History Of MACA
The Missouri Association for Community Action has its roots in the War on Poverty, which was declared by President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964. In signing the Economic Opportunity Act, Johnson created the Office of Economic Opportunity, as well as local Community Action Agencies throughout the country. By late 1965, every county in Missouri was served by a Community Action Agency, providing services directly to low-income citizens.
Soon, the executive directors of these agencies began meeting informally to discuss common issues, and in 1971 the group was officially organized as the Missouri Association of Community Action Agencies. To increase its strength as an advocacy organization, it eventually expanded membership to include anyone who worked for a Community Action Agency. In 1975, the organization’s name was officially changed to the Missouri Association for Community Action (MACA) to represent its enlarged scope.
MACA’s early mission was twofold: to serve as an effective advocate for community action and to provide training opportunities for community action staff within functional groups. Membership grew, and in 1976 the association held its first annual congress. In the years since, MACA has continued to advocate for legislation and funding to aid the fight against poverty and to provide training opportunities and technical support to enhance the ability of agencies to serve their clients.
Today, MACA is an active association and widely respected as a strong advocate for services that help communities reduce poverty.