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March 1, 2019 / Buffy Beaudoin-Schwartz, Editor

Could building tiny homes help the affordable housing crisis in Montgomery County?

AFFORDABLE HOUSING | Montgomery County is facing a housing shortage. Could building more tiny homes help? Some county council members and affordable housing advocates believe they could. (WAMU, 2/27)

Many smart-growth witnesses at a recent hearing spoke to the benefits of tiny houses, or “Accessory Dwelling Units” (ADUs). Representatives from the Montgomery County chapter of the Sierra Club, the Coalition for Smarter Growth, Habitat for Humanity Metro Maryland and the Affordable Housing Conference of Montgomery County said they offer a sustainable form of cheaper housing at no cost to the county. Others said ADUs meet the needs of intergenerational families and homeowners who could use the extra income.

RACE
– A new report found that school districts that are predominantly white receive $23 billion more than districts that serve mostly students of color. (NPR, 2/26)

– Democratic leaders of the Maryland House of Delegates have asked Del. Mary Ann Lisanti to resign over her use of a racial slur. (WaPo, 2/28)

Virginia Expands Funding to Restore African-American Cemeteries (Afro, 2/22)

– After the recommended name change for Colonel E. Brooke Lee Middle School, the names of all Montgomery County public schools will be reviewed to ensure they are appropriate. (Bethesda Magazine, 2/26)

– How Racist Property Laws Formed The Neighborhoods We Live In Today  (Kojo Show, 2/26)

EQUITYIs Your Board Ready to Advance Equity? (NCRP, 2/21)

ENVIRONMENT | The Largest Solar Farm On The East Coast Is Coming To Virginia — If Opponents Don’t Kill It First (WAMU, 2/27)

DISTRICT | Sen. Warner of Virginia has now agreed to support DC statehood. (WaPo, 2/28)

TRANSIT
– Over District Objection, Metro Board Votes To Keep Current Metrorail Hours (WAMU, 2/28)

– DC has reinstated the driver’s licenses of nearly 66,000 individuals whose licenses were suspended because of traffic fines. (dcist, 2/27)

PHILANTHROPY
– According to a new study, the rate of grantmaking from donor-advised funds is resilient during economic recessions. (Chronicle, 2/26 – subscription)

How Liberatory Philanthropy and Restorative Investing Can Remake the Economy (NPQ, 2/28)


Social Sector Job Openings 

Corporate Responsibility- Mid-Atlantic Region Team, Vice President | JPMorgan Chase – New!
Northern Virginia Community Affairs Liaison | CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield – New!
USPSC Senior Contracts and Grants Specialist | USAID’s Office of Food for Peace
Operations Manager | Diverse City Fund
Development Communications Manager | PeerForward
Communications and Development Specialist | Grantmakers In Health
Vice President for Donor Relations | Community Foundation of Howard County
Senior Communications Officer | Gill Foundation
Individual Giving Manager | National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health
Development Manager | American Society of Landscape Architects
President​ | ​Virginia United Methodist Foundation
Chief Financial & Administrative Officer​ | ​Horizon Foundation
Foundation and Government Relations Officer​ | ​Shakespeare Theatre Company
Grants & Communications Officer​ | ​The Crimsonbridge Foundation
Executive Director​ | ​VHC Medical Brigade
Director of Development​ | ​DC Bar Foundation
Senior Supervising Attorney, Criminal Justice Reform​ | ​Southern Poverty Law Center
Programs Officer |  DC Bar Foundation
Program Associate for Strategy, Equity, and Research | Eugene & Agnes E. Meyer Foundation

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 here to view the community calendar.


Hello, hive mind: Who knew bees can do basic arithmetic?

The (Almost) Daily WRAG will be published next week on Monday, Wednesday and Friday!

– Buffy

February 26, 2019 / Buffy Beaudoin-Schwartz, Editor

Upcoming Kirwan Commission recommendations to address educational inequality in Maryland

MARYLAND/RACIAL EQUITY
– Hundreds of millions of dollars in education funding may soon bolster Maryland schools if lawmakers can agree on how to divide the money. The Kirwan Commission, or the State’s Commission on Educational Excellence, will soon present its final recommendations for the new school funding model to lawmakers in Annapolis. (WAMU, 2/25)

In 2016, Governor Hogan called for the formation of the 25-member Kirwan Commission to address the gap in funding for public schools. This comes at a time when one study said Maryland is the 15th worst state in terms of regressive education funding … “meaning that districts with high proportions of low-income students receive less funding than schools serving wealthier communities” said William Kirwan, chair of the commission.

 

– With the release of a new report on equity in Prince George’s County solutions have been proposed to move the county toward equity and equality for communities of color. (Prince Georges Sentinel, 2/20)

VIRGINIA/RACIAL EQUITY
Confederate flag incident at Virginia high school sparks concern of racist behavior (WaPo, 2/24)

– Virginia state superintendent says schools must address racism in light of recent scandals. (WTOP, 2/25)

–  Swastikas have been found at three sites in past week in Virginia, in what appears to be three separate hate crime incidents. (WaPo, 2/26)

HOUSING
– The Virginia General Assembly recently passed hundreds of bills, including one that gives residents an extra two weeks to pay rent that is past due and one focused on eviction reform. (WAMU, 2/22)

 – There’s No Such Thing as a Dangerous Neighborhood (CityLab, 2/25)

GUN VIOLENCE | Maryland lawmakers heard from family members affected by gun violence as well as gun-rights supporters in Annapolis on ‘gun day’ in Annapolis. (WTOP, 2/25)

BUSINESS | The proposal to raise the minimum wage in Maryland to $15 has different opinions among the business community. (WAMU,  2/22)

PHILANTHROPY
– “Donors InVesting in the Arts,” or “DIVAs,” is a giving circle managed by the Greater Washington Community Foundation that is promoting civic engagement through the arts. (GWCF, 2/21)

– Funder support for media research has been growing as evidenced by the Knight Foundation’s recent commitment of $300 million to support local journalism. (Chronicle, 2/19 – Subscription)


“Plant-based” is so the new vegan.

The (Almost) Daily WRAG will be back on Friday!

– Buffy

February 25, 2019 / Buffy Beaudoin-Schwartz, Editor

The District failed to spend allotted federal funds on lead paint hazards

HOUSING/HEALTH | Until four months ago, the District had a program called Lead Safe Washington operated out of DC’s Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), that would help low-income tenants remediate lead-based paint hazards in older rental properties. The program has been restructured after repeatedly failing to utilize allotted federal funding from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development. (CP, 2/21)

Anne Cunningham, senior attorney at the Children’s Law Center says  “the loss of this grant [funding] is emblematic of the broader problem about how we approach lead in DC.” …She estimates that between previously awarded funds that went unspent and losing out on future grant money, DC has lost or forfeited about $7.6 million that it could have used to remediate lead hazards in older housing units.  “We just clearly did not use this resource that could have been so useful.”

CENSUS | Democrats and Republicans agree that adding a citizen question will render the 2020 Census inaccurate. (CityLab, 2/22)

RACIAL EQUITY
-Emmett Till’s Murder, and How America Remembers Its Darkest Moments (NY Times, 2/20) As WRAG has focused on racial equity over the past several years, we have tried to highlight the importance of understanding and acknowledging the history of racism in America. Participants on WRAG and LGW’s 2019 Civil Rights Learning Journey will visit several of the sites featured in this New York Times piece. To learn more about this trip, click here.

– Students from Hightstown High School in New Jersey drafted a bill calling for the release of civil rights cold-case files. (WaPo, 2/23)

WORKFORCE | Amazon hopes to hire most of HQ2 locally (WBJ, 2/22)

ENVIRONMENT | A technique called “greening” is being used in DC to keep raw sewage out of Rock Creek. (WAMU, 2/22)

TRANSIT
– The Greater Washington region needs better transportation among the suburbs, and here’s why. (GGW, 2/21)

– Metro’s deja vu debate over late hours keeps happening because people keep forgetting (WaPo, 2/24)

EDUCATION | Overworked Teachers And Budget Transparency Addressed In New DCPS Budget Proposal (WAMU, 2/21)

NONPROFITS/PHILANTHROPY | GrantAdvisor, a Yelp-like site that rates the nation’s charitable foundations, encourages dialogue between nonprofits and foundations. (NPQ, 2/22)


Did you stay up until midnight to watch the Oscars? If you missed it, here’s the full list of winners

The (Almost) Daily WRAG will be back tomorrow and Friday this week!

– Buffy

February 22, 2019 / Buffy Beaudoin-Schwartz, Editor

Mass displacement of working class Latinx residents by Amazon predicted in new report

HOUSING 
– A recent report by New Virginia Majority predicts the planned Amazon campus in Northern Virginia will “intensify and accelerate the area’s affordable housing crisis.” The progressive group supports economic policies that benefit immigrants and people of color, and believes that Latinx residents will be disproportionately affected. (WAMU, 2/20)

Activists say incentivizing Amazon does a disservice to Latinx Virginians, in particular. Not only does Amazon have an apparent business relationship with Immigration and Customs Enforcement, they say, but the company’s relatively high salaries will attract affluent employees to neighborhoods near what’s now being called National Landing. That could increase demand for luxury homes, motivating landlords to sell their property to high-end condo developers and displace working-class residents, including Central American immigrants. “Without concentrated mitigation strategies and investment,” the analysis says, “a rooted, historic, unique Latinx community will be destroyed by the public investment that attracts Amazon’s HQ2.”

DC Chronically Failed to Spend Federal Funds to Remediate Lead Paint Hazards, HUD Says (CP, 2/21)

– Lawmakers in Virginia passed a new bill to waive many fees for new affordable housing developments. (ARLNow, 2/19)

Giving housing to the homeless is cheaper than leaving them on the streets. (Vox, 2/20)

COMMUNITY | Congrats to WRAG member Timothy Johnson of the United Way of the National Capital Area for being a Washington Business Journal 2019 Minority Business Leader Award honoree!

RACIAL EQUITY
– The Commonwealth Institute For Fiscal Analysis writes about Virginia’s proposed budgets and the racial equity impact on communities of color. (Commonwealth Institute, 2/12)

– Urban neighborhoods, once distinct by race and class, are blurring – yet in cities, affluent white neighborhoods and high-poverty black ones are outliers, resisting the fragmentation shown with other types of neighborhoods (CityLab, 2/19)

‘Slavery is not a game’: Virginia school apologizes over Black History Month exercise (WaPo, 2/21)

EDUCATION
District eliminates extended school year, invests more in classroom technology (WaPo, 2/21)

-The Loudoun County School Board is creating a task force to assess racial equity in the Loudoun County Public School System. (Loudoun County Times, 2/18)

GUN VIOLENCE | Students in Montgomery County plan to leave class on March 14 to lobby for gun control legislation on Capitol Hill. (Patch, 2/19)

PHILANTHROPY | Nonprofits and Foundations Are Unintentionally Promoting Racism: Here’s How to Stop (Chronicle, 2/20)


Social Sector Job Openings 

Grants Management Specialist | DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities
USPSC Senior Contracts and Grants Specialist | USAID’s Office of Food for Peace
Operations Manager | Diverse City Fund
Development Communications Manager | PeerForward
Communications and Development Specialist | Grantmakers In Health
Vice President for Donor Relations | Community Foundation of Howard County
Senior Communications Officer | Gill Foundation
Individual Giving Manager | National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health
Development Manager | American Society of Landscape Architects
President​ | ​Virginia United Methodist Foundation
Chief Financial & Administrative Officer​ | ​Horizon Foundation
Foundation and Government Relations Officer​ | ​Shakespeare Theatre Company
Grants & Communications Officer​ | ​The Crimsonbridge Foundation
Executive Director​ | ​VHC Medical Brigade
Director of Development​ | ​DC Bar Foundation
Senior Supervising Attorney, Criminal Justice Reform​ | ​Southern Poverty Law Center
Director of Development​ | ​The Barker Adoption Foundation
Executive Assistant​ | ​Jack and Jill of America Foundation
Programs Officer |  DC Bar Foundation
Program Associate for Strategy, Equity, and Research | Eugene & Agnes E. Meyer Foundation

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 here to view the community calendar.


A book’s final lines can make or break the experience. Here are 23 of the most unforgettable last sentences in fiction.

Next week we’ll publish the (Almost) Daily WRAG on Monday, Tuesday, and Friday.

– Buffy

February 20, 2019 / Buffy Beaudoin-Schwartz, Editor

New report links dollar stores to economic distress for people of color

RACE/POVERTY | New research from a nonprofit advocacy group links a lack of grocery stores to the presence of dollar stores in high-poverty neighborhoods with a higher percentage of residents of color. According to the report, there is growing evidence that these dollar stores are causing economic distress for the neighborhoods in which they reside. (WAMU, 2/19)

The Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR) reports that dollar stores can be found in Northeast and Southeast DC and in Prince George’s County and are chipping away at the profitability of local grocers and retail outlets and then taking advantage of the void left by the departure of those stores.

“When you look at the maps of the share of residents who are African American, it just jumps right out,” said Stacy Mitchell, co-director of ILSR and the co-author of the report. It looked at the national impact of the discount chains and revealed that as the number of dollar stores increase, shoppers who frequent them continue to struggle financially.

FOOD INSECURITY
– A program at Food & Friends is working to combat food insecurity and negative health outcomes for expectant mothers by providing healthy, hearty meals. (WTOP, 2/20)

– How often fruits and vegetables are depicted on billboards depends on who you are and where you live. (WaPo, 2/19)

ENVIRONMENT | Environmentalists are fighting a solar panel project that would help Georgetown University dramatically reduce its greenhouse gas emissions because the development needed to do it would put tributaries to the Chesapeake Bay at risk. (WaPo, 2/17)

EDUCATION
– The ACLU of Maryland is pushing for passage of a bill that would allow private schools to be sued over alleged discrimination, an option that now exists only for public schools under Maryland law. (WaPo, 2/18)

Study Explores Link Between Health, School Absenteeism (Prince George’s Sentinel, 2/13)

PHILANTHROPY
– Five pioneering black women philanthropists who paved the way for women today.  (PushBlack Now, 2/20)

 – Opinion: Trump’s Emergency Declaration Threatens Philanthropy’s Core Values (Chronicle, 2/18)


Yikes, are we really that bad? Stay off the roads and enjoy the snow today! 

The (Almost) Daily WRAG will be back on Friday!

– Buffy

February 19, 2019 / Buffy Beaudoin-Schwartz, Editor

DC’s top education leaders trained to merge business concepts with equity in public education

EDUCATION/EQUITY | DC’s top three educational leaders – state superintendent Hanseul Kang, deputy mayor of education Paul Kihn, and acting schools chancellor Lewis Ferebee – have all studied at the Broad Center for the Management of School Systems, an educational leadership program that promotes a business perspective in the management of urban public school districts that has a focus on equity. Those who support the training program say it offers a unique corporate-like training experience, while critics say the teachings encourage school leaders to undermine democratic control of public education. (WAMU, 2/19)

Ferebee says it’s possible to merge these business concepts with equity in public education. “When you are studying leadership and change theory, there is a lot that you can learn from the business sector, and we obviously take advantage of that. [But] it’s not limited to business principles. Maximizing resources is obviously a part of the business community. Often times it is how you impact your bottom line. Maximizing your resources is also one way to address equity, ensuring that you get the most out of the public dollars you have access to.”

CENSUS | Communities of color and immigrants are at particular risk of being undercounted in the 2020 Census and the Virginia Legislature has recently stripped funds for Census outreach. (Commonwealth Institute, 2/14)

RACE | According to a just-released Goucher College poll, a majority of Maryland residents think race relations in the state have worsened in recent years. (WaPo, 2/18)

HEALTH | In honor of Presidents Day, the de Beaumont Foundation has released a quiz with interesting facts about US presidents and how their policy, advocacy, and private lives have influenced Americans’ health.

HOMELESSNESS | A challenge to Virginia’s ‘habitual drunkard’ law argues that it targets homeless people. (WaPo, 2/18)

WORKFORCE | A proposed bill currently being considered in Annapolis would phase out lower wages paid to tipped workers. (WAMU, 2/8)

ENVIRONMENT | If we don’t address climate change, DC weather will feel more like Mississippi in the next 60 years. (WAMU, 2/15)

NONPROFITS | Sometimes the best thing we donors can do to advance social justice is to just write the check and get out of the way (Nonprofit AF, 2/18)


Marylanders love our Old Bay – do you know what’s in it?

The (Almost) Daily WRAG will be back on Wednesday and Friday this week!

– Buffy

February 15, 2019 / Buffy Beaudoin-Schwartz, Editor

How bikeshare can address, rather than perpetuate, DC’s disparities

EQUITY | In 2010, the DC Department of Transportation introduced the first city-operated bikesharing system in North America, and Capital Bikeshare users have since generated millions of rides, although use and station placement varies around the city. Equity is a focus in the bikeshare development plan, and the Urban Institute is looking at Capital Bikeshare’s potential to address the DC’s racial and economic disparities. (Urban Institute, 2/11)

We placed the 2017 data in the context of DC’s socioeconomic characteristics to identify challenges and opportunities for developing bikeshare equitably. Our analysis revealed two primary challenges. 1. Station placement isn’t equitable and follows patterns of existing infrastructure, and 2. Station use differs by neighborhood.

How can the city use bikeshare service to support its equity goals? … Drawing from best practices and studies on potential barriers for accessing bikeshares, here are some ideas policymakers should consider: 1. Promote transparent decisionmaking and access to data, 2. Develop infrastructure equitably, and 3. Ease barriers to access for disadvantaged communities.

WORKFORCE | The Walker’s Legacy Foundation, a fiscally-sponsored project of WRAG, has launched a new business program for low-income single mothers to help develop financial and entrepreneurship skills. (WBJ, 2/14)

FOOD SECURITY | Farmers in the Greater DC region are dwindling because of local development. According to a recent report by the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments the decline is threatening food security and reducing the region’s ability to rely on itself for food production. (WAMU, 2/14)

EQUALITY | Inside the Virginia Capitol, a legislative duel over the ERA (WaPo, 2/14)

GUN VIOLENCE | Students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, in partnership with The Trace – a nonprofit news site specifically focused on gun violence – have published Since Parkland, which involved 200 high school aged reporters who wrote 100-word pieces on each of the 1,200 children who died as a result of gun violence in the US last year. (NPQ, 2/13)

TRANSIT | With Major Funding Source At Stake, Metro Committee Votes To Keep Current Hours (WAMU, 2/14)

ENVIRONMENT | Many Americans are committed to recycling, but how much of what is put in recycling bins is actually being recycled? (WAMU, 2/12)

RACE
– A local Black Lives Matter activist is suing the DC police believing she is being surveilled, which echoes others around the country who have made similar claims. (WAMU, 2/11)

– Area Colleges Address Racist Imagery In Their Own Yearbooks (DCist, 2/12)

PHILANTHROPY
Opinion: Philanthropy’s focus on peace isn’t enough without attention to climate change as well. (Chronicle, 2/14 – Subscription)

Opinion: How Grant Makers Can Tune In to What Nonprofits Need Most (Chronicle, 2/12 – Subscription)


Social Sector Job Openings 

Grants Management Specialist | DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities – New!
USPSC Senior Contracts and Grants Specialist | USAID’s Office of Food for Peace
Grant Writer | Framingham State University
Operations Manager | Diverse City Fund
Development Communications Manager | PeerForward
Controller | Meyer Foundation
Communications and Development Specialist | Grantmakers In Health
CSR Internship | Gannett Inc., USAToday /Gannett Foundation
Vice President for Donor Relations | Community Foundation of Howard County
Senior Communications Officer | Gill Foundation
Individual Giving Manager | National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health
Development Manager | American Society of Landscape Architects
President​ | ​Virginia United Methodist Foundation
Chief Financial & Administrative Officer​ | ​Horizon Foundation
Foundation and Government Relations Officer​ | ​Shakespeare Theatre Company
Grants & Communications Officer​ | ​The Crimsonbridge Foundation
Executive Director​ | ​VHC Medical Brigade
Director of Development​ | ​DC Bar Foundation
Senior Supervising Attorney, Criminal Justice Reform​ | ​Southern Poverty Law Center
Director of Development​ | ​The Barker Adoption Foundation
Executive Assistant​ | ​Jack and Jill of America Foundation
Executive Director | The Volgenau Foundation
President | Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers
Program Associate for Strategy, Equity, and Research | Eugene & Agnes E. Meyer Foundation

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 here to view the community calendar.


A book checked out in 1946, that was almost 27,000 days past its due date, has just been returned to the Silver Spring Library – and luckily, there is no fine!

Next week we’ll publish the (Almost) Daily WRAG on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday.

– Buffy