"RMAPI went through an internal process for a year with a consultant at (consulting firm) FSG to create a new governance structure, which has been successfully added, and to clarify amongst all the stakeholders the purpose, strategies, mission to get on the same page.
RMAPI is working on getting the community to adopt the key principles of community building, he said, which include community building, anti-racism and trauma-informed work.
The RMAPI Employment Working Group has developed pledges for employers and job training agencies to promote the collaborative's guiding principles to address structural racism, address trauma and build and support the community.
RMAPI is putting a lot of emphasis on collective impact, Marx noted.
To that end, RMAPI this spring implemented a participatory budgeting process.
"Participatory budgeting is basically a democratic way for people to figure out how money is spent in their community," said Graham Hughes, who serves as community operations associate for RMAPI. "People brainstorm ideas, they develop formal project proposals, they show the projects all throughout the community and then vote on how the money should be spent on the projects."
RMAPI has $175,000 that community members can decide how to use for anti-poverty initiatives.
Once RMAPI has collected all of the ideas, volunteer budget delegates will turn the ideas into formal project proposals, each of which will range from $10,000 to $50,000.
"After that, the winning projects are funded and implemented and RMAPI staff works with the winning sites or individuals to implement the projects, hopefully between February and May," Hughes said.
RMAPI has a couple of goals for the participatory budgeting process, Hughes said.