Jan 22, 2019

RIP, Sen. Harris Wofford

"Harris Wofford, a former United States senator from Pennsylvania whose passion for getting people involved helped create John F. Kennedy’s Peace Corps, Bill Clinton’s AmeriCorps and other service organizations and made him America’s volunteer in chief, died on Monday night in Washington. He was 92." [NYT obit]

"Mr. Wofford with President Bill Clinton during the first national recruitment effort for AmeriCorps volunteers at the University of Maryland in 1999. Mr. Clinton named him to lead the service organization after Mr. Wofford left the Senate." Credit: Stephen Jaffe/Agence France-PresseGetty Images

Jan 21, 2019

More Information About the CNCS Sustainability & Transformation Plan

AmeriCorps Alums Connecticut is gravely concerned about the rapid implementation of the CNCS Transformation & Sustainability Plan, which will lead to the closure of state offices in favor of regional offices. We are asking all alums and other concerned Americans to read about the plan and consider reaching out to your representatives to slow down the process to allow a thorough review, as required by law.

We are concerned that the rush to implementation of a plan which will significantly alter the structure of this critical agency, effecting thousands of volunteers and community organizations.

Our wonderful state is not immune to the pressing challenges of our times, including poverty, food insecurity, homelessness, and opioid addiction. We are particularly concerned about the loss of local support for Connecticut service members, organizations, and communities - particularly rural communities and small organizations - which we feel will lead to less effective programs and less meaningful experiences for members and volunteers.

Note that Connecticut's Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro is the co-Chair of the appropriations subcommittee that funds CNCS - if you live in her district, you can make a BIG difference! To find who represents you in Congress, please visit this website to search by zip code. Every person in Connecticut can also reach out to Senator Richard Blumenthal and Senator Chris Murphy to ask them to urge their colleagues to take action.

To get you started, a sample cover letter can be found here: http://bit.ly/2sDkOCn.

More detailed information about the plan, its consequences, and the standing you have to challenge it has been compiled here: http://bit.ly/2Hpkp0B.

Please note that we did not put these documents together. If you find any errors, please let us know by contacting our Interim President directly at slmykins @ gmail . com. Thank you!!

CNCS Transformation & Sustainability Plan - Sample Letter

The following letter is shared as a template to assist you in contacting your congressperson about the CNCS Transformation & Sustainability Plan (i.e. the CNCS Reform). Please edit as you feel appropriate and be sure to share your personal story of how you feel this change will affect Connecticut communities. 

If you are unsure who your representative is, please visit this page to search by zip code!
Dear Senator/Congressmember:

I am contacting you today to request your action on a reorganization plan being implemented by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), the federal government agency that funds AmeriCorps and Senior Corps. 

As part of its “Transformation and Sustainability Plan,” CNCS is moving forward with plans to close 43 state offices and open eight regional offices. This will severely impact the agency’s ability to develop local programs, support grantees in states without a regional office, and oversee government funds to ensure compliance with all federal rules and regulations.

This reorganization plan is occurring at great expense and disruption to current staff at a time when CNCS has failed to do the following:  
  • respond in full and in the Federal Register to 264 comments in the Federal Register about the reorganization plan;
  • respond to a FOIA requests related to the reorganization plan;
  • implement other changes recommended by the CNCS Office of Inspector General (OIG);
  • implement recommendations outlined in a reports from the Government Accountability Office (GAO)

The action we are requesting that you take:
Contact Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro, Senator Blunt, and Senator Shelby who chair the appropriations subcommittee that provides funding for CNCS (Appropriations Subcommittee for Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies). 

Please ask Congresswoman DeLauro, Senators Blunt and Shelby to ensure that CNCS suspends implementation of its Transformation and Sustainability Plan until CNCS has addressed all of the concerns raised in the Federal Register comments, the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) report, and the Government Accountability Office (GAO) report. The primary concern is Goal #6, the fast-tracking of the Regionalization of State Offices without any known evaluation and assessment of its impact on programming in rural and frontier communities, staff turn-over and retention of institutional knowledge and community-based relationship, and the significant increase in staff time and travel budget.

CNCS should respond with data-backed information for each of the six goals of the reorganization plan. Congress can then determine the best path and timeline for implementation of any, all or none of the CNCS plan.


Jan 13, 2019

Honoring MLK: Make it a Day ON, Not a Day Off!

Serve on MLK Day and Beyond!

Visit the MLK Day of Service websites from the Corporation for National & Community Service or Points of Light to find opportunities to serve on Monday, January 21.

Other upcoming local service opportunities include volunteering for the CT Point-in-Time Count, organized by the Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness, and fundraising for the 12th Annual Run for Refugees, benefiting New Haven's IRIS - Integrated Refugee & Immigrant Services.

Jan 10, 2019

This Sunday: First Board Meeting of 2019

AmeriCorps Alums Connecticut
* January Board Meeting *

285 Nicoll Street, New Haven CT
Sunday, January 13,  2019 / 2:00 PM