If you have any questions about any of our services, want to provide input on community concerns or have issues in your district please feel free to contact your District Representative by clicking on their e-mail. Your questions will be sent directly to them. 

Our Board Members
District #1 
Representative of the Poor
Linda McKell
Representative of the Board of Supervisors
Carol Thomas
Representative of the Private Sector
Ellen Laitinen
District #2 
Representative of the Poor
Gary Cameron
Representative of the Board of Supervisors
Darlene Boyd

Representative of the Private Sector
Kathrine Zavala
District #3 
Representative of the Poor
Juan Cruz
Representative of the Board of Supervisors
Tonia Sunsuri
Representative of the Private Sector
District #4
Representative of the Poor
Mel Tungate
Representative of the Board of Supervisors
Judi Johnson
Representative of the Private Sector
Dennis Wightman

District #5
Representative of the Poor
Nelda Escamilla
Representative of the Board of Supervisors
Shari Stevenson

Representative of the Private Sector
James Whitehead
Board of Supervisor
Mark Medina

Building a brighter future for our community!

In 1964, President L.B. Johnson officially declared a *War on Poverty*


* Almost 1,800 Community Action Agencies (CAAs) spread out across the country by 1967. Successful programs initiated by OEO and the CAAs included Head Start, family planning, community health centers, Legal Services, VISTA, Foster Grandparents, economic development, neighborhood centers, summer youth programs, adult basic education, senior centers, congregate meal preparation, Job Corps and others.


* During the 1970s, the Nixon Administration transferred programs from the Office of Economic Opportunity (OEO) to the Department of Health, Education and Welfare and the Department of Labor. 

Under President Gerald Ford, Community Services Amendments were passed and the OEO was renamed and the *new* Community Services Administration (CSA) was born. 


*More than 45 years later, Community Action has continued to pursue its original mission; fighting the *War on Poverty* by providing *a helping hand not a hand out.* Over 90 percent of US Counties have a Community Action Agency that is focused on serving its low-income residents.  Community Action Agencies rely on the Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) to help fund the programs they provide.  Since the implementation of the CSBG, budget allocations have been on a roller coaster.  Currently the CSBG is shared by community action agencies in 50 states and the trust territories.  Although CSBG funds are the backbone of Community Action; State, Local and private money is administered by CAAs. 


* CAAs have helped to significantly expand the local, state and federal resources to benefit low-income people.  Community Action has been a vibrant, proactive network for 45 years*helping people, changing lives and making American a better place to live.

About Us
The California/Nevada Community Action Partnership (Cal/Neva) Association is comprised of Community Action Agencies (CAAs) and other Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) funded organizations that together deliver human services to the public across the State of California, helping low-income Americans achieve economic security.
Collectively our members provide a wide variety of services, to millions of low-income Californians annually, including:
  • Head Start
  • senior nutrition
  • job training
  • community economic development
  • homeless shelters
  • after school and other youth programs
  • food banks, community gardens and other anti-hunger programs
  • energy assistance and home weatherization
Established Over 35 Years Ago
The Association supports our members with quality statewide, regional and local education and training through regularly scheduled meetings, webinars, site visits and conferences, focusing on capacity building.
The Association:
  • Acts as a source of information for our members on legislation, new programs and education opportunities
  • Maintains liaisons with other professional associations
  • Provides education and information to legislative, administrative and regulatory bodies
Our History:
  • Community Action Agencies (CAAs) were created by the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964 for the purpose of conducting local anti-poverty programs throughout the United States.
  • In 1976, CAAs recognized the need to have an organized and unified voice in the development, implementation and evaluation of State and Federal government policies. They formed the California and Nevada Community Action Association (Cal/Neva CAA), now California/Nevada Community Action Partnership.
Cal/Neva’s primary purpose is to forge together public agencies, private organizations and corporate entities that provide or support programs and services for the economically disadvantaged. The Association's long range goal is to improve the financial health of the economically disadvantaged in California and beyond.
  • enhance each member agency's ability to deliver quality programs and services that are designed to help low-income individuals and families achieve self-reliance and attain financial self-sufficiency
  • work effectively at influencing legislation, regulations and public policies affecting the economically disadvantaged and the members ability to provide quality programs and service
  • provide our member organizations withmeetings that feature workshops, speakers and networking opportunities
  • a variety of expert training sessions to help the network stay current on important anti-poverty issues and develop a professional workforce
  • legislative alerts on important issues
  • identification of funding opportunities
Community Action Agencies (CAAs)
CAAs are nonprofit private and public organizations established under the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964 to fight America's War on Poverty. Community Action Agencies help people to help themselves in achieving self-sufficiency. Today there are approximately 1000 Community Action Agencies, serving the poor in every state as well as Puerto Rico and the Trust Territories.
Community Action Network:
  • work with many other non-profits in their communities, often serving as an umbrella organization for a coordinated approach to ending poverty in their communities
  • funding comes from the federal, state and local governments, foundations, corporations and donations
  • Have thousands of volunteers who donate their time and resources to this effort of ending poverty in their local communities.
Every Community Action Agency is governed by a tri-partite board consisting of one third elected officials or their representatives, one third service providers or local businesses and one third low-income representatives. These local boards assess their community's needs and develop programs to address them.
Interested in filling a District Vacancy? Click here for a membership appliction. 

The CAB will assist our vulnerable populations with resources to obtain skills, knowledge and opportunities toward self-sufficiency.


  • Facebook Social Icon

© last update December 2019 by Community Action Board of San Benito County

This site was designed with the
website builder. Create your website today.
Start Now