Anchorage Assembly Chair Felix Rivera says that CARES Act funds that the city will be doling out to businesses and nonprofits cannot be color blind, but must take racial inequality into account and must seek to reverse that inequality created by systemic racism.
“I think that’s something that I stated at a meeting where we had people of color, communities of color, um, asking questions about what we were doing with the small business nonprofit relief program, what about PPP, what about all these things.
“And I stated emphatically that we must not be color blind in our policies, and we must not be color blind in how we distribute this money. Because if we are color blind, then these systems of racism, these systems of oppression will continue to perpetuate.” – Felix Rivera, Anchorage Assembly
“This next tranche of money, if there is one, that comes for the small business and nonprofit relief program, must have some type of equity measure built into it … or I will make sure it is defeated on this floor.” Rivera said he hoped the Berkowitz Administration was listening to him.
The next tranche of funds from the federal government, which is coming through the State treasury, is expected to be released in October. Two previous tranches have already been sent to the municipality. The restrictions on the use of the funds are at this state link.
Rivera was echoing the words of Assembly member Forrest Dunbar, who said the CARES Act money and the recently approved alcohol tax were unique moments to redistribute wealth and address historic injustices.