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April 7, 2015 / Ciara Myers, Editor

Housing a growing population

AFFORDABLE HOUSING
With the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments projecting that there will be nearly 900,000 residents in the District by 2040, Washingtonian takes an in-depth look at how the city must work to modernize outdated building processes to avoid running out of space – affordable space – in an ever-evolving area. (Washingtonian, 4/6)

Think DC – with its population of 659,000 – is crowded now? Imagine the city crammed with nearly 900,000 people. That’s the number of residents the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments projects by the year 2040. It’s a staggering proposition, one that would shatter the historic high of 802,000, set in 1950.

Look around at all the cranes and new apartment complexes and you could be tricked into believing we won’t have a problem housing all these new neighbors. The reality: We’re set to run out of space in less than 30 years. And if we do, the consequences to the region could be dire.

FOOD | Opinion:  Advisory food policy councils are proliferating around greater Washington, and D.C. will soon have one, too. But are they enough? In this opinion piece, a SUNY Buffalo Professor argues that local governments also need Departments of Food to improve food access, connect farmers to consumers, and more. (Quartz, 4/5)

PHILANTHROPY/INEQUALITY | Opinion: Has philanthropy been misguided in the fight against inequality and poverty all along? Author Peter Dreier examines the way inequality has been addressed over the years, and what must be done to fix it. (NPQ, 3/19)

Indeed, since the 1980s, most discussions within the philanthropic world of the “urban crisis” or of what to do about “ghetto poverty” miss the larger picture of economic inequality and the concentration of income, wealth, and political power. When most philanthropists and policy experts look at low-income neighborhoods, they miss the broader picture – that these places are part of a system of economic segregation resulting from government policies that embrace free-market ideas.

Social scientists tend to study the “underclass,” but they pay much less attention to the “overclass.” The two are connected.

[…]

The most effective way to address poverty and urban decline is to address their root causes, which involve the vast and growing inequalities of income, wealth, and political power. Focusing narrowly on revitalizing poverty-stricken neighborhoods, and relying on “market” forces to solve these problems, is shortsighted and misguided. Social-justice philanthropy has a long and valuable tradition in the United States, but it is still a marginal part of the foundation world. If philanthropists want to help create a more humane, fair, and democratic society, they should support the many organizations and activists who are building a movement for shared prosperity.

EVENTS | On April 13, a briefing on the proposed 2016 budget for the D.C. Department of Human Services (DHS) will be held at the DC Fiscal Policy Institute. Attendees can learn about budgeting for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, homeless services, and other DHS programs from Director Laura Zeilinger and other senior staff.

TRANSIT/REGION | Reform WMATA? Slash and burn? Or stay the course? (GGW, 4/7)

WORKFORCE | How the Recession Changed Long-term Unemployment (Atlantic, 4/5)


Shaquille O’neal…or Aristotle? Quotes are often attributed to the wrong person. This time, however, it ended up on a stamp.

– Ciara

April 6, 2015 / Ciara Myers, Editor

Meeting unmet needs for a better healthcare system

HEALTH
Over on the Consumer Health Foundation blog, Dr. Rajiv Bhatia discusses how data on the unmet needs (food, employment, housing and transportation) of patients could help the health care system further calculate risk factors in order to provide a more comprehensive experience that would include connecting people with the proper community resources. (CHF, 4/1)

According to a recent national survey, 85% of primary care doctors say that unmet needs for food, housing, employment, and transportation contribute to poor health for their patients. These doctors recognize that they lack the time, tools, and resources to support all of their patients’ health needs and want health care systems to do more. Sadly, few health care systems measure unmet needs as risk factors in the populations they serve or take steps to address these needs.

Quality health care matters a great deal when we are sick, but protecting and maintaining our health requires a foundation of basic human needs. Insecure work, the lack of nutritious food, and unstable shelter are increasingly common experiences in our society that result in high costs for health and healthcare.

PHILANTHROPY | More and more grantmakers are committing to “get on the map!” Foundation president/CEO and chair of WRAG’s board of directors, Patricia Mathews, shares why the Northern Virginia Health Foundation is excited about the interactive mapping tool and sharing their grants data with colleagues. (Daily, 4/6)

HOMELESSNESS
Opinion: As the District’s homelessness crisis persists, David Bowers of Enterprise Community Partners offers his thoughts on how the city must use a broader approach to tackle the problem and bring about lasting change. (WaPo, 4/3)

– According to a report from the National Alliance to End Homelessness, federal funding for programs to end homelessness in the U.S. is at its highest level ever. The study also found significant declines in homelessness nationally among sub-populations over the past few years. (HuffPo, 4/3)

The unprecedented funding is “probably in part” to credit for a decline in net homelessness: 578,424 people were experiencing homelessness on a single night in January 2014 — down 2.3 percent from the year before.

What’s more, improvements were tracked within every major sub-population, such as the chronically homeless, families and unsheltered persons. Veteran homelessness, for example, has dropped 33 percent in the past five years.

YOUTH/DISTRICT | In this special film, DC Teens: Progress & Promise, made by Stone Soup Films for the Summit Fund of Washington, District teens and leaders working to lower rates of teen pregnancy speak on what is being done to create a better future for young people in the city and why that work is so vital. Check out the video here.

Related: Dr. Isabel Sawhill of the Brookings Institution, who makes an appearance in the film above, will be the featured speaker of our first Brightest Minds event of the year. On April 30, she will explore the growing trend of unwed and unplanned motherhood, its impact on child poverty and wellness, and how the social sector can effectively support efforts for change. This event is open to both WRAG members and nonmembers. More details here.

NONPROFITS
– On April 15, United Way of the National Capital Area (UWNCA) is offering a free training to support any area nonprofit that will participate in the Do More 24 Day of Giving to be held this year on June 4. Nonprofits interested in participating do not need to be members of UWNCA, but must serve the D.C. metro area. Click here to learn more and to register by April 13.

Opinion: Simple Steps to Promote Diversity at Nonprofits (Chronicle, 4/3)

WORKFORCE
– McAuliffe ‘bans the box’ on state job applications (WaPo, 4/4)


Who’s ready for some baseball?! Take this quiz to see how much you know about the sport.

– Ciara

 

April 6, 2015 / Rebekah Seder

Why We’re Getting on the Map: The Northern Virginia Health Foundation

Lately we’ve been highlighting some of the reasons why WRAG members are committing to “get on the map” by e-reporting their grants data to the Foundation Center. The data will populate WRAG’s Foundation Map, a data mapping and visualization platform that will allow members to explore who is giving to what and where across the Greater Washington region.

The Northern Virginia Health Foundation signed on to this initiative from the start. Says Patricia Mathews, foundation president and CEO and chair of WRAG’s board of directors,

“The Northern Virginia Health Foundation is pleased to participate in this important effort to improve the data infrastructure of the WRAG community. As a health funder, it is critical for us to understand how our investments intersect with our colleagues’ funding toward other issues that impact the health and wellness of Northern Virginians, like housing affordability, education, and the environment. We anticipate that WRAG’s Foundation Map will be an important tool in our efforts to align our grantmaking in support of creating healthier communities across Northern Virginia. We encourage all of our fellow WRAG members to contribute their data to make this tool as powerful as it can be. This could truly be a way to work toward achieving a healthy region.”


Get on the Map is an initiative to improve the quality, timeliness, and availability of grants data for and about funders. WRAG Members: 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.

April 3, 2015 / Ciara Myers, Editor

Friday roundup – March 30 through April 3, 2015

THIS WEEK IN PHILANTHROPY
– WRAG president Tamara Copeland shared how a regional call to action for business and government leaders came to include the funding community. (Daily, 4/2)

– WRAG announced an upcoming conference on the needs of Loudoun County. The Loudoun County Philanthropy Conference will take place on Thursday, May 14 and is sponsored by the Claude Moore Charitable Foundation, the Community Foundation for the National Capital Region, and the Middleburg Community Center. (Daily, 4/1)

– The Community Foundation for Northern Virginia‘s Eileen Ellsworth and Jen McCollum 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, 3/30)

– The Community Foundation for Prince George’s County is inviting the funding community to visit nonprofit organizations that are moving Prince George’s County forward through safety-net, education and workforce development services. Guests will spend approximately one hour touring facilities, observing programs in action, and conversing with the organization’s leadership team. Those interested in going on a site visit should email Alicia Barrett at abarrett@cfncr.org to register at least one week in advance.

THIS WEEK IN THE DISTRICT
– D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser got things in full swing this week. After a little bit of March Madness, Bowser delivered her State of the District address outlining plans to create “pathways to the middle class,” and later released her proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2016. (WCP, 3/10, WaPo, 3/31, DCist, 4/2)

THIS WEEK IN THE REGION
– Some residents and party leaders in Fairfax County are concerned with the lack of diversity among candidates for public office, as demographics there have seen quite a shift in the last 15 years. (WaPo, 3/29)

THIS WEEK IN EDUCATION
– Prince George’s officials shared their 2020 Strategic Plan for the school system with five main areas for improvement – academics, workforce development, safe and modernized facilities, community engagement, and organizational effectiveness. (Gazette, 4/2)

– Attorney General Karl Racine approved the plan for an all-boys school for minority students east of the Anacostia as part of the “Empowering Males of Color” initiative. (WCP, 3/30)


WRAG EVENTS NEXT WEEK
Healthy Communities Working Group: A Conversation with Dr. LaQuandra Nesbitt, Director, D.C. Department of Health (WRAG members)
Monday, April 6, 2015  12:00 PM – 2:00 PM

Get on the Map: A How-To Webinar 
Thursday, April 9, 2015  2:00 PM – 2:45 PM


Take a look at this year’s best Peeps dioramas!

– Ciara

 

 

April 2, 2015 / Ciara Myers, Editor

The persistent crisis of homelessness

HOMELESSNESS
Over the past winter, the District anticipated a rise in the number of homeless families that would be seeking shelter and laid out ambitious plans for solving the crisis. In this cover story, Washington City Paper takes an in-depth look at why this winter was still challenging for many homeless families. (WCP, 4/2)

This winter, the city saw the crisis coming. A September report commissioned by the city government anticipated a 16 percent increase in the number of families requiring shelter. The administration of then-Mayor Vince Gray had been preparing. It launched an initiative to move families more quickly out of shelter and into housing. It tried to toughen up its requirements for families to get into shelter and to stay there. Administration officials confidently predicted that things would be under control by the time winter rolled around.

Instead, the crisis has grown even worse. The September report predicted that 840 families would enter shelter this winter, up from 723 last winter. By early March, the actual number had already eclipsed the forecast, as families continued to pour into the shelter system. As of March 13, the figure stood at 904—and climbing. The city has only 369 permanent units of family shelter.

Those 904 families have entered what’s known, figuratively, as the front door to shelter, the one families pass through when they have nowhere else to go. There are things the city can do to manage the front door, but there are also factors out of its control, primarily the lack of affordable housing and of decent-paying jobs for residents without a college degree.

The bigger problem this winter, however, has been the back door. The city has fallen well short of its targets for moving families from shelter to housing. And the families who do secure housing often discover it’s not so secure after all, and find themselves at risk of slipping back through the front door into shelter again.

– As part of her newly released budget, Mayor Muriel Bowser proposed an increase to the city’s sales tax in order to fund the transformation of the District’s troubled homeless services. (WaPo, 4/2)

– On Monday, April 13, WHUT, the Homeless Children’s Playtime Project, and DC Alliance of Youth Advocates will host a screening of the documentary, Homestretch, that takes a look at youth homelessness in D.C. A panel featuring young people who have experienced homelessness themselves will follow. Click here to find out more.

PHILANTHROPY | Early this year, economist Stephen Fuller and president of the 2030 Group Bob Buchanan, issued a call for a regional economic summit for business and government leaders to discuss efforts to reinvigorate the economy. Last week, Bob Buchanan stopped by to speak with WRAG member CEOs during an insightful CEO Coffee and Conversation session. Here, WRAG president Tamara Copeland shares how the call to action that originally did not include philanthropy, now has room at the table for the funding community. (WBJ, 1/15 and Daily, 4/2)

HEALTH/YOUTH | The Northern Virginia Health Foundation‘s blog features a new post by Kimberly Durand of the Arlington Partnership for Children, Youth, and Families (APCYF) where she takes a closer look at the health of Arlington youth on the heels of APCYF’s release of its fourth Community Report Card. (NVHF, 3/30)

FOOD | Congratulations to AARP Foundation for receiving a $3 million dollar grant to help SNAP recipients buy more fresh fruits and vegetables in farmers markets and grocery stores in Mississippi and Tennessee. Across the country, including right here in the region, innovative programs like these are improving food security, health, and the local economy. They’re part of a broader trend to change the way we eat for the better. (AARP, 4/2)

Related: Last week, WRAG Board member Eric Kessler of the New Venture Fund and Arabella Advisors, joined a distinguished list of chefs, artists, entrepreneurs, and politicians, at Washington Post Live’s signature event Changing the Menu. Follow this link to hear from Eric, Steve Case, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, and others on the trends shaping our food system and the policy changes we need to support improved nutrition, health and wellness for all.

COMMUNITY/EDUCATION | Education blogger, editor of Greater Greater Education, and trustee of the Omega Foundation, Natalie Wexler, has a new blog focused on public education in the District. Be sure to check out DC Eduphile.

WORKFORCE
Making a Good Jobs Program Even Better: How to Strengthen DC’s Project Empowerment (DCFPI, 4/1)

– In a two-part series, NPR dives into the introduction of Walmart stores to urban areas like D.C, and what the openings have meant for workers and nearby residents. You can read or listen to part 1 here, and part 2 here. (NPR, 4/1 and 4/2)

DISTRICT | Bowser names cabinet member to focus on development in overlooked communities (WBJ, 4/1)


If you want to be a more creative person, just book a flight.

– Ciara

April 2, 2015 / Ciara Myers, Editor

Business and Philanthropy: A partnership whose time has come

by Tamara Copeland
President
Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers

Last week, Bob Buchanan, principal of Buchanan Partners, a real estate development company, and president of the 2030 Group, an association of business leaders focused on regional issues and solutions, came to speak to WRAG member CEOs as part of our CEO Coffee and Conversation series. He was invited after he and Dr. Stephen Fuller (of the Center for Regional Analysis, George Mason University) called for a regional economic summit.  They suggested that, because the backbone of our region’s economy has been the federal government and that given the changes in our region’s relationship to this hometown employer, we must create a new regional economic reality.  They also underscored the fact that this isn’t a situation to be addressed solely by the District of Columbia or Fairfax, VA, or any other jurisdiction in our region, but a regional problem that should be examined as a whole and addressed by regional leaders using a broad lens and a long-range view.

I invited Bob to speak because, surprisingly, they hadn’t viewed philanthropy as one of the sectors to call to the planning table until I reached out. When asked why philanthropy wasn’t included, Bob responded, “business leaders go to those who can move the needle.”

What a wake up call!  Clearly, philanthropy wasn’t viewed as a change agent.

For years, I have thought that philanthropy doesn’t do enough to highlight the role that it plays in social change. That’s why we produced Beyond Dollars in 2009, featured Philanthropy Factoids in the Daily WRAG throughout 2011, and updated Beyond Dollars with a progress report in 2013. We wanted to showcase all that philanthropy does to improve people’s lives.  Unfortunately, that message hasn’t reached the business community, and part of that responsibility lies with us.  When I look back over the speakers that WRAG has presented over the last decade, I can’t find one business leader who isn’t also a philanthropist.  Until the conversation with Bob Buchanan, WRAG had not invited a business leader to present his or her ideas to philanthropy. We had not explored with business shared views and values toward possible shared action. In retrospect, wow.

So, WRAG is working to change that.  Bob Buchanan underscored the altruistic role that funders can play. He noted that when he speaks up for a particular need, he is often lumped in the category of “greedy developer” just trying to make his project work. Often, yes, he is trying to make a project happen, but it is a project that can improve the lives of many who live in a specific community.  His business identity often obscures the fact that he wants to turn a profit and improve the community.  He challenged the funding community to:

  • Consider how they are perceived as only helping the “un-” and “under-” members of the community. He acknowledged that funders are trying to improve the lives of all who live in a community and that when the “un”served or “under”served are helped, all community members are helped. He feels that the business community doesn’t see the role of philanthropy as helping everybody;
  • Look at how they might support start-up businesses that can improve the viability of communities just as they support start up/innovative, new social profit organizations; and
  • Make financial investments with their assets, not just grants.

He believes that elected officials charged with serving their discrete constituencies and limited by a relatively brief time in office can’t be the sole partners of business, particularly in pursuit of a new regional economic dynamic. He wants philanthropy to play a role.  Now we must determine what that role should be.

April 1, 2015 / Ciara Myers, Editor

Mayor Bowser delivers first State of the District address

DISTRICT
Last night, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser delivered her first State of the District address in which she outlined her plans to create “pathways to the middle class” and pledged greater transparency in local government. Her speech covered a number of priorities for her administration, including affordable housing, education, homelessness, and transportation, among other topics. Some highlights included (WaPo, 3/31 and WCP, 3/31):

Affordable housing:
Bowser said her first budget, due to the D.C. Council on Thursday, would lay out a plan for funding her priorities, including matching the $100 million a year that [Mayor] Gray allocated at the end of his term for affordable housing.

[…]

And she said she would reinvest in the city’s New Communities initiative, which aims to rejuvenate some of the city’s rundown public and subsidized housing.

Education:
Earlier on Tuesday, Bowser announced a partnership to establish 100 year-long internships for young black men.

In her speech, she also reiterated that she would pursue opening an all-male school for underprivileged boys.

Homelessness:
She pledged to close the city’s dilapidated family homeless shelter on the campus of the former D.C. General Hospital “once and for all.” And she put dates to her goal of ending homelessness — 2018 for chronic family homelessness and 2025 for all homelessness.

Transportation:
Bowser promised to not just start the streetcar on H Street and Benning Road NE, but eventually expand it east across the Anacostia River into Ward 7 and west in downtown and Georgetown. Still, Bowser acknowledged that the streetcar program has been “long on promises and short on results.”

– You can read the full State of the District address here. (WaPo, 3/31)

EVENTS/WRAG | WRAG announces an upcoming conference on the evolving needs of the region’s fastest-growing jurisdiction, Loudoun County! The Loudoun County Philanthropy Conference on Thursday, May 14 is open to those interested in exploring the needs of the county, and is sponsored by the Claude Moore Charitable Foundation, the Community Foundation for the National Capital Region, and the Middleburg Community Center. (Daily, 4/1)

REGION | The Audacious Plan to Turn a Sprawling DC Suburb Into a Big City (Washingtonian, 3/29)

EDUCATION/INEQUALITYWhy More Education Won’t Fix Economic Inequality (NYT, 3/31)

POVERTY/FOOD | Opinion: Restrictions on what foods those who utilize SNAP benefits can purchase, and public opinion regarding other aspects of the lives of the poor, leaves many low-income Americans feeling heavily scrutinized….almost as if they’re criminals. (WaPo, 3/30)


 I am decidedly anti-April Fool’s Day this year. With that, I present you with a guide to what is fake on the Internet today. Unfortunately, (or fortunately?) this one is not a prank at all.

– Ciara

April 1, 2015 / Ciara Myers, Editor

Announcing the Loudoun County Philanthropy Conference

What do you think of when you think about Loudoun County? If you say horses, wineries, and Dulles Airport, perhaps you haven’t been paying attention to all the exciting changes happening in this often overlooked area of our region.

Loudoun County is the fastest-growing jurisdiction in the Greater Washington region. According to the Center for Regional Analysis, the population has more than doubled in the last 15 years! And, thanks to new job centers, mixed-use developments, and the influx of younger people into the county, Loudoun is also leading the region in economic growth. With the county’s shifting demographics, new economic growth, and the opening of the Silver Line, this is an ideal time to learn about changing needs and explore opportunities for philanthropic investment.

That’s why, this spring, WRAG is focusing on Loudoun County by hosting our first-ever Loudoun County Philanthropy Conference on May 14. The goal of this gathering is to introduce the region’s philanthropic community to the specific needs in Loudoun, provide a venue for collectively exploring strategies for addressing those needs, and, ultimately, to encourage increased and more effective philanthropic investments in the county.

Michael Cassidy, President and CEO of the Commonwealth Institute for Fiscal Analysis, will kick things off with an overview of the needs and opportunities in Loudoun. Following Michael’s presentation, we’ll hear from a panel of experts representing the philanthropic, nonprofit, and government sectors on what their seeing “on the ground” in the county. Then, over lunch, funders interested in supporting Loudoun will have the opportunity to network with their philanthropic colleagues, discuss issues of shared interest, and explore individual and collaborative funding strategies for addressing county needs.

The event is open to WRAG members, non-members, nonprofits, government officials, community leaders, and anyone else interested in learning about the needs of the county. For more information, click here.

A BIG thanks to our already confirmed conference sponsors:

logo - claude moore_0

logo - claude moore_0

CFNCRnew

Middleburg Community Center:

Middleburg Community Center

March 31, 2015 / Ciara Myers, Editor

Rethinking 30 percent

AFFORDABLE HOUSING
Is the standard measure used by many (including housing assistance programs) to calculate housing affordability all wrong? Examining recent data, Washington City Paper takes a look at the problematic ways we determine what “affordable” really means. (WCP, 3/31)

Let’s take two hypothetical people, Bernardo and Bernadette. Bernardo makes $2 million a year and spends half of it, or $1 million, on housing. Bernadette makes $20,000 a year and spends just a quarter of it, or $5,000, on housing. According to the golden rule of affordability, Bernardo’s housing is unaffordable, and Bernadette’s is affordable. But of course that’s ridiculous: Bernardo has $1 million left over to spend on other things, while Bernadette has just $15,000. Bernardo will have no trouble getting by in the District with that disposable income, while Bernadette will struggle mightily, particularly if she has kids. (For simplicity’s sake, I’m not factoring in taxes here; even though they’ll take a bigger chunk out of Bernardo’s paycheck, he’ll still be just fine.)

[…]

There’s another problem with the 30 percent threshold: Most D.C. households don’t meet it. […] According to a recent study, 51 percent of D.C. renters pay more than 30 percent of their income in rent. For some households, that’s fine: A single person with a high income and no car or kids to worry about can pay half his income in rent without a problem. For others, it’s not: A mother of three kids can hardly afford to put most of her meager salary toward rent. The trouble is that things tend to skew the other way. Among very low-income households, 84 percent pay more than 30 percent of their income in rent, while just 4 percent of high earners do. That’s problematic for a host of reasons, but it doesn’t change the fact that the 30 percent limit has simply become unrealistic for the majority of households in a high-cost city like D.C.

AGING | A new study from AARP found that among adults between the ages of 45 and 70 that were surveyed, nearly half of those who had lost their job in the last five years and found a new one were making less than they previously had been. Most also found themselves working fewer hours, as securing full time work became more difficult. More highlights from the study can be found here. (WBJ, 3/31 and AARP blog, 3/30)

CSR/COMMUNITY | Opinion: In this op-ed, Robert Musselwhite of the Advisory Board Company, discusses the great positive impact that can come about when business interests and a desire for social change combine. (WaPo, 3/27)

DISTRICT
– In a different type of March Madness, Mayor Muriel Bowser convened contractors and developers to drum up interest in several projects across the District aimed at growing affordable housing, the tech sector, and job training in the city. (WCP, 3/30)

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser preparing first citywide address (WaPo, 3/31)

EDUCATION | After its Title IX legality was called into question, the plan to open an all-boys school for minority students as part of the “Empowering Males of Color” initiative was given a thumbs up by Attorney General Karl Racine. (WCP, 3/30)

REGION | Arlington and D.C. are top cities for graduates (WBJ, 3/30)

FOOD/YOUTH | According to a new study, the number of U.S. children eating fast food on any given day saw a decline from 39 percent in 2003, to 33 percent in 2010. (Reuters, 3/30)


Take this quiz about neighborhoods near Metro stations and see if you can do better than my 2 out of 8!

– Ciara

 

March 30, 2015 / Ciara Myers, Editor

How income inequality can also be bad for health

HEALTH/INCOME INEQUALITY
Research from the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute found evidence supporting that living in an area with high income inequality can be bad for health, much like living in a poor community. The researchers found that the effects of inequality came out to a difference of about 11 days of life between high- and low-inequality places, and that for every increment that a community became more unequal, the proportion of residents who died before reaching the age of 75 went up. The cause for the drop in life expectancy has two potential theories (NYT, 3/30):

One theory is that while money does tend to buy better health, it makes a bigger difference for people low on the income scale than those at the top. That means that having fewer very poor people in a community will improve average health more than having fewer very rich people will diminish it.

But another, more sociological theory, has to do with the communities themselves. The researchers think that places where wealthy residents can essentially buy their way out of social services may have less cohesion and investment in things like education and public health that we know affect life span. There is also literature suggesting that it’s stressful to live among people who are wealthier than you. That stress may translate into mental health problems or cardiac disease for lower-income residents of unequal places.

PHILANTHROPY/COMMUNITY
– Attention WRAG members – have you signed up to “get on the map” yet? The Community Foundation for Northern Virginia has! Eileen Ellsworth and Jen McCollum share why they’re excited about the new mapping tool that will help members see who is funding what and where in our region. (Daily 3/30)

The Community Foundation for Prince George’s County invites the funding community to visit nonprofit organizations that are moving Prince George’s County forward through safety-net, education and workforce development services. Guests will spend approximately one hour touring facilities, observing programs in action, and conversing with the organization’s leadership team. Those interested in going on a site visit should email Alicia Barrett at abarrett@cfncr.org to register at least one week in advance.

– Applications for the Diverse City Fund’s eighth grant round are due by midnight on Tuesday, March 31. The Diverse City Fund makes grants of $5,000 or less to grassroots projects/organizations led by and organized in communities of color in the District. Applications and information on how to apply are available here.

AFFORDABLE HOUSING | When cheap housing isn’t really a good deal (WaPo, 3/26)

REGION
– In Fairfax County, as races for public office begin, many residents and party leaders are concerned with the lack of diversity among candidates in an area that has seen significant changes in demographics over the last 15 years. (WaPo, 3/29)

– Households earning at least $200K Are Now Biggest Group in Arlington (ARLnow, 3/27)

EVENTS | On April 23-24, 2015, the annual policy briefing of the Neighborhood Funders Group’s Working Group on Labor and Community Partnerships will take place at the Public Welfare Foundation. The event addresses opportunities to advance economic justice and security for all. Click here to find out more and to register for the event.


Do you know the history behind Anacostia’s Big Chair?

– Ciara

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