- Service & Advocacy
Honoring devotion to public service: George H. W. Bush (41)
by David E. Shaw
An important legacy of Bush 41 was his devotion to community and national service. Creation of the points of light initiative and the Commission on National and Community Service ushered in a new generation of volunteering and national service programs in America.
The leadership of President Bush 41 was continued via a wonderful legacy of service initiatives by successive Presidents, including President Clinton’s AmeriCorps and the Corporation for National and Community Service, President Obama’s Serve America Act, and President George W. Bush’s post-9/11 Freedom Corps that grew AmeriCorps, Peace Corps and created a new Citizen Corps for disaster preparedness and response.
I share the view that broad engagement in public service — via military, government, or civilian national service and volunteering — is important in our society. In the spirit of public service demonstrated by 41 and other leaders, I am honored to serve on the Leadership Council of the Service Year Alliance, with the goal of making a year of national service a common expectation and opportunity for 18-28 year olds and vastly expanding volunteering and service year opportunities through Americorps, City Year, Conservation Corps, Teach for America and many other programs. There is compelling evidence that these programs can create remarkable long term benefits for both their communities and the participants.
In addition to these initiatives, it is gratifying to see these national service programs at work in a community I shared with President Bush …. the State of Maine.