How raising the minimum wage may affect D.C. residents

According to a new report from the Urban Institute, “Understanding the Implications of Raising the Minimum Wage in the District of Columbia,” the recent increase in the D.C. minimum wage will affect around 41,000 people. Just how much those people will be affected, however, is debatable, due to high costs of living and the job market. (WCP, 8/12)

[…] the study concludes that for many of those people, the financial impact will be minimal. Taking into account the increased taxes these people will pay and the decrease in government benefits they’ll receive, the median worker affected by the wage hike will gain only about $1,000 annually.

The reason, says the report’s lead author, Gregory Acs, is that the competitive employment market, driven in part by the high cost of living in the District, has already raised many D.C. wages above the minimum—if not quite beyond $11.50, then close enough that the new law doesn’t make a huge difference.

How a ‘Downtown Ward 7’ would grow more than a healthy economy (Elevation DC, 8/12)

FOOD │ Opinion: For years, gentrification and food deserts have been hot topics in the Washington region. Read about how gentrification of the Petworth neighborhood has taken place, as evidenced by the recently reopened Safeway. (Gawker, 8/11)

TRANSIT │ Montgomery County hopes to roll out an alternative type of bus transportation, known as rapid bus transit, that would decrease heavy traffic and would eventually be part of a 98-mile system connecting various parts of the region. (WaPo, 8/11) You know, kind of like what Cleveland has.

Related: Cleveland is also where a new economic development model, known as Community Wealth Building Initiatives (CWBI), began in the U.S. A CWBI is intended to create a new dynamic where lower income people can become business owners and a part of the entrepreneurial class. On Monday, August 18th at 10:30 AM, WRAG will host a briefing for funders to learn how they can also be a part of this effort and how to spread the model across our own region. Later in September, funders from our region will take a one-day trip to Cleveland to hear firsthand from other funders, business incubators, and employee owners about the Evergreen initiative that is happening there. Learn more here.

Can you match these leaders to their countries?

– Ciara