Center for Community Change
Community Voices Heard has long worked with the Center for Community Change (CCC) on national policy issues. We were first engaged with CCC around the National Campaign for Jobs and Income Support (a national effort to influence the federal welfare reform debate) as an active member group. Next we received technical assistance from CCC at the start of our Voter Power project through CCC’s Community Voting Project. Currently we are engaged in CCC’s newly launched National Campaign
The Center, founded in 1968, grew out of a powerful combination of ideas and events in the 1960s. Many important partners, including the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Fund, the Ford Foundation, and leaders of the United Auto Workers, made the Center for Community Change a reality.
From the very beginning, the Center’s purpose has been to help establish and develop community organizations across the country, “bring attention to major national issues related to poverty,” and “help insure that government programs are responsive to community needs.”
The Center has a deep and active history in community organizing in all low-income communities, encompassing urban and rural areas, and African American, Latino, Native American, Asian American, and immigrant communities. Over the years, the Center has nurtured thousands of local groups and leaders. In addition, the Center has catalyzed grassroots coalitions that were instrumental in the creation of the federal Food Stamps Program, the enactment of the Community Reinvestment Act, the growth of Community Development Corporations, and the large-scale preservation of affordable housing. National organizations incubated by the Center include:
- The Coalition on Human Needs
- The Workforce Alliance
- The Environmental Support Center
- The Rural Coalition
- The National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy
- The National Campaign for Jobs and Income Support
Throughout our history, the Center has provided policy and organizing expertise on a range of issue areas, including: community reinvestment, affordable and public housing, transportation, income support and job creation, economic development and housing production, hunger and malnutrition, immigrant rights and legislation, and community monitoring efforts to hold government agencies accountable to residents.
Today the Center is a diverse and vibrant organization building on its original mission and the lessons of over three decades of national policy and community organizing efforts, in order to actively engage with community-based organizations and their allies to forge a hopeful path to the future.
CCC analyzes and translates policies with our low-income and minority constituencies in mind. We also help to build up the capacity of grassroots groups to impact policies at the local, metropolitan, state and national level. The groups CCC works with focus on subjects that affect a broad swath of very low- to moderate-income people, such as affordable housing, supports for low-income parents, rights for immigrants, income support and economic justice. A list of issues in which the Center is currently engaged is available at the bottom of this page.
Having an Impact on Policy
For years, CCC staff and the groups we work with have taken aim at government agencies and legislative bodies, insisting that policy-makers take low-income communities into account as policies are being made.We urge the groups we work with to keep an eye on local, state and national governments for opportunities to make their voices heard when programs are up for renewal or reform. CCC staff work to keep abreast of policy activity on Capitol Hill, and make the information available to our constituents and the public.
Keeping an Ear to the Ground
Conversely, the direction and activity of our Policy staff is strongly influenced by the concerns and passions of local organizing groups. Our vision is to contribute to grassroots movements for change, and to be responsive to the issues which are most strongly felt in the communities we serve.