Earth Day 2009 got the perfect lead-in: Serve America Act signed!

Authors: Ying-sun Ho Yesterday, the president signed the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act into law. The new law represents a major federal investment in national service. It will allow AmeriCorps to triple its membership, meaning thousands more people will have the opportunity to serve their communities. Green For All and our allies* have been calling for federal funding for a national green service corps. This act makes it happen, establishing the first Clean Energy Service Corps. This new service corps will provide thousands of Americans with the chance to help the country achieve energy independence and curb climate change. The Corps improve our national lands and infrastructure and make thousands of homes and businesses energy efficient. Not only that, the people who participate in the Clean Energy Service Corps will gain valuable skills, experience and connections that will help them get good green-collar jobs later, if they want to. That's why we have been pushing so hard for this legislation. It provides an immediate point of entry into the green economy for low-income youth. It is a real step towards building an inclusive green economy. The fact that it comes on the eve of Earth Day just makes it all the sweeter. Of course, this is not the end of the story. The Act establishes the Clean Energy Service Corps, but it doesn't fund it. That comes later, when Congress passes the budget. So this Earth Day, we can celebrate a little, and plan a little. We can celebrate the new Clean Energy Service Corps. And we can plan how we are going to make sure that Service Corps gets the funding it needs to really make a difference, for the planet and for the people. Happy Earth Day, everyone! *Some amazing groups have been with us in fighting for a Clean Energy Service Corps, including the Corps Network, the Apollo Alliance, the Center for American Progress, the Center on Wisconsin Strategy, Energy Action Coalition, Innovations in Civic Participation and more. P.S. For Earth Day - take a stand for People and Planet. Make yourself a Green Jobs Icon. It's easy, just upload a photo or use your webcam to make yourself the face for green jobs now. We'll deliver these icons to Congress, to show the strength and diversity of our movement. Get started: www.gfa.fchq.ca/icon

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