Sunday, January 27, 2008

The Successes and Failures of Bush's "Volunteerism" Initiative

On January 27, 2008, the New York Times had an interesting article about President Bush's "volunteersim" initiative that he announced in his 2002 State of the Union address.  The article explains that, in addition to calling for an end to the dreaded "axis of evil," Bush called for a national move to increase the volunteer effort in America.  Here is an excerpt from the article:

The initiative has had some success. Early on, Mr. Bridgeland helped set up the Citizens Corps, a national network of doctors, firefighters and others who volunteer in an emergency, and today there are 2,300 Citizens Corps councils across the country. The White House says that since 2000 it has recruited more than one million Americans, far more than the 200,000 new recruits Mr. Bush promised.

But the initiative has also fallen short of some goals. The Peace Corps, which had 6,663 volunteers in 2002, today has 8,049 — more than at any time in the past 30 years, but hardly the doubling the president promised.

And though the president also pledged to increase the ranks of AmeriCorps to 75,000 from 50,000, critics said he did so through creative accounting, because fewer than half the 75,000 slots are full time.

For the entire article, go to "Bush’s 2002 State of the Union Volunteerism Initiative Is Seen as Sputtering" in the New York Times.


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