March 16, 2017
By Kaira Esgate, Chief Executive Officer, ASC
WASHINGTON, DC – America’s Service Commissions (ASC), the national association of state service commissions which leads, supports and elevates the state service network, issued a statement upon release of President Trump’s 2018 Budget today. Following is a statement by Kaira Esgate, Chief Executive Officer of America’s Service Commissions.
America’s Service Commissions appreciates President Trump’s desire to “reprioritize Federal spending so that it advances the safety and security of the American people.”
However, while we applaud the administration’s efforts to ensure both America’s safety and promote federal financial efficiency, ASC believes that the proposal to eliminate the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) and its vital programs would create devastating unintended consequences for our nation.
If enacted, the President’s America First Budget Blueprint would deny 80,000 AmeriCorps members the opportunity to serve their country, prevent 270,000 Senior Corps members from providing vital service to their communities, and devastate more than 1,100 faith-based and community organizations providing critical community services. Also impacted are the 52 Governor-appointed state service commissions administering AmeriCorps and the Volunteer Generation Fund at the local and state level.
To make America truly great, we believe that President Trump and Congress need to fully support domestic community service programs such as AmeriCorps, Senior Corps, and the Volunteer Generation Fund. These programs represent the best and brightest aspects of our country — Americans’ commitment to give back through service, to help others less fortunate help themselves, and to solve our greatest challenges together and the local community level.
Furthermore, ASC believes that AmeriCorps and Senior Corps could be essential low-cost strategies to address several of President Trump’s key priorities as outlined in the Budget Blueprint, including:
- Addressing violent crime;
- Reducing opioid abuse; and
- Putting America First by keeping more of America’s hard-earned tax dollars here at home.
As budget negotiations are explored, we feel it should be done cautiously to ensure and protect the valuable domestic AmeriCorps, Senior Corps, and Volunteer Generation Fund programming that has been built over the last 40 years with strong bipartisan support.
We do not support disinvestment in volunteer, community service, or national service infrastructure. We support a strong Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) agency and, accordingly, a robust budget to support its program operations at the state and local level.
As more information is released, America’s Service Commissions will work to better understand the specifics of what is being proposed and any impacts on the streams of service.
America’s Service Commissions is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization representing and promoting the 52 governor-appointed state service commissions across the United States and territories with the mission to lead and elevate the state service network. State service commissions are governor-appointed public agencies or nonprofit organizations made up of more than 1,110 commissioners, private citizens leading the nation’s service movement and administering 78 percent of the federal AmeriCorps funds to address pressing community needs. Learn more: www.statecommissions.org.