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July 17, 2014 / Ciara Myers, Editor

The impact of long, expensive commutes on women in the region

WOMEN/TRANSIT
Many women in the area experience a number of transportation burdens, including continually rising costs and a lack of efficiency and safety. The Washington Area Women’s Foundation writes about the vital need for accessible transportation in order for women to achieve economic security. (WAWF, 7/15)

In addition to consuming time, commuting is also expensive in terms of dollars and cents. Transportation costs rose faster than income during the 2000s, increasing the burden these costs placed on already stretched budgets. For the working poor – those earning less than twice the federal poverty measure–these costs consume a larger portion of their earnings. In the Washington metropolitan area the cost-burden of commuting for this population is among the highest in the country, greater than the national median, and working poor households spend nearly three times more than other households, in relative terms. According to national data, transportation is the second largest expense for households: jointly with housing it accounts for more than one-half of all household spending.

HOUSING
– Terri Lee Freeman, president of the Community Foundation for the National Capital Region, appeared on News Channel 8 to discuss their new “Housing Security in the Washington Region” study. (WJLA, 7/16)

– Low-Income Washingtonians Face Severe Housing Cost Burden(City Paper, 7/15) And also in Arlington County and Prince William County and Fairfax County and Prince George’s County…

– Amid reports of negligence and financial mismanagement, Muriel Bowser has requested an open investigation into the decline of Park Southern Towers, one of the District’s largest affordable housing complexes. (WaPo, 7/15)

Piscataway Hills: The Prince George’s neighborhood that could be no more (WaPo, 7/15)

FOOD
– Through a partnership with D.C. Housing Authority, The D.C. Green Scheme has brought two fresh produce gardens to residents in Wheeler Terrace and Lincoln Heights. Residents have 24-hour access to the garden and are also able to take part in other activities the organization provides. (WJLA, 7/14)

– In Alexandria, a new “farm camp” is teaching children about food origins with hands-on activities and, of course, taste testing. (WaPo, 7/15)

– Even more students will learn about sustainable farming and food sources thanks to a new initiative of the D.C. Healthy Schools Act with funding from the Office of the State Superintendent of Education. The Farm Field Trip program will help send 23 D.C. public and charter schools to area farms. (Washington Informer, 7/14)

EDUCATION
The Community Foundation for Northern Virginia has recently awarded a total of $50,000 to seven schools and nonprofit organizations through its Innovation Fund to support innovative approaches to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education across Northern Virginia. (CFNV, 7/16)

– Prince George’s County will open two new high schools next year geared toward immigrant students and students who are learning English. In the county, nearly 30 percent of the students come from other countries. (WaPo, 7/15)

PHILANTHROPY
– A new report from Exponent Philanthropy titled “Outsized Impact 2014” reveals that, when it comes to staffing at philanthropic organizations, smaller just may mean better. (Exponent Philanthropy, 7/17)


Yesterday marked the 224th anniversary of the Residence Act that basically made D.C….and here are 51 things you can do to commemorate that.

-Ciara 

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