Erie County United and other community leaders gathered to discuss where local government officials should allocate funds from the American Rescue Plan.
Many gathered at the Booker T. Washington Center to get input from other residents about where the federal funds should be put toward, including schools, community centers and youth programs.
Several community leaders said this opportunity was to make many aware of the funds coming to the county and the city.
Elspeth Koehle, the organizer of the event, said she hopes to see local government officials bring back sustaining jobs.
“We can have more job creations and better wages,” Koehle said. “There’s a million things we can do with this money and not just pay down debt or anything like that.”
Jasmine Flores, a community advocate and Erie City Council nominee, said something needs to change in the community.
“We are the poorest zip code in the country and the worst place for African-Americans to live,” Flores said. “So, I think that we really need to address the issue, and the only way that’s going to happen is if we use the money for what they’re supposed to use [it] for.”
Many community leaders in attendance said they hope the funds can be put into community centers to expand programs for youth.
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