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Your Letters: A conservative's plea to save Community Action

Federal and state funding for your local Community Action Programs (CAP Agencies) may be voted down this month, which could easily mean the end of Community Action.

I'm a building contractor who traded my construction business for a full-time job as a weatherization auditor for a local community action program. I've been busy for the past two years and have done 160 home audits, which resulted in $1 million in construction projects. This investment has helped 160 families to have a more energy efficient home and has improved the safety and quality of their home. It has resulted in a two-to-one payback for the community. Every dollar invested is worth $2 in the community, generating that much in business activity returns. It has also helped to create jobs, keeping the local contractors and vendors busy during this challenging economy. I am totally convinced that what Community Action is doing is directly helping our nation's economic recovery. Closing us down would not only be a tragic blow for our families -- it would be a serious setback in the inertia of recovery.

I am a conservative. My family is conservative, and it may seem a contradiction for someone like me to work with a Community Action program. Here is my response: investing in families makes the best economic sense -- it's the smart business move. The family is the foundational building block of our community. Everything else in our American nation rests upon this unit. A stable family, with a safe home place, is the single most important asset to our nation. A safe, functioning family will be the continuing source of strength for our economic future. Nothing will stay healthy without the family unit -- not our schools, small business, church, military or community. A healthy family, extended as a demographic across our nation, is the heart of our American society. Without healthy families, we are lost -- lost in business; lost in community; lost in National strength; and most of all, our moral character as a nation is lost. If we stand by and sacrifice the strength and safety of our family, are we still Americans?

The people of Community Action live in the community that they serve, and no one else can stretch a dollar the way that we do. Our work is efficient, cost effective, and right on target. If we lose community action, who will do this job? Families need us and no vote will change this reality.

Call or e-mail your local political representative, the vote to close down community action is at hand, and we need your voice to be heard. Your opinion has power!

Stephen Bjorklund


Weatherization auditor