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July 07, 2003 - Image 2

Resource type:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 2003-07-07

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2 - The Michigan Daily - Monday, July 7, 2003INE
Dingeli students, members
communityrally for AmeriC
By Karn Schwt
Daily Staff Reporter
U.S. Representative John Dingell (D-
Dearborn) addressed more than 50 stu-
usitis ,Au commuiy nemners.


dents and community members
Wednesday afternoon at a rally calling
for the restoration of funds to Ameri-
Corps, which is facing budget cuts of 57
For the state of
- Michigan, the cuts
would mean a drop
from 700 Ameri-
Corps members to
100 --almost a 90
percent decrease
- and the number
of Michigan resi-
dents served by the
programs would
Dingell fall from 120,000
to less than 20,000, according to a writ-
ten statement issued by Dingell's office.
Dingell spoke to the group assembled
on the lawn of the Edward Ginsburg
Center for Community Service and
Learning on Hill Street about the impor-
tance of the program and its value to
communities. "Look at what the pro-
gram costs, it's peanuts. But look at
what they've given the people they've

PANHANDLING In Ann Arbor there are regulars. I
tikif you took a minute to learn
Continued from Page 1 their names it wouldn't-be such a big
many students unwittingly con- issue ... I can think of a handful of
tribute to this," she added. people that I see every single day.
LSA senior Yolanda Chapman said They don't annoy me, and I don't
she gives money to the homeless, annoy them, " Schweming added.
regardless of what they do with it. LSA junior Chloe Foster said,
"They don't bother me ... I'll give "(The city) should focus their
money to them, even though some use efforts on getting people involved
the money to get ... in making
drunk. Let them more housing for
do what they want They don't bother me the homeless."
with the money. If I i n "It's less of an
they want to get give money to inconvenience for
drunk then let them, even though students than it is
them get drunk," for the panhan-
said Chapman. Some use the money to dlers. We only
"Students get get drunk. Let them do see them for five
drunk too, so . seconds a day, it's
they're just as bad what they want with not so bad," Fos-
as bums. So, if stu- th If they ter said.
dents can get drunk e money. LSA junior
all the time, why Want to get drunk then Laura Marcus
can't bums? ... I g said homeless-
don't think panhan- let them get drunk. ness is a real part
dling should be reg- - Yolanda Chapman of the city. "I
ulated," Chapman LSA Senior wish they had
added. somewhere to
Downtown retail worker Michelle go," Marcus said, adding, "I don't
Schweming said the status quo does feel uncomfortable by seeing them.
not bother her. I think it's reality."
"There's a few guys who stand out "If the panhandlers weren't there
here, I see them everyday when I go people would be uninformed that
to work. They are good guys - they there's a homeless problem in Ann
brin a smile to my face;" she said. Arbor." she said.

AmeriCorps volunteer Sylvana Szczesny helps Maida Albertson and Dakota Edin
with an art project at Sterling Head Start on Tuesday, June 24 in Sterling, Alaska.

helped," he said.
Dingell referenced President Bush's
January 2002 invitation to all Americans
to take part in community service, say-
ing he hoped President Bush would
honor his commitment to the program. .
He also spoke of the need "to make

Carl,you still thinking
about painting the
I Camino?

Yeah, man, I want
to put some killer
flames shooting out
from my name.

Maybe you should
just stencil "ugly"
across the hood.

sure every eager enthusiastic American
who wants to serve their country has this
mechanism available to them."
Both in his words Wednesday and in a
letter written to President Bush last
month, Dingell emphasized the impor-
tance of more funding for the program,
which he said was both of immense and
incalculable value. He urged President
Bush to seek $200 million in supple-
mental funding for the program, an
amount he called "a minute sum" in
relation to the tax cuts he said many
wealthy Americans received.
"I think we need to put money where
it will benefit the little people and where
it will enable us to have a government
that provides the stimulus needed for our
citizens to participate," he said.
For Penny Bailer, executive director of
City Year Detroit, the largest AmeriCorps
program in Michigan, the cuts in funding
would mean having to turn away mem-
bers for 2004. Instead of being able to
accept 70 members, the program would
only be able toaccept 12.
"We have Corps members ready to
start, ready to serve in September, and
we've got all of them on a waiting list -
we want to confirm them but can't with-
out the funding," Bailer said.
She added that in addition to being
mentors and role models in the commu-
nities they serve, they are well on their
way to doing what the President asked of
them. "He called on every American to
give 4,000 hours of community service in
their lifetime and these AmeriCorps
members give an average of 2,000 hours
in one year," she said.
AmerCorp volunteer Leah Jackson,
who attended Wednesday's event to show
her support for the program and to help
send a message about the importance of
more funding, said she is most moved by
the chance to make a difference.
The Ann Arbor resident is in her sec-
ond semester volunteering as a part of a
tutoring program through the Washtenaw
Family Support Network SOS Crisis
Center. "Being able to see the light come
on in one child's eyes when they can do
something they said they thought they
couldn't do --the impact is immeasura-
ble," Jackson said.


Watch it Jerry.


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