The LuLac Edition #592, Oct. 5th, 2008
PHOTO INEX: TOP 40 LOGO.
ELECTION TOP 40
NATIONAL SERVICE #31
John McCain will create a Service to America initiative to strengthen the teaching and understanding of American history, culture and core ideas, and to inspire Americans to serve causes greater than their own self interest. Civic participation by citizens over a lifetime, working in neighborhoods and communities, and service of all kinds - military and civilian; full-time or part-time; and national or international - can renew America's civic purpose and heal our fractured patriotism.
Senator McCain was an original cosponsor with Senator Bayh of Indiana of the bipartisan National Call to Service Act (18-18-18 plan) that established a National Service Plan with incentives to enlist in the armed forces. Participants must meet all eligibility requirements for military service and may choose one of the following incentives: $5,000, payable after completing 18 months of active duty; and 18 months of reserve service; repayment of student loans up to $18,000; educational allowance at the Montgomery GI Bill monthly rate for one year; or educational allowance of one-half of the GI Bill monthly rate for three years. The bill also expanded volunteer opportunities in civilian organizations, including AmeriCorps. Senator McCain reintroduced the civilian components with Senators Bayh, Kennedy, and Mikulski in 2003, after the military service component became law in 2002.
Barack Obama and Joe Biden's Plan for Universal Voluntary Public Service is predicated on this statement: “Your own story and the American story are not separate — they are shared. And they will both be enriched if we stand up together, and answer a new call to service to meet the challenges of our new century … I won't just ask for your vote as a candidate; I will ask for your service and your active citizenship when I am president of the United States. This will not be a call issued in one speech or program; this will be a cause of my presidency.”— Barack Obama, Speech in Mt
Americans Not Asked to Serve After 9/11: President Bush squandered an opportunity to mobilize the American people following 9/11 when he asked Americans only to go shopping.
Insufficient Federal Support for Service: While more than 500,000 people have served in AmeriCorps, the program turns away tens of thousands of applicants a year because of limited funding.
Need for More R&D in Nonprofit Sector: Research and development in the nonprofit sector is limited and there is a disconnect between charitable foundations that can fund innovation and the organizations on the ground that can test new concepts and bring them to scale.
Enable All Americans to Serve to Meet the Nation's Challenges
Expand Corporation for National and Community Service: Obama and Biden will expand AmeriCorps from 75,000 slots today to 250,000 and they will focus this expansion on addressing the great challenges facing the nation. They will establish a Classroom Corps to help teachers and students, with a priority placed on underserved schools; a Health Corps to improve public health outreach; a Clean Energy Corps to conduct weatherization and renewable energy projects; a Veterans Corps to assist veterans at hospitals, nursing homes and homeless shelters; and a Homeland Security Corps to help communities plan, prepare for and respond to emergencies.