COVID Recovery Taskforce

To help replace lost revenues, cover COVID-related expenses, and reverse the economic impacts of this pandemic, the City of Albany was allocated approximately $80.7 million as part of President Biden’s American Rescue Plan. On March 12, 2021, Mayor Sheehan announced the creation of a COVID Recovery Task Force to ensure the City of Albany equitably and strategically maximizes the resources available to our residents, businesses, and community organizations thanks to the American Rescue Plan to restart Albany and build back better. The Mayor appointed Mike Whalen, Administrative Vice President of M&T Bank, and Jahkeen Hoke, Executive Director of Business For Good Foundation, as Co-Chairs of the City’s COVID Recovery Task Force.

The City is projected to face significant revenue impacts due to the pandemic between 2020 and 2024 that will require the majority of the American Rescue Plan funding, in its effort to re-imagine its workspaces and work force for a post-pandemic world.   Beyond this much-needed relief for fiscal stress and operations, a  portion of the stimulus package will be set aside to ensure we get resources where they are needed to restart Albany, re-open businesses, prevent evictions and strengthen our not-for-profit organizations. The Task Force has provided recommendations to the City of Albany about how to invest this funding through a lens of equity.

Four Main Objectives: 

  1. Obtain a shared understanding of how the American Rescue Plan can help the City of Albany
  2. Identify the needs of the City of Albany residents, businesses, and non-profit organizations that cannot be covered by other funding sources
  3. Equitably and strategically maximize resources available to our residents, businesses, and community organizations to restart Albany and build back better
  4. Engage every sector of the City of Albany to ensure we get resources where they are needed to restart Albany, re-open businesses, prevent evictions, and strengthen our not-for-profit organizations

Task Force Members 

The COVID Recovery Task Force members are identified below. This Task Force included a diverse group of people representing a myriad of institutions, community organizations and neighborhoods. It is important that we approach this work with a deep sense of civic duty to our residents, particularly those who have been disproportionately impacted by structural barriers. The City of Albany and Mayor Sheehan extend their gratitude to the following individuals for committing to lend their time, expertise, and resources to this initiative.

Working Groupsworking group slide

These five Working Groups comprised of Task Force members, align directly with Treasury Guidance set forth and allow for members to dive deeper into sector specific work as needs and recommendations are identified. Task Force members were asked to serve as experts in specific industry sectors and were essential on the assigned Working Groups, but their input was valuable and encouraged across all working groups. Elected officials and Co-Chairs served at-large rather than on a specific Working Group in order to ensure that Working Group findings are tied together where necessary. There were two sessions for each working group throughout the summer of 2021, Round 1 – Needs Assessment, and Round 2 – Recommendations. Working Group notes are linked below. 

Complete list of working groups and their respective members.

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