On May 28, Council Members Mark Treyger and Vanessa Gibson introduced legislation that will establish a public database to track COVID-19 spending now and in the future.
The COVID-19 Funding Tracker Bill will create a city website that would include expenditures of federal, state and local funding to address the pandemic, including grants, loans and city contracts exceeding $100,000.
According to the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, the infection and death rates of COVID-19 have disproportionately affected low-income New Yorkers. This legislation would serve as a powerful accountability and transparency tool to ensure that resources are reaching the communities most impacted by the pandemic.
There were inequities in New York City before COVID-19 and this crisis is only creating more hardships. COVID-19 is having an especially devastating impact on communities of color and Gibson stressed the city must do everything to make sure it protects all vulnerable and marginalized New Yorkers. This bill seeks to apply lessons learned from Superstorm Sandy to increase transparency on spending and holding government accountable to the hardest-hit communities.
Gibson, chair of the Subcommittee on Capital Budget, realizes her district has been hit hard by COVID-19 and many communities of color throughout the city.
“Many residents feel the disproportionate effects of COVID-19 in their neighborhoods but I believe this bill will hold government accountable,” Gibson said. “I want to thank Co-Prime Sponsor Mark Treyger for his partnership and I look forward to our work together implementing this important piece of legislation.”
The COVID-19 Funding Tracker public database would be updated monthly. The legislation was assigned to the Council Committee on Finance and awaits a hearing as it progresses through the legislative process. The local law would take effect immediately if approved by the City Council.