Springfield Boosts 9 Neighborhood Councils with State MVP Grants
SPRINGFIELD – Mayor Domenic J. Sarno has awarded grants totaling $ 50,000 to stimulate participation in nine neighborhood councils as part of a program specifically targeting vulnerable populations.
The grants, which had a cap of $ 10,000 for each applicant, were awarded under the Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness (MVP) program, funded by the State’s Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs.
The grants were designed to “help increase awareness and participation in their respective neighborhood councils, with an emphasis on targeting vulnerable and environmental justice populations and residents who would be least likely to participate”, such as renters, isolated English speakers, low-income people, young people and / or residents with disabilities, the city said in a statement.
“My administration fully supports our neighborhood councils as they are a strong voice defending the interests of their community, residents and businesses,” said Sarno. “This grant will help our neighborhood councils in their outreach initiatives, many of which are already doing a tremendous job raising awareness and working tirelessly to improve the quality of life for all.”
The nine applicants received funding as follows:
- Armory Quadrangle Civic Association, $ 9,500
- New North Citizens Council, $ 9,091
- Old Hill Neighborhood Council, $ 6,300
- McKnight Neighborhood Council, $ 6,200
- East Springfield Neighborhood Council, $ 6,059
- Bay Area Neighborhood Council, $ 5,350
- Upper Hill Residents’ Council, $ 5,000
- Indian Orchard Citizens Council, $ 1,500
- Eastern Forest Park Civic Association, $ 1,000
Assessment criteria included: applicants who stated goals and tasks, including in-person and digital outreach, strategies for reaching residents least likely to participate, neighborhoods with large populations in need and in need of plans that would achieve program objectives.
Sarno thanked Gov. Charlie Baker’s administration for the grants program and the city review committee made up of Ed Whitley, deputy warden of wards; Cathy Bruno, director of community development; and Tina Quagliato-Sullivan, director of disaster recovery.