County Administrator's Office
For Immediate Release

ARPA Community Work Group seeking members to distribute funds

Santa Rosa, CA  –  August 26, 2021  –  Sonoma County is seeking residents to serve on a work group that will help allocate $96 million in federal American Rescue Plan Act funds to provide relief from public health and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

President Joe Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) into law on March 11 to: 

  1. Support immediate economic stabilization for households and businesses;
  2. Address systemic public health and economic challenges that have contributed to the unequal impact of the pandemic;
  3. Support urgent COVID-19 response efforts to continue to decrease spread of the virus and bring the pandemic under control;
  4. And replace lost revenue for eligible state, local, territorial, and Tribal governments to strengthen support for vital public services and help retain jobs. 

The County of Sonoma is in the process of creating an ARPA Community Work Group to help determine how Sonoma County’s share of these funds will be distributed. The Work Group will support the equitable distribution of American Rescue Plan Act funds with an emphasis on supporting the needs of low-income communities and communities of color most disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. Approximately $20 million has already been allocated to assist the County with ongoing COVID-19 response needs. 

Community members and representatives of local community-based organizations or service providers representing different supervisorial districts are invited to apply to serve on the ARPA Community Work Group. 

“The lived experiences, perspectives, and expertise of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color are fundamental to ensuring that these funds go to address the disproportionate impact of this pandemic,” said Supervisor Lynda Hopkins, chair of the Board of Supervisors. “Our job here is to uplift and value these voices in a meaningful partnership.” 

Participants will attend monthly meetings, periodic work groups and review meeting materials. Time commitments may vary at different stages of the process.

The ARPA Work Group will assist County staff in establishing guidelines and measures for use of ARPA funds toward recovery of impacted communities. They also will create effective community partnerships to ensure broad access to ARPA funds and ensure planning aligns with the County’s Racial Equity & Social Justice pillar within the Board of Supervisors’ Five-Year Strategic Plan that was approved in March.

Interested residents should review the application process and candidate checklist to apply by Sept. 6. For more about the ARPA Community Work Group visit www.sonomacounty.ca.gov/CAO/ARPA.  Please send all questions and inquiries to ARPA@sonoma-county.org.

Media Contact:

Sylvia Lemus, Communications Specialist

publicaffairs@sonoma-county.org

(707) 565-3040

575 Administration Drive, Suite 104A

Santa Rosa, CA 95403

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