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June 28, 2017 / Kendra Allen, Editor

New HIV infections in the District has decreased for the ninth year

HIV/AIDS | According to the District’s HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis, STD, and TB Administration’s annual report, the city’s number of newly diagnosed HIV cases has decreased for the ninth year in a row. Although DC still has a very high number of residents living with HIV, the number of newly diagnosed HIV cases have decreased by 73% since 2007. (MetroWeekly, 6/27)

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser announced the news, and the release of the annual report, at a press conference at Whitman-Walker Health on Tuesday morning. The announcement coincided with National HIV Testing Day.

“For nine consecutive years, the District has been able to work together with the community to decrease the number of new HIV cases,” Mayor Bowser said. “We know we have more work to do, but this data is good news for our city and our residents. In just one decade, we have made tremendous progress, and today, our residents who are diagnosed with HIV are getting care faster and they are starting — and staying on — treatments that we know are effective.”

HOUSING AFFORDABILITY | WRAG helped to start the Housing Leaders Group of Greater Washington (HLG) to address housing affordability in the Greater Washington region three years ago. Washington Metro Marketplace Manager of Citi Community Development and WRAG Board Member Diana Meyer, who has been a champion of this work, discusses the urgent housing need in the region and how different stakeholders working together will help address the issue. (Daily, 6/28)

RACE | A report from Georgetown University law school’s Center on Poverty and Inequality found that black girls are viewed as ‘less innocent’ than white girls. (WaPo, 6/27)

DEVELOPMENT | Montgomery County policymakers have introduced a bill requiring that developers building on a burial site must establish its exact location and protect it during construction and maintain it afterwards. (WaPo, 6/27)

HEALTH | The District is closer to building the replacement hospital for United Medical Center in southeast. (WBJ, 6/27)

NONPROFITSNonprofits Have a Role to Play in Building Bridges in a Polarized World (Chronicle, 6/27 – Subscription needed)

– This map shows what counties resemble what the US will look like in the future, and which ones most resembles the ethnic composition of the past. In our region, Prince George’s County will most resemble the US in 2060 and Fauquier County, VA most resembles the US’s 2004 population. (NYT, 6/22)

D.C. Issues Its First Gender-Neutral Drivers License (WAMU, 6/27)

A view of life from April.

– Kendra

June 28, 2017 / WRAG

Together, We Can Make a Difference

Three years ago this month, WRAG helped to start the Housing Leaders Group of Greater Washington (HLG), a collection of more than a dozen public and private sector leaders concerned about housing affordability in the Greater Washington region. Because of the enormity of the issue, everyone around the table knew we needed to do things differently, and we needed to work together.

Recently, the group kicked-off cross-sector regional impact dialogues involving elected officials, as well as leaders of business, philanthropy, advocacy, development, and financial institutions, who all agreed that we must address housing affordability as a regional challenge. One of the most powerful things to come out of that first discussion was how our regional housing affordability challenge has touched everyone – even elected officials and powerful business leaders – in some way.

Throughout the past three years, Diana Meyer, Washington Metro Marketplace Manager of Citi Community Development and WRAG Board Member, has spearheaded much of the work of the HLG. In addition, she has been supportive of and involved in WRAG’s overall housing work for many years. As she prepares to retire later this summer, she put pen to paper regarding the Greater Washington region’s urgent housing need, the work of the HLG, and how all of us need to work together on this issue to make a difference for our region.

Gretchen Greiner-Lott, Vice President of WRAG

By Diana Meyer
Washington Metro Marketplace Manager
Citi Community Development

Alarmed by new data on the shortage of housing affordable to low- and moderate-income residents of our region, over a dozen nonprofit and private sector leaders came together to form the Housing Leaders Group of Greater Washington (HLG). The group is working on how to address the shortage and its negative impact on the regional economy and quality of life of its residents. Over the past three years, the HLG has held several convenings of public and private sector leaders and practitioners to address housing affordability, including co-hosting the plenary sessions of HAND’s annual meetings, and created two reports.

Our region’s housing costs, among the most expensive in the nation, are affecting all income levels except the highest. Low, moderate and middle income wage earners – people working in jobs vital to our economy – are either paying extraordinary portions of their incomes for housing or seeking to live further away from their jobs, further exacerbating transportation challenges and their respective total housing costs.

Cross-sector collaboration is critical to the success of regional efforts to address housing affordability. The Greater Washington region and its public and private sectors are inextricably interdependent. And the housing market is complicated – we live in one jurisdiction and work or study in another. The private sector or government alone cannot overcome the housing affordability crisis we are facing. Our aim should be for all sectors to think and cooperate regionally and act locally within our respective jurisdictions and sectors.

Already, jurisdictions around the region are employing many creative and impactful initiatives, and they can do more with planning and zoning powers and underutilized public land – but other sectors need to engage at a higher level on housing affordability. Employers, financial institutions, developers and business organizations must look at how they can collaborate across sectors and what they can do themselves in reducing costs, improving design and supporting regional and local strategies.

All residents of the Greater Washington region should look at how they and their sector can pursue solutions to the housing affordability crisis. Together, we can make a difference.

June 27, 2017 / Kendra Allen, Editor

Medical groups find the Senate health care bill disappointing

– The Senate revision of the House bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act, called the Better Care Reconciliation Act, was released last week and people are finding the same faults that were present in the first bill. After analyzing the bill, many medical groups, such as the American Medical Association and the American Society for Clinical Oncology, have come out against it. (NBC, 6/26)

Medicaid also covers two-thirds of people in nursing homes. The health care bills in the House and Senate would also let companies charge older people more for insurance than they would younger customers.

“We are disappointed that the legislation fails to meet our guiding principles for healthcare reform by halting Medicaid expansion, reinstating annual and lifetime coverage caps, and cutting coverage for essential health benefits including cancer screening,” said Dr. Bruce Johnson, president of the American Society for Clinical Oncology.

– Children’s National Health System has been rated one of the top pediatric care centers in the country. (WBJ, 6/27)

PHILANTHROPY | After 26 years of investing in nonprofit workforce development organizations that have trained and supported DC residents, the Jovid Foundation is closing its doors in August 2017.

HOUSING AFFORDABILITY | Yanique Redwood, chair of WRAG’s Board and president and CEO of Consumer Health Foundation, recounts her weekend looking for affordable housing in the District and only seeing the real impact of the city’s income inequity. (CHF Blog, 6/26)

PUBLIC SAFETY | Congress members have introduced a bill to allow representatives and senators to carry concealed weapons in the District. (AFRO, 6/23)

LGBTQ | The Supreme Court has ruled that gay couples are entitled to equal treatment on birth certificates. (NYT, 6/26)

EDUCATIONSchool Secession Is Segregation (Citylab, 6/26)

The weather on Jupiter seems pretty cool.

– Kendra

June 26, 2017 / Kendra Allen, Editor

DC to offer special education services to young children

– On Friday, a federal court ruled that the District is not doing enough to help children with special needs that aren’t school age yet. The court ordered DC to ensure that at least 8.5% of the city’s children (between the age of 3 and 5) receive special education services. (WaPo, 6/23)

…Earlier court findings had shown the city was regularly failing to identify between 98 and 515 children a month with disabilities and had the lowest percentage of special education enrollment in the United States.

The ruling is a victory for children with disabilities, said Judith Sandalow, executive director of the Childrens Law Center. “Fundamentally it clears away a hurdle in the legal battle to get this city to properly identify and provide services to toddlers,” she said. “The earlier we identify the more we can do to make sure that they are still able to learn along with their typically developing peers. The longer we wait, the harder it is to do.”

– These researchers want to know if  low-income, public school students perform better when they’re given a voucher to attend private school. (NPR, 6/26)

POVERTYIs Amazon’s Discounted Prime Membership Really a Good Deal for Poor People? (Slate, 6/9)

ENVIRONMENT | How Northern Virginia is expanding its composting programs and trying to fight food waste. (NoVa Mag, 6/26)

IMMIGRATIONSupreme Court allows limited version of Trump’s travel ban to take effect, will consider case in fall (WaPo, 6/26)

ARTS & HUMANITIES | The popularity of podcasts have inspired media tech businesses to invest in playwrights. (Partnership Movement, 6/15)

– The District has dramatically improved its ability to solve murder cases. (DC Policy Center, 6/25)

– Crime increased in Prince William County, VA last year. (Potomac Local, 6/23)

Now you can fly like an eagle…

– Kendra

June 23, 2017 / Kendra Allen, Editor

New Senate health plan could negatively impact Virginia

– Yesterday the Senate revealed its version of the proposed health care bill, the Better Care Reconciliation Act, and many states are worried about the changes. Virginia policymakers are particularly concerned with funding cuts to Medicaid and the change in the way funds are allocated to states. (Richmond Times, 6/22)

Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s administration said the measure would help states that expanded their Medicaid programs under the Affordable Care Act at the expense of states that didn’t, while reducing long-term federal funding for a program that has been shared equally with the state.

“States that expanded get more money for longer, and states that didn’t expand get less,” Secretary of Health and Human Resources Bill Hazel said in an interview Thursday. “It’s hard to dispute that the gap is increasing.”

– Senate Republicans Reveal Long-Awaited Affordable Care Act Repeal Bill (NPR, 6/22)

– Next year, adult learners in the District will be able to use public transportation for free to get to school. (DCFPI, 6/20)

– A coalition of Greater Washington region business leaders is calling for Metro reform. (WBJ, 6/23)

EDUCATION | The District of Columbia public school system, parents, and policymakers are working together to fight overcrowding in ward 3 schools. (Current, 6/21)

HOUSING | When we talk about housing affordability, shouldn’t we include the cost of transportation? (Citylab, 6/23)

Related: Check out this post from WRAG’s What Funders Need to Know series where we explored how transportation factors into the cost of housing in our region.

IMMIGRATIONThe Supreme Court Defends the Integrity of U.S. Citizenship (Atlantic, 6/22)

Social Sector Job Openings 

Program Officer | Howard and Geraldine Polinger Family Foundation – New!
Development & Communications Coordinator | Girls on the Run – DC – New!
Senior Program Officer | George S. and Dolores Dore Eccles Foundation – New!
Development Director | National Alliance on Mental Illness of Montgomery County (NAMI MC) – New!
The Community Foundation Fellowship for Community Investment | The Community Foundation for the National Capital Region
The Community Foundation Fellowship for Special Projects | The Community Foundation for the National Capital Region
Member Development Specialist | Grantmakers for Effective Organizations
Corporate Gifts Officer | FIRST Chesapeake
Officer, Philanthropic Networks, Philanthropic Partnerships | The Pew Charitable Trusts
Program Manager: Thriving Germantown Community HUB-Germantown, MD | Family Services, Inc.
Democracy Program Manager | Funder’s Committee for Civic Participation
Communications Manager | Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers
Director of Communications | de Beaumont Foundation
Program Coordinator, Grants and Selection | Jack Kent Cooke 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
To add an event to WRAG’s community calendar, email Rebekah Seder. Click here to view the community calendar.

These popsicles are literally trash.

– Kendra

June 22, 2017 / Kendra Allen, Editor

Prince William county school board votes to protect LGBTQ staff and students

DISCRIMINATION | The Prince William county school board has voted to ban discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. Opponents cited concerns about restroom usage and the fact that courts haven’t issued concrete opinions about similar policies. At-Large Chairman Ryan Sawyers, the lead backer of the policy change, cited the mass shooting at an Orlando nightclub last year where LGBTQ individuals, mostly Latinx, were killed, as motivation for the change. (InsideNOVA, 6/21)

More than 500 people attended the board’s meeting in Bristow, though purple-clad supporters of the nondiscrimination measures dominated the board chambers — one joyous, drawn-out cry of “Equality!” rose above the raucous applause once the vote was tallied. When lawmakers considered the same change last fall, it was hundreds of opponents donned in red who packed the room.

“I wish I had this in my school 25 years ago,” said Danica Roem, the Democratic nominee in the 13th District of the House of Delegates and the first transgender woman to qualify for a Virginia ballot. “I don’t know how different my life would’ve been…I just hope these other kids are free to live as their true selves now.”

– This map shows every hate crime reported in the District in 2016, excluding crimes that occurred on federal land or college campuses. (NBC4, 6/20)

HEALTHCigna exits Maryland’s individual health insurance marketplace (WBJ, 6/21)

TRANSIT | Metro’s SafeTrack is ending, but newly shortened operating hours will still burden riders, especially those that work late-night shifts. (WAMU, 6/22)

PHILANTHROPYHow to Make Socioeconomic Diversity a Priority in Your Board Search (Chronicle, 6/21 – Subscription needed)

IMMIGRATION | Areas with sanctuary policies could be making the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s job more difficult. (Slate, 6/20)

EQUITY/WORKFORCE | An ACLU report explores the benefits of hiring returning citizens and offers recommendations to businesses that want to implement fair hiring practices. (ACLU, 6/21)

ELECTIONSSupreme Court picks up gerrymander case with potential implications for Maryland (Baltimore Sun, 6/19)

A look at the new Ben’s Chili Bowl mural (without Marvin Gaye)…

– Kendra

June 21, 2017 / Kendra Allen, Editor

The District shuts down another tent city but homeless still have no where to go

HOMELESSNESS | Yesterday, the District cleared out an area near the NoMa neighborhood that was occupied by homeless individuals living in tents. City officials cited public health violations as a reason why these tent cities should be removed and offered shelter options, but for some, for various reasons, shelters aren’t an option. (WAMU, 6/20)

The officials say they don’t want to criminalize homelessness, and recognize that for as basic as they may be, tents offer at least some shelter to vulnerable residents who may not have anywhere else to go. But they also say that the longer the encampments stay up, the more they can become public health and safety nuisances.

“We actually have a right to shelter. We have places for people to be, so they don’t need to be camping on public land,” said Kristy Greenwalt, the director of the D.C. Interagency Council on Homelessness. “It’s actually much better for us to be able engage folks when they’re inside, we can offer services and it’s much safer for them and for the public.”

ARTS & HUMANITIES | Americans for the Arts has released its fifth economic impact study of the nation’s nonprofit arts and cultural organizations and their audiences. During fiscal year 2015, the Greater Washington DC region’s arts sector supported 59,423 full-time equivalent jobs and arts and cultural audiences spent a total of $1.58 billion on events. (Americans for the Arts, 6/19)

RACIAL EQUITY | Yanique Redwood, vice chair of WRAG’s board and CEO and president of Consumer Health Foundation, discusses how John Henryism relates to health and racial equity and why her organization is trying to create an environment free of structural racism. (CHF Blog, 6/21)

HEALTH | Hospitals across the country, including Maryland, are starting to feel the strain from opioid-related visits. (WaPo, 6/20)

– The Center for Effective Philanthropy has published a new report, Benchmarking Program Officer Roles and Responsibilities, to explore the role of program officers at foundations and with nonprofits. (CEP, 6/20)

– A map of the most generous living donors in the US. (Chronicle, 6/20)

FOOD INSECURITYNew D.C. Program Offers More Groceries To Seniors In Wards 7 And 8 (DCist, 6/20)

GENDER | DC will soon add a third gender option to its driver’s license and identification cards. (WAMU, 6/20)

ENVIRONMENT | A new study questions how much it really costs for the US to commit to 100% renewable energy. (Citylab, 6/20)

Check out these little known facts about DC’s Brookland neighborhood.

– Kendra