Iowa City’s City Council funds social-justice groups

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Iowa City’s City Council funds social-justice groups

The Iowa City Council meeting as seen on Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2018. (James Year/The Daily Iowan)

The Iowa City Council meeting as seen on Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2018. (James Year/The Daily Iowan)

The Daily Iowan; Photos by James

The Iowa City Council meeting as seen on Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2018. (James Year/The Daily Iowan)

The Daily Iowan; Photos by James

The Daily Iowan; Photos by James

The Iowa City Council meeting as seen on Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2018. (James Year/The Daily Iowan)

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The Iowa City City Council allocated $28,800 toward the Social Justice and Race Equity Allocations.

By Maria Kuiper

[email protected]

On Monday night, the Iowa City City Council adopted the Social Justice and Race Equity Allocations.

Twenty-eight organizations had applied for the money, and the council selected four for full funding. It set $25,000 aside for the organizations, but this year, Stefanie Bowers, the city human-rights coordinator and equity director, asked for $3,800 extra in order to fully fund one of the programs.

The council agreed 5-0, with Councilor Kingsley Botchway absent and Councilor Mazahir Salih abstaining from the vote because of a conflict of interest, to fund the extra $3,800. The four programs selected to receive funding are Shelter House, Healthy Kids School-Based Health Clinics, Neighborhood and Development Services, and the Center for Worker Justice of Eastern Iowa.

The grant will provide $5,000 to Shelter House to fund programs such as recreational activities.

Healthy Kids School-Based Health Clinics is a free medical clinic for Iowa City residents ages 0 to 21. It currently offers physicals, sports physicals, immunizations, among other services. The grant will allocate $12,300 for the extension of mental-health treatments and counseling for families. It would also start a “Know Your Rights” series for students who are refugees or immigrants.

The Neighborhood and Development Services is a division of the city government that works with the community and strives to promote healthy neighborhoods and vibrant business communities; $600 will be given to promote “Walk and Roll Wednesday,” which is targeted at reducing social isolation and connecting neighborhoods and communities.

The Center for Worker Justice is a union of low-wage workers of many different ethnicities and citizenship statuses. It works to address such issues as workplace conditions, civil rights, education access, and affordable housing.

The center had asked for $10,900 to fund 10-week classes on job-training skills for immigrants and residents of low- to middle-income. That amount would put the city $3,800 over budget.

“We are asking for $3,800 more because without it, this would cut $3,800 from the Center for Worker Justice,” Bowers said. “Each class is $2,700, and without full funding, the program would have to cut participant numbers or classes offered.”

Mayor Jim Throgmorton said he believed the center was the sort of thing the city was looking for in earlier discussions.

“It seems reasonable to me to allocate an additional $3,800,” he said.

The rest of the councilors agreed with the mayor to fund the extra money for the grant. Councilor Rockne Cole believed the organizations deserved the funding.

“The thing I like about each of these organizations is they have a proven track record and have good organization,” he said. “This makes sure that the dollars are going to be spent well.”

Throgmorton also expressed regards to all of the organizations that applied.

“It’s no easy task to go through these submissions and decide which is best,” he said. “We appreciate each organization who applied and their interest and preparation for proposals.”

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