77th Annual Meeting

INVESTING IN AMERICA'S COMMUNITIES

WHEREAS, the Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) provides flexible federal funding to states and localities to 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,

  • 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,

  • 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,

  • 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-poverty grant 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,

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.

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