“Think Big and Win Big” with Conference of Mayors, DuPont
$375,000 Grant Competition Begins for Lead-Safe Program
By Jade E. Floyd
February 20, 2006
DuPont Public Affairs Manager Mary Kate Campbell announced during the Conference of Mayors Annual Winter Meeting in Washington January 25, the Cities United for Science Progress (CUSP), the partnership between The United States Conference of Mayors and DuPont, will award $375,000 for this year’s “lead-safe for Kids Sake” grant program. “Lead-Safe…For Kid’s Sake” grants are available to member cities of the Conference of Mayors for their efforts in proposing and/or demonstrating excellence in implementing effective solutions toward making their communities lead-safe.
This is the beginning of the fifth year of DuPont’s partnership with the Conference of Mayors. Since its inception, CUSP has reached more than 100 cities through Science in the School Days in the public schools, and our grant award and best practices awards. To date, DuPont has committed more than $3 million to mayors who have addressed lead safety in their communities.
This year’s CUSP theme is “Think Big.” DuPont “thinks big” by inventing scientific solutions for the challenges we all face in our daily lives. Mayors, almost by definition, have to be “big thinkers.” Therefore, both partners expect big ideas to come out of the grant competition, including cities plans to maximize the impact of this grant money through pubic/private partnerships and other creative approaches which could concern housing rehabilitation, testing young children for elevated blood lead levels or community education efforts.
As in previous years, DuPont and the Conference of Mayors goal has been to assist mayors in making their cities lead-safe. The more than 30 cities who have been awarded money thus far are making real progress in changing the lives of our cities’ children. However Campbell noted, “These funds, though sizable, are not the most important aspect of the program. Most important is rewarding innovation and action. These components are critical to making cities lead-safe. This is a challenge the public and private sectors working together with the community can solve.”
It is not just the grant dollars helping cities become lead-safe. DuPont and the Conference believe it is also the sharing of ideas and cities working with their corporate community in a partnership. CUSP is creating a best practices warehouse of knowledge through past innovative grant applications. Where ideas that work can then be shared with other cities who are in need of solutions to their lead problems. Soon mayors and their staff members will be able to access all of these applications on CUSP’s website, http://www.usmayors.org/cusp/. There mayors can find examples of what CUSP considers to be some of the most innovative programs brought forth from other cities.
Three grants, totaling $375,000, including a first-place Award for Excellence grant for $175,000 and two second-place $100,000 Awards of Distinction are offered with deadlines for grant application submissions being April 21, 2006. Last year's winners included cities of all sizes – Gary (IN), Rochester (NY) and San Francisco. This is not a big city or small city competition. The application process is easy. It includes a simple 750-word application and there is plenty of time to get it done.
Campbell closed her address by imploring mayors to get involved. “Mayor’s – don’t miss this opportunity to enhance lead-safety practices in your community. Whether your city is proposing to address the issue through newly formed public policy programs, educational opportunities or joint efforts with local stakeholders, we encourage all Conference of Mayors member cities to apply, no matter how big or small,” she said.
Applications for the “Lead-Safe…For Kid’s Sake” grant can be downloaded at http://www.usmayors.org/cusp/ and require a 750-word executive summary submission outlining how your city proposes to develop new programs to further your goal of making your city lead-safe.
Should you have any questions regarding the application procedure or to bring a Science in the School Day to your city, contact Jade Floyd by phone at 202-466-7324 or send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.