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May 24, 2018 / Kendra Allen, Editor

Activists hold forum to voice opposition to the region’s incentive offers to Amazon

BUSINESS | On Tuesday night, activists from across the region, along with a few candidates for council, came together to voice their opposition to the incentive packages local jurisdictions have offered to Amazon. (WaPo, 5/23)

“If this locates in Montgomery County, it will put enormous pressure on our housing market. Adding tens of thousands of new people and their families to Montgomery County is a huge increase in our population, on our schools, on our services. It’s a big impact, and we have to realistically ask if that’s the way that we should add 50,000 jobs rather than investing in the companies that we already have,” said Brandy Brooks, a candidate for an At-Large seat on the Montgomery County Council.

Few of the speakers seemed to think that stopping regional officials from courting Amazon — and from Amazon accepting their entreaties — would be possible, but most argued that public money shouldn’t be put towards financial incentives for Amazon. They worried that by short-listing three jurisdictions in the Washington region, Amazon was all but ensuring that an incentives bidding war would happen.

GENDER EQUITY | The story of the women’s rights movement in 1968, including a Miss America pageant protest. (WaPo, 5/23)

PHILANTHROPY | Opinion: Why we should think of news media as a public good and how philanthropy can help save it. (Chronicle, 5/1 – Subscription needed)

YOUTH | DC Action for Children and the DC Alliance of Youth Advocates have partnered to release the DC Votes for Children and Youth 2018 Election Advocacy Guide to educate voters on the issues affecting DC’s youth. Read it here.

DISTRICT | ‘I’m From Here’: Washington, DC, Natives Fight Back Against the Whitewashing of Chocolate City (The Root, 5/23)

PUBLIC SAFETY | High school students in the District share their ideas on how to end gun violence in their neighborhoods. (WAMU, 5/24)

CENSUS 2020Alabama sues Census Bureau for counting undocumented immigrants (The Hill, 5/22)

The Capitals are going to the Stanley Cup finals!

– Kendra

May 23, 2018 / Kendra Allen, Editor

Why the rising popularity of ugly produce is good news

FOOD WASTE | The consumption of imperfect or flawed fruits and vegetables is on the rise. While the produce has largely gone to food banks or to waste in the past, recently, some for-profit businesses have begun to sell them in an effort to stop food waste and to try to change our society’s views on food. (WCP, 5/17)

According to Rethink Food Waste Through Economics and Data (ReFED), 63 million tons of food goes to waste every year. Ten million tons, or 16 percent, of that waste happens at the first stage of the supply chain—on the farm. One of the solutions ReFED recommends is accepting and integrating ugly produce into the food system.

That step alone would slow climate change by diverting 266,000 tons of waste away from landfills and on-farm losses, reducing greenhouse gases by 422,000 tons and saving 39 billion gallons of water every year, according to ReFED.

IMMIGRATION | The Montgomery County Council has approved $370,000 in funds to pay for legal representation for certain low-income immigrants who are facing deportation. (Bethesda Beat, 5/22)

TAX REFORM | Foundations and Nonprofits Split Over How to Respond to Tax Changes (Chronicle, 5/22 -Subscription needed)

TRANSGENDER RIGHTS | A Virginia court has ruled that school officials violated the constitutional rights of Gavin Grimm, a Virginia transgender teen who was prohibited from using the boys’ restroom in his high school in 2015. (WaPo, 5/22)

COMMUNITY | What do Prince George’s County residents think about the southern half of the county being labelled ‘ward 9’ of the District? This WAMU article asks community members. (WAMU, 5/22)

CRIMINAL JUSTICE | Column: ‘No relief in sight’: Hundreds of Virginia inmates languish in solitary confinement for years, groups find. (WaPo, 5/22)

Here’s another reason to sleep in on the weekend…

– Kendra

May 22, 2018 / Kendra Allen, Editor

Virginia’s General Assembly expected to vote for Medicaid expansion this week

– Virginia’s General Assembly is expected to vote to expand Medicaid, which would allow 400,000 residents to access healthcare, this week. The Washington Post has profiled a few of the people who would benefit from the program. (WaPo, 5/21)

Many of the Virginians who would qualify for Medicaid defy the stereotype that recipients do not work and just want a handout. Many have jobs but still cannot afford insurance. Others are too sick to work.

And while expansion foes fear the cost of expanding Medicaid, keeping people off can be costly as well.

– Lacking access to health care impacts undocumented immigrants with life-threatening diseases and the doctors who have to turn them away. (NPR, 5/21)

PUBLIC SAFETY | Here’s a history of how loitering laws have been used to keep individuals who are “othered” (such as poor or Black and brown communities) out of white spaces. (Citylab, 5/21)

TRANSPORTATION | A Washington Post analysis of 49 states and DC found that more than 7 million people have had their driver’s licenses suspended because they were unable to pay court fees. (WaPo, 5/19)

EDUCATIONMontgomery County Sees Early Success In Effort To Diversify Schools’ Gifted Programs (WAMU, 5/21)

WORKFORCE | Advocates worry that a recent Supreme Court ruling that companies can require workers to settle employment disputes through individual arbitration could make it harder to push other complaints such as discrimination. (WaPo, 5/21)

The US Postal Service is finally giving us scratch and sniff stamps. They will be designed by two Alexandria artists. Are you ready?

– Kendra

May 21, 2018 / Kendra Allen, Editor

DC has the highest Black unemployment rate in the country

WORKFORCE | The Economic Policy Institute has released its quarterly report analyzing unemployment rates in the US. It found that DC has the highest Black unemployment rate — 12.9 percent. The report also found an unemployment rate gap between Black and white workers in the region. (WAMU, 5/18)

“White workers in D.C. are having great economic outcomes. It is a great place to be a white worker,” says Janelle Jones, EPI’s lead analyst for the quarterly report. “But if you are a black worker in D.C., you’re facing recession levels of unemployment.”

In Maryland, the black unemployment rate is three times the white unemployment rate, and in Virginia, blacks are twice as likely as whites to be unemployed. “It really makes you think about the policies that are taking place inside the District that don’t cross state lines,” Jones says. “What is it about the makeup of D.C.’s economy, the way it hires, and how is that different from Virginia and Maryland that we’re seeing such discrepancies in unemployment rate?”

– On June 19, 1865, almost two and a half years after President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, enslaved blacks in Texas finally learned that slavery had ended. The anniversary of this day became known as Juneteenth. In a blog post, Tamara Lucas Copeland, WRAG’s president, asks if our readers would be willing to take action to acknowledge this important day in American history. (Daily, 5/21)

– In the fourth session of WRAG and Leadership Greater Washington’s Putting Racism on the Table: Expanding the Table for Racial Equity series, Dr. Patricia Devine and Dr. Will Cox, two scientific leaders in the study of implicit bias, share the strategies they have developed and empirically tested to break the “prejudice habit.”  Click here to watch the video and download the accompanying discussion and viewing guides.

HOUSING | Kaiser Permanente has created a $200 million impact-investing fund to reduce homelessness and assist individuals unable to afford housing. (Chronicle, 5/18 – Subscription needed)

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT | Is the Greater Washington region big enough for both Amazon and Apple? (Citylab, 5/18)

PHILANTHROPY | Kimberly Casey, director of member networks at Forefront, discusses the role regional associations can play in engaging philanthropy around equity and  shifting power back to communities. (NCRP, 5/15)

Here’s something to make you smile on this Monday:


Do you want to be involved? Send us a picture of something that has made you smile and we may include it in the “Daily WRAG’s Monday Smile”!

Email us your content at

– Kendra

May 21, 2018 / WRAG


By Tamara Lucas Copeland
Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers

On June 19, 1865, almost two and a half years after President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, a notice of the emancipation finally reached Galveston, Texas.  Until Union Army General Gordon Granger read the announcement, there was either no knowledge of this event or no recognition of its significance in this outer edge of the U.S. So, it was on June 19th – Juneteenth – that freedom was finally announced to, and embraced by, the last enslaved people in America. Until the early 1900s, this day was marked by major celebrations in black communities across the United States. It was referred to as Emancipation Day or Freedom Day. After the passage of Jim Crow laws, dictating how black people were treated in America, they were afraid to gather for this celebration.

For some reason, this all came to mind in February 2017 when many offices closed for “A Day Without Immigrants.”  This was a day in which immigrants and their allies were encouraged not to work to recognize all that immigrants give to the economy and culture of the United States, and to protest deleterious federal immigration policy proposals. The fact that immigrants form a large bedrock of the workforce in America was immediately apparent by their decision not to come to work. That was at the crux of this recognition for me. It was about money.

To my knowledge, there is no such day that recognizes all that African-Americans give and have given to this country. I suspect that some might suggest that the federal holiday in recognition of Martin Luther King Jr. is such a day. Maybe, but that holiday feels more like a recognition of the leadership of one phenomenal person, not a recognition of the economic and cultural contributions of a people. Juneteenth came to mind as the closest, symbolically, to being a day for this type of recognition. It acknowledges the pivotal role of enslaved people in undergirding the economic health of this fledgling country and the ongoing role that black Americans have played in building America’s wealth – literally and figuratively. It recognizes the cultural influence of Africa and subsequently of African-Americans in shaping this country.

So, am I suggesting that all black Americans not work on June 19, 2018? No, I don’t believe we are organized enough – YET — to have a visible impact. Today, I am simply urging everyone to stop and think about the wealth that was created by the free labor of black enslaved people, the profits that were made by black people being underpaid in Jim Crow America, the racial wealth divide that had its roots – and continues – in inequitable treatment.  Perhaps this post will plant a seed and by 2019, our community – philanthropy and beyond – will know what Juneteenth is, how slavery impacted the viability of this country, and will want to acknowledge this reality. Perhaps on June 19, 2019, black people will not go to work and others will close their doors in support.  Together we can make this happen. This year, on June 19th, let’s start by having a pause, a moment of silence, in recognition of what African-Americans have given (willingly and unwillingly) to this country.

May 18, 2018 / Kendra Allen, Editor

On Bike-To-Work Day, calls for more protected bike lanes

TRANSPORTATION | This morning, a group of cyclists formed a human-protected bike lane on a block of DC’s 14th Street to demonstrate the need for more bike lanes. The region has been ranked among the top biking cities in the US, but cyclists say that progress is slow on creating the lanes and other initiatives to keep them safe. (WAMU, 5/18)

The difficulty now is that in many places, transportation planners have done the easy stuff, painting bike lanes on streets that could easily fit them…in Arlington, the county has “picked the low hanging fruit” in terms of bike infrastructure. The next steps are going to be harder: “They’re going to take more money, they’re going to take more political capital.”

In D.C., Jeff Marootian, director of the District Department of Transportation, used similar words to explain why D.C. is averaging only three or four new miles of bike lanes a year, rather than the ten miles envisioned by its transportation master plan. “While we’ve been able to accomplish those that are easier, those that are more complex, more complicated, just require us to do a little more detailed work, which is what we’re doing.”

HEALTH | The administration has proposed cutting federal funding from clinics that provide or refer patients for abortions and are recipients of the Title X program. (NPR, 5/18)

HOMELESSNESS | DC’s Friendship Place launches a regional homelessness prevention program with the help of Amazon’s million-dollar donation (Street Sense, 5/16)

YOUTH | Eric Braxton, executive director of the Funders’ Collaborative on Youth Organizing, discusses why funders should invest in youth organizing. (PND Blog, 5/16)

ENVIRONMENT | How climate change can negatively impact historical documents and other rare materials. (Citylab, 5/17)

HOUSING | A new analysis by District, Measured found that most of the people renting DC’s luxury apartments are young, single individuals with relatively high salaries who are new to the city. (Urban Turf, 5/17)

Social Sector Job Openings 

Grants Manager | Public Welfare Foundation– New!
Facilitator | Community Foundation for Loudoun and Northern Fauquier Counties– New!
Program Manager | The J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation– New!
Executive Director | Nonprofit Montgomery
Grants Program Analyst | Legal Services Corporation
Vice President of Strategy | Gill Foundation
Associate, Program Design | Flamboyan Foundation
Associate, Program Operations | Flamboyan Foundation
Director of Communications and Marketing | Grantmakers for Effective Organizations
Membership and Program Coordinator | Funders Together to End Homelessness
Communications Associate | Venture Philanthropy Partners
Finance Manager (Part-Time) | United Philanthropy Forum
Communications Manager | United Philanthropy Forum

Hiring? Post your job on WRAG’s job board and get it included in the Daily! Free for members; $60/60 days for non-members. Details here.

Community Calendar

To add an event to WRAG’s community calendar, email Rebekah Seder.

Click the button if you can.

– Kendra

May 17, 2018 / Kendra Allen, Editor

Do More 24 offers a chance to give back today

GIVING | Do More 24 starts today! Rosie Allen-Herring, president and CEO of United Way of the National Capital Area, discusses why you should support the Greater Washington region’s largest 24-hour online fundraiser, which begins at noon today and ends at noon tomorrow. (Prince William Living, 5/16)

We are hearing from our nonprofit partners on a daily basis about the overwhelming demand for services for the area’s “at-risk” populations, including those benefiting from programs that support school success, financial empowerment and access to health support services.

On Thursday, May 17, more than 270 Prince William County nonprofits will join other organizations throughout the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area to take part in United Way of the National Capital Area’s Do More 24. This is the region’s largest online giving day, expected to raise nearly $2 million for local nonprofits.

IMPACT INVESTING | The Urban Institute and Mission Investors Exchange have partnered on a report to explore emerging approaches to collaborative placed-based impact investing in philanthropy. The report mentions Enterprise Community Loan Fund and WRAG’s Our Region, Your Investment initiative. (Urban Institute, 5/15)

– A new hiring platform that helps individuals find temporary work in the region’s restaurants worries labor experts. (WAMU, 5/17)

– It’s not just Amazon: Apple quietly explores Northern Virginia campus for 20,000 jobs (WaPo, 5/16)

BUDGET | DC Fiscal Policy Institute reports that DC’s recently approved budget for next year does not ensure equitable access to health care or fund critical affordable housing needs in the city. (DCFPI, 5/16)

TRANSPORTATION | Greater Washington Partnership, an alliance of CEOs from major companies around the region, have released a report arguing that tolls are the solution for traffic congestion between Baltimore and Richmond. (WBJ, 5/16)

A new debate has taken over the internet, but instead of a dress, it’s an audio clip that says either ‘laurel’ or ‘yanny’. What do you hear? 

(Clearly, it’s laurel.)

– Kendra