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Obama urged to boost nonprofits

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More than 1,000 nonprofit, academic and corporate leaders sent a letter to President-elect Barack Obama and congressional leaders, urging them to include a nonprofit-stimulus package in the overall economic-stimulus plan.

The package would create thousands of jobs while helping millions of needy Americans weather the economic crisis, supporters say.

The letter also encourages Obama to put his national-service plan, which would expand AmeriCorps and the Serve America Act, under the rubric of the overall economic-stimulus plan.

The move would create more than 125,000 jobs by summer 2009, and would cost less than 0.5 percent of the projected total cost of the economic plan, supporters say.

“America is always at its best when its citizens unite for the greater good, and bringing that vision to reality as fast as possible is one of the most cost-effective ways to address the enormous challenges before us,” Michael Brown, CEO of City Year, says in a statement.

Those who signed the letter include former U.S. Sen. Harris Wofford of Pennsylvania; Gara LaMarche, president of the Atlantic Philanthropies; Bruce Reed, president of the Democratic Leadership Council; Gail McGovern, CEO of the American Red Cross; Jonathan Reckford, CEO of Habitat for Humanity International; and Robert Putnam of Harvard University.

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