Tag: Muriel Bowser

At-risk DCPS students receiving varied amounts of funding

A data tool developed by the D.C. Fiscal Policy Institute and Code for DC reveals wide gaps in spending for at-risk students in the District – students who are in foster care, homeless, receiving welfare or food stamps, or at least one year behind in high school. Despite the D.C. Council passing legislation ensuring funding would be distributed equally among at-risk students, DCPS did not have time this year to comply (GGW, 2/10):

Mann Elementary in Ward 3, for example, spent over $15,000 on each of its at-risk students. That’s partly because there are only two such students there, making up just 1% of the school’s total enrollment, according to the data tool.

By contrast, Ballou High School in Ward 8 spent only about $5,000 on each of its 470 at-risk students, which represent 72% of the school population. And Beers Elementary in Ward 7 spent a mere $168 on each of its 259 at-risk students, 60% of its enrollment.

WRAG | Yesterday, WRAG had the pleasure of hosting Mayor Muriel Bowser and a number of local funders for a special conversation on issues of importance to the region’s philanthropic community. WRAG president Tamara Copeland reflects on the Mayor’s remarks in this new post. (Daily WRAG, 2/11)

COMMUNITY | Mike Harreld, regional president of PNC Bank for the Greater Washington Area, has joined the Meyer Foundation‘s board of directors for a three-year term. Harreld also serves on the board of the United Way of the National Capital Area, the Federal City Council, Fight for Children, and the Economic Club of Washington, D.C. (WBJ, 2/10)

Related: Mike Harreld will again join the Institute for CSR as a guest speaker for the session focused on Sustainability & Ethical Behavior of Corporations.

HOUSING | For the first time in two years, Fairfax County will disburse federal housing choice vouchers to 280 of the 831 individuals and families that were wait-listed. Due to federal sequestration cuts, funding for housing programs had been unavailable since 2013. (WaPo, 2/10)

HOUSING/EQUITY | Opinion: As many homeowners in Prince George’s County are facing the reality of living in an area with the highest foreclosure rates in the region, questions arise about how to rebuild equity in a once-thriving market. (WaPo, 2/11)

WORKFORCE/YOUTH | D.C. mayor to expand summer jobs program up to age 24 (WaPo, 2/10)

DISTRICT | D.C.’s Population Growth Is Slowing. This Is Who’s Coming and Going. (WCP, 2/10)

REMINDER FOR WRAG MEMBERS | Learn how to Get on the Map tomorrow at 2pm with a short webinar (register here). This webinar will be repeated on March 12 and April 9. Learn more about the Get on the Map campaign to improve the quality, timeliness, and availability of grant data for and about WRAG members here.



Ever had one of your social media accounts send out spam on your behalf? Sometimes it happens…even if you work there.

– Ciara

An emergency motion to place the District’s homeless

There’s lots of news to share, so here’s your regular Daily WRAG edition instead of the Friday roundup. Enjoy your weekend!

This winter has been so cold that the District has seen 66 days of hypothermia alerts. There are still seven weeks left in hypothermia season. With policies in place to house homeless families in private rooms during nights that turn brutally cold, the city has found itself in a difficult situation as the Bowser administration has filed a motion to begin placing the homeless in makeshift shelters. (WaPo, 2/6)

The development offered the latest sign of the depth of this year’s homelessness crisis in the District, which has accepted an average of 12 new homeless families – often single mothers with young children – into shelter each night the temperature has dipped below freezing.


The District is one of the country’s rare jurisdictions with a legal right to shelter on freezing nights. It is also among the most rapidly gentrifying urban cores in the nation, with an estimated 5,000 families teetering on the brink of homelessness amid rising living costs and escalating home prices.

The city on Thursday was within a day of running out of motel space for more families, and it has yet to find another operator willing to lease additional rooms for the homeless, the District argued in its motion. If no other option becomes apparent, D.C. is within days of having to resort to some lesser form of shelter, it said.

Volunteers fan out in the wee hours to count homeless in Montgomery (Gazette, 2/2)

EDUCATION/DISTRICT | At-risk funding in the District: A-school-by-school breakdown (WaPo, 2/6)

NONPROFITS | Now that President Obama has laid out his proposed 2016 federal budget, Rick Cohen gives us a glimpse at what nonprofits can anticipate if the proposals pass through Congress. (NPQ, 2/4)

Related: WRAG CEOs are invited to a coffee and conversation session with Rick Cohen on February 18th at 9:00AM where he’ll be discussing his 10 predictions for nonprofits and foundations in 2015. For more information, click here.

– The Community Foundation for Northern Virginia has released its 2013-2014 Annual Report, “A Year of Community Leadership,” highlighting its work in the region. (CFNOVA, 2/5)

FOOD | Are Farmers Market Sales Peaking? That Might Be Good For Farmers (NPR, 2/5)


Healthy Communities Working Group: February Meeting (WRAG members) 
Monday, February 9, 2015  12:00PM – 2:00PM

A Morning With The Mayor: A Funder Conversation With Mayor Muriel Bowser (WRAG members)
Tuesday, February 10, 2015  9:00 AM – 11:00 AM

Get on the Map: A How-To Webinar (WRAG members)
Thursday, February 12, 2015  2:00PM – 2:45PM

Valentine’s Day is approaching. Which city in the region was named one of the “most romantic” cities in the nation?

– Ciara

Arlington uses innovative approach to house chronically homeless

– Arlington’s no-silo method to housing the county’s homeless population has proven to be successful for a number of formerly chronically homeless adults. Agencies have been working together to tailor services to each individual in need (WaPo, 1/31):

Arlington has a master spreadsheet that lists homeless individuals by name, drawing from an annual survey of people living on the streets and carefully cultivated contacts at food distribution sites, shelters and other places where the vulnerable gather. The spreadsheet includes whether the people want housing, what health problems they have, their income sources and anything that might help or hinder their search for a home.

Once a month, there is a meeting of a task force that includes advocates and specialists in physical and mental health, as well as county social service workers. One person takes responsibility for each name on the spreadsheet. They go line by line, brainstorming about which public and private treatment programs and funding can be tapped to help each homeless person.

Bowser administration says D.C. ‘operating in crisis mode’ on homeless issue (WaPo, 1/30)

– The D.C. Fiscal Policy Institute has recommendations for what the city can begin doing now to tackle to the homeless crisis. (DCFPI, 2/2)

– WRAG president Tamara Copeland shares her vision for moving toward racial justice in the U.S. (Daily, 2/2)

– The Campaign for Black Male Achievement’s Social Innovation Accelerator has launched a national (and local in Detroit) search for 2015-16 Black Male Achievement Innovators – leaders whose organization exemplifies the pursuit of high performance that leads to tangible results in improving the life outcomes of black men and boys and who has the passion and potential to increase his/her local and national leadership. To learn more and to nominate a leader for the next cohort of innovators, click here.

– A recent study out of the University of South Carolina and Michigan State University finds that black and Hispanic boys who have committed crimes are more likely to have been placed in a correctional facility than their white counterparts who had committed more crimes. Data from the Department of Justice further supports that disparities exists (WaPo, 1/30):

Although the overall number of cases in juvenile court has declined sharply since 2008, blacks still account for a third of cases in juvenile court, far more than their share of the population.

COMMUNITY/HIV/AIDS | Metro TeenAIDS (MTA) and Whitman-Walker Health (WWH) have announced the start of a new strategic collaboration to provide HIV and other health and wellness programs and services to young people and their families as MTA will become part of WWH. MTA’s programs and services will continue to operate out of the existing MTA site in Southeast Washington.

Executive director of the Washington AIDS Partnership, Channing Wickham, had this to say of the new partnership (WWH, 2/2):

“From our position as one of the region’s leading funders of HIV/AIDS services, the direction being set by MTA and WWH is a smart and proactive move that will benefit the entire community. We also believe that the Washington AIDS Partnership’s investment in MTA’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Youth Health Innovation Lab will only be enhanced by the partnership with WWH, the city’s leader in LGBT health care.”

POVERTY True or False: Free and Reduced-Price Lunch = Poor (NPR, 1/30)

ECONOMY | According to data from the Census Bureau, when adjusted for inflation, the average millennial’s median income is about $2,000 less than that of their parents in 1980. Another big sign of the times – in 1980, the average young worker in Detroit or Flint, Michigan earned more than they would have in San Francisco or San Jose, California. (Atlantic, 1/31)

Do you think you could name these foods just by looking at where they come from?

– Ciara

Post-Election Day edition

DISTRICT | Election Day 2014 is behind us and the numbers are in. You can get detailed breakdowns of area election results here and here.

The D.C. Council saw some big changes, as three new members were elected with a fourth coming on through a special election next year, after the victory of mayoral candidate Muriel Bowser. The new members will replace 41 years of lawmaking experience combined. (WaPo, 11/5)

The new members could give a distinctly progressive tilt to a council that within months will be faced with hashing out a $300 million soccer stadium deal, tackling a housing affordability crunch and passing a $6 billion city budget. [Charles] Allen, [Brianne] Nadeau and [Elissa] Silverman campaigned on good-government platforms, positioning themselves as change agents in the John A. Wilson Building.

COMMUNITY/CSR | Congrats to WRAG members Wells Fargo, ExxonMobil, and Bank of America for being named in a list of the 10 Companies Donating the Most Through Corporate Giving. (Causecast, 10/6)

FOOD | Research from the University at Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences found that there are extreme differences in the dietary habits of babies from varying socioeconomic classes. The study found that babies from poor and less-educated households tend to eat high fat, high sugar diets while babies from rich, well-educated households usually consume foods that closely followed infant feeding guidelines. (WaPo, 11/4)

– Setting up spend-down foundations, aka “giving while living,” is growing in popularity in the philanthropic community. The New York Times takes a look at how the Atlantic Philanthropies plans to spend down $1 billion, making their final grant in 2016. (NYT, 10/31)

– As a number of large and small victories have been won in the fight for LGBTQ equality, donors contemplate how the movement and its priorities will shift in the near future without losing momentum. (Chronicle, 11/3)

AFFORDABLE HOUSING | The Next Housing Crisis May Be Sooner Than You Think (CityLab, 11/4)

REGION | Prince George’s County will soon roll out a new advertising campaign in an effort to increase investment and lift public opinion of the area. Prepare to “Experience. Expand. Explore.” (WaPo, 11/4)

What will Google think of next?

– Ciara

Muriel Bowser wins primary election that most people didn’t vote in

DISTRICT | If you’re just waking up, or crawling out from under a rock with no cell service, D.C. Council member Muriel Bowser won the Democratic mayoral primary last night. The Post has some interesting graphics breaking down the results based on race and income that show the city is still starkly divided. Unfortunately (depending on your faith in the democratic process), only a small fraction of the 370,000 eligible voters actually voted. (WaPo, 4/1)

ENVIRONMENT | Residents of Ivy City, a neighborhood in northeast D.C., argue that they have long experienced environmental injustice, as the city uses the area to house buses, causing a disproportionate amount of air pollution (WAMU, 3/28):

A coalition of researchers from the University of Maryland, George Washington, Howard and Trinity universities has studied air quality in this neighborhood, and says the main culprit is something called PM 2.5.

PM 2.5 stands for “particulate matter” smaller than 2.5 micrometers in size, small enough to penetrate the deepest parts of human lungs. PM 2.5 is also the main ingredient of smog, and exhaust from diesel vehicles — trucks and buses — is a major source of the pollutant.

Sacoby Wilson teaches at the University of Maryland’s School of Public Health. He says over the years Ivy City has seen more than its fair share of heavy duty traffic and industry.

“They share a disproportionate burden of these facilities right now. They share a disproportionate burden of diesel vehicles right now. So from an environmental justice perspective, you see that this community — many [residents] are low-income, many are people of color — they’re disproportionately burdened by these hazards,” Wilson says.

Maryland officials have decided to replace their “troubled” (I’ve noticed this seems to be the media’s adjective of choice) health insurance exchange with Connecticut’s system, which is not troubled. (WaPo, 4/1)

More than 7 million have enrolled under Affordable Care Act, White House says​ (WaPo, 4/1)

Virginia Lawmakers Still Stuck On Medicaid Expansion (WAMU, 4/2)

SOCIAL IMPACT BONDS | Last week, WRAG member CEOs convened to learn more about social impact bonds and the potential they offer for moving significant amounts of capital toward hard-to-address issues. Tamara explains the argument for funders getting involved with these new forms of social finance. (Daily, 4/2)

– The Purple Line will better connect commuters with jobs in Montgomery and Prince George’s counties, but local jurisdictions will need to prioritize maintaining the affordability of housing and small businesses close to the transit corridor. (GGW, 4/2)

– Prince George’s County officials have announced their intention to promote transit-oriented development around 5 metro stations in the county. (WaPo, 3/31)

POVERTY | Women’s Wages Are Rising: Why Are So Many Families Getting Poorer? (Atlantic, 4/1)

As with throwing boiling water in the air during a polar vortex, just because reporters repeatedly bang a bottle of wine against the wall to drive Internet traffic to their site doesn’t mean you should try it too.

– Rebekah