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December 11, 2013 / Christian Clansky

How has D.C. changed since the 90s? (The 1790s!)

Are you interested in history? Demographics? How about economics, racial equity, or growth? A fascinating, comprehensive new study from the Urban Institute takes a look at how the District has changed between its 1790 founding and now.

Here are some interesting observations from glancing at just one of the study’s charts (Urban, 12/11):

– The city’s population was much larger in the 1950s than it is today.

– We know that the District’s black population is declining as the white population rises. But if you look at the long-term trends, the black and white populations have followed a very similar trajectory – albeit one offset by a twenty year difference.

– According to the light blue line, there was apparently almost no Hispanic population in D.C. until 1980. Is that correct?

This study focuses exclusively on the District. But, as we’ve said many times, what happens in D.C. doesn’t stay there. Shifting demographics obviously have a very tangible effect on all of our region’s jurisdictions.

Related: City Paper’s Aaron Wiener has more observations (based on deeper analysis than just looking at a chart). (CP, 12/11)

EDUCATION | What would the future hold for low-income students if they could afford to go to college? The D.C. Council is aiming to find out. New legislation with broad support would provide up to $60,000 each in college tuition support to students who might not otherwise have access to higher education. Councilmember David Catania says (WaPo, 12/11):

This is about leveraging the considerable investment we have made in pre-K through 12th grade…This is about investing in homegrown human capital, not the least of which, at this point, is the notion that if you are from here, this city will make a promise to you to help you achieve your educational goals.

COMMUNITY | Recently, the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia presented J. Hamilton Lambert with its 2013 Community Leadership Award. Lambert, a former county executive for Fairfax, is the executive director of the Claude Moore Charitable Foundation. A video tribute was presented to Lambert, chronicling his efforts to develop Fairfax County. You can view it here.

SEQUESTRATION | Ding dong, the sequestor’s dead! Well, kind of. Defying expectations and history, Congress seems to have reached a bi-partisan budget deal that would avert another shutdown and restore at least some of the funding cut off by sequestration. (WTOP, 12/11)

WORKFORCE | Many of our local jurisdictions are trying to raise the minimum wage, which is great. But even the highest-wage proposals aren’t nearly enough. According to a study, workers in our region would need to make $15.50 an hour just to make half of our current median wage. (Atlantic, 12/11)

FOOD | Montgomery County has banned strawberry milk from its schools. Why is this news? Because strawberry milk is the greatest of all milks and the children will be devastated. Also, it’s really unhealthy. (WaPo, 12/10)

I have a vivid memory from preschool of drinking strawberry milk and watching the space shuttle launch live on TV. Now the youth of Montgomery County will never know either pleasure. I don’t even recognize the United States anymore.

The Oxford comma is divisive, but here’s a hilarious example of why everyone should use it – a news flash that suggests a very special relationship between Cuba and the U.S.

Now, this is a big PR stunt, but it’s also touching, seasonal, and unexpected. And incredibly effective judging by the view count. If you haven’t heard about it already, check out Westjet’s “Christmas miracle.” Contained within is also a subtle but valuable lesson: don’t ask for underwear if Santa requests your wishlist.

Rebekah has the Daily for a few days, so I’ll see you next week! – Christian

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