Monday, July 16 , 2018, 4:43 am | Fair 65º


Letter to the Editor: Sargent Shriver Made a Lasting Difference in Community Action

As has been noted in the media, the passing of Sargent Shriver is occasion to remember him as a distinguished public servant and visionary leader. Many of the great programs that emerged from the presidency of John F. Kennedy and from President Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty are still changing lives in Santa Barbara County today.

As well as being the founding director of the Peace Corps, Shriver was the first director of the Office of Economic Opportunity and is considered the father of Community Action, Head Start, VISTA and the Job Corps.

Our Community Action Commission of Santa Barbara County, a private nonprofit agency, was founded in 1967 as a direct result of the Community Action movement. Today, CAC is evidence of Shriver’s continuing legacy, operating the countywide Head Start program, which prepares children for success in public school at 27 centers, and the Santa Barbara County Youth Corps, which, with the help of the Workforce Investment Board, helps at-risk county youth finish school and learn job skills while working on community improvement projects.

Shriver’s efforts changed many millions of lives over several decades — thousands in our local communities. As we approach the 45th anniversary year of the Community Action Commission, CAC pays tribute to this extraordinary man. Thank you, Sargent Shriver. We will never forget you.

David Krier
Director of Communications, Planning and Development, Community Action Commission of Santa Barbara County
Former Volunteer in Service to America (VISTA), 1968-1971

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