More than 1,750 Mayors Unite to Recognize Impact of National Service

More than 1,750 Mayors Unite to Recognize Impact of National Service

Number of Participating Mayors Doubles Last Year’s Total

Mayor Sheila Dixon and Michael Bloomberg atten...

Mayor Sheila Dixon and Michael Bloomberg attend the “I Participate” and “Cities of Service” launch with EIF and U.S. Mayors at Gracie Mansion on September 10, 2009 in New York City. EIF, the Entertainment Industry Foundation, launches “I Participate,” a (Photo credit: Be the Change, Inc.)

More than 1,750 mayors from all 50 states and the District of Columbia, Guam, and Puerto Rico are standing together in support of AmeriCorps and Senior Corps by participating in the second annual Mayors Day of Recognition for National Service tomorrow. Together, these mayors represent more than 110 million citizens or one-third of all Americans.

As a sign of momentum for the impact of national service, the total number of 1,760 participating mayors this year is more than double the number who signed on to the first recognition day in 2013.

The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), which administers AmeriCorps and Senior Corps, leads the Mayors Day of Recognition for National Service. CNCS’ partners include, the National League of Cities, Cities of Service, and Mayor Scott Smith of Mesa, Ariz., president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors.

Wendy Spencer, CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service, will start her day with Mayor Gregory Ballard of Indianapolis, Ind. where she will participate in a service project at the Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana. After Indianapolis, she will join the President of the National League of Cities, Mayor Christopher Coleman of St. Paul, Minn., and Mayor Betsy Hodges of Minneapolis, Minn. for a site visit and service projects in the Twin Cities.

“We are thrilled by the extraordinary turnout of mayors from across the country for this bipartisan nationwide recognition of the impact of national service,” said Wendy Spencer, CEO of CNCS. “It is a testament to the dedication and effectiveness of all those who serve in AmeriCorps and Senior Corps that mayors representing more than one-third of Americans are joining in this effort. I commend Mayor Coleman, Mayor Smith, and other mayors across the country for participating in this recognition effort and for working with us to improve lives and strengthen communities through national service.”

“Tomorrow in Saint Paul, we will celebrate the more than 1,300 AmeriCorps and Senior Corps members whose countless contributions to youth and families, neighborhoods, and communities play a critical role in the vitality of the Twin Cities,” said Mayor Christopher Coleman. “Across the country, mayors know that the selfless work of AmeriCorps and Senior Corps members is indispensable to our cities and that national service is one of the best mechanisms for creating vibrant communities.”

As the federal agency for service and volunteering, CNCS annually engages more than five million citizens in service at more than 60,000 locations in 8,500 cities across the country through AmeriCorps, Senior Corps, and other programs.

“I consider it not only an honor, but my responsibility to recognize the value of national service in our communities,” said Mayor Scott Smith of Mesa, Ariz. “Mesa has a wonderful legacy of service and AmeriCorps and Senior Corps members helped create that heritage. There are so many examples to share about national service changing lives in our communities, and the Mayors Day of Recognition for National Service gives mayors an opportunity to celebrate and thank volunteers for the work they do each day to make cities stronger.”

“Cities of Service is proud to partner with mayors across the country who are harnessing the power of volunteers to meaningfully address specific challenges in their communities,” said Myung J. Lee, executive director of Cities of Service. “We are honored to co-sponsor Mayors Day of Recognition and applaud the mayors who are at the forefront of this important work as well as the citizens who are stepping up to serve.”

Participating mayors will lead site visits and roundtables and issue proclamations. These events are designed to highlight the impact of national service in cities, including helping kids learn to read and stay in school, rebuilding communities after disasters, connecting veterans to services, restoring city parks, building homes, focusing the efforts of community volunteers, and bringing life back to forgotten neighborhoods. All events focus on the three groups that benefit AmeriCorps and Senior Corps: the recipients of service, the people who serve, and the larger community and nation.

The initiative has already gained support from a diverse range of mayors. A full list can be found here.
In addition to Indianapolis and the Twin Cities, CNCS officials, including program leaders and the Senate-confirmed members of the agency’s board of directors, and leaders of partner organizations will join mayors of cities in nine other states. Below is a list of these events:

  • Boston: Mayor Marty Walsh will host a meet-and-greet for Senior Corps volunteers. He will also lead a social media chat with AmeriCorps members.
  • Bridgeport, Hartford, and New Haven, Conn.: The mayors of these three cities—Pedro Segarra, Bill Finch, and Toni Harp—will hold recognition ceremonies and thank local national service participants. Social Innovation Fund Director Michael Smith will participate.
  • Denver, Colo.: Mayor Michael Hancock will join representatives from Serve Colorado, AmeriCorps VISTA, and Senior Corps at a local high school to thank national service members and volunteers for their service.
  • Geneva & West Chicago, Ill.: The mayors of these cities will visit AmeriCorps VISTA members serving at Northern Illinois Food Bank. Board member Matthew McCabe will represent CNCS at these events.
  • Oklahoma City and Moore, Okla.: Mayor Mick Cornett will speak about the impact of national service and present a proclamation during a City Council meeting. Mayor Glenn Lewis of Moore will lead a recognition ceremony for national service participants who assisted in tornado disaster response and recovery. Chief of Staff Asim Mishra will represent CNCS at both events.
  • Philadelphia, Pa.: Mayor Michael Nutter will present a Mayor’s Award for Distinguished National Service to former AmeriCorps VISTA Director Mary Strasser. Myung J. Lee, executive director of Cities of Service, will also participate.
  • Salt Lake County, Utah: Mayor Ben McAdams will convene all mayors in the county for a recognition event.
  • Spokane, Wash.: Mayor David Condon will participate in three site visits and present a proclamation and a Mayoral Service Award. AmeriCorps Director Bill Basl will represent CNCS at the event.
  • Tucson, Ariz.: Mayor Jonathan Rothschild will present the Tucson Mayor’s National Service Award during a press conference at City Hall. National service members who earned Presidential Volunteer Service Awards will also be recognized. Acting AmeriCorps VISTA Director Erin Dahlin will represent CNCS at the event.

The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) is a federal agency that engages more than five million Americans in service and champions community solutions through its AmeriCorps, Senior Corps, Social Innovation Fund, and Volunteer Generation Fund programs, and leads the President’s national call to service initiative, United We Serve. For more information, visit

The National League of Cities is dedicated to helping city leaders build better communities. NLC is a resource and advocate for 19,000 cities, towns, and villages representing more than 218 million Americans. For more information, visit

Cities of Service was founded in September 2009 by former New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and 16 other mayors from across the nation, Cities of Service is a bipartisan coalition of more than 170 mayors committed to addressing critical city needs through impact volunteering. American cities face serious challenges and many mayors want to take advantage of every resource available to them – including the time and energy of public-spirited residents – to address those challenges. By leveraging citizen service strategies, Cities of Service helps mayors address local needs and make government more effective. For more information, visit


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Ray Hanania is senior blogger for the Illinois News Network news site. He is an award winning former Chicago City Hall political reporter and columnist who covered the beat from 1976 through 1992 (From Mayor Daley to Mayor Daley). And, Hanania is a stubborn and loud critic of the biased mainstream American news media.

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