Thursday, October 30, 2014

October 2014 releases from the OCFO

The OCFO this week has released DC Economic Indicators, October 2014.   You'll find information about the labor market, cash collections (a mixed bag compared to FY 2013), personal income, the population, and housing.   Also released was District of Columbia Economic and Revenue Trends: October 2014, below.

DC Economic and Revenue Trends Report_October 2014-1

Thought you might be interested Thursday

Love this cover.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

TA: Annotating charts

John Murphy on Ode to the Annotation explains the (in hindsight obvious) reasons why annotating charts makes a lot of sense.   Rather than burying the explanation of change in the narrative, the annotated run chart places "small text snippets that show when an intervention or event has taken place."

And if the simple, elegant graphic and explanation are not enough, Murphy provides links to others annotating charts.

Be sure to bookmark Murphy's post.

@WildApricot's curated list of free webinars

Thanks to Wild Apricot, we've got the latest list of free webinars.   The 23 Free Non-profit Webinars for November 2014 post includes Wild Apricot events (which look great!) and trainings by others including:
  • Mission-Driven Volunteering, November 4
  • Engaging Pro Bono and Skilled Volunteers, November 6
  • Legal Traps for the Unwary Fundraiser, November 19
  • How to Captivate and Engage Your Constituents with Your Website, November 24

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Mayor-Council meeting, Oct. 29

Mayor Gray will meet with members of the DC Council Wednesday, October 29 from 9:00 – 10:00 am.   The event is open to the media so you can expect @tomsherwood, @mikedebonis, @maustermuhle, and @SegravesNBC4 to be covering the fun. (Updated, with correct date in post, 10/29/14, 11:18a)

Two old, but still useful, reports recommending changes at the DC Council

Way back when, reform of the Council of the District of Columbia was all the rage.   DC Appleseed did an analysis with recommendations: Operational Reform of the District of Columbia Council: A Fix-It-Yourself Manual (PDF) (text version via DC Watch).   Then the council engaged the National Council of State Legislatures to perform the same task and their report is entitled Report to the Council of the District of Columbia: Building a Stronger, More Effective Institution.   The scanned copy of the NCSL report is below and the text version is on DC Watch.

The DC Council has accomplished a significant number of the recommendations.   Outstanding from the NCSL report, for example, are:

  • Presentation of a plain language analysis of all legislation prior to and with the introduction
  • Adherence to roundtable and hearing scheduling
  • Routinely update staff directory of CM and committee staff and office staff
  • Publication of user-friendly documents explaining the legislative process and the institution generally
  • Appropriately use emergency legislation

Since there's plenty left to do in these reports, I suggest the next council chair take another look at both reports and make changes.   In addition, it's probably time for another assessment.   DC Appleseed, are you interested?

NCSL DC Council Recs 1999

Disability and employment Twitter chat October 28

Leg meeting Oct. 28

The DC Council will hold a Legislative Meeting Tuesday, October 28 at 10:00 am in the Council Chamber.   The agenda is online.

Murch history project looking for students and teachers, especially from 50s - 60s

Friday, October 24, 2014

The DC Register in @hgil Tweets

An interesting watch on @BookTV

It goes without saying that C-SPAN's Book TV has a portfolio of interesting programs.   The latest to wow me is After Words: Jake Halpern, "Bad Paper: Chasing Debt from Wall Street to the Underworld," hosted by author Nomi Prins.

The program is so much more than the description:

A bank executive and a bank robber become business partners in buying uncollected debts for pennies on the dollar and collecting them on their own. According to Mr. Halpern, the collection industry is full of unregulated and questionable practices that can often compound the problems of working class citizens. He talks with author and former Wall Street executive Nomi Prins.

Halpern is a terrific storyteller.   He makes the complex story easy to understand and the program is easy to watch and listen to (huge in my book).   And as a bonus, Halpern provides usable advice to those who have debt and particularly debt in collection.   So take an hour and watch the program.   If you're interested in reading the book, local independent Politics & Prose has Halpern's book on their shelves now.