256-232-7207 bruth@al-rsvp.com

 
NARSVPD BOARD meeting update from Washington, DC

 

Earlier in September the NARSVPD Board of Directors met in Washington, DC to take care of the business of our association; to meet with CNCS staff; to visit legislators on the hill; to attend the White House ceremonies on the occasion of the twentieth anniversary of the Corporation for National and Community Service and of AmeriCorps; and to participate along with Vice President Joe Biden in a 9/11 service project.


 On Friday September 12, President Obama held a ceremony at the White House with the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), President Bill Clinton, AmeriCorps members, and invited guests in order to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Corporation for National and Community Service and AmeriCorps.  NARSVPD Board was invited to this event and extremely pleased that our Washington, DC representative, Gene Sofer was recognized as a "Pioneer" of National Service and invited to a private reception with President Bill Clinton.
  

For 2014-2015, the NARSVPD Board will focus on:

  • Increasing our funding levels - at minimum, let's try to get back to the $65 million in the 2010 budget.

  • Ask CNCS to collect only the data that they can use and use the data that they collect - CNCS seems to be collecting more and more data from us, but can't tell our story!

  • Work for more flexibility in Performance Measurements - for example, 65 percent of RSVP projects manage or participate in Tax Counseling programming, yet face limits in demonstrating impact.

  • Focus marketing on RSVP, not Senior Corps.

The NARSVPD Board met privately with Dr. Tan and the Senior Corps staff. Dr. Tan reported that the 3rd round of RSVP competition went smoothly and the results should be available in February. It is anticipated that CNCS will fund another round of cluster trainings. The award announcements are due before the end of the month. CNCS also anticipates approving the National Association Conference. CNCS wants to remind all RSVP programs that RSVP staff hired after October 2009, whether part of the federal budget, match or even excess, must undergo a Criminal Background check.

 

NARSVPD board members met with more than 20 Congressional staff members (including key members of the appropriations committee from both parties) and shared our concerns about the future of RSVP funding, the inability of CNCS to use collected data to tell the impacts of RSVP, and the difficulties project face in dealing with community needs. 

 

9/11 Day of Service and Remembrance

  

NARSVPD Board with

Vice President, Joe Biden

NARSVPD joined Points of Light - in partnership with Operation Gratitude and George Washington University, and with support from the Corporation

for National and Community Service on the 9/11 Day of Service and Remembrance. Vice President Joe Biden stopped by the service project to thank the volunteers, encourage them and join them in honoring first responders. "What you're doing matters to them," he told the volunteers, who put together 500 hygiene kits for

Operation Gratitude.

 

Report from our Washington Representative, Gene Sofer
 

On September 18, the Senate followed the House of Representatives, and by a vote of 78-22, passed the FY 2015 Continuing Resolution (CR), clearing it for the president for his signature.  The CR will expire on December 11.  This CR ensures that the government will continue to operate until then. After the election, Congress will reconvene in a "lame duck" session.  

 

An Omnibus bill gives the Appropriations Committees the ability to consider each program and increase it, reduce it, or flat fund it.  In a Continuing Resolution, all programs are treated the same way.

 

Since funding for RSVP is not likely to increase in any of these scenarios, the form the bill takes is not particularly important to us.  What is important is that the bill, in whatever form it ultimately takes, rejects any further cut to RSVP and rejects any programmatic restructuring.

 

It is important to note (as Iowans are particularly well aware) that this election could result in the Republicans taking control of the Senate. If that were to happen, (d) extending the CR until early next year becomes a strong possibility because the incoming leadership would want to defer action until its new members were sworn in. 

This is NARSVPD's least preferred option because it the uncertainty over final funding levels until March. It also keeps alive the possibility that the new Congress would enact further cuts after as much as half the fiscal year would already have expired. 

 

Make no mistake.  This year we won a substantial victory by defeating the Administration proposal to cut RSVP by two-thirds and fold the remaining third into the Volunteer Generation Fund. The Senate Labor-HHS-Education Subcommittee Report (113-000) proposed to fund RSVP at "no less than ...  fiscal year 2014 levels." It further commented, "The budget request proposed consolidating the Foster Grandparent and Senior Companion programs into AmeriCorps and RSVP with the Volunteer Generation Fund. These programs leave a lasting impact on the communities and individuals they serve across the country. Any significant changes to these programs, such as those proposed in the budget request, should be considered through the authorization process, as appropriate."

 

WE CANNOT REST ON OUR LAURELS.  WE NEED TO KEEP THE PRESSURE ON CONGRESS TO CONTINUE TO FUND RSVP.