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October 23, 2017 / Kendra Allen, Editor

How will the US protect its most vulnerable citizens?

POVERTY | The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has released new regulations to address predatory payday loans. Some worry that once the loans, which target low-income communities and communities of color, are regulated, another form of exploitation will pop up. (Citylab, 10/20)

The new CFPB payday rules focus on payday and auto-title loans that require repayment in 45 days or less. Among the stipulations, the regulations require lenders making such loans to assess a borrower’s ability to repay (based on factors such as income and housing costs), set limits on how many times a borrower can rollover a loan, and prevent lenders from continually trying to automatically debit from a borrower’s account. Together, the rules will help curb some of the most abusive and dangerous practices when it comes to small, very short-term loans. But what they don’t do is create new or safer products to take their place—nor do they force financial institutions to do so.

AFFORDABLE HOUSING | Last week, business leaders and other stakeholders came together to discuss the lack of affordable and workforce housing in Loudoun County and how to address it. (Loudoun Times, 10/18)

Related: Gretchen Greiner-Lott, WRAG’s vice president, participated in the summit and offered lessons from the Faces of Loudoun Campaign, which WRAG worked on with the Community Foundation for Loudoun and Northern Fauquier Counties to bring attention to individuals and families living and working in the county who are dealing with a variety of issues, including housing affordability. She also discussed WRAG’s specific work around housing affordability, including the Housing Leaders Group of Greater Washington and Our Region, Your Investment.

CORPORATE PHILANTHROPY AWARDS | Congratulations to the WRAG members who are being honored in Washington Business Journal’s 2017 Corporate Philanthropy Awards!

Corporate Philanthropy by Giving

Booz Allen Hamilton Inc.

Capital One Financial Corp.

CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield


Deloitte LLP and subsidiaries

Northrop Grumman Corp.


PNC Bank

PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP

SunTrust Banks Inc.

Washington Gas

Wells Fargo & Co.

The World Bank Group

Corporate Philanthropy by Volunteer Hours

The Advisory Board Co.

Booz Allen Hamilton Inc.

Capital One Financial Corp.


Deloitte LLP and subsidiaries

IBM Corp.

PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP

SunTrust Banks Inc.

Washington Gas

Wells Fargo & Co.

The World Bank Group

EQUITY | Vu Le, executive director of Rainier Valley Corps, discusses the true meaning of equity in his popular blog and urged foundations and nonprofits to practice it. (NAF, 10/15)

FOOD INSECURITY | Today marks the beginning of DC Food Recovery Week, which is dedicated to highlighting the amount of food we waste and how it can be prevented. (WAMU, 10/23)

PUBLIC SAFETY | A newly released report that studied the District’s police department’s utilization of body cameras found that wearing them did not change the use-of-force rates. (DCist, 10/20)

Where to go to enjoy Halloween or pumpkin patches in Montgomery County, MD…

– Kendra

October 20, 2017 / Kendra Allen, Editor

DC Mayor Muriel Bowser announces $3 million investment in wards 7 and 8

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT | Last weekend residents, activists and councilmembers from ward 7 and 8 participated in a grocery walk to bring attention to the lack of grocery stores in their community. Yesterday, Mayor Muriel Bowser announced the city would invest $3 million into housing and retail projects in the two wards. (WaPo, 10/19)

Brian Kenner’s [the deputy mayor for planning and economic development] office specified that the $3 million Bowser awarded as part of the Neighborhood Prosperity Fund was an initiative that originated in the mayor’s office.

Bowser said the fund will provide “an opportunity for us to infuse economic support into areas that need it most.”

“Through these grants, we are being strategic about investing in projects that will improve the quality of life for residents — in this case, by bringing new jobs, services, and grocery options to the residents of Wards 7 and 8,” said Bowser, who created a new cabinet post to focus on development in the city’s poorest areas after she took office in 2015.

– The District passed legislation in 2014 to keep employers from asking potential applicants about their criminal history but employers still find ways to discriminate against these individuals. (WCP, 10/19)

– According to a new Kauffman Foundation study, the Greater Washington region has, once again, ranked number one in entrepreneurship growth in the US. (WBJ, 10/19)

HEALTH | Whitman-Walker Health clinic has a mentor program to connect individuals living with HIV to those who are recently diagnosed. One mentor and mentee discussed the benefits of this relationship here. (Atlantic, 10/19)

Related: Four of the Washington AIDS Partnership’s Health Corps program members are currently at Whitman-Walker, and one of them supports the +1 peer-mentor program.

ENVIRONMENTReport: Pollution Kills 3 Times More than AIDS, TB And Malaria Combined (NPR, 10/19)

Social Sector Job Openings 

Controller | Eugene & Agnes E. Meyer Foundation
Program Officer, Young Women’s Initiative | Washington Area Women’s Foundation
Program Director | Grantmakers In Health
Prevention Coordinator | Montgomery County Collaboration Council
Sr. Manager, Corporate Relations | Exelon
Program Coordinator | Exponent Philanthropy
Content Manager | Exponent Philanthropy
Director of Development | The Literacy Lab
Communications Manager | 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 the image below to access the calendar.

What do you know about your senses?

– Kendra

October 19, 2017 / Kendra Allen, Editor

How the loss of CHIP funds will impact the Greater Washington region

– Congress let federal funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program run out on September 30. With more than 250,000 children in our region insured through this program, officials will have to figure out how to continue supporting these children with less funding. (WAMU, 10/19)

Linda Nablo, the Chief Deputy Director for the Virginia Department of Medical Assistance Services, has spent years overseeing CHIP in Virginia and at the national level. She says about half of the 126,000 children paid for with CHIP dollars in Virginia have coverage through Medicaid, and these children — like those in D.C. and Maryland — would not be at risk of losing it. But other Virginia children are in a different situation.

“The other 66,000 kids are in a separate program and they would be in jeopardy of losing coverage,” Nablo said. Most states have this combination set up for CHIP and are in the same boat.

Almost half of D.C. children have suffered a traumatic experience, according to first-ever federal survey (WaPo, 10/19)

RACIAL EQUITY | Last night WRAG’s Racial Equity Working Group, in partnership with IMPACT Silver Spring, convened community members in Montgomery County, Maryland to learn about its racial history and to envision what a racially equitable Montgomery County would look like. Thanks to Caitlin Duffy of Diverse City Fund for tweeting the event.

– Montgomery County is increasing its efforts to prevent students from joining gangs by encouraging information sharing between law enforcement and school officials when they perceive a student is exhibiting “gang-related” activity. (Bethesda Beat, 10/18)

– Here’s a reminder that even if marijuana is legal in the District, depending on your job, it may still be illegal for you. (AFRO, 10/18)

– A John Hopkins University researcher has proposed a $1.46 billion tutoring plan to help Maryland students increase their PARCC test scores. (Maryland Reporter, 10/17)

– Opinion: DC’s charter schools are sharply segregated. Here’s what we should do about the racial and economic divide. (GGWash, 10/18)

So I’ve learned that McDonalds tried to sale a pineapple and cheese sandwich in the past. Here’s a list of other food items that failed.

– Kendra

October 18, 2017 / Kendra Allen, Editor

New study finds it will take 20 years for new teachers in the Greater Washington region to buy a home

EDUCATION | It is generally believed that teachers are not compensated adequately for their work to educate future generations. A National Center on Teacher Quality report supports this claim. In the Greater Washington region, it will take a new teacher almost twenty years to buy a home if they are saving 10% of their annual income to buy a home and putting down a 20% down payment. (WAMU, 10/17)

Not surprisingly, D.C. is one of the least affordable places for new teachers to rent a one-bedroom apartment, assuming the median rent is $2,164 per month. First year teachers in the D.C. metro area make between $47,000 and $52,000 per year, depending on the school system.

Even a teacher with an advanced degree making the maximum salary in their district would struggle to pay the median homeowner cost in the region. The report shows a teacher who makes the maximum salary in the district spends 42 percent of their salary on homeowner costs. In Fairfax County, 51 percent of a teacher’s salary are spent on homeowner costs.

GENDER EQUITY | According to a new report by American University’s Kogod School of Business for Women in Technology, women only hold 14% of board seats in the Greater Washington region. (WBJ, 10/17)

HEALTH CARE | Almost half of the DC Council disapprove of the consulting firm running United Medical Center, the only public hospital in the District and the only full-service hospital east of the Anacostia River, and have reservations about renewing its contract. (WaPo, 10/17)

HOUSING | An old office building in Hyattsville, MD will be turned into an apartment building with mostly one bedroom units. (Hyattsville Wire, 10/13)

– George Soros, founder of Open Society Foundations, has committed $18 billion to his organization, which places the foundation as the second largest private grantmaker in terms of assets. (Chronicle, 10/17)

– Rick Hess of the American Enterprise Institute discussed the need for education funders to be more accountable to the programs they fund. (EdWeek, 10/10) What do you think?

TRAVEL BANFederal Judge In Maryland Blocks Trump’s Latest Travel Ban Attempt (NPR, 10/18)

Help teach google how to recognize doodles.

– Kendra

October 17, 2017 / Kendra Allen, Editor

DC transportation program that benefits elderly and disabled residents has restricted its trips

TRANSPORTATION | Transport DC, a transportation program that allows residents, many of whom are elderly and disabled, to take a cab for any purpose for $5, has restricted the trips it offers to just doctor appointments and employment needs. Officials say the change is a result of the high demand for rides and budget limits. (WaPo, 10/15)

Officials say the District is paying about 44 percent less per trip than it would pay Metro for providing the same trips through MetroAccess. Transport DC also has helped reduce the city’s MetroAccess subsidy by 100,000 trips — or about $5 million.

Advocates cite these figures as reason to continue to allow residents to use the Transport DC program for all city travel.

“It was always intended to take trips off MetroAccess,” said Heidi Case, an advocate and user of Transport DC. “They think that if these people can’t use Transport DC they have the MetroAccess option. That costs more — twice as much.”

– Providence Hospital closed its maternity ward yesterday. Watch Kelly Sweeney McShane, CEO of Community of Hope, share why this has created a maternity care crisis for low-income and overwhelmingly Black and Latinx women in the District. (WJLA, 10/16)

– Chet Burrell, CEO of CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, discussed how the recent changes to the Affordable Care Act will impact the insurance provider. (WBJ, 10/13)

EDUCATION | A Maryland private school has lost its state voucher after the board of the state voucher program learned of its anti-LGBTQ policy. (Baltimore Sun, 10/13)

IMMIGRATION | Opinion: I’m a ‘dreamer.’ If someone must be punished, let it be me. (WaPo, 10/12)

HOUSING/ VIRGINIA | The Manassas city council has decided not to buy a mobile home park, which would have caused the eviction of 200 people. Instead, a nonprofit has agreed to purchase it for the residents. (Inside NOVA, 10/16)

TRANSGENDER RIGHTSTransgender Survey Shows Dismaying Discrimination Rates In D.C. (DCist, 10/16)

A brief synopsis about what the world was like the year you were born. Don’t be afraid of the black screen, it sets the scene.

– Kendra

October 16, 2017 / Kendra Allen, Editor

DC residents in wards 7 and 8 walked for food justice on Saturday

FOOD JUSTICE | This past Saturday, DC residents from wards 7 and 8 joined together to participate in a ‘grocery walk’ to bring attention to the lack of grocery stores and healthy food options in their wards. The walk ended with a rally that featured speeches from residents and council members from both wards. (WAMU, 10/16)

The lack of grocery stores makes the weekly task of restocking the refrigerator a challenge for long-time Ward 8 resident Delois McNeal, 70.

“I have to walk across the street to catch the W3 bus,” said McNeal. “It’s a shuttle bus that runs once every half an hour. If you miss that, you have to wait another half an hour to go to the grocery store.”

Like nearly half of all Ward 8 residents, McNeal doesn’t own a car.

NONPROFITS | Nonprofits provide essential services to communities with scarce resources, and as a result, measuring a nonprofit’s impact on its clients and how supportive the philanthropic and government sector is to its mission becomes a secondary concern. Urban Institute and the World Bank Group have partnered to create Measure4Change, a program that seeks to advance measurement and evaluation capacity of nonprofits in the greater Washington area. Learn more here. (Urban Institute, 11/16)

WORKFORCE | DCFPI has released a report that analyzed the potential impact on eligible workers if the developers and businesses connected with the Wharf (the newest development in southwest DC) had worked with unions. (DCFPI, 10/12)

– This Maryland entrepreneur is using her shipping connections to fill eight planes with supplies for Hurricane Maria victims in Puerto Rico. (WAMU, 10/13)

– Big Donors Favor Tex. Over Puerto Rico in Hurricane Relief, Chronicle Data Shows (Chronicle, 10/12)

– Panelists at a Virginia forum on the state of children’s health reflected on how recent legislative changes have negatively impacted children. (InsideNOVA, 10/16)

– The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a report Friday that showed almost 40% of adults and 20% of adolescents in the US are obese. (NBC News, 10/13)

RACISMWhite Supremacist Group Hangs Banner Over American Immigration Lawyer’s Association Downtown Office (WCP, 10/14)

In case you’ve ever wondered what Muppets would look like with human eyes.

– Kendra

October 13, 2017 / Kendra Allen, Editor

New report finds DC economy is leaving longtime black residents behind

– Georgetown University has released a report exploring the state of employment, population and housing for black DC residents. One of the most startling findings is that the average white household has a net worth of $284,000 and the average black household’s assets are $3,500. (WaPo, 10/12)

The Georgetown report traces the inequities in the District today to discriminatory practices that once kept black residents out of the economy. It also provides recommendations for the city to help strive for greater equality.

“One of the contributions of this report is how much it puts in one place both the history of the city and redlining and school segregation, and connecting it to how those impacts play out today,” said Ed Lazere, executive director of the D.C. Fiscal Policy Institute, whose work is extensively cited in the study. “That half of all black households in D.C. have assets of $3,500 or less — that’s virtually nothing, and it’s probably a reflection that housing discrimination years ago kept them from owning homes.”

COMMUNITY | Congratulations to Tracye Funn, manager of corporate contributions and supplier diversity at Washington Gas (and WRAG board member), for being honored in the Community Foundation for Prince George’s County‘s 2017 Civic Leadership Awards!

– The administration has announced it will stop reimbursing insurance companies for the discounts that they are required to offer low-income customers, which some expect will hurt middle-class families. (NPR, 10/13)

– Puerto Rico’s population’s health is at risk. Here’s why. (WaPo, 10/13)

TRANSIT | A recent study examining commute times between metro and Uber found that it may be quicker to travel with Uber inside the District. (WaPo, 10/11)

Social Sector Job Openings 

Controller | Eugene & Agnes E. Meyer Foundation – New!
Program Officer, Young Women’s Initiative | Washington Area Women’s Foundation – New!
Program Director | Grantmakers In Health – New!
Prevention Coordinator | Montgomery County Collaboration Council
Sr. Manager, Corporate Relations | Exelon
Program Coordinator | Exponent Philanthropy
Content Manager | Exponent Philanthropy
Director of Development | The Literacy Lab
Communications Manager | United Philanthropy Forum
Program Associate, Portfolio Support, Public and Patient Engagement | Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute
Program Associate, Public and Patient Engagement | Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute
Engagement Officer | Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute
Program Officer, Public Engagement | Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute

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 the image below to access the calendar.

This is kind of like “Price is Right”. Can you guess the price? (Tip: There is actually a purse that costs $49,805 that seemingly only serves as a purse and not an alternative form of transportation or shelter.)

– Kendra