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July 15, 2019 / WRAG

Keeping up the momentum to #CountDMVin

A few weeks ago, the Supreme Court handed down a decision that effectively blocked the implementation of a proposed citizenship question on the 2020 Census. As census forms went to print, the administration continued its efforts to find a way to include the question, only relenting late last week. While we celebrate the Supreme Court’s decision and monitor the ongoing attempts by the administration to count citizens and noncitizens, we must continue to keep up momentum and energy around the 2020 Census.

Even without the citizenship question, we face challenges to a fair and accurate count. The stakes could not be higher. Many communities – especially those that historically have been hardest to count, such as immigrant and communities of color – may understandably be fearful of responding to the census, particularly given the continued efforts to politicize it. Organizations with deep relationships within these communities have the opportunity to serve as trusted messengers, helping their clients and constituents understand what is at stake in the census and what can be gained by getting counted. The census determines the amount of federal dollars our region receives for critical programs, the number of Congressional seats we have, and how district lines are drawn at all levels of government. Getting counted is the most powerful tool we have to secure our fair share of federal resources and political power.

This is an all-hands-on-deck moment for the region. That’s why we encourage everyone to help #CountDMVin. Here’s how you can get involved:

Funders:

  • Talk to your grantee partners about how they might be able to engage hard-to-count communities in the 2020 Census and what kind of support they need to do so.
  • Consider investing in the Count DMV In Census Project, a pooled fund at the Greater Washington Community Foundation, to directly support 2020 Census activities.
  • WRAG members: Join the 2020 Census Working Group to get connected with other local funders investing in a complete and accurate census in our region.

Community-based organizations:

  • Consider how you might incorporate education and outreach about the 2020 Census into your work. Talk to your current funders now about what kind of additional support you would need.
  • Check out the national Census Counts Campaign for a wealth of resources related to census outreach, including messaging toolkits.
  • Get connected with your local Complete Count Committees, task forces responsible for developing strategies for local outreach. Find a list of committees in this resource guide.
  • Apply for funding from the Count DMV In Census Project (and act fast: the application deadline is July 29th!)

Local businesses:

  • The private sector depends on accurate census data. Local businesses can help get the word out about the importance of completing the census among their employees and customers. Check out this recent op-ed in the Washington Business Journal from the Northern Virginia Complete Count Committee on how business can engage in the census.

Everyone:


The Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers’ 2020 Census Working Group is a collection of funders focused on leveraging the resources of local philanthropy and other stakeholders to ensure an accurate and complete census count in the region, co-chaired by Levina Kim (United Way of the National Capital Area), Ria Pugeda (Consumer Health Foundation), and Terri Wright (Eugene & Agnes E. Meyer Foundation). #CountDMVin is a regional communications campaign to raise awareness and spur action to ensure a complete 2020 Census.

June 24, 2019 / WRAG

Where’s the (Almost) Daily WRAG?

WRAG is excited to introduce our newest team member, Carmen Rodriguez, Director of Communication, Technology, and Administration!

This summer, the Daily will go on “vacation” as WRAG assesses its communications strategy and needs going forward. We will continue to bring you occasional updates using this platform, but we will not produce a regular news roundup. In the meantime, we would love to hear from readers: What have you valued about the Daily WRAG? What would you like to see more of from WRAG? Less of? We welcome your thoughts via this quick survey.

We look forward to sharing with you our new communications strategy later this year!

June 13, 2019 / Buffy Beaudoin-Schwartz, Editor

Homelessness survey in the District points to need for regional cooperation

HOMELESSNESS | A new survey released this week shows that one-third of people currently experiencing homelessness in DC used to have homes in Maryland, Virginia or another state. (WAMU, 6/12)

The question of where DC’s homeless come from isn’t new — and it is often politically fraught. The survey won’t be used to try and limit homeless services to DC residents, according to Kristy Greenwalt, the director of the Interagency Council on Homelessness … she hopes it will spur better regional coordination on tackling homelessness which has been a topic of conversation among local leaders for some time … “We just wanted to learn a little more about people’s experience and what’s driving their decision-making. Were they originally from the District and lost housing and left and are returning to a support network? Are they from somewhere else and are coming here because they couldn’t get help in their jurisdiction?” Greenwalt says.

HOUSING
–  Why’s everyone talking about upzoning? It’s the foundation of green, equitable cities. (GGWash, 6/11)

– DC’s affordable housing is extremely inequitably distributed across the city, according to this image from the DC Office of Planning. (GGWash, 6/5)

FOOD | In Farm-to-Table 2.0, Local Farmers Are Partners Not Purveyors (CP, 6/12)

ENVIRONMENT | The Anacostia River suffered after the region’s wettest year on record, which has brought trash, waste and dirt that is harming the river. (WAMU, 6/11)

HEALTH | Absence Of ‘Harris Rider’ Could Put D.C. One Step Closer To Recreational Marijuana Dispensaries (WAMU, 6/12)

EDUCATION | DC Charter School Leaders Campaign For More Space (WAMU, 6/12)

ART/CULTURE | The Smithsonian Institution has picked a 10-story building by the L’Enfant Plaza Metro in Southwest DC for its new headquarters, which sets the stage for the institution’s larger planned South Mall campus renovation. (WBJ, 6/11)

PHILANTHROPY
The Rise, Fall, and Possible Rebirth of 100 Resilient Cities (CityLab, 6/12)

– Assets at Small Foundations Declined 3.5% Last Year, Study Shows (Chronicle, 6/12)

ANNOUNCEMENT | WRAG is excited to introduce our newest team member, Carmen Rodriguez, Director of Communication, Technology, and Administration! With Carmen on board, I am closing out my time as WRAG’s communications consultant responsible for producing the (Almost) Daily WRAG. It has been a true pleasure bringing you the (Almost) Daily over the past six months as WRAG builds its new team.

This summer, the Daily will go on “vacation” as WRAG assesses its communications strategy and needs going forward. We will continue to bring you occasional updates using this platform, but we will not produce a regular news roundup. In the meantime, we would love to hear from readers: What have you valued about the Daily WRAG? What would you like to see more of from WRAG? Less of? We welcome your thoughts via this quick survey.

We look forward to sharing with you our new communications strategy later this year!


Social Sector Job Openings 

Institutional Development Manager | Martha’s Table – New!
Director | Open Society Institute-Baltimore
Director, School Partnerships Coach | Flamboyan Foundation
Senior Director of Development, Research & Innovation | Children’s Hospital Foundation
Senior Program Manager | Rising Tide Foundation
Development Manager | Mikva Challenge DC
Foundation Director | Venable LLP
Development Associate | Sitar Arts Center
Grants Manager | Arabella Advisors
Institutional Development Officer | Martha’s Table
Development Manager, Washington, DC | Reading Partners
Director of Individual Giving | Horizons Greater Washington
Grants Compliance Manager | Loudoun Abused Women’s Shelter
Director of Corporate and Foundation Advancement | Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers
Engagement Officer | Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute
Grants and Communications Associate | Neighborhood Health
Senior Manager of Member Engagement and Partnerships | 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 here to view the community calendar.


An app to find the best happy hour in DC? Yes, please – cheers to a great summer!

– Buffy

June 12, 2019 / Buffy Beaudoin-Schwartz, Editor

Amazon investing in education and affordable housing in Northern Virginia

HOUSING | Amazon will donate $3 million to the Arlington Community Foundation to support affordable housing in Arlington County and, in a separate venture, will help George Mason University and Northern Virginia Community College create a new, high-tech bachelor’s degree to help meet its future workforce needs, the company announced Tuesday. (WaPo, 6/11)

Since Amazon announced in November that it was building a second headquarters in Crystal City, critics and supporters alike have urged it to do more to support affordable housing… Amazon’s $3 million donation will create a fund that can be used to subsidize some costs of new affordable housing and pay for services for homeless people or those who cannot afford their rent.

COMMUNITY | In the final installment of WRAG’s Journalism Fellows Project, we hear from Jailen Fuller, a junior at Fairmont Heights High School in Prince George’s County, who hopes to use her voice to help those who feel like they do not have one. (Daily, 6/12)

EDUCATION | Prince George’s County Public Schools will receive an additional $53 million from the state’s Kirwan Commission for next school year. (WAMU, 6/11)

ENVIRONMENT | Maryland joins DC in passing “clean” energy legislation. But is burning trash clean? (GGWash, 6/11)

DISTRICT | Part of the old RFK Stadium parking lot is now a park with soccer fields and more. (WAMU, 6/8)

DISABILITY RIGHTS | St. Elizabeths, the only public psychiatric hospital in the District, has a long history of misusing the controversial practice of seclusion, which is known to cause lasting psychiatric harm. According to disability rights lawyers from University Legal Services, the hospital has increasingly, and potentially illegally, used such practices. (CP, 6/11)

YOUTH | The Junior Tennis Champions Center in College Park teaches how to win on the court and in the classroom. (WaPo, 6/8)

NONPROFITS | The role of a healthy capital investment in helping an organization to optimize its impact. (NPQ, 6/11)

PHILANTHROPY | Why Foundations Should Connect Policy Groups to the People They Seek to Help(Chronicle, 6/11)


How to celebrate Pride in the District all month long.

The (Almost) Daily WRAG will be back on Thursday!

– Buffy

June 12, 2019 / WRAG

Journalism Fellows Project: Normalizing Safety and Unity, Not Violence

Last year WRAG launched the Journalism Fellows Project to share our platform with youth of color in this region who are often written about, but are rarely asked their perspectives on the issues facing their communities and families. We asked the youth to write about challenges they are experiencing, and if they have any solutions to offer.

In today’s edition, we hear from Jailen Fuller about the community’s role in stopping violence in Prince George’s County, MD.


Why do people have to worry so much about whether or not someone they love will make it home?

Violence is something that has become so normalized in our communities. Daily, we can see how many lives are taken from this earth as a result of it. From gang to domestic violence, people are being brutally murdered over petty reasons.

So many people experience trauma at a young age because of the violence that they see constantly happening around them. While I have not experienced the same trauma as my peers, it has happened to people that I love. I wish that they did not have to experience these things. Though it is simply a reality for many people.

Just two years ago, I lost my cousin to violence. He was murdered and the person who killed him has not been identified. My cousin was still young and had his whole life ahead of him. He had young kids who now will not be able to grow with their father guiding them through the world. Why to some does another person’s life mean nothing?  Every life is meant to be cherished. Circumstance should not determine one’s worthiness in life. I hope that one day people will not see violence as their only means of living.

This idea that violence is normal should not be passed on to our current growing generation and the generations after us. This will only influence their minds at a young age and the cycle will continue, and our communities will never move forward. Nobody wants to keep seeing another young girl go missing or another young male murdered. As a teenager and especially a young girl, I don’t want to fall victim to this or want to see any of my peers lose their lives either. We should be looking forward to a bright future and having that same idea for the next generation.

Growing up, I was pretty sheltered, meaning that I was not always able to play outside and make friends. Now I can understand why I was not able to do these things. So many girls go missing and are either never found or found dead. I would never want my parents to have to go through that. Imagine how many families have to bury their children every year.

We have not fulfilled our duties as a community. To me, a community does not just mean a bunch of houses in a neighborhood, but a sense of unity. We should be looking out for each other and not looking to cause harm over something stupid. Guns, fighting and other sorts of violence should not be the solution to our problems. Youth should be influenced to infuse good into the world because we are our future. It is up to us to decide what we want our future to be. Instead of violence, why not influence each other to be successful and educated?


About the Author:
Jailen Fuller is a 16-year-old African-American young woman in her junior year at Fairmont Heights High School in Prince George’s County, MD. One day she hopes to use her voice to help those who feel like they do not have one.


Read previous editions of the WRAG Journalism Fellows Project:

Overcoming Violence in My City” by Thomas Kent
Gentrification Anxiety” by Jacqueline Lassey
Coming to a New Home” by Looking Owl
Bringing Community into The Daily WRAG” by Kendra Allen

June 11, 2019 / Buffy Beaudoin-Schwartz, Editor

#CountDMVIn kicks off to mobilize a complete 2020 Census count in the Greater Washington region

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CENSUS 2020
– Last week, WRAG and 14 partner organizations convened Interventions that Work: 2020 Census & Hard-to-Count Communities, a forum that kicked off a regional get-out-the-count effort, especially among immigrant communities, communities of color, and other populations that are at risk of being undercounted in the census. Check out the #CountDMVIn hashtag on Twitter for conversation highlights, and watch the kickoff video below, produced by the United Way of the National Capital Area, and featuring Dr. Madye Henson (WRAG), Rosie Allen-Herring (UWNCA), Chuck Bean (Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments), and other community leaders.

Related: The Resilience Fund, a funding collaborative at the Greater Washington Community Foundation, has released a new RFP for the 2020 Count DMV In Census Project, a pooled fund to support projects focused on the 2020 Census, including education, outreach, and direct assistance focused on hard-to-count communities. Learn more here.

Related: Read a message from the co-chairs of WRAG’s 2020 Census Working Group calling on their philanthropic colleagues to invest in nonprofit partners with deep connections to those communities – especially communities of color – most at risk of an undercount. (WRAG members: The next working group meeting is Monday, June 17. Register here.)

– The Urban Institute has released a new interactive data resource looking at the potential for census miscounts under different risk scenarios. (Urban, 6/4)

HOUSING
– Wells Fargo has pledged to invest $1 billion from its business and foundation into affordable housing. (Chronicle, 6/5)

For better or worse, opportunity zones abound in Greater Washington. Here’s where the money is likely to flow. (WBJ, 6/7)

DISTRICT
D.C. Budget Thrown Into Turmoil After City’s CFO Objects To Funding Ploy To Pay For Public Housing Repairs (WAMU, 6/10)

Against The Backdrop Of Barry Farm’s Demolition, The Goodman League Returns (WAMU, 6/10)

EDUCATION | Virginia Tech Will Be Amazon’s Neighbor With Construction Of New $1B ‘Innovation Campus’ (WAMU 6/10)

PUBLIC SAFETY | Residents in Ward 8 say it’s time to broaden the definition of safe streets to include both car and gun violence. (GGWash, 6/7)

GENTRIFICATION | London and San Francisco have legislation that protects live music venues from consequential noise complaints. Could DC be next? (CP, 6/5)


Missed the Tony’s on Sunday?  Here are the highlights

The (Almost) Daily WRAG will be back this week on Wednesday and Thursday!

– Buffy

June 7, 2019 / Buffy Beaudoin-Schwartz, Editor

Decriminalizing sex work in the District

PUBLIC HEALTH/CRIMINAL JUSTICE | A coalition of sex workers and their advocates have introduced a bill, the Community Safety and Health Amendment Act of 2019, to decriminalize the sale and purchase of sex in the District. (CP, 6/3)

The world of people who sell sex for money in DC is not a monolith with one blanket policy need … among their ranks are those who sell sex by choice; those who sell sex to survive, feed their children, and stave off homelessness; and those who sell sex against their will because they’ve been trafficked. Under the current law in DC, police can arrest and charge anyone who sells sex and under this new bill, police would no longer have cause or power to employ this tactic for catching sellers of sex mid-sale—a change that many sex workers and their advocates enthusiastically endorse.

AFFORDABLE HOUSING | Minneapolis ended exclusive single-family zoning. Could the DC region do the same? (WBJ, 6/6)

LGBTQIA | DC’s LGTBQIA communities continue to fight for some basic rights—and celebrate their victories, too. (CP, 6/6)

ENVIRONMENT
Key Urban Agriculture Programs Delayed as City Swaps Who Will Manage Them (CP, 6/7)

– Michael Bloomberg’s foundation said that he will donate $500 million to a new campaign to close every coal-fired power plant in the United States and halt the growth of natural gas. (NYT, 6/6)

MARYLAND | Residents voice concerns over Montgomery County policing (WTOP, 6/7)

DC/CULTURE | The DC Public Library is launching a three-part Go-Go Book Club, in collaboration with Washington Performing Arts and the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage. (dcist, 6/6)

TRANSIT/CLIMATE | Maryland and Virginia plan to expand roads, in defiance of their own climate goals (GGWash, 6/6)

GENTRIFICATION | What’s In A Name? Residents East Of The Anacostia River Say, ‘Everything.’  (WAMU, 6/7)

PHILANTHROPY
– A new report,  Nonprofit Executives and the Racial Leadership Gap, details that people of color who lead nonprofits face barriers and challenges that their white counterparts don’t. (Chronicle, 6/4)

– Fund the People has launched the Talent Justice Initiative to help funders and nonprofits invest in intersectional racial equity across the nonprofit career lifecycle and workforce.

– Has the Giving Pledge Changed Giving? (Chronicle, 6/4)


Social Sector Job Openings 

Director | Open Society Institute-Baltimore – New!
Director, School Partnerships Coach | Flamboyan Foundation – New!
Senior Director of Development, Research & Innovation | Children’s Hospital Foundation – New!
Senior Program Manager | Rising Tide Foundation
Development Manager | Mikva Challenge DC
Foundation Director | Venable LLP
Development Associate | Sitar Arts Center
Grants Manager | Arabella Advisors
Institutional Development Officer | Martha’s Table
Development Manager, Washington, DC | Reading Partners
Director of Individual Giving | Horizons Greater Washington
Grants Compliance Manager | Loudoun Abused Women’s Shelter
Director of Corporate and Foundation Advancement | Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers
Engagement Officer | Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute
Grants and Communications Associate | Neighborhood Health
Senior Manager of Member Engagement and Partnerships | 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 here to view the community calendar.


Blueberries all day, every day

The (Almost) Daily WRAG will be back next week on Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday!

– Buffy