OWN finally gets CDBG funding; next newsletter planned in July

       The Organization of Westside Neighbors (OWN) is finally getting its federal funding for 2011. The city-recognized Westside advocacy group is also making sure it doesn't receive more than seems right.
       According to OWN President Welling Clark, the volunteer group will have waited about three months into its contract year (April to March) by the time the money actually becomes available through the city's Housing Development Office. So what the OWN board decided was to decline the amount (about $2,000) that would have covered that first quarter.
       Overall, according to Clark, that means OWN will get about 22 percent less than was offered. But with the city's overall CDBG funding being cut by 18 percent itself, OWN can say “we're chipping in, too,” he said.
       Housing Development Director Valorie Jordan said she appreciated OWN's decision, but considering the $464,000 federal reduction in CDBG funds for 2011 - which has forced the city to make across-the-board cuts in that area - the $2,000 that OWN returned “is not a huge amount of money.”
       Had OWN received its funding in April (as in normal years), the organization could have paid for the printing of the spring edition of its quarterly four-page newsletter, the Westside Story, and mailing the publication to about 8,000 older-Westside addresses. But with spring now past, OWN will just plan on publishing three newsletters (one for each of the remaining three quarters) during the contract year, Clark said.
       The CDBG money-to-come will also help OWN defray the costs of its annual neighborhood picnic, open to all Westsiders, which this year will be held July 23 and (for the first time) at the Westside Community Center, 1628 W. Bijou St. (See story.)

Westside Pioneer article