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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!

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)

– 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!


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