Since Community Action Agencies were founded in 1964, Minnesota’s network has been working diligently to build community resiliency and support our low-income communities. This mission has never been more important or integral to our communities’ wellbeing than now, as agencies work to respond to the immediate and long-term health and economic crises caused by COVID-19. MinnCAP’s legislative priorities for 2021 are intended to support the network in its continued response to COVID-19 and ensure low-income Minnesotans have opportunities to move out of poverty.
2021 Policy Agenda will:
- Protect Minnesota Community Action Grant (MCAG)
MCAG supports all 24 community action agencies and 11 Tribal nations, providing them with flexible funding to meet the most pressing needs in their communities. MCAG is currently funded by the state government at $3.9 million, supporting locally driven poverty solutions and leveraging over $297 million in additional resources for Minnesotans.
- Provide COVID-19 Emergency Relief
Throughout the pandemic, Community Action Agencies have been at the forefront of responding to the needs in their communities, providing housing assistance, food delivery, childcare, transportation, utility assistance, broadband, technology access, and more. MinnCAP and the network will advocate for continued policies that respond to the immediate local needs and plan for long-term recovery solutions.
- Support moving Minnesotans out of poverty
Especially as we move into the recovery phase of the economic downturn, it is vital that we advocate for continued state support for programs that work to move families and individuals out of poverty. Community Action Agencies already run many programs that address the causes of poverty including the Family Assets for Independence in Minnesota, homeownership initiatives, financial literacy, job training, and educational opportunities for adults.
In addition to advocating for the priorities laid out above, MinnCAP will also support the legislative agendas of our coalition partners: MN Head Start Association, Homes for All MN, Minnesota Asset Building Coalition, the Volunteer Driver Coalition, Energy CENTS Coalition and more. Together, we will ensure the Minnesota budget deficit is not balanced on the backs of our low-income communities and that low-income Minnesotans have the resources they need to recover from the pandemic.