DC Mayor Bowser sets a goal of building 36,000 new housing units by 2025

HOUSING
– At the start of her second term in office, DC’s Mayor Muriel Bowser wants to increase the production of new housing in order to meet the pressing need for housing affordability in the District. (WAMU, 1/8)

“Bowser has even set a goal for D.C.: 36,000 new housing units by 2025, the city’s portion of the estimated 235,000 housing units the Washington region will have to produce in that period to keep up with job growth. Currently, the region is expected to produce 170,000 housing units over the next six years. Housing analysts say the mayor’s goal is enthusiastic, though achievable.”

WRAG’s Vice President, Gretchen Greiner-Lott, had this to say regarding the Mayor’s announcement:

“Housing affordability is an ever-growing issue throughout our region so it is exciting to see Mayor Bowser acknowledge the issue and pledge to make it her number one priority. As she says, we all have to “think big and differently” about how to produce more housing. The Housing Leaders Group of Greater Washington’s Guidebook for Increasing Housing Affordability in the Greater Washington Region would be a great place to start.”

Alexandria lost 90% of its affordable homes in the past few decades. Is it really ‘radical’ to build more? (GGWash, 1/8)

ENVIRONMENT | In a new report, scientists say the health of the Chesapeake Bay deteriorated in 2018 after years of improvement. (WaPo, 1/8)

EQUITY/DISABILITY RIGHTS | Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi, head of RespectAbility and the Mizrahi Family Charitable Trust, is powerfully pushing for philanthropy to focus on equality for people with disabilities. (Chronicle, 1/8)

EDUCATION | Schools tackle anxiety over food and fees as shutdown shows no sign of ending (WaPo, 1/8)

TRANSPORTATION | Lyft is offering low-cost rides to grocery stores in Wards 7 and 8. What’s a sustainable solution? (GGW, 1/7)

COMMUNITY | We were saddened to learn last month of the passing of Vicki Sant, a longtime philanthropic leader in the Greater Washington region, and the founder, along with her husband Roger Sant, of the Summit Foundation, as well as the Summit Fund. A memorial service will be held on January 16 at the Kennedy Center. Details can be found here.

NONPROFITS | The application for the 2019-2020 Catalogue for Philanthropy is now open. Click here for details.


We are on day 19 of the government shutdown – from museum visits to tours, here’s some things you can still do.

– Buffy

Bread for the City plans to open a new, larger facility in Anacostia

POVERTY/NONPROFITS | Citing an increased need for food, medical care and social services, Bread for the City is preparing to expand its operation in DC. Set to open in 2020, the new Anacostia location will serve at least 2,000 additional people monthly. (WaPo, 1/6)

George Jones, the organization’s chief executive, said the need is, in part, fueled by gentrification that has intensified the gap between wealthy and poor residents. A recent report by the D.C. Chamber of Commerce highlighted the chasm. Since 2009, it says, the city has lost more than 4,000 families with yearly incomes below $35,000, while gaining more than 10,000 families with incomes above $200,000 over the same span.

PHILANTHROPY | In her first column of 2019, WRAG’s president Tamara Lucas Copeland shares her thoughts on three important trends in philanthropy that she believes will impact the region this year. (Daily, 1/7)

HOUSING/HOMELESSNESS | Check out the Miriam’s Kitchen “Change Agent of the Month” interview with Katy Moore, Managing Director, Corporate Strategy at WRAG and Founder and Director of the Institute of Corporate Social Responsibility. She is also a member of the Leadership Council at Miriam’s Kitchen. (What’s the Dish Corporate Social Impact eNewsletter, 12/18)

CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORM | The city of Alexandria joins the national trend of limiting the use of cash bail in misdemeanor, low-risk, nonviolent cases. (WaPo, 1/6)

EDUCATION | D.C. Council prepares for rigorous confirmation hearing on pick for schools chancellor (WaPo, 1/6)

FOOD | New Ward 8 Grocery Store Breaks Ground — And Barriers — To Fresh Food. (WAMU, 1/13)

CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY | Interesting piece by Tim McClimon, head faculty member of the Institute for CSR, highlighting Five CSR Trends to Watch in 2019. (Forbes, 1/19)

GRANTS | The Jack & Jill of America Foundation is recruiting grant reviewers experienced in the areas of education, health/wellness, and strengthening black families. Details here.


It’s great to be back as Editor of the (Almost) Daily WRAG on a modified schedule for the next few months! This week we will publish on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

I’m looking forward to sharing important news, helpful resources, and interesting pieces, including this list of New Years resolutions for movie lovers.

– Buffy

New analysis finds racial disparities in arrests for marijuana in DC

RACIAL EQUITY | Although the District decriminalized recreational marijuana use, a WUSA9 analysis found that marijuana-related arrests were up 186% between 2015 to 2017 and 86% of those arrested were Black. (WUSA9, 8/7)

“The fact that 86 percent of those arrested are Black, in majority Black and brown areas of the city even though the level of marijuana use is the same among Blacks and whites in the District, only proves that MPD is continuing a racist policing strategy that I hope the mayor doesn’t consider to be ‘DC Values’,” said Ward 7 Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner Lorenzo Green.

In 2017, 63 percent of all marijuana arrests in 2017 came in police Districts 5, 6 and 7, which encompass Wards 7 and 8. WUSA9 found in 2017, marijuana arrests were up 97 percent in those districts, while they have fallen nine percent in the rest of the city.

ARTS & HUMANITIES
– A partnership between Georgetown University and the DC Jail is allowing incarcerated individuals and students to study music together. (DCist, 8/7)

– Get To Know ‘Hamilton’ Director Thomas Kail, A D.C.-Area Native (WAMU, 8/8)

CHILDREN | DC Council has recently approved a bill, “Birth-to-Three For All D.C.”, to expand a subsidy program to include more families, and to impose a cap on how much of a family’s income can go towards child care costs. (WAMU, 8/7)

FOOD INSECURITYAnother kind of food truck: Schools take a mobile approach to summer meals (WaPo, 8/7)

DEVELOPMENT | Residents from DC’s Ivy City neighborhood are calling on the developers involved in the renovation of the Crummell School to include green or recreational space for the community. (WaPo, 8/7)


Here’s some helpful tips for living.

– Kendra

Funding for home visiting program for low-income families set to expire

CHILDREN & FAMILIES | Research has shown how important home-visiting programs where nurses or social workers provide support to parents during the first years of a child’s life are to the success of children and their families. The legislation that funds this program is set to expire at the end of the month. (WaPo, 9/22)

Federal dollars funded home visits for 1,175 families in Maryland in 2015 and 1,449 families in Virginia. They make up the bulk of funds for home-visiting programs in the District. In a city where nearly a quarter of children under age 5 live below the poverty line, advocates say home visiting is a promising — and already underused — strategy for addressing inequality early.

A report released by the D.C. auditor this summer estimates there are 6,300 households with children under 5 that would benefit from home-visiting programs, based on risk-factor data including poverty levels, access to prenatal care and developmental delays. In fiscal 2015, just over 1,300 families — about a fifth of that number — were served.

ARTS/EQUITY | Tamara Lucas Copeland, WRAG’s president, reflects on the use of satire in “Native Gardens”, a comedy at Arena Stage that looks at how issues of gentrification, implicit bias, and inequity play out between an older White couple and their new, young Latinx neighbors. (Daily, 9/27)

EDUCATION
– Most states will begin measuring student success and school quality by looking at chronic absenteeism in their school districts. (NPR, 9/26)

– Report: Six Out of 10 MCPS High School Seniors Met College, Career Readiness Targets (BethesdaBeat, 9/26)

HEALTH CARE | Bernard Tyson, chairman and CEO of Kaiser Permanente, discusses what a healthcare bill compromise would look like. (NPR, 9/27)

WORKFORCE/ IMMIGRATIONWhat DACA Means to Food Industry Workers (Civil Eats, 9/26)

DEVELOPMENT
– This neighborhood activist group has successfully delayed most of the new developments set to begin construction in the Union Market area of the District. (Bisnow, 9/21)

– The new, colorful buildings with murals and other designs you’ve seen in Hyattsville, Maryland are part of a new “Fight the Blight” campaign. (WAMU, 9/26)

POVERTYNew lunch policy in Fauquier County eliminates ‘substitute meals’ for students who can’t pay (Fauquier Times, 9/27)


An Arlington, VA middle school teacher made it to “The Voice”.

– Kendra

‘East of the River’ film aims to show the real lives of Anacostia teens

EDUCATION
– The rate of suspensions in the District’s school system has been a hot topic recently. A new short film, East of the River, intends to tell the story of the experiences of these students, especially black girls, who are pushed out of the school system prematurely. The film includes teen actors who are from the Anacostia community. (DCist, 9/8)

While most films made in D.C. stick to the historical landmarks and paint the city as little more than an iconic backdrop for political intrigue, [the filmmaker Hannah] Peterson’s decision to cast real D.C. teens and use the less visible locations where they actually hang out with will create a slice of fiction that brings Washington to life on the big screen. In addition to notes from the young actors who’ll be in front of the camera, the screenplay was penned in collaboration with a Youth Advisory board of six students whose stories and insight helped shape the final product on the page.

“When people think about Anacostia they think about shooting and drugs,” says India Pendleton, a Ballou High School student and the leader of the Youth Advisory. “They don’t really come to Anacostia to see that people like me work really hard so we can have a good education. We work day and night in school, we work jobs after school. We do a lot because we know that people view us a certain way, so we have to work harder to get that target off of us.”

– Teaching Sept. 11 To Students Who Were Born After The Attacks (NPR, 9/11)

GENDER EQUITY | Congratulations to WRAG member Washington Area Women’s Foundation for receiving the Women’s Funding Network’s 2017 Leadership in Equity and Diversity (LEAD) Award! (PND Blog, 9/9)

FOOD | The renewal of a District landmark, the “Shrimp Boat,” is mostly welcomed in the neighborhood. (WaPo, 9/10)

HEALTH | Over the weekend the University of Maryland, the Maryland State Dental Association and Catholic Charities partnered to provide free dental care to about 800 low-income Marylanders. (Baltimore Sun, 9/10)

INCOME | The District is offering an amnesty program to help parents who are behind in their court ordered child support due to various reasons including unemployment or underemployment. (WaPo, 9/7)

WORKFORCE | The J-1 visa program, which allows individuals to visit the US and learn about American society in exchange for work, may be in danger of ending. (WaPo, 9/10)

ENVIRONMENTVirginia Declares State Of Emergency Ahead Of Hurricane Irma (DCist, 9/8)


This website will tell you what the #1 song was when you were born.

– Kendra

New HIV infections in the District has decreased for the ninth year

HIV/AIDS | According to the District’s HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis, STD, and TB Administration’s annual report, the city’s number of newly diagnosed HIV cases has decreased for the ninth year in a row. Although DC still has a very high number of residents living with HIV, the number of newly diagnosed HIV cases have decreased by 73% since 2007. (MetroWeekly, 6/27)

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser announced the news, and the release of the annual report, at a press conference at Whitman-Walker Health on Tuesday morning. The announcement coincided with National HIV Testing Day.

“For nine consecutive years, the District has been able to work together with the community to decrease the number of new HIV cases,” Mayor Bowser said. “We know we have more work to do, but this data is good news for our city and our residents. In just one decade, we have made tremendous progress, and today, our residents who are diagnosed with HIV are getting care faster and they are starting — and staying on — treatments that we know are effective.”

HOUSING AFFORDABILITY | WRAG helped to start the Housing Leaders Group of Greater Washington (HLG) to address housing affordability in the Greater Washington region three years ago. Washington Metro Marketplace Manager of Citi Community Development and WRAG Board Member Diana Meyer, who has been a champion of this work, discusses the urgent housing need in the region and how different stakeholders working together will help address the issue. (Daily, 6/28)

RACE | A report from Georgetown University law school’s Center on Poverty and Inequality found that black girls are viewed as ‘less innocent’ than white girls. (WaPo, 6/27)

DEVELOPMENT | Montgomery County policymakers have introduced a bill requiring that developers building on a burial site must establish its exact location and protect it during construction and maintain it afterwards. (WaPo, 6/27)

HEALTH | The District is closer to building the replacement hospital for United Medical Center in southeast. (WBJ, 6/27)

NONPROFITSNonprofits Have a Role to Play in Building Bridges in a Polarized World (Chronicle, 6/27 – Subscription needed)

IDENTITY
– This map shows what counties resemble what the US will look like in the future, and which ones most resembles the ethnic composition of the past. In our region, Prince George’s County will most resemble the US in 2060 and Fauquier County, VA most resembles the US’s 2004 population. (NYT, 6/22)

D.C. Issues Its First Gender-Neutral Drivers License (WAMU, 6/27)


A view of life from April.

– Kendra