Tag: affordable housing

Decriminalizing sex work in the District

PUBLIC HEALTH/CRIMINAL JUSTICE | A coalition of sex workers and their advocates have introduced a bill, the Community Safety and Health Amendment Act of 2019, to decriminalize the sale and purchase of sex in the District. (CP, 6/3)

The world of people who sell sex for money in DC is not a monolith with one blanket policy need … among their ranks are those who sell sex by choice; those who sell sex to survive, feed their children, and stave off homelessness; and those who sell sex against their will because they’ve been trafficked. Under the current law in DC, police can arrest and charge anyone who sells sex and under this new bill, police would no longer have cause or power to employ this tactic for catching sellers of sex mid-sale—a change that many sex workers and their advocates enthusiastically endorse.

AFFORDABLE HOUSING | Minneapolis ended exclusive single-family zoning. Could the DC region do the same? (WBJ, 6/6)

LGBTQIA | DC’s LGTBQIA communities continue to fight for some basic rights—and celebrate their victories, too. (CP, 6/6)

Key Urban Agriculture Programs Delayed as City Swaps Who Will Manage Them (CP, 6/7)

– Michael Bloomberg’s foundation said that he will donate $500 million to a new campaign to close every coal-fired power plant in the United States and halt the growth of natural gas. (NYT, 6/6)

MARYLAND | Residents voice concerns over Montgomery County policing (WTOP, 6/7)

DC/CULTURE | The DC Public Library is launching a three-part Go-Go Book Club, in collaboration with Washington Performing Arts and the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage. (dcist, 6/6)

TRANSIT/CLIMATE | Maryland and Virginia plan to expand roads, in defiance of their own climate goals (GGWash, 6/6)

GENTRIFICATION | What’s In A Name? Residents East Of The Anacostia River Say, ‘Everything.’  (WAMU, 6/7)

– A new report,  Nonprofit Executives and the Racial Leadership Gap, details that people of color who lead nonprofits face barriers and challenges that their white counterparts don’t. (Chronicle, 6/4)

– Fund the People has launched the Talent Justice Initiative to help funders and nonprofits invest in intersectional racial equity across the nonprofit career lifecycle and workforce.

– Has the Giving Pledge Changed Giving? (Chronicle, 6/4)

Social Sector Job Openings 

Director | Open Society Institute-Baltimore – New!
Director, School Partnerships Coach | Flamboyan Foundation – New!
Senior Director of Development, Research & Innovation | Children’s Hospital Foundation – New!
Senior Program Manager | Rising Tide Foundation
Development Manager | Mikva Challenge DC
Foundation Director | Venable LLP
Development Associate | Sitar Arts Center
Grants Manager | Arabella Advisors
Institutional Development Officer | Martha’s Table
Development Manager, Washington, DC | Reading Partners
Director of Individual Giving | Horizons Greater Washington
Grants Compliance Manager | Loudoun Abused Women’s Shelter
Director of Corporate and Foundation Advancement | Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers
Engagement Officer | Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute
Grants and Communications Associate | Neighborhood Health
Senior Manager of Member Engagement and Partnerships | United Philanthropy Forum

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.

Blueberries all day, every day

The (Almost) Daily WRAG will be back next week on Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday!

– Buffy

Voting rights could be restored for incarcerated prisoners in the District

VOTING RIGHTS | Lawmakers in the District are seeking to make the nation’s capital the first jurisdiction to restore voting rights to incarcerated prisoners, with plans to introduce legislation Tuesday to repeal language in a 1955 law that disenfranchises DC residents upon felony convictions. (WaPo, 6/3)

The District has some of lowest restrictions on felons voting, where their voting rights are automatically restored when they are released from prison, and election officials visit the DC jail to help non-felons cast absentee ballots … “Unfortunately in the District and across the country, incarcerated people make up a sizable population of residents,” said Council member Robert C. White Jr., who is introducing the legislation … “They don’t lose their citizenship when they are incarcerated, so they shouldn’t lose their right to vote.” White’s bill thrusts the District to the vanguard of the felon enfranchisement movement, and believes that the discussion around criminal voting restrictions should focus on the racist motivations of the laws and how they disproportionately disenfranchise African Americans.

CENSUS 2020Deceased GOP Strategist’s Hard Drives Reveal New Details on the Census Citizenship Question (NYT, 5/30)

Related: Vanita Gupta, president & CEO of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, issued this statement in response to the New York Times’ revelation. Gupta is the keynote speaker at Thursday’s Interventions that Work: Census 2020 & Hard-to-Count Communities forum, co-convened by WRAG and 14 partner organizations to elevate strategies for a complete and accurate 2020 Census.

COMMUNITY | Last year WRAG launched the Journalism Fellows Project to share our platform with youth of color in this region who are often written about, but are rarely asked their perspectives on the issues facing their communities and families. In today’s edition, we hear from Thomas Kent, 2019 graduate of Richard Wright Public Charter School in DC, about the impact of violence in his neighborhood. (Daily, 6/4)

AFFORDABLE HOUSING | A new audit reveals that DC Mayor Bowser has awarded at least five housing projects to developers with low-ranked proposals. The move cost the city 353 affordable housing units, and raises questions about the process. (WaPo, 5/30)

WORKFORCE/EQUITY | Emergency legislation at the DC Council would prevent employment discrimination against city workers in the medical marijuana program. (dcist, 5/31)

NONPROFITS | New Pilot Program is Bringing Books to a Barbershop on Lee Highway (ARLnow, 5/28)

ENVIRONMENT | According to a just-published list put out each year by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the Tidal Basin is among the 11 most endangered historic places in 2019. (WAMU, 5/30)

CHILDREN & FAMILIES | What Makes A City Child-Friendly? (WAMU, 5/31)

PHILANTHROPY | The Kids Are Alright: Millennials Reluctant to Give, But Donate Generously When They Do (Inside Philanthropy, 5/30)

It’s 3 am – do you know what your iPhone is doing? Yikes!

The (Almost) Daily WRAG will be back on Wednesday and Friday!

– Buffy

Middle-income seniors may be unable to afford housing and care in the future

–  According to a recent study published in the journal Health Affairs, the number of middle-income seniors is projected to soar in the next 10 years, and many of them will be unable to afford housing and care. In metropolitan areas such as DC, where the cost of living is higher than the national average, the problem is especially acute. (WaPo, 5/28)

Seniors who have too much income to qualify for government-subsidized housing and don’t make enough to live in a luxury development will be left behind … and for those without homes to sell or borrow against, the outlook is bleak: In 2029, 81 percent of middle-income seniors without equity in housing will have an annual income that is below the projected annual $62,000 for assisted living rent and estimated out of pocket medical spending, the study found … “Even if we assume that seniors devote 100 percent of their annual income to seniors housing — setting aside any personal expenses — only 19 percent of middle-income seniors will have financial resources that exceed today’s costs of assisted living,” the study said.

Opinion: The 2020 DC Council budget may cut the Affordable Housing Preservation Tool, which provides an opportunity for residents to stay in their homes with affordable rents. Eliminating funding for the AHPF in 2020 means, at minimum, a $60 million cut in funds to preserve affordable housing. (GGWash, 5/24)

EDUCATION | Five new charter schools are planned for the District for the 2020-2021 academic year but there are concerns that city resources will be affected and their opening may result in more empty seats at existing middle and high schools that are struggling to attract students. (WaPo, 5/26)

ENVIRONMENT | Can the DC area clean up its waste problem? (WTOP, 5/27)

POVERTY/HUNGER | It’s World Hunger Day. Here’s why so many people still suffer from malnutrition. (WaPo, 5/28)

DISTRICT | Long-standing tax breaks for tech companies in the District could be cut and the revenue used instead to fund social services. (WAMU, 5/27)

LGBTQIA | Transgender Military Members Say Ban Is ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell 2.0’ (WAMU, 5/28)

GUN VIOLENCE | Giving Up Guns: High-Risk Veterans Are Ready To Talk About It (WAMU, 5/24)

PHILANTHROPY | One Foundation CEO’s Plan to Respond to Today’s Outrages. What’s Yours? (Chronicle, 5/22)

Hunting for mushrooms with the Mycological Association of Washington.

The (Almost) Daily WRAG will be back on Wednesday and Thursday!

– Buffy

Could building tiny homes help the affordable housing crisis in Montgomery County?

AFFORDABLE HOUSING | Montgomery County is facing a housing shortage. Could building more tiny homes help? Some county council members and affordable housing advocates believe they could. (WAMU, 2/27)

Many smart-growth witnesses at a recent hearing spoke to the benefits of tiny houses, or “Accessory Dwelling Units” (ADUs). Representatives from the Montgomery County chapter of the Sierra Club, the Coalition for Smarter Growth, Habitat for Humanity Metro Maryland and the Affordable Housing Conference of Montgomery County said they offer a sustainable form of cheaper housing at no cost to the county. Others said ADUs meet the needs of intergenerational families and homeowners who could use the extra income.

– A new report found that school districts that are predominantly white receive $23 billion more than districts that serve mostly students of color. (NPR, 2/26)

– Democratic leaders of the Maryland House of Delegates have asked Del. Mary Ann Lisanti to resign over her use of a racial slur. (WaPo, 2/28)

Virginia Expands Funding to Restore African-American Cemeteries (Afro, 2/22)

– After the recommended name change for Colonel E. Brooke Lee Middle School, the names of all Montgomery County public schools will be reviewed to ensure they are appropriate. (Bethesda Magazine, 2/26)

– How Racist Property Laws Formed The Neighborhoods We Live In Today  (Kojo Show, 2/26)

EQUITYIs Your Board Ready to Advance Equity? (NCRP, 2/21)

ENVIRONMENT | The Largest Solar Farm On The East Coast Is Coming To Virginia — If Opponents Don’t Kill It First (WAMU, 2/27)

DISTRICT | Sen. Warner of Virginia has now agreed to support DC statehood. (WaPo, 2/28)

– Over District Objection, Metro Board Votes To Keep Current Metrorail Hours (WAMU, 2/28)

– DC has reinstated the driver’s licenses of nearly 66,000 individuals whose licenses were suspended because of traffic fines. (dcist, 2/27)

– According to a new study, the rate of grantmaking from donor-advised funds is resilient during economic recessions. (Chronicle, 2/26 – subscription)

How Liberatory Philanthropy and Restorative Investing Can Remake the Economy (NPQ, 2/28)

Social Sector Job Openings 

Corporate Responsibility- Mid-Atlantic Region Team, Vice President | JPMorgan Chase – New!
Northern Virginia Community Affairs Liaison | CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield – New!
USPSC Senior Contracts and Grants Specialist | USAID’s Office of Food for Peace
Operations Manager | Diverse City Fund
Development Communications Manager | PeerForward
Communications and Development Specialist | Grantmakers In Health
Vice President for Donor Relations | Community Foundation of Howard County
Senior Communications Officer | Gill Foundation
Individual Giving Manager | National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health
Development Manager | American Society of Landscape Architects
President​ | ​Virginia United Methodist Foundation
Chief Financial & Administrative Officer​ | ​Horizon Foundation
Foundation and Government Relations Officer​ | ​Shakespeare Theatre Company
Grants & Communications Officer​ | ​The Crimsonbridge Foundation
Executive Director​ | ​VHC Medical Brigade
Director of Development​ | ​DC Bar Foundation
Senior Supervising Attorney, Criminal Justice Reform​ | ​Southern Poverty Law Center
Programs Officer |  DC Bar Foundation
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.

Hello, hive mind: Who knew bees can do basic arithmetic?

The (Almost) Daily WRAG will be published next week on Monday, Wednesday and Friday!

– Buffy

What might be the future of WRAG?

By Tamara Lucas Copeland
President, Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers

It was a bittersweet moment last week when I attended my last WRAG Annual Meeting.  It has been twelve years since I joined the WRAG team.  One of my most valuable lessons during this time has been the importance of using my voice and recognizing the incredible platform that WRAG offers.

So, for one more time, I used my voice and that platform to urge the WRAG membership to focus on four areas:

  • Seeing the 5% IRS nonprofit payout requirement as a minimum, not a maximum. I asked whether foundations make conscious decisions about the 5% floor, or whether, like many of us, they were simply acting on automatic. Then I asked that they think more about their other 95% of assets and consider impact investing, thereby increasing their ability to be change agents.
  • Child welfare – One of my earliest professional positions was as a foster care caseworker. That position opened my eyes to so much that is needed to change in the child welfare system. Many years later, I fear that change is still needed. When these children are taken from dangerous situations and placed in foster care, there is then a societal belief, I think, that the situation is now righted and no intervention is needed. Just being in a non-violent environment does not necessarily mean that the child is being nurtured. We need to place child welfare back on our priority list.
  • I urged the WRAG membership to see affordable housing as more than rental units. Certainly they are needed. I want us to think about the need for affordable for-sale housing to people across multiple income brackets. I asked the WRAG community to see this as a Big Hairy Audacious Goal and one that they have the ability to tackle.
  • Race and racism – I urged our members to keep racism on the table. Issues often become labeled the “flavor of the month,” something to be focused on for a minute and then quickly forgotten for the next important issue. As I shared at our Annual Meeting, 335 years have passed between 1619, when Africans were brought to Jamestown in chains, to 1954, the year of the Brown vs. Board of Education decision. Then roughly another 65 years of silence. We have to peel back the onion of racism, understand the roots of structural racism and bias, and work toward racial justice. This is the work of our lifetimes.

My hope for the WRAG community is that they fully embrace their ability to be change agents, that they stop to look at what they’ve always done and consider if they always have to do it that way, and that they continue to be bold and fearless.

If you would like to read Tamara’s full speech, click here.

Tenants fight for affordable housing from church in DC

HOUSING | A DC resident recently passed away, leaving about 6 occupied four-unit apartment buildings located in northeast DC to the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. Now the tenants, along with affordable housing advocates, are trying to work with the church to stay in their homes. (WCP, 10/11)

On Feb. 20, the executor of Doyle’s estate transferred the deeds of these properties to the basilica for a sum of zero dollars. The tenants found themselves in an unusual bind, caught in legal limbo by both District rental laws and those applying to religious institutions. Though D.C.’s Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act gives tenants a first right of refusal to purchase their buildings when they go up for sale, TOPA doesn’t apply when the building changes hands through a deed transfer from a decedent to a charity.

And as the Roman Catholic Church, the basilica “is not permitted to manage or own rental properties as a trade or business,” according to a letter that Kevin Kavanaugh, treasurer of basilica subsidiary BNSIC Title Holding Corporation, sent to 636 Girard Street NE resident Heather Benno this summer. Kavanaugh is also the comptroller of the basilica.

LGBTQIA RIGHTS‘Proud And Relieved’: Matthew Shepard’s Remains To Be Interred At National Cathedral (NPR, 10/11)

PHILANTHROPY | The Chronicle of Philanthropy explores why immigrant philanthropists are often overlooked. (Chronicle, 10/2)

PUBLIC SAFETY | Hurricane Michael is gone, but it left five deaths in Virginia. (WaPo, 10/12)

HOMELESSNESS | As the city continues the demolition of DC General, thirty-four families still remain at the shelter. (DCist, 10/11)

RACIAL EQUITYOf Protest And Patriotism: A 1968 Gold Medalist Remembers The Games (NPR, 10/12)

Social Sector Job Openings 

Grants Administrator | Healthcare Initiative Foundation– New!
Executive Assistant | Virginia Hospital Medical Brigade– New!
Vice President of Programs | Gill Foundation
Program Director for Criminal Justice | Public Welfare Foundation
Director of HR/Talent | Grantmakers for Effective Organizations
Senior Program Associate | Exponent Philanthropy
Program Coordinator | Exponent Philanthropy
Director, Corporate Partnerships | Exponent Philanthropy
Program Officer | The Morris & Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation
Community Investment Fellow | Greater Washington Community Foundation
Digital Marketing Manager | Greater Washington Community Foundation
Program Associate for Strategy, Equity, and Research | Eugene & Agnes E. Meyer Foundation
Communications Associate, Design and Web | Flamboyan Foundation
Communications Manager, Content and Digital | Flamboyan Foundation
Grants Manager | Loudoun Abused Women’s Shelter (LAWS)
Chief Development Officer | EveryMind
Director of Development | DC Bar Foundation
Institutional Fundraising Coordinator | Shakespeare Theatre Company
Development Manager | Grantmakers for Effective Organizations
Vice-President for Development and Communications | Coalition for Nonprofit Housing and Economic Development (CNHED)
Development Manager | Leadership Greater Washington
Senior Managing Director, Finance & Operations | Flamboyan Foundation/
Institutional Giving Associate | Brady Campaign & Center to Prevent Gun Violence
Director, Institutional Giving | Brady Campaign & Center to Prevent Gun Violence
Major Gifts Officer | L’Arche Greater Washington D.C.
Manager of Program & Evaluation Services | BoardSource
Programs Officer | DC Bar 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.

Another quiz for Disney fans – this time with song lyrics.

– Kendra

Activists and community members urge DC not to demolish a building on DC General’s campus

HOMELESSNESS | Over 30 protesters gathered outside DC’s Mayor Muriel Bowser’s home yesterday morning to protest the demolition of a building next to the DC General shelter. Activists are concerned that the families who are still being housed at the shelter could be exposed to harmful toxins from the demolition. (WAMU, 7/30)

The protesters, who took part in a mock demolition of a cardboard-box building and threw flour in the air to simulate construction dust, said they worry of the possible impacts of this month’s planned demolition of the three-story Building 9 — including possible lead and asbestos dust — on families living at the D.C. General family homeless shelter, which is 250 feet away.

“There are about 250 youths still living there. And we know that the area itself, as well as the building specifically, is known for having lead and other neurotoxins. The demolition of it can absolutely increase the likelihood of those young children being exposed to what we know are unhealthy toxins and rodents. And so we’re simply asking her to wait until all the families are moved,” said Samantha Davis, one of the protesters.

NONPROFITS | In her newest blog, Katy Moore, WRAG’s managing director of corporate strategy, advises nonprofits on how to gain the attention of funders using free communication tools. (Daily, 7/31)

CSR | Congratulations to WRAG members Deloitte and PwC for being included in People’s list of 50 top U.S. companies that are “caring for their communities, their employees, and the world”. (People, 7/25)

AFFORDABLE HOUSINGMontgomery County’s Affordable Housing Program Is Getting Its First Major Update in More Than a Decade (Bethesda Beat, 7/30)

BUSINESS | Howard University and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce have announced a partnership to develop business leaders and increase opportunities for Black students. (WBJ, 7/30)

EDUCATION | By the end of the year, DC will have a new five star ranking system for its schools. (WaPo, 7/30)

PUBLIC SAFETYMaryland suing Trump administration over downloadable blueprints for 3D-printed gun (Baltimore Sun, 7/31)

Here’s a look at the new art-covered recycling trucks you’ll see around DC soon.

– Kendra

Some DC Councilmembers look to overturn ballot initiative to raise minimum wage for tipped workers

WORKFORCE | Just a few weeks ago, District residents took off work or came in late because they wanted to participate in our most simple, but important civic duty: voting in local elections. In this election, residents overwhelmingly voted to raise the minimum wage for tipped workers. Now DC Councilmembers are looking at overturning the ballot initiative. (WaPo, 7/9)

“It would be deeply undemocratic for council to overturn the will of the people,” said Diana Ramirez, a spokeswoman for One Fair Wage DC. “D.C. voters don’t like it when Republicans in Congress do it, and we trust council will not stoop to that level. In our preelection poll, over 80 percent of D.C. voters said they would be concerned if council overturned their vote. The people are watching. Council must set any sour grapes aside and push ahead.”

The repeal legislation would not be taken up until the fall, after the council returns from its summer recess. It would probably be the first salvo in protracted negotiations between the ballot measure’s supporters and the council.

AFFORDABLE HOUSING | In 2016, WRAG, with Enterprise Community Loan Fund, launched the Our Region, Your Investment initiative to bring new capital to the region’s growing housing affordability crisis. Gretchen Greiner-Lott, vice president of WRAG, provides an update on the initiative in this new blog post. (Daily, 7/10)

EDUCATION | After policy tweak, Loudoun’s English Language Learner students granted a little more time to graduate (Loudoun Times, 7/5)

– Tim McClimon, president of the American Express Foundation, discusses how his organization supports the arts and shares Americans for the Arts’ list of reasons why others should too. (American Express, 7/9)

– The District has opened a new museum dedicated to historically Black colleges and universities, the first in the country. (Washington Informer, 7/2)

AGING/LGBTQIA RIGHTSRetirement communities turn their sights on a once-invisible group: LGBT seniors (WaPo, 7/8)

HOMELESSNESS | DC Councilmember Trayon White plans to introduce legislation to stop the demolition of the DC General shelter until all current residents have found new homes. (WaPo, 7/9)

It’s hot and it’s National Pina Colada Day! Go treat your self tonight.

– Kendra