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Raising the Low-Income Voice

Case Studies in Democratic Selection Procedures

2021

Since the inception of the Economic Opportunity Act, a fundamental goal of Community Action has been to provide low-income individuals with a voice in the administration of its poverty alleviating programs. With the Community Service Block Grant (CSBG) Act’s call to achieve “maximum participation” of the low-income community in the development, planning, implementation, and evaluation of CSBG funded programs, a critical venue for the low-income community’s participation is through their representation on the tripartite board.

CAPLAW has published a series of case studies that address the various ways that CAAs are meeting the CSBG Act’s requirement that the low-income sector of the tripartite board be selected in accordance with “democratic selection procedures.” These case studies were extensively updated in 2021 to reflect how the featured CAAs adapted their existing democratic selection processes during the COVID-19 pandemic to retain maximum feasible participation while ensuring effective and safe governance practices.

In addition to profiles of innovative and responsive practices, the case studies contain portions of sample policies and other materials that can be used and adapted to meet the needs of CAAs across the network.

For another look at how CAAs across the network successfully adapted their democratic selection procedures to conduct recruitment and elections during the COVID-19 pandemic, see CAPLAW’s publication, Preserving the Low-Income Voice: Snapshots of Democratic Selection Procedures in a Pandemic.

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Related Resources:

Democratic Selection Procedures in a Pandemic

Democratic Selection Procedures in a Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has created a multitude of unprecedented challenges for CAAs. One of the challenges that has spurred CAAs to innovate is the need to recruit and elect representatives of the low-income community to serve on the tripartite board.While serious obstacles...

Legal Issues Unique to CAAs

Legal Issues Unique to CAAs

Working with Community Action Agencies (CAAs) on legal matters can sometimes be challenging for outside counsel. The myriad of federal grants that CAAs receive requires compliance with layers of requirements that can make seemingly simple issues more involved and complex....

Working with an Elected Public Official’s Representative

Working with an Elected Public Official’s Representative

Elected public officials serve a crucial role on a Community Action Agency’s (CAA) tripartite board. Not only do they raise awareness of poverty in the community and at various levels of government, they are also integral in fostering close coordination between local...