Monday, March 27, 2023

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Mobilizing Georgia voters in a non-election year is crucial for voting rights groups, Philadelphians over 50 will play a major role in the mayoral primary, and the EPA is finalizing a new air quality rule.

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Michigan becomes the first state in decades to repeal a "right to work" law, death penalty opponents say President Biden is not keeping campaign promises to halt federal executions, and more states move to weaken child labor protection laws.

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Finding childcare is a struggle everywhere, prompting North Carolina's Transylvania County to try a new approach. Maine is slowly building-out broadband access, but disagreements remain over whether local versus national companies should get the contracts, and specialty apps like "Farmers Dating" help those in small communities connect online.

Grant Program to Improve Communities Open for Applications

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Tuesday, January 24, 2023   

A grant program that helps with projects that benefit local communities is back. The AARP Community Challenge program selects projects for small, one-time grants. The aim is to fund projects that will make cities and towns better for people of all ages - with an emphasis on folks age 50 and older - and can be completed in a few months' time.

Marie Bonaminio, a volunteer with AARP Idaho who looks through applications, said the project's feasibility is one area they focus on.

"Sometimes just the smaller dollars is all they're looking for to finish a project, sometimes just start the project. Maybe we're just a piece of it," Bonaminio said. "But it's all about making the communities more livable."

Bonaminio said applications from nonprofit organizations and government entities are prioritized. The deadline for applications is 3 p.m. Mountain time on March 15th. Once they're funded, the projects must be completed by November 30th. Since it began in 2017, AARP has awarded $12.7-million to more than a thousand projects, including 20 in Idaho.

The Community Challenge program is adding two new grant programs this year. One is a capacity-building micro-grant for improving walkability by starting or expanding a community garden. The other is a demonstration grant, which will focus on transportation improvements and the benefits of accessory dwelling units as a housing solution. While some of the projects funded as part of the Community Challenge's flagship program may only last a short time, others are there for much longer.

Bonaminio said these are big wins for communities.

"These are actually projects that they put together and they stay there," she said. "This is to improve their community forever."

Last year, three projects in Idaho were funded. They included funds to install a permanent sound system at the Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial in Boise, a remote locker system for the Emmett Public Library, and an electric cargo bike that carried games and other items around Boise over the summer.

Disclosure: AARP Idaho contributes to our fund for reporting on Consumer Issues, Energy Policy, Health Issues, Senior Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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