Tag: equity

Voting rights could be restored for incarcerated prisoners in the District

VOTING RIGHTS | Lawmakers in the District are seeking to make the nation’s capital the first jurisdiction to restore voting rights to incarcerated prisoners, with plans to introduce legislation Tuesday to repeal language in a 1955 law that disenfranchises DC residents upon felony convictions. (WaPo, 6/3)

The District has some of lowest restrictions on felons voting, where their voting rights are automatically restored when they are released from prison, and election officials visit the DC jail to help non-felons cast absentee ballots … “Unfortunately in the District and across the country, incarcerated people make up a sizable population of residents,” said Council member Robert C. White Jr., who is introducing the legislation … “They don’t lose their citizenship when they are incarcerated, so they shouldn’t lose their right to vote.” White’s bill thrusts the District to the vanguard of the felon enfranchisement movement, and believes that the discussion around criminal voting restrictions should focus on the racist motivations of the laws and how they disproportionately disenfranchise African Americans.

CENSUS 2020Deceased GOP Strategist’s Hard Drives Reveal New Details on the Census Citizenship Question (NYT, 5/30)

Related: Vanita Gupta, president & CEO of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, issued this statement in response to the New York Times’ revelation. Gupta is the keynote speaker at Thursday’s Interventions that Work: Census 2020 & Hard-to-Count Communities forum, co-convened by WRAG and 14 partner organizations to elevate strategies for a complete and accurate 2020 Census.

COMMUNITY | Last year WRAG launched the Journalism Fellows Project to share our platform with youth of color in this region who are often written about, but are rarely asked their perspectives on the issues facing their communities and families. In today’s edition, we hear from Thomas Kent, 2019 graduate of Richard Wright Public Charter School in DC, about the impact of violence in his neighborhood. (Daily, 6/4)

AFFORDABLE HOUSING | A new audit reveals that DC Mayor Bowser has awarded at least five housing projects to developers with low-ranked proposals. The move cost the city 353 affordable housing units, and raises questions about the process. (WaPo, 5/30)

WORKFORCE/EQUITY | Emergency legislation at the DC Council would prevent employment discrimination against city workers in the medical marijuana program. (dcist, 5/31)

NONPROFITS | New Pilot Program is Bringing Books to a Barbershop on Lee Highway (ARLnow, 5/28)

ENVIRONMENT | According to a just-published list put out each year by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the Tidal Basin is among the 11 most endangered historic places in 2019. (WAMU, 5/30)

CHILDREN & FAMILIES | What Makes A City Child-Friendly? (WAMU, 5/31)

PHILANTHROPY | The Kids Are Alright: Millennials Reluctant to Give, But Donate Generously When They Do (Inside Philanthropy, 5/30)


It’s 3 am – do you know what your iPhone is doing? Yikes!

The (Almost) Daily WRAG will be back on Wednesday and Friday!

– Buffy

Maryland to provide health insurance enrollment on tax forms

HEALTHCARE | Maryland is now the first state to let residents sign up for the state’s health insurance program when they file their taxes. Gov. Larry Hogan signed a bill Monday that allows residents to opt into health insurance by checking a box on their tax forms starting in 2020. (WAMU, 5/13)

The bill — which received bipartisan support in both chambers — will also increase spending on the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange by $1.2 million. Marylanders who don’t have insurance when they file their taxes can either pay a $695 penalty or put it towards enrolling in the lowest-cost insurance policy available. Should all go as planned during the 2020 tax season, Maryland could reduce its uninsured rate from 6.1 to 4.1 percent …  “we think this can be a model for the whole country” says Vinny DeMarco of the Maryland Citizens’ Health Initiative.

EDUCATION | Prince George’s County Interim Schools Chief Monica Goldson plans to give school employees $46.5 million in raises they missed in the aftermath of the recession. (WaPo, 5/14)

JUSTICE | A group of local activists bailed out Black moms incarcerated in Maryland and Virginia ahead of Mother’s Day, joining an annual nationwide campaign led by the National Bail Out collective, which aims to draw attention to issues of incarceration and cash bail. (WAMU, 5/10)

EQUITY/DC | The 11th Street Bridge Project has developed this short film about their approach to equitable development.

CHILDCARE | Some DC Lawmakers Are Asking If Every Family Should Get A Child Care Tax Credit (WAMU, 5/9)

GENTRIFICATION | Almost 3,000 people attended a block party protest in Shaw in response to the threats to Black DC culture posed by gentrification. (AfroPunk, 5/8)

TRANSPORTATION | Discussions continue over keeping the Circulator bus system free and who it benefits. (WaPo, 5/12)

HOUSING Montgomery County is aging, especially with younger seniors (GGWash, 5/7)

GUN VIOLENCE | Johns Hopkins University is aiming to capitalize on the student-led gun safety movement by offering a free online course to teach strategies to curb gun violence. (NPR, 5/13)

PHILANTHROPY | Giving Done Right: Effective Data For Philanthropy (Wesleyan University Magazine, 4/29)


Wow – at some point, there may be a car-free trail from DC to the Pacific Ocean.

The (Almost) Daily WRAG will be back on Wednesday and Friday!

– Buffy

Pay Equity Act in Montgomery County is aimed at reducing gender pay disparities

GENDER/EQUITY | New legislation introduced in Montgomery County is aimed at reducing pay disparities between male and female county employees. County Council Member Evan Glass’s “Pay Equity” act will prohibit county government employers from basing salary offers on applicants’ past earnings, and will require the county executive’s office to assess gender pay equity within county government every two years. (WAMU, 5/7)

Women in Maryland typically earn 86 cents for every dollar earned by men, according to the National Women’s Law Center, which supports barring employers from asking job candidates about their salary history. Black and Latina women face even larger disparities across the state.  “Since wages for women generally lag behind wages for men, and wages for women of color lag even further behind wages of white men, basing a starting salary on a person’s current salary is likely to result in an adverse impact on the future wages of women employees,” says a county memorandum.

TRANSIT
– A just-released study highlights recommendations for transforming the Greater Washington region’s bus network into a better system that works when, where, and how customers need it. (WaPo, 5/6)

– The District is looking into adding tolls and implementing decongestion pricing to address traffic concerns. (WTOP, 5/2)

EDUCATION | Can DC’s public schools survive the coming enrollment surge? (GGWash, 5/2)

HOUSING
– Amazon says that its presence in the Washington region won’t cause housing costs to spike like they did in Seattle due to better planning. (WaPo, 5/3)

– Newly Enforced DCHA Policy Prematurely Cuts Families Off From Rental Assistance, Housing Attorneys Say (WCP, 5/1)

WORKFORCE | The DC Fiscal Policy Institute highlights the history of May Day and the fight for workers’ rights in the District. (DCFPI, 5/1)

SHUTDOWN | The shutdown may be over, but contractors continue to suffer from it. (WBJ, 5/6)

CLIMATE/ENVIRONMENT | According to a new United Nations report, up to 1 million plant and animal species are on the verge of extinction, and humans will suffer. (WaPo, 5/6)

PHILANTHROPY | How Philanthropy Can Preserve Press Freedom (Chronicle, 4/29)


Yay and yum – Chesapeake Bay blue crabs are at their most plentiful in seven years.

The (Almost) Daily WRAG will be back on Wednesday and Thursday!

– Buffy

New research shows how a citizenship question would suppress the census count

CENSUS 2020
– Tomorrow the Supreme Court will hear arguments regarding the attempt to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census. The Court will consider whether the administration violated administrative law and the Constitution in adding the question to the census. (WaPo, 4/22)

A crucial issue in the case is whether adding this question for the first time since 1950 will hurt the ability of the census to accurately count the American population. In particular, critics of the administration fear the question will dissuade some US residents, especially immigrants, from answering the census. Research suggests these fears are justified. Surveys and experiments show that the citizenship question would make people less likely to respond to the census and provide complete information if they do respond. This is particularly true for Latinos and immigrants.

Opinion: A C.E.O.’s Plea: Don’t Mess With the Census (NYT, 4/22)

RACIAL EQUITY/EDUCATION
– Federal officials are investigating a complaint that alleged that Montgomery County schools discriminated against Asian American students while seeking to address racial disparities in two middle school magnet programs. (WaPo, 4/21)

Opinion: Georgetown students have voted in favor of reparations. Will America? (WaPo, 4/21)

CLIMATE | Schools aren’t teaching students about climate change, and a majority of parents, regardless of political background, wish they would. (NPR, 4/22)

CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORM | Criminal justice reform advocates are alarmed by a proposed new federal hiring requirement that would throw up a potential roadblock for those accused of misdemeanors or low-level felonies. (WaPo, 4/21)

HOUSING/EQUITY | District residents who live in federally-assisted housing can be evicted for marijuana use even though it is now legal in DC – but a new bill may change that. (dcist, 4/19)

TRANSPORTATION | The Greater Washington region is one step closer to the development of a 35-mile underground tunnel that would take electric vehicles from DC to Baltimore in 15 minutes. (WAMU, 4/18)


Happy Earth Day! Here’s a few things going on to celebrate.

The (Almost) Daily WRAG will be back on Wednesday, and Friday!

– Buffy

Thousands of families in the District could be moved out of public housing for urgent repairs

HOUSING | Years of neglect in the District has led to a crisis in public housing and the DC Housing Authority has asked local government to step in and help the agency pay for repairs. In testimony before the DC Council last week, Housing Authority director Tyrone Garrett said thousands of families in the District could be moved out of public housing to allow for urgent repairs to be made. (WAMU, 4/12)

The agency said 2,610 of its “extremely urgent” units need attention before the end of this year and an additional 4,445 units of its approximately 8,000-unit portfolio are in “critical condition,” – which means the vast majority of DC’s public housing is in serious disrepair. Garrett said the Housing Authority would need $2.2 billion over the next 17 years to get all of DC’s public housing back in good shape — and $343 million is required in the next fiscal year just to address lead and environmental hazards in the city’s most unsafe units.

EDUCATION
– In honor of 15 years, PNC Financial Services Group has made an additional $150 million pledge to PNC Grow Up Great, its program to expand access to high-quality early learning for young children in 40 communities.

– They believe more students should attend neighborhood schools. But what happens when it’s their child? (WaPo, 4/13)

ARTS/CULTURE | In the New Haven, CT, neighborhood of Dixwell, a once-thriving historic African-American neighborhood, Titus Kaphar – last year’s WRAG Annual Meeting keynote speaker – found a home for himself, and he’s creating a center there to nurture emerging artists. (NYT, 4/12)

GUN VIOLENCE | What Are Maryland Schools Doing To Prevent Gun Violence? (Kojo Nnamdi Show, 4/15)

RACIAL JUSTICE 
– Nikki Highsmith Vernick, President and CEO of the Horizon Foundation, writes in a Letter to the Editor that philanthropists should tackle racial justice. (Baltimore Sun, 4/11)

– A new documentary, Segregated By Design, examines the forgotten history of how our federal, state and local governments unconstitutionally segregated every major metropolitan area in America through law and policy. The film is based on The Color of Law, by Richard Rothstein (another past WRAG annual meeting speaker).

How Parole Perpetuates a Cycle of Incarceration and Instability (Truthout, 4/7)


Never give up – it’s all about the come back. Congrats, Tiger.

The (Almost) Daily WRAG will be back on Wednesday and Thursday!

– Buffy

Review finds hundreds of Fairfax students with special needs secluded and restrained

EDUCATION/DISABILITY RIGHTS | Fairfax County Public Schools officials have reported thousands of incidents of students with special needs being isolated or physically restrained. The preliminary findings of a recent review found 1,679 incidents affecting 203 students in the 2017-18 school year. (WAMU, 4/3)

Nationally, the available federal data shows that the use of seclusion and restraint is rare, but students with disabilities disproportionately experiencing the majority of cases. In Fairfax, district guidelines prohibit seclusion “unless there is a dangerous situation and seclusion/restraint is necessary to protect the student or another person or persons” …  “The board is confronting a problematic history here where there is an appearance that things have been swept under the rug,” said at-large school board member Ryan McElveen … “We are not going to move forward without a full investigation. This board is going to get to the bottom as to why this has occurred.”

IMMIGRATION/EQUITY | Tatiana Torres, a CSR regional director, shares her story about growing up undocumented on the Consumer Health Foundation blog. (CHF, 4/3)

HOUSING | A Maryland General Assembly bill that would have required landlords to give a reason for evicting a tenant was voted down. (Bethesda Magazine, 3/29)

DISTRICT | A bill has been introduced to the DC Council to build eight new statues, one in each ward, of accomplished women and people of color who were born and raised in DC. (WAMU, 4/2)

PHILANTHROPY/EQUITY | Opinion: Real Equity Means Including People With Disabilities in Philanthropy (Chronicle, 4/1)

WORKFORCE/EQUALITY | America has stalled on equal pay, and women of color face the biggest gap. (Vox, 4/2)

ENVIRONMENT | The Tidal Basin is deteriorating because of climate change and tourism. (WaPo, 4/3)

HEALTH | Maryland legislature agrees to raise minimum smoking age to 21 (WaPo, 4/3)


Remembering Marvin Gaye 35 years after his death.

The (Almost) Daily WRAG will be back on Friday!

– Buffy

Loudoun County NAACP calls for investigation into specialized school’s admissions process

EDUCATION
– The Loudoun County NAACP is asking the Loudoun County Public School System to investigate the Academies of Loudoun admissions process because of the small percentage of black students accepted into the specialized schools, which house science, technology, engineering and career and vocational tech programs. (Loudoun Times-Mirror, 3/25)

In 2018, 2,116 students applied to attend the Academies of Loudoun, including 65 black students. Only one black student was accepted along with two American Indian and Pacific Islander students, rounding out the three lowest ethnic groups admitted. Asian and white students make up the top two ethnicity groups accepted “…it is incumbent upon the NAACP Loudoun Branch to investigate the denial of access to challenge curriculum and education to LCPS African-American students and find the root cause of this educational disparity and injustice” said Loudoun County NAACP President Pastor Michelle Thomas in a letter to LCPS Superintendent Eric Williams.

– A state audit of the Prince George’s County public school system shows problems with more than $75 million in contracts. (WaPo, 3/27)

– According to a report from EdBuild, public school children in cities receive less money than those in rural or suburban schools, and it is worse in districts that serve mostly children of color. (CityLab, 3/27)

HEALTH
Can DC speed up construction of a new hospital? It’s complicated.  (WBJ, 3/28)

– A University of Wisconsin study has found that Loudoun is Virginia’s healthiest county, followed by Arlington. (ARLNow, 3/27)

Related: While Northern Virginia overall may be a very healthy place, recent studies, such as the VCU Center on Society and Health’s Uneven Opportunities report that look at neighborhood and census-tract level data, reveal deep health inequities.

ENVIRONMENT | Pay-as-you-throw trash program suggested in Montgomery County (WTOP, 3/28)

GENDER/EQUITY | The House just passed a bill to close the gender pay gap (Vox, 3/27)

MARYLAND
– Maryland could become first state to cap prescription drug costs. (WAMU, 3/27)

– Maryland’s General Assembly has cleared the way to raise the state’s minimum wage to $15 by 2026. Some business owners say they’ll be forced to slash jobs or benefits. (WAMU, 3/28)

NONPROFITS | Retooling Recycling and Saving the Earth: A Practice Advisory for all Nonprofits (NPQ, 3/26)

PHILANTHROPY | Venture Capital Overlooks Women and Minorities; Philanthropy Should Step In, Study Says – Subscription (Chronicle, 3/26)


Social Sector Job Openings 

Program Coordinator | TGR Foundation – A Tiger Woods Charity – New!
Individual Giving Manager | Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company – New!
President and CEO | Grantmakers for Effective Organizations – New!
Grants Program Specialist | Jack and Jill Foundation
Program Manager | Weissberg Foundation
Director of Development Partnerships – New England | League of Conservation Voters
Senior Program Officer | Potomac Health Foundation
Grants Management Associate | Wellspring Philanthropic Fund
Program Manager | DC127
Development Manager  | DC127
Corporate Responsibility- Mid-Atlantic Region, Vice President | JPMorgan Chase
Development Communications Manager | PeerForward
Communications and Development Specialist | Grantmakers In Health
Programs Officer | DC Bar Foundation

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.


Community Calendar

To add an event to WRAG’s community calendar, email Rebekah Seder. Click here to view the community calendar.


It’s opening day at Nationals Park – play ball!

The (Almost) Daily WRAG will be back on Monday, Thursday, and Friday next week!

– Buffy

Study finds over 20,000 Black DC residents displaced between 2000 and 2013

HOUSING/RACIAL EQUITY
– According to a just-released study by the National Community Reinvestment Coalition, approximately 40 percent of the District’s lower-income neighborhoods experienced gentrification between 2000 and 2013. The city also saw the most African American residents displaced from their neighborhoods during that time, giving DC the greatest “intensity of gentrification” of any city in the country. (WaPo, 3/19)

More than 20,000 residents were displaced from their neighborhoods by mostly affluent, white newcomers, which is part of the intensity ranking, where “you feel it and you see it,” said Jesse Van Tol, chief executive of the NCRC, a research and advocacy coalition of 600 community organizations that promote economic and racial justice. “It’s the visibility and the pace of it.”

– DC families living in public housing face ongoing health issues. (CP, 3/20)

HOMELESSNESS | Victims of domestic violence are particularly vulnerable to homelessness. (WaPo, 3/30)

VIRGINIA | Opinion: Don’t underestimate Amazon HQ2’s importance (WBJ, 3/21)

CHILD CARE | Mayor Bowser has proposed building three new early education centers for kids aged four, which could create more than 500 new openings. (WAMU, 3/21)

GENDER/EQUITY | The National Museum of Women in the Arts will host its annual Art+Feminism edit-a-thon to improve Wikipedia entries about notable women artists to help improve the site’s gender imbalance. (WAMU, 3/22)

EDUCATION | This school in the District had a high pregnancy rate, so it opened a day care for students, which helped to decrease pregnancies and increase its graduation rate. (EdSurge, 3/15)

COMMUNITY | The Greater Washington Good Business Awards ​ is accepting applications through Friday, April 5.

PHILANTHROPY/RACE | The recently released study, Women Give 2019: Gender and Giving Across Communities of Color, found that race has little impact on giving. (Chronicle, 3/19 – Subscription)


Social Sector Job Openings 

Grants Program Specialist | Jack and Jill Foundation – New!
Program Manager | Weissberg Foundation – New!
Director of Development Partnerships – New England | League of Conservation Voters – New!
Senior Program Officer | Potomac Health Foundation
Grants Management Associate | Wellspring Philanthropic Fund
Program Manager | DC127
Development Manager  | DC127
Corporate Responsibility- Mid-Atlantic Region, Vice President | JPMorgan Chase
Northern Virginia Community Affairs Liaison | CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield
USPSC Senior Contracts and Grants Specialist | USAID’s Office of Food for Peace
Development Communications Manager | PeerForward
Communications and Development Specialist | Grantmakers In Health
Individual Giving Manager | National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health
Development Manager | American Society of Landscape Architects
Programs Officer | DC Bar Foundation

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.


Community Calendar

To add an event to WRAG’s community calendar, email Rebekah Seder. Click here to view the community calendar.


How is your March Madness bracket looking this morning? Catch all the fun today online!

The (Almost) Daily WRAG will be back on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday next week!

– Buffy

Housing Leaders Group of Greater Washington launches initiative to secure $1 billion toward affordable housing

HOUSING | The Housing Leaders Group of Greater Washington, which WRAG co-convenes along with Enterprise Community Partners, Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, the Greater Washington Community Foundation, and Citi Community Development, has announced the Capital Region Housing Challenge. The initiative encourages employers, anchor institutions, philanthropy, private investors, and local and state governments to commit by the end of 2020 at least $500 million in new private capital and $500 million in new public funds toward affordable apartments and home ownership.

“The Capital Region Housing Challenge is a down payment toward the investments needed to truly solve the region’s housing needs, especially for lower income residents,” said David Bowers, Enterprise Community Partners Vice President and Mid Atlantic Market Leader and HLG Co‐Convener. “By working in partnership with other regional efforts and stakeholders, we are committed to promote the value of, and opportunities to, invest $1 billion in new capital by the end of 2020.”

WRAG’s vice president Gretchen Greiner-Lott says, “WRAG is excited to support the Housing Leaders Group and this Capital Regional Housing Challenge. We trust this challenge will encourage and energize everyone to plug in where they can to support housing affordability across the region.”

Click here to read a fact sheet about the Capital Region Housing Challenge.

WRAG | After 11.5 years at WRAG, today is Katy Moore’s last day at the organization. In her final blog post, she reflects back on her career thus far in philanthropy, what she’s learned, and where she sees the field heading in the future. (Daily, 3/20)

DISABILITY RIGHTS | The Smithsonian Debuts New Accessibility Technology For Blind and Low-Vision Patrons (CP, 3/15)

WORKFORCE | JPMorgan Chase is investing $350 million to get workers ready for the future (CNN, 3/19)

REGION | New consortium sets vision for Washington region to be national leader in finding digital solutions to problems (WaPo, 3/19)

POVERTY | Millennial women are more likely than GenXers to live below the poverty line. The newly released report, CLIPPED WINGS, reveals the current economic reality for millennial women and the primary drivers contributing to the wealth inequities they experience. (Asset Funders Network, 3/19)

EDUCATION | Fairfax County Public Schools are launching “a complete and thorough evaluation and review” into their seclusion and restraint practices following the revelation of hundreds of unreported cases. (WAMU, 3/15)

COMMUNITY | Kim R. Ford has been named the new CEO of Martha’s Table. (WBJ, 3/18)

PHILANTHROPY | Behind a $25 Million Plan to Elevate Women in STEM and Use their Stories to Inspire Girls (Inside Philanthropy, 3/15)


It’s the first day of Spring and the first day of the Cherry Blossom Festival!

The (Almost) Daily WRAG will be back on Friday!

– Buffy

Equitable development planning and the importance of historical context

EQUITY/PLANNING |  In a recent report on the 11th Street Bridge Park in the District, the authors, Mary Bogle, Somala Diby and Mychal Cohen chose to open it with a focus on community history and economic development in and around Wards 7 and 8 rather than the data about homes purchased, local small businesses assisted, construction worker trainees placed, or pounds of fruit and vegetables harvested. (Next City, 3/7)

Those are the wards with the highest poverty rates and highest percentage of black residents in the District, and compared with Ward 6 on the other side of the future Bridge Park, dramatically lower rates of higher education, and much higher rent burdens. “It’s difficult to talk about achieving equity in the present day without taking a nod to the way that structural racism has manifested,” says Diby. “We can talk really generally about how structural racism manifests in space, but to lay it out explicitly, to show how this is not accidental, there’s a reason why this part of the city is facing what it’s been facing … that’s powerful.”

DISTRICT | House Of Representatives Supports DC Statehood With Historic Vote (WAMU, 3/8)

HOUSING | DC’s Wealthiest Neighborhoods Have Built Little Affordable Housing, But That Could Soon Change (BISNOW, 23/8)

RACE
– Should Magruder Park in Hyattsville, MD be renamed since the land was given for “whites-only”? (WaPo, 3/10)

Should DC’s Woodrow Wilson High change its name? (WaPo, 3/10)

TRANSIT | Metro ridership hits a low point. (WaPo, 3/10)

HOUSING | Housing prices in DC have risen by almost $100,000 over the last five years. (UrbanTurf, 3/8)

STEM | An all-girls math competition aims to inspire girls to pursue STEM. (WTOP, 3/10)

PHILANTHROPY | During International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month, philanthropy has an opportunity to celebrate the fact that women of color are an ever-growing force and work to advance the urgent needs of women and girls of color. (Chronicle, 3/8)


Tired this morning after Spring-ing Forward? Here’s a little history behind Daylight Saving Time and the measurable impacts on health.

The (Almost) Daily WRAG will be back this week on Wednesday and Friday!

– Buffy