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Following the 2016 election, FPWA member agencies expressed grave concern about the impact of federal fiscal policies on New York City’s social services budget and sector. Our members — many of whom have been fighting poverty on the frontlines for more than a century – rely on federal funding to provide care for older adults, children, people living with mental illness, and persons with physical disabilities. They’re stamping out hunger, offering safety and services for survivors of domestic violence, building skills and breaking down barriers for individuals locked out of the workforce, and working to support justice-involved individuals and their families.
In response, we created the FPWA Federal Funds Tracker (Federal Funds Tracker) to foster greater awareness of and engagement in the federal budget process through data, storytelling, and action.
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Gaurav Gupta-Casale joined FPWA’s Fiscal policy team in 2018 to work on the launch and development of FPWA’s Federal Funds Tracker. Before working at FPWA, Mr. Gupta-Casale worked at a series of nonprofits in NYC in the field of development, program development, monitoring and evaluation, and data visualization. At the Khan Foundation, Mr. Gupta-Casale worked as a consultant to quantitatively measure and visualize the current growth and future projections of the Foundation’s College Access Program. Mr. Gupta-Casale continues to leverage his skillsets in data analysis, data visualization, and program evaluation to advocate for just public policy in New York City.
Belén Hípola obtained a double bachelors’ degree in Economics & Mathematics and Statistics from Universidad Complutense de Madrid (2014-2020). She joined FPWA in November 2020 as a Fiscal Policy Fellow to further pursue her interests in data visualization, statistical analysis, policy research and advocacy. In 2020, Belén was awarded the La Caixa fellowship to pursue the Master of Arts in Economics at Columbia University starting Fall 2021. After the master’s, she will follow a research career focused on applied microeconomics, quantitative methods and the economics of education.
Derek Thomas led the fiscal policy team at FPWA for over 3 years. During his tenure at FPWA, he created, managed and grew the Federal Funds Tracker to the dynamic advocacy tool that it is today. Prior to joining FPWA, Mr. Thomas was a Fiscal Policy Fellow for Connecticut Voices for Children where he analyzed the state budget and advocated for strategic investments in children. Before joining CT Voices in 2015, Mr. Thomas served as Senior Policy Analyst for the Indiana Institute for Working Families since 2012, where he focused on state-level economic analysis and policy work to support mobility for low-income families. Mr. Thomas has accompanied his research with visualizations, video, and other digital media to better communicate complex policy problems and large sets of data. He is an adjunct associate for Data Visualization and Design at Columbia University’s School of Professional Studies’ Applied Analytics program. His research has been cited locally and by The Guardian, the U.S. Department of Labor, Reuters, WBEZ’s Front and Center, The Wall Street Journal, and USA Today.