January 2017 e-News
2017 ~ A new year, and new opportunities! We begin the year with a new U.S. President, an Acting CNCS CEO, Kim Mansaray and Acting Director of Senior Corps, Erin McGrath. Lots of changes, which for Senior Corps programs means continued opportunities for NSCA and our members to educate our governments about the importance of FGP, RSVP and SCP in our communities, and opportunities for NSCA to cultivate new White House relationships.
As you have already seen, 2017 brought a new NOFO opportunity for the expansion of RSVP programs in “counties that are not currently being served.” While this is good news that the footprint of RSVP will be expanded, the concern which the leadership of NSCA and NARSVPD expressed to CNCS was why the available funds were not being reinvested into current RSVP projects or across all program streams? We will continue to share our concerns with CNCS and while we may not be able to affect what has already happened, the bright side of the coin is knowing that RSVP is growing.
Many thanks to member Deb Seng, SCP Director in Tucson, AZ and Board member Theresa Strong from New Jersey for representing NSCA in the CNCS Focus Group meeting in D.C. in January. Deb and Theresa agreed this was a great opportunity to share ideas and make program suggestions to CNCS in regards to stipends, educational awards, evidence based programming, data collection as well as sharing best practices with peers. It was a positive experience. Thank you to CNCS for hosting the focus group, we look forward to seeing the outcomes.
The NSCA Board of Directors will hold our Board meeting March 13-17th in D.C. This will include meeting with CNCS staff, and Hill visits. Please share any concerns you would like discussed with your NSCA Board member representative.
LEGISLATIVE NEWS - A VIEW FROM THE HILL
by Alan Lopatin, Director NSCA Washington Office
The dawn of the new year brought with it a new Congress, a new President, and uncertainty for the future of the Senior Corps. With federal programs, projects, and activities (and agencies) operating under a Fiscal Year 2017 Continuing Resolution through April 28, 2017, the big question is whether the new Republican House and Senate, with the blessing of new Republican President Donald Trump, will want to put their immediate mark on the size and scope of existing domestic programs.
President Trump has already announced his support for increasing funding for the Pentagon in rebuilding a defense establishment which he argues has fallen upon hard times. During the presidential campaign, Mr. Trump also promised to rein in the size of the federal government and to reduce nondefense discretionary spending by at least 10 percent over the next ten years. President Trump acted quickly on this pledge, issuing an Executive Order freezing federal hiring (with the exception of the military, national security, and public safety) until further notice.
The details of long-term and short-term budget plans have not yet been publicized as OMB Director-designate (South Carolina Congressman and budget hawk) Mick Mulvaney awaits Senate confirmation. Mr. Mulvaney has promised to scrub the federal budget and find savings from duplicative and unnecessary programs which squander precious taxpayer resources.
Mulvaney and colleagues in Congress supported prior budgets issued by the Republican Study Committee (http://crfb.org/blogs/republican-study-committee-publishes-alternative-fy-2017-budget) which have proposed deep cuts in domestic programs.
The future of federal support for national service for all ages hangs in the balance. During the Presidential Transition period between Election Day and President Trump's inauguration on January 20, 2017, no transition team was appointed to review the operations of the Corporation for National and Community Service. And early in the new President's Administration, no news has been forthcoming on plans for CNCS, despite the appointment of James Manning (former Chief Operating Officer for CNCS) as the head of the Trump Education Department Transition Team.
Which brings us to YOUR role in helping to map out the future of the Senior Corps! With dozens of new members of the House and Senate, this is a great time to educate your representatives in Congress on the value (and history of value) of Senior Corps programs. With most Senators and Representatives back home for the President's Day District Work Period, it would be great to invite them to your program to meet your volunteers, see your critical contribution to the community firsthand, and show them why what they do in Washington matters to the folks back home.
And if your elected officials or their staff need more information, or would like to have a ready resources in Washington, pass on my contact information (Alan@ledgecounsel.com) and I will be happy to close the loop with a visit to Capitol Hill from your Washington Office.
FRIENDS OF NSCA
NSCA is actively recruiting individuals with a connection with NSCA to join our Friends of NSCA Committee. If you know any business or non-profit professionals, retirees, or anyone with a passion for Senior Corps who would like to be a part of this committee, have them contact Donna Whitcomb at 800-669-6714 or email@example.com.
DID YOU KNOW?
CNCS is required to complete monitoring visits at least once every six years for Senior Corps Programs. For more information about monitoring visits, check out your program’s operations handbook for details (RSVP – page 83; FGP – page 96, and SCP – page 97).
RSVP IN THE NEWS
AARP Michigan’s 2016 Andrus Award for Community Service winners, Scott and Mary Aldrich are Senior Corps RSVP volunteers from the Kalamazoo area. “AARP Michigan takes great pride in congratulating Scott and Mary Aldrich for their tireless community service,” said Chris Holman, volunteer President of AARP Michigan.
Senior Services of Southwest Michigan President and CEO Robert Littke (L) with award winners Mary and Scott Aldrich.
Scott and Mary received the honor at a luncheon in January at Senior Services of Southwest Michigan. They volunteer for Senior Services, and are part of the agency’s RSVP national service program for adults age 55 and better. Scott and Mary say, “When you look around your community there is a great need for a variety of support. We feel the talent that has left the work place is a gold mine waiting to be tapped. Talent can be technical and non-technical. We donated when we were in the workplace, donating money is necessary. In our volunteer efforts helping others we learned there was more than money in the word ‘donate’. Times have changed, the family unit is very different than it was when we grew up. Money solves many problems, so does a smile, an ear, time and boots on the ground.”
As RSVP volunteers, Mary and Scott are making a difference for others. Mary, a certified Medicare Medicaid Assistance Program (MMAP) counselor helps seniors navigate health insurance benefits and options. She is a Communities In Schools Kalamazoo volunteer at Spring Valley Elementary, helps track hazardous material sites for the Kalamazoo County Sheriff’s Department, and distributes crocheted and knitted items made by Helping Hands, Happy People. Scott is a Tuesday Toolmen volunteer making home repairs and accessibility modifications for seniors to help them stay living more healthy and safe at home. Scott helps with hunger relief at Kalamazoo Loaves and Fishes, and serves on the Senior Service of Southwest Michigan board of directors.
Read more at http://states.aarp.org/richland-couple-wins-aarp-community-service-award/.
“Scott and Mary are compassionate givers who have committed their retirement to making life better, happier and easier for people in their community. Their hope is for others to find causes they care about and volunteer to help others,” says RSVP Director, Tracie Wheeler.
And in more RSVP News, check out this New York Times article from January about some inspiring RSVP volunteers through the Community Service Society.