Wednesday, May 27, 2015

June 2: Help celebrate journos recognized for outstanding reporting on homelessness and poverty

Street Sense will be celebrating the winners of the organization's Excellence in Journalism awards Tuesday, June 2 from 6:00 - 9:00 pm.   Recognition is given to journalists reporting on homelessness and poverty in mainstream media.

2015 winners are Justin Jouvenal, Robert Samuels and DeNeen L. Brown in the Best Breaking News category; Theresa Vargas, Emma Brown, Lynh Bui and Peter Hermann in the Best Features/Investigative category; Aaron Weiner in the Opinion category; and a tie in the Best Photography category, Claire O'Neill and David Gilkey, and Bonnie Jo Mount.

The evening features a reception with open bar and heavy hors d’oeuvres, the awards ceremony, and a panel with the honorees moderated by HuffPost reporter Arthur Delaney.

Tickets are still available for the event which is being held at WilmerHale.

ICYMI: Lanier on NewsTalk May 19

On May 19, MPD's Chief Cathy Lanier talked with NewsTalk's Bruce DePuyt.   From the website:
DC Police Chief Cathy Lanier talked about the quadruple homicide in Northwest, the latest ruling on concealed carry, the president's order regarding local police use of military surplus and much more.

Reminder: North Capitol Main Street is on Twitter

Bates Area Civic Association has reminded us that North Capitol Main Street (NCMS) is on Twitter, @NorthCapitolDC and Instagram.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

How will this data and analysis prompt you to modify your volunteer program?

If you have not read The changing face of volunteerism in the District: kids are the big winners, take some time to read and process.   Yesim Sayin Taylor interprets CPS data about voluntarism in some helpful ways.   Taylor asks a number of questons―such as, "What do the non-traditional organizations do?" and "What do volunteers do for them?"―and prompted me to think about what I know and think about voluntarism

Some of thoughts I have:

  • Here's an obvious one: Are kids the big winner because parents are volunteering for activities and organizations which engage their children?   Did parents volunteer before they had children?
  • Is there a common pattern to voluntarism?   For example, does volunteering wane during early parenting years to pick up in elementary school to taper off in middle school and high school and regain steam again when the kids are out of the house

    Melinda Vance, former president of the Junior League of Hartford, at one time contemplated the need for the League to modify two of the three stages of membership.   Simply, Vance argued that many women were not as able to volunteer as actively when their kids were young (when women, as League members, would be Actives) as they would be when their children were older (when women would become Sustainers in League parlance).   Vance argued that the League, and other voluntary engagement opportunities, needed to be much more flexible so as to attract and retain volunteers through their volunteer life cycle.   This change was never made but I remain convinced the change is needed.

  • Has service learning in schools, after-school, and sororities and fraternities played any role in how younger DC residents think about volunteering?
  • The last thought I have is about the word civic and what it means to different people.   I tend to think about civics in the sense of the citizenry―civic or citizen groups, political parties, friends groups.   As Taylor noted,
    Here is what the newcomers to the District (read, millennials) do not care for: Political parties and advocacy organizations, cultural and arts organizations, sports and hobby groups, labor unions, professional organizations and health research and education groups. These kinds of organizations either lost volunteers or barely added any new ones.

    Pew, as summarized in Millennials are not Joiners, found last year that millennials are less likely to report a formal association with a political party and religion.

    I wonder how the generations will bridge the divide.

Finally, I'm curious about how consumers of this information will think about using it to modify their volunteer programs.   Please leave your thought in a comment.

Do you think CMs should share their daily work sked with the public?

I recently had a conversation on Twitter with the DC Council PIO.   I had asked why the May 26 media briefing was not on the council's schedule.   That conversation is below.

The issue of councilmember schedules comes up frequently in discussions with the public.   The recommendations I've seen always concern sharing schedules.   What do you think?   Should CM schedules be made public?   Take the survey and encourage others to do the same; responses are confidential.   The results will be shared on the blog soon after the poll closes on June 9.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Petworth News expands

Terrific news from Drew Schneider: He's recently launched the Petworth News blog.

According to his announcement, the new site is the main online home for all things Petworth news, neighbors, and community.   Schneider will continue to post on the Petworth News Facebook page.   The new site includes a weekly newsletter; Schneider says it will feature "the most interesting or important articles published that week."

Finally, plan to join Schneider and Petworth residents Monday, June 29 at 6:00 pm at Petworth Citizen to celebrate the new website and the 1,000th Like on the Petworth News Facebook page.

Mapping Segregation in Washington, DC

Mapping Segregation in Washington DC, a public history project, uses GIS to document segregation in DC―housing, schools, rec facilities, and other public venues.   The project’s first year has focused on racially restrictive housing covenants and legal challenges to them.

Prologue DC, LLC, project creator, is holding two events in June to share the first year findings.   According to the website,

How did restrictive housing covenants shape DC neighborhoods? Prologue DC historians Mara Cherkasky and Sarah Shoenfeld will present the latest findings in their ongoing research project, Mapping Segregation in Washington DC, on Wednesday, June 10 at 6:30 p.m. at the Park View Recreation Center, 693 Otis Place NW, and Wednesday, June 17 at 6:30 p.m. in the Great Hall of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Public Library, 901 G Street NW.

More information about the project is on Prologue's Facebook page

Sunday, May 24, 2015

May 26: Media briefing by Mendo

DC Council Chairman Phil Mendelson will brief the media Tuesday, May 26 at Noon about the council’s proposed Fiscal Year 2016 budget actions to take place at the Additional Legislative Meeting which will be held on Wednesday, May 27 at 10:00 am.   The briefing will take place at the John A. Wilson Building in Room 412.   Additional information is available by calling (202) 724‐8032.

Can't make the briefing?   Watch it live.

There's still space in Teach the Beat: Go-Go Goes to School

There is still room for teachers in Teach the Beat: Go-Go Goes to School.   The program is designed to
designed to ensure that students learn the rich history and the various stylistic elements related to the go-go music genre, drawing on the vast array of performers in D.C., scholars, and the experience of teachers who grew up with go-go.

The May 22 DC Register in Tweets

The reasons for Memorial Day

Who wrote your favorite childhood book?

Saturday, May 23, 2015

DC historical studies conference proposal deadline next week

The theme of the 42nd annual Conference on D.C. Historical Studies is New Freedoms, New Lives.   The conference takes place November 12-15, 2015.

The conference theme explained:

Papers and presentations that reconsider the legacy of the Civil War, Reconstruction, and the impact of waves of demographic changes on Washington and the nation are encouraged.

Conference planners are accepting proposals through Friday, May 29.   Here is the Call for Submissions guidelines (PDF).

CM Todd's constituent services staff

Friday, May 22, 2015

June 12: Beetlejuice Black & White Ball

City Blossoms' Beetlejuice Black & White Ball, a kid-friendly garden fiesta, is taking place Friday, June 12 from 6:30 - 9:30 pm at Carlos Rosario International Public Charter School (1100 Harvard St NW; use playground entrance on 11th St).

The deets:

TICKETS: $20 at the door and online at
ATTIRE: Black and white, mask a plus
CONTACT: City Blossoms, (443) 854-1669,,

Masked guests will mingle in a mash-up of playful glamour, creating a festive atmosphere to enjoy delicious food and drinks, exciting performances, awards and a raffle filled with tantalizing prizes. Featuring tasty treats courtesy of Chef Jeremiah Langhorne.

Why you should attend:

Each year City Blossoms, a non-profit organization dedicated to kid-driven, community engaging, and creative green spaces holds a big fundraising celebration, where community members come together to enjoy a magical evening in one of our gardens and raise funds for a year of FREE activities at our Community Green Spaces. Thanks to this fundraiser, City Blossoms will maintain and support over 20 gardens and break ground on its largest project yet, providing more than 1,000 hours of free and affordable activities, engaging over 8,000 children, youth and families. Our holistic approach empowers participants to care for their environment and community, celebrating visible, edible and personal rewards.

CM Todd's letter to constituents

Dear Neighbors:

It has been an exciting first week, and I am both humbled and honored that you have selected me to become your fifth elected Ward 4 Councilmember.

I have gone down to City Hall to work hard on the agenda that we've set together, a vision for our ward that focuses on helping seniors age in place, accelerating education reform, continuing sustainable economic development, and providing exceptional constituent services.

Our office has been fully operational from Day 1. If you have a constituent services request, please email my Director of Constituent Services, Jackson Carnes, at, or my Constituent Liaison, LaRoya Huff, at You can also reach us by phone by calling my office directly at (202) 724-8052. For all other requests, please reach out to the appropriate member of my staff, listed below:

Sherryl H. Newman
Chief of Staff
(202) 724-8052

Dolly Turner
Deputy Chief of Staff & Scheduler
(202) 654-6406

Matthew Santoro
Director, Communications
(202) 724-8191

Jackson Carnes
Director, Constituent Services
(202) 724-8793

LaRoya Huff
Liaison, Constituent Services
(202) 724-8052

Too keep up-to-date on the work we’re doing for Ward 4, you can follow us on Twitter @CMBrandonTodd, or on Facebook at You can also reach me directly by emailing me at or on my cell phone at (202) 316-6001.

For more information, please visit our official Council page at

Thank you once again for the trust that you’ve placed in me. My job is to serve you, and I look forward to breaking new ground on Ward 4’s future with your insight, your input, and your energy.

Volunteers needed at farmers markets across the city

Starting in June, farmers markets around the District will feature Produce Plus.   The program uses volunteers to distribute vouchers to lower-income shoppers so they can access the fresh, healthy food that markets offer.

Produce Plus needs volunteers to distribute vouchers.   Volunteers must attend a two-hour training and agree to volunteer at least five times between June and September.   Sign up to volunteer.

ICYMI: CM Silverman's office is on Twitter

In the event you missed it, At-large CM Elissa Silverman's office is using @CM_Silverman.