As we track the course of the COVID-19 crisis we hope to keep local officials, allies, and stakeholders up-to-date and informed about resources and initiatives that could aid their response.
In the coming months, MAPC will host occasional webinars to help distribute useful, timely information. Speakers will share expertise and information to guide collective efforts within the region. All webinars are free and open to the public. The webinars will be recorded and listed below when available. Click here for the latest news and resources on MAPC's COVID-19 response.
Questions? Please contact Sasha Parodi, firstname.lastname@example.org
Interested in future webinars?
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Women in the Workforce:
Addressing the Impacts of COVID-19
The impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on women in the workforce are both severe and lopsided in comparison to men. For women of color, who make up a higher percentage of essential workers, job losses are even worse.
Addressing this "she-cession" will take a focused effort across sectors: government, business, advocates, and academia must all play a role. And we will need to sustain and fund the effort over time.
Join us for a discussion of the strategies and policies that could help address this growing gap.
- Hon. Karen E. Spilka, Massachusetts Senate President
- Saskia Epstein, Founding Member of the Massachusetts Business Coalition for Early Childhood Education
- Tanisha Sullivan, Esq., NAACP Boston Branch President
- Leslie Forde, Black Economic Council of Massachusetts Member, Brookline
There will be time for Q&A following the panel discussion.
Thursday, April 1
11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Federal Economic Development Funding Opportunities
Looking to fund economic recovery and development efforts in your area?
The Economic Development Administration (EDA) offers multiple funding opportunities to help local governments, nonprofits, and other organizations serve economically-distressed areas.
At this information session, learn about the various grants available, find out how to apply, and hear from past EDA grant recipients about their recent projects. There will be time for Q&A!
MAPC provides assistance to grant applicants in our region. We especially encourage community colleges, CDCs, and arts organizations to attend this information session.
Funded projects could include planning and implementation projects that focus on economic development strategies, public facilities and infrastructure, and economic recovery. Successful applications must match MAPC's and EDA's funding priorities.
Thursday, April 1
2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Vaccine Communications: Local Examples and Launch of Shared Communications Hub
As the pace of COVID-19 vaccinations picks up Massachusetts, local officials, health organizations, and community groups are vital messengers to raise confidence in vaccines and communicate updates to Massachusetts residents.
With the tiered rollout plan and frequent news, this can seem daunting for municipalities and organizations big and small.
At this webinar on Wednesday, March 17, you will:
- Hear about municipal efforts to raise awareness about vaccines in ways that resonate with residents
- Learn more about an online hub for municipalities and local organizations to share communications resources.
Email Elaine Zhang at email@example.com to get access to the communications hub.
Tuesday, March 23
Noon to 1:00 p.m.
Public Health Webinar
Vaccine Distribution in Senior Subsidized Housing
The Commonwealth recently announced that residents and staff of public and subsidized senior housing are eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccinations as part of the first tier of Phase II of the vaccine rollout. This step is anticipated to begin later this month. With this opportunity comes the need to quickly arrange vaccination opportunities for some of state’s most vulnerable residents. This requires coordination among three groups: municipal officials and staff, including local boards of health; owners and managers of public and subsidized senior housing, including local housing authorities; and medical providers who can staff clinics and vaccinate residents.
- Robin Lipson, Deputy Secretary, Executive Office of Elder Affairs
- Emily Cooper, Chief Housing Officer, Executive Office of Elder Affairs
More information from the Commonwealth on COVID-19 vaccinations for senior housing setting is available here.
Tuesday, February 9
2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Pool Testing for COVID-19
What is pool testing?
"Pool testing"—batching samples together and retesting individually if a result is positive—is a way for municipalities and schools to work together to provide regular, frequent, and cost-effective COVID-19 testing.
In this webinar, we'll learn about the pool testing program led by Tufts University and the cities of Somerville and Medford; and hear about local pool testing programs in Salem and Wellesley.
Speakers will share more about how they started their pool testing efforts, lessons learned, and what you should know if you're interested in setting up a pool testing program.
Monday, December 14
Noon to 1:00 p.m.
Wastewater Testing for COVID-19
Deploying wastewater testing to identify potential COVID-19 spread in our communities
Cities and towns are deploying a number of strategies to identify the spread of COVID-19 in their communities. One emerging method: testing sewage from households and buildings for the presence of the virus.
Knowing that COVID-19 is present in wastewater can be an important indicator of where its spread may be accelerating. In places where wastewater testing has been deployed, changes in the virus' wastewater concentration have been observed several days before changes in reported new cases.
- Jeffrey W. Mercante, PhD, Research Microbiologist, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Steve Rhode, Laboratory Director, Massachusetts Water Resources Authority
- Karin Carroll, Public Health Director, Gloucester Public Health Department
- Sam Lipson, MS, REHS, Director of Environmental Health, Cambridge Public Health Department
Thursday, December 3
10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Shared Winter Streets and Spaces Grant Program
Hear from MassDOT about how cities and towns can apply to a new round of the Shared Winter Streets and Spaces grant program.
In addition to an overview of the program from MassDOT, speakers from West Stockbridge and Quincy will share lessons learned on their own projects this summer. MAPC will also discuss best practices for purchasing materials needed for projects.
Kate Fichter, Assistant Secretary for Policy Coordination, MassDOT
Christopher Cassani, Director, City of Quincy Department of Traffic and Parking
Kathleen Keresey, West Stockbridge Select Board Member
Jennifer Kaplan, MAPC Economic Development Planner
Tuesday, November 24
2PM to 3:30PM
Housing Protections & Supports: Responding to Housing Instability During the Pandemic
On November 9, MAPC held a webinar for people to hear from housing organizations, the Department of Housing and Community Development, and Boston and other municipalities on how to respond to residents at risk of eviction or other destabilizing forces during the pandemic.
The event began with a presentation on estimated pandemic-related housing need, then an overview of the Governor’s Eviction Diversion Initiative, and then information on implementing vital programs to support tenants. A panel discussed local initiatives to support residents experiencing housing instability during these unprecedented times.
- Tim Reardon, Director of Data Services, MAPC
- Chris Kluchman, Deputy Director, Community Services Division, DHCD
- Tom Ambrosino, City Manager, City of Chelsea
- Domonique Williams, Deputy Director, Office of Housing Stability, City of Boston
- Chris Cotter, Housing Director, City of Cambridge
- Keith Benoit, Community Development Planner, City of Northampton
Monday, November 9
2PM to 3:30PM
Virtual Town Meetings
- Jim Malloy, Town Manager, Town of Lexington
- Sean Dugan, Public Information Officer, Town of Lexington
- Robin Grimm, Town Manager, Town of Stoughton
- Trish Shropshire, Director of Information Technology, Town of Stoughton
Wednesday, August 19
1PM to 2PM
Public Health Webinar
The Air We Breathe: Vehicle Pollution and Racial Disparities in Greater Boston
Greater Boston residents of color are more likely to live close to high-polluting roadways. What does that mean for their health?
Join us to learn more about MAPC’s recently-released research on racial disparities in vehicle pollution proximity and to discuss the public health implications of those disparities. Following a presentation on the research findings, a response panel will discuss how this impacts frontline communities and different strategies for addressing these inequities.
- Representative Liz Miranda, MA House of Representatives
- Professor Madeleine Scammell, Boston University School of Public Health, GreenRoots Board Chair
- Jordan Stutt, Carbon Programs Director, Acadia Center
- Conor Gately, MAPC Senior Land Use and Transportation Analyst
Shared Streets and Spaces:
Navigating MassDOT's New Grant Program
Hear from MassDOT, the Barr Foundation, and the Operational Services Division on how cities and towns can apply for the new MassDOT Shared Streets and Spaces grant program.
In addition to an overview of the program from MassDOT, we will learn more about the technical assistance available through the Barr Foundation and representatives from the Operation Services Division will discuss how municipalities may purchase materials needed for their pilots using OSD's statewide contracts.
Hosted in partnership with the Massachusetts Association of Regional Planning Agencies (MARPA) and MassDOT.
- For questions about the MassDOT grant program, email firstname.lastname@example.org
- For questions about technical assistance opportunities, please contact one of the providers listed on MassDOT's website or reach out to Lisa Jacobson at email@example.com.
- For questions about purchasing materials off OSD's statewide contracts,
please contact Danielle Frizzi, Director of Marketing, Communications, and Events, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tuesday, June 30
2PM - 3PM
State Contract Materials
Land Use Webinar
Local Permitting During and After COVID-19
Join MAPC to discuss innovative solutions that municipalities have implemented to allow for effective and streamlined permitting processes.
We'll discuss some solutions implemented by cities and towns prior to the pandemic, online permitting and licensing, modifications to outdoor dining permitting spurred by the Commonwealth's reopening, permitting for solar, and how our current situation could lead to more efficient processes in the future.
Through this webinar we hope to shed light on available strategies and resources that can support your work, including ways MAPC can help.
- Paul Halkiotis, Town of Norwood (outdoor dining permitting)
- Eric Slagle, City of Lowell (solar permitting)
Thursday, June 18
3:30PM - 4:30PM
Sharing Our Streets: Creating More Space for Safe Walking, Biking, and Outdoor Retail
As we begin to reopen and public health guidelines continue to encourage physical distancing, how can municipalities repurpose street space to accommodate increased demand for walking and biking?
Learn more about different strategies to create more space on the road for pedestrians and cyclists, as well as innovative ways to extend the curb to support outdoor dining and retail.
MAPC Director of Transportation
Overview of How MAPC Can Help
City of Somerville Director of Mobility
Somerville's Mobility Strategy
MAPC Senior Transportation Planner
Creating a Quick-Build Regional Bike Network
High-Res Regional Bike Network Map
Thursday, June 4
3PM - 4PM
Public Health Webinar
Community-Wide Health After COVID-19
Using a trauma-informed approach to heal our communities
For most people, COVID-19 has been associated with increased uncertainty, stress, and trauma. As our region starts to move from a response phase into an uncharted recovery phase, it is important for our municipalities to acknowledge community-level traumatic events (historical and current) and offer opportunities for healing through improved policies, programs, and institutional practices.
Join MAPC and guest expert Ken Epstein from Trauma Transformed to learn more about how municipalities can use a trauma-informed approach to support residents and enhance local public health recovery efforts.
Wednesday, June 3
3PM - 4PM
Economic Development Webinar
Supporting Small Businesses, Offsetting Unemployment
How Municipalities Can Help
With non-essential businesses closed and over half a million unemployment claims, Massachusetts’ economy is feeling the effects of COVID-19. How can municipalities support small businesses as they reopen and respond to unemployment in their communities?
Wednesday, May 13
2PM - 3PM
Essential Trips: A COVID-19 Response Discussion for Local Transit Providers
Local transportation providers, such as Councils on Aging, operators of municipal shuttle programs, and transportation management associations, are lifelines for many in the Boston region. The impact of COVID-19 on these essential services has been widespread. You are invited to a discussion dedicated to the needs of these transportation providers in the Boston region. This forum will be a space for providers to discuss, learn, and collaborate on COVID-19 responses.
Co-hosted by CTPS and MAPC
Tuesday, May 12
1PM - 2PM
Virtual Meeting Best Practices
Tools and engaging facilitation practices that municipalities are using for digital meetings.
How do you facilitate an engaging digital meeting? MAPC Community Engagement staff will discuss facilitation practices and give advice for running digital forums, managing technology, coordinating participation, addressing accessibility and equity concerns, and achieving your meeting goals.
Wednesday, May 6
2PM - 3PM
The COVID-19 Layoff Housing Gap
COVID-19-related unemployment could cause a massive housing crisis in Massachusetts.
Who has been laid off? How many are now at risk of eviction or foreclosure? Will CARES Act assistance help? What about those who don't qualify for federal aid? MAPC staff hosted a virtual discussion of our research brief, "The COVID-19 Layoff Housing Gap."
On April 21, MAPC released an update to "The COVID-19 Layoff Housing Gap" with the latest unemployment data.
MAPC Data Services Director Tim Reardon and Socioeconomic Analyst II Sarah Philbrick discussed the research--and what it means for workers, municipalities, and the Commonwealth.
Wednesday, April 22
2PM - 3PM
Municipal Finance During the COVID-19 Crisis
Deputy Commissioner of Revenue Sean Cronin joins municipal leaders for a conversation on municipal finance, including options for relief, Town Meetings, FY21 budgets, federal funds, state funds, and labor issues.
Thursday, April 23
Responding to Food Insecurity During
the COVID-19 Crisis
How can municipal leaders and officials support families and individuals experiencing food insecurity?
And what are federal, state, and municipal leaders in Massachusetts already doing? We discussed federal and state-level actions to respond to food insecurity, support and resources for cities and towns, and what governments at all levels can do to respond.