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December 13, 2017 / Kendra Allen, Editor

A new publication explores the demographics of America’s working class

WORKFORCE | The Center for American Progress has released a brief using data from the last 75 years on the educational attainment, gender, race, and industry of American workers ages 18 and older to analyze the composition of the US working class. It found that women and people of color make up a larger portion of this sector. (CityLab, 12/11)

The report concludes: The struggles of the working class will not be solved by states’ piecemeal efforts to open new factories by luring companies with tax incentives. Nor will they be solved through presidential pressure to delay a plant’s outsourcing by another year. Instead, policymakers need a broader, bolder policy vision—one that puts the government firmly on the side of workers and their families. Laws should make it easier for these workers to join together in unions, as past and current union organizing has contributed greatly to the increase in the quality of industrial jobs.

RACIAL EQUITY/WRAG | WRAG is excited to announce we are partnering with Leadership Greater Washington to expand the regional, cross-sector network of philanthropic, nonprofit, and civic leaders who understand racism and are committed to working for racial justice. With our new learning series, Expanding the Table for Racial Equity, we hope to grow the network of people committed to promoting and working together for racial equity in the Greater Washington region. (Daily, 12/13)

HEALTH | Montgomery County is planning to file a lawsuit against prescription opioid manufacturers and distributors due to false marketing that described the drug as nonaddictive. (Bethesda Beat, 12/12)

PUBLIC SAFETYMaryland lawmakers to track sexual harassment claims — but not reveal offenders (WaPo, 12/12)

ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE | Opponents of a planned gas pipeline in Virginia claim a small victory after the State Water Control Board delays construction date until several environmental impact reports are completed. (WaPo, 12/12)

– Maryland and Virginia’s plans to improve schools need to be reworked, according to a group of education policy experts. (WTOP, 12/12)

– Will other states follow in California’s footsteps to highlight the contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals to the development of the US in their textbooks? (Atlantic, 12/12)

NONPROFITS | How organizations can raise more money by asking donors to increase their gifts at a delayed date. (Bloomberg View, 12/11)

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So far I’ve seen the movie trailer for Scarecrow, a dancing disco duck and a cricket singing about lighters. It seems like the 70s were…something. Discover (or reminisce) about 1970s television here. (Tip: Just hit the power button on the remote)

– Kendra

December 13, 2017 / WRAG

Leadership Greater Washington (LGW) and WRAG Enter Second Partnership

By Tamara Lucas Copeland
President, Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers 

I recently came across a quote that caused me to pause. It was from Adam Braun, a young entrepreneur focused on excellence in education. He said, “The most abundant resources that we possess amongst the 1.5 million nonprofits in the United States are passion and knowledge, yet our most scarce resource is collaboration.” There is no question that collaboration is tough. Different values, different long term goals, different cultures are sometimes insurmountable hurdles even when both parties really want to make it work.

For the second time now, WRAG has identified a great partnership. For almost two years, WRAG and LGW came together for a comprehensive examination of affordable housing in our region, looking at the challenges and possible solutions. In January 2018, we launch our new collaboration, Putting Racism on the Table: Expanding the Table for Racial Equity.

If you follow WRAG’s work, you know that the philanthropic community has been learning about racism and how to apply a racial equity lens to its grantmaking for about two years now. When we’ve looked at the depth of structural and systemic racism and the breadth of implicit bias, it is very clear that this problem, like most, cannot be solved with the intervention of just one community. LGW offers a portal into government officials, business leaders and civic leaders across the array of issues that impact Greater Washington. It is the proverbial one-stop-shop when thinking about how to reach the broadest group of leaders in our region. So, I am excited to have the support of Doug Duncan and the Board leadership at LGW as, together, we explore the issues of racism and begin the conversation about what can we do to make the region a more racially equitable one.

While the early quote causes one to reflect, I have another that I like much better: “Collaboration is not about gluing together existing egos. It’s about the ideas that never existed until after everyone entered the room.” We know that WRAG and LGW don’t constitute everyone who needs to be in the room, but we are definitely Expanding the Table for Racial Equity.

December 12, 2017 / Kendra Allen, Editor

This local church is helping Syrian refugees adjust to life in the US

REFUGEES | Both Montgomery and Prince George’s counties in Maryland have had a substantial population of refugees resettle in their communities over the past year. As these families work to build a life here, including finding employment, housing, and schools for their children, volunteers at National Community Church provide assistance to them. (Street Sense, 11/27)

Refugees and volunteers from National Community Church are building relationships as they share food, time, and assistance. The interdenominational Christian church picks up families from the airport, furnishes and decorates their homes prior to arrival, and connects refugees to family friends and mentors who can navigate the school system or take them to the doctor.

The Alhumayer family arrived in the U.S. from Syria a little over a year ago to escape the civil war. Bashir Alhumayer had worked as an electrician in Damascus, and the family lived outside the city in a mostly Christian town. As the war escalated, Bashir found himself hiding his sons and daughter from bombs and sniper fire. His wife, Ghosoun, was sick with diabetes. The family paid a smuggler to transport them to Jordan, where they lived in a refugee camp for three months.

IMMIGRATION | The Montgomery County Council are expected to pass a resolution urging the federal government to allow immigrants facing deportation due to the loss of temporary protected status and DACA protections to remain in the country. (WaPo, 12/11)

HEALTH | Another deadline has passed and Congress has not renewed CHIP, causing parents who make too much money to qualify for Medicaid but not enough to afford private insurance to worry. (WAMU, 12/11)

– The Supreme Court has declined to hear a case that would have decided if Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which bans gender-based bias, would also prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation. (NBC News, 12/11)

– Will the creation of more electric vehicles kill the auto-mechanic industry? (WaPo, 12/11)

EDUCATION | A new bookstore featuring Black, Latinx, Native American, and other authors of color has opened in Anacostia. (AFRO, 12/7)

TRANSIT | Officials Still Can’t Agree On How To Fund Metro — A Sales Tax Might Be The Reason Why (WAMU, 12/11)

Daily WRAG Evaluation

Thanks to everyone who has filled out the survey! This is just a friendly reminder to everyone else, please let us know your opinion here.

For those of you making New Year’s resolutions to cut back on coffee and other caffeinated drinks, here’s a calculator to help you.

– Kendra

December 8, 2017 / Kendra Allen, Editor

Homelessness has increased nationwide, according to new report

HOMELESSNESS | The US Department of Housing and Urban Development has released its 2017 Annual Homeless Assessment Report, which is based on data from the nationwide point-in-time estimate that was conducted in January. The report found that while homelessness has increased by 1 percent nationally, it is mostly driven by an increase in the country’s most populous cities. (Citylab, 12/7)

“The commonality in [these places] are rapidly rising rents, with not rapidly rising incomes. This is causing the displacement of a significant number of people,” said HUD Secretary Ben Carson during a press call on Wednesday. Matthew Doherty, executive director of the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness, agreed. “High cost and low vacancy rates are putting more people at risk of entering homelessness, and they’re making it harder and harder for people to find housing as they strive to exit homelessness.”

RACISM / HEALTH | Black Mothers Keep Dying After Giving Birth. Shalon Irving’s Story Explains Why (NPR, 12/7)

TAX REFORM | Yesim Sayin Taylor, executive director of the DC Policy Center, explains how the elimination of the State and Local Tax (SALT) deduction will impact the Greater Washington region’s population growth. (DC Policy Center, 12/7)

PHILANTHROPY | Vanessa Daniel, founder and executive director of the Groundswell Fund, discusses her organization’s Liberation Fund and the intersection of reproductive justice and racial equity. (PND Blog, 12/7)

– The DC Council has introduced legislation to prevent low-income residents from having their driver’s licenses suspended because they cannot afford to pay fines. (WaPo, 12/5)

– Upset about the I-66 tolls? These Virginia lawmakers are with you. (WaPo, 12/7)

EDUCATION | Southeast Ministry, a nonprofit in DC’s Congress Heights community, is helping adults with and without high school diplomas become more employable by offering training on high school equivalency tests and occupational training qualification exams. (WaPo, 12/5)

Social Sector Job Openings 

Development and Marketing Associate | Laurel Advocacy and Referral Services, Inc. – New!
Director of Grants Management | Democracy Fund
Officer, Communications | The Pew Charitable Trusts
Events Assistant | Grantmakers for Effective Organizations
Member Engagement Manager | United Philanthropy Forum
Finance Manager (Part-Time) | United Philanthropy Forum
Vice President, Program and Community | Eugene and Agnes E. Meyer Foundation
Senior Director, Strategy and Racial Equity | Eugene and Agnes E. Meyer Foundation
Program Director, Washington, DC Community | Eugene and Agnes E. Meyer Foundation
Program Director, Virginia Community | Eugene and Agnes E. Meyer Foundation
Receptionist (part-time) | Greater Washington Community Foundation
President & CEO | ACT for Alexandria – a community foundation
Assistant Director of Digital Marketing & Communications | The Children’s Inn at NIH
Controller | Eugene & Agnes E. Meyer Foundation
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 image below to access the calendar.

This is like Google Earth but for planets.

– Kendra


December 7, 2017 / Kendra Allen, Editor

A new report reveals how the Greater Washington region’s residents perceive their quality of life

REGION | The Greater Washington Community Foundation partnered with the Urban Institute on a recent initiative, Voices of the Community: DC, Maryland, Virginia, to lift up community members’ perceptions of the quality of life in the Greater Washington region. Today, they have released a report focused on resident’s thoughts on well-being and satisfaction, economic security and inclusion, social inclusion and how they view their role in local problem solving. (GWCF, 12/7)

Focus group and community conversations data point to a general sense that
leveraging community strengths, bridging divides within jurisdictions, and putting
more priority on economic development—with responsibility taken across all sectors, not just government—should be emphasized in the search for solutions.

Sharing our regional strength within and across groups and neighborhoods was a
theme that ran throughout the focus group and community conversations. One Asian and Pacific Islander focus group member summed up this fairly common sentiment: “I would like to see all people in our community have access to the great things we have talked about, like public resources, affordable housing, all the good things we [in this focus group] have. I think some of the negative issues in the area are tied to the fact that some people don’t have the same access [as others].”

RACIAL EQUITY | Kathleen P. Enright, president and CEO of Grantmakers for Effective Organizations, discusses her organization’s journey to its decision to integrate racial equity into their mission. (Huffington Post, 12/4)

– A Prince William County, VA supervisor wants more funding to expand treatment programs for people struggling with opioid addiction. (InsideNOVA, 12/5)

– DC Council has passed legislation to prohibit insurance providers from raising fees for preventive health services for women in case the Affordable Care Act is repealed. (WAMU, 12/6)

IMMIGRATION | Yesterday activists and lawmakers gathered at the Capitol to demand action on DACA, which is set to expire on March 5, 2018, and other immigration policies. Two hundred people were arrested, including two Maryland officials. (WaPo, 12/6)

PHILANTHROPY | Bridgespan researchers have developed a “framework for audacious philanthropy” after analyzing the success of 15 major societal changes, such as the widespread adoption of CPR and marriage equality. (Fast Company, 8/29)

FOOD INSECURITY | DC Central Kitchen has purchased a new van, with a grant from the World Bank Group, to help achieve its New Year’s resolution to recover and repurpose one million pounds of food in the region. (WJLA, 12/4)

WORKFORCE | A local university will not support its graduate students’ efforts to unionize, stating that they are students, not employees. (WaPo, 12/6)

TECHNOLOGYHow Internet Co-ops Can Protect Us From Net Neutrality Rollbacks (YES! Magazine, 11/22)

What would you tell your future self? Why don’t you type it up and email it to yourself?

– Kendra

December 6, 2017 / Kendra Allen, Editor

How Children’s National Medical Center is helping the region’s children with asthma

CHILDREN/ HEALTH | More than 30,000 children in the Greater Washington region have asthma, and the number is expected to grow as climate change continues. Children’s National Medical Center is looking at ways to help these children, who are mostly low-income and children of color, manage their disease. (WAMU, 12/4)

According to Dr. Stephen Teach [chair of the department of pediatrics at Children’s National Medical Center], children with asthma in the D.C. area make somewhere between 7,000 and 8,000 emergency department visits per year to Children’s National alone.

Teach said that the 30,000 children in the D.C. area who struggle with asthma on a daily basis “tend to be concentrated in the most disadvantaged parts of Montgomery County, Prince George’s County and Washington, D.C., itself.”

And there’s another cost to families due to the respiratory disease. Chronic asthma leads to missed school days.

CLIMATE CHANGE | Yesterday, the Montgomery County Council declared a “climate emergency,” approving a resolution to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent 2027 and 100 percent by 2035 – one of the first jurisdictions in the country to do so. (WaPo, 12/5)

EDUCATIONEconomic disparities to exist after Arlington middle-school redistricting (InsideNOVA, 12/5)

HOMELESS SHELTERS | The DC Council has approved stricter shelter eligibility rules in an effort to ensure that the city’s shelters are used by DC residents. Many advocates believe this move will make it harder for people to prove they need shelter. (WaPo, 12/5)

AFFORDABLE HOUSINGHow Congress’s Tax Plans Could Kill a Million Affordable Homes in a Decade (Citylab, 12/4)

PUBLIC SAFETY | A DC police review board has ruled that the 2016 shooting of Terrence Sterling, an unarmed black motorcyclist, by a DC police officer has been ruled “unjustified.” The board also recommended that the officer be terminated. (WTOP, 12/5)

DISCRIMINATION | According to an NPR survey, there’s a gap between immigrant and non-immigrant Asian-Americans in the US reporting discrimination experiences, including violence and harassment. (NPR, 12/6)

POVERTY | Heather Reynolds, chief executive of Catholic Charities Fort Worth, discusses how her organization is working directly with families to help lift them out of poverty. (Chronicle, 12/5)

Help your stickperson survive!

– Kendra