ServeNext was launched in the Spring of 2007 to be a political advocacy organization for more universal national service in the United States. At the Saguaro Seminar, we believe that both research and common sense supports the notion that broader-scale national service could be very effective at three goals:
1) cultivating the spark of increased political engagement we see among 18-25 year olds today;
2) helping to build more cross-class solidarity at a time when the gaps between rich and poor are as great as they have ever been;
3) related to #2, building increased bridging social capital (as exemplified by the service group City Year), during a time when we increasingly live in more segregated communities and when our ethnic and racial diversity is almost inevitably and desirably increasing over the next 10-30 years.
ServeNext was mentioned in a 5/10/07 Boston Globe Editorial Service: a Corps Campaign Issue, which stated that: “All of the presidential candidates will soon be asked to sign a pledge to more than double the size of AmeriCorps, from some 70,000 in a given year now to at least 170,000 by 2010. The effort is being coordinated by a new group, ServeNext.org, with the support of many advocates of public service. A unanimous or near-unanimous response from the candidates would help bridge the partisanship that divides American politics today, and inject an optimistic note into the campaign.”
We hope that ServeNext succeeds in getting the candidates to commit to this and that the candidates follow through on this commitment.