Steve Culbertson of Youth
Service America is circulating this message:
If you can
only make one call today, call the White House (202-456-1414) and inform them
what the supplemental funding to avoid drastic cuts to AmeriCorps this
year means to you, your program, and your community.
The House and Senate
have only until tomorrow (Friday) to compromise on the details of the supplemental
legislation before the House leaves for its August recess.
If the House
and Senate conferees do not meet to iron out the details of the FY03 emergency
supplemental (where the Senate included $100 million for AmeriCorps), before they
leave for recess, hundreds of programs will be forced to close their doors.
and nonprofits in every state will lose their ability to serve hundreds of thousands
of individuals in communities across the country. Programs will lose their private
sector support and community relationships that they have built over the past
decade. Thousands of AmeriCorps recruits will turned away from serving their country.
attended a forum today on the same issue, in the Dirksen Senate Office Building.
Many of the nation’s leaders in service-learning attended. Some believe that the
financial crisis of AmeriCorps has a silver lining: the service movement is organizing,
recruiting allies (including friends among conservatives and business leaders),
and learning that it has clout.
Incidentally, I thought that Rep. Chris
Shays (Republican of Connecticut) chose to make a fairly sharp and explicit attack
on Rep. Dick Armey (R-TX), in defending AmeriCorps. (Armey, he said, "simply
hasn’t walked in someone else’s moccasins.") He also argued for more diverse
congressional districts, as a way to increase Republicans’ sensitivity to minorities.