WASHINGTON – Today, Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Wally Adeyemo convened a roundtable with local and Tribal governments to discuss how they are deploying State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF), available to them through President Biden’s American Rescue Plan, to effectively serve communities of color and vulnerable communities. Roundtable participants discussed how they are using tools such as budget frameworks, project review rubrics, disaggregated program data, robust community engagement, rigorous evaluation, and other systematic approaches to incorporate the context and needs of historically underserved communities into their development, approval, and implementation of SLFRF projects.
Officials representing Harris County, TX described using an equity framework for the county’s SLFRF program, which includes an equity assessment tool to ensure that racial and economic equity are key factors in making funding decisions. Durham, NC officials explained how they used equity impact assessments to review how different racial and ethnic groups could be affected by proposed investments. Officials from Los Angeles County, CA provided an overview of their Equity Toolkit to help county departments conduct an equity assessment, alignment, and evaluation process that ensures that SLFRF resources go to communities most affected by the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Officials representing Fort Belknap Indian Community, MT described using a community engagement framework for the Tribe’s fiscal recovery funds, including the establishment of working groups to obtain direct feedback from Tribal citizenship in order to ensure that fiscal recovery funds meet the needs of residents and focus on economic equity.
Today’s roundtable is the latest effort by Treasury to highlight the innovative approaches that governments across the country are taking to infuse equity into their SLFRF spending. Treasury recently published an SLFRF Equity and Outcomes Resource Guide and hosted related webinars on equity and community engagement as well as metrics and evaluation.
Participating jurisdictions in today’s roundtable included: Durham, NC; Fort Belknap Tribe, MT; Harris County, TX; Los Angeles County, CA; Minneapolis, MN; and San Antonio, TX.