Milwaukee County Executive David Crowley Applauds County Board for Investments in Equity
County leaders approve $5 million for emergency COVID-19 funds and an additional $425,000 for Community Resilience Fund
As negotiations continue in Washington on the next package of COVID-19 pandemic relief for Americans nationwide, and leaders on both sides signal that direct and flexible aid for state and local governments will be discussed as a separate package not to be passed until after the holidays, Milwaukee County Executive David Crowley applauded the County Board for votes to continue investments in equity and attempting to meet the needs of county residents.
“The economic, physical, and mental toll of the last nine months hangs over Milwaukee County as the public health crisis continues and the urgent needs of county residents grow. It is no secret that CARES Act funds expire at the end of the month, but the need for resources to address the impacts will not immediately go away once we turn our calendars to 2021,” Milwaukee County Executive David Crowley said. “I’m glad to see the County Board voting in support of resources to meet the needs of our most vulnerable residents. While we work with our partners across the state and region to advocate for more funds, the County is making further investments in equity by granting funding to over a dozen community organizations focused on addressing the needs of communities of color and essential frontline workers without health care, childcare and other necessary services. And, with uncertainty in the days and weeks ahead, I am also proud to see the Board support preserving funding for the highest life safety costs, like PPE and employee testing, if we should need it while negotiations continue in Washington.”
With the December 31 expiration date of federal CARES Act funds looming, the County Board voted to approve allocating $5 million to the emergency COVID-19 fund for related need such as PPE supplies, cleaning expenses, and re-opening expenses. “I’m proud of leadership of the Board in taking action to ensure County’s pandemic response continues to operate in top gear while we wait for Congress to pass relief, but the need to send relief to states and local governments as soon as possible cannot be overstated,” Milwaukee County Board Chairwoman Marcelia Nicholson said. “Businesses are closing, EMS calls for overdoses and suicide attempts are at historic levels, and residents continue to struggle to stay in their homes.
It is going to take time for funds to flow into the hands of the people who need it the most and any further delay only causes more hardship for people in our region.”
The board also voted to allocate an additional $425,000 in CARES funding to support 16 community-based organizations identified by the Community Resilience Response Team (CRRT), a group stood up during the pandemic to offer community-based guidance to the County’s regional COVID response and is made of individuals with intimate knowledge of Milwaukee’s history and its impact on the pandemic today.
In total, the County has awarded $850,000 to community organizations based on the recommendations of the CRRT. Organizations receiving awards include those excluded by other COVID-19 funding opportunities, work with essential workers without health supports, childcare, and other necessary services, and serve groups experiencing disparate health impacts like communities of color, aging residents, and people with disabilities. These funds support the important things local organizations are doing to keep residents safe and healthy. The work they do is an invaluable asset to the health of our community. From distributing diapers to direct financial assistance for families to multilingual COVID-19 education campaigns, these groups continue aid the County in our effort to bridge the gap in health disparities and support our vision of achieving racial equity and becoming the healthiest county in Wisconsin. Organizations awarded funding through recommendations of the CRRT:
- Milwaukee Diaper Mission
- Last Hope Fund
- United Community Center
- Clark Square Neighborhood Initiative
- Walker’s Point Center for the Arts
- Forward Latino, Inc.
- CORE El Centro
- Latinx Chamber of Commerce
- Greater Milwaukee Center for Health Education and Prevention
- Jump at the Sun
- Black Health Coalition
- Health Connections Inc.
- The Asha Project
- QDC Research and Policy Consulting Group LLC
- Lovell Johnson Quality of Life Center