For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
January 30, 2002
President to Discuss New Citizen Corps Initiative
In his State of the Union Address, President Bush called on all Americans to serve their nation for the equivalent of two years (4,000
hours) over their lifetimes, and announced a major new citizen service
initiative - the USA Freedom Corps.
Today, the President travels to
Winston-Salem, North Carolina to outline a key component of the USA
Freedom Corps - the Citizen Corps, which will enable Americans to
participate directly in homeland security efforts in their own
USA FREEDOM CORPS
On November 8, 2001, President Bush gave a
speech in Atlanta, Georgia where he called on Americans to fight the
war on terrorism by serving to improve their communities, and announced
his intention to develop new ways for Americans to serve.
In his State of the Union Address,
President Bush announced his plan to launch the new USA Freedom Corps -
a comprehensive, integrated citizen service initiative. The
USA Freedom Corps includes three major programs:
A new Citizen Corps to engage citizens
directly in improving homeland security: The Citizen Corps
will implement of range of new initiatives to engage ordinary Americans
in specific homeland security efforts in their own
Citizen Corps initiatives include the creation
of a Medical Reserve Corps, a Volunteers in Police Service (VIPS)
program and a Terrorist Information and Prevention System (TIPS) -- as
well as a doubling of the Neighborhood Watch program, and a tripling of
the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program.
An improved and enhanced AmeriCorps and
Senior Corps: The Administration will reform and expand the
AmeriCorps and Senior Corps programs to engage thousands of new
volunteers in effective, community-based service
President Bush's plan will add more than
200,000 participants in community service (25,000 new AmeriCorps
participants -- who will generate an additional 75,000 local volunteers
-- and 100,000 new Senior Corps participants).
A strengthened Peace Corps: Today,
enrollment in the Peace Corps is less than half the historic high level
of 15,000 volunteers in 1966. To allow more Americans to
demonstrate firsthand the true values of our nation to those in the
developing world, the President will propose a doubling of the Peace
Corps program over the next 5 years.
The expanded Peace
Corps program will include specific efforts targeted at rebuilding
President Bush will demonstrate his
support for this effort by requesting more than $560 million in new
funding for the USA Freedom Corps in his FY 2003 budget.
will also ensure a high-level Administration focus on this initiative
by creating a new USA Freedom Corps Council, comprised of the relevant
agency heads, and also a new USA Freedom Corps Office inside the
Executive Office of the President and led by an Assistant to the
The Council and the Office will make further
recommendations to the President on ways to enhance service and improve
- For more information on the USA Freedom
Corps, Americans can visit www.usafreedomcorps.gov or call
The Citizen Corps will enable Americans to
volunteer to participate directly in homeland security efforts in their
own communities. Citizen Corps will be coordinated by the
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
Community-based Citizen Corps Councils
will help drive local involvement in Citizen Corps, developing
community action plans, assessing possible threats, identifying local
resources and coordinating other Citizen Corps programs.
These Councils will be broad-based --
including leaders from law enforcement, fire and emergency medical
services, businesses, community-based institutions, schools, places of
worship, health care facilities, public works and other key community
The President's budget for FY 03 will
request $144 million in matching funds to support the formation and
training of local Citizen Corps Councils.
Citizen Corps volunteers will be able to
participate in a variety of programs that match their skills and
abilities. The President's FY 03 budget provides more than
$230 million for these efforts, including:
Volunteers in Police Service (VIPS)
Program: Builds on successful local programs in which
civilian volunteers help local police departments to perform non-sworn
functions, freeing up police officers to perform vital front-line
duties in times of emergency.
Medical Reserve Corps: Enables
retired healthcare professionals to effectively augment local health
officials' capacity to respond to an emergency.
Operation TIPS (Terrorist Information and
Prevention System): Operation TIPS will enable millions of America
transportation workers, postal workers, and public utility employees to
identify and report suspicious activities linked to terrorism and
Community Emergency Response Teams
(CERT): The President has proposed tripling over the next
two years the number of Americans enrolled in CERT -- a training
program that enables individual Americans to participate in emergency
management planning in their communities and prepare to respond to
disasters and other emergencies.
Programs: The President's plan will double the number of
Neighborhood Watch Programs in the next two years, and enhance the
program by incorporating terrorism prevention into its mission.
Guidebook: The Citizens' Preparedness Guidebook provides
current crime and disaster preparedness techniques as well as the
latest information on terrorism, to give Americans guidance on how to
prepare in their homes, neighborhoods, workplaces and public spaces.
For more information on Citizen Corps
initiatives or to become a volunteer, Americans can visit
www.citizencorps.gov or call 1-877-USA-CORPS.