Virginia’s economy has recovered from the recession, according to a new report

ECONOMY | A recent report from Old Dominion University has found that Virginia has finally recovered from the 2008 recession. The report cites the state’s dependence on federal government spending, like other jurisdictions in the region, as a major reason why it took so long. (WaPo, 12/15)

Virginia’s gross domestic product, a measure of all goods and services, has grown for five consecutive quarters since March 2017, the ODU report found. That’s a surge of strength for an economy that had been stubbornly anemic. Once a powerhouse state, Virginia lagged the nation as a whole in economic growth for six years in a row, with some quarters tumbling into contraction.

A big reason the state took so long to recover from the recession is that government spending was slow to ramp back up. Sequestration — the trick Congress used in 2013 to impose automatic government spending cuts — has hamstrung Virginia’s economy ever since.

WRAG ANNOUNCEMENT | Yanique Redwood, president and CEO of the Consumer Health Foundation and chair of WRAG’s board of directors, has announced her decision to resign from WRAG’s board. Nicky Goren, president and CEO of the Meyer Foundation and current vice chair of WRAG’s board will move immediately into the position of Chair. Read more here (WRAG, 12/17)

CSR | Katy Moore, WRAG’s managing director of corporate strategy, presents the business case for corporate community involvement in a new blog. (Daily, 12/17)

PUBLIC SAFETY | I’m a Trauma Surgeon and a Shooting Victim. I Have Every Right to Speak Out on Gun Violence. (Atlantic, 12/15)

REGION | For the first time, the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments has nominated board leaders who are all Black. It has also approved all women for its 2019 Corporate Officers. (WTOP, 12/15)

CHARITABLE GIVING | Why You Shouldn’t Donate Angry: Pitfalls of Rage Giving (YES! Magazine, 12/12)

FOOD | The new farm bill includes funding for grants that specifically help farmers of color and indigenous communities. (Atlantic, 12/16)

Hey all! I’ve really enjoyed my time here at WRAG and creating the Daily WRAG for two years, but I’m writing to say Wednesday will be my last day. Thanks to everyone who’s engaged with the Daily or have left a comment or an email. Buffy Beaudoin-Schwartz, who served as Daily WRAG editor before, will take over writing the Daily – on a modified schedule- in the new year.

– Kendra

REMINDER | Daily WRAG readers, we want your opinion! In order to improve your reading experience, we ask that you complete this short survey by Wednesday, December 19 to let us know what you like and what could be better on the blog.

Here’s something to make you smile on this Monday:

work joke
– Reader’s Digest

How foundations, teachers and investors are partnering to change education

EDUCATION | Teachers and others in the education field have been working on personalizing learning to ensure that all students are successful in the classroom for decades. Here are some examples of how philanthropy, investors, nonprofits and teachers are partnering to make this happen. (Barron’s, 9/22)

In the U.S., wealthy investors and foundations that agree that the traditional public school system isn’t serving most students have become attracted to personalized learning initiatives because, unlike innovations practiced at a single charter school, approaches to personalizing instruction can be adopted by any school—public, private, or charter.

“It’s scalable and not dependent on any one teacher or school or school system—it’s looking at empowering students to get the skills that they need to be successful in the classroom,” says Nick Tedesco, senior philanthropic advisor at J.P. Morgan Private Bank.

PHILANTHROPY FELLOWS | Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers is excited to welcome the 2018-2019 Philanthropy Fellows! Read about them here. (Daily, 9/26)

ARTS & HUMANITIES‘The Smithsonian can do more and should do more,’ says advocate for a Latino museum (WaPo, 9/25)

ECONOMY | Arlington County’s manager says there will be a gap of $20 million to $35 million in the next fiscal year, and residents should brace for increased real estate taxes and program cuts. (WaPo, 9/25)

GENDER GAP | A new study from GuideStar found that the gender pay gap in large nonprofits persists but is shrinking at the smaller nonprofits. (Chronicle, 9/24 – Subscription needed)

PUBLIC SAFETYD.C. Aims To Crack Down On K2 Suppliers With Emergency Legislation (WAMU, 9/25)

HOUSING | DC Students from the Academy of Construction and Design at IDEA Public Charter School have built two tiny houses in Deanwood. (Urban Turf, 9/25)

WORKFORCE | Maryland’s Governor Larry Hogan has announced that as of October 1, state employees will get 60 paid parental leave days after their child’s birth or the adoption of a child. (WTOP, 9/25)

How many people in the US have your name?

– Kendra

How to combat displacement by building community wealth

– The Democracy Collaborative has released a new report, Community Control of Land and Housing, which explores the different strategies and tools that can be used to help create inclusive, participatory, and sustainable economies built on community ownership. (Democracy Collaborative, 8/20)

Land and housing are two of the most important cornerstones of any modern society—and a basic human need. In the United States, land and housing have long served as an economic engine and one of the primary sources of wealth and stability for a great number of people. However, a historical legacy of displacement and exclusion, firmly rooted in racism and discriminatory public policy, has fundamentally restricted access and shaped ownership dynamics, particularly for people of color and low-income communities.

– In a Health Affairs blog, Brian C. Castrucci, CEO of de Beaumont Foundation, Loel Solomon, vice president of community health at Kaiser Permanente, and Shelley Hearne, president of CityHealth, write about the use of inclusionary zoning as a tool to ensure affordable housing. (Health Affairs, 8/20)

HUMAN RIGHTS | People who are incarcerated across the US are launching a strike today on the anniversary of the death of Black Panther member George Jackson, who was killed while incarcerated. They are calling for an end to prison slavery, poor living conditions, death by incarceration, and others. (Nation, 8/21)

– Prince William County is expecting 13,500 residents to become eligible for Medicaid next year. (InsideNOVA, 8/18)

The Secret to Keeping Black Men Healthy? Maybe Black Doctors (NYT, 8/20)

RACISM | On the Citizen ED blog, Justin Cohen advises other white people on how to address casual racism they may experience in their communities or workplaces. (Citizen ED, 8/16)

ECONOMY | The Problem Behind the D.C. Mayor’s Retort to Donald Trump (Citylab, 8/16)

The Daily will be back on Thursday!

This longtime advice columnist has complied the worst manager stories they’ve been asked for advice about. Hopefully, you’ve never experienced any of these.

– Kendra

Businesses in Alexandria brace for next summer’s Metro closure

WORKFORCE | Next year, six Virginia Metro stations will be closed for almost 100 days between Memorial Day and Labor Day so that Metro can rebuild their platforms. Business owners near these stations are already considering the impact of the closures on their shoppers. (WaPo, 8/13)

No trains will run south of Reagan National Airport during the shutdown, including to Braddock Road, where Rob Krupicka worries how his Sugar Shack Donuts shop will survive a summer without commuters loading up on sugar and caffeine before work.

He’s thinking of cutting back on hours, closing some days or “borrowing my way through the summer, which is not easy for a small business to do,” he said. “But I’m going to have to do something.”

CENSUS 2020 | Over 33 philanthropy-serving organizations, including WRAG, signed onto a letter opposing the addition of the citizenship question to the 2020 census. Read the letter here. (United Philanthropy Forum, 8/1)

Related: WRAG members understand that a fair and complete census is critical to the fight for a racially equitable region. WRAG has formed a 2020 Census Working Group that is currently identifying how it can leverage the resources of local philanthropy and other stakeholders to ensure an accurate and complete census count in the region. All WRAG members are welcome to join this group. Click here for info on the next meeting.

PHILANTHROPY | In honor of Black Philanthropy Month, Tyrone McKinley Freeman, assistant professor of philanthropic studies at the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, discusses the history and growth of giving in the Black community. (Chronicle, 8/13 – Subscription needed)

HOUSINGBen Carson Moves Forward With Push To Change Fair Housing Rule (NPR, 8/13)

PUBLIC SAFETY | DC Attorney General Karl Racine has filed lawsuits against property owners in four communities due to multiple police visits for “illegal activity”. (DCist, 8/13)

ENVIRONMENTMontgomery Parks Plans Hunting Operations in 46 Parks This Year To Thin Deer Herds (Bethesda Beat, 8/13)

ECONOMY | The rising cost of goods in the US has erased the wage growth workers have experienced in recent years. (WaPo, 8/10)

Can you tell which one of these snacks is a cupcake?

– Kendra


New report suggests that Montgomery County’s economy is stagnant

ECONOMY | A report released last week analyzing Montgomery County’s economy found that its slow job and business growth, rising debt and dependence on the federal government may cause problems for the county in the future. The report found that between 2006 and 2016, Montgomery County only added 210 jobs. (WaPo, 4/27)

It also found that Montgomery is “the largest borrower among all Maryland counties,” with $5.9 billion in debt in fiscal 2016 and debt service taking up more and more of the county’s budget. The county had the fourth-
fastest annual growth in debt in the state between 2012 and 2016, behind Prince George’s, Garrett and Worcester counties.

But the report also pointed out some of Montgomery’s greatest strengths — good schools, a highly educated and talented workforce, growing transportation options — which the authors said make it the “finest possible location” for a certain headquarters-hunting tech giant (the landing of which, incidentally, would help to solve [many] of the economic problems the county faces).

– DC’s graduation rate was 73% in 2017, but data released on Friday suggests that only 46% of seniors are on track to graduate this year. (WaPo, 4/27)

– GMU study: More than half of all U.S. young adults have no college degree (Fairfax County Times, 4/20)

PHILANTHROPY | Lisa Ranghelli, senior director of assessment and special projects at NCRP, urges readers to support Within Our Lifetime’s and Old Money New System Community of Practice’s new campaign, #DisruptPhilanthropyNOW. The campaign aims to create more accountability among funders by requesting racial justice and movement building organizations to share their stories about their interactions with foundations. (NCRP Blog, 4/25)

HEALTH | What DC Can Do to Improve Access to Health Care for Thousands of Immigrant Residents (DCFPI, 4/26)

HOUSING | Read how Anita Bonds, one of DC’s at-large councilmembers, and the three challengers for her seat on the DC Council respond to questions about housing and infrastructure. (GGWash, 4/26)

Here’s something to make you smile on this Monday: A perfectly timed photo!


Do you want to be involved? Send us a picture of something that has made you smile and we may include it in the “Daily WRAG’s Monday Smile”!

Email us your content at

– Kendra