TO: Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners
FROM: Gregory Dill, County Administrator
DATE: October 20, 2022
SUBJECT: Community Priority Fund/ Supreme Felons, Inc.
In light of the ongoing inquiries around the Board approval of Community Priority Fund recommendation to Supreme Felons, Inc. and in response to the discussion at the Board table at last evening’s meeting, my team and I have prepared the following update to help frame responses to community member requests. While formal media inquiries should be directed to my office for screening, the talking points should provide a frame for responding to community members who are interested in our process, or the organization.
- ARPA final rule outlines strict data reporting, assessment, and evaluation guidelines.
- CPF funding awards are tied to mandatory technical assistance, offered by Data and Evaluation Managers (DEM) working out of the County’s Racial Equity Office.
- The Data and Evaluation Managers have worked closely with all three Community Violence Organizations to ensure that they have the structure and resources necessary to successfully contract with Washtenaw County and meet the stringent federal requirements tied to ARPA dollars.
- The ARPA requirements are even more strict than Washtenaw County’s contracting requirements. We will ensure that all CPF Awardees meet federal, state and local requirements prior to release and for continued access of funds.
- Two organizations who were approved for CPF resources in the Community Violence Intervention category, A Brighter Way (also run by reintegrated citizens) and the Dispute Resolution Center have reached the “contract readiness” point in their process and have signed service contracts with Washtenaw County.
- Supreme Felons, Inc. has not signed a service agreement (contract) yet and has not been issued any funds from their award.
- The leadership team for Supreme Felons, Inc. is working closely with the Data and Evaluation Managers to reach the point of “contract readiness”.
- Contract readiness: development of scope of services, insurance certificates, organizational structure, policies/procedures, Board of Directors’ information, comprehensive line-item budget, terms of reporting schedule, and terms for disbursement of funds, assessment, and evaluation.
- At the time of proposal submission and initial staff screening for minimum eligibility, Mr. Alan Fuqua was not affiliated with Supreme Felons, Inc. Washtenaw County has had no communication with Mr. Fuqua related to Supreme Felons or the Community Priority Fund. Supreme Felons has confirmed that Mr. Fuqua is not currently involved with the organization at any level.
- We support our decision to support Supreme Felons, Inc. to continue to do violence intervention and interruption work. They have the expertise, lived experience and community trust to address violence in our community and navigate spaces inaccessible by any other means. Being impacted by the justice system does not disqualify them, rather, it makes them uniquely qualified to do the work.
- The Community Priority Fund was designed to build capacity in organizations just like this one. We will continue to provide technical assistance to make sure they have the structure and resources necessary to successfully contract with Washtenaw County and meet the stringent federal requirements tied to ARPA dollars.
- ARPA provides a unique opportunity to invest in pandemic impacted communities in ways we have not before, and we have the tools to measure for outcomes that we have not seen before.
If you have any questions or concerns, please do reach out to me directly.