Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Should the Nashville Resource Center be allowed to circumvent the competitive grant award process? (update)

This issue is back before the Council on Tuesday Jan. 6th, 2015. Please urge your Councilman to vote against funding NRC.

The Neighborhood Resource Center is an organization that trains community activist among other things.  While the organization does some good things like educate the public on codes and zoning and help start neighborhood watch programs, the leadership is trained in the Saul Alinzky school of community organizing and occasionally engages in a promotion of a left wing ideology. Even when they do the non-objectionable things they do, what they engage in is primarily political activity, not charity.

The organization has in the past largely been funded by United Way.  They lost that funding recently and have had to lay off staff and are in danger of closing shop.  There is now a resolution in the Council to give the organization $100,000 of pubic money.  The fact that they are tainted with Saul Alinzky ideology and occasionally engage in left-wing political activity  should be reason enough not to fund them.  The fact that what they do when not engaged in left-wing activity is still political rather than charitable should be another reason not to fund them.

In addition to the above, another reason not to fund NRC is that there is a competitive grant award program where non-profits can apply for grants.  NRC did not apply for grant funding through this competitive process.  Many good non-profits apply and are not funded. Why should NRC get funded when they did not even compete in the competitive grant award process.

This point is made my Sarah Martin in a post to the Nashville Neighbors Google Group:

The NRC has done good work, but I'm not sure it's fair for any nonprofit to be allowed to circumvent the competitive grant award process, especially mid-fiscal year. To receive funding from the Community Enhancement Fund, nonprofits submit proposals for a specific category, and the proposals are scored by the committee.

Here is the NRC's history with CEFL:
FY09 NRC attended the mandatory training session, applied for and received $36,658.
FY10 did not attend the mandatory training session, did not apply
FY11 did not attend the mandatory training session, did not apply
FY12 did not attend the mandatory training session, did not apply
FY13 attended the mandatory training session, applied for $19,600 in the Afterschool category, received a score of 82, was not funded.
(their score ranked 15 out of 18, that year agencies that received a score of 89 and above were funded)
FY14 attended the mandatory training session, did not apply
FY15 did not attend the mandatory training session, did not apply

Sarah Martin
Cleveland Park
I urge you to contact your council member and ask them to not fund the NRC. Ask them to vote against RESOLUTION NO. RS2014-1316.

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