CLEVELAND (WJW) – Cleveland Mayor Justin Bibb introduced a proposal to city council Monday evening on how the city should invest $40 million of its American Rescue Plan Act funds. Bibb further discussed the American Rescue Plan and its impact on Cleveland during FOX 8 News on Tuesday.

Bibb’s proposal focuses primarily on education, jobs and modernizing the city’s services.

“The pandemic has been hard on all of us, especially our kids and our families. My administration remains focused on helping provide the necessary supports that students, educators and parents need as we continue to come out of the pandemic,” said Mayor Bibb. “These critical initiatives will help accelerate progress on literacy, mental health, and engagement.” 

Bibb’s proposal would invest $16.6 million in education, focusing on involving families in their children’s learning, re-engaging Clevelanders whose education was disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, establishing stronger career path options for grades 6 through 12 and integrating health services in the school district.

Under the proposal, $13.5 million would be invested in inclusive economic recovery to build up good, high-demand jobs, bring more Black, Latinx and women into skilled trades and focus on business development along the Opportunity Corridor.

Another $4 million would be invested in modernizing city hall, especially its 311 operations.

The proposal would also invest $850,000 to help establish a long-term violence prevention strategic plan.

About $5.5 million would go toward the “Civic Participation Fund,” enabling residents to propose and vote for projects in their neighborhoods.

Supporters rallied outside ahead of the meeting.

“No more back room deals, no more ‘business as usual,’ no more, ‘you’ve got to know a city council person to get something done.’ This time, we’re here for real democracy,” one supporter said.

If approved, a group of residents would create proposals on how the funds should be spent with voters making the final decision.

“These ARPA funds are once-in-a-lifetime investments in Cleveland’s future,” Bibb said. “That’s why we’re focusing on the building blocks of a stronger tomorrow: our kids, our workers, and our civic fabric. It’s this kind of catalytic investment in the things that matter most that will ensure Cleveland thrives for generations to come.”