$122 million is what's at stake.
$122 million in federal hurricane disaster recovery funds are heading to the Valley. We want local low income residents to be hired for the projects receiving federal assistance.
For that reason we are calling on the Council of Governments to require that URS, #267 of the 500 biggest companies in America and the firm that our local representatives have hired to manage the funds, adopt the Equal Voice Network's plan for Section 3 compliance.
The Equal Voice Network is calling on our representatives to stand up and support our plan. Our plan asks URS and the Council of Governments to:
• Ensure that 30% of all work done with the Hurricane money is by local, low income people.
• Ensure that local small businesses can compete and get contracts for the work
• Ensure that local, low income people get construction training that will be useful to the improvement of the Valley in the future.
• Ensure that the training and hiring is monitored and therefore successful.
In the near future, the Council of Governments will make a decision on this issue: whether to allow URS to award contracts to companies with no oversight or accountability to local residents, or to implement the Equal Voice Network's section 3 plan and put local, low income people and local businesses to work.
We're collecting signatures from all over the RGV to show the Council of Governments that we're serious about creating local jobs. The more signatures, the better. We want to show our representatives that we are aware of the issue and are counting on them to support local people and local business. The sooner we collect signatures, the faster the Council of Governments will consider our petition and put local, low income residents to work.
We've convinced the CoG to take colonia residents into account before. Now let's show them that when it comes to creating opportunities for local, low income people we mean business.