In partnership with USA TODAY, the Bipartisan Policy Center examined attitudes about public service among Americans and released a brand new national poll by Whit Ayres and Mark Mellman that includes measures of interest in running for office and different perceptions about public and community service.
The poll reveals that Americans are more interested in community service, such as volunteering at a place of worship or school, than running for or serving in government office. However, Americans are largely in favor of providing living stipends and educational incentives for individuals involved in full-time public service like AmeriCorps and the Peace Corps. While a majority of Americans is in favor of a year of mandatory national service for 18-25 year olds, the BPC/USA TODAY poll finds that 18-29 year olds are opposed to mandatory service by a margin of 50 to 48 percent. The Commission on Political Reform will use these poll results and a national conversation in Philadelphia to develop recommendations for policymakers about how to improve opportunities for public service in our country.
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