Service And Philanthropy
AmeriCorps and Encouraging Community Service
Since the start of his Administration, the President has encouraged and facilitated community service. Over 150,000 young people have participated in AmeriCorps Ė they have helped to immunize more than a million people; taught, tutored or mentored 4.4 million children; helped build some 11,000 homes; and truly sparked a new spirit of public engagement across the land. The Presidentís budget includes over $850 million for the Corporation for National Service. This increase of nearly $120 million keeps AmeriCorps on track for the Presidentís goal of 100,000 members each year by the year 2004. The budget will also include a new "AmeriCorps Reserves" program, modeled after the military reserves, and designed to engage former Corps members in times of need. The budget also includes $15.5 million in new initiatives that reward innovations in youth service, as well as additional resources to encourage service by senior citizens, and to engage students in service through a new "Community Coaches" program.
Increasing Involvement of Interfaith Partnerships and Community Organizations
Already many faith and community-based organizations partner with government to help our nationís families, but the President and Vice President believe we should do more, and their budget proposes to increase the involvement of interfaith and community-based organizations in after school, housing, community development, criminal justice, welfare reform, teen pregnancy prevention, and juvenile justice programs, consistent with the constitutional line between church and state.
Increasing Charitable Giving
In his State of the Union address and his new budget, President Clinton today will unveil a package of new tax proposals to encourage philanthropy. First, he will propose allowing nonitemizers to take a tax deduction for charitable giving. Second, he will propose new rules to make it easier for charitable foundations to make gifts in times of need. And third, he will propose making it easier for individuals to donate appreciated assets like securities and real property. Last October, the President and First Lady convened the first-ever White House Conference on Philanthropy. The conference highlighted the unique American tradition of charitable giving, and emphasized that at a moment of great prosperity, we must preserve and expand this tradition. These proposals will help do just that
Civil Rights Enforcement
President Clintonís FY 2001 budget proposes a significant increase for civil rights enforcement to help ensure equal opportunity for all Americans. These funds will help to ensure that no American is discriminated against at work, a home, or in school. The Presidentís budget request of $698 million for civil rights enforcement agencies represents a $81 million, or 13 percent increase, over last year's funding levels of $617 million. Highlights of the Presidentís package include: (1) $98 million Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice -- a 20 percent increase over the 2000 enacted level -- to expand investigations and prosecutions of criminal civil rights cases (including hate crimes and police misconduct), promote compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and review redistricting plans; (2) $322 million for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) -- an increase of 15 percent over the 2000 enacted level --to support the agency's effort to reduce the backlog of private sector cases to 28,000 by the end of 2001; (3) $76 million for Department of Labor's Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) -- an increase of 4 percent over the 2000 enacted level --to expand the compliance assistance strategy to encourage Federal contractor compliance through increased outreach, education, and technical assistance, including providing contractors with the necessary tools to evaluate their equal employment practices; (4) $50 million for Department of Housing and Urban Development's (HUD) fair housing efforts -- an increase of 14 percent over the 2000 enacted level -- to reduce housing discrimination, including funding for the final year of a three-year audit-based enforcement initiative and training for housing providers to ensure that individuals with disabilities have access to housing.
The Employment Non-Discrimination Act ("ENDA")
This bill would outlaw discrimination in hiring, firing, and promotions based on sexual orientation. It is designed to protect the rights of all Americans to participate in the job market without fear of unfair discrimination. The Act provides an exemption for small businesses, the Armed Forces, and religious organizations, including schools and other educational institutions that are substantially controlled or supported by religious organizations. The bill specifically prohibits preferential treatment on the basis of sexual orientation, including quotas. President Clinton and Vice President Gore are the first President and Vice President ever to back civil rights legislation for gays and lesbians. President Clinton originally announced his support for the legislation in October 1995.
The Hate Crimes Prevention Act
The President has urged Congress to pass, as one of its first orders of business, the Hate Crimes Prevention Act, which would strengthen the existing federal hate crimes law by expanding the situations in which the Department of Justice can prosecute defendants for violent crimes based on race, color, religion, or national origin. Further, it would expand existing law to cover cases of hate crimes based on sexual orientation, gender, or disability. The Presidentís budget includes $20 million for training for federal, state, and local law enforcement to prevent and respond to hate crimes, and to promote police integrity.
English Literacy/Civics Initiative
Like generations of immigrants past, todayís immigrants are driven by a dream and to achieve that dream, they seek to learn the ways of this land and become full participants in American society. To this end, President Clinton is proposing an increase for the English Language/Civics Initiative an innovative program to help states and communities provide limited English proficient (LEP) individuals with expanded access to high-quality English-language instruction linked to civics and life skills instruction, including understanding and navigating the U.S. government system, the public education system, the workplace, and other key institutions of American life. This important initiative is a powerful tool in building a stronger American community. For FY 2001, the Administrationís budget request $75 million for this initiative, a nearly $50 million increase from FY 2000 enacted level.
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