Tag: election

The tax cut bill could hurt some District families

TAX REFORM
– Yesterday DC Mayor Muriel E. Bowser and DC’s nonvoting Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton responded to Congress’s tax cut bill. They said the bill will increase taxes for some families living in the city and it will hurt the city’s efforts to create and preserve affordable housing. (WaPo, 11/13)

At a news conference outside the U.S. Capitol, D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D) and Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D) said the proposal to eliminate the deduction for state and local income and property taxes could lead to sharp hikes in the overall tax bill for some District families. The increase could be more than 10 percent in some parts of the city.

Bowser and Norton said the House bill’s effects are particularly jarring in the District, which already has the highest per capita federal tax rate in the nation despite lacking voting representatives in Congress.

– Senate’s Tax Bill Provisions Could Hurt Charities, Nonprofits Say (Chronicle, 11/10)

Related: The Johnson Amendment, which was under threat of being repealed, remains untouched in this version of the bill. Earlier this year, WRAG signed on to the Community Letter in Support of Nonpartisanship, an initiative of 10 national nonprofit and philanthropy serving organizations, in support of maintaining the amendment.

TRANSPORTATION | A newly released study of Metro, commissioned by Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, includes recommendations to replace Metro’s 16-member board with a five-member board for three years and a bus fare increase to $2.10. (WaPo, 11/12)

AGING | AARP Foundation‘s legal department is suing a nursing home to stop them from illegally evicting residents. (NPR, 11/13)

EDUCATION | Two DC young people advocate for the 2014 Special Education Reforms, which will allow DC students with disabilities to plan for life after high school at 14 instead of 16, on DC Fiscal Policy Institute’s blog. (DCFPI, 10/25)

ELECTIONNAACP legal fund files lawsuit over voter instructions in key Va. House race (WaPo, 11/14)


Can you predict how much snow will fall in our area this winter?

– Kendra

A Recap of WRAG’s 2017 Annual Meeting, Power Reframed

Yesterday, we hosted our biggest event of the year – WRAG’s 2017 Annual Meeting, Power Reframed. Many thanks to the 350 funders and nonprofit leaders who joined us at MGM National Harbor!

Richard Rothstein, author of The Color of Law, spoke to WRAG members about the forgotten history of the federal government’s role in maintaining residential segregation. Eric Liu, author of You’re More Powerful Than You Think, inspired the audience to rethink the way we can all wield power, following a powerful performance by the Taratibu Youth Association. Check out the conversation on Twitter!

We are pleased to announce that at the business meeting, members elected three new board members. We are honored to welcome:

  • Kelly Lynch, Executive Director, Diane & Norman Bernstein Foundation
  • Amy Owen, Executive Director, Community Foundation for Loudoun and Northern Fauquier Counties
  • M. Craig Pascal, SVP & Community Development Manager, BB&T

We welcomed back the following board members:

  • David Bowers, VP & Mid-Atlantic Market Leader, Enterprise Community Partners, Inc. (second two-year term)
  • Nicky Goren, President & CEO, The Meyer Foundation (second two-year term)
  • Lindsey Buss, Senior Officer for Community Outreach, World Bank Group (third two-year term)
  • Desiree Griffin-Moore, Executive Director, Community Foundation in Prince George’s County (third two-year term)
  • Yanique Redwood, President & CEO, Consumer Health Foundation (third two-year term)

And, we recognized the contributions of three outgoing board members:

  • Rose Ann Cleveland, former executive director, The Morris & Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation
  • Mary McClymont, former president, Public Welfare Foundation
  • Diana Meyer, former Washington metro marketplace manager, Citi Community Development

Lastly, we thanked Lynn Tadlock, deputy executive director of giving at The Claude Moore Charitable Foundation, for her service as board chair over the past two years.

PHILANTHROPY | The Annual Meeting also marked the release of the 2017 edition of WRAG’s Our Region, Our Giving report on WRAG member philanthropy in the Greater Washington region. The report, which features a special look at how WRAG members are supporting advocacy, represents nearly $146 million in giving to nonprofit organizations that serve the region, and over $3.5 billion in assets. (Daily, 11/9)

EDUCATION | Karen FitzGerald, program director at the The Meyer Foundation, discusses the impact that Urban Alliance’s high school internship program is having on students across the region and the US. (Washington Monthly, 11/7)

WORKFORCE | The Montgomery County Council has approved the $15 minimum wage bill. (Bethesda Beat, 11/7)

ELECTION | Women, minorities, LGBTQ people – and a Democratic Socialist – will change the face of Virginia’s House (Richmond Times, 11,8)

TRANSIT | Alexandria County, Virginia will adopt the safety initiative, Vision Zero, which was created to eliminate roadway fatalities and serious injuries. (WAMU, 11/8)


As we get closer to the holidays, you may be wondering what you can do to make sure everyone is able to celebrate comfortably with their families. Here’s how you can help.

– Kendra

1 in 5 District residents name housing as the city’s biggest problem

AFFORDABLE HOUSING | According to a recent Washington Post poll, almost 20% of DC residents believe housing is the biggest problem in the city. Respondents mostly blame the shortage of affordable housing on the influx of new, wealthy residents and government inaction. (WaPo, 7/1)

The rise in D.C. housing costs has been stark, with the median home value tripling from $136,200 in 2000 to $484,000 last year, and rents rising in parallel.

While three-quarters of residents polled say wealthy newcomers are a major factor behind the dearth of affordable housing, 64 percent fault the District government for not spending enough to create and maintain that housing. The same percentage say the city government caters too much to the needs of developers. And 54 percent blame the city for not ensuring help for those who need housing assistance the most, while 30 percent say a major cause is people seeking housing aid they don’t need.

WORKFORCE | Capital One and Year Up have partnered to provide low-income young adults with internships to teach them how to succeed in the workforce. (Mashable, 6/21)

FOOD INSECURITYTo reach hungry children in the summer, these school cafeterias moved outside (WaPo, 6/29)

HEALTH
Virginia Can Start Needle Exchanges In Communities Hit By Opioid Abuse (WAMU, 7/3)

– Maryland has received federal funding to launch an initiative to reduce lead poisoning and asthma rates in relation to poor housing conditions. (Baltimore Sun, 6/29)

ELECTIOND.C., Maryland, And Virginia All Say No To Providing Trump Commission Voter Info (DCist, 7/3)

ENVIRONMENT | A DC federal appeals court has ordered the Environmental Protection Agency to comply with a new rule that requires oil and gas companies to monitor and reduce methane leaks. (WTOP, 7/4)


Find Waldo around DC this summer.

– Kendra

Preventing “transit-induced gentrification” across the region

HOUSING | With the forthcoming Purple Line in suburban Maryland, and the new Silver Line in Northern Virginia, jurisdictions are trying to keep residents from being priced out of newly desirable locations by working to create affordable housing close to transit lines. (WaPo, 11/29)

The issue, which some experts call “transit-induced gentrification,” is gaining new attention in Montgomery and other once auto-centric suburbs building light-rail and rapid bus lines to revitalize older areas, attract younger workers, and help an increasing number of lower-income residents reach jobs. Focusing growth around transit stations has become the way many inner suburbs plan to thrive without adding to the sprawl that has left them drowning in traffic.
[…]
“Being able to have affordable, reliable and safe transit is critical for a lot of communities, particularly low-income communities because they need that option,” said David Bowers, of the nonprofit Enterprise Community Partners. “But we need policymakers and leaders to be much more intentional about preserving affordable housing along those corridors.”

Related: Housing affordability in the Greater Washington region is a major priority of WRAG. WRAG is a co-convener of the Greater Washington Housing Leaders Group, a collection of more than a dozen public and private sector regional leaders (including David Bowers and Michelle Krocker of the Northern Virginia Affordable Housing Alliance, both quoted in the story above) that is working to elevate the visibility of, and broaden support for bold, thoughtful, and collaborative solutions for the housing affordability challenge across the region.

Also related: And, on December 1, WRAG and Enterprise Community Loan Fund are hosting a webinar on the Our Region, Your Investment initiative, through which local residents, foundations, nonprofits, and banks are coming to the table to invest in affordable homes. Register here.

WORKFORCE
– The DC Council next week will vote on a revised parental leave bill that would give both parents 11 weeks of paid time off after a birth or adoption. If the bill passes, it would be among the most generous family leave policies in the country. (WAMU, 11/28)

Maps of where our region’s jobs are, what types of jobs they are, and what they pay (GGW, 11/28)

ARTS | Impact investing has made its way to the field of arts and social change. (NY Times, 11/25)

NONPROFITS | The National Council of Nonprofits looks at the impact of the 2016 election on the work of nonprofit organizations.

PHILANTHROPY
– Don’t forget: It’s #GivingTuesday! When you’re done reading the Daily, go support the region’s nonprofit community!

– The Hitachi Foundation has announced plans to close in December 2016 with three final gifts.


DC folks: get out and about this weekend and check out the latest murals around the city.

– Rebekah

The 2012 Election Edition [News, 11.6.12]

“It seems like this race just started yesterday,” said absolutely nobody. The finish line is finally in sight, and we’ve learned quite a bit over the last few weeks from some very effective advertising – Mitt Romney is evil, Barack Obama is evil, Tim Kaine is evil, George Allen is evil, and Question 7 on gambling in Maryland is all about…education funding?

More seriously though, on the off-chance that you haven’t decided on a presidential candidate, here’s a thorough breakdown of Where the 2012 Presidential Candidates Stand on Key Nonprofit Issues. (Chronicle, 9/7)

These are the final pitches from both candidates, from CNN:
Mitt Romney: My vision for America
President Barack Obama: My vision for America

And here are the endorsements from some local media for both national and local candidates. Keep in mind that local elections can have a really big impact:
Washington Post
Greater Greater Washington: District, Maryland, Virginia
City Paper
Maryland Gazette
Washington Grantmakers Daily

DEMOCRACY | The Community Foundation for the National Capital Region’s Terri Lee Freeman, who serves as WRAG’s board chair, found special meaning when she went to the polls this year. As a Maryland voter, she realized that her neighbors in D.C. would have a substantially different democratic experience (CFNCR, 11/6):

I began to ask myself, ‘how would I feel about voting if in fact I knew my vote didn’t count in the legislative process?’ How would I feel if I stood in line for 90 minutes to participate in my civic duty, knowing my selected congressional representative’s voice could be marginalized by the voices from other states in the union? I wondered how must the folks standing in the long lines in the District of Columbia feel casting their vote, and recognizing that the votes of those in Ohio may actually have more bearing on their local autonomy than the voice of their very own Congresswoman.

ARTS | The winners of the 10th anniversary Trawick Prize for contemporary art have been announced. The competition was founded in 2003 by Carol Trawick of the Jim and Carol Trawick Foundation. (Patch, 11/6)

WORKFORCE | Young workers’ retirement hopes grow bleaker amid economic downturn (WaPo, 11/6):

“We have a looming retirement-income crisis in this country,” said Diane Oakley, executive director of the National Institute on Retirement Security. “The problem is we won’t see the ultimate brunt of it until 30 years down the road when it is too late to do something about it.”

TRANSIT | Apparently, Metro doesn’t understand how Daylight Savings works. After promising to stay open an hour late to accommodate the clock rollback last weekend, the system closed early with no explanation and stranded tons of people. (WaPo, 11/6)


So, let’s start talking about 2016. I predict that…just kidding. I hope you all are exercising your democratic rights today. Just looking at the turmoil around the world in the past year should make each one of us appreciate the stability, even in its deep imperfection, of the United States of America.

Here’s hoping that regardless of who wins, the next four years will be better than the last. And, here’s hoping that the stark divide that is currently splitting us in half will erode quickly.

– Christian