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Serve America Together | Gen. Stan McChrystal, Arianna Huffington, Sec. Robert Gates, and Laura Lauder Announce “Serve America Together” Campaign Alongside Civilian and Military Service Organizations

The campaign, organized by Service Year Alliance, calls on Congress and 2020 presidential candidates to make national service part of growing up in America

WASHINGTON, DC (May 30, 2019) – Ahead of the 2020 presidential election, a coalition of civilian and military service organizations plans to launch the Serve America Together campaign. Led by Service Year Alliance and co-chaired by Gen. Stan McChrystal, Arianna Huffington, former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, and Laura Lauder, the campaign aims to make national service part of growing up in America.

The campaign, which is set to launch at the end of June, will build public awareness, engage presidential candidates, empower communities, and work with Congress to pass legislation that will make national service a common expectation and opportunity for all young Americans.

 

Serve America Together | Gen. Stan McChrystal, Arianna Huffington, Sec. Robert Gates, and Laura Lauder Announce “Serve America Together” Campaign Alongside Civilian and Military Service Organizations
Serve America Together | Gen. Stan McChrystal, Arianna Huffington, Sec. Robert Gates, and Laura Lauder Announce “Serve America Together” Campaign Alongside Civilian and Military Service Organizations

The Seattle Times: Imagine an America where all youth commit to national service

BY BOB WATT & JOHN STANTON, May 19, 2019 

"Our country faces urgent challenges, from 4.6 million young people disconnected from jobs and school, to an opioid epidemic that kills more than 130 Americans every day. Right here in Seattle we face an affordable-housing crisis, working families that can’t afford to feed their children and a high school dropout rate that remains stubbornly above one-in-five. Instead of fighting together to solve these challenges, we have become more and more divided as a country, and Americans increasingly doubt that we can ever come together again.

We believe there is a solution, one that can have a measurable positive impact on all these challenges while also bringing us together as a country: We should work to make national service an optional — but expected — choice and opportunity for all young Americans."

The Seattle Times: Imagine an America where all youth commit to national service
The Seattle Times: Imagine an America where all youth commit to national service

The Atlantic: The Need That Democrats Aren't Addressing

BY RAHM EMANUEL, April 9, 2019

"We can begin by issuing a simple but powerful call: a policy that requires all 18-year-olds to give at least six months of their life to national service. People from different walks of life, with different backgrounds, would serve with one another as a rite of passage. Once young adults graduate high school or reach college age, they would join the military, the Peace Corps, AmeriCorps, or some other service-oriented organization.'

The Atlantic: The Need That Democrats Aren't Addressing
The Atlantic: The Need That Democrats Aren't Addressing

Harvard Political Review: "What You Can Do For You Country"

BY KEVIN BALLEN, March 12, 2019

 

"Service Year Alliance, a nonprofit based in Washington, D.C., is leading the charge for a common service year. Its expansion campaign is set to launch in 2019. Yasmeen Shaheen McConnell, managing director of strategic engagement for Service Year Alliance, told the HPR that the campaign’s focus is to “grow awareness [through] influencers,” to build “demand at a local level,” and to “pass legislation and secure funding.


The legislation, which McConnell hopes will reach Congress in 2020, would propose significantly more funding for national service positions. It would not, however, immediately provide enough funding for every 22-year-old to complete that year of service. Yasmeen described what she sees as a “national moment” in which a divided nation might be brought together by a campaign like this one. To encourage widespread participation, Yasmeen said that Service Year Alliance is focused on “growing these opportunities for all Americans [so that] we are not reinforcing structural inequities” and “making sure that people can earn benefits [through service] that allow them to access the American Dream."

Harvard Political Review: "What You Can Do For You Country"
Harvard Political Review: "What You Can Do For You Country"

Brookings: "A focus on national service can unify our divided country"

BY GEN. (RET.) STANLEY MCCHRYSTAL AND MICHAEL O'HANLON

"Presidential, congressional, state, and local officials should endorse the idea of at least a year of national service, not as a legal obligation, but as an increasingly widespread cultural, political, and moral expectation for all able, young Americans.
The fundamental purpose of such a program would not be to create jobs, or a low-wage pool of laborers for menial tasks. Rather, the main point would be to change the people who undertake it and thus the society in which they live.

The real product of national service, as much as the good work that participants carry out, is the group of alumni that it produces—individuals with increased maturity, civic awareness, and the empathy that comes from working with people from different backgrounds and different zip codes."

Brookings: "A focus on national service can unify our divided country"
Brookings: "A focus on national service can unify our divided country"
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#ServeAmericaTogether is a campaign to make national service part of growing up in America. Join the campaign at serveamericatogether.org.