WASHINGTON— The Presidential Inaugural Committee announced today that fifteen members of President Barack Obama’s Cabinet will take part in the National Day of Service on January 19.They will join Americans in all 50 states who are serving as part of the kick off to the 57th Presidential Inauguration. The secretaries have also pledged to perform ongoing service at www.pic2013.org/service.
Continuing a tradition the First Family began four years ago, Inauguration weekend will begin with a National Day of Service to honor the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Volunteers have organized events in all 50 states, and the PIC is sponsoring a Service Summit on the National Mall with 100 organizations and seven service projects under one tent. The President and his team have always believed that our country is strongest when we all work together, when neighbors help neighbors, and communities find common goals.
“Barack and I have always believed that we all should contribute to our communities,” said Vice President Joe Biden. “Each and every one of us can make a difference. My family and I are looking forward to joining these members of the Cabinet, along with so many other Americans across the country, to kick off inauguration weekend and pitch in on the National Day of Service this Saturday."
The Cabinet secretaries participating in service events are Attorney General Eric H. Holder, Jr, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, Acting Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank, Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, Education Secretary Arne Duncan, Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa P. Jackson, USTR Ambassador Ron Kirk, UN Ambassador Susan Rice, Small Business Administrator Karen Mills.
Many of the Cabinet officers and other administration officials are serving at sites that include AmeriCorps members. AmeriCorps is administered by the Corporation for National and Community Service, the federal agency that leads President Obama’s United We Serve Initiative and engages millions of Americans in service each year.
More information on the 2013 Presidential Inaugural Committee and the National Day of Service can be found at www.2013pic.org and on Twitter @obamainaugural. The official hashtag of the National Day of Service is #iserve.
Below is more detail on cabinet official participation:
Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar will join the National Park Service in a project to beautify the Martin Luther King Jr. memorial.
Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack and Ambassador Susan Rice will be participating in the Citywide Food Bank at Trinity Washington University in Washington, DC. As an emblem of community resilience, the Citywide Food Bank at Trinity Washington University is on track to be one of the largest in DC history, with over ten local food pantries and 50 churches coming together to package food to give to families in need.
Acting Secretary of Commerce Rebecca Blank will be participating in a service project at the Marie H. Reed Elementary School in Adams Morgan. The Marie H. Reed Elementary School serves students from preschool through 5th grade with a rigorous curriculum and school-based programs designed to give students a well-rounded education and a positive view of their place in the community. Saturday’s projects will include painting, gardening, organizing and drawing.
Department of Labor Secretary Hilda Solis will be participating in a Citizenship and Deferred Action Workshop at the Hyattsville office of CASA de Maryland. Founded in 1985, CASA de Maryland is a community organization aimed at improving the quality of life and creating equal opportunities for low-income Latinos and their families. At the event, Secretary Solis and approximately 40 volunteers will be helping over 200 community members start their Citizenship and Deferred Action applications.
Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius will be attending a service event at the DC Central Kitchen in Washington, DC. DC Central Kitchen has prepared 25 million meals for low-income and at-risk neighbors in the DC area. Secretary Sebelius will be assisting 35 volunteers in the preparation of approximately 5000 meals. The prepared meals will be distributed to community organizations throughout Washington, DC.
Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Shaun Donovan will be travelling to New York to assist in Hurricane Sandy relief through Clean Ocean Action at Jones Beach. Clean Ocean Action is a leading national and Northeastern regional voice working to protect waterways using science, law, research, education, and citizen action. In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, Clean Ocean has gathered thousands of volunteers to restore the area. At the event, hundreds of volunteers will be divided to clean up manmade and natural debris from Hurricane Sandy along Jones Beach.
Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood will participate in a service project at Rock Creek Conservancy. Rock Creek Conservancy is a nonprofit group working to protect and restore Rock Creek and its waters, parks and lands. Secretary LaHood will be assisting with cleanup to help protect the health and beauty of the creek.
U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan will be participating in City Year's Day of Service event at Burrville Elementary School in Washington, D.C. He will join City Year corps members, Department staff and school leaders to make math-focused learning toys that will be used in younger classrooms at Burrville. Volunteers at the school and surrounding neighborhood will also work on service projects that include painting murals, maintaining playgrounds, building benches and planting green spaces.
Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki will be serving breakfast to homeless residents of Washington, DC at a service event hosted by SOME (So Others Might Eat). SOME is an interfaith, community-based organization that exists to help the poor and homeless of our nation¹s capital by offering services such as affordable housing, job training, addiction treatment, and counseling to the poor, the elderly and individuals with mental illness.
Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano will be participating in a “Unite America in Service” event at the DC Armory, hosted by Points of Light and Target, in partnership with Operation Gratitude, the Corporation for National and Community Service, Community Blueprint, Serve DC, HandsOn, Greater DC Cares, Volunteer Fairfax and the George Washington University. Points of Light is the world’s leading volunteer organization, with the mission of inspiring, equipping and mobilizing people to take action that changes the world. At the event, 10,000 volunteers will be packing 100,000 care kits filled with necessities for US Service Members, Wounded Warriors, Veterans and First Responders.
Administrator Lisa P. Jackson will be participating in a Habitat for Humanity service project in Northeast Washington, the team will rehab two units, both of which will be built to the Earth Craft Homes Gold level standard, making them at least 15 percent more energy-efficient than new homes built only to code. Administrator Jackson will join 15 volunteers to do building and refurbishing both inside and outside of the houses.
Ambassador Ron Kirk will be participating in a service event at the Capitol Hill Montessori School. Ambassador Kirk will be assisting in outside work building a greenhouse, moving woodchips into a children’s play area, and cleaning up the parking lot, and inside work such as painting, refurbishing painted quotes, hanging flags, and performing general touch ups to the building.
Small Business Administrator Karen Mills will join Year Up to mentor young adults in Boston, MA on Friday, January 18, 2013. Year Up's mission is to close the Opportunity Divide by providing urban young adults with the skills, experience, and support that will empower them to reach their potential through professional careers and higher education.