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January 20, 2016 / Ciara Myers, Editor

Inequality on the rise in cities and metros

INCOME INEQUALITY 
A new analysis from the Brookings Institution finds that income inequality continues to grow in cities and metro areas countrywide. In many cities, including the District, that local inequality often translates into higher costs of living for those with the lowest incomes. (Brookings, 1/14)

[…] local inequality may serve to raise prices for poor households. The latest Census data provide some new evidence on that consideration, specifically with respect to housing costs. We calculate the annual costs a household would pay for a rental unit at the 20th percentile of the cost distribution in each city. For instance, in Washington, D.C., a unit that rents for $857/month, or $10,286 annually, is more expensive than only 20 percent of all other units in the city. We then compare that amount to the 20th percentile household income in Washington, which is $21,230. The 20th percentile rent in Washington thus represents 48 percent of 20th percentile income in the city ($10,286 divided by $21,230).

HOUSING/REGION
– For many lower income tenants, receiving a sky-high utility bill can spiral into a threat of eviction. Longtime residents of a co-op in Landover, MD are banding together to fight against such threats over what they think may be severe overcharges on their water bills. (WaPo, 1/19)

–  McAuliffe awards millions for affordable housing in Virginia (WaPo, 1/19)

Opinion: What could the region be doing to bring more affordable housing to the area and make buying a home within reach for more millennials? One author shares a few suggestions. (WaPo, 1/18)

IMMIGRATION | Supreme Court to Hear Challenge to Obama Immigration Actions (NYT, 1/19)

EDUCATION
– Major philanthropic efforts by billionaires to overhaul public education have been highly publicized and heavily scrutinized in recent years. Some say that such efforts have routinely missed out on addressing the real barriers to student achievement, thought to be rooted in poverty. (Governing, 1/2016)

– A new national study looks at the racial disparities in students being identified as ‘gifted’ at school. According to the research, black teachers are three times more likely to identify black students as gifted compared to their nonblack counterparts. (NPR, 1/20)

HEALTH/INEQUALITY | Opinion: Inequality persists in many areas of life and, as this palliative care physician shares, in death – often deemed to be the great equalizer. (NYT, 1/20)

JOBS | The Prevent Cancer Foundation is hiring for the position of Grants Manager. Click here to learn more.

COMMUNITY/WRAG | Do you want to celebrate the fact that you are already a part of the “IN” crowd and encourage others, too? You’re already a change agent in the region, right? Now let’s celebrate that. In keeping with the theme of WRAG’s 2015 Annual Meeting, “Philanthropy All In,” where we shared the ways we sought to INfluence, INnovate, and INspire in 2015, we’d like to see how you plan to carry on that theme in the new year and beyond. Take a selfie, group photo, or get creative showing off the buttons we gave out at the Annual Meeting. Be sure to share where you wore it and how others reacted. Tweet us @WRAGtweets and use the hashtag #theINcrowd to join us in celebrating each other’s work! Check out how WRAG’s staff is already getting IN on the action:

Don’t have a button, but want to get INvolved? Ask for one the next time you see a member of WRAG’s staff at a meeting or event!


Ah, the wonders of science! Someone found a new prime number and a team of researchers may have found a new planet.

– Ciara

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