WA Recovery Watch

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In response to a historic influx of federal recovery dollars, Crosscut has launched an investigative desk to dig through funding allocations, relief programs and infrastructure contracts to find stories about how this spending is remaking, or should be remaking Washington communities.

This project will produce regular coverage of how federal programs have affected the lives of a diverse range of Washingtonians by examining spending priorities, program performance and availability, and accountability practices. It will explore barriers to funding, waste or misuse, government transparency and what residents have gotten for their money with an emphasis on equity and rural communities. Our team will also examine the on-the-ground efficacy of equity initiatives as well as disparities in access or investments.

From broadband networks to restorative justice programs, the project will seek to tell stories about the transformative impact of some efforts while also shining a light on abuses or lost opportunities to rebuild public resources. The project is expected to run from mid-February through December 2022.

Crosscut's Follow the Funds guide can also help you track down information about where money is going in your community and explore publicly available funding data yourself. 

(Si prefiere leer acerca de este proyecto en español, o proveer información en español, haga clic aquí.)

This work is made possible by a grant from the Group Health Foundation.

We need your help

We want to find stories with broad community interest and impact. The success of these investigations relies on connecting with Washingtonians like you.

If the questions below apply to you or someone you know, please take and share our surveys. Your stories could help us with this critical reporting. The best news tips include a strong foundation for initial reporting, such as the names of the people involved, relevant documents, databases, recordings or first-hand accounts. 

We also want to hear your questions about how specific programs or projects operate. These questions can point us to key stories about recovery efforts. 

Are you a business owner of color seeking grants, loans or other relief?

We need to hear from you

Are you a rural resident facing challenges accessing broadband or other utilities?

We need to hear from you.

Is your community trying to invest in climate change mitigation infrastructure?

We need to hear from you.

Are you at risk of eviction or losing services over a lack of local relief support?

We need to hear from you.

(Note: We will never quote or publish your responses without contacting you and getting your consent. We will never share your information beyond our news team for any reason.)

Got a news tip for our investigations team?

The best news tips include a strong foundation for initial reporting such as the names of the people involved, relevant documents, databases, recordings or first-hand accounts

Your questions about how specific programs or projects operate can also point us to key stories about recovery efforts. Submit your questions to Jacob or Brandon below.

How to submit a news tip: 

  • Good old snail mail is still a secure way to give our reporters vital information. Mail documents or other tips to our newsroom:
    ATTN: WA Recovery Watch, Jacob Jones
    401 Mercer St.
    Seattle, WA 98109
  • Leave a detailed message on our news tip line at 206-443-6704 
  • Email Jacob or Brandon
  • Contact us via Signal, an encryption tool to keep your electronic communications private and secure. (Read this article for tips on how to use Signal)

Ask Jacob your questions about federal relief and recovery spending in Washington state. 

Jacob Jones

Jacob Jones

Investigations Editor

Jacob Jones is Crosscut's investigations editor, dedicated to pursuing public-interest accountability stories throughout the state. He previously worked as a staff reporter at The Inlander in Spokane and The Daily World in Aberdeen. He has also had his work published in The Washington Post, The Spokesman-Review and other regional publications. Find him on Twitter @jonesdaily or email at jacob.jones@crosscut.com.

Ask Brandon your questions about federal relief and recovery spending in Washington state. 

photo of Brandon

Brandon Block

Investigations Reporter

Brandon Block is Crosscut’s investigative reporter, focused on following the federal recovery money flowing into Washington state. He previously covered housing and homelessness for The Olympian as a Report for America fellow. Before that he wrote about art, immigration and criminal justice in Baltimore, and spent a year in Bangkok, Thailand as a Princeton in Asia fellow. His writing has appeared in WYPR 88.1, DCist, and Baltimore City Paper. Find him on Twitter @block_m3 or email at brandon.block@crosscut.com.