Congresswoman and national Community Action leader tour local agency

Provided photo: Those attending a meet and greet Monday morning with Congresswoman Claudia Tenney at Community Action in Batavia are, from left, Renee Hungerford, CEO of Community Action of Orleans and Genesee; Congresswoman Tenney; Bruce Schmidt, CAOG board vice chair; Barb Shine, CAOG chair; Esther Leadley, CAOG board member; David Bradley, CEO and co-founder of the National Community Action Foundation; and David Dodge, CAOG case manager.

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 19 October 2022 at 3:44 pm

BATAVIA – Representatives from Community Action of Orleans and Genesee met at Community Action in Batavia on Monday with Congresswoman Claudia Tenney who is seeking to represent a district that would include Genesee and part of Orleans County. The redrawn 24th Congressional District includes about a dozen counties.

Renee Hungerford, executive director of Community Action, stressed her agency does not take political stances, and that the visit was simply an opportunity for Tenney, who supports the H.R. 5129, Community Services Block Grant Modernization Act, as well as the H.R. 4040, Advancing Telehealth Beyond COVID-19 Act, to see the work Community Action is doing.

“The former brings important changes, such as a 10-year reauthorization of our foundational funding source, as well as the adoption of a 200% federal poverty level eligibility, which increases the number we are able to help become self-sufficient,” Hungerford said. “This is especially important as minimum wage increases result in reduced eligibility of services for hard-working, low-income individuals and their families. Telehealth is an important tool that connects people to greatly needed healthcare services, which are not limited to the pandemic. It is an important component of our innovative ‘Axis of Care’ program.”

“It is very much ‘to the point’ that we appreciate her support of these two bills,” Hungerford said. “We are thankful that Congresswoman Tenney is a supporter of these acts.

The Community Service Block Grant is the backbone funding for Community Action agencies, Hungerford explained.

Also attending the meeting with Tenney on Monday morning were David Bradley, CEO and co-founder of the National Community Action Foundation, and the primary architect of Community Service Block Grant; Bruce Schmidt, CAOG board vice chair; Barb Shine, CAOG chair; Esther Leadley, CAOG board member; and David Doge, CAOG case manager.

Tenney released a statement that she appreciated the chance to meet with Community Action staff and leaders in Batavia and also in Lockport while she was joined by David Bradley. Bradley’s organization advocates on behalf of a nationwide network of Community Action agencies.

“It is such an honor for our community to welcome David Bradley to Western New York,” Tenney said. “David is a national leader on these issues, and this visit was an important opportunity for our region to highlight the exceptional work being done on the ground to combat poverty and expand opportunity for New York families.

“Community Action agencies provide vital services to those in need, and they do so in a fiscally responsible manner to ensure every taxpayer dollar is used effectively and efficiently,” she said. “We saw their important work in action. I thank the leadership teams and staff at these facilities for their commitment to improving our region by providing New York families with the tools and support for success.”