Voting rights could be restored for incarcerated prisoners in the District

VOTING RIGHTS | Lawmakers in the District are seeking to make the nation’s capital the first jurisdiction to restore voting rights to incarcerated prisoners, with plans to introduce legislation Tuesday to repeal language in a 1955 law that disenfranchises DC residents upon felony convictions. (WaPo, 6/3)

The District has some of lowest restrictions on felons voting, where their voting rights are automatically restored when they are released from prison, and election officials visit the DC jail to help non-felons cast absentee ballots … “Unfortunately in the District and across the country, incarcerated people make up a sizable population of residents,” said Council member Robert C. White Jr., who is introducing the legislation … “They don’t lose their citizenship when they are incarcerated, so they shouldn’t lose their right to vote.” White’s bill thrusts the District to the vanguard of the felon enfranchisement movement, and believes that the discussion around criminal voting restrictions should focus on the racist motivations of the laws and how they disproportionately disenfranchise African Americans.

CENSUS 2020Deceased GOP Strategist’s Hard Drives Reveal New Details on the Census Citizenship Question (NYT, 5/30)

Related: Vanita Gupta, president & CEO of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, issued this statement in response to the New York Times’ revelation. Gupta is the keynote speaker at Thursday’s Interventions that Work: Census 2020 & Hard-to-Count Communities forum, co-convened by WRAG and 14 partner organizations to elevate strategies for a complete and accurate 2020 Census.

COMMUNITY | Last year WRAG launched the Journalism Fellows Project to share our platform with youth of color in this region who are often written about, but are rarely asked their perspectives on the issues facing their communities and families. In today’s edition, we hear from Thomas Kent, 2019 graduate of Richard Wright Public Charter School in DC, about the impact of violence in his neighborhood. (Daily, 6/4)

AFFORDABLE HOUSING | A new audit reveals that DC Mayor Bowser has awarded at least five housing projects to developers with low-ranked proposals. The move cost the city 353 affordable housing units, and raises questions about the process. (WaPo, 5/30)

WORKFORCE/EQUITY | Emergency legislation at the DC Council would prevent employment discrimination against city workers in the medical marijuana program. (dcist, 5/31)

NONPROFITS | New Pilot Program is Bringing Books to a Barbershop on Lee Highway (ARLnow, 5/28)

ENVIRONMENT | According to a just-published list put out each year by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the Tidal Basin is among the 11 most endangered historic places in 2019. (WAMU, 5/30)

CHILDREN & FAMILIES | What Makes A City Child-Friendly? (WAMU, 5/31)

PHILANTHROPY | The Kids Are Alright: Millennials Reluctant to Give, But Donate Generously When They Do (Inside Philanthropy, 5/30)


It’s 3 am – do you know what your iPhone is doing? Yikes!

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

– Buffy

Landmark education bill will reshape Maryland’s public school system

EDUCATION | A landmark education bill designed to reshape Maryland’s public school system will become law without Gov. Larry Hogan’s signature, and will send an additional $855 million to schools over the next two years. (WaPo, 5/15)

Over the next two years, the funding will pay for school-based health centers, grants for schools where at least 80 percent of the students are eligible for free or reduced-price meals, raises for teachers — the state will provide a 1.5 percent raise if the local district gives 3 percent — and grants to improve teacher standards.

The Maryland Commission on Innovation and Excellence, also known as the Kirwan Commission, was asked in 2016 to devise a plan to create a world-class school system in Maryland and ensure that all students, regardless of race and ethnicity, are “college- and career-ready” by 10th grade. The Kirwan Commission also was charged with coming up with funding formulas to pay for the plan, but the panel released its recommendations this year without a breakdown of how the state and local governments would share the costs.

IMMIGRATION | Between 75 and 150 adult adoptees in the District and up to 1,700 Virginians are at risk of being deported. (WAMU, 5/15)

RACIAL EQUITY/HEALTH
– An emergency Task Force on Black Youth Suicide and Mental Health has been created by the Congressional Black Caucus to address access to mental health care and suicide among Black youth, including those who are LGBTQIA. (Washington Blade, 5/7)

Opioid Addiction Drug Going Mostly To Whites, Even As Black Death Rate Rises (NPR, 5/8)

CENSUS | Mayor Bowser officially kicked off the District’s 2020 Census efforts by presenting a proclamation to honor the selection of her Complete Count Committee.

CHILDREN/SAFETY | A Centers for Disease Control study has found that 1 in 14 public and charter high school students in DC has exchanged sex for something of value. Students who had been kicked out of their homes, run away or been abandoned were most likely to have exchanged sex.  (WAMU, 5/16)

HEALTHCARE | How safe are Greater Washington’s hospitals? Some earn top grades for quality and safety, and others don’t score as well. (WBJ, 5/16)

ARTS | Mayor Muriel Bowser Wants Big Changes for the City’s Arts Commission (CP, 5/16)

WOMEN/EQUALITY | June 4 marks the 100-year anniversary of Congress’ passage of the 19th Amendment to the US Constitution, and there are a number of places around the Greater Washington region to learn the history of women’s suffrage. (WAMU, 5/16)


Social Sector Job Openings 

Grants Manager | Arabella Advisors – New!
Institutional Development Officer | Martha’s Table – New!
Development Manager, Washington, DC | Reading Partners – New!
Director of Individual Giving | Horizons Greater Washington
Grants Compliance Manager | Loudoun Abused Women’s Shelter
Director of Communications, Technology, and Administration | Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers
Director of Corporate and Foundation Advancement | Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers
Engagement Officer | Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute
Grants and Communications Associate | Neighborhood Health
Senior Manager of Member Engagement and Partnerships | United Philanthropy Forum
Director of Development​ | ​Washington Tennis & Education Foundation
Director of Operations​ | ​Washington Tennis & Education Foundation
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
Program Coordinator | TGR Foundation – A Tiger Woods Charity
Individual Giving Manager | Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company

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.


Architecture is like a tree … it grows and matures and branches out. I am part of that tree, of that movement, not starting, or ending, or following anything.” I.M. Pei has died at 102.

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

– Buffy

Is the solution to the District’s housing crisis to invest in the middle class?

HOUSING | A strategy to produce and preserve workforce housing is gaining support among elected officials and developers to address the affordable housing shortage in the District. (WAMU, 5/2)

In her proposed 2020 budget, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser has called for the creation of an unprecedented $20 million “workforce housing” fund that would subsidize homes affordable to middle-income professionals like teachers, social workers, and first responders… Many developers applaud the mayor’s workforce fund, saying it will help incentivize builders to construct and preserve housing that isn’t market-rate or “luxury.” Businesses tend to like it, too, because they want to be where the workforce lives. But the applause is countered by critics who say the mayor should instead invest that $20 million in low-income housing — particularly public housing, an estimated third of which is currently uninhabitable due to hazardous conditions.

EDUCATION | Prince George’s County may become the first jurisdiction in the country to use a public-private partnership to build and maintain several of its public schools, to speed up construction and decrease debt. (WaPo, 5/5)

LGBTQIA+ | Transgender teens in schools with bathroom restrictions are at higher risk of sexual assault, study says (CNN, 5/6)

WORKFORCE
– This co-working space doubles as a child care center. (WAMU, 5/6)

– Participants in a District workforce development program have not received the training they expected and are still unemployed. (CP, 5/2)

PRISON REFORM
– The District is looking into how it might obtain local control over the parole system again. (DCist, 5/1)

Maryland just banned placing pregnant inmates in solitary confinement. Yes, that was apparently happening. (WaPo, 5/1)

VIRGINIA | Fairfax board adopts budget with more for affordable housing, environment (WaPo, 3/7)

DISTRICT | The DC Inspector General says the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs has failed to track and collect on fines from businesses, developers and landlords who break the rules. (WAMU, 3/7)

COMMUNITY | Congrats to Natalie Madeira Cofield, founder & CEO of Walker’s Legacy and the Walker’s Legacy Foundation, for being named the Women in Business Champion of the Year by the DC Chamber of Commerce. (Walker’s Legacy Foundation is a fiscally-sponsored project of WRAG.)

PHILANTHROPY | New CEO at Council on Foundations Pledges Greater Accountability (Chronicle, 5/1)


Sleep in a ‘Glamping Globe’ on the roof of the Watergate? Yes please.

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

– Buffy

Pay Equity Act in Montgomery County is aimed at reducing gender pay disparities

GENDER/EQUITY | New legislation introduced in Montgomery County is aimed at reducing pay disparities between male and female county employees. County Council Member Evan Glass’s “Pay Equity” act will prohibit county government employers from basing salary offers on applicants’ past earnings, and will require the county executive’s office to assess gender pay equity within county government every two years. (WAMU, 5/7)

Women in Maryland typically earn 86 cents for every dollar earned by men, according to the National Women’s Law Center, which supports barring employers from asking job candidates about their salary history. Black and Latina women face even larger disparities across the state.  “Since wages for women generally lag behind wages for men, and wages for women of color lag even further behind wages of white men, basing a starting salary on a person’s current salary is likely to result in an adverse impact on the future wages of women employees,” says a county memorandum.

TRANSIT
– A just-released study highlights recommendations for transforming the Greater Washington region’s bus network into a better system that works when, where, and how customers need it. (WaPo, 5/6)

– The District is looking into adding tolls and implementing decongestion pricing to address traffic concerns. (WTOP, 5/2)

EDUCATION | Can DC’s public schools survive the coming enrollment surge? (GGWash, 5/2)

HOUSING
– Amazon says that its presence in the Washington region won’t cause housing costs to spike like they did in Seattle due to better planning. (WaPo, 5/3)

– Newly Enforced DCHA Policy Prematurely Cuts Families Off From Rental Assistance, Housing Attorneys Say (WCP, 5/1)

WORKFORCE | The DC Fiscal Policy Institute highlights the history of May Day and the fight for workers’ rights in the District. (DCFPI, 5/1)

SHUTDOWN | The shutdown may be over, but contractors continue to suffer from it. (WBJ, 5/6)

CLIMATE/ENVIRONMENT | According to a new United Nations report, up to 1 million plant and animal species are on the verge of extinction, and humans will suffer. (WaPo, 5/6)

PHILANTHROPY | How Philanthropy Can Preserve Press Freedom (Chronicle, 4/29)


Yay and yum – Chesapeake Bay blue crabs are at their most plentiful in seven years.

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

– Buffy

New “Graduation Guides” designed to boost college and career readiness for DC students

EDUCATION | DC Public Schools is implementing a new “Guide to Graduation, College, and Career” for high school students that tracks their progress towards graduation requirements and gives them information about college and career options. This effort is part of a larger movement across the country to make education data more available and accessible. (WAMU, 4/25)

The implementation comes just one year after DC’s Office of the State Superintendent of Education found 34 percent of DC’s high school graduates hadn’t actually met the requirements for receiving a diploma … and the graduation rate for black and Latino students had dropped. “It’s definitely an enhancement to our transparency around graduation,” said DCPS Chancellor Lewis Ferebee of the guides. “It’s a way that we can monitor, along with families, where students are on their journey to graduation.”

YOUTH/JUSTICE/RACISM | Opinion: ‘It hurt’: A 9-year-old boy was handcuffed. But how many other DC children have also been? (WaPo, 4/27)

HOUSING
– Montgomery County Council calls for an additional $5 million for its affordable housing fund. (Bethesda Magazine, 4/26)

Affordable assisted living center could be coming to Northeast DC (Urban Turf, 4/26)

WORKFORCE | Economists are learning to love the minimum wage. (CityLab, 4/26)

RACISM | An author speaking at the Politics and Prose bookstore in DC was interrupted by a small group of white nationalists. (WTOP, 4/29)

ENVIRONMENT | Arlington, one of the most environmentally progressive jurisdictions in Virginia, is ending curbside glass recycling. (WAMU, 4/26)

PHILANTHROPY | Melinda Gates Wants Nonprofits and Foundations to Put More Emphasis on Women (Chronicle, 4/23)

NONPROFITS | Compass is providing pro bono consulting for nonprofits on a variety of topics, from board development to technology strategy. Learn more about the offer and how to apply for services here.


Don’t have time to rewatch all 21 previous Marvel movies leading up to Avengers: Endgame? No problem – here’s your quick primer.

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

– Buffy

Review finds hundreds of Fairfax students with special needs secluded and restrained

EDUCATION/DISABILITY RIGHTS | Fairfax County Public Schools officials have reported thousands of incidents of students with special needs being isolated or physically restrained. The preliminary findings of a recent review found 1,679 incidents affecting 203 students in the 2017-18 school year. (WAMU, 4/3)

Nationally, the available federal data shows that the use of seclusion and restraint is rare, but students with disabilities disproportionately experiencing the majority of cases. In Fairfax, district guidelines prohibit seclusion “unless there is a dangerous situation and seclusion/restraint is necessary to protect the student or another person or persons” …  “The board is confronting a problematic history here where there is an appearance that things have been swept under the rug,” said at-large school board member Ryan McElveen … “We are not going to move forward without a full investigation. This board is going to get to the bottom as to why this has occurred.”

IMMIGRATION/EQUITY | Tatiana Torres, a CSR regional director, shares her story about growing up undocumented on the Consumer Health Foundation blog. (CHF, 4/3)

HOUSING | A Maryland General Assembly bill that would have required landlords to give a reason for evicting a tenant was voted down. (Bethesda Magazine, 3/29)

DISTRICT | A bill has been introduced to the DC Council to build eight new statues, one in each ward, of accomplished women and people of color who were born and raised in DC. (WAMU, 4/2)

PHILANTHROPY/EQUITY | Opinion: Real Equity Means Including People With Disabilities in Philanthropy (Chronicle, 4/1)

WORKFORCE/EQUALITY | America has stalled on equal pay, and women of color face the biggest gap. (Vox, 4/2)

ENVIRONMENT | The Tidal Basin is deteriorating because of climate change and tourism. (WaPo, 4/3)

HEALTH | Maryland legislature agrees to raise minimum smoking age to 21 (WaPo, 4/3)


Remembering Marvin Gaye 35 years after his death.

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

– Buffy

Housing Leaders Group of Greater Washington launches initiative to secure $1 billion toward affordable housing

HOUSING | The Housing Leaders Group of Greater Washington, which WRAG co-convenes along with Enterprise Community Partners, Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, the Greater Washington Community Foundation, and Citi Community Development, has announced the Capital Region Housing Challenge. The initiative encourages employers, anchor institutions, philanthropy, private investors, and local and state governments to commit by the end of 2020 at least $500 million in new private capital and $500 million in new public funds toward affordable apartments and home ownership.

“The Capital Region Housing Challenge is a down payment toward the investments needed to truly solve the region’s housing needs, especially for lower income residents,” said David Bowers, Enterprise Community Partners Vice President and Mid Atlantic Market Leader and HLG Co‐Convener. “By working in partnership with other regional efforts and stakeholders, we are committed to promote the value of, and opportunities to, invest $1 billion in new capital by the end of 2020.”

WRAG’s vice president Gretchen Greiner-Lott says, “WRAG is excited to support the Housing Leaders Group and this Capital Regional Housing Challenge. We trust this challenge will encourage and energize everyone to plug in where they can to support housing affordability across the region.”

Click here to read a fact sheet about the Capital Region Housing Challenge.

WRAG | After 11.5 years at WRAG, today is Katy Moore’s last day at the organization. In her final blog post, she reflects back on her career thus far in philanthropy, what she’s learned, and where she sees the field heading in the future. (Daily, 3/20)

DISABILITY RIGHTS | The Smithsonian Debuts New Accessibility Technology For Blind and Low-Vision Patrons (CP, 3/15)

WORKFORCE | JPMorgan Chase is investing $350 million to get workers ready for the future (CNN, 3/19)

REGION | New consortium sets vision for Washington region to be national leader in finding digital solutions to problems (WaPo, 3/19)

POVERTY | Millennial women are more likely than GenXers to live below the poverty line. The newly released report, CLIPPED WINGS, reveals the current economic reality for millennial women and the primary drivers contributing to the wealth inequities they experience. (Asset Funders Network, 3/19)

EDUCATION | Fairfax County Public Schools are launching “a complete and thorough evaluation and review” into their seclusion and restraint practices following the revelation of hundreds of unreported cases. (WAMU, 3/15)

COMMUNITY | Kim R. Ford has been named the new CEO of Martha’s Table. (WBJ, 3/18)

PHILANTHROPY | Behind a $25 Million Plan to Elevate Women in STEM and Use their Stories to Inspire Girls (Inside Philanthropy, 3/15)


It’s the first day of Spring and the first day of the Cherry Blossom Festival!

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

– Buffy