One million dollars in federal Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) would be redirected from City of Milwaukee agencies directly to community organizations, initiatives and groups that support them, under funding amendments made by the Community and Economic Development Committee on Monday.
“These were unbudgeted funds that we were told would go toward the city’s poverty alleviation services,” chair of the Community and Economic Development Committee Alderman Joe Davis, Sr., said. “But we would rather see these funds go directly to community-based organizations that are out in the city doing good. We know that these groups need this direct financial support and CDBG funds are not meant as a lump sum for the city simply to do with as it sees fit.”
Under the original proposal by Milwaukee ’s Community Development Grants Administration, $6.4 million of the $14 million in 2014 federal CDBG funds would have been allocated to city services.
Under Alderman Davis’s amendment, $1 million of that allocation would be diverted to support community-based organizations, including $500,000 to the Milwaukee Promise/Black Male Achievement initiative, an additional $235,000 to Neighborhood Strategic Planning, $190,000 to Be the Change and an additional $75,000 for CDBG Entitlement Allocation Capacity Building-Technical Assistance to CBOs.
“This amendment is in line with the policy objectives that the council and the administration have agreed to in the past,” committee member Alderman Ashanti Hamilton said. “I hope we can continue to move forward in the spirit of collaboration in our efforts to reduce poverty and increase the quality of life for our residents.”
The amendment passed with the unanimous support of the committee. It will now go before the full Common Council on Tuesday, July 23.