Latinx Flint NEWS

C.S. Mott Foundation seeks community input on $1,000,000 investment into Flint neighborhoods

By Asa Ascencio Zuccaro | Latinx Flint Media

AmeriCorps Service member flexing at a community clean-up project serving as a spectacular community representative on how to get things done.

This news article is also available in: Español (Spanish) English

FLINT, Michigan – In November, the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation announced the financial investment of $1 million in grants in 2020 to strengthen Flint neighborhoods. Working alongside the community the foundation collected ideas on investment opportunities and special projects.

The C.S. Mott Foundation has opened the process to the community by creating a voting process on focus areas and project ideas. “It’s time for you to tell us where those dollars should go!” states the foundation’s website.


Based on the feedback from the community and input from the Community Representative Panel, the C.S. Mott foundation has included information to help better understand what some projects cost. You can learn more here.

To get money into neighborhoods quickly while protecting residents’ health, the foundation will conduct online voting through August 11

The following is a summary of creating a condensed list of community input as stated by the Mott Foundation.

After residents submitted 625 ideas, we read over all of them and created a list of 70 to vote on.

Here’s how we got from 625 ideas to 70: 

    • First, we took out ideas that could not be funded by the Mott Foundation. For example, one idea was to lower mortgage interest rates, which is not something Mott can do. 
    • In order to fund more projects, we took out ideas that would cost more than $250,000 to achieve some real progress. 
    • We removed ideas that were not directly related to neighborhood projects. 
    • We combined some submissions to streamline the list because many people submitted the same or very similar ideas using different words. 
    • We did not add our own ideas. Every idea on the list came from one or more community members. 

Bridging language & cultural barriers para una comunidad saludable!

The C.S. Mott foundation has created an investment process that is informed by the community to support the reinvestment into the community. “It is exciting to witness a process unfold that took deliberate action into making it an accessible channel for input” expresses Asa Zuccaro, Executive Director of the Latinx Technology & Community Center.

“Representation and engagement by having a linguistically accessible process reflects a common conversation held by our community at the Latinx Center, such as Support entrepreneurship and business development services for Latinx community. Throughout the years the Eastside has lost many Latinx owned business due to factors negatively impacting the community.”

The $1,000,000 “Focus on Flint” initiative suggests the importance that Flint neighborhoods hold in the city’s ability to address both economic devastation and unique health crises. 

The following is a summary of voting process as stated by the Mott Foundation.

Here’s how voting works: 

    • Vote for up to 10 projects that you’d like to see happen. 
    • Tell us how you want to divide the $1 million among those projects. 
    • You’ll be able to give up to $250,000 per project. Beginning with the minimum amount required to complete each project, you can add funds in increments of $5,000. 
    • Once you spend $1 million, you can no longer vote for more projects. 
    • For example, you can vote for four projects to get $250,000 each, 10 projects to get $100,000 each, or another combination to reach $1 million. You must spend the full $1 million in order to submit your votes. 
    • Each resident may vote only once. 

“We will look at the top vote-getters, as well as the average dollar amounts they received, to guide us in how much we grant toward each of the top ideas. We will grant a total of $1 million toward at least four ideas.” The Mott Foundation will then award grants to local nonprofit organizations to tackle those projects. 

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