Tag: transportation

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

The District is preparing for the future through a new resilience strategy

– Washington, DC is one of a number of cities developing ‘resilience strategies’ to prepare for future threats like extreme heat, economic downturn, cyberattacks, automation, carbon pollution, health disparities and violence. The Resilient DC strategy, released Monday, also includes two focus areas: equity in government and resilient rivers. (WAMU, 4/30)

In the year 2080, the sea level on the Potomac River and Anacostia River will be more than three feet higher than it is currently. There will be twice as many heat emergency days as there were in 2018 — meaning nearly the entire summer will feature days with a heat index over 95 degrees. What’s known as a “hundred-year” storm will happen every 20 years… Besides climate change, the resilience strategy contains a broad range of goals — from closing the educational achievement gap, to building more housing, to hiring hundreds more police officers and deploying them on foot, bike, Segway and scooter.

Click here to read the Resilient DC strategy.

Related Op-ed: The nation’s capital is focused on efforts to thrive in the face of climate change, inequality and technological disruption (US News, 1/3)

HOMELESSNESS | Homelessness has dropped for the third straight year in the District, led by a reduction in family homelessness. Homelessness has also decreased in Montgomery County, but risen in Fairfax County and Falls Church. (WaPo, 5/1)

EDUCATION/YOUTH | Rodney Robinson, this year’s National Teacher of the Year, has been teaching for 19 years, including at a juvenile detention center in Richmond, and says his “kids are in survival mode”. (NPR, 4/30)

MARYLAND | Del. Adrienne Jones becomes first African American, first woman to serve as Maryland House speaker (WaPo, 5/1)

VIRGINIA | Fairfax moves toward more affordable housing, pay raises with new budget (WaPo, 4/30)

RACISM | A brief history of the enduring phony science that perpetuates white supremacy (WaPo, 4/30)

ART 4,026 Straws Were Collected In One River Cleanup. Now, They’re Art! (WAMU, 4/29)

TRANSIT | Neglecting the region’s bus system may hurt the local economy. (WTOP, 4/29)

Social Sector Job Openings 

Director of Communications, Technology, and Administration | Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers – New!
Director of Corporate and Foundation Advancement | Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers – New!
Grants Compliance Manager | Loudoun Abused Women’s Shelter – New!
Engagement Officer | Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute – New!
Grants and Communications Associate | Neighborhood Health
Senior Manager of Member Engagement and Partnerships | United Philanthropy Forum
Director of Development​ | ​Washington Tennis & Education Foundation
Director of Operations​ | ​Washington Tennis & Education Foundation
Director, Flamboyan Arts Fund​ | ​Flamboyan Foundation
Membership Director​ | ​Council on Foundations
Development Director​ | ​Council on Foundations
Communications Director​ |​ Council on Foundations
Learning Engagement Manager​ | ​ Council on Foundations
Program Coordinator | TGR Foundation – A Tiger Woods Charity
Individual Giving Manager | Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company
Senior Program Officer | Potomac Health 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.

This is fun – how to find edible plants and mushrooms in urban places

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

– Buffy

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

– 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)

– 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

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

New report encourages local leaders to make housing in the Greater Washington region more affordable

HOUSING | The Greater Washington region is home to some of the areas most expensive real estate, and with Amazon headed to Northern Virginia and housing prices rising, advocates are encouraging local leaders to commit to creating and preserving affordable housing. (WAMU, 1/30)

“The announcement by Amazon that Crystal City was selected for HQ2 will provide significant benefits for the region,” says a recent report from the Northern Virginia Affordable Housing Alliance. “However, this announcement should create a regional sense of urgency and commitment to address our housing supply and affordability gap.” The affordability gap exists throughout the Washington area — not just in Northern Virginia — but Arlington’s housing market is already the priciest in the region, according to multiple analyses. To solve the problem, advocates say increasing public subsidies is important, but not the only solution.

RELATED: Many of the solutions mentioned in NVAHA’s new report were highlighted in the Housing Leaders Group’s A Guidebook for Increasing Housing Affordability in the Greater Washington Region. WRAG, as one of the co-conveners of the HLG, is working with NVAHA and other active HLG members to address the housing affordability crisis that is threatening the region’s economic growth and quality of life.

CRIMINAL JUSTICE | Opinion: How the justice system criminalizes the poor — and funds itself in the process (WaPo, 1/29)

– DC charter schools are closing and putting children in education limbo. (WaPo, 1/31)

Koch network poised to scale up efforts to remake K-12 education with a pilot project in five states (WaPo, 1/29)

CHILD CARE | Arlington’s Child Care Initiative has the potential to make a dent in the rising costs of child care in the community. (GGW, 1/29)

ENVIRONMENT | Coal ash piles in the Chesapeake Bay watershed will be cleaned up thanks to a new agreement between Governor Ralph Northam of Virginia, lawmakers, and Dominion Energy. (WAMU, 1/25)

NONPROFITS | Nonprofit boards generally know that diversity is important, but very few of them do anything to actively encourage it. (Fast Company, 1/29)

TRANSPORTATION | Purple Line contractor says it will cost nearly $60 million to offset delays of the 21 station light-rail project between Prince George’s and Montgomery counties. (WaPo, 1/30)

DIGITAL DIVIDE | DC is one of a small handful of cities addressing the digital divide by offering publicly funded tech support programs. (CityLab, 1/25)

– The Wayfinder Foundation has announced its second fellowship cohort of women activist leaders in Oakland, CA and Washington DC.

– Nonprofits and Donors Worry About Long-Term Impact of Shutdown (Chronicle, 1/25 – subscription)

RFP: The Gannett Foundation has created “A Community Thrives,” part of the USA TODAY NETWORK, as a way to share community building ideas on the national stage, gain support through donations and local connections, and have a chance at receiving a portion of $2,000,000 in grants to give your project and organization the best possible chance to succeed. Submissions for the 2019 A Community Thrives program are open from January 29, 2019 through February 28, 2019 at 11:59 pm ET. Learn more and submit your idea here.

Social Sector Job Openings 

Controller | Meyer Foundation – New!
Communications and Development Specialist | Grantmakers In Health – New!
CSR Internship | Gannett Inc., USAToday /Gannett Foundation – New!
Vice President for Donor Relations | Community Foundation of Howard County – New!
Senior Communications Officer | Gill Foundation
Individual Giving Manager | National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health
Development Manager | American Society of Landscape Architects
President​ | ​Virginia United Methodist Foundation
Chief Financial & Administrative Officer​ | ​Horizon Foundation
Foundation and Government Relations Officer​ | ​Shakespeare Theatre Company
Grants & Communications Officer​ | ​The Crimsonbridge Foundation
Executive Director​ | ​VHC Medical Brigade
Director of Development​ | ​DC Bar Foundation
Program Manager​ | ​Weissberg Foundation
Senior Supervising Attorney, Criminal Justice Reform​ | ​Southern Poverty Law Center
Director of Development​ | ​The Barker Adoption Foundation
Grant Reviewer​ | ​Jack and Jill of America Foundation
Executive Assistant​ | ​Jack and Jill of America Foundation
Administrative Associate | United Philanthropy Forum
Executive Director | The Volgenau Foundation
President | Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers
Program Associate for Strategy, Equity, and Research | Eugene & Agnes E. Meyer 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.

Today is the start of Black History Month, which is celebrated throughout the DC region.

Next week we’ll publish the (Almost) Daily WRAG on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.

– Buffy

DC Mayor Bowser sets a goal of building 36,000 new housing units by 2025

– At the start of her second term in office, DC’s Mayor Muriel Bowser wants to increase the production of new housing in order to meet the pressing need for housing affordability in the District. (WAMU, 1/8)

“Bowser has even set a goal for D.C.: 36,000 new housing units by 2025, the city’s portion of the estimated 235,000 housing units the Washington region will have to produce in that period to keep up with job growth. Currently, the region is expected to produce 170,000 housing units over the next six years. Housing analysts say the mayor’s goal is enthusiastic, though achievable.”

WRAG’s Vice President, Gretchen Greiner-Lott, had this to say regarding the Mayor’s announcement:

“Housing affordability is an ever-growing issue throughout our region so it is exciting to see Mayor Bowser acknowledge the issue and pledge to make it her number one priority. As she says, we all have to “think big and differently” about how to produce more housing. The Housing Leaders Group of Greater Washington’s Guidebook for Increasing Housing Affordability in the Greater Washington Region would be a great place to start.”

Alexandria lost 90% of its affordable homes in the past few decades. Is it really ‘radical’ to build more? (GGWash, 1/8)

ENVIRONMENT | In a new report, scientists say the health of the Chesapeake Bay deteriorated in 2018 after years of improvement. (WaPo, 1/8)

EQUITY/DISABILITY RIGHTS | Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi, head of RespectAbility and the Mizrahi Family Charitable Trust, is powerfully pushing for philanthropy to focus on equality for people with disabilities. (Chronicle, 1/8)

EDUCATION | Schools tackle anxiety over food and fees as shutdown shows no sign of ending (WaPo, 1/8)

TRANSPORTATION | Lyft is offering low-cost rides to grocery stores in Wards 7 and 8. What’s a sustainable solution? (GGW, 1/7)

COMMUNITY | We were saddened to learn last month of the passing of Vicki Sant, a longtime philanthropic leader in the Greater Washington region, and the founder, along with her husband Roger Sant, of the Summit Foundation, as well as the Summit Fund. A memorial service will be held on January 16 at the Kennedy Center. Details can be found here.

NONPROFITS | The application for the 2019-2020 Catalogue for Philanthropy is now open. Click here for details.

We are on day 19 of the government shutdown – from museum visits to tours, here’s some things you can still do.

– Buffy

Mental health care is necessary for restaurant workers

WORKFORCE | Restaurants workers often face high stress environments and low pay, and although this can have a negative impact on their mental health, many don’t have access to mental health resources. Workers in DC discuss their experiences and how they try to mitigate stressful situations within their own restaurants. (WCP, 11/15)

A confluence of factors leaves many hospitality industry workers uninsured, from thin profit margins to the fact that many restaurants chiefly hire part-time workers. Without work-sponsored insurance, low-wage earners can get stuck in limbo, unable to afford individual coverage but just above the income line of eligibility for Medicaid. It’s part of the reason you see GoFundMe pages fundraising for restaurant employees to afford care or time off to recover.

DC Health Benefit Exchange Authority Director Mila Kofman confirms that the local restaurant industry has some of the lowest offer rates. She says she’s never met a restaurant operator who didn’t want to offer coverage, but they question if they can afford it year after year.

– Virginia’s Attorney General Mark R. Herring will propose legislation aimed at combating hate crimes and “reining in white-supremacist violence” today. (WaPo, 11/15)

– D.C. Council Pushes Forward Bill to End Statute of Limitations for Prosecuting Sexual Abuse (WCP, 11/14)

ARTS & HUMANITIES | How the Washington Project for the Arts has supported artists who are the main caregivers for their children. (WAMU, 11/15)

TRANSPORTATION | Alexandria City Council has voted to allow shared dockless scooters, joining other cities in the region. (WaPo, 11/14)

CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORM | Should Your Birthday Determine Whether You Are Sentenced to Die in Prison? (Truthout, 11/13)

Happy National Philanthropy Day! Check out the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History’s philanthropy page to learn more about the history of the sector in the US.

– Kendra

How the region is addressing its affordable housing needs

– According to the National Low Income Housing Coalition, DC, Maryland and Virginia would need to add 350,000 housing units to meet its affordable-housing needs. The Greater Washington region is taking steps to address this issue, including funding more government programs and growing partnerships between the private and nonprofit sector. (WAMU, 10/24)

Some say there are other solutions that could nibble away at the problem, like updating zoning to accommodate denser, taller development in neighborhoods dominated by single-family homes. Dense construction is more cost-effective, and it could help satisfy demand, thereby lowering housing prices. But densification is no easy fix: It tends to set off local resistance — often called NIMBYism — among residents who fear increased traffic, noise or changes to neighborhood “character.”

Other solutions could come from the private sector. Many for-profit entities have already embraced affordable housing. Mega-developer JBG Smith, alongside the Federal City Council, recently launched the Washington Housing Initiative, with a goal to support construction of “workforce housing,” or homes priced for local families earning between $70,000 and $117,200.

– Tenants, landlords and advocates push back against three recent bills meant to address the process of evictions in DC. (Street Sense Media, 10/18)

CIVIC ENGAGEMENT | Prince George’s approves public finance system for local candidates (WaPo, 10/24)

TRANSPORTATION | The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority is considering expanding parking fees at Metro stations. (WAMU, 10/23)

ENVIRONMENT | Prince William County is building a solar farm, which will be the largest one in the region. (Prince William Times, 10/23)

DISABILITY | The US’s first signing Starbucks opened on H Street this weekend. Check out the space here. (DCist, 10/23)

CHILDREN AND YOUTHThe Towns Where Trick-or-Treaters May Run Afoul of the Law (Citylab, 10/24)

Have you been watching Gaithersburg resident and Blair High School graduate Erik Agard compete on Jeopardy this week?

– Kendra