New Cabinet Member to Produce Report With Recommendations to Make New York State a National Leader for Service and Volunteerism

Governor David A. Paterson today announced the creation of a cabinet position to address issues related to national and community service. Susan Stern, Chair of the State Commission on National and Community Service, will be elevated to the Governor’s cabinet. She will produce a report for the administration within 90 days to make New York State a national leader for service and volunteerism.

Governor Paterson made this announcement at the ServiceNation Summit, convened by Be the Change, Inc., City Year, Civic Enterprises, and Points Of Light Institute. The summit is the largest service event in a decade bringing together prominent leaders from the fields of business, non-profits, universities, as well as elected officials including presidential candidates Barack Obama and John McCain, to discuss volunteerism and citizen service. Governor Paterson kicked off the one-and-a-half day summit at Columbia University in New York City.

“We all know that true civic engagement will require more than short-term plans. We must inspire lifelong commitments from our citizens,” said Governor Paterson. “That is why today I am elevating Susan Stern, Chair of the State Commission on National and Community Service, to a cabinet level position within my administration. I also want to commend the work of Mark Walter who, as the Executive Director of the New York State Office on National and Community Service, works diligently to elevate service and civic engagement in our State.”

“Here in New York, nearly 3 million volunteers contribute an annual average of over 366 million hours of service. This is a tradition worth fighting for because the value of such service translates into stronger communities, healthier families, and a more hopeful nation. I look forward to Susan’s recommendations to ensure that New York State emerges as a national leader for service and volunteerism.” added Paterson.

To aid in this effort, the New York State Office of National and Community Service will today launch a new website,, which will among other services, provide a comprehensive link to match those looking to volunteer with opportunities across the State.

I’m really glad my tax dollars are going to help people volunteer.

Because government incentivizing people to “volunteer” is in any way true voluntarism.