Community-based decision-making for American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds
On Dec 8, members of the local nonprofit coalition that includes ACTION presented to the city council the need and suggested process for allocating some of the ARPA funds for community-based initiatives: NPR News Story
The City of Tulsa will receive $88 million in ARPA funds over the next two years. The mayor's proposal, which was approved in a vote by the city council on Nov 17, allocates over $50 million, most of which has been proposed without the required community input and racial equity focus. The Terence Crutcher Foundation, in partnership with ACTION and approximately 60 other nonprofits, are advocating to the City Council for $15 million dollars of American Rescue Plan Act funding to go to community-based initiatives and proposals based on community input. Our coalition has presented our proposal at a public works committee meeting and offered comments at two city council meetings.
Our ask of the city:
-Partner with communal entities with track records of convening and expertise in data analysis from a racial equity lens to establish a community engagement component in the ARPA fund process.
-Re-open the ARPA process to any organization that fits the criteria set by the federal government, including those who originally applied for CARES Act funding.
-Display transparency and continued community engagement in developing the process for application, decision-making, and distribution of the ARPA funds.
-Allocate at least $15 million of ARPA funding to support community-based safety and health initiatives rooted in addressing racial inequity.
If your nonprofit, community association, or religious institution supports this proposal, please add your organization's name by signing this letter
Over 45 coalition representatives attended the Nov 17 City Council meeting, and stood in solidarity with our speakers!