year of Service?

American presidents have long vied to echo John Kennedy’s “Ask not what your country can do for you.”

The spirit of service, declared Ronald Reagan, “flows like a deep and mighty river through the history of our nation.” Bill Clinton created AmeriCorps. George H.W. Bush likened volunteer organizations to “a thousand points of light.” George W. Bush created the USA Freedom Corps. Barack Obama called on Americans to “ground our politics in the notion of a common good.”

Their arguments are all the more compelling today, in a bitterly divided America struggling with a pandemic...

...Mr. Biden has an opportunity to make some version of this a reality. Gen. Stanley McChrystal, a former commander of international forces in Afghanistan and head of the “Serve America. Together” campaign, recently called on the president to invest in universal national service for one million young Americans annually as “the most important strategy we can implement to ensure the strength and security of our nation.”

Read the full New York Times editorial board endorsement of national service.

New York Times: Should Young Americans Be Required to Give a Year of Service?
The New York Times: Should Young Americans Be Required to Give a Year of Service?

Service Year Alliance Releases New Report

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Service Year Alliance Releases New Report that Reimagines National Service and Calls on President Biden to be the “Service President”

The new report, “Reimagining National Service: A Roadmap to a Service Presidency” outlines six recommendations for the Biden-Harris Administration to utilize national service to meet our nation’s top priorities 

WASHINGTON, DC (April 26, 2021) – Service Year Alliance, a national nonprofit organization that is working to make national service a common expectation and opportunity for all young Americans, released a new report on national service entitled: “Reimagining National Service: A Roadmap to a Service Presidency.” The report provides a recommended roadmap for how the Biden Administration can reimagine national service to meet the nation’s top priorities and make national service a cornerstone issue of his presidency.

“This new report aims to reimagine what it means to serve our country and serves as a roadmap to make national service a central part of the Biden Administration. As a lifelong public servant and advocate for service in all its forms, President Biden has an opportunity to become the Service President and make a bold investment in national service as a solution to today’s convergent crises,” said Jesse Colvin, CEO of Service Year Alliance

Service Year Alliance Releases New Report
Service Year Alliance Releases New Report

New Report Details Power of National Service and Public-Private Partnership to Respond to Community Needs Resulting from COVID-19 Crisis

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

New Report Details Power of National Service and Public-Private Partnership to Respond to Community Needs
Resulting from COVID-19 Crisis

Schultz Family Foundation, Service Year Alliance and Serve Washington release report on innovative program that combines federal and state government resources with philanthropic support to respond quickly to the pandemic, offers recommendations to scale public-private service model to additional states as officials deploy $1 billion in new funding for national service

Partnership announces Request for Proposals to extend program for a second year of service focused on widespread effects of COVID-19 on the most impacted communities

SEATTLE, WA (March 29, 2021) – The Schultz Family Foundation, Service Year Alliance and Serve Washington, released a report today detailing learnings from the first six months of the Washington COVID Response Corps, a first-of-its-kind youth service program created to quickly respond to record levels of community need resulting from the COVID-19 crisis. The report, which follows $1 billion in investment from the federal government for AmeriCorps in the new stimulus package, describes the program, details preliminary findings from the initial implementation period and offers recommendations with the hope of expanding the innovative public-private model to additional states.

New Report Details Power of National Service and Public-Private Partnership to Respond to Community Needs Resulting from COVID-19 Crisis
New Report Details Power of National Service and Public-Private Partnership to Respond to Community Needs Resulting from COVID-19 Crisis

TIME: Joe Biden Should Make National Service the Cornerstone of His Legacy. Here's How He Can Achieve That

Joe Biden Should Make National Service the Cornerstone of His Legacy. Here's How He Can Achieve That
TIME: Joe Biden Should Make National Service the Cornerstone of His Legacy. Here's How He Can Achieve That

Blavity: As The Former Governor Of Massachusetts, I Believe Universal National Service Would Help Us Heal

If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that people need other people. Membership in community helps us see our stake in our neighbors’ dreams and struggles, as well as our own. It deepens our understanding of others. We could use that in America right now. And that healing can begin with a robust investment in national service.

The American Rescue Plan, signed into law by President Biden this month, includes $1 billion for national service, the largest amount in decades. This funding will help provide living wages to young Americans and create additional positions that are accessible to Americans regardless of their financial means. Now we need to find the best ways to put that money to work in communities. And no one knows how to do that better than local leaders who are on the ground. That’s why everyone from the leaders in the statehouse to those in the schoolhouse should be at the forefront of deciding where to direct national service resources.

 

Blavity: As The Former Governor Of Massachusetts, I Believe Universal National Service Would Help Us Heal
Blavity: As The Former Governor Of Massachusetts, I Believe Universal National Service Would Help Us Heal

National Service Opportunities to be Expanded with Passage of American Rescue Plan COVID-19 Relief Bill

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

National Service Opportunities to be Expanded with Passage of American Rescue Plan COVID-19 Relief Bill  

Serve America Together Celebrates Major Step Forward in Effort to Make National Service More Accessible


WASHINGTON, DC (March 10, 2021) Serve America Together, a campaign working to make national service part of growing up in America, released the following statements today applauding congressional leaders on the passage of the American Rescue Plan COVID-19 relief bill. The legislation, which now awaits the signature of President Joe Biden, prioritizes $1 billion to help communities across the country recover from the pandemic through the expansion of national service opportunities. This additional funding allows for an increase in the national service living allowance, making the opportunity to serve more accessible to all Americans, and represents the largest investment in national service in decades.

National Service Opportunities to be Expanded with Passage of American Rescue Plan COVID-19 Relief Bill
National Service Opportunities to be Expanded with Passage of American Rescue Plan COVID-19 Relief Bill

Service Year Alliance Statement for the Record for the Senate Armed Services Committee Hearing

Service Year Alliance Statement for the Record for the Senate Armed Services Committee Hearing on: 

Final Recommendations and Report of the National Commission on Military, National, and Public Service

Thursday, March 11, 2021

Chairman Reed, Ranking Member Inhofe and members of the Armed Services Committee,

Service Year Alliance is pleased to submit this testimony for the record for the hearing on the National Commission on Military, National, and Public Service.

Service Year Alliance is an organization working to make a year of paid, full-time national service — a service year — a common expectation and opportunity for all young Americans. We do that through our Serve America Together campaign, which brings together a coalition of military and civilian service organizations, among others, to advocate to make civilian national service part of growing up in America. We also support service year programs and help stand up new innovative models, and maintain the only online portal — ServiceYear.org — that connects young people to all different types of available service year opportunities, including AmeriCorps, Peace Corps, YouthBuild and non-federally funded programs. 

Service Year Alliance Statement for the Record for the Senate Armed Services Committee Hearing
Service Year Alliance Statement for the Record for the Senate Armed Services Committee Hearing

New Poll: As President Biden Calls for National Unity, Majority of Americans Support National Service to Bridge Divides

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. 

New Poll: As President Biden Calls for National Unity, Majority of Americans Support National Service to Bridge Divides
New Poll: As President Biden Calls for National Unity, Majority of Americans Support National Service to Bridge Divides

Midlands Voices: National service is a great way to help older Americans

By JEFF HUBER, December 27, 2020

For the first time in our history, older Americans outnumber the young, and it’s a trend that will only grow over the next 30 years. If you’ve never wondered who’s going to be there to take care of us, now would be a good time to start.

We’re collectively living longer and, while that’s reason to celebrate, it comes with its own set of challenges, including the increased likelihood of illness and chronic disease. Alzheimer’s disease, for instance, is already one of the leading causes of death in America. Globally, more than 50 million people live today with a dementia diagnosis. And, by 2050, that number is expected to more than triple. Meanwhile, the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated many of the issues older adults face, including social isolation and loneliness. These older Americans need support now. And as today’s younger Americans become tomorrow’s older Americans, they, too, will need help.

Midlands Voices: National service is a great way to help older Americans
Midlands Voices: National service is a great way to help older Americans

Prominent Americans Urge Presidential Candidates to Expand National Service to Renew Civic Spirit

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Prominent Americans Urge Presidential Candidates to Expand National Service to Renew Civic Spirit

In an open letter to President Trump and Vice President Biden, bipartisan group advocates for national service to be prioritized as solution to countries’ challenges

WASHINGTON, DC (October 29, 2020) – In the final days of the presidential election, a diverse group of more than 120 Americans from across the country today called on President Trump’s and Vice President Biden’s campaigns to prioritize the expansion of national service in the next presidential term as a way to address the polarization of the nation. In a letter released as a part of the Serve America Together campaign, former governors and members of Congress as well as leading philanthropy, thought and faith leaders, impressed upon the importance of national service as a tool to unite Americans and to help renew the nation’s civic spirit. 

Prominent Americans Urge Presidential Candidates to Expand National Service to Renew Civic Spirit
Prominent Americans Urge Presidential Candidates to Expand National Service to Renew Civic Spirit

National Business and Workforce Development Leaders Call on Presidential Campaigns to Prioritize National Service

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

National Business and Workforce Development Leaders Call on Presidential Campaigns to Prioritize Expansion of National Service

More than 60 of the nation’s leading business and workforce development leaders sign bipartisan letter 

WASHINGTON, DC (October 26, 2020) The Serve America Together campaign today released a letter signed by more than 60 of the nation’s leading business and workforce development leaders calling on President Trump’s and Vice President Biden’s presidential campaigns to prioritize the expansion of national service.

National Business and Workforce Development Leaders Call on Presidential Campaigns to Prioritize National Service
National Business and Workforce Development Leaders Call on Presidential Campaigns to Prioritize National Service

80+ National Security Leaders Urge Presidential Campaigns to Prioritize National Service

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Over 80 National Security Leaders Sign On to Letter Calling on Presidential Campaigns to Prioritize National Service

National security leaders including former cabinet secretaries, State Department officials, and Pentagon appointees, join former National Security Council members and veterans on bipartisan letter to campaigns

WASHINGTON, DC (October 13, 2020) – Today, the Serve America Together campaign released a letter signed by over 80 diverse and bipartisan national security leaders to President Trump and Vice President Biden’s presidential campaigns calling for an expansion of national service. The letter, which is signed by national security leaders including former cabinet secretaries, State Department officials, Pentagon appointees, National Security Council members, and veterans from across the Armed Services, urges the candidates to prioritize national service in their potential future administrations as a way to maintain the strength and security of our nation...

70+ National Security Leaders Urge Presidential Campaigns to Prioritize National Service
80+ National Security Leaders Urge Presidential Campaigns to Prioritize National Service

The Hill: Americans want to serve — it's up to us to give them the chance

By JOE HECK, October 5, 2020 

Throughout the course of history, Americans have, time and again, come together in moments of crisis to confront our challenges and move the country forward. As I envision a path out of the current crises facing our nation, I believe this moment is no different.

For the past three years, I served as the chairman of the National Commission on Military, National and Public Service, a position I was appointed to by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and which allowed me to continue my own service to our country, building upon my current service in the Army Reserve and my experience as a former three-term Republican congressman. Throughout the congressionally-mandated Commission’s tenure that explored America’s appetite for service and the potential need for a military draft, we traveled across the country hearing from Americans about their desire to serve, the barriers to service, and their ideas for inspiring more people to serve.

The Hill: Americans want to serve — it's up to us to give them the chance
The Hill: Americans want to serve — it's up to us to give them the chance

Dallas News: A million opportunities for a better America

By JOHN BRIDGELAND, October 4, 2020

Even as we face the hard realities of a pandemic, the fight for social justice, and divisive national politics, recent national polling offers a spot of good news. More than seven out of 10 Americans believe they have more in common with one another than many people think.

Those findings are part of a recent survey conducted for Harvard University’s Carr Center for Human Rights and Institute of Politics. Americans, it turns out, are not as divided as our politics and news media might indicate.

Dallas News: A million opportunities for a better America
Dallas News: A million opportunities for a better America

Independent Sector: Investing in National Service Can Rebuild Our Civic Infrastructure

By JESSE COLVIN, September 22, 2020

Our country faces mounting public health, economic, and educational crises, as well as a nationwide reckoning on racial injustice — challenges that require thoughtful solutions to move the country forward. When it comes to addressing these critical issues, there are few solutions that have both bipartisan support and can be a true antidote in helping to rebuild in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. As a proud member of the Nonprofit Infrastructure Investment Advocacy Group (NIIAG), convened by Independent Sector and KABOOM!, Service Year Alliance is thrilled to see NIIAG lifting up national service as a way to strengthen our country’s civic infrastructure.

As we determine how best to address each of these individual challenges, we also must confront the growing lack of trust in our institutions and the hyperpolarization that threaten the civic fabric of American society. If we are to truly tackle these issues, it will require a solution that unites Americans around a common cause in order to knit our communities back together.

Independent Sector: Investing in National Service Can Rebuild Our Civic Infrastructure
Independent Sector: Investing in National Service Can Rebuild Our Civic Infrastructure
Read the blog at Serve America. Together.
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#ServeAmericaTogether is a campaign to make national service part of growing up in America. Join the campaign at serveamericatogether.org.