When+can+we+expect+the+REAF+to+begin+distribution%3F

GRAPHIC BY JEREMIAH LEVY

When can we expect the REAF to begin distribution?

October 25, 2020

REAF’s original timeline had distribution decisions slated for May 2020, but due to COVID-19, cancellations and delays have led to a predicted deadline of November 2020.

While the main issues may have been smoothed over, small kinks and minor details remain. Though the Select Board has seen the resolution, the final decisions on distribution fall to both the ODICR and CDICR.

Cawthorne said that he hopes the pandemic will not divert attention away from the initiative.

“I think we should all be a little bit worried, particularly folks of color, that this Warrant Article might be forgotten. As such, we should continue to hold pressure to the government to do their job around this Warrant Article,” Cawthorne said.

The need for a commission to distribute these funds relates back to the incident in Fall River and the dangers of unregulated social justice programs. Subsequently, the exact implementation of distribution is a complicated subject, and O’Neill said he thinks the final plan will take time.

Even so, details surrounding the security of the funds in question seem to have been fleshed out. While the Town Administrator Mel Kleckner petitions the state for the usage of the Mitigation Fund, a plan to create a stabilization fund is already in full swing.

According to Fernandez, this Stabilization Fund would house a large portion of the appropriated money from the Mitigation Fund. Thus, it would be an isolated resource, solely for use in the programs and persons that the ODICR and CDICR decide to lend aid to in November.

“So said we would pull the mitigation funds, and then create what’s called a Stabilization Fund, where essentially it would live,” Fernandez said. “Then we could take a certain percentage of that, potentially up to 35 percent, and use that for racial equity advancement programs. That’s where we are now.”

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