Community Reinvestment Account Plan Development
The Department of Commerce, in partnership with the Office of Equity and community partners, is responsible for building a plan by July 2023 to describe how funds will be invested to address racial, economic, and social disparities in communities across the state created by the historical design and enforcement of state and federal criminal laws and penalties for drug possession. These dollars will be distributed by Commerce as $100 million in fiscal year 2024 and $100 million in fiscal year 2025 (proviso).
Community Reinvestment Plan
The plan will guide the investment of the funds in four key areas of investment, as defined by the Legislature:
(i) Economic development, which includes addressing wealth disparities to promote asset building such as home ownership and expanding access to financial resources including, but not limited to, grants and loans for small businesses and entrepreneurs, financial literacy training, and other small business training and support activities;
(ii) Civil and criminal legal assistance to provide postconviction relief and case assistance, including the expungement of criminal records and vacation of criminal convictions;
(iii) Community-based violence intervention and prevention services; and
(iv) Reentry services to facilitate successful transitions for persons formerly incarcerated in an adult correctional facility or juvenile residential facility in Washington.
The last two months have seen so much progress in the Community Reinvestment Plan. This progress will be highlighted in the Interim Legislative Report (published and shared here by the end of the calendar year), but I would like to highlight one aspect of the great work our contractor, the Harriet Tubman Foundation for Safe Passage (HTFFSP) is doing: their public engagement and collaboration. The HTFFSP model of gathering community
The Department of Commerce is excited to announce it has finalized a contract for the Harriet Tubman Foundation for Safe Passage to manage the Community Reinvestment Account Plan! HTFFSP has proven expertise in BIPOC-led community engagement and academic leadership that will serve to connect us with the communities most affected by the war on drugs. Their founder, Ms. Jesse Miller leads with heart as a person of lived experience with
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