Ideas for the American Rescue Plan Money Coming to Cleveland
There’s a lot of money being distributed from the American Rescue Plan, and we all need to let our local elected representatives know now what we think ought to be done with it. 512 million dollars is slated to come to the City of Cleveland alone.
Here are some general ideas and a few specific suggestions for the money coming here.
1) Put the emphasis on “rescue” and avoid the temptation for a big, glitzy public relations and marketing driven boondoggle to promote how cool Cleveland is. It would be very cool to actually rescue people that need it.
2) Spread the money around to the benefit of average people. Keep it out of the hands of corporations, influencers, the privileged, the powerful and the 1%. Put people before profit.
3) Let City Councilpersons determine what projects would directly help the most people who need help in their wards.
4) Use a big portion to help local non-profits that provide social services directly to people that are hurting, like the homeless and people impacted by COVID.
5) The Cleveland Foodbank would be a great example of a good place to put some of the money.
6) Making public transportation more affordable and available is another good option.
7) Helping to make this city more adaptable to the climate crisis would be good: for example, planting lots of trees would help to replace some of the green space that the glut of new expensive rental housing has destroyed.
8) Jumpstart and accelerate the return to recycling in Cleveland. It’s unconscionable that the City has succumbed to “market forces” and is failing to do what is right. Cleveland residents are rightly angered by the City’s recalcitrance. The long-term costs of failing to protect the natural ecosystem are incalculable.
9) Use some money to lower tuition costs at Tri-C and Cleveland State University.
10) Fund the arts in Cleveland. Arts organizations are hurting. They provide jobs, support and help educate underprivileged children and are essential to a thriving community.
You probably have your own list. Send it to the Mayor and your Councilperson today.
(Original art by J.E. Hargate)