Activists hold forum to voice opposition to the region’s incentive offers to Amazon

BUSINESS | On Tuesday night, activists from across the region, along with a few candidates for council, came together to voice their opposition to the incentive packages local jurisdictions have offered to Amazon. (WaPo, 5/23)

“If this locates in Montgomery County, it will put enormous pressure on our housing market. Adding tens of thousands of new people and their families to Montgomery County is a huge increase in our population, on our schools, on our services. It’s a big impact, and we have to realistically ask if that’s the way that we should add 50,000 jobs rather than investing in the companies that we already have,” said Brandy Brooks, a candidate for an At-Large seat on the Montgomery County Council.

Few of the speakers seemed to think that stopping regional officials from courting Amazon — and from Amazon accepting their entreaties — would be possible, but most argued that public money shouldn’t be put towards financial incentives for Amazon. They worried that by short-listing three jurisdictions in the Washington region, Amazon was all but ensuring that an incentives bidding war would happen.

GENDER EQUITY | The story of the women’s rights movement in 1968, including a Miss America pageant protest. (WaPo, 5/23)

PHILANTHROPY | Opinion: Why we should think of news media as a public good and how philanthropy can help save it. (Chronicle, 5/1 – Subscription needed)

YOUTH | DC Action for Children and the DC Alliance of Youth Advocates have partnered to release the DC Votes for Children and Youth 2018 Election Advocacy Guide to educate voters on the issues affecting DC’s youth. Read it here.

DISTRICT | ‘I’m From Here’: Washington, DC, Natives Fight Back Against the Whitewashing of Chocolate City (The Root, 5/23)

PUBLIC SAFETY | High school students in the District share their ideas on how to end gun violence in their neighborhoods. (WAMU, 5/24)

CENSUS 2020Alabama sues Census Bureau for counting undocumented immigrants (The Hill, 5/22)


The Capitals are going to the Stanley Cup finals!

– Kendra

Mapping the state of childhood trauma in the US

YOUTH/MENTAL HEALTH | Due to the recurrence of school shootings and the increased scrutiny of the impact of having an incarcerated parent, the state of mental health for youth has received more attention. Child Trends has released a report exploring the prevalence of adverse childhood experiences in the US. (NPR, 2/27)

American school shootings are a relatively rare form of childhood trauma—albeit less so than they used to be. But many other experiences that can cause lasting psychological damage, such as parental incarceration and economic hardship, are relatively common. Indeed, a new report from Child Trends, a Bethesda, Maryland, nonprofit that conducts research on improving children’s lives, found that almost half of all American children have experienced at least one potentially traumatic “adverse childhood experience,” or ACE.

The most prevalent ACEs that American children experience are economic hardship and divorce or separation of a parent or guardian. Nationally, one in every ten kids has experienced three or more ACEs.

NONPROFITS | How Social Services Groups Are Stepping Up Fundraising to Combat Threats (Chronicle, 2/27 – Subscription needed)

IMMIGRATION | Yesterday, the Supreme Court ruled that immigrants awaiting decisions on their status in the US do not have a right to bond hearings. Many believe this could lead to immigrants being detained indefinitely. (Newsweek, 2/27)

RACIAL EQUITY | Fifty years after the Kerner Report, a study prompted by former President Lyndon B. Johnson after the rise in racial unrest in 1968, researchers say poverty and segregation has worsened. (NPR, 2/27)

REGION | Christian Dorsey, member of Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments‘ Board of Directors, and Jason Miller, CEO of the Greater Washington Partnership, joined the Kojo Nnamdi Show to discuss the Greater Washington region’s and the need for regional goals. Listen here.

GENDER WAGE GAP | A Georgetown University study found that a woman would need one more college degree than her male peer to receive the same salary. (WJLA, 2/27)

EDUCATIONManassas Park City School Board bans discrimination against gay and transgender students and staff (Prince William Times, 2/27)


Yesterday, Maryland native Kevin Durant, Golden State Warriors player, joined his team in a trip to the National Museum of African American History and Culture with some local children from his old neighborhood.

– Kendra

New study finds it will take 20 years for new teachers in the Greater Washington region to buy a home

EDUCATION | It is generally believed that teachers are not compensated adequately for their work to educate future generations. A National Center on Teacher Quality report supports this claim. In the Greater Washington region, it will take a new teacher almost twenty years to buy a home if they are saving 10% of their annual income to buy a home and putting down a 20% down payment. (WAMU, 10/17)

Not surprisingly, D.C. is one of the least affordable places for new teachers to rent a one-bedroom apartment, assuming the median rent is $2,164 per month. First year teachers in the D.C. metro area make between $47,000 and $52,000 per year, depending on the school system.

Even a teacher with an advanced degree making the maximum salary in their district would struggle to pay the median homeowner cost in the region. The report shows a teacher who makes the maximum salary in the district spends 42 percent of their salary on homeowner costs. In Fairfax County, 51 percent of a teacher’s salary are spent on homeowner costs.

GENDER EQUITY | According to a new report by American University’s Kogod School of Business for Women in Technology, women only hold 14% of board seats in the Greater Washington region. (WBJ, 10/17)

HEALTH CARE | Almost half of the DC Council disapprove of the consulting firm running United Medical Center, the only public hospital in the District and the only full-service hospital east of the Anacostia River, and have reservations about renewing its contract. (WaPo, 10/17)

HOUSING | An old office building in Hyattsville, MD will be turned into an apartment building with mostly one bedroom units. (Hyattsville Wire, 10/13)

PHILANTHROPY
– George Soros, founder of Open Society Foundations, has committed $18 billion to his organization, which places the foundation as the second largest private grantmaker in terms of assets. (Chronicle, 10/17)

– Rick Hess of the American Enterprise Institute discussed the need for education funders to be more accountable to the programs they fund. (EdWeek, 10/10) What do you think?

TRAVEL BANFederal Judge In Maryland Blocks Trump’s Latest Travel Ban Attempt (NPR, 10/18)


Help teach google how to recognize doodles.

– 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

DC is looking to lease apartments for homeless families

HOMELESSNESS | In an effort to reduce the cost of housing families experiencing homelessness in hotels and motels, which costs the city about $80,000 a night, Mayor Bowser would like to lease apartments instead. The plan, which some are declaring a step in the right direction, will allow families to stay in the apartments for about 120 days. (WaPo, 4/21)

The city is looking for complexes within one to two blocks of Metro rail stations, amid some of the District’s most desirable real estate.

Bowser’s initiative is the latest step in her efforts to address the District’s high rate of family homelessness, an issue at the center of her 2014 mayoral campaign and on which she has spent considerable political capital since taking office, with mixed results. Between 2007 and 2016, the District’s population of homeless families grew by 191 percent.

The mayor has earned praise from homeless advocates for expanding family shelter access year-round. Under the District’s previous policy, families were admitted only on nights cold enough to trigger a hypothermia alert.

RACE | Tamara Lucas Copeland, president of WRAG, discusses perceptions of racial identities while reflecting on her own, and challenges others to confront their unconscious biases. (Daily, 4/24)

AFFORDABLE HOUSING | Housing advocates worry about the accountability of a Housing and Urban Development program that transfers failing public housing units to the private sector. (Citylab, 4/21)

MARYLAND | Growing pains: Election in a small Maryland city exposes racial, class divides (WaPo, 4/22)

ENVIRONMENT | The type and amount of food we eat has an impact on the Earth. (NPR, 4/22)

GENDER EQUITY | Loudoun County’s new Commission on Women and Girls, created to help this population with financial planning, employment, etiquette coaching, social media safety, domestic violence and the STEM field, had its first meeting last week. (Loudoun Times, 4/20)

WORKFORCE | The Maryland Technology Development Corporation is launching a $1 million fund to help technology startups cover the gap between seed funding and venture capital investments. (WBJ, 4/21)

EDUCATIOND.C. charter school for adult students could be shut down (WaPo, 4/22)


A close-up of Nemo and other photos…

– Kendra

Students from two DC schools are having a conversation about race

EDUCATION | A recent study found that 71 percent of the District’s Black students did not attend school with White students. Now an exchange program with Maret School (a private school) and Cesar Chavez Public Charter School is encouraging students to get to know each other and discuss their differences. (WAMU, 4/12)

The day was the brainchild of [history teacher] Ayo Magwood, who taught at Cesar Chavez before coming to Maret. It is the culminating event in a yearlong program she thought up during the contentious presidential campaign. “I was very concerned whether young people would be able to grow up and talk across difference and understand each other,” Magwood said. “I was really just struck by the fact that many of these young people have zero contact with each other.”

D.C.’s schools show evidence of the city’s racial and economic disparities. A study from the University of California in Los Angeles this year found that 71 percent of black students in D.C. public and charter schools have virtually zero white classmates. Cesar Chavez has no white students.

Report breaks down hate crimes in Montgomery County schools (WTOP, 4/12)

GENDER EQUITY | The District, in partnership with the American Association of University Women, is training women on salary negotiation as one strategy in closing the wage gap. (WaPo, 4/10)

FOOD | Prince George’s County will be opening its first Whole Foods today and county officials are hopeful for the new developments it will bring. (WaPo, 4/11)

ENVIRONMENT
– These are the programs at stake in the administration’s proposed Environmental Protection Agency cuts. (NYT, 4/10)

– A Virginia river is now fifth on a list of most endangered rivers in the nation. (WTOP, 4/11)

POVERTYCan a Difficult Childhood Enhance Cognition? (Atlantic, 4/11)


Find your local farmers markets here.

– Kendra

HIV prevention drug awareness in DC focuses on black women

HIV/AIDS | Addressing the HIV rate in the District, which is the nation’s highest, has long been a priority for the city. Now the city has partnered with local organizations to raise awareness and increase access to a new prevention drug for the community that are the second-highest demographic at risk for HIV: black women. But with this new awareness, they are still dealing with the barriers related to accessing the drug. (StreetSense, 3/22)

Low-income Black women or those who are homeless face systemic barriers to accessing PrEP when they are HIV-negative. If they are HIV-positive, they face significant stigma surrounding HIV in society and even within the medical community.

Since PrEP requires a prescription and follow-up appointments every three months, people with unstable housing face additional challenges in trying to obtain PrEP. Simply lacking a place to store the medication is a problem.

Dr. Monica Vohra, a primary care physician at Bread for the City, noted that transportation is a large problem for adherence to PrEP by patients experiencing homelessness. “How do you get to your provider to have these follow-up visits that are pretty much required for you to be able to take the medication?” Vohra asked. “PrEP is useful if it’s taken correctly. Its efficacy really reduces if it’s not taken on a consistent basis.”

Related: The Washington AIDS Partnership launched its PrEP for Women Initiative last year to increase knowledge and use of Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) among women of color in the District. Channing Wickham, executive director of Washington AIDS Partnership said this about the program,”We are proud to be managing one of the largest programs helping women of color.”

NONPROFITS/EVENT | Dr. Donney John, executive director of NOVA Scripts Central, reflects on his experience at WRAG’s Fundamentals of Corporate Social Responsibility: A Two-Day Workshop in 2016 and shares why the workshop was valuable for his work with his clinic. (Daily, 3/23)

Related: Learn how to strengthen relationships with existing corporate funders and attract the attention of future corporate partners at WRAG’s Fundamentals of Corporate Social Responsibility: A Two-Day Workshop. Register here

PHILANTHROPY | This week foundation leaders met with members of Congress during Foundations on the Hill, an annual event sponsored by the Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers, the Alliance for Charitable Reform, and the Council on Foundations. The topics discussed included the Johnson Amendment and recent proposed budget cuts. (Chronicle, 3/22 – Subscription needed)

LGBTQ/AGINGAdvocates fear erasure of LGBTQ seniors from national elder survey (MetroWeekly, 3/20)

REGION | Both Loudoun County and DC saw the most population growth in our region. (WTOP, 3/23)

GENDER EQUITY | Women in the District and Maryland most likely will have equal pay by 2065, but nationally, women of color might have to wait about 200 more years according to new research by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research. (Citylab, 3/22)

MENTAL HEALTH | NPR explores how a ‘scarcity mindset‘ can make problems worse and how to deal with it. (WAMU, 3/23)

Related: Last year’s Brightest Minds speaker Eldar Shafir, Professor of Psychology and Public Affairs at Princeton University, discussed how scarcity impacted individuals living in poverty. Read about the session here.


Would you have guessed the right letter?

– Kendra