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By Traci Moore                    
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Posted on Wednesday, June 22, 2011  
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The allocation of two hundred thousand dollars was up for consideration by the East Palo Alto City Council. Sixteen local organizations had applied by the June 10 deadline for portions of the money to fund their summer youth programs. But their combined request for funding added up to a total of $344,000.

The city’s mayor, Carlos Romero, gave his colleagues on the council approximately one hour and fifteen minutes to discuss issues related to the grant funding and to ask questions of the representatives from the organizations that had submitted proposals.

While all of the organizations had been invited to send representatives to the June 21 city council meeting, in which the funding decisions were to be made, not all of the organizations had representatives at the meeting.

Still, council members asked questions of those present and kept to the allotted time that Romero set for the discussion. After their most important questions were asked, council members independently selected their choices and the amount they thought each organization should receive.

In order to receive funding, the applying organizations had to meet 5 criteria: 1) Their programs had to serve youth between the ages of 5-18 years.  2) The programs had to be running already, and their funding request would be used to augment their existing program. 3) The funding request could not exceed $25,000, and 4) The requesting organization had to submit a year-end program report if it had received city funding for any programs that it provided last year.

During the decision-making process, four organizations were eliminated outright for various reasons.

Three of the council’s choices for funding corresponded: the selection of Lauren’s House 4 Positive Change, Inc., St. Francis of Assisi Youth Club, Youth United for Community Action and the amounts they each decided to give to the organizations.

Then, after some negotiating among themselves, the five council members decided to award funding to the remaining 12 organizations as follows: Bayshore Christian Ministries - $20,000; Boys & Girls Club for Program 1 - $24,000; Live in Peace – sponsored by the Community Development Institute - $15,000; Community Legal Services of East Palo Alto - $1,500; Creative Montessori Learning Center - $12,000; East Palo Alto Boxing Club - $12,000; Lauren’s House 4 Positive Change, Inc. - $10,000; Peninsula Sports Academy - $15,000; St. Francis of Assisi Youth Club - $20,000; The YMCA - $22,000; Youth Community Service - $20,000 and Youth United for Community Action (YUCA) - $10,000.

The grant funding, which the city allocated to the 2011 Summer Youth Programs, came from the 10% set-aside taken from the city’s Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT), which is designed specifically for children, youth, seniors and families.

After the selections were made, Romero told the award recipients that their organizations should notify the council when their programs were running, so council members would be free at any time to stop by and “check them out.”

To contact the author of this article through East Palo Alto Today, email epatoday@epatoday.org. 


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