FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Ranit Schmelzer, 202-538-1065, firstname.lastname@example.org
New Poll Finds Strong Bipartisan Support for Expanding AmeriCorps and Senior Corps to Help Nation Respond and Recover from COVID-19
Funding for National Service Should be Included in the Next Stimulus Package
Washington, DC (August 5, 2020) – Public opinion polling of 1,000 registered voters in 16 battleground states found that the American people clearly recognize the value of national service at this extraordinary time. The support to increase funding for AmeriCorps and Senior Corps programs to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic was an overwhelming 80 percent across party lines.
The poll, conducted by TargetPoint Consulting in May 2020 for Voices for National Service, further found that:
- 8 in 10 voters support increased funding for national service to help young Americans facing unemployment contribute to our national recovery while they earn a college opportunity and valuable skills for the future.
- 70 percent of Republicans and 90 percent of Democrats support increasing the federal investment in national service.
“This poll confirms Americans’ broad and strong support for investing in low-cost, high-impact national service programs to help our nation recover from the pandemic,” said AnnMaura Connolly, President of Voices for National Service. “The bipartisan support for investing in national service to help our communities respond and recover—while giving Americans opportunities to earn a living stipend, gain skills, and help to pay for college—has never been stronger.”
Since the outbreak of the coronavirus, AmeriCorps and Senior Corps members across the country have acted quickly and creatively to address gaps in services and persistent inequities that have only been exacerbated by COVID-19. Together they have delivered millions of meals, conducted hundreds of thousands of wellness checks, expanded access to health screenings, set up temporary isolation sites, organized blood drives and are providing virtual teaching, tutoring, and mentoring to students.
Current federal funding for AmeriCorps, however, only provides for 75,000 spots nationwide annually – far less than what is needed during these extraordinary times. Congress is currently debating the next coronavirus aid and economic stimulus bill and it should include the bipartisan Cultivating Opportunity and Response to the Pandemic through Service Act (CORPS Act) as part of the package. The CORPS Act would double the number of AmeriCorps positions available this year to 150,000 and provide a total of 600,000 service opportunities nationwide over the next three years to unemployed youth and others looking to assist their communities.
A summary of the polling is available here and quick facts are here.
Voices for National Service is a diverse coalition of national service programs, state service commissions and individual champions, who work to ensure Americans of all ages and backgrounds have the opportunity to serve and volunteer in their community. Founded in 2003, Voices for National Service has built strong bipartisan support among our nation’s leaders and helped to elevate national service as a powerful strategy for tackling unmet needs, preparing young people for work, uniting our country and developing civic character.