Tuesday September 12, 2017, 8:30am-12:30pm
Voices for National Service Capitol Hill Day – sponsored by CSX – is a powerful opportunity to make your voice heard and show Congress the impact national service is having in your community. National service can unite Americans in common purpose and help to tackle our country’s greatest challenges. It’s a strategy our nation should continue to invest in, and your firsthand stories can make this work tangible for policymakers.
Registration is now closed. Please contact us if you would still like to join us or need to make updates to your existing registration.
When and Where
To facilitate maximum participation, Voices for National Service Capitol Hill Day is scheduled concurrently with the AmeriCorps State and National Symposium in Washington, DC. On the morning of Tuesday September 12, before the Symposium kicks off, Voices for National Service staff will arrange meetings for program representatives with key decision-makers on Capitol Hill. Meeting participants will be organized by state, so congressional leaders can hear directly from those affiliated with national service programs in the states they represent.
Please join us for an evening reception to kickoff the Voices for National Service Hill Day 2017. The reception will be hosted on Monday September 11th, 6:00-7:30pm at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City in the Chesapeake View Room. With a view overlooking the iconic DC skyline, this will be a great opportunity for Hill Day attendees and others in town for the AmeriCorps State and National Symposium to connect. As this event will be hosted on the 9/11 Day of Service and Remembrance, we will also provide an opportunity to participate in a small service project while you’re at the reception.
How to Participate
Voices for National Service staff will schedule all meetings, as well as provide training and briefing materials in advance of your arrival in Washington, DC. No experience is necessary to participate—just a belief in the power and potential of national service. We encourage current national service program staff and national service alumni to participate.
Please do not schedule a meeting with your member of Congress on your own, as it is important that we coordinate meetings among multiple Capitol Hill Day participants and ensure consistent communication with congressional offices.
Each Capitol Hill Day participant will be assigned to a single state team, so please be sure to list the top 1-3 states where your program operates. We request that you only sign up for Capitol Hill Day if you are able to commit to participating in meetings during the entirety of the morning on September 12.
Please note: Key service leaders from Kentucky, Michigan, Tennessee, Washington, and Wyoming are not available for Capitol Hill Day meetings on Tuesday, September 12. Their congressional visits will be scheduled at an alternative time during the week of September 11. If your have service in these states and are willing to join additional meetings, please make this known when registering. We will follow up with you individually to review availability.
Why Capitol Hill Day Matters
When our nation’s leaders don’t understand the impact national service programs are having in their communities, these programs are left vulnerable to budget cuts and proposals to eliminate national service. To ensure continued and increased funding for the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), AmeriCorps, and Senior Corps, we must work together to educate members of Congress about the important work CNCS-supported programs are doing in their states and districts.
This year’s Voices for National Service Capitol Hill Day comes at a particular important time on Capitol Hill. Earlier this year, the White House budget proposal for FY18 included recommendations to eliminate CNCS, AmeriCorps, and Senior Corps over the course of the next year. Now it’s up to Congress to make final decisions about which federal programs will be funded and at what levels. In September, members of Congress will be working to finalize these decisions, so it’s a valuable opportunity to weigh-in and ask them our representatives to protect funding for national service.
Join us for Voices for National Service Capitol Hill Day to help ensure your members of Congress understand the impact your program is having on the ground. By meeting with congressional leaders and their staff, you will have the opportunity to educate decision-makers about the work you are doing in your community and establish relationships with your elected officials that will be mutually beneficial over time.
Disclaimer on Political Activity:
As we speak on behalf of national service and volunteering programs that receive federal funds, we must be mindful of keeping any political and advocacy activities separate from CNCS grant-funded activities. If your organization receives federal funds, you are allowed to participate in Voices for National Service events, activities, and sign-on letters, because the purpose of these activities is to inform elected officials about the impact of federally-funded programs in their community. The Corporation for National and Community Service rules are clear on this issue, as are the general rules that apply to all grantees of the federal government. We hope you will review this memorandum from the CNCS General Counsel which explains the restrictions on legislative lobbying and partisan politics and addresses some frequently asked questions that may apply to your participation in Voices for National Service Capitol Hill Day.