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May 4, 2016 / Ciara Myers, Editor

Assessing a $15 minimum wage

WORKFORCE
A new analysis by the Economic Policy Institute explores what a $15 minimum wage could mean to workers in the District. A number of local groups remain divided over the long-term impact of raising the minimum wage (WAMU, 5/4):

The organization’s assessment buttresses the arguments made by groups and elected officials pushing the $15 minimum wage: In an area that’s growing increasingly expensive and unequal, giving low-wage workers a pay raise is a needed step towards helping them stay afloat.

But it also marks the start of what is likely to be a spirited debate over the merits of raising the minimum wage, with local business groups standing at the ready to unveil their own studies arguing that while a higher wage may help workers get by, it will also mean that employers either create fewer jobs or [move] to jurisdictions — like Virginia — where the minimum wage remains much lower, at $7.25.

JOBS | WRAG is pleased to announced the launch of our new and improved job board! This service is available to the region’s philanthropic and nonprofit community. Job postings are free for WRAG members and $60 for non-members. As a benefit for using WRAG’s job board, each posting will be included in a weekly roundup of job opportunities right here in the Daily WRAG. For any questions about using the job board, contact Rebekah Seder, seder@washingtongrantmakers.org.

HOUSING/REGION
– In their Matters@Hand thought leadership series sponsored by Enterprise Community Partners, HAND looks at some of the emerging innovations surrounding the creation of local funding resources for affordable housing in the region, including one that WRAG is involved in (Helping Hands Blog, 5/4):

In our region, the Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers has teamed up with Enterprise Community Partners to develop a new approach to generating resources to invest in local affordable housing.  Individuals and organizations can invest in the Enterprise Community Impact Note and those investments will be used to help finance the creation of affordable housing. Investors will receive a fixed-rate of return and will also receive regular statements about the social impact of their investments.  The goal of the new fund is to raise at least $5 million to help build affordable housing throughout the region, and will reflect a truly innovative way of raising capital.

Washington City Paper offers a glimpse into D.C.’s low-rent units, where many tenants live in constant fear of losing their homes and must deal with unresponsive landlords who neglect properties. (WCP, 4/29)

– D.C. At-Large Councilmember Anita Bonds has introduced a bill aimed at landlords who “purposely neglect their buildings and put their tenants’ health and safety at risk.” (WCP, 5/3)

– Local Initiatives Support Corporation has made a $50 million commitment toward ensuring that residents living in the area surrounding the highly-anticipated 11th Street Bridge Park will not be displaced once it opens. (WaPo, 5/3)

PHILANTHROPY
–  Opinion5 Issues Foundations Must Confront to Stay Relevant (Chronicle, 5/3)

– Close Up Shop and Go Elsewhere? A Case Study for Philanthropy on What to Do When We Win (NPQ, 4/29)

ARTS/VIRGINIA
– The Initiative for Public Art Reston (IPAR) plans to display bike rack designs as public works of art later this year. IPAR issued a call for artists from the region to submit their designs that reflect five sites in the surrounding area. (Reston Now, 5/2)


Anyone know the number to a really fancy plumber?

– Ciara

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