Skip to content
September 22, 2016 / Buffy Beaudoin-Schwartz, Editor

Pilot Program Launched for New Cab Service in Underserved DC Neighborhoods

TRANSPORTATION/EQUITY | The District has launched a pilot program for a new cab service in neighborhoods historically underserved by taxis. The “Neighborhood Ride Service” will have 8-seat shuttle vans running in Wards 4,7, and 8 that will charge passengers a flat rate of $5 or less.

Where and when taxis roam has been a sensitive issue. Many cab drivers are themselves people of color — largely immigrants from East Africa — and bristle at the suggestion they are discriminating against black residents by staying out of their neighborhoods. Taxi drivers have said they cruise downtown or Capitol Hill because that is where they can earn the most money. But residents of poorly-served neighborhoods have argued they are suffering from a stereotype that their streets are dangerous, giving cabbies an excuse to stay away from the outer wards.

The new pilot program is made possible though grant funding from the Department of For-Hire Vehicles, and the department is asking the public for feedback before it decides to make the service permanent. (WAMU, 9/20)

ECONOMYThe DC Area Has the Highest Median Income in the US Again (Washingtonian, 9/21)

POVERTYMore D.C. Residents Live in Poverty Than Before the Great Recession, Says Study (City Paper, 9/16)

HOUSING | Zoning in the District and other cities is getting too expensive, and has an effect on the economy. (GGW, 9/22)

COMMUNITY | Building Police-Community Trust Through Reform (PhilanTopic, 9/20)

– Raising the smoking age to 21 may not happen because it will cost the District too much money – $5 million over 4 years. (WTOP, 9/22)

– Bowser Proposes Doubling The Amount Medical Marijuana Patients Can Buy (dcist, 9/21)

– Knowing what it’s like to depend on school meals for nutrition, Jamal McCall and his team at Elite Group Solutions are making over 1,500 meals each day for charter schools in D.C. (City Paper, 9/20)

– D.C. would have more oversight over student loan debt collectors under council proposal (WaPo, 9/20)

– Many schools aren’t prepared to assist the one in five students suffering from mental health issues, but many experts point to one model to help. (NPR, 9/20)

 Don’t blame the teachers. Blame the curriculum. (The Atlantic, 9/21)

PHILANTHROPY | The 2016 MacArthur ‘Geniuses’ have been announced – 23 people recognized this year for their work in the arts and humanities – who receive a $625,000 grant award, including DC native and playwright Branden Jacobs-Jenkins. (WaPo, 9/22)

Social Sector Job Openings
Philanthropic Services Associate | The Community Foundation for the National Capital
Senior Program Manager, Community Benefits | Kaiser Permanente
Nonprofit Financial Planning and Analysis Manager | Arabella Advisors
Education Finance and Policy Analyst | DC Fiscal Policy Institute
Communications Director | Grantmakers In Health
Program Director | Grantmakers In Health
Analyst | Arabella Advisors
Grants Coordinator | City of Takoma Park

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 – October 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

It’s officially Fall today! Besides cooler weather and beautiful foliage, how much do we really know about the autumnal equinox

The (Almost) Daily will be back on Monday!

– Buffy

September 21, 2016 / Buffy Beaudoin-Schwartz, Editor

Proposed Changes to DC’s Rent Control Laws Will Benefit Tenants

HOUSING | D.C.’s rent control laws could get more restrictive under a new bill proposed this week by  D.C. Council Committee on Housing and Community Development Chair Anita Bonds, who introduced legislation that would cap annual rent increases in D.C.’s 80,000-plus rent-controlled units. (City Paper, 9/20)

First, the bill would limit such hikes to the Consumer Price Index—a measure of inflation—which varies from year to year but is now zero. Under current D.C. law, landlords of rent-controlled buildings can raise rents by 2 percent of a tenant’s payments plus the CPI, up to 10 percent, except for elderly and disabled tenants, whose rent can only be raised by the CPI alone. Second, the legislation would eliminate vacancy increases: When a rent-controlled unit goes vacant today, a landlord can raise the rent on it by 10 percent if there’s no comparable unit on the property—or by 30 percent if there is a comparable unit.

FOOD INSECURITY | Food Lion’s Closure Means Stocked Shelves for Loudoun Food Pantries (Loudoun Now, 9/21)

Related: 2016 Loudoun Hunger Summit “Together at the Table”: Friday, October 14, from 9:30 AM to 2:30 – Co-Hosted by the Community Foundation for Loudoun and Northern Fauquier Counties and Loudoun Interfaith Relief.

EDUCATION | Fairfax County Public Schools superintendent announces resignation (WTOP, 9/19)

DISTRICT | The D.C. Council is being asked to pass the Universal Paid Leave Act, that would require employers to provide workers with up to 16 weeks of paid time off to care for a new child, and would be given to employees dealing with a medical condition or caring for a seriously ill loved one. (WTOP, 9/20)

REGION | Columbia has been named the “Best Place to Live” in America by Money magazine – the only Maryland town to make the list of 50. (WBJ, 9/19)

ARTS | The 31st Annual Mayor’s Arts Awards will be held on September 22, where individual artists, teachers, nonprofit organizations and patrons of the arts and humanities will be honored.

NONPROFITS | Increase your nonprofit’s #ROI with these key steps – download the IBM Advanced Analytics ROI Case Study. (NP Quarterly, 9/19)

FOUNDATIONS | The Center for Effective Philanthropy (CEP) and Center for Evaluation Innovation (CEI) released a new report on foundation evaluation practices: Benchmarking Foundation Evaluation Practices.

VOLUNTEERING | Civic organizations were built on the voluntary labor of women. As the demands on women’s time increase, communities are suffering. (Atlantic, 9/19)

I have one of these vivid dreams at least once a year – Buffy


September 20, 2016 / Buffy Beaudoin-Schwartz, Editor

DC’s Affordable Housing Crisis a Focus for Mayor Bowser

HOUSING | The lack of affordable housing in Washington, DC is affecting people at almost every income level. It is no longer considered a “poor people’s issue” – it’s a middle-class, senior citizen, young-worker, and family issue – and Mayor Muriel Bowser has focused her economic agenda on solving it(WaPo, 9/16):

Bowser is betting hundreds of millions of dollars and her entire economic agenda on the idea that her government can supply so many housing units sheltered from market forces that residents’ fear of being priced out will subside. During her campaign, Bowser made a commitment to put $100 million into the city’s affordable-housing fund every year. What does $100 million a year get you? For the five-year period through 2017, the year before Bowser goes up for reelection, the District is on pace to in total spend nearly $1 billion on an array of affordability initiatives. […]

At a citywide town hall meeting residents raised housing costs as their No. 1 concern – topping schools and crime. “That really was an inflection point,” said David Bowers, vice president of Enterprise Community Partners, [and WRAG board member]… “There were a lot of [advocates] that had been going for years asking for more money for housing. Then, at that point, people realized it really was a citywide concern.”

Related: Housing affordability in the Greater Washington region is a major priority of WRAG’s. WRAG is a co-convener of the Greater Washington Housing Leaders Group, a collection of more than a dozen public and private sector regional leaders (including David Bowers, quoted in the story above) that is working to elevate the visibility of, and broaden support for bold, thoughtful, and collaborative solutions for the housing affordability challenge. And, in case you missed it, WRAG and Enterprise Community Loan Fund just passed the initial goal for Our Region, Your Investment, a unique impact investing initiative, with $7 million already raised to help preserve and produce affordable housing in the region.

– Sometimes, advocates are warned to be cautious about causing “racism fatigue.”  In her latest column, WRAG’s president Tamara Copeland turns that idea on its head. (Daily, 9/20)

– DC’s Racial Inequality Continues to Widen, Even as the City Sees Substantial Economic Growth (DCFPI, 9/15)

HEALTH/EQUITY | Until recently, researchers haven’t included African Americans as much as Caucasian or European descent populations in studies on diseases and medical trials. (NPR, 6/16)

  Join the Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers for the upcoming Census 2020: Why Philanthropy Counts webinar on  October 18, 2016, 2:00 – 3:00 PM, for a conversation about why the census matters and the role that philanthropy can play in ensuring a fair and accurate count.

– WRAG Members: WRAG is an official partner for the 2016 Independent Sector conference here in DC this November 16-18. Register by September 22 to save an extra $500. Email Rebekah Seder for the discount code.

– The Center for Nonprofit Advancement’s 2016 #EXCELAward finalists have been announced, including WRAG’s own Tamara Copeland! Learn more about the finalists.

– Congratulations to Tobi Printz-Platnick, senior program officer at the Morris & Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation, as well as WRAG’s own Gretchen Greiner-Lott for being accepted into Leadership Greater Washington’s Class of 2017!

Noooooo …. creepy clowns have now been spotted in Annapolis. – Buffy

September 20, 2016 / Rebekah Seder, Editor

Racism fatigue?

By Tamara Lucas Copeland
President, Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers

Do you feel it?

I’ve been cautioned not to talk too much about racism. “You don’t want to cause racism fatigue” is what I’m hearing, primarily from African-Americans.

I understand that. I want people to hear what’s being said under the banner of WRAG’s “Putting Racism on the Table” work. But, I don’t think that it is only white people who might suffer from this malady.

I, too, suffer from racism fatigue, but in a different way. I’m tired of being hypersensitive to what people say, to noticing how long it takes to be noticed by a salesperson, to cringing at the negative portrayal of black people in the media, and to routinely filtering the language I use so that my comments are heard by white friends and colleagues and don’t offend. Race and racism perpetually exhaust me. For some people, this much-needed conversation about racism just started. For me, it’s been part of my world for as long as I can remember.

I started learning about race and racism when I attended a segregated elementary school. For example, we knew we had to dress a certain way – our Sunday best — when we took the train to go from Richmond, Virginia, my hometown, to Washington, DC for a class trip. We sat at the train station in a segregated waiting room and boarded a segregated train car, and we knew that what white people thought about black people would be shaped by our behavior. That’s quite a burden for a seven-year-old. On this field trip, or whenever we were in a racially-mixed group, we represented an entire race.

Then I moved to an integrated elementary school. My introduction to the white world of J.E.B. Stuart (yes, the Confederate general) Elementary School was without incident; no Ruby Bridges moment for me. But there also was no singing of the Negro National Anthem at assemblies, no recognition of African-American leaders like W.E. B. DuBois or Marcus Garvey or Paul Robeson. When I left the black school, I also left black history and culture as part of my formal education. That doesn’t mean that conversations about race didn’t swirl all around me – at home, in my neighborhood, at church. Race and racism has been the background music of my entire life. And that seven-year-old’s burden of representing the race continues to be a responsibility that I shoulder.

For my white friends and colleagues, I believe that most felt, at least until recently, that race and racism was something that affected black people. It was covered on the news from time to time, but it wasn’t a part of white people’s worlds. Well, now that seems to have changed. Is it just me, or is there a new willingness, maybe even an eagerness, to really learn about the black experience and about the dimensions of racism? We’re normalizing a conversation. We’re catalyzing action. We all have a better understanding of what it means to be an African-American in America. Let’s keep talking. I feel like a veil is being lifted. This conversation doesn’t cause racism fatigue for me. Just the opposite. I see a vigor and the emergence of a momentum for change.

WRAG continues Putting Racism on the Table with a series of racial equity trainings for the region’s philanthropic community this fall. Click here for details. We’ve also released the first three sessions of the learning series – on structural racism, white privilege, and implicit bias – as podcasts. Click here to listen and share.

September 15, 2016 / Rebekah Seder, Editor

America faces a massive teacher shortage

– According to a new study, the country faces a massive and increasing teacher shortage, affecting nearly every state.  (WaPo, 9/14):

The shortages are disproportionately felt in special education, math and science, and in bilingual and English-language education.

Regardless of the state, students in high-poverty and high-minority schools are typically hit hardest when there are teacher shortages. In 2014, on average, less than one percent of teachers were uncertified in low-minority schools, while four times as many were uncertified in high-minority schools, the study showed.

D.C. charter school wins $10 million prize to redesign high school (WaPo, 9/14)

HOUSING | Officials have approved $13 million in predevelopment financing to rehab the Barry Farm public housing complex in Ward 8, as part of the New Communities Initiative. (City Paper, 9/15)

REGION | These maps show who the region’s non-English speakers are, and where they live (GGW, 9/14) Interesting fact: there are 26 language groups in our region with at least 1,000 speakers.

RACE | Alexandria is hosting a public hearing on Saturday over how to deal with the many Confederate memorials and street names throughout the city. (WaPo, 9/15)

EQUITY | Virginia’s Indian tribes clear another hurdle toward federal recognition (WaPo, 9/15)

ARTS | TheatreWeek Is the New Restaurant Week (Washingtonian, 9/14)

PHILANTHROPY | Foundations Bet It All on Advancing Equity (Chronicle, 9/14 – subscription required)

Social Sector Job Openings
Nonprofit Financial Planning and Analysis Manager | Arabella Advisors
Education Finance and Policy Analyst | DC Fiscal Policy Institute
Communications Director | Grantmakers In Health
Program Director | Grantmakers In Health
Analyst | Arabella Advisors
Operations Associate | ACT for Alexandria
Grants Coordinator | City of Takoma Park

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 – October 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

Can you tango? Yes? Ok…but can you do it underwater?

The (Almost) Daily will be back on Monday!

– Rebekah

September 14, 2016 / Buffy Beaudoin-Schwartz, Editor

Slow Growth in Nonprofit CEO Compensation

NONPROFITS | GuideStar’s recently released annual compensation report shows nonprofit CEOs received on average a 2.4% pay raise in 2014 – except in larger cities, where it was higher.

Before the Great Recession, that figure consistently topped 4 percent and even reached 7 percent at large organizations, according to Chuck McLean, GuideStar’s vice president for research. The new survey, however, notes that 2014 was the sixth straight year that the median increase fell short of 4 percent. “It really seems to have been stuck at that lower level,” said Mr. McLean. Among the possible culprits for the slowdown: public scrutiny of executive pay, which is making boards gun-shy about raises. “There have been a number of states that have said that, ‘Oh, these compensation levels are too high. If you have a state contract, there’s a limit to how much you can pay the CEO,’ ” Mr. McLean said.

The GuideStar report is based on 2014 federal tax filing data by 96,000+ nonprofits. (Chronicle, 9/13) [Subscription Required]

– The DC Housing Authority has warned public housing residents of a possible scam. (City Paper, 9/13)

– Most Americans Are Worried About Losing Their Housing (City Lab, 9/12)

– Neighborhood teenagers help to build the new Woodridge Library in DC. (WaPo, 9/13)

– City Refuses To Clarify Policy On Admissions At All Boys School (dcist, 9/12)

RACE | Opinion: The benefits of a black history museum in a historically black city (WaPo, 9/13)

SAFETY | DC’s gun control laws are being challenged again, and the effects could be felt around the country. (WaPo, 9/13)

ENVIRONMENT | Does Washington, D.C., Need a Climate-Change Memorial? (City Lab, 9/9)

– Middle class incomes had their fastest growth on record last year (WaPo, 9/14)

– Why So Few American Economists Are Studying Inequality (The Atlantic, 9/14)

Generation X is a group of donors worth cultivating. (Chronicle, 9/6)

– Does Philanthropy Threaten Democracy? (SSIR, Fall 2016)

How strange that part of the US Capitol building is in Rock Creek Park – Buffy



September 13, 2016 / Buffy Beaudoin-Schwartz, Editor

Ford Foundation to Focus on People with Disabilities

EQUALITY | Admitting a mistake was made by overlooking the needs of people with disabilities while revamping its programs to focus on inequality, the Ford Foundation pledged Monday to review of its policies and practices on the issue. In doing so, Foundation President Darren Walker said that the foundation will focus on integrating an inclusive perspective across all of their grantmaking. (Equals Change Blog, 9/12)

The fact is, people with disabilities—whether visible or invisible—face harsh inequalities. People with physical, sensory, intellectual, or mental health disabilities do not benefit from the same opportunities as those without. This inequality is pervasive, and it regularly intersects with other forms of inequality we already address in our work … by asking the extra question, are we mindful of the needs of people with disabilities?—we will see new opportunities we otherwise might have missed.

CORPORATE GIVING | Congrats to WRAG member Citi for being named a finalist for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s 2016 Corporate Citizenship Awards. WRAG’s very own Katy Moore was a judge for this year’s awards. Good luck to all the finalists!

HOUSINGLandlords Exploit D.C. Rent Control Laws, Jacking Up Prices After ‘Concessions’ Expire (City Paper, 9/1)

– Howard University gets big national ranking jump among “Best Colleges” by US News & World Report, and is ranked second among Historically Black Colleges. (WTOP, 9/13)

– Head Start Regulations Aim to Reduce Rules by 30% (NPQ, 9/12)

RACEEnrollments surge at historically black colleges amid rise in racial tensions (WaPo, 9/11)

HEALTH | Licensing for medical marijuana growth in Maryland is criticized over last minute changes. (WaPo, 9/12)

POVERTY | American teens are particularly vulnerable to the risks of food insecurity. (City Lab, 9/12)

JUSTICETreating Young Offenders Like Adults Is Bad Parenting (Atlantic, 9/9)

NONPROFITSStudy of Arts Nonprofits Shows Donations Drop as Audience Numbers Rise (NPQ, 9/8)

It’s been 3 weeks since the Olympics ended, and I miss the “Phelps Face” – Buffy