WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) today joined his colleagues in introducing a Senate resolution commemorating the 20th anniversary of the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS). In honor of the anniversary, Brown released the following statement:
“As Dr. King famously said, no American is too busy or too important to serve. Since President Clinton signed the National and Community Service Trust Act in 1993, millions of Americans have served their country through AmeriCorps, Senior Corps, Learn and Serve America, and other CNCS programs,” Brown said. “The commitment, dedications and patriotism shown by those who give back inspire all of us to help meet the needs of others. CNCS programs address the most pressing challenges facing our nation – while connecting Americans from all ages and backgrounds with an opportunity to contribute to their communities in meaningful ways.”
In 2009, Brown cosponsored the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act which expands national service programs administered under CNCS. The Act increased the total capacity of AmeriCorps from 75,000 members annually to 250,000 by 2017. The legislation placed a priority of service in the areas of education, health, clean energy, veterans and economic opportunity; and increases service opportunities for Americans of all ages through the establishment of “Youth Engagement Zones” for young people in low-income, high-need communities; the creation of a “Summer of Service” program for middle and high school students; the creation of a tax incentive for employers who allow working adults to take paid leave for full-time service; the creation of “Encore Fellowships” to help retirees who wish to transition to longer-term public service and the enhancement of incentives for retirees who give a year of service through the Corps; and the establishment of a “Volunteer Generation Fund” to help nonprofit organizations recruit and manage volunteers of all ages.
Brown is a long-time advocate for national service and CNCS. During Senate consideration of the Continuing Resolution for the 2011 budget, Brown was successful in maintaining CNCS funding. The House budget proposal eliminated programs run by the agency that include AmeriCorps, Senior Corps, and the Social Innovation Fund.