My mission is to solicit public support for a program of mandatory national service for all Americans between the ages of 18 and 28 and have this issue addressed by all Presidential candidates in 2020. The period of service would be one to two years and would include service options such as the military, AmeriCorps, working with the elderly, tutoring children, assisting with disaster relief efforts, and maintaining our national parks. These are just a few examples of service options. Funding would come largely from the private sector, with oversight by a board of directors made up of representatives from the public and private sectors.
A program of national service for all Americans will create a shared experience and will help establish bonds that will enhance future opportunities for all participants as they advance in their careers. I am convinced after a career in public service, which included living in several countries abroad, that the United States is unequalled in the opportunities available to its citizens to succeed and live full and fruitful lives. I believe a program of national service will help to strengthen this belief among participants and enhance the opportunity for all citizens to achieve their goals.
Please see my opinion piece in the NY Daily News for a concise explanation of my mission. Here is the link -
Successful development and initiation of a national service program for all Americans aged 18 to 28 will require the active involvement of millions of citizens. Leaders from all walks of life will be required to step up and support this initiative. Citizens will need to lobby their elected representatives to develop and support the legislative efforts to initiate this program. The private sector will be required to substantially increase their support of public service programs both monetarily and by bringing their expertise and organizational skills to the fore.
My initial effort will be focused on making a national service program a key issue in the 2020 elections. Please see my testimony on February 21, 2019 to the National Commission on Military, National and Public Service, addressing mandatory national service. The text can be found in the "Resources" section under National Commission. Further information on the work of the National Commission can be found at www.inspire2serve.gov
I encourage you to click on the "RESOURCES" tab at the top of the page to read more about national service for all Americans, including the opinions of those who do not support the idea. I strongly believe, on balance, that national service for all Americans will strengthen this country and provide opportunities for all participants that might not otherwise be open to them as they lead this country in the future. I have included links to articles and other related readings on national service, including existing programs and initiatives. There are many good arguments on both sides of the issue, but I believe the positives significantly outweigh the negatives. I will continue to add links and information to the RESOURCES page as new inputs appear in the mainstream media and elsewhere.
There is a great deal of outstanding work that is already going on in the public service arena in the United States, and many existing programs are grossly oversubscribed. Americans want more opportunities to participate in national service. While some will not like doing something that the government requires, experience indicates that national service has a profoundly positive impact on individuals and communities and creates bonds and friendships between individuals and across communities and groups that would otherwise not develop.
I look forward to hearing from you. Please send your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org
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