chapter  6
28 Pages

“Up the Bureaucracy”: Preserving Policy and Program Integrity within the OEO Administration

ByEarl Johnson

The Assistant Secretary of State for Latin America is in an extremely high and important policy-making position in the State Department. It is significant for the subsequent history of the Legal Services Program that one of the original neighborhood lawyers in New Haven was Jean Cahn. The implications of the report for the Legal Services Program were profound, for it recommended dissolution of the semi-autonomous status of the Program. Virtually every attorney who worked in the early neighborhood law office programs experienced situations that reinforced their urge for independence from the community action agencies. In early 1965, Office of Economic Opportunity (OEO) established a modified version of a special project office to develop, promote, fund, and evaluate Headstart programs. The “Headstart” experience convinced Shriver of the worth of pre-packaged, OEO-promoted programs. The regional OEO directors and the national Legal Services director would share the authority in making Legal Services grants.