Tag: Arlington County

Friday roundup – September 7 through September 11, 2015

– The Community Foundation for Northern Virginia highlights the work of local companies supporting the community through employee engagement activities and CSR programs that benefit the region in their second issue of GOOD Business. (CFNV, 8/27)

– Tim McClimon, president of the American Express Foundation and lead faculty member for the Institute for CSR, discussed income inequalities in the social profit sector. (American Express, 9/8)

– Opinion: A writer argues that much more philanthropic aid goes toward poor minorities in cities than poor whites in rural areas, despite data that four in 10 poor Americans are white. (Chronicle, 9/3)

Why Boosting Poor Children’s Vocabulary is Important for Public Health (Atlantic, 9/7)

– Most of the District’s new housing is located in the center of the city, creating a situation where almost all new housing is in high-rise apartments that most residents and potential residents cannot afford. (GGW, 9/9)

–  Candidates for Arlington County Board recently fielded questions around plans to bring more affordable housing to the area. (ARLnow, 9/9)

– Extreme rent hikes in one longstanding apartment property in Montgomery County, Maryland highlight the much larger issue of affordable housing getting further out of reach for less affluent residents. (WaPo, 9/5)

While early mornings are far from being my favorite time of day, these sounds of daybreak from around the world are no less amusing.

– Ciara


Concerns grow around an academic gender gap

In the District, an imbalance in the enrollment of female and males students has left some local education officials concerned about a growing academic gender gap. The prevalence of this imbalance is also growing across the nation. (WaPo, 9/10)

An academic gender gap — with women outperforming men — is increasingly defining education nationwide. Young women are more likely to graduate from high school and go on to college. Female students began to outnumber males on college campuses in 1979, and now account for about 57 percent of college enrollment, according to federal data. An annual abundance of female applicants has led many private colleges to offer affirmative action for male applicants.

– Most of the District’s new housing is located in the center of the city, creating a situation where almost all new housing is high-rise apartments that most residents and potential residents cannot afford. (GGW, 9/9)

– In Arlington  County, candidates for County Board discussed the divisive debate surrounding bringing more affordable housing to the area. (ARLnow, 9/9)

The Complicated Link Between Gentrification and Displacement (City Lab, 9/8)

COMMUNITY/PHILANTHROPY | The Meyer Foundation is hosting  an online forum to gather community input on its draft strategic plan. Meyer will use what they learn through the forum conversations to ensure that their goals and direction align with the broader community’s vision for the future. Participants can sign into the forum to join in before the conversation wraps up Wednesday, September 16.

HIV/AIDS | A newly-released study on HIV/AIDS in D.C. finds that, after implementing a needle exchange program in 2008, the average monthly rate of new HIV infections fell about 70 percent among drug users. Further, the study estimates that 120 new HIV infections were averted over a two-year period. (WaPo, 9/3)

IMMIGRATION | The Washington Post takes a look at one family’s physical and emotional journey from Central America to Maryland one year after the region began to see a surge in undocumented children. (WaPo, 9/9)

RACIAL EQUITY |  New research takes a look at the ways in which less privileged racial groups are often dehumanized in the minds of more privileged groups, and the social implications those beliefs can bring about. (City Lab, 9/9)

JOBS | The Meyer Foundation is recruiting for two program officer positions! You can click here to find out more about the opportunities.

new, tiny, human-like species was just discovered thanks to some equally tiny scientists.

– Ciara

Increasing access to farm-fresh foods

More organizations in the region, like Martha’s Table, are focusing on making farm-fresh foods available to low-income families at farmers markets, increasing access to healthy foods they may not otherwise be able to afford. (WaPo, 8/23)

Because many can’t afford it, healthy food is swapped for cheaper and more fattening foods, said Caron Gremont, the charity’s senior director of healthy eating. It also means, she said, that the families are less likely to shop at farmers markets, learning about new produce or healthy recipe ideas.


The District and neighboring counties have seen a steady increase in farmers markets accepting federal Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program assistance, according to District data. In 2004, only 23 markets in the District, Prince George’s and Montgomery counties accepted WIC; by 2014 that number had nearly tripled to 60.

COMMUNITY | Congratulations to the Public Welfare Foundation for being recognized with the National Association of Pretrial Services Agencies’ Partners Award for their support of pretrial detention reform focused on keeping more people out of jail and decreasing mass incarceration. (PWF, 8/21)

HOMELESSNESS/YOUTH | The Washington Post offers a look at the District’s first-ever count of homeless youth and the difficulties that come along with getting an accurate count. (WaPo, 8/23)

– A recent financial report finds that the great majority of donations go to just a small minority of the District’s 60 public charter schools. (WaPo, 8/22)

Virginia’s Public Schools Need More Money For Teachers, Say Education Advocates (WAMU, 8/21)

– In an effort to bring greater equity to schools across the city, DCPS is launching a new “Cornerstone” initiative this year, where all students will participate in a series of grade- and subject-specific programs to share common learning experiences regardless of where they attend school. (WAMU, 8/24)

HEALTH CARE/RACIAL EQUITY | Can Health Care Be Cured of Racial Bias? (NPR, 8/20)

– The Housing Opportunities Commission of Montgomery County has unveiled a new online portal for residents to submit information and be connected to all available housing assistance. Though the county’s waitlist for Housing Choice Vouchers has been closed for eight years, officials hope the new system will make those in need aware of other services that can help. (Bethesda Magazine, 8/21)

– Housing prices in Arlington County and the District are the highest in the region, with Arlington County’s prices recently pulling further ahead of D.C.’s (WBJ, 8/20)

SOCIAL PROFITS | This fall, United Way of the National Capital Area is offering a series of workshops to assist social profit representatives in the region with community reach and leadership skill building. Click here to learn more information and to register for the learning series.

See if you can identify these countries turned upside down on a map.


Expanding opportunities necessary to growth in Fairfax County

A recent analysis by PolicyLink and the Program for Environmental and Regional Equity finds that inequities in income, employment, education and opportunity, are a hindrance to economic growth in Fairfax County. Though the county maintains its status as one of the most prosperous local jurisdictions, the report found that eliminating disparities will be necessary for continued economic growth – especially as demographics shift in the area. Patricia Mathews, WRAG board chair and president and CEO of the Northern Virginia Health Foundation, shared her thoughts on the study (NVHF, 8/10):

“If we don’t focus our attention on educating young people of color and making sure they are healthy, how will they thrive? How will they become the next wave of IT workers, public school teachers, and pharmacists?  And where will we be without that strong workforce?” said Patricia Mathews, President and CEO of the Northern Virginia Health Foundation (NVHF), which is partnering with a number of Fairfax County stakeholders to help bring attention to the report.


“Fairfax County is not alone—demographic shifts are taking place all across Northern Virginia,” said Ms. Mathews. “We hope this report spurs conversations and action across all sectors—from government officials and advocates to employers, city planners, nonprofits, and others. Making sure everyone has a chance at success is not only the right thing to do, it’s the smart thing to do,” she added.

You can access the full report, “Equitable Growth Profile of Fairfax County,” here.

HOMELESSNESS/REGION | After a few delays a new homeless-services center is slated to open in Arlington County in late September. The center is expected to provide a number of offerings (InsideNoVa, 8/10):

The new facility “will be the first of its kind in the D.C. area, and is more than just a shelter – it will allow us to offer all our services under one roof, year-round, like meals, medical services, shelter and job training and, most importantly, will help us to move someone from homelessness to a home quickly,” Sibert said.

A January 2015 count of homeless across the region, conducted by the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG), found 239 in Arlington – both those living on the streets and those in shelters. The number was down 18 percent from a year before, the largest percentage decline among the nine jurisdictions taking part in the count.

Since 2011, the COG count of homeless has seen a 48-percent decline in Arlington, compared to a 2.2-percent decrease regionwide.

CSR | Are you a nonprofit with a great corporate partner? Or a business who is dedicated to improving the communities where you work? Nominations for the Washington Business Journal’s annual Corporate Citizenship Awards are due by Friday, September 11, 2015.

FOOD | Locally and nationwide, school gardens are teaching students not only how to eat healthy, but also some math, science, and business skills, too. (NPR, 8/10)

EDUCATION/YOUTH | An analysis by the Brookings Institution and data from the Annie E. Casey Foundation finds that many of the states that have the fastest-growing youth populations are also producing some of the weakest outcomes for those youth. Maryland and Virginia were found to be among the 15 states producing the best outcomes for kids. (Atlantic, 8/9)

ARTS/DISTRICT | The District will be getting some new public art soon. Check out one location’s possible new mural designs. (WCP 8/10)

Watch how these artists turn trash from the ocean into impressive works of art.


Friday roundup – July 27 through July 31, 2015

– The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors approved a redevelopment plan for the Seven Corners area. (WaPo, 7/29)

– The Montgomery County Council approved tax credits for low-income renters as the area looks to become more urban, but few people are expected to actually qualify. (WAMU, 7/29)

– Interview: Director of Arlington Economic Development Victor L. Hoskins talked about the future of the county and how it should rise to face the challenges that could prohibit future economic growth. (WaPo, 7/29)

– In a new report, the World Health Organization looked at the wide disparities in access to adequate health care for transgender individuals, often due to discrimination. (NPR, 7/26)

– The White House released an updated national strategy to continue the fight against HIV/AIDS. (White House, 7/30)

– This week, Medicare turned 50 years old. Check out how many people in our region are impacted by the program. (WBJ, 7/29)

– George Washington University joined a growing list of institutions that have recently decided to drop testing requirements for some freshman admissions in an effort to reduce barriers for disadvantaged students to attend. Some are worried whether the change will be enough to recruit low-income students. (WaPo, 7/27)


Northern Virginia LEG: Streamline Your Grantmaking
Thursday, August 6  10:00 am to 12:00 pm

Take a look a these cool (but kind of terrifying) giant gummy bears

– Ciara


Report finds rate of black children in poverty holds steady

Analyzing data from the U.S. Census Bureau, the Pew Research Center has released a new report on American children living in poverty. Though the overall share of U.S. children in poverty declined slightly from 2010 to 2013, not every group has fared well as the economy recovers (Pew Research, 7/14):

Overall, 20% of children in the U.S., or 14.7 million, lived in poverty in 2013 – down from 22%, or 16.3 million, in 2010. (Poverty in 2013 was defined as living in a household with an annual income below $23,624 for a family of four with two related children.) During this period, the poverty rate declined for Hispanic, white and Asian children. Among black children, however, the rate held steady at about 38%. Black children were almost four times as likely as white or Asian children to be living in poverty in 2013, and significantly more likely than Hispanic children.

WRAG/PHILANTHROPY/CHILDREN | Following the recent tragic death of a nine-year-old boy after a brutal beating by his mother’s boyfriend, WRAG president Tamara Copeland asks whether philanthropy is doing enough to improve circumstances for children before things go this far. (WaPo, 7/6 and Daily, 7/14)

– Arlington County has released a series of public service announcements aimed at bringing attention to the great need for affordable housing in the area and the benefits it can bring. (ARLnow, 7/13)

Many American cities are smaller than they used to be, so why do they feel so full? (Vox, 7/13)

ARTS/HOUSING | After 10 years, Capital Fringe has become more than just a theater festival. It has evolved into what may soon become a neighborhood institution and affordable housing space for emerging artists. (WCP, 7/10)

WOMEN/WORKFORCE | Women Are More Likely to Work Multiple Jobs Than Men (EPI, 7/9)

EVENTS | A group of Georgetown University students has partnered with the D.C. Department of Small and Local Business Development to host Venture DC: Engaging Diverse Changemakers – an event to catalyze and support innovation and entrepreneurship in the District, particularly in wards 7 and 8. The two-day event will be held on July 31st and August 1st at the RISE Demonstration Center in Southeast DC, and will showcase entrepreneurs with solutions applicable to wards 7 and 8 and then connect them to social impact sector leaders and potential investors. Information about the event and agenda can be found at venturedc.org.

Let’s take a quick trip to Manhattan’s Soho neighborhood. How many homes do you think you could buy in other cities for the price of one SoHo apartment?

– Ciara

How history has shaped movement of the region’s residents

Discriminatory housing policies and income disparities have historically shaped trends for where District-born residents have moved. Greater Greater Washington breaks down the ways in which our region’s population has been shaped by disparities throughout history. (GGW, 6/11)

The clear differences between how black and white residents born in the District have moved around the United States highlight important elements of our history. The steady flow of white Washingtonians out of the city, which accelerated starting in the 1940s, reflects a population taking advantage of public policies designed to help them build wealth.

Meanwhile, black Washingtonians’ lack of mobility illustrates how policy makers discriminated against blacks for at least another three decades while their white counterparts solidified their middle-class, home-owning status. These charts tell the story of blatant institutional racism targeting blacks 40 years ago, not 400.

Access to education, employment, wealth, and safety are closely tied to geography. It’s imperative that our current and future public policies foster access to these opportunities for black Washingtonians and other traditionally excluded groups so that the next version of these charts conveys progress rather than continued inequality.

VIRGINIA | Alexandria’s Democratic primary race this week resulted in a few surprises; long-time Mayor William Euille was defeated and voter turnout was surprisingly low. In the Arlington County Board elections, the two unlikely winners hope to make affordable housing a bigger priority. (WaPo, 6/10 and ARLnow, 6/10)

HOMELESSNESS | Budget Makes Significant Investments to Put District on Track to End Homelessness (DCFPI, 6/10)

MENTAL HEALTH | An overwhelming number of incarcerated individuals are also battling mental health disorders. Some jails are looking for better ways to serve the growing population of mentally ill prisoners. (Atlantic, 6/8)

At least 400,000 inmates currently behind bars in the United States suffer from some type of mental illness—a population larger than the cities of Cleveland, New Orleans, or St. Louis—according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness. NAMI estimates that between 25 and 40 percent of all mentally ill Americans will be jailed or incarcerated at some point in their lives.

POVERTY/TRANSIT | Long Commutes are Awful, Especially for the Poor (Atlantic, 6/10)

PHILANTHROPY | Ford Foundation, the second biggest foundation in the country, has announced that it is overhauling its grantmaking to focus entirely on inequality. They are also doubling the amount they give in general operating support. (Chronicle, 6/11)

A brief history of “I.”

– Ciara


The closing of Arlington County’s Artisphere signals much more

Despite quality programming and growing support, Arlington County’s arts center, Artisphere, is set to close its doors this summer. The closure is considered a significant blow to the local arts community and the surrounding economy. (WCP, 5/7)

What went wrong? If Artisphere had been judged on the quality of its programming, the enthusiasm of its attending audiences, and its steadily growing numbers, it would be here to stay. But in her closure announcement, [Arlington County Manager Barbara] Donnellan focused on Artisphere’s current and future dependence on taxpayer support. “In the current fiscal environment,” she said, “I cannot advise we continue.” Artisphere had not met the county’s financial or attendance goals, and that came with a consequence: the withdrawal of the funds taxpayers contribute to the venue’s operation. Donnellan did not plead poverty or say that Arlington was unable to fund Artisphere; instead, she emphasized that the venue was “money-losing.”

It’s not uncommon for a public cultural center, if it has become too much a financial burden for the local economy to bear, to be deemed an extraneous service and shut down. Still, Artisphere’s success was not measured by the visual and performing arts programming it has provided but by quantitative outcomes weighed against faulty and unrealistic projections. A publicly funded cultural center tasked with servicing the community should not be evaluated according to its revenue-generating abilities. Arlington County is treating Artisphere like an amusement park or corporate movie theater rather than the only accessible, common space of cultural identity in a large, diverse, resource-rich county.

PHILANTHROPY/RACIAL EQUITY | Racial inequality has been at the forefront of the news recently, presenting an urgent challenge for foundations to help tackle systemic issues. Many philanthropic organizations are taking a broad approach to reach a lasting solution. (Chronicle, 5/7)

COMMUNITY | Whitman-Walker Health, a nonprofit health organization that partners with the Washington AIDS Partnership, will relocate to a new, modern healthcare facility this spring. (WCP, 5/7)

GENDER EQUITY/MARYLAND | According to a new annual report, the number of companies in Maryland with no women in executive positions or on boards increased for the first time in three years. The number of women in leadership positions throughout the state also falls behind the national average. (WaPo, 5/6)

HOMELESSNESS | Meet the outsider who accidentally solved chronic homelessness (WaPo, 5/6)

– In an effort to learn more about the needs of D.C.’s young adult residents, and to prevent the unrest that has recently played out in a number of American cities, Mayor Bowser plans to hold a Youth Engagement Forum. (WaPo, 5/7)

Is Ward 8 “underserved” or undervalued? (CHOTR, 5/6)

AGING | How to build livable communities for older people: report (WaPo, 5/6)

EDUCATION | Opinion: Tuition free or not, are the nation’s community colleges well-equipped enough to be able to provide a viable solution to growing inequality? (WaPo, 5/6)

In the 1980s and 1990s, talking dolls were all the rage. But a century prior, they were just about the creepiest thing you’ve ever heard.

– Ciara

Arlington continues progress on lowering homelessness rates

Arlington County has released results from its annual Point In Time count of its homeless population. Since 2014, the county saw an 18 percent decline in the overall homeless population and a 34 percent decline in homeless families. A new homeless services center will also open in the county this summer. (ARLnow, 4/22)

During her monthly report to the Arlington County Board yesterday, County Manager Barbara Donnellan said the results [from] the count show an 18 percent decline in its overall homeless population from 2014, and a 34 percent drop in homeless families.

The count was conducted overnight from Jan. 28 to 29, and conducted in tandem with other jurisdictions around the region. While it’s not a perfect metric, Arlington Street People’s Assistance Network Executive Director Kathy Sibert said, the numbers are still worth celebrating.

In 2013, the count tallied 479 total homeless people in Arlington. In 2015, there were 239.

Donnellan also revealed Tuesday that the county’s year-round Homeless Services Center will open in June, construction permitting. It had originally been slated for opening last fall. When it opens, the shelter will provide 50 permanent beds, 25 beds in the winter, five medical beds for homeless people released from the hospital, as well as a full kitchen and classrooms for job training.

ARTS | A new report from the Cultural Data Project presents findings from a series of town hall meetings with arts and culture organizations about the challenges they face in collecting, interpreting, and applying data to decision-making, and what they need to overcome these challenges. (CDP, 4/22)

HOUSING | Residents of Lincoln Heights, one of four projects of the New Communities Initiative, have seen their share of false starts and unmet promises for redevelopment in the Ward 7 community. (WCP, 4/23)

ECONOMY | 5 reasons someone making $75,000 would live paycheck to paycheck (WaPo, 4/22)

NONPROFITS | A new resource designed to help the D.C. region’s nonprofit and philanthropic communities access high-quality capacity building services tailored to their specific organizational needs is now available through the Charge Up Collaborative. By accessing their website, nonprofits can be connected to critical operational resources. Click here to find out more.

EVENTS | On Friday, May 8, the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia‘s giving circle of young professionals, The Future Fund, will celebrate its 2015 grantmaking at their annual awards gala. Future Fund members, nonmembers, and young professionals are invited to attend. Find out more here.

How much loose change was left at the region’s airports last year? Well, It could pay someone’s salary.

– Ciara 

Regional population growth sees decline

New census figures indicate that population growth (excluding births) in the Washington region is slowing down dramatically. Federal spending cuts and suburban decline are among a number of possible causes for the slow down in migration to the area. (WaPo, 4/16)

After decades of expansion, new census numbers show that population growth in the Washington region has slowed dramatically, with Fairfax County, Arlington County and Alexandria seeing more people move out of those communities than move in over the past year.


Even in the District, a city of about 650,000 residents where condos are popping up across the skyline and newly fashionable neighborhoods are quickly becoming unaffordable for longtime residents, net migration went down last year — from about 10,000 in 2013 to half that.

AARP has released a new online tool that ranks U.S. neighborhoods on their livability for older Americans. The tool weighs a number of significant factors to determine the probability of  successfully aging-in-place on a scale of 0-100. (WaPo, 4/20)

– Do the unfortunate realities of inequality suddenly dissolve when one becomes a senior citizen and experiences the same changes a person from any economic background would – less dependence, lack of mobility, inability to work? Sadly, no. The Atlantic takes a look at how disparities often persist for many Americans throughout a lifetime. (Atlantic, 4/20)

MARYLAND/TRANSIT | A new report estimates the economic benefits for Maryland suburbs if the Purple Line project is given the go ahead. (WaPo, 4/20)

INEQUALITY | This chart explains everything you need to know about inequality (WaPo, 4/20)

– With exorbitant prices for often low-quality land for agricultural use, many farmers in the District are looking toward new legislation to make urban agricultural growth easier and more economical. (WAMU, 4/17)

Opinion:  Many celebrities and public figures have signed on to participate in food stamp challenges in recent years. One writer questions if a recent challenge gone wrong has actually done more harm than good in raising the awareness of the plight of poverty. (WaPo, 4/18)

Wait a minute…is that Yoda in that 14th century manuscript?

– Ciara