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Obama Issues New Call to Service

By Ed O'Keefe

As reported by The Eye in 44:

President Obama is looking for a few volunteers, asking Americans to dedicate themselves this summer to local community service projects in an extension of his earlier calls to sustain the nation's increased interest in public service.

The United We Serve summer service initiative, announced today by the White House with a Web video, above, will begin June 22 and run through the National Day of Service and Remembrance on Sept. 11. The new holiday, which marks the 2001 terrorist attacks, was established earlier this year with passage of Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act.

The summer-long effort will be led by the Corporation for National and Community Service, an agency in flux amid President Obama's recent dismissal of its inspector general and the imminent arrival of first lady Michelle Obama's former chief of staff.

"The challenges we face are unprecedented in their size and scope, and we cannot rely on quick fixes or easy answers to put us on the road to recovery," Obama says in the video. "In this new century, we need to a build a new foundation for economic growth in America."

"Economic recovery is as much about what you're doing in your communities as what we're doing in Washington -- and it's going to take all of us, working together."

The effort will focus on four areas of interest to the president: education, health, energy and the environment and community renewal. Those four areas mesh well with the administration's current priorities: health care reform, energy and climate change legislation and continuing efforts to reform the nation's schools.

The White House said Serve.gov will act as a clearinghouse for anyone interested in sharing information about new service projects or looking to find nearby opportunities.

By Ed O'Keefe  | June 17, 2009; 2:45 PM ET
Categories:  Administration  
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