Community Action Program


The Community Action Program (CAP) was a cornerstone of President Lyndon B. Johnson’s War on Poverty. Aimed at combating socio-economic challenges that plagued many American cities, CAP was established through the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964. Unlike many top-down government programs of the era, CAP adopted a more novel approach emphasizing the direct involvement of local communities in determining the nature and scope of projects. The underlying philosophy was “maximum feasible participation” to empower residents, particularly those from low-income backgrounds, to have a decisive voice in crafting solutions to their community’s unique challenges. Social service programs like Head Start came out of CAP.