Decriminalizing sex work in the District

PUBLIC HEALTH/CRIMINAL JUSTICE | A coalition of sex workers and their advocates have introduced a bill, the Community Safety and Health Amendment Act of 2019, to decriminalize the sale and purchase of sex in the District. (CP, 6/3)

The world of people who sell sex for money in DC is not a monolith with one blanket policy need … among their ranks are those who sell sex by choice; those who sell sex to survive, feed their children, and stave off homelessness; and those who sell sex against their will because they’ve been trafficked. Under the current law in DC, police can arrest and charge anyone who sells sex and under this new bill, police would no longer have cause or power to employ this tactic for catching sellers of sex mid-sale—a change that many sex workers and their advocates enthusiastically endorse.

AFFORDABLE HOUSING | Minneapolis ended exclusive single-family zoning. Could the DC region do the same? (WBJ, 6/6)

LGBTQIA | DC’s LGTBQIA communities continue to fight for some basic rights—and celebrate their victories, too. (CP, 6/6)

Key Urban Agriculture Programs Delayed as City Swaps Who Will Manage Them (CP, 6/7)

– Michael Bloomberg’s foundation said that he will donate $500 million to a new campaign to close every coal-fired power plant in the United States and halt the growth of natural gas. (NYT, 6/6)

MARYLAND | Residents voice concerns over Montgomery County policing (WTOP, 6/7)

DC/CULTURE | The DC Public Library is launching a three-part Go-Go Book Club, in collaboration with Washington Performing Arts and the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage. (dcist, 6/6)

TRANSIT/CLIMATE | Maryland and Virginia plan to expand roads, in defiance of their own climate goals (GGWash, 6/6)

GENTRIFICATION | What’s In A Name? Residents East Of The Anacostia River Say, ‘Everything.’  (WAMU, 6/7)

– A new report,  Nonprofit Executives and the Racial Leadership Gap, details that people of color who lead nonprofits face barriers and challenges that their white counterparts don’t. (Chronicle, 6/4)

– Fund the People has launched the Talent Justice Initiative to help funders and nonprofits invest in intersectional racial equity across the nonprofit career lifecycle and workforce.

– Has the Giving Pledge Changed Giving? (Chronicle, 6/4)

Social Sector Job Openings 

Director | Open Society Institute-Baltimore – New!
Director, School Partnerships Coach | Flamboyan Foundation – New!
Senior Director of Development, Research & Innovation | Children’s Hospital Foundation – New!
Senior Program Manager | Rising Tide Foundation
Development Manager | Mikva Challenge DC
Foundation Director | Venable LLP
Development Associate | Sitar Arts Center
Grants Manager | Arabella Advisors
Institutional Development Officer | Martha’s Table
Development Manager, Washington, DC | Reading Partners
Director of Individual Giving | Horizons Greater Washington
Grants Compliance Manager | Loudoun Abused Women’s Shelter
Director of Corporate and Foundation Advancement | Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers
Engagement Officer | Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute
Grants and Communications Associate | Neighborhood Health
Senior Manager of Member Engagement and Partnerships | 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 here to view the community calendar.

Blueberries all day, every day

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

– Buffy

Voting rights could be restored for incarcerated prisoners in the District

VOTING RIGHTS | Lawmakers in the District are seeking to make the nation’s capital the first jurisdiction to restore voting rights to incarcerated prisoners, with plans to introduce legislation Tuesday to repeal language in a 1955 law that disenfranchises DC residents upon felony convictions. (WaPo, 6/3)

The District has some of lowest restrictions on felons voting, where their voting rights are automatically restored when they are released from prison, and election officials visit the DC jail to help non-felons cast absentee ballots … “Unfortunately in the District and across the country, incarcerated people make up a sizable population of residents,” said Council member Robert C. White Jr., who is introducing the legislation … “They don’t lose their citizenship when they are incarcerated, so they shouldn’t lose their right to vote.” White’s bill thrusts the District to the vanguard of the felon enfranchisement movement, and believes that the discussion around criminal voting restrictions should focus on the racist motivations of the laws and how they disproportionately disenfranchise African Americans.

CENSUS 2020Deceased GOP Strategist’s Hard Drives Reveal New Details on the Census Citizenship Question (NYT, 5/30)

Related: Vanita Gupta, president & CEO of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, issued this statement in response to the New York Times’ revelation. Gupta is the keynote speaker at Thursday’s Interventions that Work: Census 2020 & Hard-to-Count Communities forum, co-convened by WRAG and 14 partner organizations to elevate strategies for a complete and accurate 2020 Census.

COMMUNITY | Last year WRAG launched the Journalism Fellows Project to share our platform with youth of color in this region who are often written about, but are rarely asked their perspectives on the issues facing their communities and families. In today’s edition, we hear from Thomas Kent, 2019 graduate of Richard Wright Public Charter School in DC, about the impact of violence in his neighborhood. (Daily, 6/4)

AFFORDABLE HOUSING | A new audit reveals that DC Mayor Bowser has awarded at least five housing projects to developers with low-ranked proposals. The move cost the city 353 affordable housing units, and raises questions about the process. (WaPo, 5/30)

WORKFORCE/EQUITY | Emergency legislation at the DC Council would prevent employment discrimination against city workers in the medical marijuana program. (dcist, 5/31)

NONPROFITS | New Pilot Program is Bringing Books to a Barbershop on Lee Highway (ARLnow, 5/28)

ENVIRONMENT | According to a just-published list put out each year by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the Tidal Basin is among the 11 most endangered historic places in 2019. (WAMU, 5/30)

CHILDREN & FAMILIES | What Makes A City Child-Friendly? (WAMU, 5/31)

PHILANTHROPY | The Kids Are Alright: Millennials Reluctant to Give, But Donate Generously When They Do (Inside Philanthropy, 5/30)

It’s 3 am – do you know what your iPhone is doing? Yikes!

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

– Buffy

Middle-income seniors may be unable to afford housing and care in the future

–  According to a recent study published in the journal Health Affairs, the number of middle-income seniors is projected to soar in the next 10 years, and many of them will be unable to afford housing and care. In metropolitan areas such as DC, where the cost of living is higher than the national average, the problem is especially acute. (WaPo, 5/28)

Seniors who have too much income to qualify for government-subsidized housing and don’t make enough to live in a luxury development will be left behind … and for those without homes to sell or borrow against, the outlook is bleak: In 2029, 81 percent of middle-income seniors without equity in housing will have an annual income that is below the projected annual $62,000 for assisted living rent and estimated out of pocket medical spending, the study found … “Even if we assume that seniors devote 100 percent of their annual income to seniors housing — setting aside any personal expenses — only 19 percent of middle-income seniors will have financial resources that exceed today’s costs of assisted living,” the study said.

Opinion: The 2020 DC Council budget may cut the Affordable Housing Preservation Tool, which provides an opportunity for residents to stay in their homes with affordable rents. Eliminating funding for the AHPF in 2020 means, at minimum, a $60 million cut in funds to preserve affordable housing. (GGWash, 5/24)

EDUCATION | Five new charter schools are planned for the District for the 2020-2021 academic year but there are concerns that city resources will be affected and their opening may result in more empty seats at existing middle and high schools that are struggling to attract students. (WaPo, 5/26)

ENVIRONMENT | Can the DC area clean up its waste problem? (WTOP, 5/27)

POVERTY/HUNGER | It’s World Hunger Day. Here’s why so many people still suffer from malnutrition. (WaPo, 5/28)

DISTRICT | Long-standing tax breaks for tech companies in the District could be cut and the revenue used instead to fund social services. (WAMU, 5/27)

LGBTQIA | Transgender Military Members Say Ban Is ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell 2.0’ (WAMU, 5/28)

GUN VIOLENCE | Giving Up Guns: High-Risk Veterans Are Ready To Talk About It (WAMU, 5/24)

PHILANTHROPY | One Foundation CEO’s Plan to Respond to Today’s Outrages. What’s Yours? (Chronicle, 5/22)

Hunting for mushrooms with the Mycological Association of Washington.

The (Almost) Daily WRAG will be back on Wednesday and Thursday!

– Buffy

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.

– 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)

– 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)

– 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

What might be the future of WRAG?

By Tamara Lucas Copeland
President, Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers

It was a bittersweet moment last week when I attended my last WRAG Annual Meeting.  It has been twelve years since I joined the WRAG team.  One of my most valuable lessons during this time has been the importance of using my voice and recognizing the incredible platform that WRAG offers.

So, for one more time, I used my voice and that platform to urge the WRAG membership to focus on four areas:

  • Seeing the 5% IRS nonprofit payout requirement as a minimum, not a maximum. I asked whether foundations make conscious decisions about the 5% floor, or whether, like many of us, they were simply acting on automatic. Then I asked that they think more about their other 95% of assets and consider impact investing, thereby increasing their ability to be change agents.
  • Child welfare – One of my earliest professional positions was as a foster care caseworker. That position opened my eyes to so much that is needed to change in the child welfare system. Many years later, I fear that change is still needed. When these children are taken from dangerous situations and placed in foster care, there is then a societal belief, I think, that the situation is now righted and no intervention is needed. Just being in a non-violent environment does not necessarily mean that the child is being nurtured. We need to place child welfare back on our priority list.
  • I urged the WRAG membership to see affordable housing as more than rental units. Certainly they are needed. I want us to think about the need for affordable for-sale housing to people across multiple income brackets. I asked the WRAG community to see this as a Big Hairy Audacious Goal and one that they have the ability to tackle.
  • Race and racism – I urged our members to keep racism on the table. Issues often become labeled the “flavor of the month,” something to be focused on for a minute and then quickly forgotten for the next important issue. As I shared at our Annual Meeting, 335 years have passed between 1619, when Africans were brought to Jamestown in chains, to 1954, the year of the Brown vs. Board of Education decision. Then roughly another 65 years of silence. We have to peel back the onion of racism, understand the roots of structural racism and bias, and work toward racial justice. This is the work of our lifetimes.

My hope for the WRAG community is that they fully embrace their ability to be change agents, that they stop to look at what they’ve always done and consider if they always have to do it that way, and that they continue to be bold and fearless.

If you would like to read Tamara’s full speech, click here.