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August 30, 2016 / Buffy Beaudoin-Schwartz, Editor

Gentrification in DC Pushes Some Families Out

HOUSING | Large families with limited income are finding it challenging to obtain affordable housing in sections of DC experiencing redevelopment.

In a city with a critical shortage of affordable housing, the massive redevelopment off Rhode Island Avenue NE has become for some a symbol of the problems faced by those of modest means who are fearful of being displaced by monied newcomers in the District’s hot real estate market. Such fears are especially acute for large families that are overrepresented among the city’s poor.

Tenants’ advocates just filed a housing discrimination lawsuit at Brookland Manor. (WaPo, 8/30)

Related: Tamara Copeland’s blog yesterday discussing how structural racism may be playing out in the housing arena in DC, and that there are two sides to every story. (Daily, 8/29)

EDUCATION
– Education experts weigh in on the school calendar, and how best to “fix” it. (Atlantic, 8/29)

– Maryland Gov. Hogan will hold a press conference on Wednesday to discuss the school calendar and start dates for Maryland schools and potentially advocating they start after Labor Day. (WTOP, 8/30)

– Maryland and DC colleges get a nod for being some of the best colleges for adult learners.  (WaPo, 8/30)

DISTRICT | DC residents are not alone in their unsuccessful attempts for statehood. (Washingtonian, 8/26)

ENVIRONMENTMaryland fines coal power plants $1 million for polluting Potomac, Patuxent rivers (Baltimore Sun, 8/29)

TRANSIT
– Better economy, cheaper gas = increase in traffic deaths (WaPo, 8/29)

– Japan will give $2 million for a high-speed train feasibility study that will connect Washington and Baltimore. (WBJ, 8/25)

CIVIL RIGHTSJustice Dept. focuses on police treatment of mentally ill (WTOP, 8/29)

PHILANTHROPY | DC invests $1 million in new charity start-up focused on allowing people to donate online in new and more convenient ways. (WBJ, 8/29)

NONPROFITSThe New Overtime Rules Spotlight a Systemic Problem for Nonprofits (NP Quarterly, 8/29)


“Time is a precious thing. Never waste it.” RIP Gene Wilder – Buffy

August 29, 2016 / Buffy Beaudoin-Schwartz, Editor

Huge Response to New National Museum of African American History and Culture in DC

CULTURE | There’s an overwhelming demand for tickets to visit the new National Museum of African American History and Culture on the National Mall which opens on September 24. All 28,500 opening weekend tickets were gone within an hour after they became available this past Saturday. The only tickets now available to reserve are for weekdays in October.

Twelve exhibitions with nearly 3,000 items will be available to view in the 85,000-square-foot space that tells the story of African American life, history and culture. (WaPo, 8/28)

To make the museum possible, more than $273 million was contributed from private donors, including the foundations of Oprah Winfrey, Bill and Melinda Gates, Shonda Rhimes, BET founder Robert L. Johnson and Michael Jordan.

POVERTY | I Am: The Strength, Value and Resilience of TANF Families is a new video made by TANF advocates and families in DC and supported by the Consumer Health Foundation.

Related: Protecting TANF as a lifeline (Daily, 3/16)

HOUSING
– WRAG’s Tamara Copeland stresses that every family deserves quality housing that they can afford as she highlights how structural racism may be playing out out in the housing arena in DC, and that there are two sides to every story. (Daily, 8/29)

 The biggest beneficiaries of housing subsidies? The wealthy. (GGW, 8/26)

EDUCATION
– School starts today in Montgomery County, which has seen huge growth in student enrollment the last eight years. (WaPo, 8/29)

– The Head Start program in Prince George’s County will now be run by a group based in Denver. (WTOP, 8/29)

ECONOMY | The Urban Institute provides an overview on how state economic agencies operate. (Urban Institute, 7/27)

RACE | The social network Next Door, used around the country, is facing criticism for posts that border on racial profiling. (WaPo, 8/29)

MILLENNIALSCorporate Ethics In The Era Of Millennials (NPR, 8/24)

NONPROFITS
The Plight of the Overworked Nonprofit Employee (The Atlantic, 8/24)

– Studies Examine Why People Give Differently Than They Invest (CP, 8/23)


Interesting … who knew you could remove all political posts from your Facebook feed? – Buffy

August 29, 2016 / Buffy Beaudoin-Schwartz, Editor

Eviction in DC: What is the Full Story?

By Tamara Lucas Copeland
President, Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers

I’m still haunted by the August 9th Washington Post story, “Facing eviction over $25.” I just can’t get it out of my mind. How can a person be evicted for owing $25 in back rent, for walking a dog without a leash, or for the tragedy that her son used an unlicensed gun to commit suicide? The fact that they are all lease violations punishable by eviction still seems unfathomable and just plain wrong.

If you haven’t read the article, I would urge you to do so. It appeared to offer a powerful testimony to how structural racism plays out in the housing arena in the District of Columbia and, perhaps, across the country. Upon reading it, you might think that zoning commissions, wanting to increase property values, were allowing property owners to maximize profit by transitioning their property from low-income housing to housing that appeals to higher income residents, without sufficient consideration of how all people will be impacted. You might also think that court systems were allowing overly zealous landlords to utilize “the letter of the law” to evict tenants whose only true offense is that they’re poor. And, who do these actions most often affect in our region? Black and brown people.

But before you totally form your opinion on this particular situation, you must read the August 14th response from the owner of the property. He rebukes the primary focus of the article, by citing, very publicly, his company’s history vis-a-vis affordable housing and his company’s commitment to retaining affordable units in the future. Now what am I to think?

Some of the work that WRAG has done on structural racism has emphasized that far too often our public institutions legally, but, in my view, immorally, provide an advantage or disadvantage to one race of people over another. That occurred for decades with redlining, contributing to the wealth gap that persists today between black and white Americans. Is that the case in this situation?

What I have also learned from the hours of conversations and lectures about the dimensions of racism is that we all need to talk to each other more – really talk and really listen. And not only do we need to talk, we need to research to get to the bottom of situations. Assumptions and misunderstandings abound. Was that the case with aspects of the story about eviction at Brookland Manor in the District of Columbia? I don’t know.

What I do know is that every family deserves quality housing that they can afford. Every individual deserves to be treated humanely and fairly. The front page story and the subsequent rebuttal offer extraordinarily different views. The truth, I suspect, lies somewhere in there. We must be able to simultaneously recognize the devastation that eviction places on a family while acknowledging that a property owner does have the right to be paid. Stories like that of Brookland Manor are often the catalyst for reform. We must provide for affordable housing and we should improve areas that have long gone neglected in our region. I simply hope that those improvements can be guided by a moral compass while also grounded in financial reality.

Is that possible? It has to be.

August 25, 2016 / Buffy Beaudoin-Schwartz, Editor

Northern Virginia Health Foundation Reflects on 10 Years

HEALTH
– As they reflect on the work of the Northern Virginia Health Foundation the last decade, Foundation President and CEO Patricia N. Mathews and Board Chair Lisa G. Kaplowitz believe the health care safety net in the region has become stronger. And, they share some lessons learned:

As we take a moment to reflect on the occasion of our 10th anniversary, there is so much that we have learned. But three lessons stand apart:

1. Providing general operating support is essential.
2. Grantmaking is important, but it isn’t enough.
3. Working in partnership with grantees is required.

Learn more by reading their 10th anniversary annual report. (NoVAFH, 8/23)

– Medicaid to Pay for Repellent in Virginia to Ward Off Zika (WTOP, 8/24)

– Faith Nonprofits Sue Over Health Coverage for Transgender People (CP, 8/24)

RACIAL JUSTICE/EQUITY
– Tamara Copeland writes about Tackling Racial Justice: Why, How and So What?  for the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy (Responsive Philanthropy Blog, Summer 2016)

– Philanthropy’s infrastructure is building a new philanthropic network that will, among other things, address racial equity, diversity, and inclusion in philanthropy – with the Forum of Regional Association’s of Grantmakers leading the charge. Washington Grantmakers is a member of the Forum, and Tamara Copeland recently sat on a Racial Equity panel at the July Annual Conference, where she shared WRAG’s “Putting Racism on the Table” work.

ECONOMY | The Plight Of The White Working Class Isn’t Economic, It’s Cultural (The Federalist, 8/17)

REGION
– Virginia Could be Facing Much Bigger Budget Shortfall than Expected (WaPo, 8/24)

– DC residents are working harder to own a house than others around the country. (WaPo, 8/25)

 DC sets a record with more than 2 million foreign tourists in 2015. (WTOP, 8/24)

NONPROFITS Nonprofit Governance and the Power of Things – Nonprofit boards often have a mix of personalities. This useful and classic article examines boardroom behavior. (NP Quarterly, 8/12/15)

PHILANTHROPY
– How to help those impacted by the earthquake in Italy. (Mashable, 8/25)

– More Philanthropists Should Think Like Venture Capitalists (Forbes, 8/17)


Jobs

Analyst | Arabella Advisors
Operations Associate | ACT for Alexandria
Grants Coordinator | City of Takoma Park
Development Associate | Washington Area Women’s Foundation

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 – September 2016
Click the image below to access WRAG’S Community Calendar. To have your event included, please send basic information including event title, date/time, location, a brief description of the event, and a link for further details to seder@washingtongrantmakers.org.


Ooooh, it just feels wrong to want the Bacon Donutwich – doesn’t it? I’m going to go for it. – Buffy

August 23, 2016 / Buffy Beaudoin-Schwartz, Editor

Thousands of Former Criminals in VA Have the Right to Vote Restored

CIVIL RIGHTS | Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe announced on Monday during a civil rights ceremony in Richmond that almost 13,000 former criminals have had their right to vote restored. Roughly 193,000 remaining former felons may also have their rights restored in time for the presidential election in November.

“Restoring the rights of Virginians who have served their time and live, work and pay taxes in our communities is one of the pressing civil rights issues of our day,” McAuliffe said in a statement. “I have met these men and women and know how sincerely they want to contribute to our society as full citizens again.”

Restorations will be processed in order of those who have waited the longest. (International Business Times, 8/22)

RACE/EQUITY
– Yanique Redwood of the Consumer Health Foundation uses a racial equity impact assessment tool to discuss DC’s tipped minimum wage policies. (CHF Blog, 8/22)

– Affluent and Black, and Still Trapped by Segregation. (NYT, 8/20)

EDUCATION | The new school year has just begun and the DC public school system is getting prepared for major changes. (WTOP, 8/22)

HOUSING/HOMELESSNESS

– Will D.C.’s Housing Ever Be Affordable Again? (Atlantic, 8/19)

 Racial Bias or Wall Street Greed: The New Role of Private Investment Firms in Federal Housing (NP Quarterly, 8/19)

– Living on the DC streets for years, 80 year old Wanda Witter finally gets the $100,000+ owed to her by Social Security. (WaPo, 8/22)

DISTRICT | Five years ago today the 5.8 magnitude earthquake that hit the East Coast caused millions in damage and resulted in years of rebuilding in DC – some that is still occurring. (WaPo, 8/23)

TECHNOLOGYThis Silicon Valley venture fund keeps betting millions on D.C.’s cyber community. (WaPo, 8/22)

PHILANTHROPY
– NGOs around the country are working to support flood ravaged Louisiana. (CDP, 8/20)

– How Focusing on Philanthropy Gave My Company a Stronger Sense of Purpose (Huff Po, 8/18)


Panda-palooza! Happy 1st birthday Bei Bei – Buffy

August 22, 2016 / Buffy Beaudoin-Schwartz, Editor

WRAG Members Among 50 Corporate Leaders “Changing the World”

CORPORATE GIVING | Fortune just released its 2016 Change the World” roster of 50 companies addressing social and environmental challenges through their core business, which includes WRAG Members Bank of America and IBM. Fortune bases the rankings on how companies focus their philanthropy on  “scalable positive change”. (Fortune, 8/18)

Each year at this time, we set out to identify 50 companies across the globe that are tackling major societal problems—reducing damage to the environment, strengthening communities, serving the underserved, and significantly improving lives as a function of their business model—and whose good works contribute to their bottom lines.

Related: Fortune also looks at how corporate managers and boards are aligning their missions with their impact on communities and social issues. (Fortune, 8/18)

If you want to learn more about WRAG’s Corporate Affinity Group bookmark this page.

EDUCATION | As another school year begins in our region, an ongoing question remains:  should school start later each morning? (The Atlantic, 8/17)

HOUSING | Affordable housing and new neighborhood connections plan to meet up with an important bike trail in DC’s Edgewood neighborhood. (GGW, 8/19)

AGING | Opinion: Are aging and the economic slowdown linked? (WaPo, 8/21)

POVERTY
– Although the goals were admirable, twenty years after President Clinton overhauled the welfare system, the results are mixed. (NPR, 8/22)

– The Salvation Army and the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy recently developed the Human Needs Index, a multidimensional measure of poverty.

ART
– Given our region’s traffic issues, could we use art to address traffic fatalities? (NP Quarterly, (8/16)

– Perspective is everything in art. A new U Street exhibit explores how the places we live end up shaping us, and vice versa. (GGW, 8/18)

PHILANTHROPY | Joint Affinity Groups (JAG) has transformed into CHANGE Philanthropy, a coalition of philanthropic networks working together to strengthen bridges across funders and communities.


Who knew you could love crabs and win $1,000? Crossing my Old Bay covered fingers – Buffy

August 19, 2016 / Rebekah Seder, Editor

DC public housing stock deteriorating due to funding shortfall

HOUSING | That big thunderstorm earlier this week blew a section of roof off a public housing complex in DC, underscoring the DC Housing Authority’s financial shortfall and the dire need for maintenance and upgrades in much of the city’s public housing (WAMU, 8/18):

DCHA — which has 56 properties that are home to about 20,000 people — says it’s short $1.3 billion it needs to maintain, rehabilitate and redevelop 6,500 of the 8,300 housing units it manages… Housing advocates say the funding shortfalls can have big impacts. Public housing residents are more likely to live in substandard conditions, and when conditions become critical, those units could be evacuated altogether. And in cities where affordable housing is at a premium, like D.C., that’s not a good thing. According to DCHA, there are 27,000 people on the waiting list for public housing. Advocates say that every unit taken offline because of deferred maintenance can mean one more family closer to homelessness.

RACE
– In Maryland, none of the 15 companies selected for medical marijuana growing licenses are led by African-Americans. (WaPo, 8/18)

– A task force in Alexandria recommends changing the name of the stretch of U.S. Route 1 currently known as the Jefferson Davis Highway, but maintaining a Confederate memorial statue in Old Town. (WaPo, 8/18)

EQUITY | Why the Olympics and other major sporting events usually increase inequality in the host city (Ford Foundation, 8/1)

PHILANTHROPY
– Danielle Reyes of the Crimsonbridge Foundation explains how foundations can maximize their impact with an effective communications strategy, in a co-authored post on the Exponent Philanthropy blog. (EP, 8/15)

Another Foundation Goes All In on Equity—Not Only the What and Why, But the How (NPQ, 8/18)


Jobs
Analyst | Arabella Advisors – New!
Operations Associate | ACT for Alexandria – New!
Grants Coordinator | City of Takoma Park
Development Associate | Washington Area Women’s Foundation
Program Assistant | The Morris & Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation

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 – September 2016
Click the image below to access WRAG’S Community Calendar. To have your event included, please send basic information including event title, date/time, location, a brief description of the event, and a link for further details to seder@washingtongrantmakers.org.


Meet Pedals, the bipedal black bear and possibly your new spirit animal. 

– Rebekah

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