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May 25, 2017 / Kendra Allen, Editor

Affordable housing must be a priority in Loudoun County

AFFORDABLE HOUSING | Loudoun County’s Board of Supervisors Chair Phyllis Randall gave her second state of the county address yesterday. She discussed many improvements for the county and addressed future issues including housing and transportation. Loudoun County has a housing affordability problem right now and a recent report found that it could be facing a crisis in the future. (Loudoun Tribune, 5/24)

Her first priority was affordable housing, an ongoing problem that has taken greater urgency among the board as the county faces rising house prices and the prospect of an insufficient supply in the future. These same projections say a dearth of affordable housing could curtail future economic growth, and Randall said government and business leaders need to address the issue before it became a crisis.

“Housing affordability is an absolute necessity if we hope to attract businesses and companies to locate to this region,” Randall said.

In the past few weeks, the county Chamber held a discussion, the Board has held a summit and future meetings and actions steps are planned. Randall reminded the hundreds in the government center crowded into the Board room or watching in overflow that many of Loudoun’s public servants, dozens of whom were on hand to listen to her address, couldn’t afford to live in the communities they aid.

JPMorgan Chase is investing in Ascend 2020, a project that helps minority-owned businesses that are often unable to find financing in the District. The project will be supported by Project 500, an effort for which WRAG serves as a fiscal agent. (WBJ, 5/24)

– Maryland Governor Larry Hogan will sign over 200 bills today but paid sick leave may not be one of them. (WaPo, 5/24)

– Susan Taylor Batten, CEO of ABFE, discusses why it’s important to fund Black-led nonprofits, especially now. (Chronicle, 5/2 – Subscription needed)

– Funders Concerned About AIDS is hosting its annual AIDS Philanthropy Summit on September 18 and 19.

IMMIGRATION | Montgomery County has joined a national effort to encourage long-term immigrant residents to become US citizens. (Bethesda Beat, 5/24)

DEVELOPMENT | In a community meeting, Congress Heights residents voiced concerns about the District’s plans to build a sports arena on the St. Elizabeths campus. (DCist, 5/24)

BUDGETRegional memo: Trump budget proposal spells more pain for D.C. region (WaPo, 5/25)

HEALTH | How to design a neighborhood that keeps its residents healthy. (Politico, 5/10)

Need a little 90s nostalgia on another rainy day? Look no further!

– Kendra

May 24, 2017 / Kendra Allen, Editor

The future of affordable housing according to the administration’s proposed funding cuts

– There are proposed funding cuts to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in the administration’s budget proposal released yesterday. These cuts include the elimination of  the Community Development Block Grant program and the Housing Trust Fund. Both of these programs serve America’s most vulnerable citizens. (Citylab, 5/23)

The Housing Trust Fund is a godsend for vulnerable families. But it is unlikely to survive its first encounter with a Republican administration after the one that signed it into law: In the federal budget for 2018 released today, the Trump administration zeroes out funds for the Housing Trust Fund, eliminating one of the country’s few mechanisms for establishing and keeping deeply affordable housing.

…Trump’s budget includes cuts for HUD of over 13 percent. It eliminates the Community Development Block Grant program entirely and carves out billions in housing assistance. But losing the Housing Trust Fund would be particularly punitive, given the way that the fund is financed, the very small amount of money in question, and above all, the desperate profile of the families this fund serves.

– The redevelopment of Brookland Manor will move forward with objections from residents. (WBJ, 5/23)

– Why are DC’s Black residents so sick compared to the rest of its residents? (GGWash, 5/23)

– Maryland policymakers and researchers react to proposed funding cuts to the National Institutes of Health and other programs that impact its residents. (Bethesda Beat, 5/23)

PUBLIC SAFETY | The Justice Department may be reluctant to investigate police misconduct in the future, but states are exploring their power to do so. (Atlantic, 5/24)

– Board interest in nonprofit mergers and alliances is actually higher than you think. (Chronicle, 5/23 – Subscription needed)

– Nonprofit AF, along with Grantmakers for Effective Organizations, Center for Effective Philanthropy, Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers, and Association of Baltimore Area Grantmakers are hosting Get a Beer (Beverage to Enhance Equity in Relationships) and Undo Nonprofit Power Dynamics (GBUNPD) Day tomorrow. (NAF, 4/17)

EDUCATIONA first in Maryland’s public schools: Students learn Korean (WaPo, 5/24)

Where to eat burgers in the US…

– Kendra

May 23, 2017 / Kendra Allen, Editor

The administration’s proposed budget will cut safety net programs

BUDGET | The new administration will release its first budget proposal today. It includes cuts to many programs that benefit low-income and moderate-income families, including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (known as food stamps), the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program, and Medicaid. (NYT, 5/22)

Mr. Trump also wants to make large cuts to educational programs aimed at helping often low-income students secure federal loans or grants, and he would cut access to disability payments through Social Security.

Taken together, the cuts represent a significant reordering of the social safety net, away from poor families and toward older Americans, regardless of income. Medicare would be untouched, and the main function of Social Security — retirement income — would flow unimpeded.

HEALTHCARE | The Virginia Health Care Foundation has announced a new initiative, Beyond Blue, that is intended to increase access to mental health care for uninsured Virginians and those with little to no access to medical care. (Richmond Times, 5/22)

FOOD | A USDA pilot program to allow SNAP participants to order groceries online will begin in Maryland sometime next year. (NBC4, 5/22)

NORTHERN VIRGINIA | Connect Northern Virginia, a website that connects people to community resources, has revealed its redesigned website with the help of partners: Claude Moore Charitable Trust, United Way of the National Capital Area, Community Foundation for Northern Virginia and Community Foundation for Loudoun & Northern Fauquier Counties.

– Public middle schools in the District fail to win over parents as the city plans to revamp them. (WaPo, 5/20)

– Bowie State Remembers Student Killed In Possible Hate Crime (WAMU, 5/23)

– A federal judge has ordered further study on the impact of the Purple Line in Maryland, further delaying construction of the project. (Baltimore Sun, 5/23)

– D.C. taxicabs on route to digital meters by the end of the summer (WaPo, 5/20)

There is beauty in the world

– Kendra

May 22, 2017 / Kendra Allen, Editor

Two endangered species met on the Anacostia River and life bloomed

ENVIRONMENT | Cleaning up the polluted Anacostia River in order to reintroduce wildlife to the area saved many of the youth who participated in the Eagle Conservation Corps in the 90s from leading the lives that took many of their peers in Southeast DC. (NPR, 5/20)

In the first three months, a team of seven young men and two women waded into the creek and dragged out everything from car engines to sofas, bikes — and 5,000 tires. “They cleaned every scrap out of that creek,” [creator of the Eagle Conservation Corps Bob] Nixon says.

It was hard work with no prestige, and their friends in Valley Green [housing project] gave them a hard time. But “we started feeling a sense of accomplishment and pride,” says Anthony Satterthwaite, another of the original volunteers.

That sense of accomplishment was key.

CORPORATE CITIZENSHIP AWARDS | The Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce has announced the nominees for its 2017 Outstanding Corporate Citizenship Awards. Congratulations to the many WRAG members nominated! (Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce, 5/15)

Outstanding Corporate Citizen of the Year (Large Business)

CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield

CSRA, Inc.

Kaiser Permanente

PNC Bank

WGL Holdings/Washington Gas

Wells Fargo Bank

Outstanding Veteran and Military Advocate Award

PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP

Executive Leader of the Year

Adrian Chapman, WGL Holdings/Washington Gas

Todd Yeatts, The Boeing Company

Emerging Influential of the Year

Ben Ingham, Northrop Grumman

NOVAForward Award

Eileen Ellsworth, President & CEO, Community Foundation for Northern Virginia

Non-Profit of the Year

Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers in partnership with the Community Foundation for Loudoun & Fauquier Counties

– Tamara Lucas Copeland, WRAG’s president, said this about the nomination: We are honored to be nominated with the Community Foundation for Loudoun & Fauquier Counties. Since 2015, when WRAG hosted the first-ever Loudoun County Philanthropy Conference, we have been working with the Community Foundation for Loudoun & Northern Fauquier Counties and a robust cross-sector steering committee to identify and address top needs in the county. On March 1, we launched the “Faces of Loudoun” marketing campaign designed to highlight the often hidden needs in Loudoun and encourage increased and more effective philanthropic investments from residents and the larger philanthropic community across the region.

WORKFORCE | This Chesapeake Bay company, and the island where it is located, need Mexican guest workers to keep its business afloat. (WAMU, 5/21)

HEALTH | District policymakers passed a bill to raise the smoking age to 21 last year, but there are no funds set aside in the current FY18 budget proposal to implement the law. (DCFPI, 5/19)

HOUSING | The Mount Pleasant and Columbia Heights area is now the third most expensive neighborhood in DC. (WTOP, 5/19)

POVERTY | A new study explores why some children who grow up in poverty are able to become economically successful adults. (Citylab, 5/19)

NONPROFITS | Nonprofits anxiously await the new administration’s first budget request. (Chronicle, 5/19 – Subscription needed)

These puppets do not want to harm you. 

– Kendra

May 19, 2017 / Kendra Allen, Editor

LGBTQ funding has slowed, according to new report

LGBTQ | Funders for LGBTQ Issues has released its 2015 Tracking Report, which examines foundation giving for LGBTQ issues in 2015. The report found an increase in funding for transgender communities, grantmaking to address criminalization and criminal justice reform, and support for LGBTQ communities in the South. (Funders for LGBTQ Issues, 5/15)

The 2015 total of $160.7 million constitutes a 4.8 percent increase over the $153.2 million in LGBTQ funding awarded by foundations in 2014. While we are pleased to see the continued rise in LGBTQ funding, the rate of growth has slowed considerably compared to the prior year, when LGBTQ funding increased by 19 percent. The year 2015 saw an expansion of the number of funders supporting LGBTQ issues, but this expansion was partially offset by a handful of leading funders cutting back on their investments in LGBTQ communities, resulting in much more modest growth.

For the second time, we reviewed the grantmaking of 100 of the largest foundations, and found that only 41 of them had awarded even a single grant focused on LGBTQ issues.

SOCIAL JUSTICE | Congratulations to Mary E. McClymont, president and CEO of Public Welfare Foundation (and secretary of WRAG’s board of directors), for being recognized as a “Champion of Justice” by the Alliance for Justice! (PWF, 5/18)

– Truth Initiative’s CEO Robin Koval discusses the mission of her organization and its efforts to eradicate youth smoking. (Chronicle, 5/19)

– Maryland has awarded its first license to grow marijuana for medicinal purposes. (WaPo, 5/17)

EDUCATION | Some District schools are facing funding cuts in the upcoming fiscal year. (WaPo, 5/18)

– The DC Council is considering two bills to increase affordable housing in the city. (Washington Times, 5/17)

Related: One of the programs mentioned in the article is WRAG’s partnership with Enterprise Community Loan Fund, Our Region, Your Investment, which to date has raised over $11 in impact investments for affordable housing in the region.

– Arlington County banned townhouses in 1938 and residents are still dealing with its impact today. (GGWash, 5/17)

BUDGETTax increase for vital projects in Manassas, but will even more taxes be needed? (InsideNOVA, 5/19)

Social Sector Job Openings 

Democracy Program Manager | Funder’s Committee for Civic Participation – New!
Program Assistant | Public Welfare Foundation
Communications Manager | Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers
Director of Communications | de Beaumont Foundation
Program Coordinator, Grants and Selection | Jack Kent Cooke Foundation
Director of Programmatic Initiatives | Fight For Children
Major Gift Officer–DC | Urban Teachers
Program Analyst | Clark Charitable Foundation, Inc.
Market Coordinator, Community Affairs Mid-Atlantic | Capital One
Director of Community Engagement | Association of American Medical Colleges
Director of Data Services | GuideStar USA, Inc.

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’s your American Dream?

– Kendra

May 18, 2017 / Kendra Allen, Editor

How the American Health Care Act could impact children

HEALTHCARE | The American Health Care Act recently passed the House and is now being considered in the Senate. The bill includes a repeal of insurance mandates under the Affordable Care Act, loosening of restrictions on insurers and most crucial for children, cuts to Medicaid spending. (Atlantic, 5/18)

One of the [Medicaid] program’s crucial pieces for children is the Early Periodic Screening Diagnosis and Treatment benefit, or EPSDT, which outlines a set of services essential for childhood growth. Those services go beyond those required by law for adults, including testing for lead poisoning and in-home care. Based on the existing AHCA language, that benefit would likely be erased in states that accept the Medicaid block grant, which could translate to children on Medicaid receiving less comprehensive care.

The block-grant scenario would also erase protections in place that limit premiums and out-of-pocket spending on behalf of children, which means that states would be free to make up for Medicaid shortfalls by cutting benefits and making kids’ parents pay more.

DO MORE 24 | It’s that time of year again! United Way of the National Capital Area‘s 24-hour online fundraiser, where donors can contribute to over 700 participating nonprofits, will be held on June 8. Nonprofits can register here by May 22.

– A DC councilmember has proposed a bill that would create a panel that recommends turning vacant office buildings into affordable housing. (WBJ, 5/16)

– Why the elimination of community development block grants would be devastating for the District. (AFRO, 5/18)

PHILANTHROPYConcrete Ways Philanthropy Can Fight the Spread of Misinformation (Chronicle, 5/2 – Subscription needed)

DEVELOPMENT | Opinion: Here’s the case for not turning the Carnegie Library into an Apple store. (Citylab, 5/16)

EDUCATION | A recent report found that some DC officials received special treatment in the District’s school lottery. (WaPo, 5/17)

Its really affordable to live in this former Virginia prison.

– Kendra

May 16, 2017 / Kendra Allen, Editor

Living in a segregated neighborhood impacts your health

– It is a known fact that where a person lives can impact their health, income and more. Now, a new study has found that moving from a racially segregated neighborhood into a more integrated one lowers blood pressure in the Black population. (NPR, 5/15)

A study involving more than 2,000 African-Americans found that those who moved from the most-segregated neighborhoods to less-segregated neighborhoods later experienced lower systolic blood pressure, a factor in heart attacks and strokes.

The new study is the first to follow people over time to see how leaving segregated communities could affect the risk of heart disease. This kind of before-and-after study strengthens the observations made in the earlier studies.

– How one D.C. hospital cut down its ER wait times, some of the longest in the city (WBJ, 5/15)

WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT | Participants in DC Central Kitchen’s Culinary Job Training course are learning skills beyond cooking. (WCP, 5/16)

CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY | Tim McClimon, lead faculty member of WRAG’s Institute for CSR, discusses the lack of risk management in philanthropy. (CSR Now!, 5/15)

POPULATIONArlington named ‘Best City for Millennials,’ while Alexandria and D.C. are close behind (WaPo, 5/16)

PUBLIC SAFETY | Northern Virginia policymakers met with experts and Latinx immigrants to discuss recent gang activity. (WTOP, 5/16)

AFFORDABLE HOUSING | On Monday, creating more affordable housing was a major topic in the region. (Richmond Times, 5/15)

The Daily will be back on Thursday!

Find your timeline here.

– Kendra