FILE - MD Brandon Scott 10-23-2019

In this Oct. 23, 2019, file photo, Brandon Scott , then the Baltimore Council president, speaks during a viewing service for the late U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings at Morgan State University in Baltimore.

(The Center Square) – Baltimore’s mayor announced Monday that his plan for economic recovery will see funds being distributed through the lens of equity.

In a news release, Mayor Brandon Scott said he will use a targeted approach when it comes to distributing the $641 million in American Recovery Plan Act funding awarded to The Charm City.

“In a city like Baltimore with deep systemic challenges even before the pandemic, we must be strategic and targeted in our approach – with an eye toward making a definitive, measured impact on our city through a lens of equity,” Scott said in the release. “When we’re dealing with problems that predate my lifetime, we understand that this will not happen overnight. And at the same time, we know that if we make investments in the right way, we can make a genuine impact.”

Scott said the initial round of awards will be announced throughout September and October, and will primarily focus on efforts to combat COVID-19, reducing community violence, and an economic recovery plan with a focus on Black, brown, and women-owned businesses. Scott also said artists and creators, along with workforce development and broadband are part of his economic recovery strategy.

Earlier this summer, the mayor established the Mayor’s Office of Recovery Programs and appointed Shamiah Kearney to leave the office. The purpose, the release reads, is “to responsibly and effectively manage the federal requirements associated with these dollars.”

Kerney said his office has been “working to develop internal control standards and implementation of these funds and making refinements to the application process for the benefit of internal city agencies and external nonprofit organization that will apply for these funds.

Scott announced that starting Oct. 1, nonprofit organization can submit funding proposals online at arp.baltimorecity.gov.

“In alignment with my commitment to a transparent distribution of these funds, information on all proposals that are selected for funding will be made available on Baltimore City’s ARP website,” Scott said. “We have plans for dashboards, maps, and other ways to connect the investments we make directly to impact – tools which will be available in the months to come.”

A virtual informational session will be held Sept. 28 for nonprofits to provide details on eligible uses of fund and the application process, the mayor’s Office of Recovery said.

Under the plan, proposals will be reviewed by a seven-member team with the Office of Recovery office will assist nonprofits with budget and program design, before the proposals will be scored.

The mayor’s office said the funding comes from the State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund, and will be invested in building public safety, responsible stewardship of city resources, prioritizing youth, economics and neighborhood development and clean and healthy committees.

Associate Editor

Brent Addleman is an Associate Editor and a veteran journalist with more than 25 years of experience. He has served as editor of newspapers in Pennsylvania and Texas, and has also worked at newspapers in Delaware, Maryland, New York, and Kentucky.