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December 7, 2017 / Kendra Allen, Editor

A new report reveals how the Greater Washington region’s residents perceive their quality of life

REGION | The Greater Washington Community Foundation partnered with the Urban Institute on a recent initiative, Voices of the Community: DC, Maryland, Virginia, to lift up community members’ perceptions of the quality of life in the Greater Washington region. Today, they have released a report focused on resident’s thoughts on well-being and satisfaction, economic security and inclusion, social inclusion and how they view their role in local problem solving. (GWCF, 12/7)

Focus group and community conversations data point to a general sense that
leveraging community strengths, bridging divides within jurisdictions, and putting
more priority on economic development—with responsibility taken across all sectors, not just government—should be emphasized in the search for solutions.

Sharing our regional strength within and across groups and neighborhoods was a
theme that ran throughout the focus group and community conversations. One Asian and Pacific Islander focus group member summed up this fairly common sentiment: “I would like to see all people in our community have access to the great things we have talked about, like public resources, affordable housing, all the good things we [in this focus group] have. I think some of the negative issues in the area are tied to the fact that some people don’t have the same access [as others].”

RACIAL EQUITY | Kathleen P. Enright, president and CEO of Grantmakers for Effective Organizations, discusses her organization’s journey to its decision to integrate racial equity into their mission. (Huffington Post, 12/4)

– A Prince William County, VA supervisor wants more funding to expand treatment programs for people struggling with opioid addiction. (InsideNOVA, 12/5)

– DC Council has passed legislation to prohibit insurance providers from raising fees for preventive health services for women in case the Affordable Care Act is repealed. (WAMU, 12/6)

IMMIGRATION | Yesterday activists and lawmakers gathered at the Capitol to demand action on DACA, which is set to expire on March 5, 2018, and other immigration policies. Two hundred people were arrested, including two Maryland officials. (WaPo, 12/6)

PHILANTHROPY | Bridgespan researchers have developed a “framework for audacious philanthropy” after analyzing the success of 15 major societal changes, such as the widespread adoption of CPR and marriage equality. (Fast Company, 8/29)

FOOD INSECURITY | DC Central Kitchen has purchased a new van, with a grant from the World Bank Group, to help achieve its New Year’s resolution to recover and repurpose one million pounds of food in the region. (WJLA, 12/4)

WORKFORCE | A local university will not support its graduate students’ efforts to unionize, stating that they are students, not employees. (WaPo, 12/6)

TECHNOLOGYHow Internet Co-ops Can Protect Us From Net Neutrality Rollbacks (YES! Magazine, 11/22)

What would you tell your future self? Why don’t you type it up and email it to yourself?

– Kendra

December 6, 2017 / Kendra Allen, Editor

How Children’s National Medical Center is helping the region’s children with asthma

CHILDREN/ HEALTH | More than 30,000 children in the Greater Washington region have asthma, and the number is expected to grow as climate change continues. Children’s National Medical Center is looking at ways to help these children, who are mostly low-income and children of color, manage their disease. (WAMU, 12/4)

According to Dr. Stephen Teach [chair of the department of pediatrics at Children’s National Medical Center], children with asthma in the D.C. area make somewhere between 7,000 and 8,000 emergency department visits per year to Children’s National alone.

Teach said that the 30,000 children in the D.C. area who struggle with asthma on a daily basis “tend to be concentrated in the most disadvantaged parts of Montgomery County, Prince George’s County and Washington, D.C., itself.”

And there’s another cost to families due to the respiratory disease. Chronic asthma leads to missed school days.

CLIMATE CHANGE | Yesterday, the Montgomery County Council declared a “climate emergency,” approving a resolution to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent 2027 and 100 percent by 2035 – one of the first jurisdictions in the country to do so. (WaPo, 12/5)

EDUCATIONEconomic disparities to exist after Arlington middle-school redistricting (InsideNOVA, 12/5)

HOMELESS SHELTERS | The DC Council has approved stricter shelter eligibility rules in an effort to ensure that the city’s shelters are used by DC residents. Many advocates believe this move will make it harder for people to prove they need shelter. (WaPo, 12/5)

AFFORDABLE HOUSINGHow Congress’s Tax Plans Could Kill a Million Affordable Homes in a Decade (Citylab, 12/4)

PUBLIC SAFETY | A DC police review board has ruled that the 2016 shooting of Terrence Sterling, an unarmed black motorcyclist, by a DC police officer has been ruled “unjustified.” The board also recommended that the officer be terminated. (WTOP, 12/5)

DISCRIMINATION | According to an NPR survey, there’s a gap between immigrant and non-immigrant Asian-Americans in the US reporting discrimination experiences, including violence and harassment. (NPR, 12/6)

POVERTY | Heather Reynolds, chief executive of Catholic Charities Fort Worth, discusses how her organization is working directly with families to help lift them out of poverty. (Chronicle, 12/5)

Help your stickperson survive!

– Kendra

December 4, 2017 / Kendra Allen, Editor

Virginia anxiously awaits for a decision on CHIP as another deadline approaches

CHILDREN / HEALTH CARE | Funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program ran out on September 30. Hoping that Congress will approve funding on December 8, the Department of Medical Assistance Services, which uses CHIP funds to run Virginia’s program, has yet to notify families that their children will lose coverage after January 31. (Richmond Times, 12/3)

“We don’t want to send a letter Dec. 1 and then Congress act by Dec. 8,” said Linda Nablo, deputy director of DMAS, which runs Medicaid in Virginia. “At this point, it’s going to be a week-by-week, day-by-day judgment call, still knowing we need to give families a lot of notice because we are still saying we can’t cover any services after Jan. 31.”

But Nablo also wants to avoid unnecessarily scaring or confusing families. If a letter goes out too late, it could arrive around the holidays and be lost or ignored. If it goes out too soon and Congress does act within the next few weeks, families may get the first letter saying the program is ending, but not the second saying it is continuing.

TAX REFORM | House and Senate Now Seek to Reconcile Tax Plan Many Charities Oppose (Chronicle, 12/2 – Subscription needed)

ARTS & HUMANITIES | High school students in Bethesda, MD are creating a temporary museum to display artwork that depicts aspects of their lives that are often misunderstood. (WaPo, 12/3)

EDUCATION | The District is investing in education for adults without high school diplomas and disconnected youth. (AFRO, 11/30)

FOOD INSECURITYD.C. Food Stamp Recipients Say New Computer System Left Them Without Benefits (WAMU, 11/30)

ECONOMIC INEQUALITY | Moving federal agencies outside of DC and into economically distressed cities would address the US’s growing inequality. (Citylab, 11/30)

– Metro has hired a consultant to analyze the impact of ride-hailing services on its declining ridership. (WaPo, 12/3)

– National Park Service Approves More than $200 Million for Memorial Bridge Repairs (ARLnow, 12/1)

The Daily will be back on Wednesday!

Check out this artist who paints with Microsoft Excel.

– Kendra

November 30, 2017 / Kendra Allen, Editor

Advocates hope proposed DC bill will protect sex workers

WORKFORCE | DC Councilmember David Grosso recently introduced a bill to decriminalize sex work, citing how criminalization harms sex workers and creates unsafe working conditions. Advocates believe this bill would make it easier for sex workers to report assaults, which they often don’t feel safe doing, especially when police officers are involved. (WCP, 11/30)

Violence against sex workers is so ubiquitous as to have become chatter in the D.C. Council’s halls. Lawmakers have “heard for years about police engaging in discriminatory violence against sex workers,” Grosso says, though he notes meaningful conversations about how to prevent it have only recently begun. “Who do [sex workers] turn to?” he asks. “Often, in the past, if they turned to the police, they were not given the kind of support they needed.”

That understatement is at the heart of Grosso’s effort to attempt what no jurisdiction outside of Nevada has managed: remove criminal penalties for buying and selling sex. It is perhaps the city’s most robust and public effort in recent history to introduce legal safeguards for sex workers who say they’ve been assaulted by police officers.

POVERTY | Wells Fargo will commit $50 million to help address the economic, social, and environmental needs of American Indian/Alaska Native communities. (PND Blog, 11/30)

HEALTH | Prince George’s County will break ground on its new regional medical center today. (WaPo, 11/30)

EDUCATIONStudy: Virginia schools still face Great Recession funding barriers (Richmond-Times, 11/29)

TRANSIT | A coalition of labor advocates want the District to stop contracting out its public transit services to private firms. (WAMU, 11/30)

CHARITABLE GIVING | This year’s #GivingTuesday donations totaled an estimated $274 million, the largest amount in its history. (Chronicle, 11/29 – Subscription needed)

IMMIGRATION‘America Is in the Heart’: Smithsonian video spotlights U.S.’s immigrant history (NBC News, 11/30)

Social Sector Job Openings 

Director of Grants Management | Democracy Fund – New!
Officer, Communications | The Pew Charitable Trusts – New!
Events Assistant | Grantmakers for Effective Organizations – New!
Member Engagement Manager | United Philanthropy Forum
Finance Manager (Part-Time) | United Philanthropy Forum
Vice President, Program and Community | Eugene and Agnes E. Meyer Foundation
Senior Director, Strategy and Racial Equity | Eugene and Agnes E. Meyer Foundation
Program Director, Washington, DC Community | Eugene and Agnes E. Meyer Foundation
Program Director, Virginia Community | Eugene and Agnes E. Meyer Foundation
Receptionist (part-time) | Greater Washington Community Foundation
President & CEO | ACT for Alexandria – a community foundation
Assistant Director of Digital Marketing & Communications | The Children’s Inn at NIH
Controller | Eugene & Agnes E. Meyer Foundation
Program Director | Grantmakers In Health
Communications Manager | United Philanthropy Forum

Hiring? Post your job on WRAG’s job board and get it included in the Daily! Free for members; $60/60 days for non-members. Details here.

Community Calendar

To add an event to WRAG’s community calendar, email Rebekah Seder. Click the image below to access the calendar.

The Daily will be back on Monday!

What’s your Starbucks name?

– Kendra

November 29, 2017 / Kendra Allen, Editor

This DC high school is struggling to prepare students for college

EDUCATION | Low-income students in the District can face many barriers to attending school regularly, including hunger and other factors arising from poverty, so it’s important for their school to offer supportive services to help them succeed. An NPR and WAMU investigation has found that last year Ballou High School graduated a large number of students that were chronically absent and possibly not prepared for college. (WAMU, 11/28)

An investigation by WAMU and NPR has found that Ballou High School’s administration graduated dozens of students despite high rates of unexcused absences. WAMU and NPR reviewed hundreds of pages of Ballou’s attendance records, class rosters and emails after a DCPS employee shared the private documents. The documents showed that half of the graduates missed more than three months of school last year, unexcused. One in five students was absent more than present — missing more than 90 days of school.

According to DCPS policy, if a student misses a class 30 times, he should fail that course. Research shows that missing 10 percent of school, about two days per month, can negatively affect test scores, reduce academic growth and increase the chances a student will drop out.

– Next month the Arlington County Board will vote to create “Housing Conservation Districts” to protect affordable housing in certain counties. (Arlnow, 11/28)

Montgomery, Prince George’s reach deal to preserve affordable housing along Purple Line (WaPo, 11/28)

WORKFORCE | DC has allocated more funding to apprenticeships in hopes that residents will take advantage of the program. (WaPo, 11/28)

PHILANTHROPY | Anthony Williams, former mayor of DC and chief executive officer of the Federal City Council, discusses how philanthropy and city officials can work together to ensure that funds are given to those who need it most. (Citylab, 11/28)

CRIMINAL JUSTICEJustice from Within: The Death Penalty and a New Vision for Criminal Justice through a Racial Justice Lens (NPQ, 11/28)

DISCRIMINATION | There has been an increase in anti-Muslim assaults since 2015 and 23 percent of Muslim adults in the US see discrimination, racism or prejudice as the most important problem facing them today. (Pew Research Center, 11/15)

ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICENortheast DC residents concerned about sharing the air with neighboring construction dumping site (FOX 5 DC, 11/27)

How many spiders do you think you’ve eaten in your lifetime?

– Kendra

November 28, 2017 / Kendra Allen, Editor

A new report reveals “islands of disadvantage” in Northern Virginia

POVERTY | A new report, commissioned by the Northern Virginia Health Foundation and authored by the Center on Society and Health at Virginia Commonwealth University, explores the disadvantages communities face by census tract in Northern Virginia. The report found that opportunity for social and economic mobility varies dramatically across the region. (WTOP, 11/28)

The study found that life expectancy differs as much as 18 years between the areas of prosperity and low-income neighborhoods. Dr. Steven Woolf [of the Virginia Commonwealth University Center on Society and Health] said African-Americans and Hispanics are overrepresented in the disadvantaged areas, contrasting with areas of affluence largely occupied by whites and Asians.

CHARITABLE GIVING | Gretchen Greiner-Lott, WRAG’s vice president, breaks down the impact of the proposed tax reform bill on charitable giving. (Daily, 11/28)

Related: Yesterday, the National Council of Nonprofits hosted a webinar on what the tax reform bill will mean for nonprofits, and how they can act to improve the legislation. Listen here

HEALTH CARE | DC’s Providence Hospital closed its maternity ward in October, now expectant mother’s are forced to find another hospital and doctor. (WAMU, 11/21)

ENVIRONMENT/ WORKFORCE | In Prince George’s, meeting storm water regulations means investing in small, local businesses (WaPo, 11/23)

EDUCATION | District school leaders react to a proposed bill to prohibit out-of-school suspensions for minor offenses. (WaPo, 11/22)

TRANSGENDER RIGHTS | Yesterday, a federal judge ruled that the government must allow transgender people to join the military starting on January 1, 2018. (NBC, 11/27)

On #GivingTuesday, the National Museum of American History tells the history of philanthropy by prominent and regular citizens.

– Kendra

November 28, 2017 / WRAG

Tax Reform – Not So Charitable

By Gretchen Greiner-Lott
Vice President, Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers 

Today – #GivingTuesday – is a day to “celebrate and encourage” giving. It is also a key day in the process to reform our tax codes, which may stifle giving and degrade the charitable sector for years to come.

The following provisions in the Senate Tax Reform Bill directly relate to the charitable sector:

  • Johnson Amendment – the Senate bill preserves the current law that protects nonprofit nonpartisanship; however, the House bill allows nonprofits, houses of worship, and foundations to participate in partisan electioneering. (Result: $2.1B in lost revenue to federal government as donors move political contributions from non-deductible to deductible status)
  • Standard Deduction and Incentives for Charitable Giving – both the Senate and House bills contain increases to the standard deduction for individuals, couples, and heads of households making the charitable deduction unavailable to 95% of the population. Without the tax incentive of charitable deductions, it is projected that charitable giving will significantly decrease. (Result: estimated loss of $13B or more per year to charitable nonprofits)
  • Universal Deduction for Charitable Deductions (Non-Itemizer or Above-the-Line Deduction) – neither the Senate nor the House bill provides charitable giving incentives to non-itemizers; if the standard deductions are increased as described above, the negative consequences on individual giving must be mitigated with a universal deduction.

There are other parts of the bills that would affect the charitable sector and/or issues in which the sector is actively engaged, including:

  • Private Activity Bonds – although the Senate bill makes no change to the current law, the House bill would do away with all tax-exempt private activity bonds that many nonprofits use to finance building and renovation projects, including affordable housing, schools, and hospitals.
  • State and Local Tax (SALT) Deductions – both bills repeal all state and local income tax deductions, and the Senate bill ends all property tax deductions, resulting in state and local governments needing to cut spending on (or totally eliminate) programs and services for those in need. Nonprofits and foundations would be expected to fill these service and funding gaps.

Before the Senate votes on the bill, expect amendments to be offered and changes to be made. Once approved, the legislation must go back for another House vote.

It is unclear what the final bill will include. What is clear is the potential harm that could befall the charitable sector – and the individuals, families, and communities it serves – if the above provisions pass. Critical actions may be taken in the next week or so in order to meet the goal of finalizing tax reform by year’s end.

For more information, go to:

National Council of Nonprofits
United Philanthropy Forum