California’s counties and cities are receiving a total of $16 billion flexible aid through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF) Program. These unprecedented local relief dollars are meant to help local communities respond to and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. These funds arrived at a crucial time when governments were pushed to reflect on institutionalized racism, including declaring racism as a public health crisis, following 2020’s nationwide uprisings to support Black lives and address police violence.
In Spring 2022, CPEHN conducted research and analyses of publicly available information at 11 California counties to see how counties have been spending these critical public relief dollars under ARPA. Specifically, we developed a 51-question equity metric to examine in depth counties’ efforts in uses of funds, promoting racial equity, engaging their constituents, and ensuring transparency, accessibility and accountability between March 2021 and February 2022. While local governments are receiving their second SLFRF payment from the U.S. Department of the Treasury around May 2022, CPEHN is releasing short scorecards for 11 California counties.
For our community partners, we hope this information and analysis can help break down some of the complicated, inaccessible county budget processes including those for ARPA. We also hope our publications can help strengthen your local advocacy and movement building efforts to further hold our elected officials accountable.
For county government officials, we hope our analyses spark curiosity, learning and growth. The ultimate hope is for our local governments to equitably and effectively leverage these federal relief funds to invest in public health and racial equity, to mend trust and relationships with communities, and to better serve those most in need.
Our scorecards and additional analyses will be released in batches this year. See currently available publications below. (Updated May 2, 2022)
CPEHN ARPA Scorecards
- San Diego County Scorecard [English]
- Orange County Scorecard [English]
- Sacramento County Scorecard [English]
- Fresno County Scorecard [English]
- Kern County Scorecard [English]
The scorecards and publications are researched and written by: Weiyu Zhang, Andrea Mackey, Jeffrey Kho and Cary Sanders at CPEHN. Additional CPEHN contributors include Kiran Savage-Sangwan, Katherine Nasol, and Monika Lee.
Additionally, we want to thank Professor Iyanrick John and the students at the California State University, East Bay who contributed to the research and analyses of these scorecards, including Ferdos Abdu, Faten Abdulqawi, Lindsay Enriquez, Deepali Giri, Tenzin Kunsel, Jackelyn Marroquin, Manvi Pal, Hayley Parker-Nelson, Vanessa Ramirez-Casiano, Madison Suko, Adele Swing, Galilea Villalpando Becerra and Hilay Wardak.
We want to thank the community non-profit organizations listed below for sharing their work and lived experiences in the counties we analyzed:
- Central California Environmental Justice Network
- Central Valley Urban Institute
- Decarcerate Sacramento
- Multi-Ethnic Collaborative of Community Agencies
- Public Health Advocates
- Sacramento Homeless Union
- Vision Y Compromiso
Finally, we want to thank the county administrative staff who responded to our requests and shared additional information for our research.
The scorecards and publications are designed by Firefighter Print and Design.