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February 21, 2017 / Kendra Allen, Editor

District’s death with dignity bill is officially law

HEALTH | DC Council passed the Death with Dignity Act, legislation allowing physicians to prescribe medical aid in dying, last November. A few weeks ago, members of the House and Senate, mainly the House committee that oversees the District, pledged to overturn it. In the end, the bill passed because Congress ran out of time to defeat the bill. (DCist, 2/17)

While a disapproval resolution for Death with Dignity passed the House Oversight Committee on Monday, it never made it to a vote on the House floor (where Norton doesn’t have a vote) or to mark-up in a Senate committee. Thirty legislative days passed on Friday, though Norton acknowledged that “House and Senate parliamentarians are the arbiters” of when the deadline lapses. Even so, [Congressman] Chaffetz has admitted defeat for now.

– Governor Terry McAuliffe urges Virginia legislators to include funding for mental health screenings in jails and to hire investigators to examine suspicious jail deaths in the budget. (WTOP, 2/20)

RACIAL EQUITY | After a year of learning about racism and racial equity, local funders are ready to move toward action, with the launch of the Racial Equity Working Group at WRAG. We report back on the discussion and the three major areas that the working group will focus on moving forward. (Daily, 2/21)

– Maryland lawmakers are considering a bill that would prohibit schools from suspending pre-K to second grade students. (WTOP, 2/20)

– DC’s first all male high school gives a progress report on its first year. (WaPo, 2/19)

IMMIGRATIONImmigrants are a huge part of DC’s workforce (GGW, 2/17)

WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT | Ward 7 Economic Development Advisory Council formed to figure out how to bring more development to DC’s ward 7 community. (WBJ, 2/17)

ARTS / GENDER | Female Musicians and Artists of Color Are in the Spotlight at Represented DC (WCP, 2/17)

Some quacky sculptures for your Tuesday afternoon.


February 21, 2017 / WRAG

Philanthropy moves toward action on racial equity

By Rebekah Seder
Senior Program Manager
Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers

In November 2015, the local philanthropic community began the process of putting racism on the table. Over the past year, a sizable cohort of WRAG’s membership participated in a six-month learning series on the dimensions of racism, as well as trainings on applying a racial equity lens to grantmaking and communicating effectively about race and racism. While learning is always ongoing, funders are ready to move toward action to advance racial equity.

Last week marked the launch of the Racial Equity Working Group at WRAG, a group of funders that are dedicating time and energy toward continuing to better understand how structural racism manifests in our region – and to collectively take strategic actions toward dismantling it.

Co-chaired by Yanique Redwood (Consumer Health Foundation) and Rick Moyers (The Meyer Foundation), the working group – which already includes 23 organizations with diverse interests and priorities – has identified three major areas of focus:

Envisioning a Racially Equitable Region: When you disaggregate the data on social outcomes in our region, be it educational achievement, household wealth, or health status, racial disparities are stark. These funders have done the deep learning to understand how structural racism has led to these disparities. The next step is to realize a shared vision for what a racially equitable region would look like. What are the implications of equity for schools, neighborhoods, jobs, economic development, and so much more?

Community Engagement: Participants in the working group understand that this vision of racial equity can’t just be philanthropy’s vision. It has to be rooted in the needs and the desires of the community. The working group will consider how best to engage with communities across the region to both listen to and raise up their voices so that they authentically inform this work.

Systems & Policy Work: Though a growing number of funders are applying a racial equity lens to their grantmaking, grants alone won’t undo inequitable systems that have been centuries in the making. The Racial Equity Working Group will prioritize developing an understanding of the systems that impact people’s lives, and the policy shifts that are needed in order to make real change in our region.

WRAG is encouraged by the energy and commitment that our membership has shown to advancing racial equity in the Greater Washington region, and is excited to support the working group as they get to work.

For more information about WRAG’s Racial Equity Working Group, please contact Tamara Copeland, copeland(at)

February 17, 2017 / Kendra Allen, Editor

Transportation options for DC residents with disabilities are limited

– Last year, the District passed legislation requiring cab companies to have wheelchair accessible vehicles. Due to a lack of fares, little training and a host of other issues, these new vehicles are sitting in lots and residents with disabilities still struggle to get around. (WAMU, 2/17)

These developments are frustrating transportation equity advocates. Just a few years ago, only 20 WAVs roamed Washington’s streets, leading to legislation by the D.C. Council to increase their numbers. But a new taxicab without a driver is the same as no taxi at all, said Heidi Case, a disability rights activist and motorized wheelchair user.

“Twice in the last week, I had to get a work appointment but they could not find a wheelchair cab at 4:30 in the afternoon,” said Case, who blamed the scaling back of a popular District program for the shortage.

– District residents east of the Anacostia River have a longer commute than the rest of the city. (GGW, 2/16)

– Montgomery County residents oppose a new mixed-use development they believe will be built on top of an early 20th century Black cemetery. (WaPo, 2/16)

– D.C. Judge Rejects Constitutional Challenge to Major Affordable Housing Tool (WCP, 2/17)

FOOD/ HEALTH | The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation has announced the winners of the Healthy10 Awards, which is part of an initiative to create a business-led culture of health in America. Kaiser Permanente of the Mid-Atlantic States and DC Central Kitchen’s “Healthy Corners” initiative won an award. (U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, 2/16)

HEALTH | Maryland lawmakers consider legalizing ‘Aid-in-Dying’ medication (NBC4, 2/16)

PHILANTHROPY | A new study of how foundations access and use knowledge for effective philanthropy found that foundation leaders are more likely to go to their peers when gathering information. (The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, 2/13)

Social Sector Job Openings 

Part-time Accountant | Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers– New!
Donor Services Associate, District of Columbia | The Community Foundation for the National Capital Region
Program Officer | Communities for Just Schools Fund
Program Assistant | Communities for Just Schools Fund
Senior Accountant | Arabella Advisors
Nonprofit Financial Planning & Analysis Manager | Arabella Advisors
Managing Director for Equity and Health | Richmond Memorial Health Foundation (RMHF)
Nonprofit Project Accountant | Arabella Advisors
Human Resources Manager | Arabella Advisors
Executive Assistant to the President (P/T) | ABFE – A Philanthropic Partnership for Black Communities
Associate Director, Policy & Communications | Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers 
Administrative Associate
| Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers 
Manager, Operations & Programming
| Walker’s Legacy Foundation
Senior Associate, Engagement – Mid-Atlantic and Retail and Direct Bank markets
| Capital One
Executive Director
| Philanthropy Network Greater Philadelphia

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.

The Daily will be back on Tuesday!

No cats were harmed in the making of this. They just really enjoy bouncing……

– Kendra

February 16, 2017 / Kendra Allen, Editor

DC paid family leave bill may become law

WORKFORCE | Although Mayor Muriel Bowser’s deadline to veto the paid family leave bill that DC Council passed in December is today, she has not signed the bill. Instead, she has sent a letter to the Council expressing her concerns about the burden on businesses. Without her veto, the bill will become a law and DC will have paid leave starting in 2020. (WAMU, 2/15)

Bowser faced three choices when she received the bill earlier this month: Sign it, return it to the Council unsigned, or veto it, which would have required nine votes on the Council to override her. By not signing the bill, she played a balancing act, expressing her concerns with the measure while not forcing legislators to revisit the issue. In December, the Council approved the bill on a 9-4 vote.

But in her letter she did offer the Council an olive branch of sorts, saying her administration would “look to our partners on the Council to provide ways to overcome the very significant deficiencies” with the bill. She also warned that the Council would have to “fund and refine the legislation before any significant outlays of resources can be made.”

– Nicky Goren, Meyer Foundation‘s President and CEO, shares her family history of immigration and reflects on the silver linings she’s seen as more people get involved in the fight for social justice. (Meyer Foundation Blog, 2/14)

– Yanique Redwood, Consumer Health Foundation‘s President and CEO, explains why CHF is closing its doors to stand in solidarity with immigrants on ‘A Day Without Immigrants’. (CHF Blog, 2/16)

– DC has added pathway coordinators to its high schools to help students at risk of dropping out succeed in school. (Atlantic, 2/14)

– A new legislative analysis found that universal pre-kindergarten would cost Montgomery County up to $128 million annually. (Bethesda Beat, 2/15)

– Alexandria is considering methods to stop its sewage from flowing into local waterways, including the Potomac River (GGW, 2/9)

– Environmentalists Oppose Dominion Power’s Plan To Bury Coal Ash Near Potomac River (WAMU, 2/14)

INFRASTRUCTURE | Report tallies up in 1,200 deficient bridges across Md., Va., DC (WTOP, 2/15)

Bao Bao is leaving us!

– Kendra

February 15, 2017 / Kendra Allen, Editor

DC grabs gold for policies that make stronger communities

EQUITY | CityHealth, a deBeaumont Foundation initiative that provides city leaders with policy solutions intended to help improve the lives of communities across the nation, has released its first assessment of 40 U.S. cities based on nine policies it believes impacts the health of cities. DC made the list and was awarded gold medals in several areas, including universal pre-kindergarten, healthy food procurement and complete streets. (CityHealth, 2/15)

With nine policies across 40 cities, CityHealth had a total of 360 possible policy medals to award. Cities earned a total of 181, with each city receiving at least one policy medal.

With 179 policy medals left unearned, a range of opportunities remain for cities to improve the well-being of their communities.

Within three years, CityHealth will update its assessment—and add new policies—to track cities’ progress, as well as publish special issue briefs in relevant topics.

– Laura Schmiegel, Senior Manager of Community Partnerships at Booz Allen Hamilton, reflects on her time in WRAG’s Institute for CSR, and the benefits of participating in the program regardless of your experience level. (Daily, 2/15)

Related: Registration for the Institute for Corporate Social Responsibility is open. Reserve your seat before it’s full!

A 2017 Outlook on Corporate Responsibility (U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, 1/19)

AGING | Today’s Research on Aging: How Neighborhoods Affect the Health and Well-Being of Older Americans (Population Reference Bureau, 2/15)

HOMELESSNESS | DC demolished a homeless encampment yesterday. The city cites rodent infestation and trash pile up as reasons for the action. (WaPo, 2/14)

IMPACT INVESTING | Impact Assets has released its 2016 Impact showcase which provides an overview of fund managers that deliver social and environmental impact as well as financial returns. WRAG has partnered with Enterprise Community Loan Fund, which was included in the list, for the Our Region, Your Investment initiative, an impact note focused on affordable housing in the region. (Impact Assets, 2/15)

IMMIGRATION | DC area restaurant owners are closing their doors in solidarity with their workers for ‘Day Without Immigrants’ on Thursday (WBJ, 2/15)

BUDGET | The DC Council is considering a bill that would allow the District to spend its budget surplus. (DCFPI, 2/13)

Making music from paper….

– Kendra

February 15, 2017 / WRAG

Institute for CSR Alumni Reflections: Laura Schmiegel

By: Laura Schmiegel
Senior Manager, Community Partnerships
Booz Allen Hamilton

Why did you choose to participate in the Institute for CSR and what year did you graduate?
I had 10 years of experience in nonprofits. I wanted to educate myself about some of the unique aspects of corporate relations from the private sector point-of-view.

What was your favorite part of the program?
The real-life examples of corporate strategy, combined with insight from the people who created them was an invaluable piece of the program.

How have you used the knowledge and/or connections you gained at the Institute to improve your work?
I have been asked to help shape a new corporate giving strategy for my firm, so almost everything in this course was instructive in some way.

What would you tell prospective participants about the program?
It is a great jumping off point to learn the basics of corporate responsibility. If you have previous experience in corporate relations, it is a great way to build on your skills to incorporate the latest in best practices from a larger CSR perspective.

Any tips for 2017 registrants on how to get the most out of their participation?
Take advantage of your classmates’ experiences. Everyone in the room has insight and perspective that enhances the class.

To learn what other Institute alumni are saying, click here.

The Institute for Corporate Social Responsibility offers CSR practitioners the opportunity to earn a Professional Certificate in Corporate Social Responsibility from Johns Hopkins in just six months. This non-credit professional certificate program is an initiative of the Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers and is offered in partnership with Advanced Academic Programs at Johns Hopkins University and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Corporate Citizenship Center. Registration for 2017 is now open! Download an application and learn more about the 2017 faculty and curriculum here.

February 14, 2017 / Kendra Allen, Editor

Arlington County is making affordable housing a priority

– Arlington County is committed to creating affordable housing. The County adopted an Affordable Housing Master Plan last year that includes a few goals, such as increasing the supply of affordable housing to 17.7% by 2040, ensuring housing for its aging population and people with disabilities and keeping housing close to public transit. Read about the County’s progress here. (GGW, 2/13) 

Over the past year, Arlington approved 219 units guaranteed to stay affordable for the next 30 to 60 years. In most cases, the rent for these committed affordable units (CAFs) are affordable for families making less than 60% of the area median income. These new units bring the total number of CAFs in Arlington to 7,463.

The biggest source of these new affordable apartments is Gilliam Place, which will bring 173 affordable units to the intersection of Columbia Pike and South Lincoln Street. The project will also make good on Arlington’s commitment to building affordable housing near transit — Metro’s route 16 buses run up and down the road frequently– and amenities like employers and stores—the ground floor will provide almost 9,000 square feet for stores and community space.

– Leadership Greater Washington and WRAG hosted the sixth session of its Thought Leadership Series on housing affordability this week. This session explored the potential impact of the new administration on housing in the region. (Leadership Greater Washington, 2/13)

RACISM | Tamara Lucas Copeland, WRAG’s president, reflects on the bias she experienced as a juror and wonders if it’s possible for a poor, black person to get a fair trial in DC. (Daily, 2/14)

IMMIGRATION | Members of Maryland’s Latino, Black and Asian American Pacific Islander caucuses have come together to urge the state to pass a law that would limit its cooperation with deportation authorities. (WaPo, 2/14)

YOUTH | The Alexandria Boxing Club is a nonprofit that teaches youth how to fight in the ring and outside of it. (The Chronicle, 2/7 – Subscription needed)

HEALTHBaker: ACA repeal threatens new Prince George’s hospital (WBJ, 2/13)

– Rage-Donation: an easier way to support the causes you care about if you have disposable income and limited time. (GQ, 1/31)

– Opinion: Losing the Johnson Amendment Would Destroy the Unique Political Role of Nonprofits (NPQ, 2/6)

Today is Valentine’s Day! Here’s a look at dating in the 1940s….

– Kendra