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January 22, 2018 / Kendra Allen, Editor

How the Greater Washington region is dealing with the government shutdown

– Today marks the third day of a government shutdown due to Congress not agreeing on a spending bill. Perhaps no other area will be more impacted than the Greater Washington region, as our workforce is almost 25% government workers, and 25% to 30% of the region’s economy is dependent on federal payroll or procurement spending. (WaPo, 1/21)

“If you viewed this as a company town, it’s like the factory shut down, and we don’t know when it’s going to reopen,” Rep. Gerald E. Connolly (D-Va.) said.

Connolly cited statistics showing the region could lose an estimated $200 million per day in economic productivity, including the losses for small businesses catering to government employees.

“You know if you were running a lunch shop near the IRS and 80 percent of the IRS workforce is not going to work, you’ve lost a lot of your business for the duration of the shutdown,” he said. “They really have no recourse. That’s what so very sad, and some of these are family-run businesses.”

– Parents Scramble For Childcare With Federal Buildings Closed For Shutdown (WAMU, 1/22)

AFFORDABLE HOUSING | The fact that DC is steadily becoming too expensive to live in isn’t news, but how the community and other sectors are dealing with it is newsworthy. Read about how these Chinatown residents were able to buy their building and renovate it using DC’s TOPA law, and other tools groups are using to make housing affordable here. Although not mentioned by name, the article also refers to Our Region, Your Investment – an impact investing initiative of both Enterprise Community Loan Fund and WRAG – as a way philanthropy and other partners are collaborating to preserve affordable housing in the region. (NextCity, 1/19)

Gretchen Greiner-Lott,WRAG’s vice president, says, “WRAG is pleased to be working with Enterprise to provide an important tool to bring much needed capital to our region’s housing affordability issue. To learn more about how you, too, can make a difference, go to Our Region, Your Investment.”

PHILANTHROPY | The Community Foundation in Montgomery County is now accepting applications for the 2018 Montgomery County Philanthropist of the Year. (Community Foundation, 1/19)

AGING | Watch as Lisa Marsh Ryerson, president of AARP Foundation, shares the foundation’s vision – a country free of poverty where no older person feels vulnerable – and discusses how they are fighting senior poverty. (WJLA, 1/19)

RACISM | In a powerful example of how philanthropic leaders can use their voices, Grant Oliphant, president of the Heinz Endowments, and Maxwell King, president & CEO of the Pittsburgh Foundation, co-wrote an article condemning the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette for attempting to paint the president’s racist words as non-offensive. (Heinz Endowment, 1/15)

HEALTH CARE/INCOMEThe American Health-Care System Increases Income Inequality (Atlantic, 1/19)

HOMELESSNESS | On Sunday, DC’s Mayor Muriel Bowser announced that DC General will be closed by the end of the year. (WaPo, 1/21)

These suggestions may seem irrelevant now, but when winter comes back on Wednesday you might want to read about where to get the best hot chocolates in the region.

– Kendra

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