Tag: environmental justice

DC residents are raising concerns about pollution from new developments

ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE | As new developments come to their community in Southwest DC, residents have raised concerns about the pollution they bring. Residents want city officials to redouble their enforcement efforts, plant more grass and trees in the neighborhood and put up more air-quality monitors. (WaPo, 5/6)

Usually when new development encroaches on low-income communities, residents worry most about being squeezed out by rising costs. In Syphax Gardens [a public housing complex in the neighborhood], a more pressing concern is being choked out by dust.

“Some days, it’s like living in a desert storm,” said Rhonda Hamilton, who lives in Syphax Gardens and serves as a D.C. advisory neighborhood commissioner, representing about 2,000 residents in the area. “Our elderly residents complain about burning in their eyes and lungs; children with asthma are having more flare-ups. People start coughing and can’t catch their breath. It’s very scary.”

– Vu Le, Nonprofit AF blogger, discusses why he believes the concept of fairness is the antithesis of justice and why the philanthropic community should have the courage to be “unfair.” (NAF, 4/29)

– A new book documents the growing influence of public-private partnerships with local governments. (Chronicle, 5/7 – Subscription needed)

Related: In October, WRAG is hosting a “Brightest Minds” program featuring business and philanthropy leaders from Northeast Ohio, who will explain how they have partnered to grow their regional economy. This program is open to the public. Details here.

WORKFORCELoudoun Co. to study, develop family leave options for county employees (WTOP, 5/7)

EDUCATION | Maryland Governor Larry Hogan plans to sign a bill that will cover tuition costs at community colleges for qualifying residents. (WaPo, 5/4)

GENDER GAP | The economy has mostly recovered from the 2008 recession, but for some households, especially those headed by low-income, single women, it still hasn’t. (Yes! Magazine, 4/30)

TECHNOLOGYCreating A Space For D.C.’s Black Programmers And Innovators In A Digital Divide (WAMU, 5/4)

Here’s something to make you smile on this Monday: Happy (belated) Teacher’s Appreciation Week!

Happy Teachers Week to someone who lied about how much I'd use Algebra.

Do you want to be involved? Send us a picture of something that has made you smile and we may include it in the “Daily WRAG’s Monday Smile”!

Email us your content at allen@washingtongrantmakers.org.

– Kendra



Maryland study estimates Amazon would add $17 billion to the state’s economy

ECONOMY | Maryland’s Department of Commerce has released a study estimating the economic impact on the state if Amazon chose to locate its second headquarters there. The study found it would contribute $17 billion to the economy and add $7.7 billion in wages. (Bethesda Beat, 2/28)

The study determined the ancillary effects of Amazon would result in about 101,000 total jobs and produce about $280 million in additional annual county tax receipts and $483 million in annual state tax receipts.

“Amazon’s HQ2 is the greatest economic development opportunity in a generation, and this study confirms just how transformative this project could be for Maryland,” Gov. Larry Hogan said in a statement about the study. “From the construction phase, to when the headquarters is fully operation, Maryland would reap unprecedented benefits.”

– Local activists and a DC councilmember are concerned the mayor’s proposal that attempts to stop legal challenges to new developments will harm low-income residents and lead to more gentrification. (WaPo, 2/8)

– A local journalist looks into the recent fight about the volume of street performers and others in Chinatown. (Washingtonian, 3/1)

TAX REFORMMost D.C. Residents Will See Lower Taxes Overall From GOP Tax Law (WAMU, 2/27)

VETERANS | Maryland Senator Chris Van Hollen has formally requested a review of the Washington DC Veteran Affairs Medical Center. (NBC4, 3/1)

GIVING | A new study found that individual donors giving through donor-advised funds give more to education and less to religion. (Chronicle, 2/28 – Subscription needed)

ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE | The Environmental Protection Agency released a report that found people of color are much more likely to live near polluters and breathe polluted air. (Atlantic, 2/8)

RACISMKKK lawyer warns Loudoun Co. against blocking constitutional rights (WTOP, 3/1)

You can now take a water taxi from the Wharf to National Harbor.

– Kendra

United Medical Center decides not to reopen its nursery and delivery rooms

– Recently, maternal care services for low-income women of color in the District’s wards 5,7, and 8 have become almost inaccessible due to hospital unit closings and other rule changes. Now United Medical Center, the first hospital that was forced to close its maternal ward, has voted to permanently close it. (WaPo, 12/13)

D.C. Council member Vincent C. Gray (D-Ward 7), chairman of the council’s health committee, said the board’s action “sends a powerfully negative message” to the poor and predominantly African American residents of Southeast Washington.

“It says that in terms of the allocation and equity of services, the people on the East End of the city are seen as not sufficiently worthy to have available to them one of the most important services a population can have,” Gray said, adding that he hoped to re-examine the board’s decision in a public hearing.

– Maryland residents will now have until December 22 to sign up for health care after the state extended the deadline yesterday. (Baltimore Sun, 12/13)

– Vu Le, Nonprofit AF blogger, responds to Kathleen Enright’s, CEO of Grantmakers for Effective Organizations, recent article on the need to change philanthropy’s definition of effectiveness. (NAF, 12/11)

– Differing views on donor-advised funds are coming from the philanthropic sector. (Atlantic, 12/13)

IMMIGRATIONIn the face of fear and xenophobia, D.C. agencies and nonprofits reach out to homeless immigrants (Street Sense, 12/13)

ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE | A new study has found that mothers who live near fracking wells are more likely to give birth to infants with a low birth weight. (Atlantic, 12/13)

TECHNOLOGY | The Federal Communications Commission will vote today to end net neutrality, which are rules requiring internet service providers to treat all traffic equally. (NBC News, 12/14)

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Just some weird black and white photos here.

– Kendra

A new publication explores the demographics of America’s working class

WORKFORCE | The Center for American Progress has released a brief using data from the last 75 years on the educational attainment, gender, race, and industry of American workers ages 18 and older to analyze the composition of the US working class. It found that women and people of color make up a larger portion of this sector. (CityLab, 12/11)

The report concludes: The struggles of the working class will not be solved by states’ piecemeal efforts to open new factories by luring companies with tax incentives. Nor will they be solved through presidential pressure to delay a plant’s outsourcing by another year. Instead, policymakers need a broader, bolder policy vision—one that puts the government firmly on the side of workers and their families. Laws should make it easier for these workers to join together in unions, as past and current union organizing has contributed greatly to the increase in the quality of industrial jobs.

RACIAL EQUITY/WRAG | WRAG is excited to announce we are partnering with Leadership Greater Washington to expand the regional, cross-sector network of philanthropic, nonprofit, and civic leaders who understand racism and are committed to working for racial justice. With our new learning series, Expanding the Table for Racial Equity, we hope to grow the network of people committed to promoting and working together for racial equity in the Greater Washington region. (Daily, 12/13)

HEALTH | Montgomery County is planning to file a lawsuit against prescription opioid manufacturers and distributors due to false marketing that described the drug as nonaddictive. (Bethesda Beat, 12/12)

PUBLIC SAFETYMaryland lawmakers to track sexual harassment claims — but not reveal offenders (WaPo, 12/12)

ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE | Opponents of a planned gas pipeline in Virginia claim a small victory after the State Water Control Board delays construction date until several environmental impact reports are completed. (WaPo, 12/12)

– Maryland and Virginia’s plans to improve schools need to be reworked, according to a group of education policy experts. (WTOP, 12/12)

– Will other states follow in California’s footsteps to highlight the contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals to the development of the US in their textbooks? (Atlantic, 12/12)

NONPROFITS | How organizations can raise more money by asking donors to increase their gifts at a delayed date. (Bloomberg View, 12/11)

Help us improve the Daily WRAG!

Thanks to everyone who has filled out our short survey! This is just a friendly reminder to everyone else, please let us know your thoughts on the Daily here.

So far I’ve seen the movie trailer for Scarecrow, a dancing disco duck and a cricket singing about lighters. It seems like the 70s were…something. Discover (or reminisce) about 1970s television here. (Tip: Just hit the power button on the remote)

– Kendra

How Children’s National Medical Center is helping the region’s children with asthma

CHILDREN/ HEALTH | More than 30,000 children in the Greater Washington region have asthma, and the number is expected to grow as climate change continues. Children’s National Medical Center is looking at ways to help these children, who are mostly low-income and children of color, manage their disease. (WAMU, 12/4)

According to Dr. Stephen Teach [chair of the department of pediatrics at Children’s National Medical Center], children with asthma in the D.C. area make somewhere between 7,000 and 8,000 emergency department visits per year to Children’s National alone.

Teach said that the 30,000 children in the D.C. area who struggle with asthma on a daily basis “tend to be concentrated in the most disadvantaged parts of Montgomery County, Prince George’s County and Washington, D.C., itself.”

And there’s another cost to families due to the respiratory disease. Chronic asthma leads to missed school days.

CLIMATE CHANGE | Yesterday, the Montgomery County Council declared a “climate emergency,” approving a resolution to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent 2027 and 100 percent by 2035 – one of the first jurisdictions in the country to do so. (WaPo, 12/5)

EDUCATIONEconomic disparities to exist after Arlington middle-school redistricting (InsideNOVA, 12/5)

HOMELESS SHELTERS | The DC Council has approved stricter shelter eligibility rules in an effort to ensure that the city’s shelters are used by DC residents. Many advocates believe this move will make it harder for people to prove they need shelter. (WaPo, 12/5)

AFFORDABLE HOUSINGHow Congress’s Tax Plans Could Kill a Million Affordable Homes in a Decade (Citylab, 12/4)

PUBLIC SAFETY | A DC police review board has ruled that the 2016 shooting of Terrence Sterling, an unarmed black motorcyclist, by a DC police officer has been ruled “unjustified.” The board also recommended that the officer be terminated. (WTOP, 12/5)

DISCRIMINATION | According to an NPR survey, there’s a gap between immigrant and non-immigrant Asian-Americans in the US reporting discrimination experiences, including violence and harassment. (NPR, 12/6)

POVERTY | Heather Reynolds, chief executive of Catholic Charities Fort Worth, discusses how her organization is working directly with families to help lift them out of poverty. (Chronicle, 12/5)

Help your stickperson survive!

– Kendra

This DC high school is struggling to prepare students for college

EDUCATION | Low-income students in the District can face many barriers to attending school regularly, including hunger and other factors arising from poverty, so it’s important for their school to offer supportive services to help them succeed. An NPR and WAMU investigation has found that last year Ballou High School graduated a large number of students that were chronically absent and possibly not prepared for college. (WAMU, 11/28)

An investigation by WAMU and NPR has found that Ballou High School’s administration graduated dozens of students despite high rates of unexcused absences. WAMU and NPR reviewed hundreds of pages of Ballou’s attendance records, class rosters and emails after a DCPS employee shared the private documents. The documents showed that half of the graduates missed more than three months of school last year, unexcused. One in five students was absent more than present — missing more than 90 days of school.

According to DCPS policy, if a student misses a class 30 times, he should fail that course. Research shows that missing 10 percent of school, about two days per month, can negatively affect test scores, reduce academic growth and increase the chances a student will drop out.

– Next month the Arlington County Board will vote to create “Housing Conservation Districts” to protect affordable housing in certain counties. (Arlnow, 11/28)

Montgomery, Prince George’s reach deal to preserve affordable housing along Purple Line (WaPo, 11/28)

WORKFORCE | DC has allocated more funding to apprenticeships in hopes that residents will take advantage of the program. (WaPo, 11/28)

PHILANTHROPY | Anthony Williams, former mayor of DC and chief executive officer of the Federal City Council, discusses how philanthropy and city officials can work together to ensure that funds are given to those who need it most. (Citylab, 11/28)

CRIMINAL JUSTICEJustice from Within: The Death Penalty and a New Vision for Criminal Justice through a Racial Justice Lens (NPQ, 11/28)

DISCRIMINATION | There has been an increase in anti-Muslim assaults since 2015 and 23 percent of Muslim adults in the US see discrimination, racism or prejudice as the most important problem facing them today. (Pew Research Center, 11/15)

ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICENortheast DC residents concerned about sharing the air with neighboring construction dumping site (FOX 5 DC, 11/27)

How many spiders do you think you’ve eaten in your lifetime?

– Kendra

Bringing District inmates closer to home

– A 1997 bill, intended to address the District’s financial crisis, took some responsibilities from the city, including management of its prison population. Since then, residents with long-term sentences are forced to go to prisons far from home. Advocates and returning citizens want to change this practice. (WAMU, 8/10)

Advocacy groups, former prisoners and some families say that arrangement, born of financial necessity and political compromise two decades ago during D.C.’s fiscal crisis, needs to be revisited. When D.C. prisoners are held in facilities hundreds of miles from home, they say, rehabilitation and re-entry become more challenging, only fueling the recidivism that ensures that many of those prisoners will simply end up back in federal custody.

“We do not have any kind of direct control or input over our own fellow residents,” says Tara Libert, founder of the Free Minds Book Club, a group that works with D.C. residents in and out of prison. “And that, to me, is not democracy.”

– The growing trend of replacing in-person visits to prisons with video technology may be harmful to poor families who can’t pay for the service. (Atlantic, 8/10)

ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE | A local nonprofit discusses how communities of color are still being disrupted at the benefit of local governments. (HAT Blog, 8/8)

VIRGINIA | White supremacists and nationalists are rallying in Charlottesville, for a second time, this weekend to protest the removal of the Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee statue. (WaPo, 8/10)

PHILANTHROPY| Friendship Place, a District nonprofit that fights homelessness, is getting a major donation from Amazon at the end of the year. (WBJ, 8/10 – Subscription needed)

Social Sector Job Openings 

Community Affairs Associate (Community Relations Associate Consultant) | Wells Fargo – New!
Business Development Director | Center for Disaster Philanthropy – New!
Program Coordinator | Exponent Philanthropy
Operations Associate | ACT for Alexandria
Membership & Marketing Associate | Exponent Philanthropy
Membership Manager | Exponent Philanthropy
Management Associate | Public Welfare Foundation
Executive Director | Agua Fund
Database Assistant | Greater Washington Community Foundation
Senior Administrative Assistant/Foundation Coordinator | The Richard E. and Nancy P. Marriott Foundation, the Nancy Peery Marriott Foundation and the Marriott Daughters Foundation
Program Officer | The Diane & Bruce Halle Foundation
Development Coordinator | Girls on the Run – DC

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.

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Happy birthday Hip Hop! Celebrate with Google’s cool doodle or listen to the voice that made me fall in love with the music.

– Kendra