Today, 832 mayors from big cities to small towns and everything in between are participating in the Mayors Day of Recognition for National Service. What a great way to highlight the many ways that AmeriCorps members and Senior Corps volunteers demonstrate the power that every citizen has to make a difference.
Together, these mayors represent nearly 100 million citizens or one-third of Americans.
“It is a testament to the effectiveness of AmeriCorps and Senior Corps programs that nearly one-third of Americans will have their mayor participating in this first-ever Day of Recognition,” said Wendy Spencer, CEO of CNCS. “We're proud to stand with this bipartisan group of mayors. These leaders are shining a bright light on the impact of AmeriCorps members and Senior Corps volunteers as they improve neighborhoods and transform lives across the country.”
The first-ever Mayors Day of Recognition for National Service is being led by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS); Cities of Service; the National League of Cities; and Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter, president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors. Mayor Nutter spoke about the Day of Recognition today during an appearance on MSNBC's “Morning Joe.” (Click the photo below to watch Mayor Nutter's appearance on the show.) CNCS is the federal agency for national service and volunteering that administers AmeriCorps and Senior Corps.
Facing Challenges, Finding Solutions
In times of economic and budget challenges, mayors need to enlist all the help they can find to tackle the tough issues that many of them face. By embracing national service, these solutions-focused leaders are showing the innovative thinking necessary to provide much-needed services in difficult circumstances.
Children and youth need all the support they can get to make the most out of their years in the education system. AmeriCorps members and Senior Corps volunteers work in schools during the day and in after-school programs to help children succeed.
When disasters strike, resources may be scattered or uncoordinated and some survivors may feel left behind when their stories fade from the headlines. National service participants respond early to assist with relief efforts and stay for months and years to help affected communities recover.
Many of our citizens face poverty-related issues that make day-to-day survival a challenge while they seek basic needs. National service members have a long history of fighting poverty and helping community strengthen the social net.
Our environment needs involved stewards to ensure that our land is protected for future generations. National service provides services that aids wildfire prevention, cleans blighted areas, and teaches conservation through service-learning efforts.
Health care is widely available in cases of emergency, but there are many underserved communities where everyday access is limited. National service provides access and much-needed information to many through outreach and community health centers.
Our veterans and military families have made many sacrifices during past and current conflicts to protect our freedoms. National service is working to make sure the soldiers return home to open arms and opportunity, and to ensure that families are supported while they are away.
National service gets things done.
“I work with mayors from both sides of the aisle to find practical solutions to the problems we face in our cities,” said Mayor Nutter. “My colleagues and I agree that there are few resources more cost effective than America's national service programs. AmeriCorps members and Senior Corps volunteers are central to the fabric of Philadelphia. Day after day, they roll up their sleeves and get to work addressing education, food insecurity, community revitalization and more. Simply put, in these challenging economic times, their service is essential to the current and future success of our city and our nation.”
Follow today's events and spread the word about the Mayors Day of Recognition for National Service on Twitter by tracking the #mayors4service hashtag.