How the region and the U.S. fare on premature birth rates

CHILDREN/YOUTH
In their most recent report grading the rates of premature births in states/localities in the U.S., March of Dimes gave the District a “C.” Meanwhile, Virginia and Maryland received a “B” and “C,” respectively. The U.S. overall received a “C”. (DCist, 11/9)

Premature birth is the leading cause of infant death and the number one killer of babies in the United States, according to the nonprofit March of Dimes. In a report released last week, the organization graded D.C.’s premature birth rate a “C” in comparison to the 50 states and Puerto Rico.

Grades for states were assigned by comparing the 2014 preterm birth rate in a state or locality to the March of Dimes’ goal of 8.1 percent by 2020. D.C.’s rate was 9.6 percent, placing it among 18 states with a mid-level score and matching the United States’ average.

America’s Pregnancy-Care Paradox: Paying Ever More For the Same Bad Results (Atlantic, 11/10)

RACIAL EQUITY
– As part of #NewEconomy Week, administrative and communications assistant at Consumer Health Foundation Kendra Allen candidly shares her experience as a millennial person of color, along with some advice for the key elements that should be a part of a revamped, equitable system. (CHF, 11/10)

Why Poor Boys Who Move to Rich Neighborhoods Still Face Risks (CityLab, 11/9)

CSR/VETERANS | As Veteran’s Day approaches, Tim McClimon, president of the American Express Foundation and head faculty member for the Institute for CSR, shares how his organization shows its support for the Veterans Empowerment Movement. (American Express, 11/9)

DISTRICT | DC Fiscal Policy Institute reflects on the significance of the City First Foundation’s recent conference on “Equitable Economic Development East of the River,” and shares why follow-through in this part of the city is so necessary. (DCFPI, 11/10)

FOOD/EDUCATION | A  growing number of schools in the region are taking the classroom experience outdoors with learning gardens, particularly in Prince George’s County. (WTOP, 11/10)

VIRGINIA | Move over, “Corner.” It’s all about “Tyson’s” right now. (WTOP 11/9)


Apparently, I only know one thing about the sport of basketball. See if you can beat me at this quiz!

– Ciara

 

Mayor Bowser delivers first State of the District address

DISTRICT
Last night, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser delivered her first State of the District address in which she outlined her plans to create “pathways to the middle class” and pledged greater transparency in local government. Her speech covered a number of priorities for her administration, including affordable housing, education, homelessness, and transportation, among other topics. Some highlights included (WaPo, 3/31 and WCP, 3/31):

Affordable housing:
Bowser said her first budget, due to the D.C. Council on Thursday, would lay out a plan for funding her priorities, including matching the $100 million a year that [Mayor] Gray allocated at the end of his term for affordable housing.

[…]

And she said she would reinvest in the city’s New Communities initiative, which aims to rejuvenate some of the city’s rundown public and subsidized housing.

Education:
Earlier on Tuesday, Bowser announced a partnership to establish 100 year-long internships for young black men.

In her speech, she also reiterated that she would pursue opening an all-male school for underprivileged boys.

Homelessness:
She pledged to close the city’s dilapidated family homeless shelter on the campus of the former D.C. General Hospital “once and for all.” And she put dates to her goal of ending homelessness — 2018 for chronic family homelessness and 2025 for all homelessness.

Transportation:
Bowser promised to not just start the streetcar on H Street and Benning Road NE, but eventually expand it east across the Anacostia River into Ward 7 and west in downtown and Georgetown. Still, Bowser acknowledged that the streetcar program has been “long on promises and short on results.”

– You can read the full State of the District address here. (WaPo, 3/31)

EVENTS/WRAG | WRAG announces an upcoming conference on the evolving needs of the region’s fastest-growing jurisdiction, Loudoun County! The Loudoun County Philanthropy Conference on Thursday, May 14 is open to those interested in exploring the needs of the county, and is sponsored by the Claude Moore Charitable Foundation, the Community Foundation for the National Capital Region, and the Middleburg Community Center. (Daily, 4/1)

REGION | The Audacious Plan to Turn a Sprawling DC Suburb Into a Big City (Washingtonian, 3/29)

EDUCATION/INEQUALITYWhy More Education Won’t Fix Economic Inequality (NYT, 3/31)

POVERTY/FOOD | Opinion: Restrictions on what foods those who utilize SNAP benefits can purchase, and public opinion regarding other aspects of the lives of the poor, leaves many low-income Americans feeling heavily scrutinized….almost as if they’re criminals. (WaPo, 3/30)


 I am decidedly anti-April Fool’s Day this year. With that, I present you with a guide to what is fake on the Internet today. Unfortunately, (or fortunately?) this one is not a prank at all.

– Ciara

2013 to decide the fate of the Purple Line…More on the fiscal cliff deal and the region…The Chesapeake is cleaning up [News 1.3.12]

TRANSIT
This is the year that will determine the future of the Purple Line, as Maryland tries to get federal funding for the project while simultaneously generating new revenue to grow the state’s Transportation Trust Fund. (WTOP, 1/2)

– There was certainly plenty to not like in the fiscal cliff deal, but on the bright side, it raised the monthly transit benefit to $240, from $125. (Examiner, 1/2)

FISCAL CLIFF
– Speaking of which, here’s how all of the uncertainty around the federal budget is negatively affecting the District’s ability to fully fund critical programs, such as the Housing Production Trust Fund. (DCFPI, 1/2)

– The fiscal cliff deal didn’t include the cap on charitable tax deductions, but with deep budget cuts to social programs looming, it’s still looking pretty grim.  (Chronicle, 1/2)

– And in case you were still trying to be optimistic, here are some regional leaders talking about just how bad it will be for our region if the sequestration cuts happen in March. (WUSA9, 1/2)

ARTS | Head of National Endowment for the Arts gets mostly rave reviews as he exits the stage (WaPo, 12/27)

REGION | Tyson’s Corner, on the verge of a do-over (WaPo, 1/3)

ENVIRONMENT | According to a new report from the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, the overall condition of the Bay, while still basically dismal, is showing signs of improvement. (WaPo, 1/3)

NONPROFITS | P.G. considers return to charity poker (Examiner, 1/3)


I’m not much of a football fan, but even I would appreciate seeing this flag fly over Seattle’s city hall next week.

-Rebekah