Category: Uncategorized

Keeping up the momentum to #CountDMVin

A few weeks ago, the Supreme Court handed down a decision that effectively blocked the implementation of a proposed citizenship question on the 2020 Census. As census forms went to print, the administration continued its efforts to find a way to include the question, only relenting late last week. While we celebrate the Supreme Court’s decision and monitor the ongoing attempts by the administration to count citizens and noncitizens, we must continue to keep up momentum and energy around the 2020 Census.

Even without the citizenship question, we face challenges to a fair and accurate count. The stakes could not be higher. Many communities – especially those that historically have been hardest to count, such as immigrant and communities of color – may understandably be fearful of responding to the census, particularly given the continued efforts to politicize it. Organizations with deep relationships within these communities have the opportunity to serve as trusted messengers, helping their clients and constituents understand what is at stake in the census and what can be gained by getting counted. The census determines the amount of federal dollars our region receives for critical programs, the number of Congressional seats we have, and how district lines are drawn at all levels of government. Getting counted is the most powerful tool we have to secure our fair share of federal resources and political power.

This is an all-hands-on-deck moment for the region. That’s why we encourage everyone to help #CountDMVin. Here’s how you can get involved:

Funders:

  • Talk to your grantee partners about how they might be able to engage hard-to-count communities in the 2020 Census and what kind of support they need to do so.
  • Consider investing in the Count DMV In Census Project, a pooled fund at the Greater Washington Community Foundation, to directly support 2020 Census activities.
  • WRAG members: Join the 2020 Census Working Group to get connected with other local funders investing in a complete and accurate census in our region.

Community-based organizations:

  • Consider how you might incorporate education and outreach about the 2020 Census into your work. Talk to your current funders now about what kind of additional support you would need.
  • Check out the national Census Counts Campaign for a wealth of resources related to census outreach, including messaging toolkits.
  • Get connected with your local Complete Count Committees, task forces responsible for developing strategies for local outreach. Find a list of committees in this resource guide.
  • Apply for funding from the Count DMV In Census Project (and act fast: the application deadline is July 29th!)

Local businesses:

  • The private sector depends on accurate census data. Local businesses can help get the word out about the importance of completing the census among their employees and customers. Check out this recent op-ed in the Washington Business Journal from the Northern Virginia Complete Count Committee on how business can engage in the census.

Everyone:


The Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers’ 2020 Census Working Group is a collection of funders focused on leveraging the resources of local philanthropy and other stakeholders to ensure an accurate and complete census count in the region, co-chaired by Levina Kim (United Way of the National Capital Area), Ria Pugeda (Consumer Health Foundation), and Terri Wright (Eugene & Agnes E. Meyer Foundation). #CountDMVin is a regional communications campaign to raise awareness and spur action to ensure a complete 2020 Census.

Where’s the (Almost) Daily WRAG?

WRAG is excited to introduce our newest team member, Carmen Rodriguez, Director of Communication, Technology, and Administration!

This summer, the Daily will go on “vacation” as WRAG assesses its communications strategy and needs going forward. We will continue to bring you occasional updates using this platform, but we will not produce a regular news roundup. In the meantime, we would love to hear from readers: What have you valued about the Daily WRAG? What would you like to see more of from WRAG? Less of? We welcome your thoughts via this quick survey.

We look forward to sharing with you our new communications strategy later this year!

DC to open new middle school in growing Northwest neighborhood

EDUCATION
– In recent years District leaders closed more than a dozen schools because of low enrollment, but now a new middle school underscores the city’s strategy for retaining students in neighborhood schools. (WaPo, 3/26)

…A booming corner of the city is getting its second new middle school in recent years. The opening of the campus in Northwest reflects a strategy to bolster middle schools so families will stick around to attend public high schools.

The arrival of the campus in Takoma — the school, adjacent to Coolidge High, is part of a broader $150 million overhaul of the Coolidge campus — comes as middle schools and high schools in other neighborhoods sit with ample vacant seats.

In the Takoma, Brightwood and Manor Park neighborhoods, city leaders saw an opportunity for growth. The school system studied population trends with the D.C. Office of Planning and determined that the cluster of neighborhoods is poised for one of the biggest population growths in the city over the next seven years, bolstered by the arrival of immigrant and young affluent families.

Arlington Public Schools Developing an Implementation Plan for Transgender Non-Discrimination Policy (ARLNow, 3/27)

VIRGINIA/RACE | Virginia Governor Ralph Northam amended two motorist measures in the state budget with ‘race inequities’ in mind. (WaPo, 3/26)

HOUSING 
Mayor’s budget proposes slight increase for DC police, more money for programs that treat violence as health issue (WaPo, 3/26)

– According to a new report, the “vast majority” of dollars raised by DC elected officials through private donations to help District residents are not spent as intended. (WaPo, 3/26)

HOMELESSNESS | Employed full-time and experiencing homelessness in the Washington region: the changing face of homelessness. (WaPo, 3/22)

GUN VIOLENCE | Bump Stock Ban Takes Effect As Gun Rights Groups Ask Supreme Court For Delay (NPR, 3/26)

PUBLIC SAFETY | DC Police Reported A 20 Percent Increase In Use-Of-Force Incidents Last Year (dcist, 3/25)

GENDER | Teen boys rated their female classmates based on looks. The girls fought back. (WaPo, 3/26)

PHILANTHROPY | The Sweetness of Circles highlights the history, strength and growth of black-led giving circles. (Medium, 3/25)


How to cycle, drink, and cruise down the Potomac!

The (Almost) Daily WRAG will be back on Thursday this week!

– Buffy

DC Housing Authority board considers how to deal with housing code violations

HOUSING
– Commissioners on the D.C. Housing Authority board voted this week to explore a plan to address thousands of “nearly uninhabitable” public housing units—a plan that some advocates believe essentially amounts to privatization. (CP, 1/17)

The resolution asserts that DCHA should consider applying, through the federal department of Housing and Urban Development, for demolition or disposition of more public housing properties. The resolution also asked the board to affirm that some of “the most effective, available tools for addressing immediate conditions, and insuring longer term financial and physical viability” would include spending money on housing vouchers rather than subsidizing public housing complexes themselves. That decision would shift the burden to find housing to tenants, who would have to look for apartments on the private market. Advocates for low-income families frequently complain that landlords illegally discriminate against voucher holders by refusing to rent to them.

– Who’s hit hardest by the affordable housing shortage? (GG Wash, 1/10)

RACISM | In a new essay, Robin DiAngelo explains why white people being nice won’t end racial inequity. (Guardian, 1/16)

Related: Robin DiAngelo spoke on the topic of white privilege as part of WRAG’s Putting Racism on the Table series in 2016, as well as last year when we partnered with Leadership Greater Washington on Expanding the Table for Racial Equity. You can watch her talk here, and download discussion and viewing guides that accompany the video.

PUBLIC SAFETY | D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser intends to see the District’s police department grow over the next four years by adding about 150 officers in order to combat crime and better connect to the community. (WaPo, 1/16)

TRANSIT
– In a letter to Virginia and Maryland senators, Metro said that it is losing approximately $400,000 per day during the government shutdown. (WaPo, 1/17)

– If they know where and how to look for ways to improve, cities could get more people walking, biking, and riding transit, according to a new report and interactive tool released by the Institute for Transportation & Development Policy. (CityLab, 1/17)

DISTRICT | A Stumble for Statehood? The federal shutdown brands D.C as just a government town. (CP, 1/14)

PHILANTHROPY | Two Loudoun County food pantries will receive $10,000 a week, funded by Easterns Automotive Group, for the duration of the shutdown to help aid federal workers and contractors who are impacted. Approximately 4.1 percent of federal workers and contracted employees reside in Loudoun County, according to a recent Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments report. (Loudoun Times, 1/14)

RFP: Holy Trinity Catholic Church has allocated $150,000 in grant funding for up to three local nonprofits with the potential to bring about significant and lasting benefits to people who have been or could become the victims of sexual abuse or human trafficking. The deadline to submit the stage 1 application is February 22, 2019. Details can be found here. If you have questions, contact Kate Tromble at ktromble@trinity.org or (202) 903-2809.


Social Sector Job Openings 

President​ | ​Virginia United Methodist Foundation – New!
Chief Financial & Administrative Officer​ | ​Horizon Foundation – New!
Foundation and Government Relations Officer​ | ​Shakespeare Theatre Company – New!
Grants & Communications Officer​ | ​The Crimsonbridge Foundation – New!
Executive Director​ | ​VHC Medical Brigade – New!
Director of Development​ | ​DC Bar Foundation – New!
Program Manager​ | ​Weissberg Foundation – New!
Senior Supervising Attorney, Criminal Justice Reform​ | ​Southern Poverty Law Center
Director of Development​ | ​The Barker Adoption Foundation
Grant Reviewer​ | ​Jack and Jill of America Foundation
Executive Assistant​ | ​Jack and Jill of America Foundation
Administrative Associate | United Philanthropy Forum
Programs Manager | DC127
Development Manager | DC127
Director of Development (East Coast) | Rocketship Public Schools
Director of Development | ECHO
Executive Director | The Volgenau Foundation
Gifts and Grants Administrator | Community Foundation for Northern Virginia
Manager of Communications & Events | The Community Foundation for Northern Virginia
Director of “Count the Region” | The Community Foundation for Northern Virginia
President | Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers
Receptionist/Administrative Assistant | Exponent Philanthropy
OST Community Impact Program Manager | United Way of the National Capital Area
Development Coordinator | National Building Museum
Program Associate for Strategy, Equity, and Research | Eugene & Agnes E. Meyer Foundation

Hiring? Post your job on WRAG’s job board and get it included in the Daily! Free for members; $60/60 days for non-members. Details here.


Community Calendar

To add an event to WRAG’s community calendar, email Rebekah Seder. Click here to view the community calendar.


What a great way to embrace the upcoming MLK weekend: 6 Opportunities To Reflect On Martin Luther King Jr.’s Legacy Around The D.C. Region

Next week we’ll publish the (almost) Daily WRAG on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.

– Buffy

Federal workers who live in some parts of Greater Washington affected by the shutdown more than others

SHUTDOWN
– Federal workers who live in Southeast DC, Prince George’s County, or the outer suburbs, may be among those most affected by the ongoing government shutdown. According to the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, half of federal workers in those areas earn less than $75,000 a year. (WAMU, 1/14)

About 360,000 federal workers live in the broader Washington region, and roughly 40 percent of those — or 145,000 workers — have been furloughed since December, according to Stephen Fuller, an economist at George Mason University. “The people that tend to get hurt are at the lower end of the wage spectrum or small businesses — people that just don’t have a whole lot of backup or alternatives” said Fuller.

– In response to the partial government shutdown, the Greater Washington Community Foundation announced they are dedicating $50,000 for emergency cash and food relief for local workers, contractors, and small business owners. The funds are being made available through the Resilience Fund. GWCF also has an extensive list of resources for furloughed federal employees and contractors on their website, including resources and support from the United Way of the National Capital Area, Pepco, Washington Gas, Bank of America, and Wells Fargo.

Related: During the shutdown of 2013, WRAG’s president Tamara Copeland wrote a column about why philanthropy, though critically important in helping to meet emergency needs, cannot replace government. That certainly continues to hold true today. (Daily, 10/2013)

CENSUS | The government is fighting a lawsuit filed by the NAACP that argues that, due to funding cuts, the 2020 Census is likely to massively undercount African Americans and other people of color, which will result in a loss of federal funding and Congressional representation (AP, 1/15)

HEALTH/RACIAL EQUITY | On January 28 lawmakers in the District will hold a public hearing to look at city response failures to surging heroin deaths in African American neighborhoods, and to determine strategies for combating the opioid epidemic. (WaPo, 1/11)

POVERTY/HOUSINGOpinion: Opportunity Zones: Can a tax break for rich people really help poor people? (WaPo, 1/14)

NONPROFITS | BoardSource is accepting applications for the 2019 Stand for Your Mission Award, recognizing nonprofit boards that have established advocacy as an expectation for engaged and effective board leadership. Proposals due: 2/1/19


Did you enjoy the snow this weekend? Lots of people seemed to, including those who took part in a massive snowball fight organized by the Washington, D.C. Snowball Fight Association near the Washington Monument – who knew??

– Buffy

Government shutdown coincides with slowest time for charitable donations

NONPROFITS | Nonprofit organizations in the Greater Washington region are receiving an influx of calls for assistance during what is typically known as the worst months for charitable donations – and nonprofit leaders are worried about keeping up with the demand. Rosie Allen-Herring, president and chief executive of the United Way of the National Capital Area, said nonprofit groups have emphasized to her that the need they’re seeing around the Washington area is outstripping the support they were prepared to provide. (WaPo, 1/9)

“It’s not just the 800,000 workers we’re hearing about almost daily,” Allen-Herring said. “There’s another rung of smaller, more disadvantaged businesses who contract with the federal government. Those employees aren’t going to be made whole” with potential back pay when the shutdown ends.

RACIAL EQUITY
– In order to combat structural and institutional racism affecting DC, Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie has introduced the Racial Equity Achieves Results Act, which lays out specific actions to advance racial equity, including designing and implementing a racial equity tool, racial equity-related performance measures and evaluations, and racial equity training for all District employees.

-Diversity and race are top issue priorities for PwC Chairman Tim Ryan. (Chief Executive, 1/9)

Related: Bold Leadership: How Companies are Stepping Up and Speaking Out on Hot Button Issues (Daily, 9/17)

IMPACT INVESTING | A decade-long push has urged foundations to devote more of their endowments to impact investing. But many still aren’t invested in line with their mission. (Chronicle, 1/8)

EDUCATION | Prince George’s schools start fund to buy lunches for children of furloughed workers (WaPo, 1/10)

HOUSING | See How Landlords Pack Section 8 Renters Into Poorer Neighborhoods (CityLab, 1/9)

FOOD | A new mobile pantry vehicle, funded in part by the Claude Moore Charitable Foundation, is set to feed thousands in Loudoun County. (Loudoun Times, 1/2)

GRANTS
– The Community Foundation of Northern Virginia announced their 2019 Community Investment Funds Grant Cycle – proposals due: 2/14/19.

– CareFirst will award up to $2 million to support programs seeking to improve birth outcomes and lower infant mortality rates in Maryland, DC, and Northern Virginia – proposals due: 1/14/19.


Social Sector Job Openings 

Grants & Communications Officer | The Crimsonbridge Foundation – New!
Executive Director | VHC Medical Brigade – New!
Director of Development | DC Bar Foundation – New!
Program Manager | Weissberg Foundation – New!
Senior Supervising Attorney, Criminal Justice Reform​ | ​Southern Poverty Law Center
Director of Development​ | ​The Barker Adoption Foundation
Grant Reviewer​ | ​Jack and Jill of America Foundation
Executive Assistant​ | ​Jack and Jill of America Foundation
Administrative Associate | United Philanthropy Forum
Programs Manager | DC127
Development Manager | DC127
Director of Development (East Coast) | Rocketship Public Schools
Director of Development | ECHO
Executive Director | The Volgenau Foundation
President | Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers
Program Associate for Strategy, Equity, and Research | Eugene & Agnes E. Meyer Foundation

Hiring? Post your job on WRAG’s job board and get it included in the Daily! Free for members; $60/60 days for non-members. Details here.


Community Calendar

To add an event to WRAG’s community calendar, email Rebekah Seder. Click here to view the community calendar.


Looks like it’s going to feel a bit more like winter this weekend – here’s some DC hot spots where you can find “ridiculously delicious hot chocolate.”

Next week we’ll publish the (Almost) Daily WRAG on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.

– Buffy

DC Mayor Bowser sets a goal of building 36,000 new housing units by 2025

HOUSING
– At the start of her second term in office, DC’s Mayor Muriel Bowser wants to increase the production of new housing in order to meet the pressing need for housing affordability in the District. (WAMU, 1/8)

“Bowser has even set a goal for D.C.: 36,000 new housing units by 2025, the city’s portion of the estimated 235,000 housing units the Washington region will have to produce in that period to keep up with job growth. Currently, the region is expected to produce 170,000 housing units over the next six years. Housing analysts say the mayor’s goal is enthusiastic, though achievable.”

WRAG’s Vice President, Gretchen Greiner-Lott, had this to say regarding the Mayor’s announcement:

“Housing affordability is an ever-growing issue throughout our region so it is exciting to see Mayor Bowser acknowledge the issue and pledge to make it her number one priority. As she says, we all have to “think big and differently” about how to produce more housing. The Housing Leaders Group of Greater Washington’s Guidebook for Increasing Housing Affordability in the Greater Washington Region would be a great place to start.”

Alexandria lost 90% of its affordable homes in the past few decades. Is it really ‘radical’ to build more? (GGWash, 1/8)

ENVIRONMENT | In a new report, scientists say the health of the Chesapeake Bay deteriorated in 2018 after years of improvement. (WaPo, 1/8)

EQUITY/DISABILITY RIGHTS | Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi, head of RespectAbility and the Mizrahi Family Charitable Trust, is powerfully pushing for philanthropy to focus on equality for people with disabilities. (Chronicle, 1/8)

EDUCATION | Schools tackle anxiety over food and fees as shutdown shows no sign of ending (WaPo, 1/8)

TRANSPORTATION | Lyft is offering low-cost rides to grocery stores in Wards 7 and 8. What’s a sustainable solution? (GGW, 1/7)

COMMUNITY | We were saddened to learn last month of the passing of Vicki Sant, a longtime philanthropic leader in the Greater Washington region, and the founder, along with her husband Roger Sant, of the Summit Foundation, as well as the Summit Fund. A memorial service will be held on January 16 at the Kennedy Center. Details can be found here.

NONPROFITS | The application for the 2019-2020 Catalogue for Philanthropy is now open. Click here for details.


We are on day 19 of the government shutdown – from museum visits to tours, here’s some things you can still do.

– Buffy

Proposed changes coming to public housing policies

HOUSING
– The US Department of Housing and Urban Development has introduced a bill that it believes will increase self-sufficiency and help people become financially stable. The bill establishes a new minimum rent for households who are exempt from paying a percentage of their income, increases the percentage households who aren’t exempt have to pay, and sets work requirements. (Citylab, 4/25)

“Despite claims that these harmful proposals will increase ‘self-sufficiency,’ rent hikes, de facto time limits, and arbitrary work requirements will only leave more people without stable housing, making it harder for them to climb the economic ladder,” said Diane Yentel, president and CEO of the National Low Income Housing Coalition, in an email.

New reforms under MAHWA include “alternative” rent structures, such as tiered rents, stepped rents, and timed escrows that public housing authorities can choose to adopt. These standards, to be established through future regulations, would serve as time limits for households receiving housing aid.

– The U.S. Marshals Service Will Unveil Changes to Eviction Proceedings in D.C. (WCP, 4/26)

RACIAL EQUITY
– Yanique Redwood, president and CEO of Consumer Health Foundation, has created a one-pager that applies a racial equity analysis to housing capacity in the District of Columbia. Read it here (CHF Blog, 4/26)

– The Center for Public and Nonprofit Leadership at Georgetown University has released a report on how nonprofit organizations are advancing racial equity within their boards and staff. (Georgetown University, 4/26)

EDUCATIONMetro aims to enroll all area universities in discount pass program (WTOP, 4/26)

PUBLIC SAFETY | Arlington County, in partnership with the Human Rights Commission’s Equality Task Force, has launched a website with resources for the LGBTQ community. (ArlingtonVA, 4/25)


Here’s a list of the most unusual things in our world.

– Kendra

National League of Cities & WRAG Partner to Advance Racial Equity in the Greater Washington Region

The Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers (WRAG) is pleased to announce that it will partner with the Racial Equity and Leadership (REAL) Initiative of the National League of Cities (NLC) to host a regional summit in 2019, tentatively called Race, Racism and the Future of Greater Washington.

Although the initiative is in its early stages, WRAG and REAL are excited for the chance to further racial equity in the region. Tamara Copeland, president of the Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers, shared her delight with the partnership with REAL. “We’ve been working at WRAG since late 2015 to position our region to engage in difficult conversations on race and racism. While learning was critical, it was never learning for learning’s sake. We have been strategically preparing philanthropy to be change agents and thought leaders. Now we are ready for action and want to engage with a much broader community to define and work toward a racially equitable region. We welcome the involvement of REAL.”

Both organizations have understood from the beginning of their respective work that neither the National League of Cities’ REAL initiative nor WRAG’s Putting Racism on the Table series alone would lead to racial equity. This partnership, however, is the seed of a larger idea to bring together people from multiple sectors – government, business, nonprofits, clergy, philanthropy, and academia – and other walks of life to examine the reality of structural racism in Greater Washington and to begin deep conversations and action to effect change.

“I believe that WRAG has laid a solid foundation with philanthropy and has now broadened into other sectors with its Putting Racism on the Table: Expanding the Table for Racial Equity initiative,” said Leon Andrews, director of Race, Equity and Leadership at NLC. “What happens in Greater Washington can be a model for how you build a multi-sector, informed cadre of leaders committed to and working for racial justice. We want to explore this approach for other cities and regions around the country. What better place to start than in the nation’s capital region?”

The work of both WRAG and REAL to promote racial equity was born from racially-charged incidents of violence. Following the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri and the subsequent unrest, the National League of Cities created the Race, Equity and Leadership initiative to strengthen local leaders’ knowledge and capacity to eliminate racial disparities, heal racial divisions, and build more equitable communities. Similarly following the death of Freddie Gray in Baltimore, the leaders of WRAG committed to extensive learning to better understand the depth, breadth, and impact of structural racism and implicit bias and to work for racial equity through its Putting Racism on the Table effort.

Broad conversations about parameters and vision for the 2019 summit will begin in June 2018, to be followed by the establishment of a planning committee with a one-year window. In 2019, the first regional summit on race and racism will launch a much deeper body of work to advance racial equity in the Greater Washington region.