To Commemorate Its 50th Anniversary, CACLV Launches Virtual Debate

Posted by Administrator (admin) on Aug 27 2015
Press Release >>



"Nobody Wants to be Doing This

50 Years From Now"



The Community Action Committee of the Lehigh Valley is launching a community-wide discussion about how to avoid commemorating its 100th anniversary using a modern-day "soapbox." Starting at 11:30 AM and continuing until 1 PM tomorrow (Thursday, May 14), the non-profit anti-poverty organization will be posting videos on its website of Lehigh Valley residents expressing their views about poverty and how to reduce it. Videographer Marco Calderon will be shooting local people offering their thoughts from a 21st century "soapbox" reminiscent of London's Hyde Park at PPL Center, Seventh and Hamilton streets in downtown Allentown. Everyone is welcome to participate.


When those who submit their videos go to CACLV's website at to see their own videos, they will be able to see dozens and, eventually, hundreds of their neighbors expressing their own views. In doing so, they will be participating in an on-line discussion on the challenge of escaping poverty and what individuals and the broader society can do to tackle a problem that seems to get worse every day.


 "We hope everyone - rich, poor, old, young, black, white, powerful and powerless - joins the discussion. Maybe we'll build a consensus, maybe we'll find a solution," said Alan Jennings, Executive Director and 34-year veteran of CACLV, adding, "Because nobody wants to be doing this 50 years from now."


 The Community Action Committee of the Lehigh Valley was created in December, 1965, just 16 months after the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964, which legislated the War on Poverty, was signed by then-President Lyndon Johnson. During the 1960's, CACLV created, or helped create, a number of programs, some of which exist to this day: Head Start (now Community Services for Children), Neighborhood Youth Corps (now the Private Industry Council), and Lehigh Valley Legal Services (now North Penn Legal Services).


In the 1980's, CACLV created the Sixth Street Shelter and the Lehigh Valley Food Bank (known today as the Second Harvest Food Bank of Lehigh Valley and Northeast Pennsylvania), in addition to those programs, today the agency operates energy conservation and assistance programs, Community Action Financial Services, which helps families buy their first home or save their home from foreclosure, entrepreneurship and micro lending and a variety of neighborhood revitalization activities.


CACLV employs more than 90 people and its consolidated budget exceeds $20 million. It has received awards at the national, state and local level.


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Last changed: Aug 27 2015 at 5:06 PM