We began our part of the War on Poverty in 1964 when St. Paul Mayor George Vavoulis and United Way Planner William Hoffman traveled to Washington D.C. to request funding from the newly created Office of Economic Opportunity. With the funding approved, Ramsey County Citizens Committee on Economic Opportunity (RCCCEO) was created, and William Hoffman became its first executive director.
In late 1970, the board of directors changed the agency’s name to Ramsey Action Programs, Inc. to emphasize the agency’s role in taking strong actions against funding cuts that targeted programs for low-income people, establishing new programs including Senior Nutrition and FARE Share, and expanding existing programs like Head Start and community organizing.
At the end of 2004, Ramsey Action Programs, Inc., signifying a refocused agency strategy as a community catalyst for change, became Community Action Partnership of Ramsey & Washington Counties.
No matter what our name, our agency has always been very deliberate in maintaining the participation of low-income citizens–on our Board of Directors and on the Head Start Policy Council–ensuring that they have a part in decision making, public policy and leadership development.
Four decades after our ambitious beginning, we are still working at our task; the War on Poverty is not yet won. Community Action Partnership of Ramsey and Washington Counties continues to voice the issues of the low-income sector and to provide avenues out of poverty.