It is hard to imagine Rosedale Development Association’s office without AmeriCorps members. Since 2010, RDA has partnered with the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) to bring AmeriCorps volunteers to Rosedale. But the future of this partnership is in jeopardy.
According to the CNCS, the federal agency that administers all AmeriCorps programs, “Congress has proposed cutting $500 million from the corporation’s budget, which would cut the number of available spots for AmeriCorps volunteers by nearly 40,000, or roughly half.”
The Rosedale community alone has been served by 27 of these volunteers, including AmeriCorps VISTAs and National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC) members. RDA’s AmeriCorps members have been involved in nearly every aspect of community building, including minor home repair and emergency assistance, youth programming, community gardens, neighborhood groups, community advocacy, and more.
“RDA is a small organization with a big job to do,” said Healthy Kids Program Director Erin Stryka. “The energy and dedication of our AmeriCorps volunteers is essential to providing all the services we can to Rosedale.”
But it is not just Rosedale’s AmeriCorps members who are in danger.
Nearly half of the AmeriCorps spots would no longer be available, completely removing those positions with SeniorCorps and NCCC. To put this loss into perspective, a team of NCCC members spent six weeks with RDA this spring. If not for them, there would still be 3,200 pounds of trash in our neighborhoods, 7,700 pounds of invasive species growing and the Rozarks trails would be 0.25 miles shorter.
The new $153 billion budget bill has been approved by the House Appropriations Committee. Although the bill is also set to fund the U.S. Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, the current budget is $3.7 billion less than the previous year. Learn more about the bill and its proposed cuts at: http://www.cbpp.org/research/federal-budget/house-bill-makes-new-round-of-damaging-cuts-in-labor-health-and-human.
Fortunately, there is still time to voice your thoughts about the bill and its effect on Rosedale. Contact your state representatives to let them know Rosedale needs AmeriCorps:
Email Contact Form: http://www.roberts.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?p=EmailPat
Overland Park Office Phone: (913) 451-9343
Topeka Office Phone: (785) 295-2745
Washington D.C. Office Phone: (202) 224-4774
Email Contact Form: http://www.moran.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/e-mail-jerry
Washington D.C. Office Phone: (202) 224-6521
Olathe Office Phone: (913) 393-0711
3rd District: Kevin Yoder
Email Contact Form: https://yoder.house.gov/contact/email-me
Washington D.C. Office Phone: (202) 225-2865
Overland Park Office Phone: (913) 621-0832