Sen. Chris Coons, D-Delaware, member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, joined MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on April 29, highlighting his call to expand AmeriCorps and other national service programs to respond and recover from the COVID-19 crisis.
“Today there are 75,000 people all across our country working in locally-based, state-supervised AmeriCorps programs,” said Coons. “There are state commissions all over the country that help supervise and fund — in partnership with local nonprofits and local governments — organizations that do all sorts of great things. Some of them are known to many of your viewers: Teach For America, Habitat for Humanity, City Year, Public Allies. Many of those folks, we know three things about them: they’ve already signed up to do national service at a very modest cost — they mostly get paid minimum wage — and they're connected to communities that are interested in volunteerism and service, and most of their programs are on hold.”
“[A] bill that I've been advancing with a group of Democrats — and there's been some strong interest by Republicans — would double the size of AmeriCorps, would recruit and fund and support a whole new generation of younger Americans dedicated to national service and would rapidly stand up at the state-by-state level a national workforce of 150,000 people who could do the contact tracing and the test support that we so badly need in order to be able to reopen safely,” concluded Coons.
Full audio and video are available at bit.ly/3bUOwry.