Leveraging the American Rescue Plan Act to Advance Racial Equity
The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA) provided local leaders with an unprecedented level of flexible federal resources to address urgent needs related to the Covid-19 pandemic and make longer-term investments to build equitable communities where all residents thrive. Recognizing the potential for the ARPA investments to address long-standing inequities, as well as the risk of local policymakers not centering equity in their decision-making, PolicyLink and the Institute on Race, Power and Political Economy at The New School partnered to analyze the extent to which cities prioritized equity in their ARPA investments. We also collaborated with the Southern Economic Advancement Project to identify equity-focused investments in smaller Southern cities. And we partnered with the Government Alliance on Race and Equity (GARE) to survey chief equity officers working in cities and counties about their engagement in ARPA decision-making.
Released in July 2022, the initial findings from this research can support cities and counties in making equity-promoting investments as they deliberate how to spend their remaining ARPA funds. The full analysis will be available this fall.