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We’ve watched this week as job losses continue to accumulate, as nearly 40 million Americans find themselves living in poverty, and as reports show half of the students in our 50 biggest cities aren't graduating.
As evidenced last week by the largest MLK Day of Service, and a renewed emphasis on volunteering by President Obama in his Inaugural Address, the momentum for service is perhaps as strong as it’s ever been. But what does all of this momentum add up to?
In the past week, there have been some pointed op-eds and editorials promoting fast action on service and more specifically the Serve America Act.
- Sunday’s very direct New York Times editorial, The Moment for National Service calls for action now on the Serve America Act.
- An op-ed by John Bridgeland (co-authored with Bruce Reed), Volunteer to Save the Economy, appeared in the New York Times last week and made the case for service as an economic stimulus.
- In Obama Era, National Service's Time Has Come, an editorial by Mort Kondracke in Roll Call
, highlights the broadening bi-partisan support for service.
- An op-ed by
Alan Khazeiand David Gergen in USA Today, Obama's Call to Service Can't Start Soon Enough offers a six point plan on why the time to act is now.
As President Obama continues to focus on gaining quick passage of a $825 billion stimulus package aimed at creating new jobs and aiding the nation’s ailing economy – where does service fit into the picture? The Serve America Act comes at a price tag of about $5 billion over five years and its approval will create meaningful new opportunities for people who are ready to work hard for the public good.
Many are asking what they can do to get involved. Our friends at Service Nation have offered a few suggestions:
- You can reach out to your local papers and write editorials in favor of the Serve America Act, and its passage and funding in the first 100 days.
- You can contact your elected officials to voice your support for the legislation.
- You can sign the Declaration of Service and be notified when mobilizations begin happening on Capitol Hill.