Biden Bits: I’m Announcing New Actions…

Biden Tweets Logo. Image by Lenny Ghoul.

It’s Friday…

When Biden Bits was posted for Thursday, President Biden tweeted 1 time. He added 7 tweets giving him a Thursday Tweeting Total of 8 tweets and 0 retweets.

On Wednesday, President Biden address the IBEW. The YouTube is 52 minutes and 52 seconds long. His full remarks can be found here.

President Biden: As I’ve said, Wall Street didn’t build this country, the middle class did.  And unions built the middle class, not labor.  Unions built the middle class.  (Applause.)  That’s a tr- — it’s a fact.  That’s a fact. With your help, we’re seeing the strongest job creation in modern times.

On Monday the 9th of May, President Biden announced a new program that can provide low cost internet service to most Americans. The program is part of the Bipartisan Infrastructure law. The video was transcribe by me on May 10th, 2022, @the News Blender. The program is called the Affordable Connectivity Program.

The readout from his call with retail leaders:

Today, President Joe Biden spoke with the leadership of Walmart and Target, and the infant formula manufacturers Reckitt and Gerber to receive an update on actions the companies are taking to address the shortage of infant formula caused by a voluntary recall of infant powdered formula by Abbott and the subsequent closure of its manufacturing facility in Sturgis, Michigan.
The manufacturers and retailers thanked the President for the actions his administration has taken—including those by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Department of Agriculture—that has enabled them to serve the families in need, including low income mothers and children who are most vulnerable.

The President discussed Reckitt and Gerber’s efforts to increase production—which have made up for much of the loss of production by Abbott—and pledged to work closely with them to identify ways the Administration can help, on top of the actions being announced today. Both companies stated that they are operating 24/7 with Gerber, increasing the amount of their infant formula available to consumers by approximately 50% in March and April. Reckitt is supplying more than 30% more product year to date.

The conversation with the CEOs of Walmart and Target focused on how retailers are working to stock shelves. The CEOs discussed state specific disparities and the President asked what more his team can do to help move product and get more product to communities in need. These calls build off the work the Administration has done since February to increase the supply of infant formula.

White House.gov. 05/12/2022.

The fact-sheet; President Biden Announces Additional Steps to Address Infant Formula Shortage

President Biden has directed his administration to work urgently to ensure that during the Abbott Nutrition voluntary recall, infant formula is safe and available for families across the country. Today, President Biden spoke with retailers and manufacturers, including Wal-Mart, Target, Reckitt, and Gerber, to discuss ways we can all work together to do more to help families access infant formula.

On February 17, the largest infant formula manufacturer in the country—Abbott Nutrition—initiated a voluntary recall [I linked their recall info] of several lines of powdered formula. This came after concerns about bacterial contamination at Abbott’s Sturgis, Michigan, facility after four infants fell ill and two died. The federal government—including the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Department of Agriculture (USDA), Department of Justice (DOJ), Department of Transportation (DOT), U.S. Trade Representative (USTR), Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Department of Commerce (DOC), and the White House—has worked diligently over the last few months to address the shortfall in infant formula production while the Sturgis plant remains offline, including working with other infant formula manufacturers to increase production, expediting the import of infant formula from abroad, and calling on both online and in store retailers to establish purchasing limits to prevent the possibility of hoarding. As a result, more infant formula has been produced in the last four weeks than in the four weeks preceding the recall — despite one of the largest infant formula production facilities in the U.S. being offline.
Families across the country remain concerned about the availability of infant formula—especially families that depend on specialty formulas for which the Sturgis facility is a key supplier. These 20 specialty formulas are used by about 5,000 infants as well as some older children and adults with rare metabolic diseases, and Abbott Nutrition is the only supplier for some of these formulas.

Today, President Biden is announcing additional steps to bolster our work to get infant formula onto store shelves as quickly as possible without compromising safety. These steps include:

White House.gov. 05/12/2022.
  • Cutting Red Tape to Get More Infant Formula to Store Shelves Quicker: Manufacturers typically produce many different sizes of the same type of infant formula. Simplifying product offerings allows manufacturers to increase the speed and scale of their infant formula production, stabilizing the overall volume of formula available in the market. The type of formula that companies make and distribute is impacted by the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), administered by USDA. About half of infant formula nationwide is purchased by participants using WIC benefits, based on both federal requirements and additional rules set by individual states that have a large effect on the availability and distribution of infant formula in a given state.

To help further increase manufacturers’ ability to meet demand and distribute formula, USDA is working with states to make it easier for vulnerable families to purchase the formula they need with their WIC benefits. USDA is urging states to allow WIC recipients to use their WIC benefits on a wider variety of products so that if certain sizes or types of formula are out of stock, they can use their benefits on those that are in stock. And, USDA is urging states to relax their requirements that stores keep a certain amount of formula in stock. This will offer relief to retailers and allow companies to manage inventories to meet demand. Some states are already doing this. All fifty states should. These actions will make it easier for vulnerable families to get the necessary nutritional support for their infants.

White House.gov. 05/12/2022.
  • Calling on the FTC and State Attorneys General to Crack Down on Any Price Gouging or Unfair Market Practices Related to Sales of Infant Formula: Parents looking to feed their child should not be taken advantage of by unscrupulous retailers unfairly jacking up prices. There have been several reports that actors are purchasing formula at retail stores and reselling it online at a markup several times the retail price, especially specialty brands of formula that have experienced the most disruption. These actions not only are costing families hundreds of dollars for formula they need, but drive scarcity on the market. Since February, the FDA has worked with companies, calling on them to issue purchasing limits to help limit such predatory behavior. Many responsible retailers have responded to that call. Now, DOJ is engaging with state attorneys general to encourage them to use their powers to monitor and address price gouging in the infant formula market, and urging them to devote more resources to monitoring predatory behavior in the market for infant formula. And, the President today asked the Federal Trade Commission to use all its available tools to monitor and investigate reports of illegal and predatory conduct.
  • Increasing the Supply of Formula Through Increased Imports: The U.S. normally produces 98% percent of the infant formula it consumes, and trading partners in Mexico, Chile, Ireland, and the Netherlands are key sources of imports. But given the production and distribution issues leading to local short supplies of infant formula, the FDA will, in the coming days, announce specific new steps it is taking concerning importing certain infant formula products from abroad.

More information on actions that the FDA announced earlier this week to address the shortage of infant formula can be found here. The Biden-Harris Administration will continue to monitor the situation and identify other ways it can support the safe and rapid increase in the production and distribution of baby formula.

White House.gov. 05/12/2022.

The White House also posted the background press call; by Senior Administration Officials to Address Infant Formula Shortage

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters on Thursday;

President Biden has directed the administration to work urgently to ensure that infant formula is safe and available for families across the country during the Abbott Nutrition voluntary recall.  This has been — this is work that’s been underway for months.

Today, President Biden spoke with retailers and manufacturers, including the CEOs of Walmart, Target, Reckitt, and Gerber to call on them to do more to help families purchase infant formula. 

He discussed Reckitt and Gerber’s efforts to increase production, which have made up for the loss of production by Abbott, and asked them to identify other ways the administration can help them on top of the actions being announced today.

The conversation with the CEOs of Walmart and Target focused on how they are working to stock shelves, including in rural areas, and any regional disparities they are seeing.  And the President asked what more his team can do to help move product and get more product to those communities.  He also announced additional steps to get infant formula onto store shelves as quickly as possible without compromising safety.

These steps include cutting red tape to get more infant formula to store shelves quicker by urging states to provide consumers flexibility on the types of formula they can buy with WIC dollars; calling on the FTC and state attorneys general to crack down on any price gouging or unfair market practices related to sales of infant formula, like third-party sellers reselling formula at steep prices; and increasing the supply of formula through increased exports — imports.

The Biden-Harris administration will continue to monitor this situation and identify other ways we can support the safe and rapid increase in the production and distribution of baby formula.

White House.gov. 05/12/2022.

The White House posted the following fact-sheet; U.S.-ASEAN Special Summit in Washington, DC 

President Biden will welcome the leaders of the Association of Southeast Nations (ASEAN) for a historic U.S.-ASEAN Special Summit, held for the first time in Washington D.C. and at the White House, to re-affirm the United States’ enduring commitment to Southeast Asia and underscore the importance of U.S.-ASEAN cooperation in ensuring security, prosperity, and respect for human rights.  

Over many years, the United States has steadily deepened our partnership with Southeast Asia. The United States has provided over $12.1 billion in development, economic, health, and security assistance to Southeast Asian allies and partners since 2002 and over that same period of time, the United States has provided over $1.4 billion in humanitarian assistance, including life-saving disaster assistance, emergency food aid, and support to refugees throughout Southeast Asia. Building on our long-standing commitment to this critical region, the Biden-Harris Administration’s FY 2023 Budget Request included over $800 million in bilateral assistance for ASEAN partners and over $25 million to deepen relations with ASEAN and enhance ASEAN’s capacity to tackle pressing regional challenges. 

The United States and Southeast Asia also benefit from our far-reaching commercial and trade ties. ASEAN represents the world’s fourth largest market and the United States is ASEAN’s largest source of foreign direct investment, while our two-way trade amounted to over $360 billion in 2020. 

U.S.-ASEAN relations are ultimately anchored in the special friendship shared by our combined one billion people. Our ongoing commitment to deepening people-to-people ties is marked by 7000 programs at 83 American Spaces in ASEAN countries, the Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative’s 155,000 alumni, and the connections forged through nearly 6 million U.S. visas, including student visas, granted to Southeast Asian travelers since 2010.

At the annual U.S.-ASEAN Summit in October 2021, President Biden announced an unprecedented investment of up to $102 million in U.S.-ASEAN relations, significantly expanding our cooperation on health, climate, science and innovation, trade facilitation, education, and more. Today, the United States and ASEAN will inaugurate a new era of partnership, guided by the complementary objectives of the Indo-Pacific Strategy of the United States and the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific. In that spirit, President Biden is announcing over $150 million in initiatives which we expect will mobilize billions more in private financing that will deepen U.S.-ASEAN relations, strengthen ASEAN centrality, and expand our common capacity to achieve our shared objectives.

White House.gov. 05/12/2022.

ACCELERATING CLIMATE ACTION, SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT, AND INCLUSIVE PROSPERITY

In support of U.S.-ASEAN Climate Futures and U.S.-ASEAN Economic Futures, the United States and ASEAN will raise our collective climate ambition while working together to support implementation of the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity 2025.  We will help meet the region’s enormous infrastructure needs in a sustainable manner that accelerates the clean energy transition, helps the region to achieve a path to net zero emissions by mid-century, and drives inclusive, broad-based prosperity.

  • Investing in Clean Energy Infrastructure: Through the Southeast Asia Smart Power Program, the United States will invest $40 million in order to mobilize $2 billion in blended financing for clean energy infrastructure in Southeast Asia, thereby decarbonizing and strengthening the region’s power system, increasing regional energy trade, and accelerating the deployment of clean energy technologies.
     
  • U.S.-ASEAN Forest Future Initiative: The United States is committed to working with ASEAN to fight deforestation and accelerate the regional transition to sustainable, climate-positive forest economies – a critical step in achieving ASEAN countries’ climate and development goals. 
     
    • Mobilizing Finance at Scale: The United States is launching a new platform, bringing together members of the Forest Investor Club, leaders from the United States and ASEAN in the financial sector, conservation and community engagement organizations, agriculture and forestry companies, and governments, to deliver a coordinated approach for natural capital finance. This initiative, subject to appropriate procedures and requirements, aims to mobilize $1 billion in capital investment across the region toward sustainable forestry, forest restoration, and responsible land use. 
       
    • ASEAN Nature Finance Innovation Roundtable: The U.S. Agency for International Development, the Department of State, and the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation will convene an ASEAN Nature Finance Innovation Roundtable to catalyze the use of innovative financial mechanisms and mobilize additional finance to support the long-term conservation, restoration, and sustainable management of critical ecosystems in Southeast Asia. 
       
  •  U.S.-ASEAN Climate Solutions Hub: The United States is launching a U.S.-ASEAN Climate Solutions Hub, which will provide technical assistance to ASEAN countries in order to accelerate implementation of their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and related low-emission development and resilience strategies. This demand-driven initiative will support renewable energy deployment, decarbonization of the transportation sector, methane reduction efforts, and sustainable agriculture, forestry, and land management. It will also support the development of energy and land-use frameworks and measures that mobilize public and private finance and achieve just transitions.
     
  • The U.S.-ASEAN Transportation Dialogue Partnership: The Department of Transportation will launch new air, land, and maritime transportation programs that promote safety, sustainable and resilient infrastructure, regional connectivity, and emerging transport technologies.
     
  • The U.S.-ASEAN Alliance for Protected Area ConservationThe Department of the Interior, including the National Park Service, will collaborate with their counterparts in Southeast Asia to expand conservation and reverse deforestation. U.S. rangers will travel to Southeast Asia to share best practices and improve protected area management across the region, emphasizing nature-based climate solutions, sustainable tourism and visitor management, traditional knowledge and access to resources, and transboundary habitat connectivity.
     
  • Promoting Investment in Climate-Smart Infrastructure: The U.S. Trade and Development Agency is launching new initiatives intended to catalyze over $13 billion in financing for clean energy projects that advance ASEAN’s net zero goals, while leveraging over $1 billion in public and private financing for investment in digital infrastructure and smart cities in Southeast Asia.
     
  • Space Cooperation: The United States will invest in the SERVIR initiative to share satellite data across ASEAN in support of climate monitoring and environmental forecasting, disaster management, and food security analysis.
     
  • Reducing Methane Emissions: The United States is committed to working with the nations of Southeast Asia to reduce the region’s methane emissions. The United States welcomed Indonesia, Vietnam, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Singapore joining the Global Methane Pledge at COP-26, and we are accelerating technical assistance, financial resources, and project pipeline development for methane mitigation in Global Methane Pledge countries, including through the EPA, USTDA, DFC, and EXIM, as well as the newly-created Global Methane Hub, a ​philanthropic fund that can support methane mitigation priorities in the region.
     
  • Trade Winds Business Forum: The Department of Commerce will hold its 2023 flagship trade mission – Trade Winds Business Forum – in Southeast Asia. U.S. companies from a wide range of industries will have the opportunity to pursue new commercial and trade opportunities in the region, building on the 2022 U.S. trade missions to Southeast Asia focused on clean energy, healthcare, and advanced manufacturing.
     
  • Accelerating Digital Development: The United States will advance digital development across Southeast Asia through a new $6 million regional initiative that will, in line with the ASEAN Digital Integration Framework Action Plan, support innovation, strengthen digital economy rule-making, facilitate public-private connections, strengthen digital policymaking, and support the adoption of global standards in artificial intelligence. 

SUPPORTING ACCESS TO EDUCATION 

The strength of U.S.-ASEAN relations is anchored in the friendship shared by our combined one billion people. Each year the United States provides more than $70 million to support educational and cultural exchanges that foster greater understanding, enhance cooperation, and create lifelong friendships that increase the strength and resilience of our communities over the long term. 

  • U.S.-ASEAN Institute for Rising Leaders at the School of Advanced International Studies: The Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) will launch the U.S.-ASEAN Institute for Rising Leaders, an innovative program to bring exceptional public servants from ASEAN governments to the United States for professional and leadership training. Through private funding, including from Boeing, UPS, PhRMA, and JPMorgan Chase and Co., the program will sponsor up to 30 mid-career public-service professionals each year – up to three from each of the ten ASEAN countries – to attend a tailored, intensive multi-week leadership-development program. The Institute will hone the academic, leadership, and policy-making skills of emerging Southeast Asian leaders and lay a robust foundation for deepening the U.S.-ASEAN partnership – between governments, businesses, and individuals – for years to come.    
     
  • Expanding Youth Engagement: The Department of State will double the size of the Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI) program within three years, such that 900 emerging leaders will benefit from YSEALI’s academic and professional opportunities every year.  
     
  • Cooperation in Higher Education: The U.S. government, alongside American companies and universities, is committed to increasing connectivity among educational institutions in the United States and Southeast Asia, while providing new opportunities for students and workers in ASEAN countries to study in the United States or develop critical skills at home.
     
    • Billion Futures Scholarships: A new cohort of Billion Futures Scholars will begin their studies in U.S. universities across the United States in Fall 2022, joining the 100 Scholars currently in the United States for undergraduate and graduate study, adding $5 million in new funding to our Billion Futures commitment. 
       
    • U.S.-ASEAN University Connections: The Department of State will launch a new exchange program through which 20 academic fellows from universities across ASEAN will travel to the United States, exchange best practices with U.S. academics, and explore opportunities for collaborative research and teaching initiatives.
       
    • Fulbright ASEAN Scholars: The Department of State will double the size of the Fulbright U.S.-ASEAN Visiting Scholarship Program, such that a wider range of ASEAN academics, government officials, and civil society leaders can travel to the United States to undertake research on topics of importance to the U.S.-ASEAN relationship.
       
  • English Language Training: The Department of State will significantly expand English language programs in Southeast Asia with a new $3 million investment that will provide capacity-building support for hundreds of thousands of English teachers in the region. 
     
  • Private Sector Initiatives: Leading American companies have announced new initiatives to increase opportunities for education, training, and upskilling in Southeast Asia. Google will equip 200,000 small and medium enterprises in Southeast Asia with the skills to grow their business, through a $4 million grant to The Asia Foundation’s “Go Digital ASEAN,” and the U.S. Department of State and Google will partner to build digital literacy among youth at American Spaces located in Southeast Asia. HP is providing more than 20,000 students in Indonesia with technology and entrepreneurship skills through five HP Tech Hubs, while 3M is supporting science, technology, engineering, and math education for girls across Southeast Asia. The U.S. ASEAN Business Council Institute has launched a Myanmar Scholarship Fund to support students in the United States whose higher education journeys were disrupted by the crisis in Myanmar. 

EXPANDING MARITIME COOPERATION

The United States is committed to supporting implementation of the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific’s Maritime Pillar. Today we are announcing $60 million in new regional maritime initiatives, most of which will be led by the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG). 

  • Personnel and Presence: The USCG will deploy assets and assign additional personnel to the Indo-Pacific to help meet partners’ requests for maritime training and capacity-building, to include a USCG attaché at the U.S. Mission to ASEAN.
     
  • Countering Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated Fishing: The Department of State, Department of Labor, and USCG will launch new initiatives to help ASEAN counties counter illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing and strengthen the capacity of ASEAN sectoral bodies to prevent forced labor in the fishing industry.
     
  • Indo-Pacific Support Platform: The USCG will deploy a cutter to Southeast Asia and Oceania for security cooperation and to operate as a training platform. This cutter will deploy throughout the region providing multinational crewing opportunities, conduct training missions, and participate in cooperative maritime engagements.
     
  • Excess Defense Articles: As USCG decommissions cutters, the service will prioritize the transfer of ships to Southeast Asian countries to increase the coastal nations’ maritime law enforcement capacity and promote a free and open Pacific.
     
  • Southeast Asia Training Team: The Department of State and USCG will expand USCG support to maritime law enforcement agencies in Southeast Asia by placing a training team in the region for the first time with additional dedicated support from U.S.-based trainers. These technical experts will provide capacity-building for the regional partners’ maritime law enforcement agencies in the areas of institutional development, readiness, sustainment of equipment, and workforce professionalization. 
     
  • Emergency Training: The USCG and the Department of State will provide new trainings on energy safeguards, protection of critical maritime infrastructure, and all-hazards response.

PROMOTING GLOBAL HEALTH AND HEALTH SECURITY 

In support of U.S.-ASEAN Health Futures, the United States and ASEAN are taking swift action to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, strengthen health systems, and promote health security. The United States is proud to have provided over $200 million in COVID-19 assistance through the Department of State and USAID and donated over 115 million doses of safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines in Southeast Asia, with more on the way.

  • Enhancing Pan-Respiratory Diseases Surveillance: The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), through its new regional office in Hanoi, Vietnam, will enhance surveillance for pan‑respiratory diseases in Southeast Asia, including through expanded sample collection and access, and through capacity-building for laboratories and other healthcare facilities. This $5 million program will increase coverage of large urban population sites and significantly expand access to genomic testing equipment and technology.
     
  • Airborne Infection Defense Platform: USAID will support up to $10 million in programs to advance early detection and community response for COVID-19, tuberculosis, and other airborne diseases across Southeast Asia. 
     
  • Global Health Worker Initiative: The United States is working to strengthen regional health systems, increase ASEAN countries’ health capacity, and expand, train, and protect the health workforce across Southeast Asia, in support of the newly-announced Administration Global Health Worker Initiative. 
     
    • Supporting Community-Based Health Capacity: The President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) is strengthening human health systems management in ASEAN countries, including through train-the-trainer programs for clinical and community health workers and programs that counter discrimination in the health workforce toward HIV/AIDS patients.
       
    • Healthcare Curriculum: USAID is partnering with Vietnam to enhance its medical training program and ensure Vietnam’s health professionals are prepared to meet the country’s current and future needs. By 2025, over 2,000 university faculty will be trained in new educational methods and 5,000 physicians will graduate from the revised program.   
       
    • COVID-19 Training: Peace Corps is supporting COVID-19 mitigation and vaccine promotion training for the public and the healthcare workforce, including for community health workers in remote locations, in many ASEAN countries.

For Friday the 13th (May 2022), President Biden has welcomed; His Majesty King Abdullah II of Jordan and His Royal Highness Crown Prince Hussein to the White House. This afternoon President Biden will meet with local; elected officials, chiefs of police, and a community violence intervention expert from cities across America that have benefited from using American Rescue Plan funding to increase spending on community policing and public safety programs. After his meeting he will offer remarks to highlight the American Rescue Plan helping aid in keeping communities safer. Shortly after his remarks he will participate in the; U.S.-ASEAN Special Summit to commemorate 45 years of U.S.-ASEAN relations and strengthen ASEAN’s central role in delivering sustainable solutions to the region’s most pressing challenges.

The White House posted the following fact-sheet; President Biden Issues Call for State and Local Leaders to Dedicate More American Rescue Plan Funding to Make Our Communities Safer – And Deploy These Dollars Quickly

President Biden also highlights $10 billion in American Rescue Plan funding already committed to public safety and violence prevention and praises those states, cities, and rural counties that have answered his call to action.

President Biden believes that Americans deserve to feel safe no matter where they live, and he is committed to using every tool at his disposal to fight violent crime. As the cornerstone of the comprehensive gun crime reduction agenda he issued in June 2021, President Biden called on cities and states to dedicate American Recue Plan state and local funding to proven strategies that will make our communities safer – including by putting more police officers on the beat for accountable community policing, expanding evidence-based community violence intervention programs, and preventing crime by making our neighborhoods stronger with more educational and economic opportunities.

Today, President Biden is announcing that $10 billion in American Rescue Plan funds have been committed to public safety – including at least $6.5 billion in State and Local funds committed by more than half of states and more than 300 communities across the country, who have answered the President’s call. Along with ongoing state and local support from the Justice Department, American Rescue Plan investments made 2021 among the largest single-year commitments of federal resources for state and local law enforcement and public safety on record.

This American Rescue Plan funding has been a vital lifeline to communities around the country, who have been able to invest in public safety at a time of tremendous state, local, and county budget uncertainty because of the pandemic. Before the American Rescue Plan passed, the Menino Survey found that 27% of mayors anticipated making significant cuts to their police budgets and services. 

The American Rescue Plan has enabled these mayors and other state and local leaders to shore up their budgets and invest in public safety. Unfortunately, every Republican in Congress voted against the American Rescue Plan public safety funding for cities and rural counties across the country.

While Congressional Republicans try to pull back this funding, President Biden is today renewing his call for communities to invest more American Rescue Plan funding in strategies to make our communities safer and to deploy as many dollars as possible before the summer months when many communities historically experience a seasonal increase in violent crime. This renewed call to action comes as the Treasury Department is releasing the second tranche of support for state and local governments. 

White House.gov. 05/13/2022.

$10 Billion in Already Planned ARP Investments in Public Safety & Violence Prevention as President Biden Calls for Increased Investment:

  • $6.5 billion in State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund investments over the past year, by over 300 communities and more than half of states, including:
    • $1 billion in bonuses for front-line public safety workers to help recruit and retain these public servants.
    • Over $2 billion to prevent crime and ease the burden on police, including community violence interventions, crisis responders, and substance use disorder and mental health services.
    • Nearly $1 billion to reduce domestic violence with immediate crisis intervention, health supports and safety for victims of domestic violence
    • Over $350 million in job training and other assistance to help formerly incarcerated individuals successfully reenter society and provide at-risk teens and young adults with meaningful job opportunities in the summer and during the year
    • $450 million in public safety technology and equipment – like new police cars, upgraded radio systems, body-worn cameras, and gunshot detection systems 
    • $600 million to help clear court backlogs and support victims of crime 
  • Over $1 billion in proposed ARP investments in public safety have been documented this budget season. This understates the potential for new American Rescue Plan commitments to public safety. Indeed, for cities and counties, the numbers announced today reflect only the investments reported through 2021. 
  • $1.2 billion Medicaid Mobile Crisis Intervention Services – police departments are too often overburdened due to lack of crisis response support for people experiencing behavioral health crises. That’s why the American Rescue Plan included $1.2 billion to fund mobile crisis intervention units staffed with mental health professionals and trained peers. 
  • $1 billion Family Violence Prevention and Services Program to reduce domestic violence with immediate crisis intervention, health supports, and safety.

Examples of How Specific Communities Are Leveraging American Rescue Plan Funds to Shore Up Their Budgets and Make Our Communities Safer
Today, President Biden will meet with mayors, police chiefs, and community violence intervention leaders who represent the following communities: 

  • Houston’s One Safe Houston Plan – reducing crime in first 100 days: Mayor Sylvester Turner and Police Chief Troy Finner will describe the $52 million ARP plan to reduce violence, with $32 million in mental health and domestic violence response and victim service efforts, $11 million in police overtime (an additional 125 officers per day in areas of the most violent crime), $3 million for a new community violence intervention and prevention program, $1 million for a gun buyback initiative, $1.5 million for forensic science backlog assistance, $2 million for additional park rangers for park safety, and $1 million for a community reentry program.
  • Kansas City, Missouri: Making Fiscal Room to Hire Up to 150 New Police Officers: Mayor Quinton Lucas and Police Chief Joe Mabin will discuss leveraging ARP funds to avoid public safety cuts and layoffs to and invest $10 million for new police radios, communication across departments, and how they are working toward providing hazard pay to police officers. The ARP was directly responsible for enabling the fiscal space for Kansas City to be able to hire up to 150 police officers, increase pay for officers and civilian staff, and budget $12.4 million for the Violent Crimes Division and $6.6 million for the communications unit and increased pay for 911 call-takers.
  • Tampa, Florida: Avoiding Cuts in Public Safety and Investing in New Police Vehicles and Major Modernization of Fire Rescue: Mayor Jane Castor, a 31-year serving police officer and the city’s first woman to serve as police chief, and Police Chief Mary O’Connor will discuss the American Rescue Plan’s help in avoiding cutbacks of nearly $10 million in public safety while investing in police mental and behavioral health unit, body-worn cameras and new police vehicles. Tampa is also investing $13 million in a major modernization of Tampa Fire & Rescue, including new rescue and fire vehicles, increased staffing during peak times, and fire station renovations. 
     
  • Detroit, Michigan: Increasing police patrols and expanding mental health response and community violence programs: Mayor Mike Duggan and Detroit Police Chief James White began using ARP funds for public safety starting in July, 2021 and are continuing to expand public safety initiatives, with 6 primary strategies, totaling over $110 million. Investments include funds for an updated police training facility, $30 million for enhanced police patrols, $11 million for expanded mental health co-response, $12 million for community outreach gun violence prevention programs, $7 million for gunshot detection technology, $5 million for body cameras, and $8 million for firehouse expansion.
  • Tulsa, Oklahoma: Police officer recruitment and hiring bonuses, new equipment and improved court processes. Tulsa Mayor G. T Bynum will share how the city has used ARP funding to provide $3,000 stipends for Academy Police Officer hires – with $2,000 at the beginning and $1,000 at the end of the Academy training. The city is also investing $7 million in body camera replacement and the police air support unit, as well as $6.5 million to reform and speed the court process. Finally, the city is investing in a new family safety center to reduce domestic violent crime. 
  • Baton Rouge, Louisiana: Investing in new police cars, increasing community policing, and innovative community violence interruption strategies. Baton Rouge Police Chief Murphy Paul, who is part of the White House’s Community Violence Intervention Collaborative, discussed the city’s major public safety investments, including $8 million to replace patrol and other vehicles, $3.3 million to implement gun violence reduction strategies and increase community policing, and $1.8 million for technology investments such as automated license plate readers.
  • Toledo, Ohio: Funding training for a second cohort of new police recruits for the first time and plans for 100 new officers in the next few years. Toledo Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz is leveraging ARP funds to not only avoid cutbacks and layoffs but used the additional resources to create a path to hiring 100 new police officers and invested $2.3 million in gun violence reduction strategies, including a violence interrupter program and other programs addressing root causes of violence, focused on neighborhoods with highest instances of gun violence. American Rescue Plan funds have allowed, for the first time ever, the city has funding to deploy not just one but two cohorts of new police officers, as it works to expand its police force. The city is also investing in gunshot detection technology and safety camera investments to tackle public safety issues.
  • Mercer County, Pennsylvania: Nearly $12 million for a county-wide radio system and improved 911 system. Mercer County includes several rural towns, the largest having a population of just 18,000. The County Commissioner Timothy M. McGonigle will share the county’s nearly $12 million investment to design, purchase, and install a county-wide radio system to connect E-911, police, fire, and ambulance services.
  • Milwaukee, Wisconsin: Bolstering Expanding Violence Intervention and Summer Youth Employment: Reggie Moore, former Director of Injury and Violence Prevention for the City of Milwaukee, will discuss how American Rescue Plan funds both from the state of Wisconsin and the City of Milwaukee are helping with Community Violence Intervention, summer jobs, and workforce opportunities for at-risk individuals. From Governor Evers’ $100 million anti-violence strategy, Milwaukee is receiving funding for a public health approach to violence prevention, that integrates licensed mental health clinicians into Milwaukee’s 911 center, and provides job training at Milwaukee County House of Correction, while using the city’s own ARP funds to invest in summer jobs for up to 1,500 young people. 

Appendix: 40+ Additional Examples of Cities, Counties, and States Are Using American Rescue Plan Funding 

  • Allegheny County, PA has invested $10 million to provide radio equipment to over 300 fire, EMS and police departments throughout Allegheny County. The County has also invested $9 million to expand and provide new services including regional call centers, mobile crisis teams, and stabilization facilities. The funding will also support a recovery program designed as an alternative to jail for people who are experiencing a mental health crisis.
  • Atlanta, GA has committed $7.5 million towards public safety and violence prevention initiatives, specifically community-based violence prevention programming. Atlanta will engage in street outreach and other holistic supportive services to actively remediate conflicts and prevent violence. The City plans to engage in the Cure Violence program model, an internationally renowned approach to violence prevention, leveraging disease control and behavioral health methods including conflict resolution, interrupting the transmission of retaliatory violence, and creating opportunities for community norms to change towards a nonviolence culture. Atlanta is also investing $2.5 million of these funds towards the purchase of additional cameras and license plate readers to enhance public safety technology.
  • Baltimore, MD is investing $50 million over the next three years on a comprehensive violence prevention strategy, including community violence intervention programs, victim services support, youth justice efforts, and re-entry services (job training, mental health supports). The program will offer intensive case management, emergency housing and relocation assistance for people at imminent risk of being the victim of violence, and transitional employment programming – all part of the City’s Group Violence Reduction Strategy. This investment will also increase Baltimore’s capacity to provide mental health services and victim services to survivors of gun violence.
  • Bridgeport, CT will provide over $4 million for a Second Chance Re-Entry Employment Program – working with returning citizens and formerly incarcerated individuals to provide a continuum of care, including workforce development, job training and placement, housing support, medical health services, mental health services, substance abuse treatment, education services, and more. Additionally, Bridgeport is investing over $1 million in new public safety and crime prevention programs, including those targeted at combating gun violence and interventions for at-risk populations, as well as over $500,000 in a domestic violence prevention program.
  • Chandler, AZ has committed $3.8 million for early hiring of additional police officers to ensure that public safety staffing levels are maintained. Overall, the city plans to add 27 new police officers in the 2021-2022 year. In addition, Chandler is planning to spend nearly $750,000 to incentivize the hiring of approximately 40 public safety officers, as well as additional investment in remote police testing to ease the complexity of applying and testing for police positions.
  • Chesterfield County, VA has invested $5.7 million towards public safety, including $1.5 million to purchase land to accelerate the construction of a new police station. The land will be in an identified economic revitalization area, and the station will improve public safety services in the community and support County revitalization efforts in the immediate area. 
  • Chicago, IL has committed $10 million to expand workforce training opportunities for formerly incarcerated individuals to attain employment and other stabilization services. Chicago’s approach is modeled after previous initiatives in Philadelphia, PA, which resulted in a significant reduction in incarceration for new crimes and a lower recidivism rate. The City is also investing $45 million community safety and violence reduction initiatives, including $20 million for Youth Intervention Programs, $10 million for services and supports for victims of violent crimes and their families.
  • Colorado is planning a $113 million investment in public safety and mental health supports over two years, which includes the addition of 107 employees to investigate crimes, setting up a delinquency prevention and young offender intervention pilot program, supporting public safety recruiting efforts, and helping to pay for community college police academy training for recruits who otherwise would not be able to afford it. The plan includes a statewide alternative emergency response effort. The state has already invested $5 million for statewide access to crisis services for children and youth, $5 million for Jail based behavioral health services and $10 million for increasing access to effective substance use disorder treatment and recovery.
  • Colorado Springs, CO has invested $2.2 million to provide premium pay to public safety staff in the Colorado Springs Fire and Police Departments.
  • Cumberland County, NJ has invested $15 million to upgrade all communications systems for emergency services within the county.  Police, Fire and ambulance drop calls enroot due to inadequate equipment, as well as insufficient towers, antennae and fiber. This investment will address the interoperability of our various police, fire and ambulance departments by upgrading all hardware and software to the 700 MHz platform.
  • DeKalb County, GA has invested over $6 million for $3,000 one-time Protect and Serve retention bonuses for approximately 2,300 public safety officers, including police officers, firefighters, sheriff’s deputies, probation officers, and more. This project is part of the county’s broader public safety and violence prevention initiative.
  • Erie, PA has invested $14.1 million for funding to the Erie Police Department to add up to 21 new officers to re-establish critical programs. The funds will provide staffing and related equipment to re-establish the Crisis Car to address mental health and domestic violence issues and to increase community policing to mitigate the impact of COVID-19.
  • Frederick County, VA has invested $20 million for provision of a new radio communications system to support mission-critical public safety communications within the county. The communications system will provide enhanced, two-way wireless communications capabilities to all public safety users. 
  • Fresno, CA increased police staff time to address the rise in violent crime (including additional police vehicles). ARP also helped fund Fresno’s 911 call center to ensure 90% of all emergency calls can be answered in 15 seconds.  
  • Indiana is investing $20 million in ARP funds towards body cameras for all state police officers. 
  • Indianapolis, IN has invested $7.6 million in premium pay for police officers, sheriff’s office staff, firefighters, coroners, and more. As an example, Marion County Sheriff’s Office 911 dispatches received a 3 percent rate given their critical role in providing public safety services and their relative base pay amount, and sworn Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department and Fire Department employees received a 1-3 percent rate, depending on their responsibilities. To address case backlogs, the city is also investing $1.8 million to hire attorneys for the Marion County Public Defender Agency and the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office.
  • Jonesboro, AK is investing $7.8 million in ARP funding towards key public safety investments. Jonesboro is investing in comprehensive traffic and safety camera upgrades used by the police departments, high-definition cameras at each of the city’s 22 parks, and is replacing outdated technology for the city-county 911 department, and modern radio and personal protection equipment and medical supplies for firefighters.
  • Killeen, TX has committed over $4.5 million to provide premium pay to over 500 fire and police civil service employees, for an annual maximum of over $4,000 per employee. Killeen is also investing in a police range and training in response to increased gun violence and mental health crisis experienced during the pandemic.
  • King County, Washington has allocated $14.2 million towards its backlog of pending felony cases, which has risen to 6,450. The County has also allocated $2 million towards reducing the burden and impact of unsheltered populations on overuse of local jails congregate shelters and emergency rooms. 
  • Knoxville, TN has committed over $2 million for $3,000 one-time lump-sum payments of premium pay to police and fire department employees.
  • City of Los Angeles, CA has invested over $89 million towards public safety and violence prevention efforts. This investment is focused on expanding the system of care, supporting justice-focused community organizations, creating jobs for justice involved individuals, and addressing trauma and violence in communities. Los Angeles is investing $18.5 million towards jumpstarting its multiagency Alternative Crisis Response effort led by mental health professionals and first responders to promote the appropriate care and treatment of people in crisis as a primary alternative to a law enforcement response or jail. The city has also committed $10.5 million toward expanding the LA County’s community-based system of care for people experiencing serious mental illness and substance use disorder.
  • Los Angeles County, CA: County of Los Angeles has committed $5 million to increase capacity for the Youth@Work program, which offers youth in priority populations, including but not limited to foster, probation, and LGBTQI+ youth, paid enrichment training, and work experience in public, non-profit, and private organizations in high-growth industry sectors. The county is also dedicating $1 million for job placement programming for individuals returning from serving sentences in jail or prison, with a focus on women and the LGBTQI+ community.
  • Louisville, KY is investing $8.5 million to create a three-year comprehensive Youth Development System for high-risk youth to access programs and supports, with a goal of improving public safety in the city. 
  • Manchester, NH has invested $13.5 million for public safety, including $6.5 million for the Community Health Worker Program – a joint effort between the Manchester Health Department and Manchester Police Department. The city is hiring 13 community health workers who will respond to emergency calls that currently go to the police but do not involve any criminal activity. 
  • Memphis, TN is investing over $13 million to fund public safety recruitment incentives. Memphis has also invested $4.8 million to hire street intervention workers and hospital violence interrupters, provide outreach services to youth, as well as other wrap-around services. The City plans to invest $1.3 million towards initiatives to promote youth employment, increasing family income and reducing crime.
  • Mesa, AZ is investing another $4.5 million in public safety, including for five new ambulances and behavioral health clinicians for the fire department to use on crisis calls. 
  • Minneapolis, MN has committed over $11 million to public safety over the next few years, including for the police force as well as violence interruption, and community engagement through street- and community-based outreach. 
  • Missoula County, MT has invested $500,000 for behavioral health services to incarcerated individuals at the Missoula County Detention Facility for two years. The Missoula County Detention Facility estimates that between 30-60% of individuals incarcerated have significant behavioral health needs.  
  • Newark, NJ is investing $19 million over the next three years, into programs that break cycles that of violence, substance abuse and crime by supporting participants with behavioral, mental and professional development.
  • Pennsylvania is investing $23 million in grants for 25 projects focused on local strategies to stop gun and group violence, with an additional $15mm ARP committed. The grants provide funding to local organizations for a wide range of programs focused on reducing community violence, including street outreach and violence interruption programs, youth mentorship, and more. 
  • Philadelphia, PA is leveraging ARP to invest in a new co-responder program and mobile crisis unit. A police officer partners with a mental health professional to de-escalate mental health calls.
  • Prince George’s County, MD has invested $3 million towards anti-violence and CVI initiatives, focusing resources on those at the highest risk of engaging in serious violence. The County will implement various interventions to focus on targeted, trauma–informed care designed to interrupt cycles of violence that can produce lifesaving and cost-efficient results. Prince George’s County has also allocated $9.2 million towards their behavioral health initiatives
  • St Louis, MO is investing $5.5 million in community violence intervention programs to interrupt cycles of violence, $5 million in a ‘Cops and Clinicians’ program, which pairs mental health workers with dispatched police to divert calls for clinical help away from the police department. The city also provided an additional $5 million for uniformed police officer overtime/premium pay to maintain police coverage across the city.
  • St. Paul, Minnesota has committed $2.7 million to reduce the backlog of criminal cases caused by COVID and nearly $1 million to support police overtime to respond to higher crime rates. 
  • Trenton, NJ has invested $10.1 million towards public safety, which includes modernizing the City’s outdated emergency radio communications systems—supporting the safe and prompt response to emergencies by Trenton’s first responders. This funding will give Trenton police, fire, public works, and water utility personnel access to improved state radio frequencies and provide updated equipment needed. This investment will also replace the City’s 911 phone system. 
  • Tucson, AZ is investing $6.5 million for community safety and violence interruption efforts, including Community Violence Intervention (CVI) programs, youth employment and programming, workforce development and apprenticeship programs, mental health and substance use disorder services.
  • Vallejo, CA has invested $600,000 for Funds used to support community violence intervention programs including the City’s neighborhood watch program and the addition of three limited-term Police Assistants.
  • Virginia is making significant mental health crisis investments, including $10 million to expand community-based crisis services, such as mobile crisis services and crisis receiving facilities and $5 million to expand community-based substance use disorder treatment services.
  • Washington, D.C. is dramatically expanding its CVI efforts with a historic $10 million investment. This initiative will include over 80 violence interrupters (an increase of 50 people) working in 25 neighborhoods across DC. The City is also investing $4 million to expand their Pathways program to a second location with 4 cohorts of 25 participants, serving 100 additional residents at high risk of being involved in gun violence. DC is also creating a trauma-informed training academy and certification for violence interrupters, and potentially police. The City is also investing $8 million in Access to Justice Initiatives, as well as $15 million in Safe Passage initiatives, to promote student and family safety as they travel to and from school. 
  • Wilmington, DE is leveraging $8 million to dramatically expand their community-based gun violence reduction efforts as well as expanding their neighborhood surveillance program. The city is using an evidence-based health approach to reduce shooting incidents and developing a plan for a community violent interrupter program. 
  • Wisconsin is making a $100 million investment in a statewide comprehensive public safety strategy, which includes: $25 million for violence prevention programs across the state, $20 million to support victims of crime, $20 million to support local and tribal law enforcement agencies, over $14 million to reduce the backlog of criminal cases, funding to integrate licensed mental health clinicians into the city of Milwaukee’s 911 dispatch center, and job training programs at the Milwaukee County House of Correction. 

President Biden has not tweeted so far for Friday…

The daily press briefing is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. D.C., time.

President Biden’s remarks are scheduled for 3:00 p.m. D.C., time.

The ASEAN Special Summit is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. D.C., time.

This is an Open Thread.

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About Tiff 1920 Articles
Member of the Free Press who is politically homeless and a political junkie.