BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Baltimore is calling on local nonprofits to submit proposals for some of the city’s $641 million in American Rescue Plan funds, Mayor Brandon Scott said on Monday.

Starting Oct. 1, nonprofit organizations can submit their proposals through a portal on the website of the Mayor’s Office of Recovery Programs.

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A seven-member team will review proposals and help organizations with developing a budget, designing a program, meeting federal reporting requirements and other steps, Scott said.

A team of advisors will score proposals before sending them to Scott’s office.

“Proposals where equity and partnership are central tenets of the project will be scored the highest,” Scott said in a video announcement.

The Mayor’s Office of Recovery Programs will hold a virtual information session on the application process on Sept. 28.

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City agencies were given a similar opportunity to submit proposals for the relief money.

The mayor also outlined some of his administration’s priorities for the federal money, including community-based violence-reduction initiatives, a recovery fund for small businesses and expanded broadband access. City officials will provide more details about these initiatives during a series of announcements in September and October, Scott said.

“$641 million is a significant investment,” Scott said. But in a city like Baltimore, with deep, systematic challenges, even before the pandemic, we must be strategic and targeted in our approach–with an eye toward making a definitive, measured impact on our city through a lens of equity.”

Shortly after Scott’s video message was posted, City Council President Nick Mosby announced plans to introduce legislation Monday night calling for quarterly oversight hearings and an ongoing equity assessment and data analysis of plans for the $641 million.

“With this level of investment over such a short period of time, we can truly undo some of the deliberate damage in our city created by longstanding structural inequity,” Mosby said in a statement. “It is in a crisis when our values are tested the most. And in this crisis we get to choose whether we will be guided by the data, driven by equity and propelled to put aside conventional solutions.”

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In his Facebook video, Scott committed to having the Mayor’s Office of Recovery Programs participate in quarterly meetings before the council to discuss how the funds are used. The first is scheduled for Oct. 5 before the the Ways and Means Committee, Scott said.

CBS Baltimore Staff