Having the lowest taxes in the nation is of little comfort to the people of rural North Country, New Hampshire. The mills that had been the lifeblood of generations of workers have been shuttered in recent years, and former employees have found themselves down on their luck with nowhere to go. So they turn to Gale Hennessy, president of the New Hampshire Community Action Association, which represents six local agencies, for help.
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Nonprofit agencies like San Jose's Opportunity Junction averted a worst-case scenario when Congress and President Barack Obama agreed on a budget that did not slash block grant programs that serve low-income residents as much as feared. However, officials are not celebrating the projected cuts of 16 percent to one program and 3 percent to another.
During his State of the Union Address, President Obama talked about "winning the future," however his 2012 budget announced cuts to one of the nation's best strategies for doing just that - the Community Services Block Grant (CSBG). CSBG, which funds Community Action, is the federal government's only comprehensive and flexible approach to helping Americans achieve economic security.