SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The City of Springfield has funding available to help increase awareness and involvement of residents in neighborhood councils.

A pilot program funded by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts has awarded the Office of Disaster Recovery to solicit proposals in the Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness program. The City will award funding up to $10,000 per neighborhood council.

Mayor Domenic Sarno, Chief Development Officer Timothy Sheehan, Director of Disaster Recovery Tina Quagliato-Sullivan and Deputy Director of Neighborhood Services Ed Whitley announced the Notice of Funding Availability and Request for Proposals to increase awareness and participation in Neighborhood Councils.

These proposals should demonstrate how a neighborhood council would use the funding to increase awareness and participation from residents in council activities. Organizations interested in submitting proposals can obtain the documents from the Office of Procurement, by contacting Lauren Stabilo at lstabilo@springfieldcityhall.com.  All proposals are due by November 8, 2021 at 2:00 p.m.

The strategies should focus on environmental justice areas and populations as defined by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, specifically:

  • U.S. Census Block group whose annual median household income is equal to or less than 65 percent of the statewide median ($62,072 in 2010); or
  • 25% or more of the residents identify as a race other than white; or
  • 25% or more of households have no one over the age of 14 who speaks English only or very well – English Isolation

Mayor Sarno states, “My administration often utilizes our neighborhood councils as a primary point of two-way communication with residents and neighborhoods and these councils frequently serve as a voices for our many diverse citizens and populations.  We recognize that in order to build Springfield’s resilience and respond effectively to disaster situations, we must ensure these lines of communication are expansive and effective prior to an actual disaster. I am grateful to Governor Charlie Baker, Lt. Governor Karyn Polito and Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs Kathleen Theoharides for providing this funding that will allow our neighborhood councils to reach more residents and welcome a wider expanse of residents to participate in the civic process.