The national-network of Community Action Agencies, local agencies that respond to community needs in 99 percent of the counties in the United States, have a message for President Trump after the release of his latest Executive Order calling for welfare reform. That message: Come See About Us!!

The order calls for a welfare system that follows the administration's "Principles of Economic Mobility." Included in these principles is the creation of an accountability system for local, state and federal governments, which the Community Action network already has in place.

The order calls for the empowerment of the private sector and local communities to develop and apply locally based solutions to poverty, which our agencies ensure by conducting unique Community Needs Assessments and creating programs in accordance with these local findings.

It also calls for the establishment of clear metrics that measure outcomes, which we see in our CSBG-IS reports. In other words, these '"Principles of Economic Mobility"-accountability, flexibility, local priorities, streamlines efficiency and limited bureaucracy, innovation, private sector involvement - are all cornerstones of the Community Action network.

The Organized Community Action Program (OCAP) receives funding through the Community Service Black Grant (CSBG). Ninety percent of the federal funding is directed locally to the community action network, which is governed by a tripartite board of directors comprised of I /3 representatives from the low income community, 1/3 local elected officials, and 1/3 representatives from the business community.

No two Community Action Agencies are the same, as we respond to the community's unique needs through innovative programing and public-private partnerships. Our agency is able to connect individuals and families who have fallen into poverty to comprehensive, targeted interventions that will help them achieve self­sufficiency. Our outcomes and activities are reported every year to the federal government.

David Bradley, CEO of the National Community Action Foundation, the organization that represents the Community Action Agencies in Washington, DC, said this: '"If the President is really serious, he owes it to the public to take an honest, fair look at programs. The first program we hope that President examines openly and without prejudice is CSBG. The Community Action network, through the policy of the Community Service Block Grant, exemplifies the Principles of Economic Mobility the President outlines in his Executive Order."

OCAP served over 8,000 households in 2017 in their seven county area of Bullock, Butler, Covington, Crenshaw, Dale, Lowndes and Pike. The local OCAP office in Union Springs is located at 510 Mimosa Avenue, Union Springs, AL, telephone 334-738-3848.

Executive Director,

Wanda Moultry

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