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As Auburn forms $10M DRI plan, marginalized groups call for inclusion

On Jan. 8, the committee planning how Auburn spends its $10 million state grant will hold a public workshop at the Booker T. Washington Community Center.

What makes this workshop different than others the committee is holding, however, is its target audience: Auburn’s historically marginalized communities.

Committee member Ray Richardson, a care manager at Cayuga Centers and vice president of the Auburn/Cayuga branch of the NAACP, said the goal of the workshop is getting the word out. As the local planning committee decides how the city’s $10 million Downtown Revitalization Initiative grant is divvied up, he said, communities like people of color, LGBTQ people and people with disabilities may not know how to become part of the process. Attendance at the committee’s workshops and meetings has been strong so far, Richardson said, but people of color, for instance, have been scarce.

“Those communities don’t necessarily have access to the streams they’ve used to get the word out. They have it on their website and they have it in the newspaper, but they don’t necessarily have it available to marginalized communities,” Richardson said. “We want to be as fair as possible so everyone has the opportunity to put in a proposal and make downtown better.”

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