In an unprecedented move, the Committee on House Administration has approved the establishment of the Congressional Community Action Caucus.
Representatives Betty McCollum (D-MN), Claudia Tenny (R-NY) will serve as Caucus Chairs. Representatives Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR) and Glenn Thompson (R-PA) will serve as Vice Chairs.
The Community Action Caucus will support the critical missions of community action agencies across the country and provide them with a platform to discuss the efforts underway in addressing societal challenges.
“The decision to establish the Community Action Caucus is a pivotal moment for agencies like ours,” Douglass Bennett, Step Forward’s Vice President of External Affairs, said. “This is a significant step towards greater recognition, and it is a testament to the tireless advocacy of Community Action Agencies nationwide.”
With a dedicated ally in Congress, Community Action Agencies gain a powerful partner to advocate for their interests and funding needs. The new Caucus will help raise awareness among legislators about how CAAs address poverty, inequality, and social injustices. It will also act as a platform to develop and promote legislative initiatives that align with the goals and values of CAAs. By introducing bills and advocating for policies that address poverty and inequality, the hope is that the Caucus will help create a lasting change in the lives of millions of Americans.
Community Action Agencies were established in 1964 as the result of Lyndon B. Johnson’s Economic Opportunity Act. They are local private and public nonprofit organizations that assist vulnerable residents. They promote self-sufficiency through various programs, including early childhood education programs like Head Start, mental health assistance, professional development opportunities, Home Energy Assistance Programs, weatherization programs and more. There are more than 1,000 Community Action Agencies in the United States and nearly 50 in the state of Ohio.
Step Forward is the state’s designated anti-poverty agency for Cuyahoga County. It serves more than 25,000 individuals and families every year.