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Fellow_PublicPolicy_Headshot _Gonzalez_Roberts

Emma Gonzalez Roberts

Fellow_PublicPolicy_Headshot _Gonzalez_Roberts

Emma Gonzalez Roberts


Rappaport Institute for Greater Boston


Rappaport Public Policy Fellow



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Rebuilding Main Street after COVID-19

Rappaport Public Policy Fellows spend 10 weeks each summer serving within the highest levels of state and municipal governments in the Greater Boston Area. The program includes students from graduate and professional programs at local universities.

Graduate School

Undergraduate School
University of Chicago

Phil Puccia, JP Morgan and Rappaport Institute Advisory Board Member

City of Boston, Department of Economic Development

Natalia Urtubey, Director of Small Business and Executive Director of Imagine Boston 2030

Description of Fellowship
As a fellow with the City of Boston’s Office of Economic Development, I supported the implementation of the Outdoor Dining Pilot by providing technical assistance, equipment, and $5,000 grants to 20 restaurants in low-income communities. This support made it possible for the 20 restaurants to have a safe and successful reopening after COVID-19 closures in the spring. I developed a previously non-existent Salesforce training manual, made recommendations for improving Salesforce protocols, and reviewed hundreds of Reopen Boston Fund applications.

When the City of Boston began providing expedited outdoor dining permits to restaurants, there were clear disparities regarding which restaurants had applied and what that distribution looked like across the city. For example, many restaurants in the North End had their outdoor dining up and running by mid-June, while not a single restaurant in Mattapan had applied for a permit by that time. I was proud to provide direct financial and technical support to 20 restaurants who were able to get up and running with the assistance.