The Weekly WRAG

Barbara Harman: The ‘fierce urgency’ of later

The Homeless Children’s Playtime Project began in 2003 to provide kids in dire conditions a chance to play with toys and read books with support from volunteers. (Photo by Naomi Harris)

Like many people, I have been thinking about the most compelling needs our community faces in the midst of this pandemic and where we can do the most good in our individual efforts to help. The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s compelling phrase, “the fierce urgency of now,” is especially resonant here, for it is indeed urgent that we act with power to support immediate needs: that we care for those who care for the sick, strengthen groups that feed families who can no longer feed themselves, help charities providing medical care for people who lack access to it, and assist organizations providing financial resources for people who have lost jobs.

It is also critical that we look downstream: Where is the fallout? Which problems, though perhaps less evident, are emerging as significant? How can we identify the second, less immediate and obvious, phase of the pandemic’s impact? >Read more


The Booz Allen Foundation Establishes $1M Innovation Fund

Non-profits, small businesses and individuals invited to apply for funding to solve the most pressing issues caused by pandemic | Deadline: June 5, 2020

The Booz Allen Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to convening diverse stakeholders to solve challenging social issues, announced the creation of a $1 million Innovation Fund to support the development of creative solutions to address the wide-ranging impacts of the pandemic. >Read More


D.C. statistics reveal Latino communities had highest COVID-19 infection rates in city

MAY 4, 2020 | By Sam Ford | ABC7

D.C. officials released numbers Monday showing Latinos had the highest per capita infection rates in the city. On a per 100,000 basis, 1,200 Latinos got the virus in D.C., compared to 820 blacks and 175 whites.

Monica Palacio, a Latino activist, said it’s “heartbreaking, but not surprising.”

She said Latinos are less likely to have work-from-home jobs and more likely to be considered essential in jobs like food service and construction. She also said Latinos are more likely to be living in crowded conditions. >Read More


Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development Announces Over $2.8 Million in GO Virginia Grants

MAY 4, 2020 | The Altavista Journal

~ Funding to support regional economic development initiatives

The Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) announced today $2,872,931 in Growth and Opportunity for Virginia (GO Virginia) funding for 13 regional projects. The GO Virginia Board, which includes key members of the Governor’s cabinet, the General Assembly and the business community, reviewed and approved the 13 grant requests.

These grants will add capacity to support existing companies in targeted industry sectors, implement innovative workforce development models, and develop networks of services to scale startup and second stage companies in the technology sector. The grant awards will leverage an additional $7,732,043 in non-state resources to assist with economic diversification throughout Virginia.

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COVID-19 CASES AS OF MAY 5th:
  • D.C. | 5,322 cases, 264 deaths
  • Maryland | 27,117 cases, 1,290 deaths
  • Virginia | 19,357 cases, 690 deaths

WASHINGTON (ABC7) — For a full breakdown of numbers by jurisdiction, click here.


The University of Maryland begins testing COVID-19 vaccine on volunteers ages 18-85

MAY 5, 2020 | By Brad Bell/Lesly Salazar | ABC7

A vaccine to fight against the deadly new coronavirus is being injected into volunteers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. Unlike most vaccines, this one does not inject virus proteins into the body.

Researchers are studying the safety, efficacy, and dosing of the experimental mRNA- based vaccine as part of a multicenter study in the U.S. and Germany. >Read More


In Midst of Pandemic, Opposition Group Considers Whether Beltway Expansion is Necessary

Montgomery County, Maryland, officials and the group Citizens Against Beltway Expansion considered during a virtual town hall Friday whether the Capital Beltway expansion project will be needed once the coronavirus pandemic subsides.

The project, which Gov. Larry Hogan introduced in January, aims to widen the Capital Beltway and part of Interstate 270 by adding toll lanes.

The Citizens Against Beltway Expansion has since “demanded better, affordable commuter options for suburban Maryland.”

But in the midst of a global pandemic, it’s unclear whether the expansion will be needed…
>Read More