Beyond that success locally, there are lingering concerns that labor force participation is still struggling. But again, D.C. is still doing far better that other metro areas, such as Tampa Bay and Miami, where the unemployment rates have still bobbed above 10 percent.
THIS WEEK IN THE REGION
New data from the Center for Regional Analysis at George Mason University found that, in the past year, population growth in the region saw a sharp decline. Though the District saw a less dramatic decline compared with the rest of the region, the effects of the trend may still be felt. (City Paper, 3/27)
[…] as economic analysts keep pointing out, the District’s future and the region’s are intertwined. The boom times we’ve enjoyed of late—or perhaps not enjoyed, if we’re feeling the pinch of higher housing costs – came largely because there were more dollars and people flowing into the D.C. area. If those numbers are turning negative, it’s bad for two reasons. First, it’s a symptom of a problem: People come if there are more and better jobs to be had here than elsewhere, and they leave if there aren’t. And second, for the District itself, which relies on gaining residents for its economic bottom line when it’s not allowed to collect taxes from the hundreds of thousands of people who commute here, it could mean an end to budget surpluses and some of the big capital projects to which we’ve become accustomed.
– Washingtonian named four major development projects that they expect to have a big impact on the region in the coming years. (Washingtonian, 3/24)
THIS WEEK IN PHILANTHROPY
- Lori Jackson, executive manager of the Alexander and Margaret Stewart Trust, explained why they will be joining the growing list of funders “getting on the map.” (Daily, 3/23)
– WRAG president Tamara Copeland shared how we’re working to grow philanthropy throughout the region. (Daily, 3/26)
THIS WEEK IN HEALTH
- Arlington County and Montgomery County topped rankings for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin’s Population Health Institute’s annual healthiest counties ranking.(WTOP, 3/25)
– A new report revealed that, although the District has made much progress in the fight against HIV/AIDS, the city’s high rate of other STDs is said to be a “struggle of epidemic proportions.” (DCist, 3/25)
WRAG EVENTS NEXT WEEK
Foundation Finance Affinity Group: Getting Prepared For Your Audit (WRAG member/prospective member CFOs and finance staff)
Monday, March 30, 2015 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Funder Briefing: Immigration Relief and the Impact on the D.C. Region (WRAG members and invited guests)
Tuesday, March 31, 2015 9:00 AM – 11:00 AM
What happens when you send one identical twin off into space for a year, and the other remains here on earth? NASA intends to find out.
As Arlington County grapples with its budget and affordable housing strategy, one of the toughest questions remains: How should the county best target its affordable housing dollars? (Inside NoVa, 3/24)
Still an open question, one to be worked out by the community, is where housing dollars should be placed. Should they go to those with very low incomes, or be targeted at those higher on the economic spectrum?
The choice boils down to picking among four segments of the community:
• Those earning up to 30 percent of the area median income (which equates to no more than $23,000 for a single person, $32,000 for a family of four).
• Those earning 30 to 60 percent of area median income (up to $46,000 for singles and $66,000 for families).
• Those earning 60 percent to 80 percent of area median income (up to $61,000 for singles and $87,000 for families).
• Those earning 80 percent to 100 percent of area median income (up to $77,000 for singles and $109,000 for families).
PHILANTHROPY/COMMUNITY | In her latest post, WRAG president Tamara Copeland offers a look at how we’re working to grow philanthropy throughout the region. (Daily, 3/26)
HEALTH/HIV/AIDS | Report: D.C. Has One Of The Highest STD Rates in the Country (DCist, 3/25)
– D.C. Fiscal Policy Institute has released a new resource guide exploring how public education is funded in the District. (DCFPI, 3/26)
– This past winter was pretty brutal at times, leaving a number of school closures in its path. As many school districts in the region debate how to make up for the lost time, a Harvard researcher has come up with some graphs that show that the impact of individual absences is worse than school closures on student progress. (WaPo, 3/26)
WORKFORCE/ECONOMY | The Feedback Loop That Will Make America’s Richest Cities Even Richer (Atlantic, 3/26)
How good are you at making (and keeping) good habits? Take this quiz to discover your “habit personality”….if you’re a “rebel” or a “questioner” though, you may not want to.
A new report released by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin’s Population Health Institute places Arlington County and Montgomery County at the top of their annual healthiest counties ranking in the region. (WTOP, 3/25)
The rankings looked at 30 factors, including poverty, education, transportation, housing, violent crimes, jobs, access to healthy foods and access to medical care.
In Maryland, Howard County ranked second healthiest, followed by Frederick, Carroll and St. Mary’s. In Virginia, Albemarle is listed as the second healthiest county, followed by Fairfax, Loudoun and York.
Nationally, D.C. saw the greatest decrease in premature deaths, a factor the report says “is the single most important health outcome that we measure and is given the highest weight in our calculations.”
POVERTY | Opinion: How Poor Are the Poor? (NYT, 3/25)
WORKFORCE | A new study of census data out of the Brookings Institution finds that the number of “nearby jobs” – those within a typical commute for residents of major metropolitan areas – dropped by seven percent between 2000 and 2012. The numbers were even more out of reach for minorities and the poor living in surrounding suburbs (WSJ, 3/24):
Minorities and poor Americans, who have moved to the suburbs in droves, fared worse. The number of nearby jobs fell 17% for Hispanic residents and 14% for blacks over this time period, compared with a drop of 6% for whites. Typical poor residents saw a drop in job proximity of 17%, versus 6% for the nonpoor.
- Beginning next school year, Fairfax County plans to implement a class size cap. The proposed cap is in an effort to relieve some schools in the county that have struggled with high student-to-teacher ratios as a result of cuts over the past few years. (Fairfax Times, 3/20)
– Ahead of the results from her public school and public charter school lottery submission, a former education reporter visited schools across the District and shared some of her takeaways in pursuit of the best school for her child. (Medium, 3/23)
In Seattle, there’s a new reason to embrace the rain.
For many Americans, health issues are further complicated by the effects of addiction, homelessness, and poverty. For that reason, a number of health systems across the country – including Kaiser Permanente – have begun experiments in providing more comprehensive care for those in poverty, in an effort to curb the high costs of care. (NYT, 3/22)
What is [the health care system’s] role in tackling problems of poverty? And will addressing those problems save money?
“We had this forehead-smacking realization that poverty has all of these expensive consequences in health care,” said Ross Owen, a county health official who helps run the experiment here [in Hennepin County, Minnesota]. “We’d pay to amputate a diabetic’s foot, but not for a warm pair of winter boots.”
Now health systems around the nation are trying to buy the boots, metaphorically speaking. In Portland, Ore., health outreach workers help patients get driver’s licenses and give them essentials, such as bus tickets, blankets, calendars and adult diapers. In New York, medical teams are trained to handle eviction notices like medical emergencies. In Philadelphia, community health workers shop for groceries with diabetic patients
- Foundations of every size are “getting on the map!” Lori Jackson, executive manager at the Alexander and Margaret Stewart Trust, shares why they’re joining a growing list of funders in e-reporting their grants data to the Foundation Center. (Daily, 3/23)
– What becomes of an initiative once funders have ended support and hand the program over to the community? Results may vary greatly, but there are ways to continue moving forward and increase the odds of sustainability. (SSIR, 3/13)
– Urban Institute Gets $8.4 Million to Help Measure Pay-for-Success Programs (Chronicle, 3/18)
CSR | On April 1, 2014, the India Companies Act went into effect. The new law requires companies meeting certain criteria to spend 2 percent of rolling average net profits from the past three financial years on specific CSR activities. WRAG member and 2015 Institute for CSR class member, Anita Whitehead, from KPMG LLP gives a succinct overview of the new rule and how it affects companies working in the country. (TCB Blogs, 3/3)
VIRGINIA | Attorney General appoints NOVA community outreach coordinator (Fairfax Times, 3/20)
DISTRICT | Ahead of Mayor Bowser’s first State of the District speech and budget proposal, this week will be dedicated to offering a preview of key themes that are expected to be discussed as part of the “Pathways to the Middle Class” agenda. (WaPo, 3/23)
ARTS | Brentwood Arts Exchange looks to move beyond walls in next five years (Gazette, 3/19)
FOOD | Both Parties Agree The Food Stamp Program Needs to Change. But How? (NPR, 3/20)
A beautiful, extraordinary, and priceless work of art…or just a generic print from Ikea?
More funders are getting on the map. Last week, Angela Jones Hackley and Ben Murphy explained why the Community Foundation for the National Capital Region is sharing their grantmaking data to help build WRAG’s Foundation Map.
One of the latest funders to participate in this effort is the Alexander and Margaret Stewart Trust.
Here’s why they’re getting on the map, according to executive manager Lori Jackson:
“As the sole staff person of the Alexander and Margaret Stewart Trust, I don’t have a lot of time to meet with colleague funders or do extensive research on the local funding landscape. Having immediate and easy access to my WRAG colleagues’ grantmaking data – and their having access to our data – will help make it easier to find out who else is funding our grantees and potential grantees, and to identify possible new areas of funding alignment or collaboration. We all want be strategic and effective in our giving, and WRAG’s Foundation Map promises to be a tool to help do this. I hope that my colleagues will share their data to make this tool as powerful as possible.”
Get on the Map is an initiative to improve the quality, timeliness, and availability of grants data for and about funders. By e-reporting their grants data to the Foundation Center, WRAG members will help to build an interactive mapping platform that will allow members to see who is funding what and where in our region. To learn more about the platform and how to contribute your data, watch this recent webinar or sign up for the next webinar on April 9.
THIS WEEK IN PHILANTHROPY
– The Community Foundation for the National Capital Region shared why they’re excited to “get on the map” and use the interactive tool that allows them to share their grants data with colleagues. (Daily, 3/16)
– WRAG philanthropy fellow Shira Broms provided highlights from each panelist at the year’s first Corporate Philanthropy Affinity Group. (Daily, 3/17)
THIS WEEK IN AFFORDABLE HOUSING
– Opinion: An affordable housing crisis with no end in sight (WaPo, 3/19)
THIS WEEK IN FOOD
– Washington Regional Food Funders consultant Lindsay Smith explored the urgent need for funders to support emergency food service providers in the region. (Daily, 3/18)
THIS WEEK IN HOMELESSNESS
– D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser, Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker III, and Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett, signed a first-of-its kind joint agreement to develop a strategy to end homelessness across jurisdictions. This comes after Mayor Bowser released a detailed plan to end chronic homelessness in the District over the next five years. (WaPo, 3/17 and 3/16))
THIS WEEK IN THE ECONOMY
– How Much (Or Little) The Middle Class Makes, in 30 U.S. Cities (NPR, 3/19)
WRAG EVENTS NEXT WEEK
CEO Coffee & Conversation: The 2030 Group’s Bob Buchanan (WRAG member CEOs and CEO-equivalents only)
Wednesday, March 25, 2015 9:00 AM - 10:30 AM
Funders’ Roundtable of Montgomery County: Investing in Our Neighbors with Special Needs from Cradle to Career (The Funders’ Roundtable is a networking group exclusively for donors, foundations, and companies interested in giving in Montgomery County, MD.)
Thursday, March 26, 2015 12:00 PM – 2:00 PM
Opinion: More and more foundations are getting into impact investing as a means of generating greater financial and social return. As the practice broadens, an author shares how foundations wishing to get involved can stay involved and remain relevant. (Chronicle, 3/18)
Impact investing needs to be judged based on how much incremental capital it attracts and the social results it creates. It’s time to stop worrying about being a catalyst and instead discover and track the opportunities where impact investing is the best tool for solving a problem. Impact investing can’t resolve the cross-purposes that are inherent in the way today’s foundations operate, but it will become the must-have app if philanthropists expect to stay relevant.
Related: WRAG has identified a regional issue that would benefit greatly from impact investing. For more information, please contact Gretchen Greiner-Lott.
- In the D.C. and New York City metropolitan areas, nonprofit organizations are seeing major growth and are increasing pay and staff size. Along with that growth, however, comes an increase in competition for top candidates as job seekers cite low salaries as a leading reason for turning down positions. (Chronicle, 3/17)
– 3 Tips for Telling Stories That Move People to Action (Chronicle, 3/18)
Related: Paul VandeCarr, who wrote this piece, spoke to our community last year about effective storytelling practices and techniques. He gave us some follow-up tips on the Daily. (Daily, 6/2014)
RACIAL JUSTICE | A new study from the American Civil Liberties Union found that, in Maryland, unarmed African Americans were killed at 10 times the rate of unarmed whites in the past four years. (WAMU, 3/19)
– The District’s plan to revive the streetcar system was predicted to spur growth on H Street NE and Benning Road. As the future of the streetcar hangs in the balance, residents wonder if the Benning Road corridor will ever see the revitalization that H Street has. (WCP, 3/18)
– After cancelling the Columbia Pike and Crystal City streetcar lines, the Arlington County Board announced that there will be no alternative plans presented until 2016. (ARLnow, 3/18)
– D.C. home health-care workers organize to seek $15 an hour (WaPo, 3/19)
Related: In 2013, we published What Funders Need to Know: Quality Care = Quality Jobs, which takes a look at how direct care jobs can be improved in order to better support workers, as well as ensure better care for our rapidly aging population. (Daily, 6/25)
– How will the U.S. prepare for the estimated 11.5 million Americans over the age of 85 by the year 2035 – a significant increase from a current 5 million? At a recent panel in D.C. on the issue, an author offered her recommendations for an approach to accommodate aging baby boomers. (Forbes, 3/17)
ENVIRONMENT | Beginning in early 2017, Prince George’s County plans to join D.C. and Montgomery County in banning Styrofoam containers. The move is an effort to address landfill and littering problems in the area. (Gazette, 3/19)
Farewell, Internet Explorer…
In a landmark agreement, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser, Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker III, and Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett, signed a joint charter to end homelessness in the Washington region. A strategic plan will be aimed at the estimated 12,000 individuals and families in the area who often cross jurisdictions in search of assistance and shelter. (WaPo, 3/17)
The three area officials believe that their jurisdictions can be more effective by sharing casework information and tracking homeless people with more cohesion. Another goal is sharing more information about available housing and employment opportunities.
Although homelessness decreased by almost 4 percent nationally between 2012 and 2013, it increased by 3.5 percent during that period in the Washington region.
WRAG vice president and Affordable Housing Action Team member Gretchen Greiner-Lott, had this to say of the agreement:
“The Charter to End Homelessness that was signed at yesterday’s regional summit on homelessness states, “we can effectively end homelessness by regional collaboration.” In fact, regional collaboration needs to be an integral part of any effort to combat issues that plague our region. That’s why I am pleased that the Affordable Housing Action Team is working on a regional level, and I look forward to working with the new regional coordinating council on homelessness as they have identified affordable housing as one of four “integrally linked contributing factors to eliminating homelessness.”
FOOD | In the follow-up to her post on a recent gathering of food advocates in D.C. to discuss ways to protect federal nutrition programs of local significance, Washington Regional Food Funders consultant Lindsay Smith discusses how funders can support emergency food service providers in the region and why that need is so urgent. (Daily, 3/10 and 3/18)
RACIAL EQUITY/PHILANTHROPY | Lisa Ranghelli of the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy explains why foundations serving traditionally marginalized communities should put an explicit focus on equity. (NPQ, 3/17)
DISTRICT | Bowser Defies Predecessor, Backs Budget Autonomy (DCist, 3/17)
AFFORDABLE HOUSING | Opinion: A writer takes a hard look at the liberal approach many cities have taken to address affordable housing and gentrification. (The Week, 3/17)
EDUCATION | The D.C. Office of Revenue Analysis has released some graphics showing a school-by-school breakdown of DCPS high school graduation rates. (GGW, 3/18)
ECONOMY | The most unequal cities in the United States (WaPo, 3/17)
CORRECTION | Yesterday’s guest post on the Daily included a link to panelist highlights from the Corporate Philanthropy Affinity Group’s first meeting of the year. Tobi Printz-Platnick of The Morris & Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation spoke on education and mentioned the ways in which companies may consider working with schools through intermediary organizations, such as the New Schools Venture Fund and the Early Care & Education Funders Collaborative (ECEFC), established by the Washington Area Women’s Foundation. The Boeing Company and PNC are among key partners in the efforts of the ECEFC. This information has now been accurately reflected in the summary from this exciting gathering.
In this debate, thought leaders ponder…who should replace Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill?