Fairfax County may help undocumented immigrants fight deportation

IMMIGRATION | A publicly-funded legal defense fund for immigrants caught in deportation proceedings is under consideration in Fairfax County. This program would be part of a growing effort by local governments to counter the current administration’s crackdown on undocumented immigrants. (WaPo, 4/10)

Advocates argue that a proposed $200,000 pilot program aimed at assisting low-income immigrants — both undocumented and those in the country legally — would send a strong message that the county does not agree with the spike in immigration arrests that has spread fear in local communities.“ Fairfax has an opportunity to be a regional leader in ensuring that its immigrant residents have access to due process in our nation’s immigration courts,” said immigration consultant Jose Magaña-Salgado.

WRAG | Time flies. In a final blog post before her retirement from WRAG, Tamara Lucas Copeland reflects on her 12 years leading the organization. (Daily, 4/11)

Related: Two local organizations are honoring Tamara’s leadership at upcoming events. On April 29th, Fair Chance is naming Tamara as their 2019 Community Champion. And, the Nonprofit Village is recognizing Tamara with the Chairman’s Award on May 3rd.

HOUSING | DC’s Attorney General is going after bad landlords, and housing advocates are happy to see it. (WAMU, 4/8)

DC/GENTRIFICATION | After the community mobilized around #DontMuteDC, go-go is back at the Metro PCS store in Shaw. The store had turned off the music, which has been a mainstay on that corner for years, after residents in a new development complained. (WAMU, 4/10)

– The Maryland General Assembly approved a two-year, $700-million boost in funding for the state’s public schools, some of which will be used for free pre-K programs across the state. (WAMU, 4/9)

– Families in the Greater DC region are on the hunt for affordable child care. (WAMU, 4/8)

– Opinion: The need to teach our children about the dangers of hate-laced speech against Muslims (WaPo, 4/9)

Supreme Court Says Discrimination Is OK — If You’re a Muslim (Truthout, 4/7)

Greater Good: Lessons from Those Who Have Started Major Grantmaking Organizations (CEP, 4/10)

– The Kresge Foundation has announced that a quarter of its US assets will be invested with firms owned by people of color or women by 2025. The decision is based on equity, opportunity, and returns. (Chronicle, 4/4)

Books that spark joy!

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

– Buffy

Supreme Court hears challenges to the Muslim travel ban

DISCRIMINATION | On Wednesday, the Supreme Court heard a challenge to the latest ban on travel to the United States from several predominantly Muslim countries issued by the president. Challengers said that the president’s campaign speeches and Twitter posts about Muslims were a clear indication that the ban was aimed at this population. (NYT, 4/25)

Mr. Trump issued his first travel ban a week after he took office, causing chaos at the nation’s airports and starting a cascade of lawsuits and appeals. The case before the court, Trump v. Hawaii, No. 17-965, concerns Mr. Trump’s third and most concerted effort to make good on his campaign promise to secure the United States’ borders. The court had considered aspects of an earlier version of the travel ban, but this was the first time the justices heard arguments on any of the challenges.

LGBTQIA RIGHTS | A Maryland teenager is fighting for his school to create a policy to allow transgender students to use the locker rooms of their gender identity. (WaPo, 4/26)

HOUSING | Residents of DC’s Barry Farm housing project were dealt a small victory yesterday after the DC Court of Appeals sent the project back to the Zoning Commission because officials “did not fully address all contested issues as required by the zoning and redevelopment regulatory scheme.” (WAMU, 4/26)

PHILANTHROPY | The Silicon Valley Community Foundation Board of Directors have announced that its chief executive, Emmett Carson, was placed on paid administrative leave. (Chronicle, 4/26)

FOOD | Earlier this month, residents of wards 7 and 8 started a petition to make popular food delivery services deliver to these communities. Today, three of the companies have announced that they will extend their services. (WTOP, 4/27)

– The National Women’s Law Center has released a new study that found that Black girls are disproportionately targeted for dress-code violations at DC schools. (WaPo, 4/26)

– Beyond Starbucks: Some D.C. Business Owners Ramp Up Anti-Bias Trainings (WAMU, 4/26)

CRIMINAL JUSTICE | How prosecutors, along with changing federal, state and local laws, can reduce the prison population in America. (Citylab, 4/26)

Social Sector Job Openings 

Grants Management Specialist | DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities – New!
Vice President of Strategy | Gill Foundation
Associate, Program Design | Flamboyan Foundation
Associate, Program Operations | Flamboyan Foundation
Director of Communications and Marketing | Grantmakers for Effective Organizations
Part-Time Program Administrator for the Bernie Scholarship Awards Program Fund | Greater Washington Community Foundation
Membership and Program Coordinator | Funders Together to End Homelessness
Communications Associate | Venture Philanthropy Partners
Programs Officer | DC Bar Foundation
Vice President of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion | Council on Foundations
Development Director | Critical Exposure
Finance Manager (Part-Time) | United Philanthropy Forum
Communications Manager | 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.

This dog wants to tell you the weather.

– Kendra

Allowing Virginia DACA recipients to pay in-state tuition is good investment for the state, according to new report

– In 2014, Virginia made a decision to allow residents that are DACA recipients to pay in-state tuition at the state’s colleges and universities. Due to the current uncertainty surrounding the DACA program, the Commonwealth Institute for Fiscal Analysis has released a brief report detailing how extending in-state tuition to DACA recipients in Virginia is an investment for the state. (TCI, 1/2)

The availability of in-state tuition rates at public colleges and universities for Virginians provides a pathway to better jobs and opportunities that benefit students and the state economy. And looking at Virginia’s experience over the last three years, it’s clear that allowing Virginia students who have deferred action immigration status to pay in-state rates does not create a cost burden to the state or result in overcrowded classrooms.

During the 2015 legislative session, Virginia’s General Assembly recognized the importance of providing access to college for all Virginians and rejected a proposal that would have singled out a group of Virginians — those with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals status — and barred them from being able to pay in-state tuition rates.

– Prince William County schools population grows, and so does the debate over trailer classrooms and school overcrowding (Potomac Local, 1/4)

ECONOMY | In an effort to address Montgomery County’s $120 million operating budget shortfall, County Executive Ike Leggett has proposed cuts to the school system, Montgomery Cares community health program and others. (Bethesda Beat, 1/3)

AGINGWhen Nursing Homes Push Out Poor And Disabled Patients (KHN, 12/20)

DISCRIMINATION | The Justice Department has rescinded 25 legal guidance letters that provided explanations of federal laws related to civil rights protections. (NYT, 12/21)

WORKFORCE | The Gig Economy May Strengthen Men’s ‘Invisible Advantage’ at Work (CityLab, 1/3)

– Prince George’s County is updating a zoning ordinance and has proposed requiring developers to build with a minimum level of environmentally-friendly standards. (GGW, 1/3)

– Dominion Energy plans to permanently bury 4 million tons of coal ash in Prince William County. Legislators plan to introduce bills to stop them. (InsideNOVA, 1/4)

There is an American Ninja Warrior-inspired gym in Maryland!

– Kendra

How Children’s National Medical Center is helping the region’s children with asthma

CHILDREN/ HEALTH | More than 30,000 children in the Greater Washington region have asthma, and the number is expected to grow as climate change continues. Children’s National Medical Center is looking at ways to help these children, who are mostly low-income and children of color, manage their disease. (WAMU, 12/4)

According to Dr. Stephen Teach [chair of the department of pediatrics at Children’s National Medical Center], children with asthma in the D.C. area make somewhere between 7,000 and 8,000 emergency department visits per year to Children’s National alone.

Teach said that the 30,000 children in the D.C. area who struggle with asthma on a daily basis “tend to be concentrated in the most disadvantaged parts of Montgomery County, Prince George’s County and Washington, D.C., itself.”

And there’s another cost to families due to the respiratory disease. Chronic asthma leads to missed school days.

CLIMATE CHANGE | Yesterday, the Montgomery County Council declared a “climate emergency,” approving a resolution to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent 2027 and 100 percent by 2035 – one of the first jurisdictions in the country to do so. (WaPo, 12/5)

EDUCATIONEconomic disparities to exist after Arlington middle-school redistricting (InsideNOVA, 12/5)

HOMELESS SHELTERS | The DC Council has approved stricter shelter eligibility rules in an effort to ensure that the city’s shelters are used by DC residents. Many advocates believe this move will make it harder for people to prove they need shelter. (WaPo, 12/5)

AFFORDABLE HOUSINGHow Congress’s Tax Plans Could Kill a Million Affordable Homes in a Decade (Citylab, 12/4)

PUBLIC SAFETY | A DC police review board has ruled that the 2016 shooting of Terrence Sterling, an unarmed black motorcyclist, by a DC police officer has been ruled “unjustified.” The board also recommended that the officer be terminated. (WTOP, 12/5)

DISCRIMINATION | According to an NPR survey, there’s a gap between immigrant and non-immigrant Asian-Americans in the US reporting discrimination experiences, including violence and harassment. (NPR, 12/6)

POVERTY | Heather Reynolds, chief executive of Catholic Charities Fort Worth, discusses how her organization is working directly with families to help lift them out of poverty. (Chronicle, 12/5)

Help your stickperson survive!

– Kendra

This DC high school is struggling to prepare students for college

EDUCATION | Low-income students in the District can face many barriers to attending school regularly, including hunger and other factors arising from poverty, so it’s important for their school to offer supportive services to help them succeed. An NPR and WAMU investigation has found that last year Ballou High School graduated a large number of students that were chronically absent and possibly not prepared for college. (WAMU, 11/28)

An investigation by WAMU and NPR has found that Ballou High School’s administration graduated dozens of students despite high rates of unexcused absences. WAMU and NPR reviewed hundreds of pages of Ballou’s attendance records, class rosters and emails after a DCPS employee shared the private documents. The documents showed that half of the graduates missed more than three months of school last year, unexcused. One in five students was absent more than present — missing more than 90 days of school.

According to DCPS policy, if a student misses a class 30 times, he should fail that course. Research shows that missing 10 percent of school, about two days per month, can negatively affect test scores, reduce academic growth and increase the chances a student will drop out.

– Next month the Arlington County Board will vote to create “Housing Conservation Districts” to protect affordable housing in certain counties. (Arlnow, 11/28)

Montgomery, Prince George’s reach deal to preserve affordable housing along Purple Line (WaPo, 11/28)

WORKFORCE | DC has allocated more funding to apprenticeships in hopes that residents will take advantage of the program. (WaPo, 11/28)

PHILANTHROPY | Anthony Williams, former mayor of DC and chief executive officer of the Federal City Council, discusses how philanthropy and city officials can work together to ensure that funds are given to those who need it most. (Citylab, 11/28)

CRIMINAL JUSTICEJustice from Within: The Death Penalty and a New Vision for Criminal Justice through a Racial Justice Lens (NPQ, 11/28)

DISCRIMINATION | There has been an increase in anti-Muslim assaults since 2015 and 23 percent of Muslim adults in the US see discrimination, racism or prejudice as the most important problem facing them today. (Pew Research Center, 11/15)

ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICENortheast DC residents concerned about sharing the air with neighboring construction dumping site (FOX 5 DC, 11/27)

How many spiders do you think you’ve eaten in your lifetime?

– Kendra

Homelessness could become a protected class in the District

–  Almost 7,500 people were classified as homeless in the District as of January 2017. Due to the significant barriers the homeless population face in employment, housing, and other areas, a DC Council member has introduced a bill that would make being homeless a protected class under the D.C. Human Rights Act.  (WCP, 7/11)

The legislation would simply add homelessness to the law’s list of almost 20 protected traits and allow the homeless to bring legal complaints with the District, possibly resulting in civil penalties, compensatory damages, or reinstatement of jobs. Typically, homelessness is defined in D.C. as not having a “fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence,” including those sleeping on the streets, in cars, and in shelters. The council is also considering sweeping changes to its primary homeless services law, which officials say would bring D.C.’s definition of homelessness in line with federal guidelines.

Without Leadership at HUD, DC’s Anti-Homelessness Officials Have No Idea What’s Coming (Washingtonian, 6/29)

CHILDREN | A Maryland candidate for governor has proposed lending money to working families to assist in their childcare costs. (Baltimore Sun, 7/12)

DISCRIMINATION | Last year, Montgomery County, MD saw a surge in hate-based incidents in its school system. (WaPo, 7/11)

– A new George Mason University study ranks the fiscal health of Virginia and Maryland. (WBJ, 7/11)

– The District’s latest minimum wage increase to $12.50 went into effect on July 1. (DCFPI, 7/11)

HOUSINGBlack Homeowners Struggle as Housing Market Recovers (NBC News, 7/10)

GOVERNMENT | The District government is hosting a workshop on July 22 to hear resident feedback on various government forms including drivers license forms. More information here

Giant bowls you can relax in will come to Arlington soon.

– Kendra