THE ARP TOOLKIT

The American Rescue Plan (ARP) Toolkit was developed by the Southern Economic Advancement Project to assist community leaders, local officials and advocates to better understand the program, all while promoting equity and community engagement.

WHAT IS ARP?

The American Rescue Plan (ARP) directly provides $130 billion in federal funding to local governments as leaders recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. This unprecedented level of aid will help communities across the US shape their recovery from the pandemic’s economic impacts. Local leaders should view the arrival of ARP funds as a critical opportunity to make investments that encourage recovery and accelerate progress towards long-term goals. In the Southeast, the health and economic impacts of COVID-19 exacerbated structural inequalities. Our region’s local governments should direct their ARP funds toward strategic and sustainable recovery initiatives that benefit all community members.

INSIDE THE TOOLKIT

SEAP’s ARP toolkit includes a range of resources to help local governments meet these goals:

Accountability > Equitable Recovery > Community Engagement

Soon, cities and counties will receive the second half of their American Rescue Plan (ARP) funds. It is vital for community leaders to assist local officials in determining how best to use these funds to address ongoing challenges in their communities and pursue an equitable recovery for all residents. This guide outlines the latest funding updates, what it means to your community and good examples from across the country.

SEAP has drafted a model resolution for cities, towns, and counties that prioritizes the use of ARP funds for initiatives that drive sustainable and equitable recovery. It also commits to community engagement as part of the decision-making for ARP funds, emphasizing obtaining input from disadvantaged groups.

SEAP launched the American Rescue Plan Community Needs survey to gather feedback from residents across the 12 Southern states. The survey aims to identify challenges Southerners are experiencing as a result of the pandemic. SEAP’s goal is to bring in voices and ideas from local communities, especially those typically neglected.

SEAP released the first phase of results from its American Rescue Plan (ARP) Community Needs survey. The ARP was signed into law in 2021 to assist communities in recovery efforts from the COVID-19 pandemic. Affordable Housing tops the list a main personal and community challenge.

The Southern Economic Advancement Project (SEAP) developed this dashboard to collect real-time data tracking how local leaders are planning for and spending SLFRF funds.

A how-to guide designed by the SEAP to assist community activists and nonprofits in connecting and engaging with their local leaders and elected officials as they strategize how their communities will use the incoming American Rescue Plan (ARP) funding.​

The Southern Economic Advancement Project (SEAP) designed this template to help jurisdictions with populations under 250,000 increase equity in public outreach and engagement.

SEAP has recently published four one-minute ARP resource videos to help you, your community or organization better understand the program and tools available to help.

The ARP Assistance Team has also produced a series of Grab-n-Go Policies that give community leaders a blueprint of policies that can tackle pressing challenges many communities face. Click below to view a complete list of available briefs.

The right way to begin ARP decision-making is with meaningful and proactive public engagement for cities large and small. In particular, this outreach needs to include intentional engagement with the diverse and disadvantaged populations that suffered the most significant impacts from the pandemic recovery initiatives.

The How to Tell Your City’s Recovery Story resource provides local governments with a step-by-step guide on reporting how they plan to spend ARP dollars.

To help accelerate good State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLRF) spending practices in communities of all sizes, our ARP Assistance Team continuously identifies leading examples of community engagement approaches and equity outcomes prioritizations. This report highlights a selection of cities that local leaders can look to for real-time examples.

SEAP continues to host and participate in a number of webinars and events to spread awareness about the American Rescue Plan. Listed below are our most recent presentations, which include videos and slides:

MORE ON THE ARP FUNDS TRACKER

This ARP Local Funds Tracker allows users to identify current State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF) plans, access the status of local decision-making, and track trends (housing, education, health, etc.) in recovery spending. Check out our quarter-by-quarter funds tracker reports with state-specific highlights below.

CONNECT WITH OUR TEAM

SEAP’s ARP Assistance Team is available to local and states leaders, advocates and activists as well as organizations interested in learning more about the American Rescue Plan. Along with digital resources, our team stands ready to provide technical assistance and networking opportunities regarding ARP.

Our team can be reached at southstrong@rooseveltinstitute.org.

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