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January 16, 2015 / Ciara Myers, Editor

The region looks toward the future

There’s a lot of news to share, so here is your regular Daily WRAG edition instead of the Friday roundup. Enjoy the long weekend!

REGION/ECONOMY
This week we saw a number of issues that collectively impacted the region – a losing bid in the 2024 Olympics, questions surrounding the efficacy and safety of the Metro system, a new infrastructure report from the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG), and a dim outlook for the regional economy. In the aftermath of these recent news stories, The Washington Business Journal poses the question: How can the area further unify and encourage regionalism in order to press forward? – Subscription required (WBJ, 1/16)

If business leaders could come together to make a viable bid for the Olympics in fewer than 18 months, how do we harness that momentum to solve some of these regional problems?

[…]

It is unknown what specifically sunk the Washington 2024 bid, but infrastructure – transportation, water, energy – is an Achilles’ heel for the region. According to COG’s State of the Region: Infrastructure Report, released Jan. 14, infrastructure needs for the next 15 years top $58 billion.

These massive efforts will not be accomplished by government alone, [Chuck] Bean said. The private sector must play a role.

– On the heels of yesterday’s forecast for the Greater Washington economy by Stephen Fuller, the economist along with president of the 2030 Group, Bob Buchanan, issued a call to action for the region’s key players in the form of a regional economic summit – Subscription required (WBJ, 1/15):

Fuller and Buchanan are calling for a regional summit of business and government leaders to focus on broad efforts to help reinvigorate the economy. Such a meeting – a date and other details haven’t been set – would come in the wake of Washington being passed over to host the 2024 Summer Olympics, which supporters touted as a huge planning and economic development opportunity.

[…]

Buchanan said the area needs “a new generation of leaders who believe in regionalism.” He said it’s “discouraging” and “almost embarrassing” that the region hasn’t done a better job of working together and making long-term investments in infrastructure.

D.C., Maryland, Virginia advancing many high-impact transportation projects in 2015 (WaPo, 1/14)

EDUCATION
– According to a new report, during the 2012-2013 school year, 51 percent of students in pre-K through 12th grade were eligible for free and reduced-priced lunch under federal guidelines. This is the first time in 50 years that a majority of U.S. public school students are living in poverty. (WaPo, 1/16)

‘Books from Birth’ plan aims to bridge word gap among District children (WaPo, 1/16)

PHILANTHROPY | Why Diversity Matters in Philanthropy (Noozhawk, 1/15)

DISTRICT | Young Parents still more likely to leave D.C., tax data shows (WaPo, 1/16)

VETERANS | Opinion: Does the passing of the recent Hire More Heroes Act actually help veterans? Or is it a misguided good-faith effort? (WaPo, 1/15)

POVERTY | Sometimes the best way to find out about a situation is to go straight to the source. In a recent discussion on the website Reddit, a number of users chimed in on how they get by as poor Americans. The discussion revealed a number of areas where low-income people struggle and must choose between basic needs. (WaPo, 1/14)


For the well traveled among us – Can you identify which cities these transit signs belong to? I probably need to get out more!

-Ciara

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