Marianne Williamson proposes mandatory national service at climate forum
Published 3:22 PM EDT Sep 19, 2019
At a presidential climate change forum on Thursday, author and Democratic presidential hopeful Marianne Williamson floated the idea of a national mandatory year of service for young adults to tackle climate change.
“I would like to ask your opinion, I think during the ‘season of repair,’ we should have a mandatory national service, one year, for people between 18 and 26 because we need you,” Williamson said. “We need to fix this climate. We need to fix this country.”
MSNBC’s Ali Velshi asked the audience, which consisted mainly of students, to raise their hands if they liked the idea. “A few, alright.”
Williamson smirked at the crowd’s reaction.
“To save the country. It’s not just the climate,” she said.
The climate forum was hosted by MSNBC and Georgetown University’s Institute of Politics and Public Service, giving college students the opportunity to ask candidates questions. This is not the first time Williamson has mentioned of national service for young people. Her campaign website includes an outline of a program that would “be a way that every American citizen spends one year of their youth in service to the repair of our nation.”
She lists service projects including helping in small businesses, schools, hospitals, the military, the Peace Corps and work on sustainability and to “combat the climate crisis.”
The paid service she details on her website, however, appears to be voluntary: Williamson’s administration would start a program where young adults “can perform one year of National Service.”
She said at the climate forum that Americans need to come together in a “World War II mass mobilization.”
She later added, “During World War II, it wasn’t Democrats vs. Republicans, left vs. right. We are all Americans. And we are going to mobilize.”