ARPA to the Rescue:  What’s Left for America’s Place-based Recovery Funds

This webinar will delve into the final push to allocate remaining funds from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) and explore the enduring impacts of this significant investment in local governments.

Tuesday, June 11, 2024

1:30pm - 3:00pm EASTERN

Photo courtesy of CultureHouse.

In the midst of the pandemic, a clarion call resounded across the land that the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) would make billions of dollars available for locally-driven investments to build a bridge towards economic recovery while tackling health and racial disparities in thousands of American Towns and Cities.

As we approach the December 2024 obligation deadline, this webinar will explore the final push to allocate remaining funds and the enduring impacts of this “once-in-a-generation” infusion of funds to local governments.

The American Rescue Plan has been tracked extensively by the National League of Cities and their partners. Their Local Government ARPA Investment Tracker provides a dashboard tool for ascertaining how State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund (SLFRF) were spent with the purpose of helping towns and cities look for exemplary ways to use their unobligated funds. We’ll dive deeper into state level and local perspectives on the rolling out and use of ARPA funds with case studies from across Michigan, the Boston area and beyond.

This webinar will explore key questions with those who’ve been watching this story unfold and who hold great promise for our future. While more studies are being done as the data continues to roll in, initial feedback suggests that this program is a resounding success and paves the way for further funding for American towns and cities.

Ryan Smolar is the Initiator of PlacemakingUS, a national learning-and-sharing network of placemaking practitioners across the country. Smolar embarked on a 2021 national “Road Trip for the Recovery,” visiting 70-US cities over three months to promote ARPA funding to be used for place-centered recovery efforts and helped local communities secure over $10M+ in funding for local projects.

Julia Bauer is a research program manager at the National League of Cities. In her role, Julia tracks local government federal fund spending, like the American Rescue Plan Act, as well as issues of local authority. Julia is passionate about local government development and improving the accessibility and equitability of government service delivery. She holds a Masters in Public Affairs and BAs in Sociology & Environmental and Sustainability Studies from Indiana University.

Herasanna Richards is a legislative associate for the Michigan Municipal League, where she advocates on behalf of Michigan communities in the areas of energy, environment, public safety, and technology.

Melissa Milton-Pung is a Policy Research Labs program manager at the Michigan Municipal League. As a Federally-qualified architectural historian, her expertise is in place-based economic development initiatives, historic rehabilitation, and heritage tourism.

Rishika Dhawan is the Senior Community Manager at CultureHouse, an urban design nonprofit based in Somerville, Massachusetts. She is an architect from India who is interested in how cities are shaped by the people who use them. At CultureHouse, she works with community members to identify public space needs and create recommendations for long-term interventions.

Carmen Mays, MPA is an urbanist and creative entrepreneur who believes in the balance of thought leadership and implementation. She affirms that all people have value, and each place holds invaluable stories. Carmen employs a place-based approach that facilitates agency and self-determination to develop blueprints that industry leaders successfully leverage.

This webinar is pay-what-you-wish. Pay as little or as much as you want or nothing at all. Your donation helps Next City to program future events like this one.



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