After the assassination of President Kennedy in November 1963, President Lyndon Baines Johnson expanded the policy ideas initiated during the Kennedy administration.
"Let us carry forward the plans and programs of John F. Kennedy, not because of our sorrow or sympathy, but because they are right... .This administration today, here and now, declares an unconditional War on Poverty in America.... Our joint federal-local effort must pursue poverty, pursue it wherever it exists. In city slums, in small towns, in sharecroppers shacks, or in migrant worker camps, on Indian reservations, among whites as well as Negroes, among the young as well as the aged, in the boom towns and in the depressed areas."
President Lyndon B. Johnson
Message to Congress on January 8,1964
A hallmark of American democracy is the tradition of individuals forming organizations to protect and advance their common interests. This tradition of group activity has become an important part of our decision-making process, making it more responsible to citizens needs. Thus, business and trade associations, labor unions, professional societies civic associations ethnic groups and other special interest groups have influenced public policy and helped shape political, economic and social decision-making processes. The Community Action Program builds on this tradition and extends it to include the poor, who have not fully participated in the past. Community Action Agencies have a responsibility to broaden the scope of opportunities within their own agencies and in the larger communities for participation of the poor, and to help the poor equip themselves to take advantage of these opportunities.
Participation of the Poor in the Community Decision-Making Process.
Office of Economic Opportunity, August 1969