December 21, 2010



Community Action Partnership Management and Leadership Training Conference
Community Action: Effective Leadership in
an Era of New Realities

Miami Beach, Florida, January 5-7, 2011

Sign up now for Free Pre-Conference Field Visit

Environmental and Green Jobs Expert VAN JONES
Confirmed as Opening Speaker!

CED One-on-One Sessions!

Click here
for Eden Roc Hotel information and registration form

There are a VERY LIMITED number of rooms available at the conference rate.

Click here for the online brochure



Miami Dade Community Action invites you to visit its Seniors Housing and Head Start sites
Tuesday afternoon, January 4th – sign up now for this pre-conference tour (no cost)
Our Conference Opening Speaker Van Jones is a globally recognized, award-winning pioneer in human rights and the clean-energy economy
1st round of 2010 Census Data released today
Also below – link to the county-by-county 2009 Income & Poverty estimates
Private consulting sessions for CED offered at Conference—bring your project questions or ideas
January 5-7  

Management and Leadership Training Conference in Miami

Partnership endorses Healthy Food Financing Initiative- Joint OCS/USDA program for low-income communities, underserved areas lacking fresh food retail
Partnership signs on Children’s Act of 2010
How much do you really know about poverty? Take Half in Ten's interactive quiz to find out!
22 Community Action Agencies win Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Grants from IRS
Central Florida Community Action’s Robert Wilford tells his story
in Letter to the Editor
Help strengthen our Community Action Movement in these challenging times.
Now’s the perfect time to renew your Partnership membership for 2011

The Community Action Partnership is in the 2010 Combined Federal Campaign (CFC).
Our designation number is 80371.

NEW! You can now
 Follow CAPartnership on Twitter



Special Pre-Conference Field Visit organized by
Miami Dade Community Action

Julie Edwards, Executive Director of the Miami Dade County Community Action Agency,
invites you on a bus tour & visit to two of her agency’s exemplary programs and sites.

Please contact Sranda Watkins if you wish to join us:, or call Sranda at (202) 449-9773.

The Ophelia E. Brown-Lawson Head Start Center
The Ophelia E. Brown-Lawson Head Start Center was built from the ground up using Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) dollars. This state of the art center represents a major commitment on the part of County Government to maximize available dollars to provide a quality setting for 120 Head Start children and their families. The facility includes a training room that is available for community meetings and conferences, as well as classrooms that encourage exploration and creativity for the children.

Showcased Homes
Two senior homeowners have agreed to showcase their homes and share the results of the outstanding programs with members of the Community Action network from across the country.

The first home was completed through services she received from the Senior Housing Assistance Repair Program (SHARP) and Beautification program.

The first senior homeowner received assistance to rehabilitate her home through the CDBG Senior Housing Assistance Repair Program, which assists low to moderate income homeowners over the age of 62 by repairing the homes which may have been damaged by weather or natural aging.

Through this initiative the homeowner received a new roof, upgrades to her electrical service, hurricane impact windows, kitchen cabinets and handrails (front and rear door) and central air conditioning. Also, program dollars were leveraged with the Beautification Program to paint the exterior of the client’s home.

The second home was also completed through the CDBG Senior Housing Assistance Repair Program.

Through this initiative the homeowner received a new roof, upgrades to her electrical service, hurricane shutters and the master bathroom was renovated and equipped with grab bars. Program dollars were leveraged with the Beautification program (surtax dollars) to paint the exterior of the client’s home and landscape the front lawn.

All three sites are important to share with the CAA network as examples of leveraging program resources with CDBG funds to improve the physical environment of low-income residents as well as to obtain quality service centers.

There is no additional charge for this special site visit. Space is limited and open to fully registered Management and Leadership Conference attendees. We urge you to sign up for the Tuesday afternoon, January 4th site visits. A bus will pick up participants in front of the hotel at 1:30 pm and return to the Eden Roc by 4:30 pm. Please contact Sranda Watkins if you wish to join us:, or call Sranda at (202) 449-9773.





Van Jones is a globally recognized, award-winning pioneer in human rights and the clean-energy economy. Van is a co-founder of three successful non-profit organizations: the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, Color of Change and Green For All. He is the best-selling author of the definitive book on green jobs: The Green-Collar Economy. He served as the green jobs advisor in the Obama White House in 2009.

Van is currently a senior fellow at the Center For American Progress. Additionally, he is a senior policy advisor at Green For All.

Van also holds a joint appointment at Princeton University, as a distinguished visiting fellow in both the Center for African American Studies and in the Program in Science, Technology and Environmental Policy at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.

"Van Jones, I believe, is America's foremost champion for responsible energy policy and action, social justice, and empowering communities. From Yale Law School to the streets of Oakland to the White House to the Center for American Progress, Van blends his visionary analysis with real-world solutions. The Partnership is honored to have Van as our opening plenary session speaker at our national leadership conference."
—Don Mathis, President & CEO, Community Action Partnership

The Green Collar Economy will be available for sale following the Opening Session

Excerpted from Publisher’s Weekly—

As the "ecological crisis nears the boiling point," human rights activist and environmental leader Jones lays out a visionary, meticulous and practical explanation of the two major challenges the U.S. currently faces-massive socioeconomic inequality and imminent ecological catastrophe—and how the current third wave of environmentalism, the "investment" wave, can solve both.

Jones examines success stories, defines government priorities at national and local levels and offers concrete solutions; one major positive step for any "significant U.S. metropolis" is to "invest massively in constructing buses, light rail cars, and mass-transit projects," creating good jobs while cutting greenhouse gases. With both caution and hope, Jones concludes that "tens of thousands of heroes at every level of human society" will be needed to carry off this ultimate, green initiative.





From: U.S. Census Bureau []
Sent: Monday, December 13, 2010 6:27 PM
To: Donald Mathis
Subject: First Release of 2010 Census Data coming Dec 21

Census Bureau National Partners,

We're excited to announce the first round of 2010 Census data will be released on December 21, 2010. These quality data are largely due to your partnership activities helping boost response across the nation this past Spring.

The Census Bureau is fulfilling its Constitutional mandate through the release of resident population for the nation and states, as well as congressional apportionment totals for each state. The presentation of the new numbers will be available at 11 a.m. EST on the 21st via webcast.

We are taking advantage of America's focus on apportionment to educate through digital outreach. Today, the Bureau launched an interactive map widget that enables users to view the history of apportionment and our country’s changing population through the past century. The widget can be embedded on your website and will be updated when the 2010 data is released.

We've also created a short animated video that describes how the apportionment process works. This introduction to the constitutional mandate for apportionment and the apportionment formula is a useful tool for civics enthusiasts at all levels.

In addition to the 2010 Census data being released, we'd also like to highlight a recent release of small area income and poverty data. The 2009 Income and Poverty Estimates for All Counties and School Districts is now available online as well.

Continue to keep an eye out for future updates and please call us (800-923-8282), drop an email (, or visit our website ( We look forward to a continued, sustained partnership with you throughout the decade, providing all the data you need to help make informed decisions.

Thank You.




Register for individual or small group sessions to discuss your community economic development project plans or ideas. Two teams of consultants will be available: one from the California Community Economic Development Association; and culinary/social enterprise consultants from FareStart Kitchens. Participants will benefit by receiving one on one discussion with experts from the community economic development community. Appointments are available at the membership/information center.

Ralph Lippman and Glenn Sanada
California Community Economic Development Association

Chef Dan Escobar and David Carlton
Catalyst Kitchens/Farestart

For more information, email Stacy Flowers, Director of Community Economic Development



Thanks to an alliance of our great colleagues at PolicyLink, The Food Trust, and The Reinvestment Fund, the Partnership joined with 29 other national and state organizations in asking House and Senate appropriators for 2011 funding for the Healthy Food Financing Initiative (HFFI). Other signers include American Public Health Association, American Heart Association, Children’s Defense Fund, Economic and Community Development Institute, Low Income Investment Fund, National WIC Association, Opportunity Finance Network, Save the Children, and Trust for America’s Health.

December 13, 2010

Dear Senator/Representative:

At this crucial time in the appropriations process, we urge you to fund the Healthy Food Financing Initiative (HFFI) in the fiscal year (FY) 2011 Budget. We recognize that there are multiple options being considered to fund the FY 2011 budget, but hope that however the final budget is passed, it includes HFFI.

As a key component of the First Lady’s Let's Move! Campaign, HFFI will help address the nation’s obesity epidemic by increasing access to healthy food, and will also create jobs and spark much-needed economic development across the country. For decades, low-income communities, particularly communities of color, have suffered from lack of access to healthy, fresh food. HFFI will provide one-time loan and grant financing to attract grocery stores and other fresh food retail to underserved urban, suburban, and rural areas, and renovate and expand existing stores so they can provide the healthy foods that communities want and need.

Many studies show that when healthy food is available in these communities, people make healthier choices about their diets, and studies also show a connection between healthy food access and lower rates of obesity and diet-related chronic disease. HFFI holds great promise for helping combat childhood obesity by improving families’ access to fresh, healthy food.

HFFI will bring much needed jobs and investment to low-income communities by constructing and renovating grocery stores and markets in underserved areas. A similar program in Pennsylvania has resulted in 88 projects being built or renovated in underserved urban and rural communities across the state, more than 5,000 jobs created or retained, and 400,000 people who now have increased access to healthy food. Thirty million invested state dollars has resulted in projects totaling more than $190 million. This tested and highly successful model should be expanded through a national HFFI so it can reach far more underserved Americans throughout the country.

In recognition of the multiple benefits that this initiative brings to underserved urban, suburban, and rural communities across the nation, we ask that you fund the HFFI as you finalize the appropriations process.



Thanks to Shadi Houshyar and our great colleagues at First Focus for their leadership with this letter to Senators Dodd and Casey in the closing days of this session of Congress. The Partnership joined with dozens of other national, state and community groups including American Academy of Pediatrics, American Humane Association, Catholic Charities USA, Forum for Youth Investment, National Association of Social Workers, National Council of Jewish Women, Salt Lake Community Action Program, Children’s Defense Fund, and YMCA of the USA.

December 8, 2010

The Honorable Chris Dodd, Chairman
Senate Subcommittee on Children and Families
Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions
Washington, DC 20510

The Honorable Bob Casey
U.S. Senate
Washington, DC 20510

Dear Chairman Dodd and Senator Casey:

We are writing to thank you for your leadership on and continued attention to the needs of America’s children, and to express our support for the Children’s Act of 2010 (S. 3968). As representatives of organizations committed to improving the health and well-being of our nation’s children and families, we are pleased that the Children’s Act would establish a National Council on Children - a critical first step in reversing the downward trend for America’s children and helping to establish the U.S. as a frontrunner in improving children’s lives.

The Children’s Act establishes a National Council which will annually assess the performance of the United States in ensuring the well-being of children, and make recommendations to improve children’s well-being. The Children’s Council will help bring the needs of children to the policy forefront and generate momentum for improving the lives of our nation’s youth.

The need is clear. Almost 15.5 million children in America live in poverty. Nearly one-third of public high school students fail to graduate on time, including nearly one-half of all African-Americans, Hispanics and Native Americans. The U.S. ranks 20th out of 21 industrialized nations in measures of child well being and relative child poverty.

As you know, in 1991, the National Commission on Children approved a blueprint for national policy to benefit America’s children and families. In response, Congress and the President expanded the Earned Income Tax Credit, created the Child Tax Credit and established the State Children’s Health Insurance Program. We believe that the Children’s Council will catalyze the next generation of groundbreaking policies for children and families.

The Act will focus the attention of federal policymakers and national news media on children’s issues, generate new ideas for policy reforms that meet the challenges children face today, and create momentum for once-in-ageneration change.

We thank you for your continued efforts to improve the lives of America’s children and for your leadership in introducing the Children’s Act of 2010. We look forward to supporting your proposal.

(This letter was signed by about 90 regional and national organizations.)



How much do you really know about poverty?
Take Half in Ten's interactive quiz to find out!

How much does it cost to make ends meet in your community? How much does child poverty cost our economy every year? How many people did unemployment insurance keep out of poverty last year? Test your knowledge of these and other questions with Half in Ten’s interactive poverty quiz.

With 43.6 million Americans living in poverty and millions more struggling to make ends meet, it is more important than ever to educate the public on the problem of poverty, debunk stereotypes, and make the case for proven policy solutions that can increase economic opportunity for all Americans.

To that end, Half in Ten has developed this fun, interactive quiz designed to raise awareness of the problem, fight false notions, and illustrate policy solutions that work.We need to do everything we can to educate the public and policymakers and to build the grassroots movement to advance policies that create good jobs, promote economic security, strengthen families, and ultimately, cut poverty in half in ten years.

Test your knowledge and take our quiz today. Please share our quiz with your networks—use the sample tweets below to spread the word.

Sample Tweets
•Take @halfinten’s new #poverty quiz! Please RT #p2

•Think you’re an expert on #poverty? Take @halfinten’s new quiz! Please RT

•Fight stereotypes about #poverty with fact! Take @halfinten’s quiz today! Please RT




Congratulations to the 22 Community Action Agencies that received 2011 Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Grants from the Internal Revenue Service. The IRS awarded matching grants to a total of 177 organizations that will offer free tax preparation services during the 2011 tax filing season as part of the VITA program.

The VITA grant program promotes and supports free tax preparation service for underserved, low income populations. It also provides organizations with direct funds to:

• Enable VITA Programs to extend services to underserved populations in hardest-to-reach areas, both urban and non-urban
• Increase the capacity to file returns electronically
• Heighten quality control
• Enhance volunteer training
• Significantly improve the accuracy rate of returns prepared at volunteer sites

“These funds will enhance the VITA program and the work of volunteer tax preparers who provide an invaluable service to millions of taxpayers each year,” Richard Byrd, Jr., IRS Wage and Investment Operating Division Commissioner, said in a news release.

To view the entire list of VITA Grants recipients, go to

The 22 CAAs Receiving 2011 VITA Grants are:

• Central Arkansas Development Council
• Economic Opportunity Agency of Washington County, Inc (Arkansas)
• Community Action Partnership of Riverside County (California)
• Community Action Partnership Association of Idaho
• Massachusetts Association for Community Action
• Allegany County Human Resources Development Commission (Maryland)
• Community Action Agency of Jackson-Lenawee-Hillsdale (Michigan)
• Community Action Agency of South Central Michigan
• Northwest Michigan Community Action Agency
• Community Action Duluth (Minnesota)
• Community Action Partnership of Suburban Hennepin (Minnesota)
• Central Missouri Community Action
• Community Action Partnership of Lancaster and Saunders Counties (Nebraska)
• HOPES Community Action Partnership (New Jersey)
• Community Action Project of Tulsa County (Oklahoma)
• Little Dixie Community Action Agency (Oklahoma)
• Northeast Oklahoma Community Action Agency
• Community Action Commission (Pennsylvania)
• Northeast South Dakota Community Action Program
• Utah Community Action Partnership Association
• Pittsylvania County Community Action (Virginia)
• Social Development Commission (Wisconsin)



Our thanks to Robert for getting his letter published and for sharing his story.

The homeless man at the interstate exit helped me look 'at' poverty, not 'through' it

December 16, 2010

Dear Editor:

As we approach this upcoming holiday season, I encourage everyone to think about the importance of sharing their time, talent and treasure with the less fortunate among us in our country of plenty.

Often during this time of year, I reflect back to the summer of 2003 when my wife, Diane, and I were traveling back home from a conference in Clearwater Beach.

The conference was informative but the life-changing event that took place, reshaping my view about poverty forever, happened at one of the interstate exits between Tampa and Ocala.

Diane and I exited the interstate to take a coffee break and encountered a frail gentleman in tattered clothes standing at the exit. This disheveled individual was probably in his late sixties.

He was holding a sign that read: "On the road and hungry. I need help. God bless you."
Many of you are probably asking, what made this person's plight more significant than other "street people" we had encountered on Florida's highways on our trip?

The honest answer is I don't really know.

However, as Diane and I sat nervously waiting for the light to change -- which seemed like an eternity -- we kept gazing into this man's piercing yet sparkling eyes, which seemed filled with excruciating pain.

I still see a vivid picture of this man's darkly tanned and weather-beaten skin indicating he had probably been on the streets for a long period of time.

Diane quickly handed me a $20 bill and told me to give it to the man. To my shame, instead of marveling at Diane's kind gesture, I immediately started looking "through" and not "at" the cruelness of poverty.

I wondered why this man let himself get into this situation and just knew this street person would spend Diane's gift on alcohol, drugs, cigarettes or on some other vice.

Yes, like many Americans, I initially focused on poverty in a negative and judgmental way and not on my wife's kindness in making a difference in this man's life even if only for a brief moment in time.

I got teary-eyed and felt tremendously ashamed in assuming the worst about the manner in which this man would spend Diane's precious gift of unconditional caring for her fellow man.

As we drove off, the man said in a clear but trembling voice: "God bless you." It was as if he had mustered every ounce of strength he had left to ask for God's blessing on the two strangers who had entered his life for a brief moment of his obviously trying existence on this earth.

I was humbled by the charity of his kind words.

Diane's act of kindness and the spiritual nature of this encounter changed my life forever. I rededicated my life that very day to looking "at" the causes of poverty and promised myself to make a difference whenever I could in the lives of the disenfranchised people among us.

I pray that all of you will join me this Christmas season by sharing your time, talent and treasure with those beautiful human beings who live in the condition of poverty for whatever reason.

As you love and embrace your family and friends this Christmas season, please do not forget the poor among us.

At the very least, keep them in your thoughts and prayers and join me in remembering to look "at" and not "through" the blight of poverty from this time forward.

Just maybe, by working together in fighting the causes of poverty, we may be able to change America one individual, family, neighborhood, and community at a time.

Merry Christmas!

Robert W. Wilford
Alachua City Commissioner




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Your energy and involvement have helped to keep Community Action Partnership responsive to your needs and built the strongest community action network ever. Membership gives you more than ever before ... access to training, publications, educational resources, and management tools which help you run a CAA more productively.

Take an active part in your network. Complete your application and become a member of Community Action Partnership today. Click here for the Membership form!



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