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March 11, 2013 / Christian Clansky

Coalition calls for $100 million in investments to reduce D.C. poverty…Life expectancy tied to wealth…Affordable Care Act aiming for the wrong goal? [News, 3.11.13]

BUDGETS | At an event co-sponsored by five D.C. Council members, the D.C. Fair Budget Coalition called for the FY14 budget, due to be released soon, to include $100 million in investments designed to reduce poverty. The coalition’s proposal includes money for affordable housing, homeless shelters, and workforce development. (WaPo, 3/11)

HOUSING | The Coalition for Nonprofit Housing & Economic Development has five recommendations for how Mayor Gray should spend the $100 million (unrelated to the above) he has promised for affordable housing. (CNHED, 3/8)

Related: Here’s why housing is everyone’s issue. Even yours! And mine! And ours! (Daily, 3/7) But not Henry Fonda’s or Lucille Ball’s, because they aren’t around anymore, unfortunately.

Related: Next week, former HUD Secretary Henry Cisneros will talk about the importance of housing as part of WRAG’s Brightest Minds series. Register here!

EQUITY | Not surprisingly, researchers have found that life expectancy is tied to economic security. A study of two Florida counties – one affluent and one not – shows that the life expectancy gap between the two is increasing at a rapid pace. Our own region mirrors the study (WaPo, 3/11):

In Montgomery County, life expectancy was 81.4 years for men and 85 years for women in 2009. In Fairfax County, it was slightly lower — 81.3 years for men and 84.1 years for women.

In the District, where 18.7 percent of the population lives in poverty, life expectancy was 72.6 years for men and 79.6 for women in 2009.

YOUTH | Over the weekend, the D.C. Superior Court held mock trials to teach high schoolers from around the region about the court system. (WAMU, 3/11) I wonder if Judge Reinhold was there?

HEALTH | Opinion: According to Dr. Andrew Weil, the Affordable Care Act sought to answer a question – “How can more Americans get access to medical care?” Wrong question, he says, because our health care system is broken as it focuses on treating sickness instead of promoting health. What’s the right question? (CNN, 3/10):

How can we improve medical care so that it’s worth extending it to more people? In other words, how can we create a health care system that helps people become and stay healthy?

This is a really interesting read. Not coincidentally, it’s also a teaser for a CNN documentary that seems like it might be worth watching.

EDUCATION
School lottery demand shows sharp east-west divide
(GGE, 3/8)

- McDonnell achieves mixed results in trying to reform Virginia’s schools (WaPo, 3/11)


Writing about budgets and such reminds me of the scene in Austin Powers where Dr. Evil tries to hold the world ransom for $100 billion. In 1997, that amount was a tool of absurdist humor. Today, it’s not much more than a drop in the bucket when talking about things like sequestration. How the world has changed. Or not changed, considering the similarly reckless behavior of that chubby goon Kim Jong Un.

On another subject, here’s a really innovative PR tactic that a German company used to drum up awareness of homelessness. Has anything like this been done locally?

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