The Road to
Reopening & Recovery
For the past two months, MAPC has been actively engaged with state and local leaders to curb the spread and lessen the impact of COVID-19.
With our colleagues at the Northeast Regional Advisory Council (NERAC), we repurposed Homeland Security funds to buy ventilators for some of our smaller hospitals. We worked with Chelsea and Revere to stand up an isolation facility for ill residents who could not safely remain at home. With our colleagues at MassDevelopment, we are helping localities to access funds for emergency transportation needs. And we distributed almost $800,000 of urgent financial aid from the state Department of Public Health to cash-strapped local health departments.
More broadly, MAPC has served as a conduit of information and communication channel between state and local officials in Greater Boston. We have hosted weekly calls between mayors and managers and Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. We have run webinars on topics such as homelessness, food security, and small business preservation. And every Sunday, we host a call with scientists, physicians, and epidemiologists so local officials can learn more about the science behind the pandemic and key trendlines that will affect local decision-making.
Now, as the first wave of cases starts to recede, we can turn some of our attention to reopening and recovery.
Yesterday, MAPC Deputy Director Rebecca Davis and Government Affairs Director Lizzi Weyant presented recommendations to the Governor’s Reopening Advisory Board, alongside Salem Mayor Kimberley Driscoll and Somerville Mayor Joe Curtatone.
Both mayors and MAPC staff made clear that the Commonwealth’s reopening process must be grounded in science, coordinated with cities and towns, and prioritize health and equity. Our cities and towns must know what metrics are being used to make state decisions before those decisions are made. And, once a gradual reopening begins, local officials must clearly understand where they have local authority to adopt their own local guidelines and to enforce state requirements.
We must make special efforts to ensure the recovery of our Main Streets and small businesses. Critically, we must ensure that those who have historically been left behind – low-income individuals, people of color, and other vulnerable populations – are included and prioritized in measures that help restart our economy.
Below, you can download the presentation MAPC provided this morning to the Reopening Advisory Board, a summary of recommendations, and a May 7 submission to the Board regarding key priorities in the reopening process, and Executive Director Marc Draisen's full statement on the presentation and MAPC's COVID-related work.