National coalition launches Lead Together, new American Rescue Plan website and resource hub for local governments and community-based organizations

New York, NY, September 8, 2022: On September 8, 2022, a diverse coalition of political advocacy and membership-based organizations will release Lead Together, a new website and hub for community organizers securing American Rescue Plan funds for those who need it most. The site serves as a national clearinghouse for state, local, and tribal governments and community-based organizations seeking to advance equity and co-governance through State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF) of the American Rescue Plan in communities most impacted by long-standing inequities, exacerbated by the pandemic.

The coalition, including the Center for Popular Democracy, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, Community Change, Economic Policy Institute, Hester Street, Local Progress, People’s Action, and State Revenue Alliance, has built a website to support ongoing work by government leaders, policymakers, community organizers and organizations, advocacy groups, and civic leaders in pursuing unique opportunities created by SLFRF to invest in long-term needs such as housing and childcare.

Time and again, community organizers have named transparency as a barrier to putting these investments to their best use. So this coalition created a website to act as a centralized clearinghouse for resources, clear and accessible information about the SLFRF program and how it can be used, and tools for local groups to determine how much funding is available in their communities. Seeking to support a growing movement around SLFRF funding opportunities, the Lead Together website features case studies and best practices from communities that have successfully leveraged American Rescue Plan funds to garner significant investments that not only support pandemic recovery but also address historic inequities.

According to Yolanda Roth, Strategic Partnership Director with Take Action Minnesota, “This new resource is a boost to organizations like ours who advocate and organize for more equitable and transparent investment of American Rescue Plan funds. In Minnesota, we’ve already seen the impact of local ARPA funds to invest in Black maternal health, provide financial stimulus for frontline workers including undocumented persons, and invest in Native American community organizations providing life sustaining services like food, shelter and job training.”

“Local elected officials across the country are working diligently to ensure that American Rescue Plan funds are invested to meet the urgent needs of communities most impacted by the pandemic. This new resource will support the movement of local leaders working to ensure that these once-in-a-lifetime funds are invested in community needs and center equity in long-term recovery plans,” said LiJia Gong, Local Progress Policy and Legal Director.

“The investments from President Biden’s American Rescue Plan provide some of the best chances our community partners have had in decades to fund the social programs they need to thrive. We’re so excited to launch a hub for these organizers to come together with other advocates and local elected officials to share lessons, and strategize about how to win on more policies that will make the economy work for everyone, not just the super rich,” said Community Change Co-President Dorian Warren.

“With the launch of this new website, Hester Street is proud to work alongside our coalition partners to increase transparency by making data and public policy more accessible, and create a vital hub for local communities seeking to invest American Rescue Plan funds equitably and strategically,” Rasmia Kirmani, Hester Street, said of the project.

The website, which was developed by Hester Street with design support from the Youth Design Center in Brooklyn, NY, will launch on September 8, 2022, with additional resources and case studies added as local communities continue to leverage SLFRF funds.

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