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April 26, 2012 / Christian Clansky

New data show major increase in mixed-race babies…D.C. infant mortality hits historic low…Pre-K goals accelerated in the District [News, 4.26.12]

First things first. The Caps knocked out the defending champion Boston Bruins in overtime of Game 7. Jack Davies’ inflatable player is a good luck charm. Also, the Wizards and Nats both won last night – and tonight we draft the (probable) savior of the Redskins. Great day to be a local sports fan! And now for something completely different…

RACE | Over the last decade, the number of mixed-race babies has jumped considerably across the nation. The number of black/white and Asian/white children has nearly doubled. Our region has lagged behind the average, but it is catching up. Brookings’ William Frey says of the trend (WaPo, 4/26):

This is a huge leap. This is a ray of hope that we’re finally moving into an era where this very sharp black-white divide is breaking apart.

It’s interesting to think about the relationship between cultural and biological shifts.

Related editorial: The Post calls out Councilmember Marion Barry’s recent series of slurs and poignantly says (WaPo, 4/26):

Mr. Barry’s racism — let’s call it what it is — helps to perpetuate the divisions in this city. No matter how catchy the slogan, the District won’t become one city as long as its leaders look the other way when demagogues such as Mr. Barry pit one group of residents against another.

HEALTH | The District’s infant mortality rate, which has traditionally been among the highest in the nation, has fallen to an historic low. A report from the District’s Health Department says (WaPo, 4/26):

[P]regnant women are smoking less, fewer teenagers are having babies and women have better access to prenatal care.

Related: Charts mapping the changes in the mortality rate. (WaPo, 4/26)

GIVING | The Community Foundation for the National Capital Region has announced the very cool CFNCR Challenge. Each week, the foundation will post a picture from somewhere in the region on Facebook. The first person to correctly guess the location will win $100 for a nonprofit of choice. Read more on their Facebook page.

– Mayor Gray is set to announce a new preschool improvement initiative called Raise D.C. The program accelerates previously stated goals for educators – including requiring teachers to have bachelor’s degrees – with a target of 2014 instead of 2017. (Examiner, 4/26)

Starr advocates for renewed focus on ‘soft skills’ during third book club (WaPo, 4/26)

Target giving D.C. schools millions for literacy (Examiner, 4/26)

HOUSING/HOMELESSNESS | A D.C. auditor has found that the city provided nearly 70 homeless individuals with two-bedroom apartments between 2008 and 2011. The city says that the arrangements were partially due to a lack of available single-bedroom homes (makes sense), though it cannot account for more than $6 million in other program spending (does not make sense). (Examiner, 4/26)

FOOD | I’ve included two “food desert” articles this week without realizing their connection – and also missing two links of the chain. Here’s the arc.

Last week, the Times wrote about a study questioning the link between ‘food deserts’ and obesity. David Bornstein followed up with another article. Then DC Central Kitchen’s Mike Curtin responded in the Huffington Post. Yesterday, David Bornstein wrote a follow-up to his own article. And then today, I wrote this.  We’ll have more follow-up, so stay tuned.

NONPROFITS | Challenge to Conservative Group’s Advocacy Raises Questions About Charity Lobbying (Chronicle, 4/26)

LOCAL | Lydia DePillis looks at how temporary uses of empty local spaces are helping the economy and bringing residents to places they might not otherwise visit. (City Paper, 4/26)

I think my parents might have had an easier time getting me up for school when I was a kid if they had tried this tactic – an awesome father of three sings Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody with his kids on the way to school everyday. I especially like how the kids completely and appropriately rock out around the 1:04 mark.

One Comment

  1. kldavis / Apr 26 2012 3:00 pm

    HEALTH | The District’s infant mortality rate …
    I do not at all mean to besmirch the effort spent on reducing the infant mortality rate, however, the article doesn’t mention and I wonder if an unexplored (or just undiscussed?) variable is the city’s changing demographics? Let’s face it; we are gentrifying. It would be interesting to see what’s happening with the infant mortality rate in immediately contiguous counties for the sake of comparison.

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