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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

June 5, 2019 / Buffy Beaudoin-Schwartz, Editor

Can education planning in the District benefit from new data technology?

EDUCATION
– DC’s deputy mayor of education Paul Kihn hopes that a new digital tool will help alleviate the patchwork of solutions that are developed when numerous individuals and departments are reviewing data to make critical planning decisions about education in the District. (WAMU, 6/4)

The tool, called EdScape, uses data visualization to show enrollment trends, the location of specialized schools, transportation access, new housing developments, school quality and how full buildings are … which should all be factors in getting decision-makers on the same page so they can rely on numbers when debating where and when to open charter schools or when to fix up existing public schools … “We’re trying to elevate the use of facts to inform our conversations about the kind of planning decisions that we are making,” Kihn says.

–  What Is Seclusion And Restraint? Explaining The Controversial School Discipline Practice. (WAMU, 6/3)

CULTURE | DC Council bill would make go-go music the ‘official music of the District’ (WaPo, 6/4)

TRANSIT | Amtrak is upgrading a 31-mile stretch of track between DC and Baltimore as it gets ready for the next generation of high speed Acela Express trains, scheduled to start in 2021. (WTOP, 6/4)

GUN VIOLENCE | After Virginia Beach shooting, governor calls for special session on gun control (WaPo, 6/4)

VIRGINIA | The Arlington County neighborhood known as “Nauck,” named after a white developer with no ties to the community who was in the Confederate army, will be renamed to its former name of  “Green Valley” as it was originally founded by African Americans before the Civil War. (WaPo, 6/3)

COMMUNITY | The Boeing Company has made a $10 million donation to Arlington County to support the continuing expansion of Long Bridge Park in their backyard. (WBJ, 6/5)

WOMEN/RACE | What took so long for women to win the right to vote? Racism is one reason. (WaPo, 6/2)

HEALTH/EQUITY | Maryland’s female inmates were supposed to receive free tampons, but they are still paying. (WaPo, 6/5)

EVENT | On June 18 Giving USA will release its annual report on philanthropy at DC VERGE. Speakers at the event include WRAG’s president & CEO, Dr. Madye Henson, Bruce McNamer, president & CEO of the Greater Washington Community Foundation, and other local leaders. Event details can be found here.

PHILANTHROPY
– During Ramadan, growing Muslim philanthropy enters the spotlight (Religion News Service, 6/1)


A Decapitated Triceratops?! 

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

– Buffy

June 4, 2019 / Buffy Beaudoin-Schwartz, Editor

Voting rights could be restored for incarcerated prisoners in the District

VOTING RIGHTS | Lawmakers in the District are seeking to make the nation’s capital the first jurisdiction to restore voting rights to incarcerated prisoners, with plans to introduce legislation Tuesday to repeal language in a 1955 law that disenfranchises DC residents upon felony convictions. (WaPo, 6/3)

The District has some of lowest restrictions on felons voting, where their voting rights are automatically restored when they are released from prison, and election officials visit the DC jail to help non-felons cast absentee ballots … “Unfortunately in the District and across the country, incarcerated people make up a sizable population of residents,” said Council member Robert C. White Jr., who is introducing the legislation … “They don’t lose their citizenship when they are incarcerated, so they shouldn’t lose their right to vote.” White’s bill thrusts the District to the vanguard of the felon enfranchisement movement, and believes that the discussion around criminal voting restrictions should focus on the racist motivations of the laws and how they disproportionately disenfranchise African Americans.

CENSUS 2020Deceased GOP Strategist’s Hard Drives Reveal New Details on the Census Citizenship Question (NYT, 5/30)

Related: Vanita Gupta, president & CEO of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, issued this statement in response to the New York Times’ revelation. Gupta is the keynote speaker at Thursday’s Interventions that Work: Census 2020 & Hard-to-Count Communities forum, co-convened by WRAG and 14 partner organizations to elevate strategies for a complete and accurate 2020 Census.

COMMUNITY | 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. In today’s edition, we hear from Thomas Kent, 2019 graduate of Richard Wright Public Charter School in DC, about the impact of violence in his neighborhood. (Daily, 6/4)

AFFORDABLE HOUSING | A new audit reveals that DC Mayor Bowser has awarded at least five housing projects to developers with low-ranked proposals. The move cost the city 353 affordable housing units, and raises questions about the process. (WaPo, 5/30)

WORKFORCE/EQUITY | Emergency legislation at the DC Council would prevent employment discrimination against city workers in the medical marijuana program. (dcist, 5/31)

NONPROFITS | New Pilot Program is Bringing Books to a Barbershop on Lee Highway (ARLnow, 5/28)

ENVIRONMENT | According to a just-published list put out each year by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the Tidal Basin is among the 11 most endangered historic places in 2019. (WAMU, 5/30)

CHILDREN & FAMILIES | What Makes A City Child-Friendly? (WAMU, 5/31)

PHILANTHROPY | The Kids Are Alright: Millennials Reluctant to Give, But Donate Generously When They Do (Inside Philanthropy, 5/30)


It’s 3 am – do you know what your iPhone is doing? Yikes!

The (Almost) Daily WRAG will be back on Wednesday and Friday!

– Buffy