30 Years of Bipartisan Support for AmeriCorps in 30 Days

This year, AmeriCorps is celebrating its 30th Anniversary and all that has been accomplished since the first class of AmeriCorps members took an oath to “Get Things Done” for America. Since 1993, more than 1.25 million Americans have served with AmeriCorps, and hundreds of thousands more have volunteered with AmeriCorps Seniors, changing lives and transforming communities through national service.  

Three decades ago, President Bill Clinton signed the National and Community Service Trust Act of 1993 into law, establishing AmeriCorps. And ever since, congressional champions have taken a stand for service helping to protect, strengthen, and expand AmeriCorps. This has included stepping up to protect AmeriCorps from potentially crippling budget cuts and introducing bills to dramatically expand AmeriCorps, like the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act of 2009, the CORPS Act of 2021, and the ACTION for National Service Act of 2023.

To celebrate the 30 years of bipartisan support, Voices for National Service created the “30 Days of #AmeriCorps30” series. From November 6th to December 19th, we shared stories and quotes from AmeriCorps champions in Congress – Republicans and Democrats – including:  

  • AmeriCorps alumni who are now serving in Congress, including Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Rep. Gwen Moore (D-WI), and Rep. Chrissy Houlahan (D-PA);  
  • Leaders of two congressional caucuses that work to advance national service as a solution to pressing challenges in the U.S., including the For Country Caucus and the National Service Congressional Caucus, led by Sen. Chris Coons (D-CT), Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Rep. Garret Graves (R-LA), and Rep. Doris Matsui (D-CA); and  
  • Past Friends of National Service Award winners, such as Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK), Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), Sen. Todd Young (R-IN), Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA), Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS), and more. 

We also highlighted some of the many ways our congressional leaders have taken a stand for service this year:  

  • Two letters sent by 123 senators and representatives to senior appropriators, urging them to increase funding for AmeriCorps in FY24;  
  • A proposed amendment to the Labor-HHS funding bill from Rep. Doris Matsui (D-CA) and Rep. Derek Kilmer (D-WA) to protect FY24 AmeriCorps funding;  
  • An op-ed published in The Hill by former Rep. David Price urging his colleagues to invest in AmeriCorps; and 
  • The bipartisan, bicameral reintroduction of the Segal AmeriCorps Education Award Tax Relief Act.  

The bipartisan Congressional support for AmeriCorps programs and members over the last 30 years has been incredible – far more than can be highlighted in a thirty-day social media series. Voices for National Service will continue to thank and celebrate those elected officials who take a stand for service in the coming year.  

However, there are still many members of Congress who are unfamiliar with the tremendous impact that AmeriCorps has in their state and district.  

We encourage AmeriCorps’ supporters to use the tools and resources in the Advocate’s Guide to AmeriCorps and FY24 Appropriations to contact your elected officials, share the value of AmeriCorps, and ask your member of Congress to both join the National Service Caucus and support increased funding for AmeriCorps in FY24. We need all members of Congress to take a stand for service to ensure that the next 30 years of AmeriCorps are even better than the first 30!  

Here are all the posts for the 30 Days of #AmeriCorps30 series on Twitter/X 

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