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August 15, 2018 / Kendra Allen, Editor

A new lawsuit alleges that DC has failed to provide adequate mental health care to youth

HEALTH | A coalition of disability rights organizations in DC have filed a class-action lawsuit against the city, alleging that it has failed to provide adequate mental health services to youth. (WaPo, 8/14)

The suit, filed in federal court Tuesday on behalf of two unnamed minors, states that the District did not give the children access to intensive outpatient counseling and mentoring programs.

As a result, they were repeatedly institutionalized at psychiatric facilities, violating the District’s obligations to provide the least restrictive care possible under Medicaid and the Americans With Disabilities Act, according to the lawsuit.

WORKFORCE | Advocates from DC’s homeless community want the city to do more outreach about its First Source program, which is a law that gives DC residents first priority in hiring for new jobs. (Street Sense, 8/14)

– Preliminary estimates show that the District spent at least $2.6 million last weekend protecting the 20 to 30 white supremacists that came to attend the Unite the Right 2 rally. (WaPo, 8/14)

– Crystal City Hyatt Will Host An Anti-Muslim Group’s Annual Conference (DCist, 8/14)

– The US Citizenship and Immigration Services has been conspiring with ICE to tell them when immigrants eligible for deportation came to the CIS office for routine interviews. (WaPo, 8/15)

– The history of the United States’ policy of separating migrant families. (Atlantic, 8/14)

CENSUS | Two Congress members have introduced a bill to include questions about sexual orientation and gender identity in the census and the annual American Community Survey. (Washington Blade, 7/31)

Find out where DC’s new murals will go.

– Kendra

August 14, 2018 / Kendra Allen, Editor

Businesses in Alexandria brace for next summer’s Metro closure

WORKFORCE | Next year, six Virginia Metro stations will be closed for almost 100 days between Memorial Day and Labor Day so that Metro can rebuild their platforms. Business owners near these stations are already considering the impact of the closures on their shoppers. (WaPo, 8/13)

No trains will run south of Reagan National Airport during the shutdown, including to Braddock Road, where Rob Krupicka worries how his Sugar Shack Donuts shop will survive a summer without commuters loading up on sugar and caffeine before work.

He’s thinking of cutting back on hours, closing some days or “borrowing my way through the summer, which is not easy for a small business to do,” he said. “But I’m going to have to do something.”

CENSUS 2020 | Over 33 philanthropy-serving organizations, including WRAG, signed onto a letter opposing the addition of the citizenship question to the 2020 census. Read the letter here. (United Philanthropy Forum, 8/1)

Related: WRAG members understand that a fair and complete census is critical to the fight for a racially equitable region. WRAG has formed a 2020 Census Working Group that is currently identifying how it can leverage the resources of local philanthropy and other stakeholders to ensure an accurate and complete census count in the region. All WRAG members are welcome to join this group. Click here for info on the next meeting.

PHILANTHROPY | In honor of Black Philanthropy Month, Tyrone McKinley Freeman, assistant professor of philanthropic studies at the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, discusses the history and growth of giving in the Black community. (Chronicle, 8/13 – Subscription needed)

HOUSINGBen Carson Moves Forward With Push To Change Fair Housing Rule (NPR, 8/13)

PUBLIC SAFETY | DC Attorney General Karl Racine has filed lawsuits against property owners in four communities due to multiple police visits for “illegal activity”. (DCist, 8/13)

ENVIRONMENTMontgomery Parks Plans Hunting Operations in 46 Parks This Year To Thin Deer Herds (Bethesda Beat, 8/13)

ECONOMY | The rising cost of goods in the US has erased the wage growth workers have experienced in recent years. (WaPo, 8/10)

Can you tell which one of these snacks is a cupcake?

– Kendra


August 13, 2018 / Kendra Allen, Editor

How cuts to federal spending on child care will impact states

– Earlier this year, the administration proposed cuts to federal child care, Head Start and preschool programs in its annual budget. A recent analysis by the Urban Institute found that if Congress approves these cuts, overall federal spending on children would be 6% lower over the next 10 years. (Urban Institute, 8/6)

States with the largest cuts relative to their size also tend to invest fewer state dollars in kids’ programs per child and have higher shares of children living in low-income families. The geographic distribution of the child care cuts in the president’s proposal means programs in these states would be even more squeezed for funding, and children who could receive the greatest benefits from the programs would have a harder time getting into them.

RACISM | Why D.C. Drowned Out the White Nationalists (Citylab, 8/13)

HEALTH | DC’s Mayor Muriel Bowser has announced that George Washington University will run the new hospital at St. Elizabeths. (DCist, 8/10)

TRANSIT | Metro has made the decision to privatize nine bus lines in Northern Virginia over the next five years. (WaPo, 8/11)

IMMIGRATIONRapid response support is important, but immigration funders must also invest in shifting culture (NCRP, 8/9)

MILITARY | The administration is considering rolling back enforcement of the Military Lending Act, which protects service members from predatory loans and financial products. (NPR, 8/13)

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

cheese store

Credit: Gin_Tonic

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

August 10, 2018 / WRAG

Standing against anti-Black racism on the anniversary of Charlottesville

Dear Colleagues:

It is with a heavy heart, but a powerful sense of urgency, that we approach the first anniversary of the violence in Charlottesville. The hideous xenophobia and hate displayed on August 12, 2017, began in response to the proposed removal from a local park of a Confederate monument, a symbol of historic racism and oppression that primarily targeted enslaved African Americans. Klan members, neo-Nazis and “alt-right” agitators united to preserve and celebrate white supremacy, resulting in countless attacks and the death of Heather Heyer.

Members of the Greater Washington region’s philanthropic community continue to work collectively, through the Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers (WRAG), toward an equitable future. This future relies on the dismantling of all forms of oppression. The tragic events of Charlottesville began in the spirit of anti-Blackness and became a rallying cry for anti-Semitism and other manifestations of hate against immigrants and the LGBTQ community.

On the occasion of the one-year anniversary of this horrific event, WRAG’s Racial Equity Working Group (REWG) is reminded of why it chose to conduct its work utilizing an anti-Black racism frame. This frame is not intended to alienate other oppressed communities, but rather, to address the foundational nature of anti-Blackness in the false hierarchy of human value that is now codified in our laws, neighborhood configurations, economic and social systems, and the ways in which power and resources are concentrated in our region and nation. REWG believes that understanding and addressing anti-Black racism will help reveal solutions to eradicate the manifestation of all forms of bias, racism, and hate.

REWG calls on everyone targeted by those who seek to demonize Black people, other people of color, and all those marginalized and oppressed to stand shoulder to shoulder in our collective quest for equity and justice.


Tamara Copeland, President and CEO
Hanh Le, Co-Chair, Racial Equity Working Group
Yanique Redwood, Co-Chair, Racial Equity Working Group
Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers

August 9, 2018 / Kendra Allen, Editor

Soon TPS holders will have to decide how their families will break apart

IMMIGRATION | Earlier this year, US residents with a temporary protected status, who are either from El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nepal, Nicaragua, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, Syria or Yemen, learned that the program was being terminated by 2020. This Washington City Paper article discusses how this is impacting families in our region. (WCP, 8/9)

Ask TPS holders about the moment they heard the program would be terminated, and one word comes up again and again: shock. Everyone knew TPS was impermanent, but it had been renewed so many times. The government renewed TPS for El Salvador every 18 months, and those with the designation have had to re-register each time, most recently for a fee of $495.

TPS beneficiaries fear what will happen to their children when the status ends. Many TPS parents have U.S. citizen children, or their families are a mix of undocumented, TPS, and citizen members. TPS holders from Haiti, Honduras, and El Salvador have 273,000 U.S. citizen children, according to a 2017 report from the Center for Migration Studies. When the status ends, these families will have to decide who will stay and who will go—whether or not they can remain a family within these borders.

PUBLIC SAFETY | Virginia’s Governor Ralph Northam and the city of Charlottesville, Virginia have both declared a state of emergency ahead of the anniversary of the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville. (WaPo, 8/8)

– How school security companies are profiting from school officials who are concerned that a mass shooting may happen on their campus. (Atlantic, 8/9)

– Montgomery County Public School Review Reveals Elevated Lead Levels in Water at 86 Schools (Bethesda Beat, 8/8)

PHILANTHROPY | Opinion: Why Philanthropy Must Spark a Revolution to Help Social Workers Do More (Chronicle, 8/9 – Subscription needed)

Today is National Book Lovers Day! What are you currently reading? I’m reading Injustices: The Supreme Court’s History of Comforting the Comfortable and Afflicting the Afflicted by Ian Millhiser.

– Kendra

August 8, 2018 / Kendra Allen, Editor

New analysis finds racial disparities in arrests for marijuana in DC

RACIAL EQUITY | Although the District decriminalized recreational marijuana use, a WUSA9 analysis found that marijuana-related arrests were up 186% between 2015 to 2017 and 86% of those arrested were Black. (WUSA9, 8/7)

“The fact that 86 percent of those arrested are Black, in majority Black and brown areas of the city even though the level of marijuana use is the same among Blacks and whites in the District, only proves that MPD is continuing a racist policing strategy that I hope the mayor doesn’t consider to be ‘DC Values’,” said Ward 7 Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner Lorenzo Green.

In 2017, 63 percent of all marijuana arrests in 2017 came in police Districts 5, 6 and 7, which encompass Wards 7 and 8. WUSA9 found in 2017, marijuana arrests were up 97 percent in those districts, while they have fallen nine percent in the rest of the city.

– A partnership between Georgetown University and the DC Jail is allowing incarcerated individuals and students to study music together. (DCist, 8/7)

– Get To Know ‘Hamilton’ Director Thomas Kail, A D.C.-Area Native (WAMU, 8/8)

CHILDREN | DC Council has recently approved a bill, “Birth-to-Three For All D.C.”, to expand a subsidy program to include more families, and to impose a cap on how much of a family’s income can go towards child care costs. (WAMU, 8/7)

FOOD INSECURITYAnother kind of food truck: Schools take a mobile approach to summer meals (WaPo, 8/7)

DEVELOPMENT | Residents from DC’s Ivy City neighborhood are calling on the developers involved in the renovation of the Crummell School to include green or recreational space for the community. (WaPo, 8/7)

Here’s some helpful tips for living.

– Kendra