Mayor Reaffirms Commitment to Distribution of $641 Million ARPA Investment Through Lens of Equity
Monday Sep 13th, 2021
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
BALTIMORE, MD (Monday, September 13, 2021) — In a virtual address Monday morning, Mayor Brandon M. Scott provided an update on the $641 million Baltimore City will receive as part of the 2021 American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). Beginning October 1, 2021, nonprofit organizations will be able to advance proposals for funding online at arp.baltimorecity.gov.
“In a city like Baltimore with deep systemic challenges even before the pandemic, we must be strategic and targeted in our approach — with an eye toward making a definitive, measured impact on our city through a lens of equity,” said Mayor Brandon M. Scott during the address. “When we’re dealing with problems that predate my lifetime, we understand that this will not happen overnight. And at the same time, we know that if we make investments in the right way, we can make a genuine impact.”
The first round of awards will be announced throughout September and October. They will include investments in: the continued fight against COVID-19; community-based violence reduction initiatives; economic recovery, with a focus on Black, Brown, and women-owned businesses, as well as artists and creators; workforce development; and broadband and digital equity.
In July, Mayor Scott established the Mayor’s Office of Recovery Programs to responsibly and effectively manage the federal requirements associated with these dollars, and appointed Shamiah T. Kerney to lead the office as Chief Recovery Officer. That team officially began its work on July 12, 2021.
“I am excited to serve as Chief Recovery Officer and provide transparency and accountability for this historic ARPA investment in the City of Baltimore," said Shamiah T. Kerney, Chief Recovery Officer. Since I started this position in July, I, along with my team have been working to develop internal control standards for the implementation of these funds and making refinements to the application process for the benefit of internal city agencies and external nonprofit organizations that will apply for these funds. We look forward to funding projects that will make tangible and measurable progress in the City, while balancing adherence to federal requirements for these funds.”
The Mayor’s Office of Recovery Programs will hold a virtual informational session on September 28, 2021 for nonprofits to provide details on eligible uses of funds and the application process. More information and registration details will be released in the next week.
Once a proposal is received, it is reviewed by a seven-member team. The Mayor’s Office of Recovery Programs and advisors assist the applicants with the development of a budget and program design. City agencies and non-profit organizations must provide supplemental documentation to complete an application. Then, proposals are scored by a review team, which makes funding recommendations to the Mayor. Proposals where equity and partnership are central tenets of the project will be scored the highest.
This one-time investment comes from the State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund in response to the COVID-19 public health emergency and its negative economic impacts. The dollars will be invested in alignment with the Mayor’s five pillars: Building Public Safety, Responsible Stewardship of City Resources, Prioritizing Youth, Economic and Neighborhood Development, and Clean and Healthy Communities.
“In alignment with my commitment to a transparent distribution of these funds, information on all proposals that are selected for funding will be made available on Baltimore City’s ARP website,” continued Mayor Scott. “We have plans for dashboards, maps, and other ways to connect the investments we make directly to impact — tools which will be available in the months to come.”
You can find the first annual report submitted to the U.S. Treasury Department, as well as information about Baltimore City’s ARPA investment, application process, review team, and scoring criteria at arp.baltimorecity.gov.