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October 11, 2017 / Kendra Allen, Editor

Implementation of the District’s paid family leave act may be delayed

– While the DC Council is debating how to pay for the paid family leave act, one District official worries that the council has not put enough funds aside to begin to implement the program, which includes building its infrastructure and hiring employees. (WAMU, 10/10)

The District’s paid family leave law isn’t expected to take effect until mid-2020. But a slate of proposed changes the D.C. Council is considering and the realities of building a city-run program from scratch means delays and higher costs may come to pass.

That was the message City Administrator Rashad Young conveyed to legislators during a day-long hearing on Tuesday on the paid-leave bill that was passed by the Council late last year and became law earlier this year.

– Women of Color Have High Ambition, But Little Help In The Corporate World (WSJ, 10/10)

CENSUS | On Thursday, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross will ask Congress for more funding for the 2020 Census. (WaPo, 10/10)

NONPROFITS | The Center for Nonprofit Advancement has named its 2017 Gelman, Rosenberg & Freedman Excellence in Chief Executive Leadership (EXCEL) Award winners. Congrats to the honorees!

HOUSINGThe federal government spends more than twice as much subsidizing homeowners as it does helping people avoid homelessness (WaPo, 10/11)

HEALTH | A recent Virginia Commonwealth University report exploring the health of 39 states found that a person’s socioeconomic status overwhelmingly impacts their health. (Citylab, 10/9)

ARTS & HUMANITIES | How philanthropy can invest in making arts funding truly inclusive for disabilty arts and disabled artists. (PND Blog, 10/9)

Can you recognize the different languages from these short clips?

– Kendra

October 10, 2017 / Kendra Allen, Editor

DC launches a new program to help formerly homeless residents find housing

AFFORDABLE HOUSING | Across the US, individuals with housing vouchers have found that landlords are hesitant to offer them a lease due to perceptions about them. Last week, District officials launched the Landlord Partnership Fund in an attempt to remove this barrier for voucher recipients. (DCist, 10/6)

“We have people who are in the housing search process with a subsidy in hand and that stage of their process is getting longer and not shorter. We need that to change,” said Department of Human Services Director Laura Zeilinger before announcing a series of changes on Friday designed to make landlords more likely to rent to people who are exiting homelessness.

The centerpiece of the plan is a Landlord Partnership Fund, essentially a privately funded pool that landlords could draw from in the event of property damage or other potential costs—an incentive for property owners to rent to people with housing vouchers. In tandem, DHS has tweaked and added a series of programs to give landlords more confidence and assurances about a population often considered to be risky tenants.

RACIAL JUSTICE | Tamara Lucas Copeland, WRAG’s president, reminds us that to achieve racial justice, we have to focus on disrupting the false narrative of a racial hierarchy while also investing in the immediate needs of vulnerable communities. (Daily, 10/10)

– With the help of the District’s new “Equity Through Excellence” program, schools with a large amount of students who have poor PARCC scores will receive more funding to improve their grades. (WAMU, 10/6)

– Transgender students prevail with school policy in Maryland (WaPo, 10/8)

TRANSIT | Two DC agencies have partnered to launch a program that allows city government employees to hail city cabs instead of using government owned cars to conduct government business. (WAMU, 10/9)

WORKFORCE | Montgomery County, MD may be closer to passing a $15 minimum wage bill after a council committee recently voted to extend the timeline for its implementation. (Bethesda Beat, 10/9)

PHILANTHROPY | Nine nonprofit leaders, who are members of Grantmakers for Effective Organizations’ Nonprofit Advisory Council, have written a letter to philanthropy detailing how grantmakers can better support their grantees. (GEO, 10/4)

Minnie Mouse briefly stopped traffic this morning.

– Kendra

October 10, 2017 / WRAG

Statues, History and Social Justice

By Tamara Lucas Copeland
President, Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers

Last Friday, I passed by Columbus Circle in front of Union Station as journalists prepared to film their Columbus Day news segments. I was reminded of the role that statues play in setting the stage for conversations.

That has definitely been the case with statues of Confederate soldiers. Some suggest these statues represent pride for those whose ancestors were a part of the Old South. Others note that that their ancestors were also a part of that same Old South, but pride is not their emotion when viewing these statues. Anger and sorrow are. So, what should happen?

Here’s what one group of young men thought when they visited Monument Avenue, home to a number of statues to Confederate soldiers in Richmond, VA,

“Today me and my peers decided to visit the monuments to see what all the fuss was about and we came up with this.Is it more convenient to take down some statues than to improve the real problem of society? … From living in low income areas we have our own ideas about society. Everybody pointing blame at monument avenue and statues that reside there, but those statues never did anything to me or people that i care about. The only thing that ever harmed people in low income areas is the violence that reside there …In low income areas 5 kids each [the five who visited the monuments today] from a different area [different apartments] collectively knows twenty-two dead [over the past year], where the protest about that, where are the reporters, where are all the organizations that claim to be to alive to better the lives of blacks. … Instead of using money to knock down statues that most people in low income areas never even seen how about using that moving to improve schools,fix up the community that we see everyday, or why not protest in our neighborhoods where we see violence and hate the most. We all was taught about pride and loyalty, but why nobody ever taught us not to die over the neighborhood that our mother renting…Everybody wants to help but nobody is really helping are they?”

– Excerpted from a Facebook post written by Daquan (age 17), on behalf of the following RCC Youth: Cahlee (16), DaMonte (16), Tawante (17), William (16).

As someone who grew up in Richmond with these statues, I get it. They are a bit like landmark wallpaper. But, isn’t that what normalizing is all about? We may think we don’t notice, but subconsciously, we do. And, now, a variety of events have caused those statues to rise in our consciousness. They are no longer benign wallpaper. We have been forced to think about what they mean, what they represent.

Seventeen-year old Daquan faces challenges much bigger than taking down a statue of a Confederate soldier, particularly a statue that is not a part of his day-to-day environment. He wants resources invested in making his community better. I understand his perspective, but it doesn’t have to be either or.

The reporters came to stand in front of Columbus Circle because the statue created the right backdrop for their story. What backdrop do these larger-than-life statues on stately Monument Avenue create for those driving by every day? Even subliminally, vital messages about power, justice, and history are conveyed by those statues. As individuals committed to improving the lives of people in our region, we have to think both about the direct day-to-day needs of Daquan and his neighbors, but also about the long-term implications of subliminal messages that perpetuate the false narrative of racial hierarchy. Advancing racial justice requires us to work on both fronts.

October 6, 2017 / Kendra Allen, Editor

Justice Department says federal civil rights law doesn’t protect transgender employees

WORKFORCE/TRANSGENDER RIGHTS | In 2014, former Attorney General Eric Holder released a memo explicitly stating that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects transgender employees from discrimination. On Wednesday, the Department of Justice released a memo stating that this law does not protect transgender people from discrimination at work. (NBC News, 10/5)

The Department of Justice (DOJ) released a memo Wednesday asserting that federal civil rights law does not protect transgender people from discrimination at work. The memo refers specifically to Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of sex.

“Although federal law, including Title VII, provides various protections to transgender individuals, Title VII does not prohibit discrimination based on gender identity per se,” the memo, signed by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, states. “Title VII expressly prohibits discrimination ‘because of sex…’ and several other protected traits, but it does not refer to gender identity. ‘Sex’ is ordinarily defined to mean biologically male or female.”

HEALTH CARE | United Medical Center Nurses Want Changes At Troubled Hospital (WAMU, 10/6)

– According to the DC Fiscal Policy Institute, the city’s 2018 budget doesn’t include enough funding for affordable housing for the District’s extremely low-income families. (DCFPI, 10/5)

– Housing Insights, a new affordable housing tool designed to help policymakers and advocates understand the state of affordable housing in the District, has launched. Try the tool now

IMMIGRATION | Sanctuary DMV, a local network of activists who want to help immigrant communities, have created a rapid response number for people to call if they are experiencing or witnessing an ICE raid. (WCP, 10/5)

EDUCATION‘Concern’ And ‘Confusion’ As Schools Review New Sexual Assault Guidelines (WAMU, 10/8)

VETERANS | Starting next month, Prince William County, VA veterans who are arrested and have to appear in court will have a special hearing on a “veterans docket”. (Potomac Local, 10/5)

ARTS & HUMANITIES | Citing the lack of women artists in museums, this local artist is intentionally featuring only artwork by women in her latest exhibit. (WTOP, 10/6)

Social Sector Job Openings 

Prevention Coordinator | Montgomery County Collaboration Council – New!
Sr. Manager, Corporate Relations | Exelon
Program Coordinator | Exponent Philanthropy
Content Manager | Exponent Philanthropy
Director of Development | The Literacy Lab
Communications Manager | United Philanthropy Forum
Program Associate, Portfolio Support, Public and Patient Engagement | Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute
Program Associate, Public and Patient Engagement | Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute
Engagement Officer | Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute
Program Officer, Public Engagement | Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute

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 Tuesday, October 10th!

Step into Hogwarts this October at a local bar….

– Kendra

October 5, 2017 / Kendra Allen, Editor

The A. James and Alice B. Clark Foundation gives $219 million gift to the University of Maryland

EDUCATION | The A. James and Alice B. Clark Foundation, which recently changed its name from the Clark Charitable Foundation and funds in areas such as engineering, DC education and veterans support, made history yesterday when it announced a $219 million gift to the University of Maryland. (WaPo, 10/4)

The U-Md. gift has been under discussion for about two years. [The daughter of A. James Clark, Courtney Clark] Pastrick said the foundation plans to disburse it over the next decade. “This is our largest investment to date,” she said. “We love the state. We love the school. For my family and my mom, it’s a really exciting time.”

With its gift, U-Md. plans three financial aid initiatives. The “Clark Challenge for Maryland Promise” will help the university raise money through matching funds to support need-based scholarships for a wide spectrum of students. The second will provide scholarships to 40 engineering undergraduates a year, with priority for in-state students. And the third will target help to 40 engineering majors a year who transfer from Maryland community colleges.

WRAG COMMUNITY | WRAG is sad to announce the retirement of Phyllis Kaye from the Healthy Communities Working Group. We are grateful for her years of service and wish her good luck in her new journey. We’re happy to announce that longtime member of the group, Jenny Schitter, principal health planner at the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, will be the new consultant to the group. (Daily, 10/5)

AFFORDABLE HOUSING | Mayor Muriel Bowser recently announced that the DC government will invest $75 million from DC’s Housing Production Trust Fund to  preserve or create over 500 affordable housing units in the city. (BisNow, 10/4)

CHILD POVERTYAmerica’s Child-Poverty Rate Has Hit a Record Low (Atlantic, 10/5)

– The DC Council has proposed legislation to decriminalize sex work in the city. (DCist, 10/5)

– Opinion: Five ways DC rocks (and two ways it doesn’t) at social entrepreneurship (GGWash, 10/4)

AGING | As more residents living in urban areas plan to age in place, cities are trying to find ways to accommodate them. (Citylab, 10/5)

Hopefully, this doesn’t ruin anyone’s day. Archaeologists have finally confirmed that Santa is dead.

– Kendra

October 5, 2017 / WRAG

The end of an era – and start of a new one – for WRAG’s Healthy Communities Working Group

By Rebekah Seder
Senior Program Manager, Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers

Last Friday, the Healthy Communities Working Group held its annual retreat. The day-long program marked a bittersweet transition: Phyllis Kaye’s final day as the senior program consultant to the working group.

Phyllis has been a leader in the local health funding community for many years. Since 2001, she has been the backbone of the Healthy Communities Working Group (until 2014 known as the Health Working Group). Her thoughtful leadership helped the group evolve from an informal lunch group to a cohesive and coordinated group dedicated to addressing the social determinants of health. Through Phyllis’s leadership, the working group has sparked new collaborations within and outside the group, and found new ways to leverage their individual efforts to improve the health of the region’s residents and communities. As many retreat participants noted, Phyllis will be deeply missed.

Phyllis’s retirement from WRAG was the “bitter” part of the transition. Jenny Schitter’s taking over the consultancy has put a bit of “sweet” into this transition. Jenny has been a member of the HCWG for several years in her role as the principal health planner at the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, a WRAG member organization. She is deeply familiar with both the public health landscape as well as local philanthropy.

WRAG is thrilled to have Jenny take the helm of this working group. And, we are pleased that, thanks to WRAG’s long-standing and strong relationship with MWCOG, we are able to partner with them by “sharing” a staffer. HCWG is in excellent hands with Jenny at the helm.

October 4, 2017 / Kendra Allen, Editor

The District’s paid family leave bill is still being debated

WORKFORCE | Last year, the DC Council approved a family leave bill, which gives workers in the District up to eight weeks of paid leave, amid debates over the proposed tax on business owners. Next week, councilmembers will discuss how the bill will be funded. (WAMU, 10/3)

“D.C. adopted a really solid paid and family leave program last year,” said Ed Lazere of the D.C. Fiscal Policy Institute, which on Tuesday published a report criticizing the bills that will be debated next week.

“We’re really concerned that these alternative bills that are being proposed and may be seen by some as neutral changes in the way the program is administered would undermine all the strengths of the law that passed. It would make it more complicated for businesses and much less likely that workers will take time off when they have a baby or an ill relative they have to care for,” he added.

IMMIGRATION | WRAG recently signed on to GCIR’s (Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees) Joint Foundation Statement on Immigration. Its basic belief is that immigrants and refugees are integral to the fabric of our society. As such, all signatories support diversity and inclusion, reject discriminatory policies, and commit to support our communities.

Over 200 foundations and philanthropy-supporting organizations have signed-on, including some individual WRAG members. The full statement and list of signatories can be found here.

– The Ford Foundation has selected twenty-five artists who are committed to social justice for its Art of Change fellowship. The artists will create artworks that advance “freedom, justice, and inclusion”. (Ford Foundation, 10/2)

Related: WRAG understands how art can be used to underscore social justice messages and does this with its annual meeting centerpieces.

– Bryan Stevenson, director of Equal Justice Initiative, is creating America’s first large scale monument to honor the nation’s lynching victims (which is documented at a little over 4,000 individuals from 1877 to 1950). (Atlantic, 10/4)

EDUCATION | Montgomery County’s Blair High Schoolers Meet Lunch Buddies With New Phone App Designed to Combat Bullying (Bethesda Beat, 10/3)

HEALTH | Five counties in Northern Virginia have launched, or are in the process of launching, a website that hosts the health data of each county. (NVHF, 10/2)

– Local religious leaders held a vigil at the Washington National Cathedral yesterday for victims of the mass shooting in Las Vegas. (WAMU, 10/3)

– Justice Department to investigate Prince George’s Police employment practices (WaPo, 10/3)

Do you know what the first amendment actually covers? Take this quiz to test your knowledge.

– Kendra