Tag: Citi Foundation

Few transit options for the region’s lower-income riders

TRANSIT
With a year’s worth of maintenance slated to take place throughout the Metrorail system, the impact is expected to be felt by most in the region. Those earning less than $30,000 annually, however, may be hit the hardest with fewer options for teleworking or affordable commutes to work. (City Lab, 5/19)

Among the 11 percent of Metrorail customers who earn less than $30,000 per year, many work low-wage, hourly shifts that don’t offer the option to telework. These riders can’t necessarily afford the convenience of a cab, an Uber, or even a smartphone to hail one. These riders still need to be able to get to their jobs, and for 29 hours in March, it was a lot harder for some.

EDUCATION
– Natalie Wexler – education blogger/editor of Greater Greater Education and DC Eduphile, and trustee of the Omega Foundation  discusses the challenges in achieving reading success for low-income students. On June 2, Dr. Willingham, psychology professor at the University of Virginia, will dive further into the role of background knowledge in reading comprehension and the persistent achievement gap among affluent and low-income students. (Daily, 5/23)

– Does Mindfulness Actually Work in Schools? (Atlantic, 5/20)

COMMUNITY
 The Citi Foundation announced the 40 social profit organizations selected as inaugural recipients of their Community Progress Makers Fund – a $20 million grant initiative supporting community organizations leading urban transformation efforts that create economic opportunities for low-income households and communities. D.C. is one of six U.S. cities with organizations that were selected, such as: Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing; Capital Area Asset Builders; Enterprise Community Partners Mid-Atlantic; Latino Economic Development Center; and LIFT

– The Center for Nonprofit Advancement has announced Higher Achievement as the winner of their 2016 AIM (Advancement in Management) Award, along with A-SPAN and National Children’s Alliance receiving honorable mentions. Pepco, Capital One Bank, and the Rotary Club of Washington, DC were sponsors of the award. Award recipients will also host an informative best practices session on May 24 at 10:00 am.

IMMIGRATION/POVERTY | Many of the young, recent Central American immigrants to the Washington region find that post-traumatic stress and poverty, along with attending high school, can result in a difficult cycle. (WAMU, 5/19)

HEALTH/CHILDREN
– With a growing number of students showing signs of mental health problems at school, educators are struggling to meet their needs. WAMU and nprED have presented a series on the challenges and possible solutions to approaching mental health issues in children. (WAMU, 5/23)

Due to a several challenges, the federal Summer Food Service Program – aimed at providing meals to children from low-income families during school break – only ends up reaching around 15 percent of those eligible. In places like Silver Spring, MD, for example, some children may have a hard time qualifying for such benefits when low-income housing is often in close proximity to affluent neighborhoods. (City Lab, 5/20)

–  Should Pediatricians Ask Parents If They’re Poor? (NPR, 5/18)

DISTRICT | The Washington Post explores the surge in homicides in D.C.’s ward 7. (WaPo, 5/21)


We all need to get adequate sleep, and trees are (possibly) no different.

– Ciara

The capacity of women’s philanthropy explored in new issue brief

PHILANTHROPY/WOMEN
The Washington Area Women’s Foundation has released their latest issue brief: The Unprecedented Power and Potential of Women’s Philanthropy in the Washington Region. The brief, supported by Capital One, looks into the significance of  investing in women and girls, along with the power, potential, and influence women philanthropists can have in the region. (WAWF, December 2015)

By our estimates, if women in our region with a net worth of $5 million or more contributed one tenth of one percent of their growing wealth to programs tailored to the unique needs of women and girls, they could collectively invest at least $45 million—enough to have a significant impact on helping the nearly half million women and girls living below or near poverty in our region attain economic security.

If women benefiting from this investment increased their earnings by at least five percent after completing a workforce development program (the average amount based on The Women’s Foundation’s program evaluation) the direct impact in our community could be over $317 million in a single year. An approximate return on investment of 560 percent.

POVERTY | A group of social profit organizations have joined forces through funding from Citi Foundation‘s Partners in Progress initiative in order to provide credit-building loans to low-income D.C. residents and help them stabilize their finances for greater economic opportunities. (WaPo, 12/17)

TRANSIT/EQUITY | A new Census report examines the demographics of those who live nearest to rail stations versus those who don’t in the Greater Washington region. According to the report, workers who live in rail-accessible neighborhoods are more likely to be more educated, white, and younger than those living in less rail-accessible areas. (WaPo, 12/17)

EDUCATION
– Members have been announced for a new 26-member task force that will work to develop policy recommendations for D.C.’s Mayor Bowser in an effort to improve coordination between charter and public schools. (WaPo, 12/16)

– In case you missed it, Washington City Paper recently explored education philanthropy in the District as DC Public Schools enter their second decade of education reform efforts. (WCP, 12/11)

Learning Soft Skills in Childhood Can Prevent Harder Problems Later (WAMU, 12/17)

YOUTH/WORKFORCE | The Depressing Downward Spiral of U.S. Teen Employment (City Lab, 12/16)

JOB | The Eugene and Agnes E. Meyer Foundation is hiring for the role of Program Assistant. Click here to learn more about the position.


Who is responsible for picking out the fabric for seats on public transit; and, more importantly, what led to these particular choices?

– Ciara

Wage inequality in U.S. metros

The Daily WRAG will return on Tuesday, October 13. 

ECONOMY/REGION
While wage inequality is nothing new, the problem has become a staple of many major cities across the country. In some U.S. metros with high wage inequality – like the metropolitan Washington region – there are a number of implications for those who do not earn high salaries. (City Lab, 10/7)

[…] wage inequality appears to be bound up with higher housing costs, being closely correlated with the share of income devoted to housing […]. The higher wage earners in knowledge-based metros essentially bid up the cost of housing. And while knowledge workers and the creative class make enough to cope with the increased costs, as my own research has shown, this hits extremely hard at workers in lower paid service and blue-collar jobs who increasingly cannot afford to live in these places.

WRAG COMMUNITY/PHILANTHROPY
– Congratulations to WRAG members Rosie Allen-Herring, president and CEO of United Way of the National Capital Area, and Nicky Goren, president and CEO of the Meyer Foundation, for being featured in The Washington Business Journal’s Power 100 list in the category of Heavy Hitters, defined as “[…] those executives who lead the most powerful organizations in town, be it for their size, their reputations or the sheer dollars they generate.” (WBJ, 10/5)

– Congratulations are also in order for WRAG members IBM and Citi Foundation for taking home awards in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Corporate Citizenship Awards in the areas of Best Corporate Steward – Large Business, and Best Community Improvement Program.

HOUSING | Enterprise takes a look at housing affordability for the millennial workforce on the heels of some newly released research on the topic. (Enterprise, 10/6)

TRANSPORTATION/DISTRICT | Bikeshare services are a convenience enjoyed by many in D.C. who seek alternative ways to get around, but they are often only available in more affluent parts of the city and to those with credit cards. In an effort to better reach minority and low-income residents, the District has unveiled potential plans to expand bikeshare stations across D.C. and eliminate barriers to payment to use the services. (WaPo, 10/6)

ENVIRONMENT/PUBLIC HEALTH | MoCo becomes first major locality to ban cosmetic pesticides from lawns (WaPo, 10/6)


Are you a native to the region? Here’s some nostalgia for you in the form of local TV ads.

– Ciara

More affordable housing for Arlington County

AFFORDABLE HOUSING/VIRGINIA
On Saturday, the Arlington County Board unanimously voted to move forward on a plan to bring more affordable housing to the area. The plan will bring about 15,800 affordable apartments to the county by 2040. (WaPo, 9/19)

Related: A recent report supported by Enterprise Community Partners and Citi Foundation, and presented by the Greater Washington Housing Leaders Group – a collection of more than a dozen public and private sector leaders concerned about housing affordability convened by WRAG – highlights the need for collaboration to invest in solving the region’s affordable housing crisis.

WRAG/PHILANTHROPY | WRAG is excited to introduce you to the 2015-16 Philanthropy Fellows, a group of young professionals poised to make waves in the world of philanthropy. (Daily, 9/21)

DISTRICT/ECONOMY | D.C. Fiscal Policy Institute explores what new income and poverty data from the U.S. Census Bureau reveal about communities of color in the District. (DCFPI, 9/18)

HEALTH/FOOD
– A new interactive map examines the rate of obesity in D.C. neighborhoods. Neighborhoods in the northeast and southern parts of the city saw higher obesity rates due to lower levels of income and walkability in those areas. (DCInno, 9/18)

– New data from the Centers for Disease Control show that the narrative surrounding what we think we know about low-income families and their relationship to fast food may be all wrong. (WaPo, 918)

PHILANTHROPY | Rural Foundations’ Ideas for Increasing Rural Philanthropy (NPQ, 9/14)

WORKFORCE | The Typical Male U.S. Worker Earned Less Money in 2014 Than in 1973 (WSJ, 9/18)

SOCIAL PROFITS | The time is now for social profit organizations to ramp up security on online donation pages, as credit card thieves have taken to the websites to test stolen credit card numbers, creating unnecessary financial burdens for many organizations. (Chronicle, 9/17)


From now until September 25, WTOP is taking votes to give away $30,000 to local charities. All you have to do is click the “Like” button! 

– Ciara

Friday roundup – June 22 through June 26, 2015

THIS WEEK IN PHILANTHROPY
– WRAG’s Director of Corporate Strategy, Katy Moore, shared the two surprising things all foundation staff should know when it comes to excise tax rules – the topic of a recent Foundation Finance Affinity Group meeting. (Daily, 6/22)

THIS WEEK IN AFFORDABLE HOUSING
– We saw two new reports on the urgent need for collaboration to invest in solving the region’s affordable housing crisis: Call the Question: Will the Greater Washington Region Collaborate and Invest to Solve its Affordable Housing Shortage?– sponsored by Enterprise Community Partners, Citi Foundation, and WRAG; and The Greater Washington Region’s Future Housing Needs: 2023 – sponsored by Enterprise Community Partners. Both reports were supported by the Greater Washington Housing Leaders Group (GWHLG), who hosted a plenary session at the 2015 Housing Association of Nonprofit Developers (HAND) Annual Meeting this week. GWHLG is comprised of nonprofit, public, philanthropic, and business leaders concerned about the affordable housing in our region, and is convened by WRAG. Check out the conversation on Twitter by using the hashtag #HANDAM2015.

THIS WEEK IN TRANSIT
– Maryland governor Larry Hogan announced plans to move forward on the Purple Line light-rail with a few conditions. (WaPo, 6/25)

– The Montgomery County Council unanimously passed a bill requiring all employers to provide employees with paid sick leave and paid time off. The bill will go into effect late next year(Bethesda Magazine, 6/23)

THIS WEEK IN WORKFORCE
– The Montgomery County Council also voted to freeze the minimum wage for tipped workers at $4. (WAMU, 6/24)

THIS WEEK IN EQUITY 
– The Office of the Chief Financial Officer used data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics to show that income disparity in the District is bigger than in any state in the country. (WaPo, 6/24)

–  An interactive map displaying the concentration of race within the District’s neighborhoods was released. (DCInno, 6/23)


Pop quiz! Can you identify these cities just by looking at their skylines? 

– Ciara

New reports on the critical need for affordable housing in the Greater Washington Region

AFFORDABLE HOUSING/REGION
In response to alarming data surrounding housing affordability in the region, the Greater Washington Housing Leaders Group (GWHLG) presents a new report by Nonprofit Quarterly columnist Rick Cohen. The report – supported by Enterprise Community Partners, Citi Foundation, and WRAG – highlights the need for collaboration to invest in solving the region’s affordable housing crisis. Click here to access the full report, Call the Question: Will the Greater Washington Region Collaborate and Invest to Solve its Affordable Housing Shortage? 

Since June 2014, the Greater Washington Housing Leaders Group – a collection of more than a dozen public and private sector leaders concerned about housing affordability – has been meeting to examine: 1) the nature of the affordable housing shortage in the greater Washington area; 2) the relationship of housing affordability to economic growth; and 3) strategies to increase affordable housing for low- and moderate-income households in the region.

In July 2014, The Community Foundation for the National Capital Region released new research, Housing Security in the Washington Region, prepared by the Urban Institute and the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments based on 2011 data, the most recent available. A key finding of the study concludes that, currently, 250,000 households (including 147,000 renter households) making less than 80 percent of the area median income are paying more than half of their gross income on housing costs.

The full extent of the affordable housing shortage required an analysis of future economic growth and accompanying populations. Research from the George Mason University Center for Regional Analysis (CRA) shows that future growth industries for our region will be in the retail, hospitality, healthcare, and construction sectors – jobs which pay lower wages. Thousands of critical jobs in today’s workforce also fall in the lowerto moderate-income range, including teachers, health care professionals, entry level office workers, and local government employees. In 2015, CRA developed affordable housing need projections based on their latest regional economic outlook projections showing a need for the region to provide 149,000 new low-income housing units between 2011 and 2023 to accommodate projected job growth in the region.

 

– Another newly-released report (mentioned above) by Jeannette Chapman of the George Mason University Center for Regional Analysis – commissioned by Enterprise Community Partners, and supported by GWHLG – focuses on regional solutions for Greater Washington’s affordable housing needs by the year 2023. The report titled, The Greater Washington Region’s Future Housing Needs: 2023, can be found here.

– The Housing Association of Nonprofit Developers (HAND) has released a public service announcement campaign to raise awareness about the great need for affordable housing using statistics about the average take-home pay for the professionals who are often very important in our daily lives. Have you seen this PSA around yet?

What’s ‘new’ in affordable housing? Not a lot — yet (Elevation DC, 6/19)

EDUCATION/DISTRICT | After a recent independent evaluation on the state of D.C. schools by the National Research Council, education leaders agree that although the system has come a long way, it still needs a lot of work to get to where it needs to be. (WaPo, 6/22)

POVERTY | A quarter of Americans are one emergency away from financial ruin (WaPo, 6/23)


How’s this for a real Metro map? What do you think?

– Ciara

Affordable housing crisis in every county in America

HOUSING
A new report from the Urban Institute finds that the amount of extremely low-income households has grown nationwide since 2000, while federal housing-assistance programs have not kept up with the need. In fact, according to the study, there is no county within the United States that currently has enough affordable housing for families in extreme poverty. (City Lab, 6/18)

New research from the Urban Institute shows that the supply of housing for extremely low-income families, which was already in short supply, is only declining. In 2013, just 28 of every 100 extremely low-income families could afford their rental homes. [That] figure is down from 37 of 100 in 2000 – a 25 percent decline over a little more than a decade.

Using data from the Census Bureau and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, researchers built an interactive map to illustrate the nationwide reach of the problem. In no county in the U.S. does the supply of affordable housing meet the demand among extremely low-income households. (Families who made no more than 30 percent of an area’s median household income were considered “extremely low income.”)

You can find the interactive map from the Urban Institute here.

– Tomorrow morning, at the 2015 Housing Association of Nonprofit Developers (HAND) Annual Meeting, The Greater Washington Housing Leaders Group (GWHLG) will host a plenary session entitled Regional Strategies to Increase Affordable Housing Development and Preservation in the Greater Washington Area. GWHLG is comprised of nonprofit, public, philanthropic, and business leaders, and is convened by WRAG. You can follow the conversation tomorrow on Twitter using the hashtag #HANDAM2015. The event will also coincide with the release of a new report on how to collaborate and invest to solve the region’s affordable housing shortage by Rick Cohen, sponsored by Enterprise, Citi Foundation, and WRAG.

FINANCE/FOUNDATIONS | WRAG’s Director of Corporate Strategy, Katy Moore, discusses the two surprising things all foundation staff should know when it comes to excise tax rules – the topic of last week’s Foundation Finance Affinity Group meeting. (Daily, 6/22)

COMMUNITY
– Congratulations to WRAG members Capital One (#1) and MedImmune (#20) for being named top places to work in the DC region by The Washington Post!  (WaPo, 6/19)

– On July 23 at 8:00 am, the United Way of the National Capital Area (UWNCA) will hold their 2015 Annual Community Meeting and Nonprofit Expo at Catholic University of America. Anyone interested in learning about UWNCA, the nonprofit sector, or opportunities to learn and share with community networks should register here.

PHILANTHROPY | New Blog Examines Today’s Philanthropy by Comparing It With The Past (Chronicle, 6/19)

ARTS 
– D.C. has four new public art pieces to check out around the city. (WCP, 6/19)

Working Smarter – not Harder – when Advocating for the Arts (Artsblog, 6/18)

REGION | Higher Unemployment in Virginia (WBJ, 6/19)


The time a cat won an award for being a “Hero Dog.”

– Ciara

An effort to reduce pregnancies among Hispanic teens in Montgomery County

YOUTH | While the overall teen pregnancy rate has been declining, there remains a significant disparity between Hispanics and other groups, an issue that one local nonprofit has been working to address in Montgomery County (WaPo, 3/29):

Even as the Latino birthrate has fallen in Montgomery over the past two decades, it remains more than 2.5 times higher than the rate for the county’s black girls in that age group and more than three times the rate for white girls.

[…]

Since 1996, the earliest year in which Montgomery officials have published data, the great disparity between birthrates for Latino and white teenagers has hardly changed. Meanwhile, the gap between black teenagers and Latino teenagers has increased. This has perplexed local officials at a time when teen pregnancy rates in the nation are plummeting and the gaps between all races and ethnic groups continue to shrink.

For advocates, the disparity has come to symbolize the socioeconomic gulf between Latinos, largely a population of new immigrants, and more established populations in one of the country’s most affluent counties.

COMMUNITY | Today the Citi Foundation announced the launch of Pathways to Progress, a three-year, $50 million initiative in 10 cities, including D.C., to provide career training to 100,000 low-income youth. (Citi, 3/31). More information on the initiative is available here.

VETERANS | The Post commissioned a wide-ranging survey of veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. It’s a must-read for those interested in issues affecting veterans and their families. The quick take-away from the intro: “More than half of the 2.6 million Americans dispatched to fight the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan struggle with physical or mental health problems stemming from their service, feel disconnected from civilian life and believe the government is failing to meet the needs of this generation’s veterans.” (WaPo, 3/29)

Related: WRAG members have been convening regularly over the past year to look at ways philanthropy can better support veterans and their families in our region. Last year, they learned about challenges some veterans encounter when transitioning to the civilian workforce, and today (literally, right this minute) they are examining the potential of scaling up a successful program in Montgomery County for the entire region.

HOUSING
– Housing advocates see great potential for affordable housing options in Ward 8, particularly as developers begin to re-hab the area’s “abandominiums” – condos and apartments that have been left empty. (WAMU, 3/28)

How your housing affects your health (WaPo, 3/26)

EDUCATION/WORKFORCE | In his latest column, Robert McCartney argues that recent changes to the GED exam, put in place to meet higher demands of employers, are making the exam far more difficult to pass during a time when unemployment for those without high school diplomas is so high. (WaPo, 3/29)

REGION | The population of the Greater Washington region continued to grow last year, due primarily to the availability of jobs. (WaPo, 3/28) As Stephen Fuller explains in the article, “very few people flock to D.C. to enjoy the weather.”

HEALTHCARE | Maryland gears up for health exchange redo (WaPo, 3/30)

ARTS/PHILANTHROPY | S&R Foundation provides Washington Ballet with live music, affects city’s music scene (WaPo, 3/28)

CSR | Breaking Down The Benefits Of In-Kind Giving — And The Regulations Around It (Forbes, 3/30)

Related: On Thursday and Friday last week, WRAG and Johns Hopkins University hosted the second session of the Institute for Corporate Social Responsibility. Check out the speaker-line up and photos from the session. From the pictures, it looks like a fun and jammed-packed two days. We’ll begin taking applications for the 2015 class early this summer. More information here.


You know how in some circles the first thing people ask you is “what do you do?” That drives me crazy. Here’s a cool video that gives an overview of all of the obnoxious ways people form quick judgments about new acquaintances all over the country.

– Rebekah