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Center for Community Solutions Launches Greater Cleveland American Rescue Plan Council

Jeff St. Clair
The Greater Cleveland American Rescue Plan Council will make suggestions on how the region should spend federal funds.

The Center for Community Solutions is launching an advisory council to offer input on how part of the $29 billion in COVID-19 relief funds will be spent in Northeast Ohio. The nonpartisan think tank is also hoping to gather public input on how other federal money will be spent in the region.

CCS President and Executive Director John Corlett thinks the existence of the Greater Cleveland American Rescue Plan Councilis crucial to federal money being spent effectively in the area.

“We believe that without a coordinated and early action those resources might not be as effective as they could be in alleviating and addressing some of those inequities and disparities that were made apparent by the pandemic,” Corlett said.

He says the council will track how funds are spent and try to influence where the money goes. He hopes the council will also expand to follow money from the potential infrastructure bill and budget reconciliation bill.

“What we focus on could grow as more resources become available, as more policies are enacted that need to be implemented at the local and state level,” Corlett said.

He hopes bringing attention to what the money is put toward will lead to future investments in state and local governments.

Corlett hopes to bring more federal investments to the region.

“It’s important to highlight the impact of these investments, particularly in reducing poverty and inequities and disparities, because I think in that way we can build the political will to continue these investments in the future,” he said.

Corlett says the next step is to appoint a director of the council and begin inviting community leaders to join. He hopes to have the first open meeting by November.

Abigail Bottar covers Akron, Canton, Kent and the surrounding areas for Ideastream Public Media.