In June, the U.S. House and Senate appropriations committees approved separate spending bills, each of which would render crippling cuts to the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS). CNCS is a small federal agency that runs cost-effective service programs, including AmeriCorps and Senior Corps.
In Thurston and Mason counties, these programs deliver critical services to our neighbors in need. National service participants tutor and mentor struggling students, offer job training and other opportunities to returning veterans and military families, and help communities rebuild after natural disasters. Through participation in AmeriCorps, the individuals who serve gain valuable job skills, and earn an education award.
Local companies also step up to the plate, and match federal grants with private resources. All told, the modest federal investment in national service, which Congress proposes to reduce by up to 34 percent next year, generates a nearly 4-to-1 return to society. That’s remarkable. I urge Sens. Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell and Rep. Denny Heck to stand up for national service. Please call their offices today and let them know how national service both strengthens our community and saves taxpayer dollars.