Tonight, Ted Kennedy died at home in Hyannis Port, MA.
The senator from Massachusetts, who’s been suffering from a cancerous brain tumor, was recently awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor in the United States.
He fought hard for national service — most recently on the the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act which was signed into law in April and which had been spearheaded by himself and Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT). That Act represents the largest expansion of national service since the start of AmeriCorps in 1993.
Read the Change/Wire tribute to Senator Kennedy, and sign their Condolence Book.
According to CNN.com, the
“longtime Massachusetts senator was considered one of the most effective legislators of the past few decades. Kennedy, who became known as the ‘Lion of the Senate,’ played major roles in passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act and the 1993 Family and Medical Leave Act, Continue reading
Solomont at Service Nation luncheon in June, photo by Be the Change Inc
The Corporation —which has been lacking a permanent CEO since November—may soon lose its board chair as well.
Alan Solomont, Chair of the board of the Corporation for National and Community Service, was nominated today to serve as the United States Ambassador to Spain and Andorra.
According to a statement today from Acting CEO of the Corporation Nicola Goren:
Alan has provided extraordinary leadership to the Corporation and the larger service movement since his original appointment to the Board by President Clinton in 2000 and his reappointment by President Bush in 2007. His guidance as Board Chair has been especially helpful during the transition and in our series of early successes in the Obama Administration including the passage of the Recovery Act and Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act, the formulation of the FY 2010 budget, the record turnout on the King Day of Service, the launch of United We Serve, and other milestones.
According to the Chronicle of Philanthropy
, if Solomont leaves the Corporation’s board, the board would have seven vacancies on its 15-member board.
Michelle Obama speaking at NCVS 09
The launch of the National Conference on Volunteering and Service Monday night brought a huge crowd of people out to hear First Lady Michelle Obama speak, among other familiar faces.
When I arrived, the throngs of people waiting in line to go through security matched the throngs of people already inside the hall, and everyone was waiting for Michelle Obama. Helping the time fly was comic/emcee Wally Collins who made fun of individual audience members between introducing musical acts like Sondre Lerche and the Glide Ensemble. Also in the lead-in to the main event, Shawn Rubin accepted the Eli Segal Award from AmeriCorps Alums, Alan Khazei of Be the Change, Inc., spoke introducing corporate sponsor Shannon Schuyler of PriceWaterhouseCoopers.
The highlight of the night didn’t come at the end, as I would have expected. Michelle Obama took the stage somewhere in the middle of the opening event, and everyone in the crowd cheered and stood if they could. Her words were inspiring of course, but I was more stunned by the simple fact of her presence—the President’s wife chose to spend time with us. She used to run a Public Allies AmeriCorps program—and said to start that she was with her people. What I liked the best about what she said was the reaction she and President Obama received when they each decided to forego lucrative careers for nonprofit jobs—Mrs. Obama at Public Allies and Pres. Obama at various nonprofits like the Developing Communities Project where he was a community organizer. She said, regarding people in our lives who dismiss our career choices: “But what these folks don’t understand is that the story of progress in this nation has always been the story of people who chose — in times of trial and struggle — to serve it.”
Mrs. Obama also announced the launch of the United We Serve summer of service initiative, which will last through Sept. 11th of this year, which will make community service easy to do for anyone, and focus on health care, energy Continue reading
Monday, Service Nation coalition members and others gathered for a luncheon at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, prior to the kick off of the National Conference on Volunteering and Service.
Overall the strategy luncheon was more luncheon than strategy, but I was glad to see an effort made to bring the Service Nation campaign spirit into the National Conference on Volunteering and Service gathering, which overall seeemed to involve more media attention and celebrity involvement this year than in the past.
Alan Khaizei, founder of Be the Change, Inc, leader organizer of the Service Nation campaign, spoke—summarizing the Continue reading
Update, April 21, 2009: President Obama signs the Serve America Act into law. To take effect October 1, 2009.
March 10th at 2:30 p.m. EST, the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee will hold a hearing on S. 277, the bipartisan Serve America Act, introduced by Senators Ted Kennedy (D-MA) and Orrin Hatch (R-UT).
Witnesses will include:
According to a statement released by Acting CEO of CNCS Nicola Goren, witness statements will be available when the hearing starts and the hearing will be streamed live over the Internet and archived for future viewing. To watch, look for the Audio/Video Link on the HELP Committee Hearings page at 2:30 pm EST/11:30 am EST.
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