Tag: Economic Policy Institute

Assessing a $15 minimum wage

A new analysis by the Economic Policy Institute explores what a $15 minimum wage could mean to workers in the District. A number of local groups remain divided over the long-term impact of raising the minimum wage (WAMU, 5/4):

The organization’s assessment buttresses the arguments made by groups and elected officials pushing the $15 minimum wage: In an area that’s growing increasingly expensive and unequal, giving low-wage workers a pay raise is a needed step towards helping them stay afloat.

But it also marks the start of what is likely to be a spirited debate over the merits of raising the minimum wage, with local business groups standing at the ready to unveil their own studies arguing that while a higher wage may help workers get by, it will also mean that employers either create fewer jobs or [move] to jurisdictions — like Virginia — where the minimum wage remains much lower, at $7.25.

JOBS | WRAG is pleased to announced the launch of our new and improved job board! This service is available to the region’s philanthropic and nonprofit community. Job postings are free for WRAG members and $60 for non-members. As a benefit for using WRAG’s job board, each posting will be included in a weekly roundup of job opportunities right here in the Daily WRAG. For any questions about using the job board, contact Rebekah Seder, seder@washingtongrantmakers.org.

– In their Matters@Hand thought leadership series sponsored by Enterprise Community Partners, HAND looks at some of the emerging innovations surrounding the creation of local funding resources for affordable housing in the region, including one that WRAG is involved in (Helping Hands Blog, 5/4):

In our region, the Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers has teamed up with Enterprise Community Partners to develop a new approach to generating resources to invest in local affordable housing.  Individuals and organizations can invest in the Enterprise Community Impact Note and those investments will be used to help finance the creation of affordable housing. Investors will receive a fixed-rate of return and will also receive regular statements about the social impact of their investments.  The goal of the new fund is to raise at least $5 million to help build affordable housing throughout the region, and will reflect a truly innovative way of raising capital.

Washington City Paper offers a glimpse into D.C.’s low-rent units, where many tenants live in constant fear of losing their homes and must deal with unresponsive landlords who neglect properties. (WCP, 4/29)

– D.C. At-Large Councilmember Anita Bonds has introduced a bill aimed at landlords who “purposely neglect their buildings and put their tenants’ health and safety at risk.” (WCP, 5/3)

– Local Initiatives Support Corporation has made a $50 million commitment toward ensuring that residents living in the area surrounding the highly-anticipated 11th Street Bridge Park will not be displaced once it opens. (WaPo, 5/3)

–  Opinion5 Issues Foundations Must Confront to Stay Relevant (Chronicle, 5/3)

– Close Up Shop and Go Elsewhere? A Case Study for Philanthropy on What to Do When We Win (NPQ, 4/29)

– The Initiative for Public Art Reston (IPAR) plans to display bike rack designs as public works of art later this year. IPAR issued a call for artists from the region to submit their designs that reflect five sites in the surrounding area. (Reston Now, 5/2)

Anyone know the number to a really fancy plumber?

– Ciara

Affording child care on a minimum wage

A new report from the Economic Policy Institute examines child-care costs for minimum-wage earners in each state. For many, the costs associated with full-time infant care are beyond burdensome. (WaPo, 10/6)

Such workers in New York and Massachusetts would have to fork over more than 80 percent of their annual earnings, according to the findings, published Tuesday. In Washington, D.C., they’d need to throw in everything — plus extra: 102 percent of a minimum-wage salary is required to cover the average annual cost of infant care.

This reality leaves few options for families with sparse financial resources and inflexible work schedules, said Elise Gould, senior economist at EPI, who co-wrote the study. Even if a parent qualifies for child-care subsidies, waiting lists in some states can stretch long enough for her to lose a job or leave a child in a risky arrangement.

– Under a new measure introduced today, and supported by a majority of the D.C. Council, the District would have “the most generous” family leave plan in the U.S. (WaPo, 10/6)

PHILANTHROPY | As mass shootings continue to rattle the nation, WRAG president Tamara Copeland asks whether philanthropy will take the lead on tackling what has become an urgent public health problem in America, as it has done successfully in the past. (Daily, 10/6)

POVERTY/VIRGINIAIn this series, WAMU takes a look at the ways Virginia’s car-title loan industry has lured and trapped many low-income individuals in the region into a continuous cycle of debt. (WAMU, 10/5)

YOUTH | Following an op-ed in which a columnist challenged D.C. officials to place more emphasis on preventing juvenile crime in the city, Washington City Paper takes a look at a recent analysis that actually finds youth arrests at their lowest level in a decade last year. (WCP, 10/5)

Prepare for your next museum visit by learning to correctly pronounce the names of these artists.

– Ciara 

D.C. wage disparity reaches 35-year high

The District’s wage disparity gap is at a 35-year high, according to a new report from the D.C. Fiscal Policy Institute. The newly-released study finds that, despite economic recovery in the city, low-wage workers still struggle to see progress, while only those with advanced degrees are the beneficiaries of post-recession gains. (WaPo, 1/27)

Hourly incomes for low-wage workers have fallen to an average of $12.62 over the past seven years, and in the event that those workers lose their jobs, they are more than twice as likely to spend more than six months looking for replacement work, according to a study by the D.C. Fiscal Policy Institute. At the same time, rental costs have skyrocketed and the hourly incomes of high-wage workers in the city have risen to an average of $45.30.

“What appears to be a strong economic recovery in the District is really just a recovery for a small number of residents,” reads the report, an advance copy of which was obtained by The Washington Post. “Only those residents with the most advanced education are making economic progress.”

You can access the full report here.

– A new report from the Economic Policy Institute explores the widening income gap throughout the U.S. The report shows the stark differences in economic growth for the top one percent compared to the rest of the nation. Check out where the region stands. (WBJ, 1/27)

The Kojo Nnamdi Show dives deeper into The Washington Post‘s recent series on underwater mortgages and the disappearing wealth of black households in Prince George’s County. (Kojo Nnamdi Show, 1/27)

Here’s How Much Less Women Make in Each State (HuffPo, 1/27)

– Several years ago, a number of WRAG members engaged in Project Streamline with the goal of making their application and reporting processes less burdensome for their grantees. On their blog, the Project Streamline folks consider how streamlining can allow funders to be inclusive in their grantmaking and to better support diverse organizations. (PS, 1/26)

– Christine Reeves at the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy asks the thought-provoking question: “What If Foundations Applied to Nonprofits?” (NCRP, 1/23)

COMMUNITY | United Way of the National Capital Area has announced Timothy Johnson as Vice President of Community Impact, and Chris Preston as Vice President of Resource Development. You can read more about the new vice presidents here. (UWNCA, 1/28)

IMPACT INVESTING | Opinion: Still on the fence about impact investing? In this op-ed, the author explains how to get involved and why it may be your best idea yet for changing the world. (NYT, 1/27)

POVERTY | Opinion: Reducing Our Obscene Level of Childhood Poverty (NYT, 1/28)

NONPROFITS | Ted Leonsis will take over for Don Graham, CEO and chairman of the board of Graham Holdings Company, as board chair of the DC College Access Program. (WaPo, 1/27)

Is your first name a good predictor of what profession you’ll hold? Probably not, but it’s still fun to take a look at this data wheel and see if it’s accurate! 

– Ciara