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McCollum Introduces Keep Community Service Local Act

February 28, 2019
Press Release
The legislation would prevent Trump Administration from closing valuable state service office

Today Rep. Betty McCollum (DFL-Minn.) introduced the Keep Community Service Local Act, which would prevent the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) from closing state or territory offices without approval from Congress. CNCS is the federal agency responsible for overseeing AmeriCorps VISTA and many Senior Corps programs.

This legislation is introduced after Rep. McCollum sent a letter along with 35 House colleagues to the CEO of CNCS, Barbara Stewart, urging her to immediately halt the planned closing of all 46 state and territorial offices that administer these vital programs. The local office in Minnesota is slated to close on May 1, and others have already closed.

Rep. McCollum released the following statement:

“CNCS staff in these 46 state and territorial offices are immersed within the communities they serve, making them especially aware of their community’s unique needs – and how CNCS service programs can help fill those gaps most effectively,” Rep. McCollum said. “Closing these offices without consulting stakeholders and moving toward a hastily developed regional plan undermines the CNCS mission and is unacceptable.

“Further, the Trump administration proposed eliminating CNCS and ending all national service programs entirely in its last two budget proposals. The Keep Community Service Local Act will prevent the Trump administration from achieving its goals of regionalization and eventual elimination. CNCS-administered programs help build strong citizens and cultivate a sense of commitment to community. Nowhere is this more evident than in Minnesota, where we are a national leader in volunteerism.

“We must strengthen the local relationships that CNCS state offices forge with their communities, not break them down, and the Keep Community Service Local Act will help protect these vital programs for generations to come.” 

Rep. McCollum was joined by cosponsors Rep. Paul D. Tonko (D-N.Y.), Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.), Rep. Gwen Moore (D-Wis.), Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.), Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), Rep. Mike Quigley (D-Ill.), Rep. Jerry McNerney (D-Calif.), Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Wis.), Rep. Ilhan Omar (DFL-Minn.), and Rep. Terri Sewell (D-Ala.).

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