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March 19, 2015 / Ciara Myers, Editor

Impact investing: a continuously growing trend in philanthropy

FOUNDATIONS/IMPACT INVESTING
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.

NONPROFITS
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)

TRANSIT
– 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)

Maryland is still searching for ways to make the Purple Line cheaper (GGW, 3/19)

AGING/HEALTHCARE
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…

- Ciara

March 18, 2015 / Ciara Myers, Editor

A regional approach to end homelessness

HOMELESSNESS
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

- Ciara

March 18, 2015 / Ciara Myers, Editor

Follow-Up: Protecting key federal nutrition programs of local importance

by Lindsay Smith
Consultant
Washington Regional Food Funders

In the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia, SNAP served more than 1.8 million people last year. (Some local studies also suggest that not all of those eligible for these benefits received them.) Federal programs like SNAP, the school lunch program, and WIC, support millions of people in D.C., MD, and VA. Cutting these programs places additional demands on our region’s emergency food service providers to meet the nutritional needs of low-income community members.

Unfortunately, it’s becoming clearer everyday that some in Congress are intent on cutting SNAP again when what’s needed is the opposite. Last summer, Charles Meng of the Arlington Food Assistance Center (AFAC) attributed a 40 percent increase in the number of people AFAC was serving in just one year to a cut in SNAP benefits, and the expiration of unemployment benefits. He explained:

“This is unlike a recession situation when we see people coming to us, and when the recession eases, they’d be leaving us…we’re not seeing that, these are basically going to be our clients on a long-term basis because this is a structural change to the funding available from the feds.”

Continued funding for emergency food assistance is critical but so is supporting policy change if we hope to eliminate hunger and improve health.

I encourage funders to support our region’s emergency food service providers and:

  1. Talk with them about their programmatic aspirations and where there may be opportunities to build a stronger regional food system in the process. A number are working to increase healthy food options as demand for this increases.
  2. Ask what federal and local policy changes would make a difference to their clients’ ability to access healthy food, and if the organization is in a position to support their clients to share stories about the impact of food insecurity on their lives.
  3. Use your own voice to talk with legislators about the impact of a weakened social safety net on your grantees and the communities they serve. Sharing your own story is not lobbying, though it’s always useful to review the differences between lobbying and advocacy.

One priority a new report from the Food and Agriculture Policy Collaborative calls for is protecting and improving SNAP to ensure that Americans don’t go hungry and to help build a more sustainable food system. Doing so will require funders to consider their ability to invest in longer term policy change. There are proven well-established advocates, and new ones, who can sustain the campaign needed to eliminate hunger and build a more sustainable food system. In the near term, they’ll need support to demonstrate the short-sighted nature of cutting effective programs like SNAP. They also need support to continue to broaden their coalitions and to identify strategic opportunities to change the narrative on SNAP   – improving the program can reduce hunger and its costly consequences even more than it does now.


Lindsay Smith coordinates the work of Washington Regional Food Funders (WRFF), a working group of WRAG. On May 7, 2015, WRAG will offer Food Security 101 for WRAG members in partnership with the Community Foundation for the National Capital Region to examine some of the themes raised in this post in greater detail, and how it relates to our broader regional food system.

March 17, 2015 / Ciara Myers, Editor

A five-year plan to end homelessness in the District

HOMELESSNESS/DISTRICT
Mayor Bowser announced plans yesterday to end chronic homelessness in the District within the next five years. The plan is currently circulating among advocates for the homeless, and will then need to go through a task force and the D.C. Council for approval. (WaPo, 3/16)

The plan calls for replacing the city’s dilapidated family homeless shelter at the former D.C. General Hospital campus, leasing and building smaller shelters, and slashing the time that any family or individual spends in a shelter by swiftly moving thousands into apartments — often with long-term, taxpayer-funded subsidies.

[…]

“It’s not a hard-line date in the sand,” one Bowser administration official said. “We need to make sure we’re seeing all of the changes that we need to see in the system to be able to close it.”

Indeed, the Bowser plan rests on managing a massive overhaul of virtually all District homeless services. The city is housing more than 750 homeless families, but the mayor’s plan calls for having enough shelter space for only 215 families by 2020.

CORPORATE PHILANTHROPY/WRAG | WRAG philanthropy fellow Shira Broms recounts the year’s first Corporate Philanthropy Affinity Group that took place last week, and provides highlights from each panelist. (Daily, 3/17)

COMMUNITY/JOBS | Wells Fargo is hiring a Community Support Representative for the Mid-Atlantic Community Affairs team. You can check out the position description here, and be sure to share!

ECONOMY/EQUITY
- A new study reports a link between the growth of African American-owned businesses and a decrease in black youth violence between the years 1990 – 2000. The study used data from more than 100 large cities across the U.S. (City Lab, 3/16)

Can Treating Low-Wage Workers Well Become the Hot New Business Strategy? (Fast Company, 3/16)

EDUCATION
– According to new data from the Office for the State Superintendent of Education, last year’s graduation rates for DCPS increased to 58 percent, while falling to 69 percent for the District’s public charter schools. (WaPo, 3/17)

The District-wide average for the Class of 2014 — 61 percent — was almost unchanged from the year before. The city’s graduation rate remains far below the national average of 81 percent.

D.C. Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson in an interview Monday said she was pleased, but “not thrilled,” by the incremental growth — cumulatively five points in four years. “Still too few of our young people are graduating,” she said.

High school graduation rates for minority students improve faster than rest of U.S. (WaPo, 3/16)

ENVIRONMENT |  Chesapeake Bay Program Wants Your Input Into Plans to Protect Watershed (WAMU, 3/17)


Take a look at a cool time-lapse video of the Chicago River going green.

- Ciara

March 17, 2015 / Ciara Myers, Editor

Corporate grantmakers gather to learn about local needs and opportunities for investment

By Shira Broms
Philanthropy Fellow
Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers

Often, when we think of corporate philanthropy, we tend to think BIG dollars. And, while many companies invest significantly in their communities, they often do so with very small (but mighty!) teams.  Unlike some larger private and independent foundations, corporate giving programs often do not have issue-specific program officers. Instead, corporate philanthropy professionals tend to be savvy generalists with a strong background in business, a knack for building strategic long-term partnerships, and the ability to stay on top of emerging trends to ensure their companies are doing the most good for the communities they serve.

Last week, WRAG hosted our first Corporate Philanthropy Affinity Group of the year to assist companies with staying up-to-date on the needs and trends in our region. Six issue area experts provided an overview of some of the top giving priorities in the DMV and offered a few key investment opportunities that companies might consider. Here are the highlights from each of our panelists:

(Click the image below)

March 16, 2015 / Ciara Myers, Editor

Advancing corporate support for arts and culture

ARTS/CSR | A new report from Americans for the Arts details how companies engage arts and culture to advance their corporate social responsibility (CSR) and corporate community involvement (CCI) goals. Kaiser Permanente‘s Educational Theatre Program and Boeing‘s innovative work in Seattle are named as leading examples of these efforts. (Animating Democracy, 3/2015)

To what extent have corporations engaged and supported arts and culture toward their CSR/CCI goals? A scan of recent reports on corporate funding patterns and trends, as well as observations from field leaders and interviewees, suggest a challenging corporate funding terrain for the arts and culture sector even though arts and culture appear to be well positioned to serve both philanthropic goals and business objectives. As the slow economic recovery continues to dampen corporate profits, more corporations are shifting their traditional and purely philanthropic charitable giving programs to focus more strategically and specifically on issues that align with their business interests and have a positive social impact—whether national or global—on their consumers or the communities in which they do business.

PHILANTHROPY | More and more grantmakers are committing to “get on the map.” Find out why the Community Foundation for the National Capital Region is excited about the interactive mapping tool and sharing their grants data with colleagues. (Daily, 3/16)

RACIAL EQUITY
– Opinion: In the wake of a growing number of tragic events that question the notion of racial justice in America, many foundation leaders wonder what they can do to promote greater equity. Citing examples from the Association of Black Foundation Executives and the Hill-Snowdon Foundation, Aaron Dorfman of the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy provides a few recommendations for a good starting place. (Chronicle, 3/13)

– Dr. Gail Christopher, Vice President for Program Strategy at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, shares how popular culture can reflect reality and propel it forward, including some story lines from some of the most addicting television shows today. (HuffPo, 3/15)

ENVIRONMENT
– On Saturday, March 28 at 6:00 PM, Prince Charitable Trusts, in collaboration with the Center for Environmental Filmmaking at American University, will hold a screening of four short films on the ways in which communities and farmers expand practices and traditions to preserve farmland and meet demands for sustainable, locally-grown food while also ensuring their career remains profitable. The session, titled Farming for the Future – Enduring Traditions, Innovative Practices, features two films – Farming for the Future and 50 Years of Farming: For Love & Vegetables – that were supported by grants from Prince Charitable Trusts and filmed in Northern Virginia by the Center for Environmental Filmmaking. Growing Legacy features the Maryland Agricultural Reserve in Montgomery County. A panel discussion will follow the screenings.

The ‘greenest’ school building in the world is in Washington (WaPo, 3/12)

– Take note, D.C. In Jackson, Wyoming a small piece of land next to a vacant parking lot will be transformed into one of the world’s only vertical farms. (Fast Company, 2/23)

MENTAL HEALTH | Booz Allen Hamilton is leading the charge to change how mental health, illness, and wellness are viewed in America. As a founding member of the national initiative The Campaign to Change Direction, Booz Allen will educate 11,000 employees over the next five years on the signs and symptoms of emotional health issues. (Booz Allen Hamilton, 3/4)

HOMELESSNESS | The District anticipated a 16 percent rise in homeless families seeking shelter this winter, up 840 from 723 during the 2013-2014 season. The number this year, however, rose to an estimated 897 families who sought shelter this winter. (WCP, 3/12)

AFFORDABLE HOUSING | A big boom in the development of high-end apartments in the region has made the market more favorable for renters. While the surplus has meant lower rents and greater perks for more affluent renters, the benefits have not yet trickled down to lower-income renters. (WaPo, 3/15)


 Businesses don’t just want you to see their marketing efforts…they want you to smell them, too.

- Ciara

March 16, 2015 / Rebekah Seder

Why We’re Getting on the Map: The Community Foundation for the National Capital Region

A few weeks ago, Tamara Copeland asked WRAG members to “get on the map” by sharing their grants data with the Foundation Center. That data will populate WRAG’s Foundation Maps platform, an interactive, searchable mapping tool for members that will visualize philanthropy in the Greater Washington region. Rick Moyers recently explained how having this data readily accessible will enable the Meyer Foundation to more thoughtfully and strategically collaborate with their colleagues, making them more effective grantmakers.

We’re excited to report that the list of funders getting on the map by electronically reporting their grants data to the Foundation Center is growing. One of the latest foundations to participate is The Community Foundation for the National Capital Region.

Here’s why they’re getting on the map, according to Angela Jones Hackley, Interim President:

“The Community Foundation for the National Capital Region is happy to be able to support this initiative to improve the quality and timeliness of data for the region’s philanthropic community. As the biggest grantmaker in the region in terms of giving, it’s critical that our data is on the map and available to our funding colleagues.”

According to Benton Murphy, Senior Director of Philanthropic Services and a “self-professed data nerd,”

“Having timely data on philanthropy in the region will help us be more strategic in our grantmaking, helping us see where great work is already happening and may be primed for partnership opportunities. I’m also excited that it will help demonstrate the impact and reach of CFNCR’s and our donors’ funding in communities around the region!”


WRAG Members: Learn more about the Get on the Map campaign and the Foundation Maps platform on our website. For more info on e-reporting and a demo of the platform, register for the next how-to webinar on April 9. Don’t want to wait that long to get on the map? Check out a recording of the last webinar. Questions? Contact Rebekah Seder.

March 13, 2015 / Ciara Myers, Editor

Friday roundup – March 9 through March 13, 2015

THIS WEEK IN EDUCATION
New plans for D.C. Public Schools under their new budget were announced this week. While a number of cuts will be made at the central office, four new schools will be opened, and additional programming is expected to be introduced to students. (WaPo, 3/12)

D.C. Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson announced Thursday that after years of school closures, D.C. Public Schools plans to open four next year and will hire 200 new school-based staff members. Many of the new employees will work in the city’s comprehensive high schools, offering a more expansive and consistent range of extracurricular activities and advanced courses citywide.

The budget aims to improve equity as school leaders push to persuade more families to choose neighborhood schools. City public school enrollment continues to grow overall, but many families have been choosing public charters or schools across town through a citywide lottery.

The system is projecting a fourth straight year of increased enrollment, with more than 1,500 new students next year, putting enrollment at more than 49,000.

– A Schott Foundation for Public Education report showed that Montgomery County leads the country’s large urban school districts in graduation rates for black male students. In 2012, three out of every four black male students in the district had earned a high school diploma. (Gazette, 3/4)

THIS WEEK IN AFFORDABLE HOUSING
– David Bowers of Enterprise Community Partners was a guest on the WPFW’s Business Matters show and spoke on the housing affordability crisis affecting the city. Audio from the interview is available here. (WPFW, 3/9 [at the 4:30 minute mark])

– County planners in Arlington look ahead to the year 2020 – when market-rate affordable housing could become a thing of the past. The Board is working on an Affordable Housing Master Plan that could be adopted in July. (ARLnow, 3/10)

Median rental price for a one-bedroom D.C. apartment is $2,000, study says (WaPo, 3/12)

THIS WEEK IN FOOD 
– WRAG’s Washington Regional Food Funders consultant Lindsay Smith shared her takeaways from the recent National Anti-Hunger Policy Conference, and discussed the importance of protecting federal nutrition programs. (Daily, 3/10)

– Wage stagnation and unemployment, combined with rising rents and food costs, gave way to a sharp rise in requests for food assistance in the region last year. Many are finding that putting fresh, nutritious food on the table is still no easy task. (WaPo, 3/10)

Why Some Schools Serve Local Food And Others Can’t (Or Won’t) (NPR, 3/11)

THIS WEEK IN IMMIGRATION
Opinion: Why pro-immigration states are fighting back (WaPo, 3/12)

– NPR interviewed a local teen who fled violence in Central America. (NPR, 3/9)

Related: On Tuesday, March 31 at 9:00 AM, WRAG members and invited guests can attend a funder briefing on Immigration Relief and the Impact on the D.C. Region. The special event, sponsored by a number of WRAG members, will be moderated by Rose Ann Cleveland of The Morris & Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation, and  includes remarks by Cecilia Muñoz, director of the White House Domestic Policy Council; a panel with Gustavo Torres, executive director of CASA; DJ Yoon, executive director of the National Korean American Services & Education Consortium; and Maya, immigrant leader and potential beneficiary.


WRAG EVENTS NEXT WEEK
How Philanthropic Leadership Changed The Equation for Returning Veterans in San Diego (WRAG members)
Wednesday, March 18, 2015  12:00 PM – 2:00 PM

Institute for CSR: Session 2: Investing in Communities (Institute for CSR Class of 2015)
Thursday, March 19, 2015  9:00 AM – Friday, March 20, 2015  5:00 PM

The Anacostia River: A Challenge and Opportunity for Philanthropy (WRAG members and other invited funders)
Thursday, March 19, 2015 10:30 AM – 12:00 PM


America is so young, it only takes four presidents to trace back to the Founding Fathers.

- Ciara

March 12, 2015 / Ciara Myers, Editor

Affordable housing does a disappearing act in the District

AFFORDABLE HOUSING
D.C. Fiscal Policy Institute has released their new report titled, Going, Going, Gone: DC’s Vanishing Affordable Housing. The report examines the urgency of the affordable housing crisis and offers a glimpse into the lives of those who are struggling to keep up with rapidly rising rents. (DCFPI, 3/12)

Rents have risen rapidly for virtually all residents. The impact has been greatest on low-income households who have not benefited from DC’s recent economic growth. Increasingly, moderate-income households also struggle to afford rent and utilities.

– Two-thirds of low-income households – with incomes under $32,000 for a family of four – spend more than half their income on housing.

– Even renters with incomes up to $54,000 are struggling, as one in three of these households pays the majority of its income towards rent.

Use It or Lose it: A Legislative Tool to Save Affordable Housing Hasn’t Been Funded (WCP, 3/11)

COMMUNITY/CSR | In this post, a member of The Boeing Company‘s Global Corporate Citizenship Team shares how a collaboration with the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia, business leaders, and stakeholders, has resulted in significant investments and programming that will bring lasting change to the region. (CFNOVA, 3/11)

FOOD | A new survey takes a look at which schools across the country are purchasing healthy foods locally to feed their students. One surprising find from the survey was that the biggest agricultural states were not among the ones serving the most local food. States including Delaware, Maine, Maryland and Vermont lead the pack. (NPR, 3/11)

ECONOMY | In light of budget season, D.C. Fiscal Policy Institute also recently explored some of the challenges Mayor Bowser will face as she crafts her first budget. More revenue will be necessary to avoid deep cuts for residents in the District. (DCFPI, 3/10)

Related: On Wednesday, April 1 at 1:00 PM, WRAG members are invited to attend a two-part briefing on the 2016 budget and how changes at the federal and local level may affect their work. The event will begin with an overview of the 2016 federal budget by Robert Greenstein, president of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, and will continue with breakout discussions for each jurisdiction, featuring:

District of Columbia:  Ed Lazere, Executive Director, DC Fiscal Policy Institute
Maryland:  Benjamin Orr, Executive Director, Maryland Center on Economic Policy
Virginia:  Michael Cassidy, President and CEO, The Commonwealth Institute for Fiscal Analysis

ENVIRONMENT/ANACOSTIA RIVER
– Want to know more about the forthcoming 11th Street Bridge Project that seeks to connect a long-divided community? You can learn more about the District’s first elevated park here. (WaPo, 3/8)

– The Environmental Film Festival kicking off next week will feature a film on the challenges and efforts to make the Anacostia River more suitable for future generations. The film, produced by Stone Soup Films with support from the Summit Fund of Washington, will have several screenings at programs sponsored by the Bernstein Family Foundation and Booz Allen Hamilton.

Related: On Thursday, March 19 at 10:30 AM, WRAG members and invited guests will gather to take a look at the challenges and opportunities of a cleaner Anacostia River. Eligible attendees interested in the environmental health of the watershed or the economic health of the communities along the riverbank can share their thoughts on how philanthropy can continue to catalyze the transformation of the Anacostia.

PHILANTHROPY/EVENTS | Next week begins the second annual Philanthropy Week in Washington – a week-long series of events and activities that highlight the role of philanthropy in our society – hosted by the Council on Foundations. This year, the center piece event will be Foundations on the Hill, hosted in partnership with the Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers. Click here to check out the week’s schedule of events.


College basketball enthusiasts aren’t the only ones who may lose out on money during March Madness.

- Ciara

March 11, 2015 / Ciara Myers, Editor

Reversing inequality locally and beyond

CWBI/INCOME EQUALITY
As income gaps among Americans continue to widen, should the country look toward a new progressive era or keep on the same path hoping trends will inevitably change? A number of new, long-term approaches to create a more equitable economic system have been adopted across the country in recent years, including Evergreen Cooperatives in Cleveland, OH – a leading example of community wealth building initiatives in the U.S. (NPQ, 3/10)

What is encouraging is that, across the country, there are many signs that frustration is forcing exactly the kind of experimentation with new institutions that may one day become a significant part of the power base of a new politics and that may also suggest principles for larger national application—efforts that may also slowly help lay foundations for a long-term approach capable of reversing deepening inequality. Critically, at their core, these experiments involve a new principle, something quite different for the new era—at first locally, ultimately potentially nationally: the idea that wealth ownership must be democratized both in theory and in on-the-ground practice, building slowly from experiments to larger scale.

Essentially, a new strategic paradigm—the idea that democratizing ownership can begin locally—is emerging around the nation. Especially important has been the expansion of worker and community cooperatives—an old form now exploding in relevance around the nation in communities that have been left behind and writhing in pain as national and international forces both turn their backs on locality and find it impossible to enact even modest policies of significant assistance.

[…]

One particularly impressive effort involves the Evergreen Cooperatives—a complex of linked cooperative businesses owned by workers from the surrounding low-income communities and established to create green jobs (and democratized ownership) by capturing procurement dollars from the “anchor institutions” as they make their supply chains more sustainable.

Related: An initiative similar to the Evergreen Cooperatives is underway here in our region. In a post last month, Tamara shared how that vision came to fruition, with a new initiative led by City First Enterprises launching in Prince George’s County known as the Community Clean Water Management Group. (Daily, 2/18) For more information about the Community Wealth Building Initiative, check out past Daily posts HERE, HERE, HERE, and HERE.

FOOD | Want to eat nutritious food? If you don’t get a raise, you’re out of luck (WaPo, 3/10)

EVENTS | On Monday, March 16 at 5:30 PM, the Community Foundation for the National Capital Region will hold their 2015 Annual Celebration of Philanthropy at The Mead Center for American Theater. For more information and to purchase tickets for this fun night of performances, networking and more, click here.

AFFORDABLE HOUSING/DISTRICT
– The D.C. Office of Planning is looking into creating a greater supply of family housing in multi-family buildings amid a sea of new studio and one-bedroom units that cater to a very different audience in the city. (WCP, 3/11)

Advocates inclined toward housing deregulation argue that the best course of action is simply to allow more housing to be built, by lifting zoning restrictions on building height and density. Supply will then catch up with demand, and costs will come down.

But that raises the next “for whom” question, one about household composition. The majority of the new apartments and condos rising up in D.C.’s hottest neighborhoods are studios and one-bedrooms. These units cater to the young, childless professionals who have flooded the city in recent years, but don’t do much for the larger families who are feeling pinched.

– Map Fix: See Where Low-Income Families Are Being Replaced by DC Singles (DCInno, 3/10)

LGBT | A new report evaluating the status of the Metropolitan Police Department’s fulfillment of recommendations made by the Hate Crimes Assessment Task Force, shows that much more should be done in the District to better the department’s relationship with the LGBTQ community. Many of the recommendations show little-to-no progress since they were first proposed. (DCist, 3/10)

EDUCATION | Anxiety abounds as DC schools roll out new, harder tests (GGW, 3/11)


While one half of this couple may be wrapped up in email controversy, the other half has probably forgotten his password a long time ago….and has no plans to recover it.

- Ciara

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