In 1964, President Lyndon Johnson made an unprecedented move in U.S. history by waging the War on Poverty when he passed the Economic Opportunity Act (EOA).
Passage of this act inspired the launch of the national Community Action movement, which gave promise toward the elimination of poverty. By the end of 1965, 800 Community Action agencies had been established across the United States. By 1973, the number of people experiencing poverty declined significantly from 38 million to 23 million people.
In 1971, President Nixon, dealing with a shortage of funds and internal pressure from the conservative administration, proposed dismantling the Office of Economic Opportunity. However, Community Action quickly mobilized and was able to save the federal agency from the oblivion that would have most certainly rendered it inconsequential.
In the late 1970’s, the Carter administration supported the EOA, which provided the Community Action Movement with greater traction and security moving forward. Locally, in Schenectady County, SCAP was becoming an integral part of the community.