Hillary Clinton told supporters at a Fort Piece rally Friday that expanding opportunities for Americans to perform public service will be an integral part of her presidency.
With her opponent, Donald Trump, fighting against assumptions that he has paid little or no federal income taxes and with questions swirling around the work of his charitable foundation, Clinton said she wants to triple AmeriCorps and establish a 5-million person strong “National Service Reserve.”
AmeriCorps, the volunteer agency her husband, Bill Clinton, established during his presidency, would go from 75,000 slots to 250,000 slots, under Clinton’s plan. She also said she wants to double the number of college scholarships available to AmeriCorps participants.
Clinton’s National Service Reserve would work much as the armed service reserves does – allowing volunteers to serve infrequently while holding onto jobs or remaining a full-time student.
“I want this to be a true bipartisan public-private partnership,” she told supporters at Fort Pierce’s Sunrise Theater.
Speaking before heading to Coral Springs for another campaign event, Clinton used her call for expanded public service to contrast her message with that of Trump.
“I don’t think you’ll hear about any of this from my opponent,” she said. “I think that’s a shame.”
Before Clinton took the stage, U.S. Rep. Lois Frankel poked Trump on the issue of public service.
Clinton, Frankel said, is dedicated to public service. “The kind of service where you help people,” she said, “not the kind of service where you help yourself.”
Clinton’s campaign stop in Fort Pierce got off to a bumpy start, as hundreds of her supporters crowded the entrance to the Sunrise Theater, waited under a broiling sun to be screened by U.S. Secret Service agents. Trump supporters penned them in, waving placards and chanting anti-Clinton slogans.
Before long, campaign aides came to escort reporters and elected officials through to the waiting agents. Her supporters waited a bit longer. Once inside, they were enthusiastic, cheering her remarks with vigor.
Clinton said she knows its unusual to approach the close of a presidential campaign with a call for expanded public service instead of slashing attacks on her opponent. Then she paused…”I’ll do that, but…,” she said as the crowd laughed.
“I’ve been thinking about this for a long time,” she said. “I didn’t want to end this campaign without talking about it.”