Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott is the fortunate recipient of a unique opportunity that few elected officials ever see — an unexpected infusion of money with wide discretion as to how it is to be spent.
Baltimore City is slated to receive $641 million under the American Rescue Plan Act.
This unprecedented funding provides the Mayor the opportunity to make up for city revenues lost due to the pandemic, while establishing strategic investments that previously could not be made due to constraints on the city’s budget. Spent wisely, this funding could be transformative.
To his credit, the Mayor pledged to provide a transparent process to track how this revenue windfall is spent and whether the investments result in a lasting positive impact.
Just last week, Mayor Scott launched a new website that will provide timely information on how funds will be spent.
The first round of awards submitted by city agencies are expected to be announced soon.
On October 1, nonprofit agencies can begin submitting proposals for project funding.
A key requirement in granting any request is that the proposal must address equity gaps in policies, resource allocation and other practices.
There is a lot riding on the decisions surrounding the American Rescue Plan funding. This is a once in a generation opportunity.
That’s why it is important for everyone to pay attention to ensure that this unexpected “pot of gold” brings about impactful and transformative outcomes.
Donald C. Fry is President & CEO of the Greater Baltimore Committee.
Source: WBAL NewsRadio 1090 AM