Ahead of Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service on Monday, January 17, Governor Jared Polis, Lt. Governor Dianne Primavera, Senator Michael Bennet, AmeriCorps CEO Michael D. Smith, Jill Hunsaker Ryan, Executive Director of Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE), and other service community leaders gathered virtually to celebrate the creation of a new Economic Mobility Partnership, designed to save Coloradans money. In support of this partnership, Governor Polis and Lt. Governor Primavera have announced January 14, 2022 as “AmeriCorps Economic Mobility Day.”
The Polis-Primavera Administration, AmeriCorps, Serve Colorado, and CDPHE will work collaboratively to increase enrollment in the Child Tax Credit (CTC), Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), and Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit (CDCTC). The partnership will also support financial literacy training, tax filing assistance, unified benefit enrollment, education assistance, increasing affordable housing options, and other strategies.
“As we celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy for justice, we’re called to heed Dr. King’s calling of ‘what are you doing for others?’ Our administration is proud to partner with Senator Bennet to provide information on ways hardworking families can save money with the state and federal child tax credits,” said Governor Polis.
“As Coloradans experience higher costs, I’m grateful to Governor Polis, Lt. Governor Primavera, and Director Ryan for establishing a first-of-its-kind partnership with AmeriCorps to help families and workers save money,” said Senator Bennet. “As we approach tax filing season, this partnership will help educate Coloradans on this year’s dramatically expanded tax credits and put money back in their pockets.”
Serve Colorado will also prioritize economic mobility programs through its AmeriCorps State program grant competitions and Request for Applications.
“Service can play a key role in helping build more equitable and just communities. This partnership with AmeriCorps will create even more opportunities to serve,” said Lt. Governor Dianne Primavera. “As we approach MLK Day of Service, I encourage others to learn more about how they can get involved in these efforts to support their fellow Coloradans.”
Today, two AmeriCorps NCCC teams began their service at Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) sites to provide free help with tax returns filing to qualifying taxpayers, helping more Coloradans claim the tax credits they are eligible for. In addition, over the next year, AmeriCorps will engage all streams of national service, including VISTA and AmeriCorps Seniors, in supporting economic mobility priorities and projects.
“The American Rescue Plan provided the largest Child Tax Credit ever and historic relief to families nationwide. This new partnership will help Coloradans across the state,” said Michael D. Smith, AmeriCorps CEO. “I’m grateful for the Biden-Harris administration's continuous work to build back better and for the leadership of the Polis-Primavera administration throughout the past year as we worked together to get this program off the ground.”
CDPHE’s Title V Maternal and Child Health Program will work with partners to identify priority needs for economic mobility programming for AmeriCorps consideration.
“The partnership between CDPHE and AmeriCorps promises to make a major impact on the lives of the people we serve. Using a variety of supports - including tax credits, financial education, and much more - we can improve the health and independence of many Colorado families. We are excited to expand this unique collaboration,” said Jill Hunsaker Ryan, Executive Director of CDPHE.
The MLK Day of Service, the only federal holiday designated as a national day of service, is a call to act on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s legacy of social justice and equity. Partners will join together to help promote recruitment of volunteers for VITA sites across the state. VITA site volunteers are trained to prepare taxpayers' tax returns, helping more individuals understand their tax-credit eligibility.
For more information about this initiative and how to get involved visit servecolorado.colorado.gov/economicmobility.