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August 4, 2015 / Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers

New report on the unequal distribution of business in the District

The Urban Institute has released a report examining the unequal distribution of retail and food establishments in the District. This inequitable distribution of businesses, as well as income disparities across the city, have a number of implications for residents. (WaPo, 8/4)

It’s long been known that D.C. residents have huge income disparities – the top 10 percent of earners make more than six times the amount as the bottom 10 percent – and the Urban Institute explores what it means when there is also such disparity when it comes to retail. Ward 6, for instance, has about four times as many restaurant and food establishments as Ward 8.

This uneven geographical distribution leads to things like food deserts, but it also makes retail jobs less accessible to people who live in poorer neighborhoods, which in turn can create a cycle of more poverty.

“Many economists even argue that spatial mismatch – that is, the mismatch between where good jobs are located and where low-income workers live – is a root cause of inequality in the labor market,” the report reads. “In many cities, there are fewer jobs per worker in or near neighborhoods that are heavily minority than in or near neighborhoods that are predominantly white.”

– The Commonwealth Institute has released a new report with policy recommendations for building a brighter future for Virginia’s residents. The report serves as a roadmap for a broad range of issues including access to education, access to health care, tax reform, and workforce training. (The Commonwealth Institute, 8/4)

– On the heels of the Silver Line’s one year anniversary, Fairfax County Economic Development Authority President and CEO Gerald L. Gordon, talks about the economic benefits that came along with the first phase of development and goals for the line’s future development. (Fairfax Times, 7/31)

AFFORDABLE HOUSING | D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser recently appointed a new “strike force” to develop a housing preservation strategy. The city has also announced plans to make $100 million available for the construction of an estimated 1,000 new units of affordable housing. (WAMU, 7/30)

FOOD | Check out this list of 50 food heroes under 50. Heroes include those who are actively working to help District residents eat healthier, grow their own food, and maintain the environment with their choices. The list was compiled by Lindsay Smith who recently consulted for the Washington Regional Food Funders. (Elevation DC, 8/4)

MARYLAND | Drug crime is No. 1 reason offenders in Maryland are sentenced to prison (WaPo, 7/29)

COMMUNITY | The TEGNA Foundation, a corporate foundation sponsored by TEGNA Inc., is accepting applications for their first round of DC-Metro Community Action Grants, due by August 29. Their Community Action Grant priorities include education and neighborhood improvement, economic development, youth development, community problem-solving, assistance to disadvantaged people, environmental conservation and cultural enrichment. Information and application materials can be found here.

In light of the Clean Power Plan unveiled this week by President Obama, take a crack at this quiz all about power sources.

– Ciara

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