The president’s budget proposes the elimination of funding for a series of programs that make it possible for the Community Action Lehigh Valley to offer a wide range of assistance to the Lehigh Valley’s low-income families, from weatherizing homes to providing food assistance to families, from small business development to neighborhood revitalization. The president’s budget would shut down the Sixth Street Shelter and undermine the Second Harvest Food Bank. Alan Jennings, the executive director of Community Action for almost 30 years, says Mr. Trump “doesn’t see, understand or sympathize with anyone outside the world of country clubs and limousines. I grew up learning about the Founding Fathers’ promotion of the ‘general welfare,’ God’s imperative that we care for the poor and Martin Luther King’s calls for economic justice. The president’s ignorance and absence of any empathy leads to a vision where darkness prevails and light shines on only the very lucky few.”
Trump eliminates the Community Services Block Grant, Low-Income Home Energy Assistance, weatherization, and the Community Development Block Grant, all sources of funding for Community Action. Taken together, Community Action gets decimated, perhaps even closed.
“My eyes can’t envision a world where so few matter. My ears can’t hear a world where the cries of those left behind can’t be heard. My hands can’t feel a society where we don’t reach out to hold the hands of others. And I simply can’t imagine a world where those in power have no sense of how much we need each other. But that’s the world Mr. Trump wants us to have,” Jennings said.
“I can only hope that Congress dismisses the president’s budget as mean-spirited, impractical, and un-American,” Jennings concluded.