$30/month internet subsidy now available

APPLY HERE for AFFORDABLECONNECTIVITY.GOV

Or, go to GETINTERNET.GOV to learn more.

The announcement of partnerships with internet providers plus a $30/month subsidy for high-speed internet makes it free, or nearly free, for a large portion of Michigan families. The Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) is a U.S. government program run by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to help low-income households pay for internet service and connected devices like a laptop or tablet.

You are likely eligible for the ACP if your household’s income is below 200% of the Federal Poverty Line, or if you or someone you live with currently receives a government benefit like SNAP, Medicaid, SSI, WIC, Pell Grant, or Free and Reduced-Price Lunch. If your household is eligible, you could receive:

  • Up to a $30/month discount on your internet service
  • Up to a $75/month discount if your household is on qualifying Tribal lands
  • A one-time discount of up to $100 for a laptop, tablet, or desktop computer (with a co-payment of more than $10 but less than $50)
  • A low cost service plan that may be fully covered through the ACP

Today, several internet providers, including AT&T, Charter-Spectrum, Comcast-Xfinity, Frontier, WOW!, Verizon, and more, have announced high-speed internet plans for $30/month or less. If you apply your ACP benefit to one of these plans, you will have no out-of-pocket cost for your household internet.

APPLY HERE for AFFORDABLECONNECTIVITY.GOV

Or, go to GETINTERNET.GOV to learn more.

Wege Speaker Series: Virtual lecture by Dr. Beverly Bright

The Wege Foundation presents its 25th Annual Speaker on May 26, 2022. This year’s lecturer will be Dr. Beverly Wright, award-winning environmental justice scholar, advocate, author, civic leader and professor. She is the founder and executive director of the Deep South Center for Environmental Justice in New Orleans. 

As a child growing up in southern Louisiana, Dr. Wright’s understanding of environmentally compromised communities was close to home. She lived along the highly polluted 85-mile stretch of land between Baton Rouge and New Orleans known as ”cancer alley.” These childhood experiences shaped her eventual career choices in research and activism.

Please register by May 25, 2022 at: wegespeaker2022.eventbrite.com

Founding Partner: 

  • Wege Foundation

Partners:

  • City of Grand Rapids
  • Michigan Black Expo
  • U.S. Green Building Council of West Michigan
  • Urban Core Collective

Please support the Walk for Good Food! 

#Walk4GoodFood

As food justice activists across the nation begin to look at root causes of hunger and under-nutrition, they are beginning to address the injustices in the food system that make food charity a necessity. Access of West Michigan has been on the leading edge of this movement, as is reflected in the name they’ve given their annual fund-raising walk, The Walk for Good Food.

Please support the Walk for Good Food! The Southeast Area Farmers’ Market is one of the recipients of Walk funds — and OKT manages the market! Open from the first Saturday in July to the second Saturday in November at Grand Rapids’ Martin Luther King Jr. Park, our market ‘s vendors are primarily women of color from Grand Rapids’ Southeast neighborhoods. Most of our sales are completed with food assistance dollars. Because the market takes part in the Double Up Food Bucks program,  our patrons using SNAP benefits can purchase twice as much fresh, local produce. This means that our neighbors with income challenges can feed their households even more nutritious food –even though they live in neighborhoods that otherwise have very limited access to healthy foods.

When you support the walk you support the market. JOIN TEAM OKT  or pledge your support through an online donation. OKT also seeks corporate donors to be our sponsors for the event. Download the corporate sponsor packet here.

FGRP hosting Southtown Clean Up & Tree Pruning

On Saturday, April 16 from 10:00 am – 2:00 pm, Friends of Grand Rapids Parks invites neighbors to meet at Gerald R. Ford Middle School to clean up trash and prune trees as part of its Mayor’s Greening Initiative the Southtown neighborhood! The first 30 people to registere here will receive a free lunch.

Friends of Grand Rapids Parks is committed to engaging our community in the betterment of our city’s
parks, trees, and green spaces through volunteerism, park activation, philanthropy and urban forestry. Learn more about them here.

“We Just Unionized Amazon”: How Two Best Friends Beat the Retail Giant’s Union-Busting Campaign

Click on this Democracy Now! link to watch the video interview and read the transcript.

Hear how two best friends led a drive to organize workers at Amazon’s warehouse in Staten Island, New York, and made history Friday after a majority voted to form the first Amazon union in the U.S.

“I think we proved that it’s possible, no matter what industry you work in, what corporation you work for,” says Christian Smalls, interim president of the new union and former Amazon supervisor. “We just unionized Amazon. If we can do that, we can unionize anywhere.”

Reporter Josefa Velásquez covered the union drive for The City and discusses what the victory means for the broader labor movement.

Do your part for the Southeast Area Farmers Market!

#Walk4GoodFood

On May 1 – May 11, you can walk in your neighborhood as part of Team OKT on the 45th Annual Walk for Good Food. Please join us as we work to transform our food system. By walking or donating, you will raise funds that directly support the Southeast Area Farmers Market and help create a Good Food System for everyone in our community. 

May 1: In-Person Kick Off at Briggs ParkThis year’s event will include an optional in-person kick-off event at Briggs Park (324 Knapp St NE, 49505) from 2 to 4pm. The event will include t-shirt pick up, light refreshments, routes for walking, and children’s activities. Stay tuned as more details will be shared in the days to come.

May 1-11: Walk in your Neighborhood Over the past two years we’ve found that many loved engaging in the Walk by gathering in their own community or walking on their own. So, we have started a new tradition! When you join Team OKT, you not have to attend the in-person event to participate. SIGN UP TODAY!  Visit the Walk website to learn more about the event or click below to get started.

JOIN TEAM OKT

MAKE A DONATION TO TEAM OKT

Volunteer attorneys needed to assist at April 2 Grand Rapids expungement event

The City of Grand Rapids Office of Oversight and Public Accountability is seeking attorney volunteers to assist with its Free Expungement Event on April 2. As more than 400 community members have registered in hopes of obtaining an expungement, OPA is seeking assistance from lawyers across the State of Michigan to help during the event to address the overwhelming response.

Brandon D. Davis, director of oversight and public accountability for the City of Grand Rapids, said Michigan lawyers can volunteer for the April 2 clinic by clicking here or visiting: https://www.grandrapidsmi.gov/Government/Departments/Office-of-Oversight-and-Public-Accountability/Clean-Slate-GR-Volunteer-Form.

The expungement event takes place between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. at the Grand Rapids Center for Community Transformation, 1530 Madison Ave SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49507.

The Expungement Clinic will welcome and work with whomever arrives before 4 p.m. Attorneys are welcomed to work shorter shifts based on their availability. The volunteer form has three shift options:

  • Morning Shift (8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.)
  • Afternoon Shift (12:30 to 5 p.m.)
  • All Day Shift (8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.)

Any attorney can volunteer, regardless of practice area.

“Any amount of time that one can give to this effort would be greatly appreciated,” Davis said. “We thank those who have stepped up or are considering volunteering for helping us to change the lives of the members of our community.”

OPA will be offering a one-hour virtual training session at 3 p.m. Friday, April 1 to provide attorney volunteers with the information needed to assist community members. Training is not required, but it is available for those who desire to attend.  OPA can make other arrangements to provide volunteers with the necessary information if they cannot attend training.  Attorney volunteers will review both Certified Records of Conviction, and ICHATS.  Attorneys will also assist participants with completing SCAO approved expungement forms.  Attorneys will not be expected to represent participants in court or in any other representative capacity.

Those who have questions about the event and their role as a volunteer can contact Davis at (616) 456-4OPA or via email at bddavis@grand-rapids.mi.us.