Representative Matthew G. Martinez, Democrat of California, proposed the National and Community Service Trust Act of 1993 that created AmeriCorps. Two hundred and twenty-one representatives co-sponsored the legislation.
Matthew Martinez was the son of a coal miner and one of nine children. After entering California politics at the city and then the state level, Martinez was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1982. Martinez served 10 terms in Congress and did not run for re-election in 2002. A bi-partisan coalition co-sponsored the National and Community Service Trust Act, and President Bill Clinton signed it into law on September 21, 1993. The new law also merged the existing Volunteers In Service To America program into AmeriCorps.