H.R.1388 - The Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act

To reauthorize and reform the national service laws. view all titles (15)

All Bill Titles

  • Short: Generations Invigorating Volunteerism and Education Act as introduced.
  • Popular: GIVE Act as introduced.
  • Short: Congressional Commission on Civic Service Act as introduced.
  • Official: To reauthorize and reform the national service laws. as introduced.
  • Short: GIVE Act as introduced.
  • Official: A bill entitled "The Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act, an Act to reauthorize and reform the national service laws." as amended by senate.
  • Short: Congressional Commission on Civic Service Act as reported to house.
  • Short: Generations Invigorating Volunteerism and Education Act as reported to house.
  • Short: GIVE Act as reported to house.
  • Short: Generations Invigorating Volunteerism and Education Act as passed house.
  • Short: GIVE Act as passed house.
  • Popular: The Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act as introduced.
  • Short: Serve America Act as passed senate.
  • Short: Serve America Act as enacted.
  • Official: A bill entitled "The Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act, an Act to reauthorize and reform the national service laws." as introduced.

Comments Feed

Displaying 121-150 of 469 total comments.

  • Comm_reply
    NetBoyRick 03/19/2009 2:47pm

    mpaone, do you realize that you speak in meaningless cliches and platitudes? Has it occurred to you that maybe the people here see something coming around the corner that you don’t. Instead of accepting everything spoon fed to you, why not question the things around you and by the way, bi-partisan is a buzz word meant to bamboozle the already hypnotized into accepting bad legislation.

  • Comm_reply
    mpaone 03/21/2009 2:19pm

    The only thing that occurs to me are the facts of the current moment, and seeking truth in the matter, not forecasting conjecture. It seems discouraging to me that so many are choosing (without sufficient reason) to see conspiracy and bleakness in a bill that is about volunteering, of all things. I would ask us to reflect on how we are choosing our battles here as a country and citizens. It is my opinion that we have more important things to question (lack of health care, shrinking middle class, energy dependence, rising food prices) than volunteering and service.

  • Comm_reply
    FreedomNJ 03/23/2009 12:06pm

    MPAOne -

    “They simply support the efforts of those who want to become full-time and part-time volunteers and leaders in their communities. "

    That is NOT Volunteering, that is a paid job.

    Secondly, if you are ignorant of history, then you will repeat it. Please don’t talk down to others who fear repeating the worst parts of recent history of the 20th Century because you didn’t learn these lessons.

    Thirdly, there are Hundreds of THOUSANDS of GREAT volunteer opportunties in this country. Building this massive organization will waste billions of dollars we cannot afford.

    Obviously as a “MPA” (Masters in Public Administration?) you want your own ‘bailout’ or welfare to create your perfect job by taking money from the middle class you wish to help.

    You should return your “Masters” if you have not learned about “Moral Hazard”.

  • Comm_reply
    mpaone 03/23/2009 6:49pm

    1. You are right, it is beyond volunteerism. It is national service. Participants in these programs are reliable, consistent, results driven, and highly skilled. Have you known anyone in the AmeriCorps VISTA program before? They are exceptional, and should be compensated for improving the lives of America’s most vulnerable.

    2. What history are you talking about?

    3. As you stated this is beyond volunteerism. These are targeted programs to address real social problems, not a feel-good weekend of preparing food packages at a food pantry. These service programs are directed at uprooting systematic social problems. If you are really concerned about money, did you know we are borrowing 1 billion dollars daily to pay for foreign oil? Arguing down this initiative with the dollar argument is like cutting back on toilet paper while to take out a mortgage on a mansion.

  • Comm_reply
    mpaone 03/23/2009 6:51pm

    Also:

    4. I’m not a Masters of Public Administration. I hold a bachelor’s degree in social science. My name is Michael Paone, hence Mpaone.

  • Comm_reply
    osborn9 03/25/2009 3:44pm

    You did not volunteer. You were paid a humiliating wage, and given $4600 towards college, how far did that go? If you had a real job and gone to school, methinks that you would have done much better, and you could have learned the true meaning of what “volunteer” is. NOT BEING PAID>

  • Comm_reply
    mpaone 03/25/2009 4:03pm

    Actually, it was an amazing experience. I had the experience to help out a community based organization in Brooklyn, NY. I worked with, befriended, and helped hundreds of people of diverse race, class, and religious backgrounds, and my life is very enriched for it. That is an unquantifiable gain, which is very essential to my own personal growth.

    I did go to school, and received a bachelor’s in social science. It was a great opportunity for me, right out of college. Do you know how hard it is to get an entry level job that works towards social good? So, it was a foot-in both to the world of nonprofits and this city in general, in which I now live.

  • Comm_reply
    mpaone 03/25/2009 4:11pm

    I used the education award to pay off a chunk of my college loans. I agree that the stipend is small, and should be increased, but it is livable.

    As for me “doing better”, my main goal in life is not to accrue money, especially this young. The way you frame your comment seems a bit selfish to me actually. I think if everyone volunteered a year of their life to work to help other people, it would be a more loving world.

    You misunderstand the definition of volunteer. Volunteers can be paid or unpaid. You are stressing another usage meaning “uncompensated”, which this bill does not use. Clearly these volunteers are compensated.

  • Comm_reply
    mpaone 03/25/2009 4:20pm

    Lastly, I would ask you to elaborate on the "true meaning of what “volunteer” is. Many people here are unnecessarily coupling “volunteer” with “unpaid”. That is one type of volunteering. There is also paid volunteering, and it is a very common practice of charitable organizations.

    This is very important and I think gets to the heart of why so many people oppose this bill, and it has to do with the idea of “charity”.

    Charity is not the solution to all problems. Unpaid volunteerism is very unreliable. Hunger is a good example of this. There are 36 million Americans who don’t know where there next meal is coming from. The typical charitable response is the soup kitchen or food pantry, which rely heavily on unpaid volunteers. It makes everyone feel good, but it does not solve the problem. People are hungry again the next day, it does not help them get on their feet. (for more on hunger, see: www.joelberg.net)

  • Comm_reply
    mpaone 03/25/2009 4:20pm

    Lastly, I would ask you to elaborate on the "true meaning of what “volunteer” is. Many people here are unnecessarily coupling “volunteer” with “unpaid”. That is one type of volunteering. There is also paid volunteering, and it is a very common practice of charitable organizations.

    This is very important and I think gets to the heart of why so many people oppose this bill, and it has to do with the idea of “charity”.

    Charity is not the solution to all problems. Unpaid volunteerism is very unreliable. Hunger is a good example of this. There are 36 million Americans who don’t know where there next meal is coming from. The typical charitable response is the soup kitchen or food pantry, which rely heavily on unpaid volunteers. It makes everyone feel good, but it does not solve the problem. People are hungry again the next day, it does not help them get on their feet. (for more on hunger, see: www.joelberg.net)

  • Comm_reply
    mpaone 03/25/2009 4:27pm

    Charity has it’s place, but not as an answer to poverty, a serious systemic problem. These paid volunteers serve to address this problem.

    This is why these volunteer programs exist, because they do a better job than uncoordinated efforts. They are results-oriented, full-time positions. AmeriCorps members are on-call 24/7 if they are needed by their organizations, and I worked many evening hours and weekends to see to it that people in my community got the resources they need to live better lives.

    This, everyone is the heart of the debate. Do we want to seriously address and solve problems of basic needs like poverty, hunger, and homelessness that affect millions of Americans in all 50 states? Or do we just want to serve a few more ladles of soup one weekend a month and take pity on the less fortunate?

  • Comm_reply
    adam1840 03/23/2009 9:43am

    OOOOOWEEE! Seems here that ZAPEM is a danger to society. Threats like this should not go unnoticed.

  • Comm_reply
    Syndrome 03/31/2009 4:04pm

    MPA, could you please explain to everyone what a Patronage Job is, and what it intends to create?

  • Comm_reply
    Seqoia32 03/22/2009 12:25pm

    So Candy Stripers and other Hospital volunteers, classroom and other school volunteers (parents!) Library volunteers, volunteer firefighters are all socialists?

    This is a bill to expand on volunteerism – you know, like Bush’s thousand points of light.

    You folks need to stop being so paranoid.

  • ZAPEM 03/17/2009 3:49pm

    I read the entire PTA this bill and every single parent was against it. Should show you how the Obama campaign is STILL out in full force trying to convince others that this is such a “wonderful” idea. The full majority said NO WAY this is going to happen in this country.

  • Moderated Comment

  • Comm_reply
    ZAPEM 03/20/2009 3:55am
    Link Reply
    + -2

    Your sarcastic, belittling remarks in favor of socialism against concerned parents have now been reported. Keep it up. You’ll see yourself on the outside reading because you will be banned. You don’t tell my kid what to do.

  • Comm_reply
    Seqoia32 03/22/2009 12:29pm

    Wow!

    There was nothing in mpaone’s comment that was in any way “sarcastic”, “belittling”, “in favor of socialism” or “against concerned parents”.

    Seriously, you need a mental health checkup!

  • Comm_reply
    Jane_theMom 03/23/2009 9:11am
    Link Reply
    + -1

    I have been reading your comments with other people. I have no problem with volunteering. US people have very strong tradition of volunteerism and if asked, all would agree volunteering for the society is a good thing. But it is VOLUNTEER. You should be able to choose what organization, how much, and when you are going to give your time and money to. I believe this bill is a trouble to the country because it limits the choice people have through limiting how the service should be done, and what organization can or cannot participate in this and that there will be someone evaluating every aspect of volunteer work. I think volunteer should be left to the people not be regulated as the bill proposes. Please do not try to paint those who are against this bill as people that do not have heart for good work the bill is trying to push.

  • deborahg6 03/17/2009 3:50pm

    If it were simply a matter of funding that would be another issue. However, this bill would require “volunteer” service in exchange for funding and education. Not only that, the govt. specifically outlines categories for service and how long people would serve. It is not the role of govt. to provide this for elementary, secondary, and higher education at the expense of tax payers. Why do we need legislation for “volunteering”? There are already many non~profit organizations in need of service and citizens are free to choose. It is not the role nor responsibility of govt. to parent our children or dictate to retired citizens how they should spend their time.

    The stimulus package already included millions of dollars for AmeriCorps. If that is all that is needed, why this piece of legislation? Read the fine print.

    Creating opportunities? Or providing labor for the government’s education, universal health care, and environmental programs?

  • Comm_reply
    mpaone 03/17/2009 4:48pm

    Also, the stipends and education awards given to volunteers are rewards for the completion of their service term. This is much like a work bonus.

    The other point is that these programs mirror military service, with the idea that you are serving your country, and for doing that, you are compensated and rewarded for doing a noble thing. In that way, national volunteering and military service are two sides of the same coin, and something that all Americans respect.

  • Comm_reply
    Kaz 03/20/2009 4:12pm

    Thank you deborah6. Well said.

    Something else is going on here and I too point to section 6104…“(6) Whether a workable, fair, and reasonable MANDATORY SERVICE requirement for all able young people could be developed…”

    Having heard with my own ears both Obama and Emanuel call for required civilian service (as strong as our military) for civilian defense and pondering the oxymoron of mandatory volunteer service I have come to the conclusion that this bill is a soft-sell, back-door vie for a military draft. They are dangling this service requirement as a carrot in return for a college education. Isn’t that what is done via the GI-Bill? I see no difference here.

    The stimulus bill already allocates money for Americorps as deborah6 pointed out (link at end of post):

    Additional awards to existing AmeriCorps grantees $83,000,000
    AmeriCorps program salaries and expenses $5,200,000
    AmeriCorps program administrative costs of expansion $800,000

    Why this bill to deal then?

  • Comm_reply
    Kaz 03/20/2009 4:13pm
    Link Reply
    + -1

    Sorry – link: http://www.opednews.com/articles/Summary-of-the-Stimulus-bi-by-Nancy-Tobi-090214-898.html

  • Comm_reply
    Seqoia32 03/22/2009 12:32pm

    All this bill does is expand on opportunities for volunteerism and provide another way for kids to earn money for college.

    It in no way “dictates” to anyone how they should spend their time.

  • Comm_reply
    FreedomNJ 03/23/2009 12:09pm

    “All this bill does is expand on opportunities for volunteerism and provide another way for kids to earn money for college.”

    Yes, but it does so by taxing MY KIDS so they cannot afford college.

    If Kids can’t afford college, they should get a loan or work to afford college. Like I DID.

  • Comm_reply
    mpaone 03/23/2009 6:56pm

    Your child has every opportunity to take part in these programs too! They could do a year with AmeeriCorps. Which state are you in?

  • mpaone 03/17/2009 4:43pm

    I think you may misunderstand the programs that this bill funds.

    For instance, the AmeriCorps program (and all of national volunteer programs) simply place people in local nonprofit organizations. AmeriCorps gives staff support to nonprofits that wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford this help. The benefit of this structure is that it allows the volunteer to develop professionally over the term of their service, while keeping the costs low for charitable organizations. These volunteers are also more reliable and dedicated and have more accountability than everyday volunteers.

    There is no underlying agenda that service programs promote, aside from wanting to work to improve your community and country. Like all public employees, participants are restricted from lobbying and other political activities in their work.

  • deborahg6 03/17/2009 6:51pm

    mpaone ~ While I agree and endorse the idea of volunteering and serving community, I strongly disagree with the idea that we need this type of legislation via the United States Government and tax payer monies. I applaud your work, as I have worked in a similar jobcorp program and my college age son was “required” to volunteer as part of his community college education. He was not trained and bused to a particular “service opportunity” for required hours. Basically, he just visited with senior citizens. I spent a month working for the U.S. Forestry Service in high school with a bunch of teens engaging in sexual activity and smoking pot in the woods. I do not want the government providing these type of programs for my children under the guise that this will provide for their future education. I am the parent, they are not.

  • Comm_reply
    deborahg6 03/17/2009 6:52pm

    It sounds like a “good” idea, but unfortunately in practice it is not. Your experience sounds like the exception. While my state is cutting funding for Child Protection Services and Police/Fire services, this is a very bad idea and the timing couldn’t be worse. I would also submit to you, please rethink your statement that “there is no underlying agenda.” These men and women are lawmakers, they know what they are doing and there are no unintended consequences.

    Have you heard of Rahm Emmanuel’s book, “The Plan”? He is committed to these ideas and this bill reflects the same. Check it out on amazon.com.

  • Comm_reply
    marsbars 03/18/2009 5:57am
    Link Reply
    + -1

    It is a good idea. I’ve had the same experience. In fact, I’m closing in on my first year as an AmeriCorps VISTA and will be signing on for another.

    Please look into the foundation that was laid for National Service – this is long before President Obama was even elected. Here is a link:
    http://americorps.gov/about/ac/history_timeline.asp

    Circa 1905 American philosophers William James and John Dewey develop intellectual foundations for service-based learning.
    1910 American philosopher William James envisions non-military national service in his essay “The Moral Equivalent of War.”
    1933-1942 FDR creates the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), providing opportunities for millions of young men to serve 6 to 18 months to help restore the nation’s parks, revitalize the economy, and support their families and themselves.
    1935 The Works Progress Administration, later renamed the Work Projects Administration, is established to provide work-relief for millions of unemployed Americans.


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