On July 3rd, 2019, Mayor Pete Buttigieg became the first candidate to accept the Serve America Together Presidential Challenge with the announcement of “A New Call to Service.” The initiative will build a network of 1 million National Service Members by the 250th anniversary of America’s Independence in 2026.
“National service can help us to form connections between very different kinds of Americans, as was my experience in the military,” said Buttigieg.“ I served alongside and trusted my life to people who held totally different political views. You shouldn't have to go to war in order to have that kind of experience, which is why I am proposing a plan to create more opportunities for national service.”
The policy aims to vastly expand service opportunities through three key efforts:
Expanding Service Opportunities for All Who Want It:
Immediately increase national service opportunities to 250,000 positions through the existing federal and AmeriCorps grantee organizations, especially targeting high school students; students at community colleges, vocational schools, Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and Minority-Serving Institutions (MSIs); and opportunity youth (people between ages 16-24 who are neither in school nor working).
Building Service Communities:
Create competitive grant funding for communities, cities, and regions to create service ecosystems tailored to regional and local issues, which will foster local capacity; empower local leaders to connect the federal, state, local, philanthropic services to each other; and incubate 21st century service models around regional issues to prevent siloed community service initiatives.
Achieving Service at Scale:
By 2026, quadruple the number of service opportunities to 1 million high school graduates. Develop new service corps including a Climate Corps, Community Health Corps, and Intergenerational Service Corps, which would be overseen by a new Chief Service Officer with standing on the White House National Security Council and Domestic Policy Council.