Bay Area/ San Jose/ Politics & Govt
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Published on April 04, 2024
Santa Clara County DA Announces $60,000 in "Bend the Arc" Grants to Address Racial InequitySource: Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office

In a move to combat racial disparities in Santa Clara County, the District Attorney's Office has launched the fourth annual "Bend the Arc" grant program, announcing a pot of $60,000 set to be distributed among local organizations dedicated to increasing opportunity and addressing racial inequities. According to a recent press release, beneficiaries could receive up to $5,000 each to aid their efforts in fighting discrimination and promoting equality in the community.

The grant initiative, which traces its inception back to 2021 by District Attorney Jeff Rosen, has landed a helping hand to diverse groups like the African American Community Service Agency which used its funds from the previous year to support various civic engagement programs and the Silicon Valley Pride which utilized the grant to produce events for Latinx and Asian American Pacific Islander communities, organizations and groups have until May 10 to send in their one-pagers expressing interest; an application process facilitated by email to ensure that all applications will be reviewed fairly and all applicants will receive notification about their status. These grants, which are sourced directly from the Asset Forfeiture Fund — comprised of monies seized from criminal activities, aim to redirect resources back into those communities harmed by criminal elements, full application details can be found in a separate announcement.

"Striving towards racial justice in our neighborhoods isn't a one-sided job. It should be encouraged and supported," Rosen stated in the announcement. The grants form a part of a broader initiative that saw the introduction of 26 social justice reforms by the DA’s Office back in 2020, which aimed at tackling systemic issues in the wake of George Floyd's murder. The effort has been largely directed toward mending the relationship between law enforcement and communities they serve, particularly those that are marginalized.

Eligibility for the grant demands that applicants work towards rectifying racial inequities within Santa Clara County, they should benefit marginalized communities, and cannot claim the funds retroactively, in other words, the events or programs requiring funding must not have already taken place; additionally, individuals directly associated with the DA’s Office — including their families — are not allowed to apply. To receive a grant, recipients must fulfill tax form requirements and register as vendors with the County of Santa Clara, those without a Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) must partner with an organization that has one.

The application process is straightforward, requiring a one-page letter detailing the organization, individual, or group name, contact details, requested funding, and a narrative of how the funds will be used to benefit marginalized segments of the community and the specific outcomes anticipated. This information must be submitted by the stipulated May 10 deadline to be considered for the program.