WASHINGTON -- April 4 -- The threat of terrorism lurks in corners all around the country. But low-income communities, many of which are located near power plants, chemical factories, and transportation centers, are particularly susceptible to a potential attack. In order to address this challenge, the Community Action Partnership, the nation's largest anti-poverty program, created Community Land Security, the nation's first-ever anti-terrorism program designed to protect low-income communities. Local versions of the program are currently operating in Middlesex County, New Jersey; Bolivar County, Mississippi; and Knox County, Kentucky, and they will soon be expanding to more communities across the country. The Partnership is offering seven $10,000 grants that will help Community Action Agencies (CAAs) across the country implement and manage Community Land Security programs in their communities. CAAs must complete an application and be able to raise $10,000 in matching funds in order to be considered. The Partnership will provide the selected CAAs with onsite training for implementing the program and ongoing technical assistance. Selected CAAs will be required to establish and maintain the following components of the program:
- Appointing a local Community Land Security coordinator to
oversee the program,
- Establishing a local Community Land Security Resource
- Brokering relationships between low-income community leaders
- Facilitating presentations by local government
- Coordinating efforts to organize local volunteer emergency
preparedness and response teams.
"We are pleased to offer these grants that will enable Community Action Agencies to take a bold, proactive step toward protecting their low-income communities," said Community Action Partnership National President Derrick Len Span. "The Community Land Security program is a critical endeavor in the overall fight against terrorism, and we look forward to eventually having a CLS program in every community across the nation." Community Land Security was created in 2002 in response to the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. The Partnership became acutely aware that the 110 million Americans living in or near poverty were not being protected. "Low-income residents are at a greater risk of being harmed during a terrorist attack," said Span. "They often live near potential targets, such as power plants and chemical factories, so it is of utmost importance that a constant stream of information is flowing into these communities about national security efforts."
Based in Washington, DC, the Community Action Partnership is the national association representing the interests of the 1,000 Community Action Agencies (CAAs) organized to change people's lives, embody the spirit of hope, improve communities, and make America a better place to live. CAAs care about the entire community and are dedicated to helping people help themselves and each other. For more information about the Partnership and CAAs, visit the association's website at www.communityactionpartnership.com.