Tag: silver line

Complicated cases for Central American migrants to the U.S.

For the many Central American migrants who have fled their homes to come to the United States, immigration court cases can often come down to a single question (WAMU, 2/25):

When is a migrant a refugee?


Since about 2009, many more Central American migrants — including many minors — are making the trip north and seeking asylum.

The reasons for the increase are fairly easy to explain. They parallel the ebb and flow of violent crime in the region. As the homicide rate spiked in Mexico, so did asylum applications; as San Pedro Sula became the murder capital of the world, asylum applications from Honduras increased. The U.N.’s refugee agency has interviewed hundreds ofwomen and children who have crossed the U.S. border over the past couple of years, and a vast majority of them said they were fleeing violence from organized crime.

– Consumer Health Foundation board member Silvia Salazar, discusses the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raids that began in January, and the opportunity the philanthropic community has to get involved. (CHF, 2/24)

– Amid reports that a number of families in the school system have grown fearful of sending their children to school for risk of deportation, Arlington Public Schools are working to reassure worried parents. (WaPo, 2/25)

– Rose Ann Cleveland, executive director of The Morris & Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation and a member of the WRAG board, candidly shares her experience of witnessing racial inequality growing up in North Carolina, and how she came to realize that society treated certain people differently. (Daily, 2/25)

Opinion: When it comes to the highly-publicized #OscarsSoWhite controversy – in which movie fans and members of the entertainment industry’s workforce have openly criticized the lack of diversity in Hollywood – some parallels can be drawn to the lack of diversity within the social profit sector, according to one CEO.  (Chronicle, 2/25)

PHILANTHROPY | Exponent Philanthropy, the Fund for Shared Insight, and the Chronicle of Philanthropy present the next video in their new series called Philanthropy Lessons, in which funders share their experiences and what they’ve learned in their philanthropic careers. Check out the video and stay tuned for more through June.

– The Fund for Children, Youth, and Families at The Community Foundation for the National Capital Region is accepting request for proposals. Proposals must be submitted through the online application system no later than 4:00 PM, Thursday, March 31, and final grant decisions will be announced in August. Eligibility requirements, proposal guidelines, and submission instructions are available at http://www.fund4cyf.org.

 The Community Food Rescue Mini-Grants Program, available to help social profit organizations build infrastructure and increase capacity for the food recovery system, is accepting applications until March 1.For more information, contact Astoria Aviles.

– Eighteen months following the opening of the first stations along WMATA’s Silver Line, economic development surrounding the stations is said to be taking off. (Inside NoVa, 2/23)

–  Low-Income Programs Not Driving Nation’s Long-Term Fiscal Problem (CBPP, 2/24)

Did you read today’s post while sitting at your desk eating lunch? Stop doing that! We’ll be here when you get back.

– Ciara

New report on the unequal distribution of business in the District

The Urban Institute has released a report examining the unequal distribution of retail and food establishments in the District. This inequitable distribution of businesses, as well as income disparities across the city, have a number of implications for residents. (WaPo, 8/4)

It’s long been known that D.C. residents have huge income disparities – the top 10 percent of earners make more than six times the amount as the bottom 10 percent – and the Urban Institute explores what it means when there is also such disparity when it comes to retail. Ward 6, for instance, has about four times as many restaurant and food establishments as Ward 8.

This uneven geographical distribution leads to things like food deserts, but it also makes retail jobs less accessible to people who live in poorer neighborhoods, which in turn can create a cycle of more poverty.

“Many economists even argue that spatial mismatch – that is, the mismatch between where good jobs are located and where low-income workers live – is a root cause of inequality in the labor market,” the report reads. “In many cities, there are fewer jobs per worker in or near neighborhoods that are heavily minority than in or near neighborhoods that are predominantly white.”

– The Commonwealth Institute has released a new report with policy recommendations for building a brighter future for Virginia’s residents. The report serves as a roadmap for a broad range of issues including access to education, access to health care, tax reform, and workforce training. (The Commonwealth Institute, 8/4)

– On the heels of the Silver Line’s one year anniversary, Fairfax County Economic Development Authority President and CEO Gerald L. Gordon, talks about the economic benefits that came along with the first phase of development and goals for the line’s future development. (Fairfax Times, 7/31)

AFFORDABLE HOUSING | D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser recently appointed a new “strike force” to develop a housing preservation strategy. The city has also announced plans to make $100 million available for the construction of an estimated 1,000 new units of affordable housing. (WAMU, 7/30)

FOOD | Check out this list of 50 food heroes under 50. Heroes include those who are actively working to help District residents eat healthier, grow their own food, and maintain the environment with their choices. The list was compiled by Lindsay Smith who recently consulted for the Washington Regional Food Funders. (Elevation DC, 8/4)

MARYLAND | Drug crime is No. 1 reason offenders in Maryland are sentenced to prison (WaPo, 7/29)

COMMUNITY | The TEGNA Foundation, a corporate foundation sponsored by TEGNA Inc., is accepting applications for their first round of DC-Metro Community Action Grants, due by August 29. Their Community Action Grant priorities include education and neighborhood improvement, economic development, youth development, community problem-solving, assistance to disadvantaged people, environmental conservation and cultural enrichment. Information and application materials can be found here.

In light of the Clean Power Plan unveiled this week by President Obama, take a crack at this quiz all about power sources.

– Ciara

A growing wealth gap between younger and older Americans

There’s an emerging, but not often discussed, wealth gap explored in a newly-released study – the growing wealth gap between young Americans (individuals under 40) and older Americans. The longitudinal study on the incomes of 40,000 families takes a look at how each generation has accumulated wealth. (WaPo, 7/29)

Basically, young people have always been poor. But looking beyond that basic trend, you can see that today’s young people are poorer than young people of the past.

The period of time in which someone is born can also have a dramatic effect on their wealth compared with other generations. The winners of this historical jackpot appear to be those who were born between 1930 and 1945 and came of age after World War II, who are sometimes called The Silent Generation.


In just 25 years, the wealth gap between young and old people has yawned wider. In 1989, old families had 7.6 times as much median wealth as young families. By 2013, it had grown to 14.7 times.

According to the economists’ calculations, someone born in 1970 has a quarter less income and 40 percent less wealth than an identical person born in 1940.

– In this blog post, the D.C. Office of Revenue Analysis dives into District taxpayer data in order to analyze an individual’s likelihood of income mobility. (District Measured, 7/28)

Opinion: In D.C.’s ward 8, spikes in violence and a continuing struggle to get widespread neighborhood buy-in for programs aimed at improving circumstances for residents have left some officials perplexed. (WaPo. 7/28)

Meant To Keep Youths Out of Detention, Probation Often Leads Them There (NPR, 7/29)

HEALTHCARE/REGION | Medicare turns 50 this week. To mark the occasion, take a look at how many people are impacted by the program in our region. (WBJ, 7/29)

TRANSIT | Silver Line is a mixed blessing for Metro riders (WaPo, 7/28)

REGION | The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors has approved a redevelopment plan for the Seven Corners area after a lengthy debate (WaPo, 7/29):

The plan would create three villages and add several thousand homes to the area, along with restaurants, shops and a street grid that could draw local traffic away from the confusing Seven Corners intersection.

This Friday, you may find yourself doing those things you usually only claim to do once in a blue moon.

– Ciara

The Washington AIDS Partnership unveils new website

The Washington AIDS Partnership is proud to announce the launch of its brand new logo and website! The website features a new look and more user-friendly navigation. Come take a look.


According to a recent report, test scores in D.C. have improved for both low-income and more affluent students. Supporters and critics of the city’s education reform have long debated on what drives up the data on scores.(GGW, 11/14)

While DC officials have touted increases in test scores as a sign that education reforms are working, critics have argued that DC’s changing demographics are behind the improvements. They say an influx of more affluent students has driven up the scores while the gap between those students and lower-income minority students has remained as wide as ever.

But a recent independent study concludes that low-income and minority students have improved their scores as well. Controlling for factors like race and income, it concludes that less than 10% of the increase in overall scores is due to DC’s changing demographics.

DISTRICT | In September, it was announced that federal funding for the Healthy Start program, which aims to reduce the infant mortality rate, was going to be cut drastically. Recently, however, Mayor Gray announced the Health Resources and Services Administration’s decision to restore support. (WaPo, 11/13)

– A potential strategy in the race to provide more affordable housing in metropolitan areas? Look no further than aging office buildings. (WaPo, 11/14)

Blighted Anacostia Building Reopens as Condos (WCP, 11/14)

TRANSIT | From Anacostia to Tysons: Many ride Silver Line long and far to jobs in Virginia (WaPo, 11/16)

PHILANTHROPY | Over the past decade, a number of foundations have invested more than $300 million into organizations geared toward immigrants’ rights and reform, including WRAG member Open Society Foundations. The New York Times has put their work into the spotlight as President Obama prepares to announce some major overhauls. (NYT, 11/14)

Hotel toiletries – do you take them, leave them, or steal them?

– Ciara

Anacostia River bridge park to connect neighborhoods and residents

An architectural team has been chosen, after a national seven-month competition, to design the 11th Street Bridge that will be D.C.’s first elevated park hovering the Anacostia River. The project seeks to promote greater access to healthy food, physical activity and nature for residents in the area. The bridge park is a collaboration between the nonprofit Building Bridges Across the River at THEARC and the D.C. government, and is supported by private donations. Though the project will take time to further develop, you can view additional photos of how it will look here. (WBJ, 10/16 and DCist, 10/16)

So what can we expect in the new 11th Street Bridge Park? Well, the design, which has a distinct “X” shape and will be built on concrete piers used to support an old freeway bridge, is divided up into sections, each with their own specific attractions. There will be rain gardens, and amphitheater, a picnic garden, a hammock grove, a plaza, a cafe, urban agriculture, interactive art (including a tribute to Frederick Douglass), waterfalls, lawn space, a boat launch port, an environmental education center, and a modern playground for children.

– Once hailed as a potential spark for economic revitalization for Anacostia and Congress Heights, the U.S.Coast Guard Headquarters in Ward 8 has not had much impact so far on the surrounding community. (WCP, 10/15)

HOMELESSNESS/YOUTH | Yesterday, officials cut the ribbon on the new playground at D.C. General Homeless Shelter, run by the Homeless Children’s Playtime Project and funded, in part, through donations by Pepco. The new supervised playground will be for the 600 children who currently reside at the shelter until it is ultimately closed down. (WAMU, 10/15)

AFFORDABLE HOUSING | Why is D.C. so Expensive? Because of Congress (CityLab,10/15)

HEALTH | The days of searching your medical symptoms on the web and diagnosing yourself with every condition may soon be over. Google plans to roll out a new project that will allow people to connect with doctors via video chat to ask questions and learn more about basic health information. (InTheCapital, 10/15)

FOOD | Would You Take the ‘Walk to Get Your Groceries’ Challenge? (CityLab, 10/15)

TRANSIT | Newly released data on Silver Line ridership shows that fifteen percent of commuters who take the train to Tyson’s Corner or Wiehle Avenue are coming from east of the Anacostia River or Prince George’s County. Economic necessities that remain unavailable in the eastern-most areas of the region are a common reason for most to embark on the often complicated and lengthy commute each day. (GGW, 10/15)

EDUCATION | Enrollment in Prince George’s Rises Again (WaPo, 10/15)

NONPROFITS | The Aspen Institute’s Nonprofit Data Project announces that the Bureau of Labor Statistics will soon release research on nonprofit employment and wages. The employment findings will be released in conjunction with a webinar on the new data on Friday, October 17th at 2:00 PM. To find out more, click here.

In honor of the upcoming election, can you name each of the District’s mayors?


The achievement gap is growing in Montgomery County schools

EDUCATION | A new report finds that the achievement gap is widening in Montgomery County schools, as schools become more divided by race and income (WaPo, 4/9):

The report, which comes amid county discussions about the school district’s $2.3 billion budget request, creates a portrait that is at odds with the popular image of Montgomery as a prosperous suburb of high-performing schools. It points to an economically divided county where the level of high school poverty appears to make an academic difference.


The share of black and Latino students grew in high-poverty schools, while the share of white and Asian students grew at low-poverty schools during the past three years, according to the report. Performance also diverged.

At high-poverty schools, students were 9 percent less likely to graduate on time and 45 percent less likely to earn at least one passing score on an Advanced Placement exam than their counterparts at wealthier schools. Students at high-poverty schools were 29 percent less likely to complete an Algebra 2 course with a C or better by the 11th grade, and they were 56 percent less likely to score a 1650 or better on the SAT than students at more affluent schools.

VETERANS | The latest installment of the Post‘s excellent multi-part series on veterans looks at the physical and mental consequences of deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan, beyond injuries sustained in combat (WaPo, 4/9):

But their ailments nonetheless can be life-altering – chronic pain, fits of anger, sleeplessness, incessant ringing in the ears – and have added to the ongoing cost of the wars. Of those no longer serving in the military, 45 percent have sought compensation for service-related disabilities, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs. Thirty-seven percent of them have been deemed disabled enough to receive lifelong payments, a figure that could increase as the department works through a mountain of unprocessed claims.


The Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts may have their own unique health legacy. Thousands of troops who walked away from roadside bomb blasts, because of luck or mine-resistant trucks or both, may nonetheless have suffered moderate brain injuries that could cause long-term health consequences.

COMMUNITY | In honor of Equal Pay Day (which technically was yesterday, but I think the sentiment still holds today), Jennifer Lockwood-Shabat, interim president of the Washington Area Women’s Foundation, wrote about why we can’t afford to wait to close the gender pay gap. (WAWF, 4/8)

– To address the need for more playgrounds throughout the city, particularly in low-income areas where many children don’t have access to safe places for outdoor activity, the Office of Planning has launched a design competition for “arts-based” play spaces. The competition is funded by a grant from ArtPlace America. (GGW, 4/9)

D.C. Council’s Cheh gains early support for major overhaul of city transportation agencies (WaPo, 4/8)

TRANSIT | Many thanks to the Daily reader who yesterday sent me a link to the, in her words, “most thorough and frequently updated resource” on the progress of the Silver Line.

WRAG | Not to toot our own horn, but we very (very) happily announced the launch of our brand spankin’ new website this morning. Check it out!

Ever heard of Schlieren flow visualization? Despite the name, it’s actually kind of cool.

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

– Rebekah