Community Economic Opportunity Act of 2014

"CSBG funds have been one of our country's greatest assets in the war on poverty, providing access to critical services such as job training, nutrition support, financial counseling, and early education."  - Congresswoman Betty McCollum

Overview:

The Community Economic Opportunity Act of 2014 (H.R. 3854), introduced by Congresswoman Betty McCollum (D-MN) and Congressmen Mike Fitzpatrick (R-PA) and Jim Costa (D-CA), is a bipartisan bill reauthorizing the Community Services Block Grant (CSBG), a vital tool used by communities across America to reduce poverty and support people in need. CSBG funding is allocated by the federal government to nearly 1,100 agenicies who provide and coordinate programs that offer critical services to over 16 million low-income Americans. In 2012 alone, CSBG funding helped Minnesotan Community Action Agencies provide Pre-K education to over 10,000 children, childcare to more than 8,000 families, and assisted in finding jobs for nearly 3,600 Minnesotans.  

H.R. 3854 builds on the success of agencies in Minnesota and throughout the United State and ensures that the Community Services Block Grant will continue to be a major force in fighting poverty for years to come. 

What's the Community Saying?

“The Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) funding is a vital part of Minnesota’s safety net,” said Minnesota Department of Human Services Commissioner Lucinda Jesson. “Not only does it help support people’s basic needs, but perhaps more importantly, it offers ladders up and out of poverty for thousands of Minnesotans. I want to thank Rep. McCollum for her leadership on behalf of this critical program.”

“Reauthorization of the Community Service Block Grant is critical to local communities throughout Minnesota,” said Arnie Anderson, Executive Director of the Minnesota Community Action Partnership. “As go-to agencies across the state, Community Action Agencies use CSBG funding as the bedrock for investing in local community development and working with families to achieve self-sufficiency. A good measure of the value is that in the past decade, Minnesotans from all walks of life donated more than 18 million hours of service to help their neighbors through their local Community Action Agencies.”

 “The Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) funding provides some of the most critical funds for my agency’s communities,” added Clarence Hightower, Executive Director of Community Action Partnership of Ramsey and Washington Counties.  “Without a doubt, they are the most efficient and effective tool I have at my disposal to reduce poverty and its impacts in Ramsey and Washington Counties. These dollars are targeted at innovative strategies that seek to exchange contemporary problems with life-altering opportunities for the most needy in our community. With the guidance of a governing board representing those we serve as well as partner organizations, we are poised to  deliver the right mix of services to the 67,000 individuals we served last year.  Among these services are Head Start, Weatherization, Energy Assistance and Financial Literacy. I am pleased to support the role that Congresswoman Betty McCollum played in shepherding this important effort to the finishing line. She has been and remains a key partner in our efforts to reduce poverty in our city.”

"Today, Congresswoman Betty McCollum has demonstrated how a leader dedicated to creating opportunity for every family, in every American community, can build a coalition with all others who share in the goal of ending poverty. The Community Economic Opportunity Act will be the foundation for a modern, high-impact assault on the causes of poverty by building on the lessons learned in the past 50 years and deploying 21st century tools and imagination in the service of our most vulnerable communities and their residents,” said David Bradley, Executive Director, National Community Action Foundation.

Additional Materials

Press Release
Fact Sheet
Bill Text