A new public-private infrastructure bank?

Federal City Council head Anthony Williams, who previously served for eight years as the District’s mayor, is leading conversations with both Mayor Vincent Gray and members of the D.C. Council about the potential development of a new, nonprofit D.C. Public-Private Development Trust (WBJ, 4/23):

The Federal City Council is lobbying D.C. leaders to create an infrastructure bank that would pool public and private dollars for critical capital and social projects without saddling the District with more debt — a groundbreaking idea that would, if adopted, transform how the city tackles its major development projects.

WRAG’s president, Tamara Copeland, is interested in learning more about the exploration of new ways to meet challenges facing our region. She says:

When Anthony Williams met with WRAG CEOs earlier this year, this wasn’t an idea that he shared, but it’s definitely an interesting one. As we think about the societal problems facing our region, it’s exciting to have new concepts for social financing on the table. WRAG will be monitoring these conversations as they move forward. How might philanthropy be a part of the social finance solution?

IMPACT | On a similar subject, Rebekah recaps our recent Brightest Minds event with the Strive Network’s Jeff Edmondson. He spoke to funders and local leaders about the concept of “collective impact” and its four key elements. (Daily, 4/23)

VOTE | For our readers who live in the District, don’t forget to vote in today’s special election for At-Large Councilmember! Here’s where to find your polling station.

Related: Housing is a big priority for WRAG – here’s where the candidates stand on the issue. (UT, 4/22)

HOUSING | According to a new report from the MacArthur Foundation, home ownership is a decreasingly essential component of the American Dream. About 70 percent of American adults believe that “it is less likely for families to build equity and wealth through home ownership today compared with two or three decades ago.” (Atlantic, 4/23)

AGING | In the Greater Washington region, Prince William County has seen the sharpest rise in residents 65 and older. Thanks to new developments aimed at attracting this cohort, the Post has labeled the county as “a regional retirement mecca, a small-scale version of Florida on the outskirts of Washington.” (WaPo, 4/23)

A few thoughts. First, how did “mecca” become a casual noun? Second, does this “version of Florida” include alligators, hurricanes, and sinkholes? Third, if it does, can we have some Disney theme parks to make up for that stuff? Thanks.

D.C. Education Advocates Seek More Funding For Adult Programs (WAMU, 4/23)

Council questions push for special-ed students in D.C. public schools (WaPo, 4/23)

HEALTH | WRAG’s Health Working Group has been focused on supporting local implementation of the health care reform. Just a reminder that the National Health Law Program is hosting a webinar on the subject – Health Reform: An Overview – tomorrow. [Details and registration.]


As I was walking to lunch yesterday, one of the at-large candidates was unceremoniously standing in front of the grocery store greeting shoppers and handing out flyers. No staffers, no press – just a final push for a few more votes. That’s a really great work ethic and it made me confident in my vote.

In other news, did anyone downtown see the giant blue whale replica at Freedom Plaza yesterday? I only saw pictures, which reminded me of two things: my favorite Star Trek line and the Michael Jackson song from Free Willy.

One thought on “A new public-private infrastructure bank?”

  1. If Anthony Williams had done his job serving the people while in office–instead of the developers…HIV would not be the issue it currently is in our community!!!

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