Meet Washington State’s ServeNext Organizer
What do you see as the biggest challenge to your work as a ServeNext Organizer?
The biggest challenge I perceive in accomplishing this work is reaching enough people to help. The folks who tend to be activists are already very busy with their jobs, families, and other community commitments, especially during this political campaign season. Many people don’t realize that anyone can help in whatever amount their schedules will support, from the five minutes it takes to sign an on-line petition and forward it to ten friends to planning and attending a meeting with a member of Congress.
What do you see as the biggest threat to the national service movement today?
I think the biggest threat to the national service movement today is that decision-makers will take the short-term view when making critical budget decisions during these volatile political and challenging economic times. I fear they may not realize that we are laying the foundation for our future by training folks in good citizenship skills and giving back to community, while at the same time building stronger communities for half the cost they would otherwise be paying.
How can other people help?
Anyone who sees the value in what we are doing can help at whatever level works for them. They can make a phone call, send an email, write a letter, sign an on-line petition, tell their story, visit our members of Congress, help plan an event, and, most importantly, communicate with all their friends and associates to do the same. We all belong to many groups and networks, like school, work, church, civic and professional groups, friends, family, and the merchants we do business with. We know many more people than we think we do. One person truly can make a deciding difference.
What excites you most about your position as a ServeNext Organizer?
Meeting all these great and interesting people and learning more about the wonderful things that are happening in my community and state are what excites me most about my work as a ServeNext Organizer. At the same time, I get to experience democracy in action. What a trip!
Why do you think it is important to not only do direct service, but to also take the next step and be a voice for AmeriCorps and all national service in America?
We’ve accomplished so much already, it’s hard to imagine what our country would be like if we doubled, tripled, quadrupled (you get the picture) our impact. What would America be like if every person who wanted to be an AmeriCorps, Veterans Corps, Senior Corps, or Conservation Corps member had the opportunity to serve their community and further their education? Now that’s a wonderful thing to imagine.