RACIAL EQUITY SCORECARD

for American Rescue Plan Act spending in Massachusetts

URGENCY

A

90% of ARPA money is committed in legislation by December 31, 2021.

C

Large chunks of the money are put into reserves, which creates the illusion they are committed.

F

50% of the money is not committed by December 31, 2021.

FOCUS ON STRUCTURAL PROBLEMS LAID BARE BY PANDEMIC

A

100% of money goes to structural problems laid bare by the  pandemic:*

  • Housing instability

  • Racial wealth divide

  • Frailty of childcare sector

  • Environmental disparities

  • Physical and mental health disparities, and public health infrastructure

  • Economic opportunity in hardest-hit communities

  • Supporting youth

  • Access to high-speed internet

  • Health and economic vulnerability of workers

  • Legal aid for needs rising out of the pandemic

*Some priorities, such as public transit and education, will receive money through other federal funding streams to the state. Those spending plans should also be informed by a racial equity lens.

C

30% - 50% of money goes to issues that are not problems either created or exacerbated by the pandemic. For example: road and bridge repair.

F

More than 50% of money goes to spending categories that are not problems either created or exacerbated by the pandemic. For example: road and bridge repair.

INNOVATION

A

100% of money goes to new or expanded programs to tackle the structural problems outlined in the previous category– to jumpstart our new normal, not to fund the pre-pandemic status quo.

 

Those programs reach people where they are, making every effort to reduce bureaucratic barriers to access.

C

70% of money goes to programs to jumpstart our new normal.

 

30% funds pre-existing obligations.

F

Money largely goes to pre-existing obligations.

 

The programs require significant work to apply and lengthy wait times to hear back.

TARGETING

A

85% of ARPA funds reach the hardest-hit populations, defined as:

  • Massachusetts’s environmental justice communities, and/or
     

  • Communities that score in the top half of the CDC’s social vulnerability index (0.5 or greater on a scale of 0 – 1).

C

Programming is targeted to vulnerable Bay Staters, but the programs themselves employ, are directed by, and/or build wealth among disproportionately non-target populations.

F

Money is allocated according to per-capita formulas established by pre-pandemic spending. The pandemic’s disproportionate toll on communities of color and low-income residents is not factored in.

ACCOUNTABILITY

A

A strong, real-time, public-facing database tracks the % of ARPA dollars spent in the hardest-hit communities and a breakdown of contracts awarded to Minority-Owned Businesses.

 

Advocates from trusted BIPOC community organizations and government transparency groups play a role in designing the database.

C

A database is set up to track the % of ARPA dollars spent in the hardest-hit communities.

 

While one or two leaders from BIPOC communities and one from a government transparency organization are a part of the process, it’s not enough to shape the design outcomes.

F

Public officials express platitudes about helping the hardest-hit communities, but:

  • The data is hard to find;
     

  • It’s only available after the majority of funds are obligated; or
     

  • It requires special expertise to make sense of

INCLUSIVE DECISION-MAKING

A

Racial Equity Committee Chairs, or BIPOC members of each chamber’s Ways & Means Committees, are read-in on early drafts of the plan, leading up to the final draft plan voted on by the Ways and Means Committees.

 

Civil society groups whose work centers on equity publicly state that the plan meets the moment for closing divides.

 

There are at least four business days between the public release of the W&M plan and the amendment deadline.

C

BIPOC members of Ways & Means and Racial Equity Committee Co-Chairs are debriefed on the final draft 48 hours prior to start of the Ways and Means vote.

 

Equity-focused organizations that represent the hardest-hit communities are silent in response to the plan.

 

There are at least four business days between the public release of the draft plan and the amendment deadline.

F

Stakeholders accountable for applying a racial equity lens are given less than 48 hours to review a draft plan before it’s voted out of Ways & Means.

 

There is no realistic opportunity to offer redraft suggestions or amendments prior to the vote to release the bill from Ways & Means.

 

Members of public have less than 48 hours to review the draft plan before floor amendments are due in the House or Senate.

Endorsed by

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