The American Recovery and Investment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act) was the stimulus package Congress passed during the height of the Great Recession to stave off unemployment, stimulate the economy, expand anti-poverty programs, provide tax relief, invest in green infrastructure, and more. This economic boost, however, was temporary, and was undermined by subsequent fiscal austerity under the 2011 Budget and Control Act (BCA) and sequestration.

In response to concerns that misplaced fiscal priorities and disinvestment would continue following the election of President Trump, FPWA created the Federal Funds Tracker (Tracker). The Tracker is a one-of-a-kind tool that demystifies the local impact of the federal budget on anti-poverty programs – in this case, New York City – through data visualization and storytelling. The Tracker finds that, in large part due to federal austerity, federal grants to New York City have declined by $1.8 billion (21 percent) since 2010 – including more than $300 million in social service grants to support children, families, older adults, the workforce, and anti-poverty programs. The Capstone team will support FPWA’s fiscal policy team by:

  • Analyzing and visualizing spending, poverty, and wages in New York City under a hypothetical scenario in which the Recovery Act was made permanent
  •  Expanding the Tracker with building blocks that allow FPWA’s fiscal policy team to pivot from a continuation of defensive policy work to building a compelling case to the media, policymakers, and the general public.