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Community engagement launched for Boston's use of American Rescue Plan Act federal funding

The City expects to invest an additional $400 million in federal funds to support the City’s recovery from the pandemic through the end of 2024.

Mayor Kim Janey today announced the launch of the “Let’s Go Better” listening campaign and a new taskforce for Boston’s equitable recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, which will help inform the investment of an additional $400 million in federal funds from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). As part of Mayor Janey’s commitment to an open and inclusive community process to support Boston’s recovery needs, residents will be able to participate through completing an initial survey, joining an issue-based community meeting and visiting the equitable recovery website to learn more.

“COVID-19 has had and continues to have public health impacts on our city. It has also worsened many of the economic and health disparities that have persisted in Boston across race and ethnicity, gender, and neighborhood. It also caused deep economic pain in our city, especially for working-class families and communities of color,” said Mayor Janey. “That’s why I am committed to lead Boston not only out of this public health crisis but also to a stronger, more equitable city, using the federal funds that the City has received through the American Rescue Plan Act. I look forward to working with the community, the Equitable Recovery Taskforce and the Boston City Council as we move forward.”

This listening campaign will help inform the City’s plans for long-term recovery, building on the Mayor’s $3.76 billion FY22 Operating Budget and the first $81.5 million in ARPA emergency relief funding for Boston residents, workers and small businesses. As part of Boston’s equitable recovery, the City will use these federal funds for transformative investments in public health, wealth building, and job development programs that will close the gap for those most impacted by the pandemic. This is one way the City of Boston is implementing the Health Equity Now Plan, which was presented to the Mayor by the COVID-19 Health Inequities Task Force in July.

The City of Boston will host the following virtual community meetings:

Additional community meetings to be announced for October.

The Mayor also today announced the formation of Boston’s Equitable Recovery Taskforce, a 12-month advisory group composed of community members and leaders who will help coordinate our recovery efforts across the public, private and nonprofit sectors. The Taskforce will meet in the coming weeks and months to advise the Mayor on investment recommendations and ensure that the City leverages federal resources for the short- and long-term benefit of Boston residents, with an intentional focus on those who have been hurt most by the pandemic. 

Boston’s Equitable Recovery Taskforce:

  • Aisha Francis, CEO, Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology
  • Andrea Swain, Executive Director, Yawkey Club of Roxbury
  • Ayele Shakur, CEO, BUILD
  • Bob Giannino, CEO, United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley
  • Bob Luz, CEO, Mass Restaurant Association
  • Catherine D’Amato, President & CEO of Greater Boston Food Bank
  • Corey Thomas, CEO, Rapid7
  • Daniel J. Hunt, State Representative, 13th Suffolk District; Chairperson, House Committee on Federal Stimulus and Census Oversight
  • Darlene Lombos, Executive Secretary and Treasurer, Greater Boston Labor Council
  • Elsie Taveras, Pediatrician and Chief Community Health Equity Officer, Mass General Brigham
  • Emilio Dorcely, CEO, Urban Edge
  • Frederica Williams, CEO, Whittier Street Health Center
  • Glynn Lloyd, Executive Director, Foundation for Business Equity
  • Gustavo Quiroga, Director of Neighborhood Strategy and Development, Graffito
  • Jacquetta Van Zandt, Vice President of Engagement-The Partnership, Inc
  • Jaimie McNeil, General Agent, UNITE HERE Local 26
  • Jim Rooney, President & CEO, GB Chamber of Commerce
  • Joel Sklar, Board Chair, Boston Main Streets; Principal, Samuels & Associates
  • Karen Chen, Executive Director, Chinese Progressive Association
  • Lew Finfer, Co-director, Massachusetts Communities Action Network
  • Manny Lopes, President and CEO, East Boston Neighborhood Health Center
  • Michael Curry, President & CEO, Mass League of Community Health Centers; Co-Chair, COVID 19 Health Inequities Task Force
  • Michael Flaherty, Boston City Councilor, At-Large, Chair, Committee on COVID-19 Recovery
  • Pam Kocher, President, Boston Municipal Research Bureau
  • Quincy Miller, President, Eastern Bank
  • Sam Acevedo, Executive Director, Boston Higher Education Resource Center
  • Segun Idowu, Executive Director, Black Economic Council of MA (BECMA)
  • Stacy Thompson, Executive Director, Liveable Streets
  • Suzanne Lee, Former Principal, Josiah Quincy School; President Emeritus, Chinese Progressive Association
  • Symone Crawford, Director of Homeownership Education, MAHA
  • Tomas Gonzalez, COO, Core Cannabis
  • Vanessa Calderon-Rosado, CEO, Inquilinos Boricuas en Acción
  • Willie Broderick II, Senior Pastor, Twelfth Baptist Church

Throughout this public engagement campaign, the City’s senior leadership, represented on the internal Equitable Recovery Coordinating Committee (ERCC), will continue to be informed by residents and community stakeholders. The Equitable Recovery Taskforce will provide their investment recommendations to the Mayor in October. Then, following further input from the public, a finalized plan for investments will be published in late fall and filed with the Boston City Council.

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