The coronavirus has hit cities particularly hard – and while mayors are rolling out new guidelines and programs to protect residents, the economic cost of the pandemic is a real challenge for local leaders. Navigating federal aid is a challenge, even under the best of circumstances – but cities need to get access to the funds they need to operate and recover, and use it effectively. To tell us more, Adam Freed, a Principal at Bloomberg Associates, speaks to Natasha Rogers, the Chief Operating Officer of the City of Newark, and Brad Gair, a principal with Witt O’Brien’s, a national emergency management consultancy. They discuss how cities are using data to drive decision making in response to the pandemic, how federal aid can help them, and how cities can engage and get support from the state and federal government. This is the first episode in a two-part series around how cities can best navigate, access, and deploy federal aid.