Northern Virginia’s ranking of healthiest communities hides inequities

HEALTH/EQUITY
Op-ed: Northern Virginia’s recent health rankings mask big disparities, argues Patricia Mathews, president and CEO of the Northern Virginia Health Foundation (and former chair of WRAG’s board). She calls on leaders to reverse decades of disinvestment by using census tract-level data to focus interventions and investments on those areas with the most marginalized communities. (WaPo, 4/19)

Every March, a national study comes out showing that Northern Virginia is home to the healthiest counties in Virginia… Northern Virginia should be proud of our overall health and well-being — but also well-informed about what’s missing from the county health rankings story. The rankings are based on averages that mask tremendous disparities in Northern Virginia. And if you dig deeper, census tract data paint a stark picture of Northern Virginia’s 15 “islands of disadvantage” — clusters of places where residents face multiple health challenges, including poverty, less education, unaffordable housing and a lack of health insurance.

HOUSING/HOMELESSNESS
Op-ed: DC’s homeless encampment ‘cleanups’ are only making things worse (WaPo, 4/19)

– A proposed HUD policy that would eject immigrant families from public housing to make room for what it calls the “most vulnerable” is being fought by housing advocates. (CityLab, 4/19)

CENSUS 2020 | The Supreme Court heard arguments about the proposed citizenship question on the 2020 Census yesterday. Here’s a run-down of what happened. (WaPo, 4/23)

CHILD CARE | For Families Who Need Them Most, Child Care Subsidies Haven’t Always Helped (WAMU, 4/23)

GREATER DC REGION | The mass exodus from Greater Washington continues. And it got worse last year. (WBJ, 4/23)

IMMIGRATION | Some asylum-seekers currently detained by ICE have initiated several hunger strikes, demanding release as their cases are adjudicated. (NPR, 4/19)

TRANSPORTATION
– Metro is putting $65 million toward sustainability efforts. (Curbed, 4/22)

Arlington County to encourage biking with safer bike paths, more riding options (WTOP, 4/24)


As we continue to celebrate Earth Day this week, here’s a list of 101 ways to fight climate change

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

– Buffy

New research shows how a citizenship question would suppress the census count

CENSUS 2020
– Tomorrow the Supreme Court will hear arguments regarding the attempt to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census. The Court will consider whether the administration violated administrative law and the Constitution in adding the question to the census. (WaPo, 4/22)

A crucial issue in the case is whether adding this question for the first time since 1950 will hurt the ability of the census to accurately count the American population. In particular, critics of the administration fear the question will dissuade some US residents, especially immigrants, from answering the census. Research suggests these fears are justified. Surveys and experiments show that the citizenship question would make people less likely to respond to the census and provide complete information if they do respond. This is particularly true for Latinos and immigrants.

Opinion: A C.E.O.’s Plea: Don’t Mess With the Census (NYT, 4/22)

RACIAL EQUITY/EDUCATION
– Federal officials are investigating a complaint that alleged that Montgomery County schools discriminated against Asian American students while seeking to address racial disparities in two middle school magnet programs. (WaPo, 4/21)

Opinion: Georgetown students have voted in favor of reparations. Will America? (WaPo, 4/21)

CLIMATE | Schools aren’t teaching students about climate change, and a majority of parents, regardless of political background, wish they would. (NPR, 4/22)

CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORM | Criminal justice reform advocates are alarmed by a proposed new federal hiring requirement that would throw up a potential roadblock for those accused of misdemeanors or low-level felonies. (WaPo, 4/21)

HOUSING/EQUITY | District residents who live in federally-assisted housing can be evicted for marijuana use even though it is now legal in DC – but a new bill may change that. (dcist, 4/19)

TRANSPORTATION | The Greater Washington region is one step closer to the development of a 35-mile underground tunnel that would take electric vehicles from DC to Baltimore in 15 minutes. (WAMU, 4/18)


Happy Earth Day! Here’s a few things going on to celebrate.

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

– Buffy

The number of children in the region in foster care is down

CHILD WELFARE | There are half as many kids in foster care in the Greater Washington region than there were 10 years ago, and child welfare experts believe this is a sign of success for programs working to keep families together. But despite the achievements, there are still challenges. (WAMU, 4/17)

While the numbers of children in foster care in the region has declined since 2008…there’s now a larger percentage of older children in foster care who need placement with families, which this presents a different challenge… Additionally, agencies say they need more parents who are available to foster. The system’s racial makeup is also off balance. In 2017, more than two-thirds of children in foster care in the Washington region were African American, according to the report by the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments.

RACIAL EQUITY | Two new updates from the Meyer Foundation team: Maryland Program Director Julian Haynes writes about Meyer’s work to address school pushout, and Aisha Alexander-Young, Senior Director for Strategy & Equity, discusses her role at the foundation and how it is driven by a commitment to anti-racism. (Medium, 4/16)

HOUSING
Conflict brewing over HQ2-tied affordable housing money (WBJ, 4/17)

– Notwithstanding the housing crunch, there is a construction freeze in Montgomery County near four schools in an attempt to control class size. (WAMU, 4/16)

Did Silver Spring build enough housing to stay affordable? Sort of. (GGWash, 4/17)

HEALTH/INEQUALITY | What Would a Post-ACA America Look Like? (Truthout, 4/11)

SOCIAL IMPACT | Reimagining the Economy: The Social Justice Enterprise (NPQ, 4/15)


Social Sector Job Openings 

Senior Manager of Member Engagement and Partnerships | United Philanthropy Forum – New!
Director of Institutional Writing and Strategy​ | ​League of Conservation Voters Education Fund
Director of Development​ | ​Washington Tennis & Education Foundation
Director of Operations​ | ​Washington Tennis & Education Foundation
Development Director​ | ​Greater DC Diaper Bank
Grants Manager, Data and Reporting​ | ​The Colorado Health Organization
Director, Flamboyan Arts Fund​ | ​Flamboyan Foundation
Membership Director​ | ​Council on Foundations
Development Director​ | ​Council on Foundations
Communications Director​ |​ Council on Foundations
Learning Engagement Manager​ | ​ Council on Foundations
Racial Justice Program Officer​ | ​Wellspring Philanthropic Fund
Program Officer​ | ​The Morris & Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation
Program Coordinator | TGR Foundation – A Tiger Woods Charity
Individual Giving Manager | Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company
President and CEO | Grantmakers for Effective Organizations
Senior Program Officer | Potomac Health Foundation
Program Manager | DC127
Development Manager  | DC127
Corporate Responsibility- Mid-Atlantic Region, Vice President | JPMorgan Chase
Programs Officer | DC Bar Foundation

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. Click here to view the community calendar.


Did you see the large meteor that exploded in the sky earlier this week?

The (Almost) Daily WRAG will be back on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday next week!

– Buffy

Montgomery County sees significant increase in the number of uninsured children seeking health care

HEALTH | According to the Montgomery County’s Department of Health and Human Services, for the first time there is a significant increase in the number of uninsured children seeking health care in the county. The increase may be linked to an increasing number of immigrant children released from detention centers earlier this year. (WAMU, 4/16)

While new immigrant children are seeking more health care services, the broader relationship between immigrants and social services in Montgomery County is more complicated … the fear of deportation is limiting the uptake of certain benefits and services. Even with the uptake in requests for services … “there is now clear evidence of families who are reluctant to access those services for fear that it will impact their applications for long-term status here in the country,” said County Council member Gabe Albornoz. According to the Pew Research Center, 425,000 unauthorized migrants lived in the Washington Metropolitan Area in 2016.

CENSUS 2020 | Last week, the United Philanthropy Forum joined a number of foundations and other philanthropy-serving organizations in signing an amicus curiae brief to the Supreme Court. The brief discussed the ways in which philanthropy relies on census data and made the case to uphold the lower courts’ rulings to set aside the citizenship question from the 2020 Census. (Forum, 4/4)

HOUSING/HOMELESSNESS
Despite Housing Crunch, Montgomery County Expected To Freeze New Development (WAMU, 4/16)

– The recently opened Downtown Day Services Center offers many services, including a clean shower and laundry, to those experiencing homelessness. (WaPo, 4/15)

EMANCIPATION DAY | As DC commemorated Emancipation Day yesterday, the DC Fiscal Policy Institute recognizes the District’s important position as the first place where enslaved Black people were freed by federal action, and highlights the long history of institutional policies that maintained racial inequities, with impacts that continue to this day. (DCFPI, 4/16)

ARTS/CULTURE | Cities across the country, including DC, are drafting documents to help protect their cultural resources from economic changes — but do they really help cities save their art and music scenes?  (CityLab, 4/10)

DISTRICT
Tragedy At Notre Dame Might Accelerate Fire Safety Work Underway At National Cathedral (dcist, 4/15)

– Capital Bikeshare is removing electric bikes from its fleet after receiving  complaints that the front wheels aren’t working well. (WaPo, 4/14)

PHILANTHROPY As We Wait for Attorney General Barr to Release the Mueller Report, What Foundations Should Do (Chronicle, 4/11 – Subscription)


City Paper has a Peeps diorama contest – vote for your favorite!

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

– Buffy

Thousands of families in the District could be moved out of public housing for urgent repairs

HOUSING | Years of neglect in the District has led to a crisis in public housing and the DC Housing Authority has asked local government to step in and help the agency pay for repairs. In testimony before the DC Council last week, Housing Authority director Tyrone Garrett said thousands of families in the District could be moved out of public housing to allow for urgent repairs to be made. (WAMU, 4/12)

The agency said 2,610 of its “extremely urgent” units need attention before the end of this year and an additional 4,445 units of its approximately 8,000-unit portfolio are in “critical condition,” – which means the vast majority of DC’s public housing is in serious disrepair. Garrett said the Housing Authority would need $2.2 billion over the next 17 years to get all of DC’s public housing back in good shape — and $343 million is required in the next fiscal year just to address lead and environmental hazards in the city’s most unsafe units.

EDUCATION
– In honor of 15 years, PNC Financial Services Group has made an additional $150 million pledge to PNC Grow Up Great, its program to expand access to high-quality early learning for young children in 40 communities.

– They believe more students should attend neighborhood schools. But what happens when it’s their child? (WaPo, 4/13)

ARTS/CULTURE | In the New Haven, CT, neighborhood of Dixwell, a once-thriving historic African-American neighborhood, Titus Kaphar – last year’s WRAG Annual Meeting keynote speaker – found a home for himself, and he’s creating a center there to nurture emerging artists. (NYT, 4/12)

GUN VIOLENCE | What Are Maryland Schools Doing To Prevent Gun Violence? (Kojo Nnamdi Show, 4/15)

RACIAL JUSTICE 
– Nikki Highsmith Vernick, President and CEO of the Horizon Foundation, writes in a Letter to the Editor that philanthropists should tackle racial justice. (Baltimore Sun, 4/11)

– A new documentary, Segregated By Design, examines the forgotten history of how our federal, state and local governments unconstitutionally segregated every major metropolitan area in America through law and policy. The film is based on The Color of Law, by Richard Rothstein (another past WRAG annual meeting speaker).

How Parole Perpetuates a Cycle of Incarceration and Instability (Truthout, 4/7)


Never give up – it’s all about the come back. Congrats, Tiger.

The (Almost) Daily WRAG will be back on Wednesday and Thursday!

– Buffy

New committee to address disproportionate maternal mortality among African-American women in DC

HEALTH/RACE
– Joining nearly 30 other jurisdictions, including Maryland and Virginia, a new Maternal Mortality Review Committee has been created to address the disproportionate death rates of African-American women in the District. The committee is made up of various maternal health experts and was formed after several years of calls to study the deaths of pregnant women and new mothers in DC. (WAMU, 4/12)

With rates double that of the nation’s, Washington is home to a decades-long maternal mortality crisis. Nearly 75 percent of District mothers who died of complications from pregnancy, labor and childbirth between 2014 and 2016 were African American. Nationally, black women are three to four times more likely to die than white women. According to the CDC, nationally, from 2011 to 2013, black women experienced roughly 43.5 deaths per 100,000 live births on average, compared to 12.7 deaths for white mothers. One reason for the disparity, says Ebony Marcelle, Director of midwifery at Community of Hope’s Family Health and Birth Center, is that the health risks associated with childbirth are coupled with racial bias in the medical field. Black women, she says, are often dismissed or ignored by health care providers.

COMMUNITY | Crystal Carr Townsend, President of the Healthcare Initiative Foundation, WRAG Board Member, and member of WRAG’s Healthy Communities Working Group, is profiled in Bethesda Magazine. The piece highlights HIF’s work in Germantown to build a collaborative approach to ensuring that low-income families have critical health and wellness services. (Bethesda Magazine, 4/8)

EQUITY | Banks in DC are increasingly concentrated in affluent neighborhoods, while other areas that could benefit from more banking options are still underserved by financial institutions. (WAMU, 4/10)

HOUSING 
– A new bill in the DC Council would require the creation of more affordable housing when quasi-governmental agencies sell or redevelop their own properties. (WBJ, 4/10)

RACE/EDUCATION | Georgetown Students Vote On Proposal To Make Amends For University’s Slaveholding Past (WAMU, 4/11)

EDUCATION/SAFETY | Pre-K and elementary students are learning safety skills on their new kid-sized roadway at Thomas Elementary School in Northeast DC. (WAMU, 4/1)

PHILANTHROPY
– How and why funders can invest more in the pro-immigrant movement. (NCRP, 4/11)

–  This Is What A Philanthropist Looks Like (Refinery29, 4/9)


Social Sector Job Openings 

Director of Institutional Writing and Strategy​ | ​League of Conservation Voters Education Fund – New!
Director of Development​ | ​Washington Tennis & Education Foundation – New!
Director of Operations​ | ​Washington Tennis & Education Foundation – New!
Development Director​ | ​Greater DC Diaper Bank
Program & Marketing Coordinator​ | ​ACT for Alexandria
Grants Manager, Data and Reporting​ | ​The Colorado Health Organization
Director, Flamboyan Arts Fund​ | ​Flamboyan Foundation
Membership Director​ | ​Council on Foundations
Development Director​ | ​Council on Foundations
Communications Director​ |​ Council on Foundations
Learning Engagement Manager​ | ​ Council on Foundations
Racial Justice Program Officer​ | ​Wellspring Philanthropic Fund
Program Officer​ | ​The Morris & Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation
Program Coordinator | TGR Foundation – A Tiger Woods Charity
Individual Giving Manager | Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company
President and CEO | Grantmakers for Effective Organizations
Grants Program Specialist | Jack and Jill Foundation
Director of Development Partnerships – New England | League of Conservation Voters
Senior Program Officer | Potomac Health Foundation
Program Manager | DC127
Development Manager  | DC127
Corporate Responsibility- Mid-Atlantic Region, Vice President | JPMorgan Chase
Programs Officer | DC Bar Foundation

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. Click here to view the community calendar.


Spring has sprung, and our region has over 100 public gardens to prove it.

The (Almost) Daily WRAG will be back on Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday next week!

– Buffy

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)

EDUCATION/CHILDCARE
– 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)

EQUITY
– 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)

PHILANTHROPY
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