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December 17, 2012 / Christian Clansky

Thoughts on Newtown…Council on Foundations restructures…Pallotta on philanthropy’s possible future [12.17.12]

NEWTOWN | I know that there are many ways in which the work of philanthropy and nonprofits relates directly to the monstrous tragedy in Newtown. But more broadly, this was a collective experience for everyone in our country – so, I want to share just a few things with you.

First and foremost, these are the pictures of some of the victims (not all have pictures available). Many are children. All of them are somebody’s children. And none of them will have the luxury of spending the holidays with their families.

Please take some time to read and think about each one of the victims. Here are their portraits.

- A friend of a friend posted a profoundly wise and insightful commentary on his Facebook page. I’m not sure how he feels about sharing it, so I blacked out his name (and one justified use of profanity). I hope you’ll be as convinced by it as I was.

- Here’s a list of the changes that have been made to our constitution throughout our relatively short history. It is no accident that the components of our framing document are called “amendments” and not “infallible truths.” On that score, this is what guns could do when the second of those amendments was written.

- This a truly embarrassing list of mass shootings that have happened in the United States in 2012 alone.

- Here’s a repost of Bob Costas’ recent commentary on gun violence and the triviality of the momentary outrage that follows tragedies and then fades quietly into the dark corners of history.

- And, so that we might remember not to forget, I want to share a poignant song with you. When Warren Zevon was diagnosed with terminal cancer, he wrote a wonderful album titled The Wind. The best track is a meditation on the fear of being forgotten and the corresponding power of memory – Keep Me in Your Heart.


PHILANTHROPY
- Today’s vignette from Reflections on the Past & Possibilities for the Future comes courtesy of Dan Pallotta. He discusses the two possibilities for philanthropy’s future. (WG Daily, 12/17)

- The Chronicle looks at the major “redesign” of the Council on Foundations’ structure – which includes eliminating 19 jobs. (Chronicle, 12/17)

PODCAST | Allison Fine’s latest Social Good podcast talks about how Giving Tuesday grew much larger than anyone expected. (Chronicle, 12/12)

EDUCATION
– Robert McCartney praises Joshua Starr, Montgomery County’s schools superintendent, for his courage in calling for a three-year moratorium on standardized tests. (WaPo, 12/17)

- Report: DCPS scores have not improved with reforms (Examiner, 12/17)

LOCAL
With crime down and jobs up, Baker turns his attention to Prince George’s schools (WaPo, 12/17)

- New housing and business activity is booming in the Northern Virginia suburbs (WaPo, 12/17)

BUDGETS | Governor Bob McDonnell has proposed revisions to Virginia’s two-year budget in hopes of off-setting potential damage related to the fiscal cliff. (WaPo, 12/17)


Hope you all had a nice weekend, all things considered. Are there any other train enthusiasts out there? If so, you might enjoy the Atlantic’s look at the early days of Amtrak. This reminds me of one of my favorite comedies – Trading Places – and Eddie Murphy’s goofy reaction to his train leaving the station.

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