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Sequester Might Mean Fewer (Paid) Volunteers

From the Washington Post:

AmeriCorps expects fewer volunteers under sequester

By Josh Hicks | April 4, 2013

Volunteer numbers show that Americans have responded to President Obama’s 2009 call to service, but an ongoing sequester could dampen that progress by forcing the government’s national-service program to reduce costs.

AmeriCorps plans to make do with 15,000 fewer paid and unpaid members under the government-wide spending cuts that took effect on March 1, according to spokeswoman Samantha Jo Warfield…

Notice we are never told how many of these ‘volunteers’ are "unpaid." In fact, all of AmeriCorps volunteers are paid. (See below.) Besides, if they were unpaid, how could budget cuts hurt their hiring?

AmeriCorps also expects to fill 600 fewer spots within its VISTA program, which helps recruit and manage community volunteers…

By which they mean ‘community organizers.’

President Obama issued a call to service during his first year in the White House. Since then, the national volunteer rate has reached a five-year high, according to U.S. Census Bureau figures AmeriCorps highlighted in its last Volunteering and Civic Life in America report.

AmeriCorps said the number of volunteers in the nation increased by nearly 2.5 million individuals, or 4 percent, from 2008 through 2011, based on the census data.

Because Obama tripled their budget in 2009. (See below.)

But notice how the Washington Post goes out of their way to not tell use much about AmeriCorps.

Here is a little more information on them, via Discover the Networks:

AMERICORPS

AmeriCorps is a government-funded public-service network that was formally launched when President Bill Clinton signed the 1993 National and Community Service Trust Act, thereby establishing the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS)…

AmeriCorps members are paid workers, not volunteers. They may elect to serve either full or part time during their 10- to 12-month tours of duty; full-time members receive an allowance of approximately $11,800 per year. Moreover, upon completing their period of service they receive either an Education Award of up to $5,350 which can be used to pay for college or to pay off student loans, or $1,200 in cash.

Financed by the federal government, AmeriCorps funnels taxpayer dollars into the coffers of selected nonprofit organizations, which in turn use that money to pay the young people who register for a term of service with them. The recipients of AmeriCorps grants tend to be organizations whose politics fall on the left side of the spectrum, and whose efforts are focused on such projects as environmental activism, social-welfare programs, legal-aid assistance, political activism, teacher-education programs, community-organizer training, public health initiatives, childcare services, and ethnic-identity politics. Among the more notable recipients of AmeriCorps funding is the National Council of La Raza

In March 2009, the U.S. House of Representatives voted 321 to 105 in favor of a $6 billion piece of legislation to more than triple the size of the AmeriCorps program — from 75,000 positions to 250,000 — over an eight-year period. President Barack Obama signed a compromise measure into law in April 2009…

Republican Senator Jim DeMint, chairman of the Senate Steering Committee, said: “We’re talking about a government program that will hire a quarter of a million, supposedly as volunteers that we pay. That will be the 14th largest employer in the country, assuming the federal government can actually manage this thing.” …

In early 2011, the federal government actively recruited AmeriCorps VISTA workers to help as many people as possible apply for, and receive, federal food-stamp benefits. These workers were instructed, for example, to train church members to apply for food stamps after religious services; to encourage eligible families to enroll their children in government-subsidized school-meal programs; to encourage organizations that operate day-care or after-school programs to pursue reimbursement for meals and snacks through the Child and Adult Care Food Program, a federally funded, state-run welfare program; and to urge churches to serve as feeding sites for the Summer Food Service Program, also a federally funded, state-run welfare project.

AmeriCorps has longstanding ties to ACORN. According to a congressional report, "AmeriCorps members of [ACORN Housing Corporation] raised funds for ACORN, performed voter registration activities [for ACORN], and gave partisan speeches. In one instance, an AmeriCorps member was directed by ACORN staff to assist the [Clinton] White House in preparing a press conference in support of legislation."

In March 2013 it was reported that AmeriCorps’ VISTA program — geared towards high school students “in schools and districts serving low-income families” — had published a series of suggestions designed to raise white students’ awareness of the many “privileges” they enjoyed as a result of being white in a profoundly racist society. Among those suggestions were the following:

"Wear a white wristband as a reminder about your [white skin] privilege, and as a personal commitment to explain why you wear the wristband."
"Set aside sections of the day to critically examine how privilege is working."
"Put a note on your mirror or computer screen as a reminder to think about privilege."

Yes, it would be a crying shame if any of their noble work might have to be scaled back.

This article was posted by Steve Gilbert on Thursday, April 4th, 2013. Comments are currently closed.

2 Responses to “Sequester Might Mean Fewer (Paid) Volunteers”

  1. canary

    West Point has cut their acceptance in half of the most highly intelligent individuals with pristine grades, morals, health, and community service.

    Meanwhile, the US Military is studying “ducks” and the past time of “skipping stones” across the water.

    Common sense explains skipping stones. I guess it’s friz bee in the water.

    And paid tuition for active duty U.S. Soldiers working to further their higher education and skills has been halted.

    So, much for the incentive of getting an education for our youth to endanger and risk their lives.

    Meanwhile Michello and Biden’s wife continue their adds commercials of their priority in supporting our U.S. Troops. Only the elite get private schools and vacations around the world.

    Colorado made a financial killing this Spring Break as students from around the country went to Colorado to enjoy recreational pot.

  2. [Vizzini has just cut the rope The Dread Pirate Roberts is climbing up]
    Vizzini: HE DIDN’T FALL? INCONCEIVABLE.
    Inigo Montoya: You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.


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