Tag: voting rights

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)

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Getting TANF recipients into good jobs

– With an October 2017 deadline approaching for many DC families who have received TANF benefits for five years, the city is working to get more individuals into job training and placement programs, and recruiting private companies to participate in a paid internship program (CP, 7/28):

The District…requires most TANF recipients to participate in job training or placement programs… But in fiscal year 2015, 56 percent of people assigned to one did not complete their required hours.

The barriers to compliance are numerous and complex (child care, mental health needs, problems with a vendor, etc.) And even those who find a job may not be in it for long: A D.C. Auditor analysis found that, of the more than 6,000 TANF recipients placed in jobs between February 2012 and October 2014, just 770 were still in those positions after six months. Low wages and part-time hours are also an issue: The companies that employ the most TANF recipients, the auditor found, are AlliedBarton Security Services, McDonald’s, Walmart, and grocery stores.

– The Washington Area Women’s Foundation digs into the data and finds that the poverty rate among women in the Greater Washington region is on the rise. (WAWF, 7/21)

HOUSING | A new housing development aims to provide affordable apartments for DC teachers, in an effort to ensure that teachers can actually afford to live in the city where they teach. (WaPo, 7/27)

VIRGINIA/EQUITY | ‘Why don’t they want us to vote?’ Ex-felons cope with losing voting rights twice in Virginia. (WaPo, 7/27)

IMMIGRATION | Halt On Juvenile Immigrant Visa Leaves Thousands In Limbo (NPR, 7/28)

PHILANTHROPY/EQUITY | Sometimes, the strategies funders use to include the voices and perspectives of grantees in their work can inadvertently perpetuate inequities they are trying to address in the first place. (SSIR, 7/28) This article is part of a series produced with Grantmakers for Effective Organizations about the role of grantee inclusion in effective philanthropy.

Program Assistant | The Morris & Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation
Administrative Assistant | Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers (that’s us!)
Philanthropic Services Associate | The Community Foundation for the National Capital Region
Grants Manager | The Norman & Ruth Rales Foundation

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An uptick in fatal shootings by police so far this year

– According to data from the Post, which tracks police shootings, there has been a 6 percent increase in such shootings so far in 2016, compared to 2015 (WaPo, 7/7):

Blacks continued to be shot at 2.5 times the rate of whites. About half of those killed were white, and about half were minorities. Less than 10 percent of all those killed were unarmed. One-quarter were mentally ill.

But there are notable differences: More of the shootings were captured on video, 76 in the first half of 2015 and 105 in the first half of this year. And the number of fatal shootings of black women, such as that of Jessica Nelson-Williams in San Francisco in May, has risen. Nearly the same number of black women have been killed so far this year as in all of last year — eight this year, compared with 10 in all of 2015.

Black Nonprofit Leaders Share Grief in Wake of Police Shootings (Chronicle, 7/8)

Learn, Vote, And Get In The Streets: What You Can Do Today To Help End Police Violence (FastCo, 7/8)

– A new affordable housing development in Mt. Vernon Triangle in downtown DC will be one of the few in the nation that provide homes specifically for grandparents raising grandchildren. (WaPo, 7/8)

– In the latest in their Matters@HAND series, sponsored by Enterprise Community Partners, HAND asks, “Can we predict gentrification?” (HAND, 7/7)

VIRGINIA | In Virginia, A Battle To Give Former Felons The Right To Vote (WAMU, 7/6)

EDUCATION | Teaching Traumatized Kids (Atlantic, 7/7)

ARTS | Capital Fringe Transformed the City’s Theater Scene—Now It’s Attempting the Same for Its Music Scene (WCP, 7/7)

EVENT | Funders Together to End Homelessness is hosting their 4th Annual Funders Institute on Monday, July 25th. Click here to learn more about the event, focused on how philanthropy can work strategically to end homelessness.

Administrative Assistant (part time) | Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers | Deadline: 7/18/2016
Philanthropic Services Associate | The Community Foundation for the National Capital Region
Grants Manager | The Norman & Ruth Rales Foundation
Senior Communication Consultant | Kaiser Permanente
Associate Director | Arabella Advisors
Associate Director (Conservation Focus) | Arabella Advisors

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