Raising the Low-Income Voice

Case Studies in Democratic Selection Procedures


Since the inception of the Economic Opportunity Act, a fundamental goal of Community Action has been to provide low-income individuals with a voice in the administration of its poverty alleviating programs. With the Community Service Block Grant (CSBG) Act’s call to achieve “maximum participation” of the low-income community in the development, planning, implementation, and evaluation of CSBG funded programs, a critical venue for the low-income community’s participation is through their representation on the tripartite board.

CAPLAW has published a series of case studies that address the various ways that CAAs are meeting the CSBG Act’s requirement that the low-income sector of the tripartite board be selected in accordance with “democratic selection procedures.” These case studies were extensively updated in 2021 to reflect how the featured CAAs adapted their existing democratic selection processes during the COVID-19 pandemic to retain maximum feasible participation while ensuring effective and safe governance practices.

In addition to profiles of innovative and responsive practices, the case studies contain portions of sample policies and other materials that can be used and adapted to meet the needs of CAAs across the network.

For another look at how CAAs across the network successfully adapted their democratic selection procedures to conduct recruitment and elections during the COVID-19 pandemic, see CAPLAW’s publication, Preserving the Low-Income Voice: Snapshots of Democratic Selection Procedures in a Pandemic.

Individual Sections:

Related Resources:

Mastering the A-B-CSBGs: Tripartite Board Selection and Composition

People: How Do You Get the Right People on the Board?

Travel with us for the first webinar in CAPLAW's Conductor Series, focused on CAPLAW's animated board training video People: How Do You Get the Right People on the Board? Along the way, watch the full board training video with CAPLAW,...

Democratic Selection Procedures in a Pandemic

Democratic Selection Procedures in a Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has created a multitude of unprecedented challenges for CAAs. One of the challenges that has spurred CAAs to innovate is the need to recruit and elect representatives of the low-income community to serve on the tripartite board.While serious obstacles...