77th Annual Meeting

INVESTING IN AMERICA'S COMMUNITIES

WHEREAS, the Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) provides support a broad range of community-based programs to combat poverty, provide emergency services to low-income people,empower people to achieve self-sufficiency, and to revitalize low-income communities; and

WHEREAS, the CSBG program helps move low-income populations out of poverty to self-sufficiency by providing a variety of comprehensive, outcome-driven services. These programs include employment, education, youth development, family support, senior services, health care, nutrition, transportation, housing, and emergency services; and

WHEREAS, Community Action Agencies administer CSBG funding and coordinate services for their local areas; and

WHEREAS, Community Action Agencies help leverage additional federal, state, local, and private resources to develop and provide a coordinated array of resources to help families and individuals achieve self-sufficiency, ameliorate the causes and manifestations of poverty, and revitalize low-income communities; and

WHEREAS, the current economic climate raises the demand for CSBG services, such as Employment Programs to provide job readiness,training, and placement assistance; and

WHEREAS, afterschool Programs to enable working families to maintain employment, reduce absenteeism, and increase workforce productivity, while providing academic support for children,Youth Internship Programs to assist young people with skills building, career exploration, job readiness, and job preparation that help them become successful and productive adults, Youth Leadership to facilitate youth development and civic engagement;and

WHEREAS, literacy instruction to provide Adult Basic Education(ABE) programs in reading, writing and mathematics to native English or English-fluent speakers, General Educational Development (GED) programs to prepare students for tests to obtain a high school equivalency diploma, and support to the nation's growing immigrant population to attain English and workplace literacy whereby they can obtain and retain employment and advance in their careers; and

WHEREAS, housing advocacy to help prevent evictions,foreclosures, and homelessness, senior services to foster healthy physical, psychological, and social well-being and promote independent living, healthy families and Family Support to provide case management and promote family stability; and

WHEREAS, the CSBG program was authorized under the Omnibus Reconciliation Act of 1981, which consolidated 77 anti-povertyg rant programs into 9 block grants; and

WHEREAS, the CSBG legislation was amended in 1998 by the Coates Human Services Reauthorization Act of 1998 and sunset in 2003;and

WHEREAS, Congress and the Administration made a major investment in the CSBG program through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 with a $1 billion appropriation; and NOW, THEREFORE,BE IT RESOLVED, that the U.S. Conference of Mayors calls on Congress to reauthorize CSBG, and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that in CSBG reauthorization legislation, the U.S. Conference of Mayors calls on Congress to:

  • maintain flexibility to local areas to allow for a wide range of programs and strategies that meet the unique needs of the targeted communities,

  • maintain the focus on community development, neighborhood revitalization, and building capacity of its residents to create their own opportunities and achieve self-sufficiency,

  • Protect local control and flexibility for the local community action agencies to develop and implement their comprehensive local plan to address the unique needs of local areas,

  • Raise the income eligibility of services to 200 percent of the federal poverty level as permitted under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009,

  • Maintain and update the distribution of funds based on current poverty indicators,

  • Ensure funding be at an adequate level to support and expand services and programs to meet the needs of the nation's low-income communities, individuals and families,and

    BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that Congress make a major investment in our nation' slow-income communities, individuals and families by reauthorizing CSBG this year.