District Days Deliver Stories of National Service Impact to Policymakers Nationwide
Save Service organized a nationwide effort to mobilize support for national service. National service champions mobilized in all 50 states and DC, coordinating 167 engagements with 155 Members of Congress - 11 of which were site visits where a Member of Congress or their staff actually visited a program to witness the difference service makes on the ground in communities across the country. That is the most powerful way to build champions and secure our future.
To highlight some of great work seen across the country, Save Service collected a few stories of success.
In Massachusetts, staff from Jumpstart talked with Congressman Joe Kennedy’s (MA-04) staff about the difference Jumpstart and other AmeriCorps programs make in the lives of low-income youth by supporting critical early childhood education. Kennedy, the nephew of the late national service champion, Edward M. Kennedy, then took to the House floor to emphasize the importance of preserving national service.
In Ohio, Senator Rob Portman had recently visited national service sites but didn’t know the full extent that these local programs counted on national service members. After ServeOhio’s Executive Director and ServeNext Organizer Nicole Schmidt met with Portman’s District Director, Senator Portman was able to return to DC with a fuller picture of the impact national service has in his state.
In Iowa, Representative Dave Loebsack (IA-02) is a long-time national service supporter. After meeting with ServeNext Organizer Pete McRoberts he not only committed to make the case for investing in national service to his colleagues in Congress, he asked for input from national service allies about the impact of the budget sequester and how to manage upcoming federal budget fights.
In Washington State, national service allies from Solid Ground, Rebuilding Together, Catholic Community Services, and others met with Republican Congressman Dave Reichert (WA-08) to share stories of the impact national service has on northwest Washington communities. Reichert, inspired by the impact of national service, concluded the meeting by pledging to join the National Service Caucus – a public statement of his priorities.
Kennedy, Portman, Loebsack, and Reichert represent just four conversations out of hundreds of engagements. National organizations – like City Year and AARP’s Experience Corps – as well those working on the local level – like Cleveland’s Literacy Cooperative and San Francisco’s Bay Area Community Resources– count on national service to make an impact on people’s lives. Only by continuing to combine our efforts will we demonstrate the full impact of our grassroots coalition and establish national service as an enduring national priority.
Just because District Days are over doesn't mean you can't get involved. Click here for ways you can support Save Service efforts.