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March 20, 2012 / Christian Clansky

Terri Freeman on key investments to close the income gap…Tamara Copeland reflects on Trayvon Martin’s death…Prince George’s schools are shrinking [News, 3.20.12]

EQUITY | In the Huffington Post, Terri Freeman – president of the Community Foundation for the National Capital Region and chair of WRAG’s board – discusses how investments in three strategic areas can address the region’s increasing income gap (HuffPo, 3/20):

As jurisdictions in the District, Maryland and Virginia weigh tight budget proposals and consistently return to human services and housing for cuts, we recognize that it will take both increases in public revenues and increased investments from philanthropy to assure that all residents have access to our region’s prosperity.

While philanthropy alone cannot address income inequality, it can make a difference. We believe economic security can be achieved by investing in three key areas: education, workforce development and the safety net.

SOCIAL JUSTICE | Tamara Copeland, president of the Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers, shares a personal reflection on the death of Florida teen Trayvon Martin and how issues of race and racism continue to plague society. (WG Daily, 3/20)

– Most school systems in the region are experiencing either stability or growth, but Prince George’s County schools have seen a consistent decline in enrollment over the last eight years, losing more than 1,000 students annually. (WaPo, 3/20)

Bridging The Gap Between Home And School (WAMU, 3/16) “[M]any school districts, including DCPS, have stepped up efforts to combat truancy the old-fashioned way: by visiting students’ homes and speaking with their parents.”

POVERTY | WRAG’s VP Gretchen Greiner-Lott shared this article on poverty and says, “Although they are talking about why countries are poor, I think the same could be applied to smaller jurisdictions.” (NPR, 3/16)

SOCIAL MEDIA | YouTube Offers Live Streaming Video to Nonprofits (Chronicle, 3/20)

TRANSIT | Lots of Metro stories today.

– Employees in WMATA’s planning department are accused of using agency credit cards to buy expensive items for themselves. Apparently credit card oversight was so weak that nobody even knows who actually used the cards for the illegal purchases – so there won’t be prosecutions. (WaPo, 3/20) The perfect crime!

– Also, two ex-Metro employees plead guilty to stealing $445,000 in coins from the system. They face up to 30 years in prison and might have to pay back twice the amount they stole. (Examiner, 3/20)

– And finally, something that doesn’t make Metro look like it has no idea how to manage its employees. A new system map will debut this summer – preview it here. (Metro, 3/20) Just don’t try to understand rush hour on the Orange, Yellow, or Blue lines, or your head might explode.

CRIME | D.C. police scramble to counter rising number of robberies (WaPo, 3/20) Robberies are up in every ward. Very alarming.

This is so cool. At London’s Hyde Park this summer, Paul Simon will perform his album Graceland in its entirety with original collaborators Ladysmith Black Mambazo – plus other songs from his catalogue with special guests Jimmy Cliff and Alison Krauss. I saw Simon sing “Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes” with Ladysmith Black Mambazo a few years ago, and it was magical.

I can’t find the video of that performance, so here, instead, is a great version of Kodachrome and Gone at Last from Simon’s tour last year. The transition between songs around the 3:05 mark is fantastic.

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