We Big Mad: Getting our Fair Share of ARPA

Updated: Aug 17

Shoutout to Gabriel Johnson for the detailed notes he took on this issue!


For the record, we are big mad!


Item 38 at the 7/27 Sacramento Board of Supes meeting was an important one. This item was centered around a “community needs survey” that had been distributed to folx living in Sacramento County on behalf of the Board of Supervisors, with the goal of identifying how ARPA (American Rescue Plan Act) funding should be spent. Sacramento County has received $300 million to spend to address the public health, economic, and state and local government fiscal impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.


Deloitte was hired to do the community needs survey for spending $300 million of American Rescue Plan funds. Well, they left a lot to be desired as Supervisor Nottoli says in this clip "THIS IS SHORT OF WHAT WE NEED TO MAKE A DECISION HERE."


Deloitte & Touche, LLP (Deloitte) presented the results of a survey they conducted and are using to advise the board on how to prioritize spending of the ARPA funds. The board members seemed very unsatisfied with the way the survey was conducted and the fact that the survey did not record the demographics of those interviewed or the geographic region of Sacramento they reside in. There was also public comment, in the form of a letter by the ‘coalition of community partners’ stating that they feel that Deloitte and their survey ‘process did not include their voices’ and calling for equity in the ARPA budgeting process.

Maybe the County should have gotten community groups like the People's Budget to it. They were able to capture demographic data. And they had no funding like County with a $6.4B budget. (just sayin)


The County initially provided the survey only in English, did not attempt to reach anyone without a computer or mobile device, and did not provide the survey with any context about ARPA. Furthermore, the survey was available for only a few short weeks - leaving people with very little time to become aware of it, much less take it.


Special Note: The Board of Supervisors did not even see the Survey. So they didn't know what they were commenting on!!


FAIL!!


These ARPA funds are for those in our community who have been economically impacted, that is most of us, however these funds will be allocated based on priorities the survey creators and interpreters value, supplemented by priorities the board decides to add on their own. They will also remove survey responses they feel are "not feasible" so off top they are already altering the results.


We go into detail about this during our Facebook Live and how the county should model Los Angele's socially justice focused spending plan.




The next step is to wait for Deloitte’s final recommendations; they will present proposed funding allocation recommendations on a later date. No definite timetable was given but the recommendations are expected by the time a final budget is due for release.


Action Alert is for you to contact your supervisor and push for an ARPA spending plan that looks like Los Angeles (oh and they should fire Deloitte).



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