News included here courtesy of Cities of Service.
Illinois Service Commission Executive Director Bodor: Cities of Service Model Critical to Local Success
Over the last six months, Serve Illinois, the State Commission on Volunteerism & Community Service, has made it a priority to become the number one state in the nation in number of Cities of Service. The Commission recognizes that service can be a key tool in a city's toolkit to address pressing local challenges. Illinois currently leads the nation with 25 Cities of Service – adding 11 new cities since January 2013 alone.
832 Mayors Participate in First-Ever Mayors Day of Recognition for National Service, Co-Sponsored by Cities of Service
More than 830 mayors from all 50 states are standing together in support of AmeriCorps and Senior Corps programs by participating in the first-ever Mayors Day of Recognition for National Service. Together, these mayors represent nearly 100 million citizens or one-third of Americans. The first-ever Mayors Day of Recognition for National Service is being led by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), Cities of Service, the National League of Cities, and Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter, president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors. Mayor Nutter spoke about the Day of Recognition this morning during an appearance on MSNBC's “Morning Joe.” CNCS is the federal agency for national service and volunteering that administers AmeriCorps and Senior Corps.
In 2010, the city of Nashville experienced record flooding that left much of the area under water. To speed the city's recovery efforts, Mayor Karl Dean mobilized thousands of volunteers to clear debris from waterways, gut damaged homes, and plant new trees to help prevent future flooding. Cultivating and harnessing the impact of volunteers became a priority for the city. After co-founding the Cities of Service coalition in 2009, Mayor Dean appointed Nashville's first Chief Service Officer, Laurel Creech, and launched his city's first service plan, Impact Nashville, in September 2010.
Providence Mayor Angel Taveras recently launched Leyendo, a volunteer-fueled literacy initiative for English Language Learners. Funded with support from the Cities of Service Impact Volunteering Fund, Leyendo will match 51 bilingual students with a volunteer tutor to help improve their reading levels by the end of third grade.
In 2012, Cities of Service engaged StoryCorps, an independent nonprofit dedicated to helping Americans preserve and share their stories, to help us capture the experiences of Cities of Service. Below is an audio montage featuring Pittsburgh Mayor Ravenstahl, Little Rock Mayor Stodola, and the Chief Service Officers of New York City, Austin, and Baton Rouge. These leaders speak passionately about the power of service to impact our most pressing challenges from their perspectives as coalition Mayors and Chief Service Officers.
Last October, Flint Mayor Dayne Walling received a Cities of Service Impact Volunteering Fund grant to support the city's use of community volunteers and block associations to combat neighborhood blight.
In January, Cities of Service announced its support of the Mayors Day of Recognition for National Service, which will take place on April 9. Launched by coalition member, and US Conference of Mayors President, Philadelphia Mayor Michael A. Nutter, the Mayors Day of Recognition for National Service will provide mayors nationwide with an opportunity to collectively highlight the impact of national service in their cities and to thank individuals who serve.
American Heart Association and Cities of Service Announce Hands-Only™ CPR Training Kit Grant Winners
Five cities across the country have been chosen to receive 1,000 Hands-Only CPR training kits each to help turn more of their residents into lifesavers. Austin, Texas; Buffalo, N.Y.; Milwaukee, Wis.; Savannah, Ga.; and Virginia Beach, Va., were the grant winners announced today by the American Heart Association and Cities of Service, a bi-partisan coalition of more than 150 mayors who have committed to using service to address pressing local needs.
A decade ago, that would be hard to imagine. Certainly mayors on occasion used the bully pulpit to call for civic engagement and enjoyed handing out Thanksgiving turkeys at soup kitchens. These traditional activities, however well-intended, fall outside the purview of what Reimagining Service calls a service enterprise – entities that target volunteers strategically to address high priority community needs. By Shirley Sagawa, Reimagining Service Council Member
This October, Chula Vista, CA, Mayor Cheryl Cox received a $40,000 grant from Cities of Service and ServiceNation to launch Third Grade Reads. Third Grade Reads is a high-impact service strategy in which the mayor’s office leverages the power of volunteers to help children attain reading level proficiency by the beginning of fourth grade. Grant funds were provided by Target.