Save AmeriCorps
  • Petitioned U.S. Senate

This petition was delivered to:

U.S. Senate

Save AmeriCorps

    1. Petition by

      Caleb Jonas

      Cambridge, MA

  1.  
  2.   
April 2011

Victory

After a Tea Party-led majority in the US House of Representatives pushed for the complete elimination of the AmeriCorps program, former AmeriCorps volunteer Caleb Jonas sprang into action to save the life-changing "domestic Peace Corps." 

His grassroots campaign on Change.org - started Feb. 9 from his laptop in a Cambridge, Mass. coffee shop - went viral and ultimately generated more than 118,000 emails to U.S. Senators urging them to save the program. Caleb's campaign was profiled in the Boston Globe and House Majority Rep. Eric Cantor, who was giving a speech at the Harvard Kennedy School on Feb. 24, was handed a copy of the petition and forced to publicly address the overwhelming national support for the AmeriCorps program.

It is a testament to Caleb's activism - and the work of the entire service community - that in a late-night budget deal on April 8, the Senate and the House agreed to save AmeriCorps with only minor cuts in funding. AmeriCorps will be funded at $350 million. Although this cut is $23 million less than current funding levels, AmeriCorps volunteers can continue to serve their country.

 

Early in the morning on Saturday, Feb. 19th, the Republican Majority in the US House passed H.R. 1, a continuing resolution to fund the government through the end of 2011. As part of their plan, Republicans suggested the complete elimination of the AmeriCorps program. Now, the U.S. Senate is the only thing standing in the way of the end of national service.

To cut federal support for AmeriCorps would be a devastating blow to America's very core. AmeriCorps members commit themselves to improving communities across America for very little pay. In exchange, these volunteers develop professional skills, learn about challenges facing fellow Americans, and make a measurable difference in thousands of ways.

Please sign this letter if you believe that AmeriCorps is a critical thread in our national fabric, and its impact is even more powerful in challenging economic times. We call upon the Senate to Stand for AmeriCorps by supporting the President's vision to increase and strengthen AmeriCorps. In these times, more than ever, we need this critical tool to combat poverty, end homelessness, protect the environment, educate our children, support seniors, and provide hundreds of irreplacable community services.

Recent signatures

    News

    1. Carol Scott
      Petition Organizer

      The fight to save AmeriCorps has been won - the service program survived, albeit with $23 million in cuts -

    2. Carol Scott
      Petition Organizer

      CBS is reporting that the AmeriCorps program has NOT been "zeroed out" but we are still looking for specific numbers.

    3. Carol Scott
      Petition Organizer

      Congressional staffers say they're not releasing anything about AmeriCorps funding until the budget bill is filed tonight. We'll let you know as soon as we hear.

    4. Carol Scott
      Petition Organizer

      We're still not sure of the fate of AmeriCorps given the last-minute budget deal in Congress, but we'll update as soon as we find out - should be later today.

    5. Carol Scott
      Petition Organizer

      Where do your senators stand on saving AmeriCorps? Look on the map here: (I tried using Google Chrome and had problems, but Internet Explorer seems to work.) Hint: H.R. 1 is the House of Representatives plan to gut AmeriCorps, so if they voted "no" to H.R. 1, they're standing strong for AmeriCorps.

    6. Carol Scott
      Petition Organizer

      Will there be a gov't shutdown? Friday at midnight is the deadline for Congress to decide on a budget going forward. AmeriCorps continues to hang in the balance... Here's a college journalist's story on the benefits of AmeriCorps:

    7. As Government Shutdown Looms, AmeriCorps Hangs in the Balance

      Carol Scott
      Petition Organizer

      Republicans and Democrats in Washington are going toe-to-toe over this year's budget. And if they don't find a compromise soon, the U.S. government will shut down on Friday.
      If that weren't drama enough, one important program hangs in the balance in...

    8. Carol Scott
      Petition Organizer

      Great article in the New Republic about what AmeriCorps cuts would do to the country:

    9. Carol Scott
      Petition Organizer

      The Los Angeles Times reports on how cuts to AmeriCorps could be costly in California:

    10. Carol Scott
      Petition Organizer

      AmeriCorps volunteer sheds light on homelessness problems:

    11. Carol Scott
      Petition Organizer

      Maine woman on AmeriCorps cuts: "This is one cut that will absolutely cost more than it saves"

    12. Carol Scott
      Petition Organizer

      High-ranking official under George W. Bush defends AmeriCorps:

    13. Carol Scott
      Petition Organizer

      From The Californian: Spare AmeriCorps From Cuts:

    14. Carol Scott
      Petition Organizer

      How one man's AmeriCorps service launched him into a life of giving back:

    15. Carol Scott
      Petition Organizer

      Four steps to save service:

    16. Carol Scott
      Petition Organizer

      From the Indianapolis Star: "They're here to serve, but cuts are looming"

    17. Carol Scott
      Petition Organizer

      After you sign, join the Stand For AmeriCorps group on Facebook:

    18. Carol Scott
      Petition Organizer

      Here's how cuts to AmeriCorps would hurt Washington state:

    19. Carol Scott
      Petition Organizer

      AmeriCorps members, despite the threat of cuts, are banding together to help victims in Japan:

    20. Carol Scott
      Petition Organizer

      After you sign, visit for more action steps to save AmeriCorps.

    21. Carol Scott
      Petition Organizer

      From the Boulder, Co. Daily Camera: Could AmeriCorps cuts mean the end of Colorado "I Have A Dream" tutoring academy?

    22. Carol Scott
      Petition Organizer

      More than 10,000 calls poured into U.S. Senate offices yesterday for the Save Service Call-In to defend AmeriCorps - fantastic work, everyone!

    23. Carol Scott
      Petition Organizer

      Thanks to all who called yesterday to save AmeriCorps - we'll update with a recap from the call-in as soon as we have info!

    24. Carol Scott
      Petition Organizer

      Join the national call-in day to save AmeriCorps - TODAY! Call your Senators at 1-855-877-3783 and ask them to #SaveService

    25. Carol Scott
      Petition Organizer

      URGENT: Today is a national day of action for Caleb and AmeriCorps supporters, who are flooding the phone lines of their senators and asking them to support AmeriCorps. Can you join them by making a quick call right now? Just dial 1-855-US-SERVE, enter your zip code, and you'll be connected to your senator. Then click here to tell us how your call went:

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

    • Stephanie Arguelles SACRAMENTO, CA
      • over 3 years ago

      I participated in NCCC in 2006 and it was one of the greatest experiences of my life. It opened my eyes to how much hope as well as struggle exists, while giving me the opportunity to serve in areas I otherwise would not be able to.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Lisa Diggs RIVERSIDE, CA
      • over 3 years ago

      I am an AmeriCorps Alum, who really benefitted from serving in my community for 2 terms of service. I served at two local Riverside, California elementary schools, and assisted students struggling in math, reading and writing. After my service I went back to school to study elementary education and become a teacher. Without this program it would be very difficult for teachers to have the assistance in the classroom due to the already reduction of support staff. The children need mentors and tutors, positive role models in their lives. AmeriCorps is a viable asset to the community in providing volunteers that are willing to get things done. We feed the homeless, assist at home shelters, volunteer with seniors, children, families etc. Please don't cut the funding or eliminate a great program that really makes a difference and teaches the youth and young adults of today that it is important to serve others.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Joyce Bradley LAGUNA BEACH, CA
      • over 3 years ago

      No don't do away with AmeriCorps, this organization does so much good. If you can't stand for President Obama at lest stand for the countless American which AmeriCorp helps.

      These people who get little pay but do so much, educate children, support seniors, combat poverty and so much more, It is unthinkab to delete this program. If you truly want to help America then end Corporate welfare make them pay taxes (top 10) and stop reinforcing their behavior, America's are out of jobs because they want cheap labor so they out source. The working Stiffs of this country and even the unemployed don't want to give Corporations money via refunds from the IRS. KEEP Americorps they actually help that is more than I can say for Congress with your bicking and enfighting. If anything Republicans are selling lies and keeping many people in the dark, STOP!

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Halley Thompson WILMINGTON, NC
      • over 3 years ago

      I stand with AmeriCorps as a two time volunteer, once with a State and National program and the second time as a VISTA which led into my first professional job. I am now using my teaching degree to work for an education and drop-out prevention non-profit because of my experience with AmeriCorps.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • R G NORTH PLATTE, NE
      • over 3 years ago

      I am a Republican and I am sick to the stomach right now. Stop cutting corners and destroying needed national services like Americorps and cut spending in your own paychecks instead.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

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