CA Latino-led organizations push for equal distribution of federal COVID fund

Kassandra Gutierrez Image
Tuesday, June 28, 2022
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The 'American Rescue Plan' has put $16 billion at the hands of local and statewide agencies across California.

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) has put $16 billion at the hands of local and statewide agencies across California.

Now Latino-led organizations are pushing for funding to be equally distributed among underserved communities impacted by COVID.

Tulare native, Adriana Saldivar, is a part of California's Latino Community Foundation, which recently gave $1.4 million in grants to 26 Latino-led advocacy centers in the state.

"For us, it's important to take this as an opportunity to engage the community in deciding how to spend that money. The Latino Community Foundation launched the Latino power fund last year, to make sure that we have the resources to invest in community organizations," says Saldivar.

The organization received 130 applicants for grants ranging between $25,000 and $50,000.

26 organizations were selected, including the one Valley native Veronica Garibay runs in Fresno.

It is called The Leadership Counsel for Justice and Accountability.

The goal is to encourage local governments to put money towards key issues, including clean water, economic investments, improved health care, and WiFi accessibility.

"The funding that the Leadership Counsel received from the Latino community foundation allows us to continue and build on that work by working directly with communities to make sure that the resources that are coming from the federal government intended for vulnerable populations, populations that were most impacted by COVID actually reached those neighborhoods and communities," says Garibay.

The Latino Community Foundation is providing support to the grant recipients and tracking the impact being made with the funding.

The group hopes this collaborative process will provide valuable lessons and brighter futures for the next generation.