New data show how life expectancy varies across the region

HEALTH/EQUITY | The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Virginia Commonwealth University’s Center on Society and Health have released a new map showing wide variations in life expectancy for babies born in different areas of the Greater Washington region. The map shows that opportunities to be as healthy as possible vary by neighborhood.

The aim of these maps is to serve as a resource—raising awareness of factors that shape health and spurring discussion and action on a complex web of factors that influence health. In this case, the average life expectancy in the District of Columbia and Prince George’s County is 78 years – 8 years shorter than for babies born in either Arlington or Fairfax Counties.

Related: Next month, Dr. Steven Woolf, head of the Center on Society and Health at VCU, will present as part of WRAG’s 2016 Brightest Minds series. Join us to learn more about the social and economic factors that influence health and contribute to wide disparities in life expectancy across our region. This event is open to the public. Find out more and register here.

COMMUNITY | The University of Maryland has announced a $75 million initiative to support student philanthropy work called the “Do Good Institute”, which will build on the work of formerly named UMD’s Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership and be run through the public policy school.  The goal of this new effort is to establish the University of Maryland as a global leader in advancing social change, philanthropy and nonprofit leadership. (WaPo, 9/22) UMD’s Do Good Institute is WRAG’s long-time partner on the Philanthropy Fellows program, through which over 50 students have gained experience in philanthropy and learned about the region at over 30 WRAG member organizations.

Related: WRAG is excited to welcome the 2016-2017 Philanthropy Fellows! Six students from the University of Maryland’s Do Good Institute are working with five WRAG members this year, on a variety of projects from grants administration and communications, to development and public policy initiatives. (Daily, 9/26)

HOUSING/HOMELESSNESS
– DC has finalized the second annual youth homeless census, a nine-day push to count residents under 25 who don’t have permanent housing. (City Paper, 9/23)

 – D.C. Kicks Off $13 Million Affordable Housing Renovation in Ward 4 (City Paper, 9/23)

EDUCATION | As kindergarten ratchets up academics, parents feel the stress (WaPo, 9/25)

PHILANTHROPYPutting Data About Nonprofits to Work for Good (Chronicle, 9/23)


As we gear up for the first Presidential Debate tonight, it’s worth noting that Americans are quick to ask if candidates are giving enough, but they don’t follow up on how the money is being used – Buffy

 

Huge Response to New National Museum of African American History and Culture in DC

CULTURE | There’s an overwhelming demand for tickets to visit the new National Museum of African American History and Culture on the National Mall which opens on September 24. All 28,500 opening weekend tickets were gone within an hour after they became available this past Saturday. The only tickets now available to reserve are for weekdays in October.

Twelve exhibitions with nearly 3,000 items will be available to view in the 85,000-square-foot space that tells the story of African American life, history and culture. (WaPo, 8/28)

To make the museum possible, more than $273 million was contributed from private donors, including the foundations of Oprah Winfrey, Bill and Melinda Gates, Shonda Rhimes, BET founder Robert L. Johnson and Michael Jordan.

POVERTY | I Am: The Strength, Value and Resilience of TANF Families is a new video made by TANF advocates and families in DC and supported by the Consumer Health Foundation.

Related: Protecting TANF as a lifeline (Daily, 3/16)

HOUSING
– WRAG’s Tamara Copeland stresses that every family deserves quality housing that they can afford as she highlights how structural racism may be playing out out in the housing arena in DC, and that there are two sides to every story. (Daily, 8/29)

 The biggest beneficiaries of housing subsidies? The wealthy. (GGW, 8/26)

EDUCATION
– School starts today in Montgomery County, which has seen huge growth in student enrollment the last eight years. (WaPo, 8/29)

– The Head Start program in Prince George’s County will now be run by a group based in Denver. (WTOP, 8/29)

ECONOMY | The Urban Institute provides an overview on how state economic agencies operate. (Urban Institute, 7/27)

RACE | The social network Next Door, used around the country, is facing criticism for posts that border on racial profiling. (WaPo, 8/29)

MILLENNIALSCorporate Ethics In The Era Of Millennials (NPR, 8/24)

NONPROFITS
The Plight of the Overworked Nonprofit Employee (The Atlantic, 8/24)

– Studies Examine Why People Give Differently Than They Invest (CP, 8/23)


Interesting … who knew you could remove all political posts from your Facebook feed? – Buffy

Prince George’s County Head Start Loses Millions in Grant Funding

EDUCATION 

The Department of Health and Human Services released a scathing report detailing Head Start deficiencies in the Prince George’s County school system, which resulted in the loss of a $6.3 million grant. The report cites abuse, poor teacher training, and a failure to correct past problems.The Head Start program is an early childhood program largely funded with federal dollars. (WaPo, 8/17)

Prince George’s school leaders are trying to determine how to keep the county’s Head Start program funded. The federal Administration for Children and Families released a statement Wednesday saying that the federal government “is committed to continuing Head Start services in Prince George’s County and to minimize any disruption to children and families.”

Related: After Funding Cut, What’s Next for Prince George’s Co. Head Start? (WTOP, 8/17)

– The Nation’s Teacher Force Lacks Diversity, and it Might Not Get Much Better. Minority students across the country would benefit from having more minority teachers studies show, but recruitment is a critical challenge for the future. (WaPo, 8/18)

– District Residents Have The Most Student Debt In The US. (WAMU, 8/15)

REGIONAL | A human-trafficking ring that operated for years and spanned from Northern Virginia to Baltimore has been shut down. (WaPo, 8/15)

FOOD/ART | How To Cultivate Plants Using Just Water, Nutrients And A Steady Diet Of DC Punk (WAMU, 8/12)

NONPROFITS | Communicating effectively about the real costs of running a nonprofit is imperative in order to engage and sustain donors and investors.  This post highlights how nonprofits can use new imagery to help educate about the sector. (NP Quarterly, 8/16)

PHILANTHROPY
 Women are Increasingly Powerful Philanthropists. But How Can They be Most Effective?  (Huff Po, 8/12) 

-Foundations and endowments are limiting the use of hedge fund investments in their portfolios according to a survey of nonprofit investors. (Bloomberg, 8/15)


At the end of one of the hottest weeks of the year, this isn’t looking so bad : ) … 2017 Farmers’ Almanac predicts a particularly cold, wet winter  for D.C., Maryland and Virginia – Buffy

 

Making solar power available to low-income DC residents

ENVIRONMENT/EQUITY | D.C., which is committed to getting half of its energy from renewable sources by 2032, has set aside almost a third of its funding for solar initiatives to specifically target low-income residents. Besides not having the considerable resources needed to access solar power, lower-income households often face energy bills that are disproportionately high (Atlantic, 7/26):

While the city’s highest-profile efforts have focused on the availability of housing, it is now devoting some attention to helping poorer households save money on their energy bills. Utility bills for low earners can eat up as much as 10 percent of household income, according to a report from Groundswell, a nonprofit focused on energy issues. For the highest 20 percent of earners, utilities make up less than 2 percent of expenditures. But it’s not just a matter of percentages: Poorer families actually tend to have higher utilities bills, usually because their homes are less energy-efficient. On average, a monthly utility bill cost an American household around $115 in 2013, by Groundswell’s calculations, but poorer families were significantly more likely to have bills that topped $200 every month.

EDUCATION | The new head of Montgomery County Public Schools, Jack Smith, sees the racial achievement gap as being the most critical challenge facing the county’s school system. (WaPo, 7/26)

HEALTH | The DC Department of Health launched a pilot program earlier this year to make a life-saving drug that reverses the effects of opioid overdoses called Narcan available to drug users, but so far demand for the drug has far outstripped supply. (CP, 7/21)

EARLY ED/WORKFORCE/EQUITY | A new report finds that, thanks to extremely low pay, nearly half of the country’s childcare workers receive some form of government assistance. (WaPo, 7/11)

HOMELESSNESS | Homeless in relentless heat (WaPo, 7/26)

NONPROFITS | Opinion: New Overtime Rules Are Good for Nonprofits — and Good for America (Chronicle, 7/26)

GIVING | Giving Up Only Slightly in First Half of 2016, Report Says (Chronicle, 7/26)


Oh how lovely.

-Rebekah

P.S. The (Almost) Daily will be back on Friday.

First citywide program for connecting black women with HIV prevention drugs coming to DC

HIV/AIDS 
A $1 million investment from the MAC AIDS Fund will go toward making D.C. the first major city to get a program that will connect black heterosexual women (the second-highest group of new HIV infections) in the District with pre-exposure prophylaxis or PrEP. (Slate, 6/17)

In 2009, D.C. declared an HIV epidemic that rivaled those in many African nations, with around 3 percent of the city’s residents living with HIV. In some areas and age groups, it was closer to 5 percent. Though targeted prevention efforts have cut D.C.’s new-diagnosis rate by almost 60 percent since then, the city still has an HIV rate nearly twice as high as the state with the next highest rate, Louisiana, and nearly 4 percent of black residents are infected. In D.C. and across the country, HIV is a racialized epidemic among women: As of 2012, 92 percent of D.C. women living with HIV were black.

Channing Wickham, executive director of Washington AIDS Partnership, which is at the forefront of these efforts, had this to say:

The Washington AIDS Partnership is excited to be at the center of Washington, D.C.’s goal to “end HIV” through the soon-to-be released “90/90/90/50 by 2020” plan, and innovative HIV prevention strategies such as  Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) for women. Stay tuned for a major announcement with more details on June 30!

RACISM/INEQUALITY | Marcela Brane, Herb Block Foundation president and CEO, shares with WRAG this year’s winner of the Foundation’s annual Herblock Prize for Editorial Cartooning, and the enduring impact and significance of the political cartoonist in society. Check out the winning cartoon, “Racist EZCash,” by Mark Fiore(Daily, 6/20)

REGION | Leaders of Washington’s former bid for the 2024 Summer Olympics are said to be keeping up the momentum of their efforts by continuing to meet to discuss objectives for further regional cooperation, even without the possibility of the summer games. (WBJ, 6/17)

DISTRICT
Unemployment rates in D.C.’s ward 7 and 8 are at the lowest levels in several years, according to newly-released federal data from the Department of Employment Services. (WCP, 6/17)

– A report by the District’s Office of Revenue Analysis examines the gender pay gap among the city’s workforce. While men make more than women for the same work in most industries, D.C.’s nonprofit sector is shown to be one area where women often make more than men in similar positions. (WBJ, 6/17)

–  This Is The Insane Amount of Money it Takes To Be Considered “Wealthy” in DC (Washingtonian, 6/17)

EDUCATION
Montgomery County schools have adopted a new budget officials hope will narrow the school system’s achievement gap and lower class sizes. (WaPo, 6/17)

– Data show that more than 1.3 million U.S. students were homeless in 2013-2014. Advocates are looking to bring greater awareness and support to youth experiencing homelessness and extreme poverty, and a new report surveying homeless youth reveals that many schools may be failing to help students. (WaPo, 6/17)

HEALTH/YOUTH
– According to estimates, there are still 37 million homes in the U.S. that contain lead-based paint and 6 million that recieve drinking water through lead pipes. With children shown to absorb more lead than adults, the American Academy of Pediatrics is urging physicians to be more proactive about testing children for exposure. (NPR, 6/20)

Video: Can the U.S. End Teen Pregnancy? (Atlantic, 6/14)


Just in case you haven’t heard, Clevelanders are very, very happy today.

– Ciara

In search of funding certainty for Metro system

TRANSIT/REGION
Acknowledging the Metro transit system as “the lifeblood of the region,” the Greater Washington Board of Trade and the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments look to other regional transit systems’ funding sources for inspiration, and continue to rally for greater support behind a dedicated funding source for our own region’s transit system. (WBJ, 6/14)

After saying in May they would have a funding proposal crafted by September, officials with the Greater Washington Board of Trade and Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments [COG] now say they will slow down the process. They now expect to have a plan by the end of the year but will spend a year garnering support before taking it to the Virginia and Maryland general assemblies in early 2018.

The groups said COG will help determine a metric to measure Metro’s progress to boost the argument for more money.

POVERTY/HOUSING/EQUITY | Using some adorable cartoons to drive home the point, Vox explores the effects that living in certain environments can have on a person’s life – particularly for African Americans. Montgomery County, Maryland is used as one example of what can happen when children from low-income families move to wealthier neighborhoods. (Vox, 6/6)

ARTS/EQUITY | Who Can Afford To Be A Starving Artist? (Createquity, 6/14)

EDUCATION/WORKFORCE | While quality early-childhood education often receives widespread support, wages for childcare workers remain low, despite increasing demands to deliver good outcomes. (Atlantic, 6/14)

HEALTH/POVERTY | What Happens When You Can’t Afford Self-Care? (Talk Poverty, 6/13)


What does your dog wear on special occasions? These canines are redefining glamour. 

– Ciara

Continued population growth in Montgomery County

MARYLAND
Though the rate of growth remains low, Montgomery County saw the largest population increase in Maryland last year, according to figures from the U.S. Census Bureau. (Bethesda, 5/19)

The county’s estimated population as of July 1, 2015, was 1,040,116, meaning a population boost of 9,640 since 2014.

PUTTING RACISM ON THE TABLE/RACIAL EQUITY
– In this thoughtful blog post available in both English and SpanishConsumer Health Foundation board member Silvia Salazar reflects on the Putting Racism on the Table series and shares how the sessions have had a meaningful impact on her life by providing her with new ideas for viewing the world around her. (Daily, 5/19)

COMMUNITY | On Tuesday, May 24 at 9:30 a.m., The Lois & Richard England Family Foundation will host an opportunity to learn more about the 11th Street Bridge Park. Individuals interested in attending should RSVP to Irfana Noorani (irfana@bridgepark.org) to be added to the guest list.

HEALTH
– Through a partnership with the D.C. Department of Health, the public health group HIPS has begun distributing naloxone to in an effort to fight opioid drug overdoses in the District. (WCP, 5/18)

– For the third year in a row, the Washington region was named as the fittest metro area in the U.S. (WBJ, 5/18)

– America’s Health Segregation Problem (Atlantic, 5/18)

PHILANTHROPY
– A growing number of grantmakers are moving beyond the “overhead myth” to provide general operating grants and funding for administrative expenses for social profit organizations. WRAG’s colleague organization in Illinois, Forefront, shares some of their efforts to contribute to the shift in practices within their community. (Chronicle, 5/18) – Subscription Required

Opinion: Billionaire Manoj Bhargava shares his personal approach to philanthropy and why he thinks other philanthropists should consider an “attitude shift.” (Chronicle, 5/2)

– Program-Related Investments: Will New Regulations Result in Greater and Better Use? (NPQ, 5/12)

WORKFORCE
– Based on the new Department of Labor regulations expanding overtime benefits to full-time, salaried employees who make up to $47,476 a year, an estimated 4.2 million workers will be impacted – many of whom work at social profit organizations. (Chronicle, 5/18) – Subscription Required

– As more and more of the baby boomer generation retires out of the workforce, the generation’s business owners are being encouraged to transfer their company’s ownership to workers in order to improve communities and promote wealth distribution. (Co.Exist, 5/18)

TRANSITMetro Releases Finalized Long-Term Maintenance Plan. See How Your Commute Will Be Affected. (WCP, 5/19


Will you be biking to work tomorrow?

– Ciara