Apr 1, 2015

Advocating for National Service 101

Want to speak out for national service but don't know how to get started? Our Advocacy Leader Sam Rigotti breaks it down! For more information about how you can help out, contact Sam at connecticut@americorpsalums.org.

Senator Blumenthal serves with AmeriCorps Alums (2011)

Funding for national service programs (such as AmeriCorps and Senior Corps) is not always guaranteed! Periodically during the federal budget process, some legislators or committees recommend reducing or zeroing out the budget for the Corporation for National & Community Service (CNCS), which oversees AmeriCorps and Senior Corps programs as well as the Social Innovation Fund.

It’s important, as an AmeriCorps Alum, to continually advocate for funding for national service programs! Your voice will help members of Congress to understand just how vital it is to preserve, if not increase, funding for these valuable programs. Your firsthand experience can speak louder than any chart of facts or figures could (though numbers are important, too!)


The first step is to find out who your Representative is. You can do this here: http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/

From there, you can click on your Representative’s name to be taken to their website. You will find a link to contact them on their main page; this is typically done through a form. 

Keep in mind that while you are welcome to contact any member of Congress, you will be more likely to receive a reply from the member who represents the district where you live.

For Connecticut, your two U.S. Senators are:
In the contact form, you can include the following information:
  • Your story (keep it personal and talk about the impact that national service has had on you as well as the impact you were able to make in your community)
  • Your firsthand knowledge of the value of national service. You are committed to seeing AmeriCorps stick around long-term so that future generations will have the opportunity to serve!
  • Why funding for national service is important: minimal federal investment yields a high level of benefits and positive results for Connecticut’s residents and communities! You can pull some CT-specific facts here: http://www.nationalservice.gov/impact-our-nation/state-profiles/ct or some more general facts are available at http://www.nationalservice.gov/newsroom/marketing/fact-sheets
  • Make the ask! Ask your representative or Senator to support federal funding for the Corporation for National and Community Service and to be an advocate for the value of national service to their colleagues in Congress.