For Immediate Release - May 23, 2017
WASHINGTON, DC - “The proposed budget cuts are taking us back to the stone age as a nation. They’re short-sighted and fail to address modern challenges or invest in the next generation of American leaders. In the name of all national service organizations we deeply condemn the proposed elimination of the Corporation for National and Community Service — including AmeriCorps — and the deep cuts to the Peace Corps. This budget is the latest in a series of reckless steps aiming to eliminate national service as we know it”, says Shirley Sagawa, CEO of the Service Year Alliance.
“Despite the tremendous impact that national service programs like AmeriCorps, the Peace Corps, and YouthBuild have across the country and around the world, and a historic legacy of bipartisan support, the Trump budget is out of touch with the needs of local communities and the opinions of the American people. More than 83% of voters would like to maintain or increase the federal investment in national service. Thanks to the service of 80,000 AmeriCorps members each year, 188,000 veterans and military families receive critical assistance and 800,000 people are better prepared for natural disasters, not to mention the impact in other areas like education and the environment.” A study by economists at Columbia University proves that for every $1 invested in national service, there is nearly a $4 return on social benefits. And unlike many federal programs, AmeriCorps leverages other funding - at least $1 for every dollar spent.
Sagawa: “We should be empowering young Americans to tackle the most pressing issues facing our country through national service, not eliminating the opportunity for them to serve. Young people who serve with programs like AmeriCorps develop critical workplace skills, earn money to pay for college and student loans, and become the engaged and passionate citizens that our country so desperately needs. Instead of eliminating national service, we need to expand service opportunities. We’re calling upon Congress because service can unite the most diverse nation in history, binding people of different backgrounds through common cause.”
Over the next several months, as Congress debates the 2018 budget, Service Year Alliance will work tirelessly to mobilize the service year community, highlight the impact of national service and the stories of young people who are supporting veterans, fighting the opioid epidemic, providing critical employment services, bridging divides in our country and increasing access to higher education.”