Stimulus Reporting by Matt Apuzzo

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Matt Apuzzo presents at the Reynolds Center's Washington, D.C. workshop, "What's Next for the Economy in Your Town." For more information, please visit http://businessjournalism.org.

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Stimulus Reporting by Matt Apuzzo

  1. 1. The Stimulus You mean that $787 billion thing? Isn’t that, like, so 2009? $862
  2. 2. The Stimulus Where to get the data <ul><li>Recovery.gov </li></ul><ul><li>Agency web sites (DHS.gov/Recovery, etc) </li></ul><ul><li>States and cities </li></ul><ul><li>News media (AP, ProPublica, etc) </li></ul><ul><li>Vendors (Onvia, Input, etc) </li></ul>
  3. 3. <ul><li>Recovery.Gov </li></ul><ul><li>Go for the underlying data, not the maps or charts </li></ul><ul><li>Recognize the data, particularly recipient data, is flawed. </li></ul>
  4. 4. Questions to Ask <ul><li>Is this project a priority? </li></ul><ul><li>Who’s doing the work? </li></ul><ul><li>Is it making a difference? </li></ul>
  5. 5. Is this project a priority? <ul><li>Priority lists </li></ul><ul><li>Lobbying records </li></ul><ul><li>Press releases </li></ul><ul><li>e-mails/letters </li></ul>
  6. 6. Who’s doing the work? <ul><li>Excluded party lists </li></ul><ul><li>Court records </li></ul><ul><li>Liens </li></ul><ul><li>Environmental docs </li></ul><ul><li>Campaign donations </li></ul><ul><li>Lobbying records </li></ul>
  7. 7. Is it making a difference? <ul><li>Local area unemployment </li></ul><ul><li>Sector unemployment </li></ul><ul><li>Building permits </li></ul>
  8. 8. And, of course, some write themselves
  9. 9. 6 Local Stimulus Stories To Do Now <ul><li>Health IT </li></ul><ul><li>Education Grants </li></ul><ul><li>Small Business Loans </li></ul><ul><li>Transportation Discretionary Grants </li></ul><ul><li>Weatherization Money </li></ul><ul><li>HUD </li></ul>
  10. 10. 6 Local Stimulus Stories To Do Now <ul><li>Health IT </li></ul>Hundreds of millions for healthcare technology upgrades. Who benefits? Are these black holes? What is produced? State-by-state data at www.hhs.gov/recovery $220 million for 15 “beacon” communities selected to be IT pioneers. Will they live up to the hype? San Diego, Calif.; Grand Junction, Colo.; Hilo, Hawaii; Indianapolis, Ind.; New Orleans, La.; Stoneville, Miss.; Brewer, Maine; Rochester, Minn.; Concord, N.C.; Buffalo, N.Y.; Tulsa, Okla.; Danville, Pa.; Providence, R.I.; Salt Lake City, Utah; Spokane, Wash.
  11. 11. 6 Local Stimulus Stories To Do Now <ul><li>Education Grants </li></ul>Hundreds of millions in competitive and discretionary grants to local school districts. Award criteria at www.ed.gov/recovery Measure your schools by the government’s own standards. Has your school really shown a history of decreasing dropout rates or improving performance, or are they just fudging the numbers ? Many of these grants are supposed to be for the future best practices, the cutting edge stuff. Is it? Or is it just plugging budget holes?
  12. 12. 7 Local Stimulus Stories To Do Now <ul><li>Small Business Loans </li></ul>Specific data on these loans is not available on Recovery.gov. Why? Hmmm .... Get individual loan data directly from SBA HQ or your regional office. Who’s getting these loans? SBA is required to collect data on misuse of recovery loans and submit to Congress. Has it been? This is an often-unfulfilled obligation.
  13. 13. 7 Local Stimulus Stories To Do Now <ul><li>Transportation Discretionary Grants </li></ul>$1.5 billion (with a b) in discretionary grants. Specific awards (and the losers!) available on www.dot.gov/recovery Who’s getting the contracts? Are people riding these trains, buses, trolleys, etc? Who was asking for these projects? The great thing about these grants is, DOT spelled out specifically why it decided to fund each project, online at http://www.dot.gov/recovery/docs/tigerdecision.pdf Hold them to those standards.
  14. 14. 6 Local Stimulus Stories To Do Now <ul><li>Weatherization Money </li></ul>The black sheep of the stimulus so far. Money to make homes more energy efficient. If you’re in a very hot or cold climate, you’ve got weatherization money coming. Who’s getting the contracts? Selection process is susceptible to political influence. Not enough people trained to do the job, poor standards for the program, and poor oversight early on. But DOE says it has the problems fixed now … really.
  15. 15. 6 Local Stimulus Stories To Do Now <ul><li>HUD </li></ul>HUD labels dysfunctional housing authorities “troubled.” Bad management, poor paperwork, incomplete accounting, etc. Administration decided even troubled housing authorities would get stimulus money. With new oversight. Most of the money has been spent. Little or no reporting on how, whether it created jobs, etc. If you have a troubled housing authority in your town, ask.
  16. 16. Anniston, AL Montgomery, AL Fairfield, AL Hartford, AL Ragland, AL Goodwater, AL Hobson City, AL Parrish, AL Foley, AL Eight Mile, AL Livingston, AL Dadeville, AL Hot Springs, AR Des Arc, AR Carlisle, AR Sparkman, AR Yellville, AR Eloy, AZ South Tucson, AZ San Francisco, CA Woodland, CA Paso Robles, CA Berkeley, CA San Jose, CA San Luis Obispo, CA Alamosa, CO Burlington, CO San Luis, CO Brush, CO New London, CT Manchester, CT West Hartford, CT Windsor, CT Sanford, FL Cocoa, FL Stuart, FL Crestview, FL Melbourne, FL Venice, FL Brooksville, FL Riviera Beach, FL Winter Haven, FL Cordele, GA West Point, GA Cave Spring, GA Conyers, GA Abbeville, GA Newnan, GA Vienna, GA Ringgold, GA Jonesboro, GA Byron, GA Mason City, IA Waukegan, IL Muncie, IN Gary, IN Terre Haute, IN Rome City, IN Luray, KS Manhattan, KS Williamsburg, KY Whitesburg, KY Falmouth, KY Owenton, KY Irvington, KY Scottsville, KY New Orleans, LA Bogalusa, LA Basile, LA Ferriday, LA Logansport, LA Saint Martinville, LA Boutte, LA La Place, LA Haynesville, LA Youngsville, LA Slidell, LA Colfax, LA Duson, LA Lynn, MA Wayland, MA Annapolis, MD Cambridge, MD Glenarden, MD Saint Michaels, MD Detroit, MI Pontiac, MI Ecorse, MI River Rouge, MI Flint, MI Benton Harbor, MI Wakefield, MI Ferndale, MI Jackson, MI Grayling, MI Luna Pier, MI Highland Park, MI Algonac, MI Crystal Falls, MI Rapid River, MI Brainerd, MN Henning, MN Alexandria, MN Cardwell, MO Wellston, MO Vicksburg, MS Whitefish, MT Lenoir, NC Schuyler, NE Columbus, NE Gordon, NE Newark, NJ Orange, NJ Princeton, NJ Irvington, NJ Gallup, NM Las Vegas, NM Espanola, NM Bayard, NM Wagon Mound, NM Tucumcari, NM Bernalillo, NM Espanola, NM Pecos, NM Cuba, NM North Las Vegas, NV Tuckahoe, NY Lackawanna, NY Huntington Station, NY Uniondale, NY Newburgh, NY Amsterdam, NY Woodridge, NY Glen Cove, NY Great Neck, NY New Rochelle, NY St. Johnsville, NY Rockville Centre, NY Chillicothe, OH Coshocton, OH Mc Connelsville, OH Lancaster, OH Bellefontaine, OH Yale, OK Laurens, SC North Myrtle Beach, SC Memphis, TN Baytown, TX Mc Kinney, TX Seymour, TX Quanah, TX Vidor, TX Plano, TX Nixon, TX Rotan, TX Pineland, TX Floydada, TX Garrison, TX Madisonville, TX Karnes City, TX Gregory, TX Cotulla, TX Buffalo, TX Elgin, TX Austin, TX Newport News, VA Hopewell, VA Charlottesville, VA Petersburg, VA Abingdon, VA Whitehall, WI Hanna, WY

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