The persistent effects of housing discrimination

The Daily WRAG will return to your inbox on Monday. Until then, have a great weekend.

The Urban Institute has released a new interactive map that shows how neighborhoods across the country have been shaped by income inequality between 1990 and 2010. According to data from the Neighborhood Change Database used to develop the map, exclusionary housing practices have largely kept low-income families in disadvantaged neighborhoods that are very difficult to escape. (City Lab, 6/29)

Nationwide, the top 10 percent of income earners live apart from the bottom 10 percent of earners. From 1990 through 2010, the neighborhoods where the wealthiest Americans live have remained relatively fixed. Meanwhile, tracts where the poorest Americans live have shifted and expanded over time—and grown poorer, too.

Exclusionary and discriminatory housing policies are one of the main tools that wealthy Americans have used to maintain wealthy neighborhoods. These bastions of prosperity enable them to consolidate, protect, and pass on their wealth.

LGBT/YOUTH | Children’s National Health Center has opened a new clinic geared toward providing specialized care and services to LGBTQ youth between the ages of 12 to 22. LGBTQ youth programming at the center is also supported by the Washington AIDS Partnership. (DCist, 7/2)

REGION | The Brookings Institution offers a profile of how young adults in the Washington region are faring within the vital areas of education, employment, and income. The analysis uses Census data on young adults between the ages of 18 to 24. (Brookings, 6/30)

PHILANTHROPY | Opinion: Charleston, Health Care, Gay Marriage, and More: Why Advocacy Matters (Chronicle, 7/1)

DISTRICT/EDUCATION | According to a new report for fiscal years 2010 through 2013 by the Office of the District of Columbia Auditor, the city has not sufficiently monitored the School Modernization Financing Act despite its passing in 2006, leading to a number of violations and the improper use of funds. (WaPo, 7/1)

There are many ways to make guacamole, but for a lot of people, this way is a no-no. In fact, it has become a pretty divisive debate.

– Ciara

A “favored quarter” for jobs in the region

A new report by the Brookings Institution looks at the concentration of jobs within proximity to residents across the country and in the region. Job opportunities were found to be much more concentrated in a particular area, leaving those outside of it with far fewer options and potentially long-lasting consequences because of it (GGW, 4/14):

Jobs in the DC region are heavily concentrated in a “favored quarter” that starts downtown and stretches west-northwest. Residents in the ten-mile-wide circle that covers the northwest quadrant of DC, Arlington, and neighboring parts of Montgomery and Fairfax counties, can easily commute to about a million jobs.

For people in that area, chances are pretty good that one of those jobs will suit them.


Outside of the Beltway, the lack of job opportunity in Prince George’s and eastern Montgomery counties has depressed property values and ruined many families’ finances.

All of this leads to what social scientists call a “spatial mismatch” between jobs and affordable housing. Over time, a spatial mismatch can widen into what sociologist Robert Putnam calls an opportunity equality gap, disadvantaging families for multiple generations.

Related: A while back, WRAG published What Funders Need to Know: Does Housing + Transportation Costs = Affordable Living?, which looks at some of these issues in our region.

BUDGETS/DISTRICT | This week, we’re bringing you commentary from fiscal policy experts on the recently-released FY 2016 federal and state budgets for D.C., Maryland, and Virginia. This time we have Ed Lazere, executive director of the DC Fiscal Policy Institute, discussing Mayor Bowser’s budget for 2016. (Daily, 4/14)

WORKFORCE |  Campaign to begin for a $15 minimum wage in D.C. (WaPo, 4/15)

– The New Communities Initiative, aimed at reviving distressed subsidized housing into mixed-income housing, has met a number of hurdles over the years. One of the projects appears to be gaining some traction with a proposal to build more low-income units, but many residents are concerned that the development would completely miss the mark on creating a more economically diverse community. (WCP, 4/14)

– The D.C. Council recently introduced a resolution to strengthen the city’s Inclusionary Zoning program in order to increase the stock of long-term affordable housing. (Coalition for Smarter Growth, 4/14)

– In a new study, the Urban Institute examines the growing economic divide among District residents in the city’s 179 neighborhoods. Since 1990, “challenged” neighborhoods – those where the unemployment rate, share of residents without a high school degree, and share of households headed by a single mother exceed the citywide average by at least 20 percent – were increasingly found to be clustered east of the river. (WCP, 4/14)

– It’s Tax Day! The Atlantic takes a look at the Earned Income Tax Credit’s (EITC) emotional and psychological benefits for many low-income Americans who get a rare opportunity to have extra money to spend around this time. (Atlantic, 4/14)

[…] the EITC can also lead to something more significant than money this tax season—a feeling of social inclusion and citizenship that might otherwise elude them. According to a new study, people who receive the Earned Income Tax Credit, which provides bigger refunds to low-income workers with children, are, for a time, privy to the optimism of the American dream, a sharp contrast to the feelings of stigmatization associated with receiving government benefits.

Where the poor and rich really spend their money (WaPo, 4/14)

EDUCATION | What Drives Public School Demand? Location, Location, Location. (WCP, 4/15)

Can you solve this math problem

– Ciara

D.C. metro area leads U.S. in payroll to population rate

A new Gallup report ranks D.C. as number one for its payroll to population rate (P2P) among the 50 largest U.S. metros in 2014. Research implies that high rates of full-time employment and higher incomes create a higher sense of well-being. (DC Inno, 3/24)

Despite lagging behind in ninth place among metro areas ranked by unemployment rate, D.C. edged out No. 2 Salt Lake City and No. 3 Denver in 2014 with a payroll to population rate of 54.1 percent, according to a Gallup report. The polling organization tracks the metric each month, basing it off of full-time employment (30-plus hours per week) for adults aged 18 and older.

The P2P rate tends to be higher in urban areas with low unemployment, and the 50 largest metropolitan statistical areas in the U.S. proved that to be the case in 2014 with an average P2P rate of 46.0 percent, a full 2 percent higher than the P2P rate for all of the U.S.


Beyond that success locally, there are lingering concerns that labor force participation is still struggling. But again, D.C. is still doing far better that other metro areas, such as Tampa Bay and Miami, where the unemployment rates have still bobbed above 10 percent.

– Could nonprofits be doing more to lessen income inequality? Here are seven solutions for doing just that. (NPQ, 3/21)

EVENTS | WRAG has announced our first Brightest Minds event of 2015: Dr. Isabel Sawhill of the Brookings Institution. According to Dr. Sawhill, author of Generation Unbound: Drifting into Sex and Parenthood without Marriage, the growing trend of unwed and unplanned motherhood calls for a “new ethic of responsible parenthood.” Join us as Dr. Sawhill explores these societal trends and their impact on child poverty and wellness, and explains how the social sector can effectively support efforts for change. This event, on April 30, is open to both WRAG members and nonmembers. More details here.

– At a recent event hosted by Elevation DC and the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, panelists discussed the importance of expanding access to the arts to everyone in the community, and shared what they’re doing to ensure it happens. (Elevation DC, 3/24)

– In Montgomery County’s Sandy Spring Museum, a new exhibit showing off handmade books by immigrant youths – many of whom are among the unaccompanied minors from Central America who now reside in the region – is on display. The exhibit runs through May 31. (Gazette, 3/18)

Related: On Tuesday, March 31 at 9:00 AM, WRAG members and invited guests can attend a funder briefing on Immigration Relief and the Impact on the D.C. Region. The special event, sponsored by a number of WRAG members, will be moderated by Rose Ann Cleveland of The Morris & Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation, and  includes remarks by Cecilia Muñoz, director of the White House Domestic Policy Council; a panel with Gustavo Torres, executive director of CASA; DJ Yoon, executive director of the National Korean American Services & Education Consortium; and Maya, immigrant leader and potential beneficiary.

– Last year, under the Affordable Care Act, a number of states opted to expand their Medicaid coverage. According to newly released data, states that did expand the program saw a 23 percent increase in Type II diabetes cases, and states that did not expand Medicaid saw very little difference. This data shows how the expansion led to care for many who were previously undiagnosed. (NPR, 3/23)

D.C. Health Link customers saw some of the smallest premium increases in region (WBJ, 3/23)

REGION | 4 Projects That Are Going to Change Washington (Washingtonian, 3/24)

CSR | The application period ends this Friday, March 27, for the Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce’s 2015 Outstanding Corporate Citizenship Awards. The awards honor individuals, businesses, and nonprofits who have gone above and beyond in business leadership, employee engagement, and corporate social responsibility. Find out more here.

Some museums hold more than just historic relics and works of art. Some also hold pretty cool secrets

– Ciara

Navigating rent control laws in the District

Washington City Paper examines how a number of landlords in the District have been able to find their way around rent control laws and the effects it can have on residents. (WCP, 12/11)

[…] in the District, where affordable housing is vanishing in each successive neighborhood deemed up-and-coming, rent control is one of the few reliable ways to protect residents from prohibitive housing costs. Housing is generally considered affordable if it costs no more than 30 percent of a household’s income. According to a study this year from the Urban Institute, more than half of D.C.’s renter households put more than 30 percent of their income toward rent, and 28 percent pay more than half their income. Meanwhile, the 2007 inclusionary zoning law, which requires residential developers to include low- and moderate-income units in new buildings, produced just 30 such units through 2013. Rent control is the city’s strongest tool for preserving affordable housing without spending a cent. And for many renters who rely on it, it’s under assault.

COMMUNITY | Congratulations! Yesterday, the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG) presented its 2014 Regional Partnership Award to the Summit Fund of Washington. The award is given annually to an individual or organization that has done the most to support and advance COG’s work program. Recent winners of the honor include the Community Foundation for the National Capital Region and WRAG.

PHILANTHROPY | The annual industry forecast, Philanthropy and the Social Economy: Blueprint 2015, is now available.The guide offers an overview of philanthropy’s current landscape, points to major trends, and directs your attention to horizons where you can expect some important breakthroughs in the coming year. Get it here. (GrantCraft, 12/9)

YOUTH/DISTRICT | A new report, “Improving Youth Programs and Outcomes in Washington, DC,” argues that the poor educational and employment outcomes among many D.C. youth programs demand a serious and sustained response by the city, funders, educators, nonprofits and employers. You can check out the full report along with recommendations for improvement by Brookings Fellow Martha Ross and education and workforce strategist Mala Thakur here. (Brookings, 12/10)

ARTS | Last month, the Local Music Task Force, a newly established coalition of diverse individuals in the creative community, gathered during a Future of Music Policy Summit and outlined six key areas where public sector engagement with the music communities can help push increased economic growth in the District. (DCist, 12/10)

– After a recent report drew attention to the disproportionate ethnic and racial ratio of teachers to students in Montgomery County schools, officials have announced a new initiative aimed at increasing teacher diversity. (WaPo, 12/10)

Education advocates help draft new D.C. mayor’s to-do list (WaPo, 12/10)

HEALTH | Maryland rushes to reenroll residents in subsidized health insurance plans (WaPo, 12/10)

Informal poll – How many people own, or have owned, this coffee table? I’ll admit it…I do!

– Ciara 

MD gets No Child Left Behind waiver…An interview with DHS boss David Berns…New Common Grant Application launched [News, 5.30.12]

– Maryland has received a waiver from certain requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act. Virginia and D.C.’s applications for waivers are still under review. (Examiner, 5/30)

Southeast D.C. middle school to teach half of courses online next year (Examiner, 5/28)

EQUITY | A new Brookings study reveals the not terribly surprising fact that, in D.C., the areas that are most walkable also have the highest average income. (WaPo, 5/27)

WORKFORCE | Hundreds in District to lose unemployment benefits (WaPo, 5/29)

– Lydia DePillis has an interview with David Berns, director of D.C.’s Department of Human Services, about his efforts around ending homelessness and poverty in the District. (City Paper, 5/29)

– A 150 bed shelter for homeless veterans is coming to Southeast D.C. (City Paper, 5/24)

ARTS | The DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities is seeking applications to create a lighting installation on Connecticut Avenue south of Dupont Circle. (Borderstan, 5/29)

ANNOUNCEMENT | In case you missed it, yesterday marked the launch of WRAG’s revised Common Grant Application and related forms. (WG Daily, 5/29)

This six-year-old can probably spell better than you. And she can definitely spell better than whoever made this.


Student homelessness doubles in Maryland…Breaking the cycle of dropping out of school…World Bank employees donate $1.8 million [News, 1.24.12]

YOUTH/HOMELESSNESS | Maryland’s State Department of Education reports that the number of homeless students in the state has more than doubled over the past five years – from 6,721 to 14,117. That increase is shocking, as is the national average increase of 38 percent. (WAMU, 1/23)

– In more uplifting news, two local women – a mother and daughter – have decided to break their family’s multi-generational tradition of dropping out of school by pursuing their GEDs. Their reflections on their conditions and the consequences of truancy are moving. (WAMU, 1/24)

Montgomery County would pay $41 million for teacher pensions under plan (Examiner, 1/24)

GIVING | Viki Betancourt was excited to share the results of the World Bank’s Community Connections Campaign, where staff charitable donations during the holiday season set records. Here’s what she had to say:

Let me mention just a few highlights of the campaign. The FY12 campaign was our tenth anniversary – and the most successful to date by far! We raised 12% more money this year – $1.8 million compared to $1.6 million last year – and the participation rate of staff increased to over 61%.

A total of 6,028 staff gave (850 more than last year) which means that we well exceeded our target of reaching at least 55% staff participation – and thus met Bank Group Management’s challenge for the 100% corporate match for the fourth year in a row!

This means that the Bank Group will now be responsible for contributing $3.6 million to the nearly 300 nonprofit organizations on our campaign list.

She also noted out that more than $930,000 of the total contributions will go to nonprofits in the Greater Washington region. Congratulations to the World Bank staff!

PHILANTHROPY | In his new post for the Chronicle’s Against the Grain blog, The Meyer Foundation’s Rick Moyers says, For Executive Directors and Boards, Chairmen Matter. (Chronicle, 1/24) “[B]ecause board chairs matter so much, we need to create better systems and resources for training and supporting them.”

SOCIAL MEDIA | Teachers take to Twitter to improve craft and commiserate (WaPo, 1/22)

LOCAL | Study: District’s White People Walk More, Faster Than Non-Whites (City Paper, 1/24) What an odd study…although as a white male, it is true that I walk faster than just about everyone else I see. Mostly because walking is boring and I’d rather spend less time doing it.

– This is a bigger scale than the Daily usually covers, but Brookings has released an interesting analysis of the economic growth of global metropolitan regions. It is interesting unsettling because 95% of the slowest-growing metro regions are in the United States, Western Europe, and Japan. (Brookings, 1/18)

– Earlier this month, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, with support from Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, released a report about the changing demographics of giving. The quick take: “Identity-based funding is on the rise and following larger demographic shifts.” Read more here. (WKKF, 1/9)

WORKFORCE | Jobless rate down in Maryland, D.C. (WBJ, 1/24)

CORRECTION | Sometimes, you just write the complete opposite of what you mean to. Yesterday, I reported that Maryland outpaced Virginia in job growth, but I reversed the states in the headline. The headline was wrong and the main text was right – Maryland outpaced Virginia. Sorry for the confusion.

It’s a good Tuesday for movie nerds like me because the Oscar nominations are out. I have a lot of catching up to do on the Best Picture list, but the only real surprise contender is Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, which has a mediocre/bad 48% Rotten Tomatoes approval.

Here’s the full list. What are your predictions? I’ll make mine closer to the ceremony.

Maryland wins Race to the Top funding for early childhood education [News, 12.16.11]

EDUCATION | Maryland is among nine states to share $500 million in Race to the Top funding from the Department of Education to improve early childhood education. (WaPo, 12/16)

WORKFORCE | Opinion: To address the high unemployment rate of young adults in the District, a Brookings fellow writes that D.C. ought to commit to the goal of seeing 90 percent of District youth earn a post-secondary credential and find full-time employment by 2022. This would “require partners in the public, private, and social sectors to re-think and re-orient their standard operating procedures.” (WAMU, 12/16)

REGION | A new study shows that 60 percent of Prince George’s County residents work outside of the county. With a significant number of residents employed by the federal government, county officials hope to attract a federal tenant to the county to create jobs inside county lines. (Examiner, 12/16) This stat is also an impressive reminder of how interconnected various jurisdictions really are in our region.

– The Catalogue for Philanthropy: Greater Washington  has released its 2011 giving guide featuring 70 small nonprofit organizations from around the region. (City Paper, 12/15)

– A consumer research firm ranked D.C. fourth in a top 10 ranking of U.S. cities’ charitable giving. By their estimates, 62 percent of adult households in the District donated to a charitable organization in the last year. (Huffington Post, 12/13)

The American Dialect Society is taking nominations for the 2011 “word of the year.” My vote would definitely go to “occupy.” As in, “I wanted to occupy WMATA after waiting 30 minutes for the red line last night.”