Meet Martin Pleasant – An Alum Running for Senate
This article features an interview with an AmeriCorps Alum who’s running for public office. AmeriCorps Alums is a non-partisan organization and we do not support or endorse any political candidates.
With a historic Election Day coming up, we hope you all have stayed up to date on the national issues that will be affecting National Service in the very near future. Now that we’ve completed our years of service, we can be visible and voice our opinions in a public political forum. We have seen Alums in Montana and other states run for public office and use their platform to speak on the issues that directly affect the AmeriCorps programs in their home states and we’re happy to have the chance to interview another Alum who is in the running for a seat in public office.
Meet Martin Pleasant, an Alum who’s also a Tennessee State Senate Candidate.
- Tell us about yourself and where you served.
Hi my name is Martin Pleasant, I served in AmeriCorps in 1996-1997 and also supervised the AmeriCorps water quality team in Knoxville TN 1998-1999. I currently work for Knox County Stormwater Department.
- Why did you serve in AmeriCorps and tell us about one “A-Ha” moment during your service?
I was studying Environmental Engineering in Graduate school and concentrating in water resources. I needed money for school and I wanted to work to help our environment. I saw an ad for the Water Quality Team and it was a perfect match. I was surprised and how much I enjoyed the work we did.
- How do you think AmeriCorps prepared you for where you’re at today?
I learned a lot while serving in AmeriCorps. It helped me learn to organize events and people and work with a team to accomplish goals and objectives. The program I was in gave me training and experience that led to the job I have today.
- Why are you running for US Senate in TN?
I am running to serve the citizens of the USA. To improve society by implementing a Green New Deal to put people back to work while improving our environment while establishing a clean renewable energy system.
- Tell us more about your position on expanding AmeriCorps in TN and what you’d like to see for the program.
We have an emergency situation with our economy. Expanding AmeriCorps in two ways, first giving a job to anyone who needs it either through AmeriCorps or another service corps and also allowing up to fours years to earn the education stipend. Student debt is averaging around $20,000 and being able to serve four years will allow the average student loan holder to be debt free.
- What’s one piece of advice you’d give to Alums who are interested in running for public office?
Use your skills that you learned in AmeriCorps.
- What does a Lifetime of Service mean to you?
Staying involved and engaged in my community and world.
- One word that sums up your AmeriCorps experience.
You can learn more about Martin Pleasant and his campaign here.