Florida Senate - 2016                            (NP)    SR 1736
       By Senator Bullard
       39-01451-16                                           20161736__
    1                          Senate Resolution                        
    2         A resolution recognizing January 21, 2016, as
    3         “Community Action Agency Day” in Florida.
    5         WHEREAS, community action agencies were created to fight
    6  the War on Poverty when the federal Economic Opportunity Act of
    7  1964 was signed into law, and
    8         WHEREAS, community action agencies are at the forefront of
    9  America’s poverty-fighting network with a 52-year history of
   10  promoting economic security and self-sufficiency for low-income
   11  families, children, and individuals, and
   12         WHEREAS, there are 1,065 community action agencies
   13  nationwide, with 27 of those agencies supporting 66 of the 67
   14  counties in this state, and
   15         WHEREAS, in September 2015, the United States Census Bureau
   16  American Community Survey reported that 15.5 percent of all
   17  Americans, or about 49.4 million persons, were living on incomes
   18  below the federal poverty level; that 16.5 percent of Florida’s
   19  population, slightly more than 3.3 million persons, were living
   20  on incomes below the federal poverty level; and that in 2014,
   21  Florida ranked 17th nationally in the number of persons living
   22  on such limited incomes, and
   23         WHEREAS, in August 2015, the Bureau of Labor Statistics of
   24  the United States Department of Labor reported that Florida had
   25  a 5.3 percent unemployment rate, which was slightly higher than
   26  the national average of 5.1 percent, and
   27         WHEREAS, according to the May 2015 Food Research and Action
   28  Center SNAP/Food Stamp Statistics, there were more than 3.6
   29  million Floridians receiving food stamps, and
   30         WHEREAS, according to data released by RealtyTrac in August
   31  2015, Florida ranked fourth in foreclosure rates by state, down
   32  from first in the nation in December 2012, and
   33         WHEREAS, to combat these alarming statistics, Florida’s
   34  community action agencies provided services to 694,225
   35  individuals and 271,894 families in 2014; assisted 881 low
   36  income individuals in completing post-secondary education;
   37  assisted 1,910 low-income individuals in obtaining preemployment
   38  skills; assisted 2,702 unemployed individuals in obtaining
   39  employment; assisted 405 employed individuals in increasing
   40  their employment income or benefits, or both; and assisted 36
   41  low-income persons in purchasing their own homes, and
   42         WHEREAS, in 2014, through the initiatives of and with
   43  assistance from Florida’s community action agencies, 95,479 low
   44  income residents in this state gained employment or obtained
   45  assistance to reduce or eliminate barriers to employment; 9,823
   46  low-income households achieved an increase in financial assets
   47  or financial skills; child and family development was improved
   48  for 109,233 infants, children, youth, parents, and other adults;
   49  83,882 low-income vulnerable individuals were able to attain
   50  secure independent living situations; 102,265 low-income
   51  families obtained supports that reduced or eliminated barriers
   52  to family stability; 262,624 low-income individuals and families
   53  were provided emergency assistance; and with help from other
   54  public and private agencies, 343,981 community opportunities or
   55  resources were improved or increased for this state’s low-income
   56  residents, and
   57         WHEREAS, in 2014, Florida community action agencies
   58  empowered communities by mobilizing 67,508 community members and
   59  low-income residents to engage in activities that support and
   60  promote their own well-being and that of their communities, and
   61         WHEREAS, poverty continues to be an ever more formidable
   62  problem in our communities as a result of the national and
   63  global economic crises, and it is fitting to recognize and
   64  commend the community action agencies that are at the forefront
   65  of the War on Poverty, NOW, THEREFORE,
   67  Be It Resolved by the Senate of the State of Florida:
   69         That in recognition of the hard work, commitment, and
   70  dedication of Florida’s community action agencies and their
   71  invaluable contributions to the well-being of the low-income
   72  residents throughout the state, January 21, 2016, is recognized
   73  as “Community Action Agency Day” in Florida.