The Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments has released their new State of the Region: Infrastructure Report, which closely examines the region’s systems and provides recommendations for how to decrease vulnerabilities over the next 15 years. The report specifically looks at opportunities for greater development, operations and management within the areas of energy, public buildings, public safety communications, transportation and water. The report comes at a particularly important time when the region’s transit system has been shown to be in need of some significant improvements. (WaPo, 1/13 and WBJ, 1/13)
“We want transportation to run smoothly, electricity and natural gas to turn on when we flip the switch, water to flow when we turn on the tap, clear communications in an emergency, and first-class public buildings,” said Phil Mendelson, board chairman of the Council of Governments as well as the D.C. Council chairman, in the preface to the draft report. “However, maintenance and replacement costs in critical sectors have been deferred as leaders have been faced with competing priorities, and the need for investing in new systems to support growth and maintaining a state of good repair totals in the billions.”
The report advocates the creation of a regional “infrastructure exchange” group that would study and prioritize projects and ways of funding them. It also calls for a sustained public education campaign to raise awareness of the region’s infrastructure needs and a series of workshops bringing together experts to “brainstorm out-of-the-box funding mechanisms” to pay for them.
– The U.S. Census Bureau has released a series of maps that look at the age of the population of residents in the region. Overall, the region is getting older, as Millennials (those between the ages of 18-34) are clustering in more urban areas. (GGW,1/13)
MARYLAND | Maryland General Assembly to open with one of largest freshmen classes in decades (WaPo, 1/13)
COMMUNITY | Congratulations to Rosie Allen-Herring (United Way of the National Capital Area), Terri Copeland (PNC Bank), and Debbi Jarvis (Pepco Holdings, Inc.) for being honorees of the Washington Business Journal’s class of 2015 Minority Business Leader Awards! (WBJ, 1/14)
POVERTY | More and more churches are assisting their members with securing manageable loans as a welcome alternative to the high-interest payday loans that often keep those in need buried in debt. (WaPo, 1/9)
HEALTH | Studies have shown that while high rates of smoking persist among low-income Americans, high-income families have been smoking significantly less than they once did. Low-income individuals are also found to have a much harder time trying to kick the habit. (WaPo, 1/14)
– Previously, we learned that a group of arts organizations had signed a lease to occupy the abandoned streetcar tunnels under Dupont Circle. Now, you can get a glimpse of what that space looks like. (GGW, 1/13)
NONPROFITS | Applications to the Catalogue for Philanthropy: Greater Washington are now open. Nonprofits can apply to become a part of the network by submitting an application by midnight on Friday, February 27th.
EQUALITY | New Report: America may be ready for a female president, but female CEOs? Not so much (WaPo, 1/14)
CORRECTION | In yesterday’s post, A Letter to Foundation Trustees and Execs Considering Closing a Foundation, The Summit Fund of Washington was incorrectly listed as The Summit Foundation.
What would you do if she sat next to you on the bus?