HOUSING | There are currently two major housing finance reform bills ready for debate on the Hill. On the Senate side, the Warner-Corker bill has a lot of bi-partisan support. On the house side, Rep. Jeb Hensarling’s PATH bill is a bit more divisive. The Post’s Lydia DePillis wrote a “quick-and-dirty guide” about both bills and the reactions they are getting from various parties. (WaPo, 7/31)
– The Steady Decline of Homeownership, for Everyone, Everywhere (Atlantic, 7/31)
– Too Many Young Adults Are Still Living at Home, and It’s Hurting the Economy (Atlantic, 7/30)
ECONOMY | Newly released data show that the District’s economy is stalling, which obviously has implications for the entire region. D.C.’s job levels peaked in October of last year and have been bouncing down since. While the declining numbers are only slight, they are bad news in the proper context (CP, 7/30):
Especially because the full effects of federal spending cutbacks mandated by the sequester have not yet materialized, data suggesting that employment in the District of Columbia has already begun to decline are particularly worrisome.
GIVING | The Foundation Center pulled together a list of the major reports about philanthropic giving that have been released so far this year. The first report on the list, Next Gen Donors: Respecting Legacy, Revolutionizing Philanthropy, was supported by The Meyer Foundation. (FC, 7/29) Later this year, WRAG will have a detailed look at giving trends in our region.
– Montgomery County is working to build an online system that maps food resources. The project is being designed to show everything from grocery stores to community gardens, which will help connect people with food and also identify gaps. (Gazette, 7/31)
– A new report from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Pew Charitable Trusts finds that the House’s plan for SNAP would cut off benefits for 5.1 million Americans who currently rely on the program. (NYT, 7/30)
EDUCATION | In public schools, students should learn how to think, not memorize (WaPo, 7/31)
TRANSIT | The District is moving forward with plans to replace the Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge, which connects the neighborhood by the Nats stadium to the other side of the river. The
gazillion dollar $900 million project would make the bridge more pedestrian and bike-friendly, and include some fancy grass inside rotaries on both sides of the river. (WAMU, 7/31)
LOCAL | Brace yourselves. A new breed of enemy seems to have emerged: the cultural terrorist. Apparently the woman who was arrested for throwing green paint (and, um, other stuff) on symbolic things around town was not actually a misguided homeless person trying to channel Jackson Pollock. Apparently, evidence shows that she likely flew here from China specifically to deface things. (CNN, 7/31)
Here are ten fun tips for the summer. Or “life hacks,” as some people call them. But that’s a terrible phrase because you aren’t actually hacking anything – just doing things differently.
And if you have three minutes, try out this quiz about U.S. presidents. It’s not as easy as it seems!