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May 11, 2015 / Ciara Myers, Editor

Transportation found to be the strongest factor in odds of moving out of poverty

Happy Monday! We’ll see you again on Wednesday.

TRANSPORTATION 
In a longitudinal economic study out of Harvard University, inefficient and unreliable transportation was found to be the biggest barrier to moving up the economic ladder for low-income workers (NYT, 5/7):

In a large, continuing study of upward mobility based at Harvard, commuting time has emerged as the single strongest factor in the odds of escaping poverty. The longer an average commute in a given county, the worse the chances of low-income families there moving up the ladder.

The relationship between transportation and social mobility is stronger than that between mobility and several other factors, like crime, elementary-school test scores or the percentage of two-parent families in a community, said Nathaniel Hendren, a Harvard economist and one of the researchers on the study.

WRAG/PHILANTHROPY | In her latest blog post, WRAG president Tamara Copeland reflects on a topic that likely impacts us all – information overload. Read how WRAG is working to become more effective and efficient in the age of too much information. (Daily, 5/11)

EQUITY | The 11th Street Bridge Park project is working to avoid the negative impact that rising property values might have on communities in the Southeast neighborhoods that abut the future park. (Next City, 5/5)

Related: The England Family Foundation is hosting a donor briefing on the park on May 28th at the Anacostia Arts Center from 9:30 AM – 11:15 AM, followed by a walking tour of the site. This briefing is for donors only, but is not exclusively for WRAG members. Please contact Julia Baer-Cooper for details and to RSVP.

DISTRICT | OpinionBaltimore’s ills are D.C.’s too (WaPo, 5/8)

FOOD
– Whole Foods has earned a reputation for high-priced products and the nickname, “Whole Paycheck.” Amid the company’s recent announcement of a new line of grocery stores geared toward lower-income millennials, City Lab offers a glimpse at how it would look if the grocery chain also focused more on those who receive SNAP benefits. (City Lab, 5/8)

Giving the Poor Easy Access to Healthy Foods Doesn’t Mean They’ll Buy It (NYT, 5/8)

ENVIRONMENT | Is D.C.’s 5-cent fee for plastic bags actually serving its purpose? (WaPo, 5/9)

POVERTY/CHILDREN | Opinion: Childcare expenses continue to rise as some federal assistance for families has not. And still, many low-income mothers are scrutinized for not being able to meet their family’s basic needs. One social worker and executive director of a diaper bank would like to see attitudes toward low-income mothers change for good. (WaPo, 5/8)


Commencement season is upon us. Check out this database of some of the greatest commencement speeches delivered since 1774. Do you remember any wise words from your own graduation ceremony?

– Ciara

One Comment

  1. Fairfax City Citizens / May 11 2015 3:03 pm

    The Post article on DC’s Anacostia clean-up program is a poor piece of investigative journalism, in my opinion. They take a cursory look at the fund’s expenses, and assume that any funding on staff costs is extraneous. You can’t operate these programs without staff. If they are going to play “gotcha” they need to take a deeper dive into the program.

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