Tuesday, July 22, 2014

TA from @WildApricot: Keeping volunteers coming back

Technology for good, examples from a news outlet

Do you know about the Center for Investigative Reporting?   According to Mediabistro's Morning Media Newsfeed - 7/16/2014 (click here to sign up for the daily email), CIR has secured funding to produce "Reveal," a new podcast supported by data, video, and online interactive tools.
CIR's Lisa Cohen says the nonprofit, nonpartisan journalism outfit will co-produce the show with the Public Radio Exchange, highlighting some of CIR's ongoing investigations, as well as the watchdog journalism of other initiatives, in their one-hour radio show.

Why does this matter to DC, local politics and public policy?   Because the site and the new program show what's possible.

One possibility, for example, is the video game designed to help kids make healthy eating decisions (see the blog post How CIR used a video game to teach kids about healthy eating).   There's no reason why a DC nonprofit could not do a similar thing.

Another example of possibility is described in 7 mass surveillance tools your local police might be using.   What this triggers for me is the idea that we could use technology to document landlord/property problems to make renter challenges more transparent.   Problems could be combined with building permit information and other types of info useful to current or potential renters.

What ideas do you have for using technology for good?

Sunday, July 20, 2014

The early years of Dunbar

Dunbar High School's Classic Age: 1870-1957 is a short documentary about the nationally recognized high school.   The documentary was made possible through a grant from the Humanities Council of Washington, DC.

Friday, July 18, 2014

DC history made July 14

In Making History – and Making History Work DC Jobs Council director Marina Streznewski explains the value of the recently passed Ban the Box legislation.

The highlights for me, though, are:

This bill is notable, too, for the quality and character of the negotiations that have brought us to this day.


Cooperation at this unprecedented level was possible because Coalition members and Chamber representatives came to a profound realization – we agreed that returning citizens deserve a fair chance at a job.

Take a moment to read the (beautifully written) piece by Streznewski.

TA: Making the most of Google Docs

Neighborhood history

I learned about truxtoncircle.org/ from the Historic Washington Yahoo group.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Free lunch on Saturdays, anyone?

Mayor Vince Gray announced the terrific news earlier today: Starting July 19, some libraries and rec centers will be serving children and youth 18 and younger lunch through the DC Free Summer Meals Program!   That's right.   Free lunch for all kids in DC.

Shocked?   Surprised?   Don't be.   DC has served free meals on Saturdays before.   The point, after all, is to make sure kids are not hungry on weekends.

From the release:

"Not only has the District committed to providing free summer meals on Saturdays for the second year in a row, but we have also significantly increased the number of sites offering meals at DPR and DCPL locations," said Mayor Gray. "I am proud that the District continues to rank first in the country in access to nutritious meals for children and young people during the summer months. By expanding summer meals to Saturdays for the second summer in a row and offering new meal locations, we are once again demonstrating our commitment to being a city where every child has a chance to succeed."

DC Free Summer Meals is an important component in One City Youth as evidenced by the real estate dedicated to the program on the OCY website, onecityyouth.dc.gov.   In addition to the searchable map prepared by OCY partner DC Hunger Solutions, the site is home to outreach materials, chief among which are the flyers in Amharic, English, French, Korean, SimChi, Spanish, and Vietnamese; a short PSA; and a list of sites containing Ward and ANC info.

What are you waiting for?   Help feed some kids on Saturdays and through the summer - tell them about the DC Free Summer Meals Program, refer them to the searchable map, and tell them to call 211 to find the most convenient location.

Al Jazeera on the divided DC

In late 2010, Al Jazeera began showing the half-hour long There goes the neighbourhood.   The program is summarized this way: "A black family may occupy its most important residence, but Washington DC's African American population is in decline."

The backstory:

As demographic data from the 2010 census starts to come in, it will show a startling trend - cities that have long been the African American capitals of the US are undergoing drastic change. On the south side of Chicago, in New York's Harlem, across New Orleans and in Washington DC, the black population is in rapid decline.

The numbers are particularly startling in Washington, DC - a city that was once so thoroughly black it gained the name "Chocolate City". In 1970, blacks made up over 70 per cent of the district's population. Things have changed. In this decade, over 27,000 blacks left the city, and around 40,000 whites moved in. Today, African Americans represent less than 54 per cent of the population and demographers predict they will be a minority in the next five to 10 years.

Learn about Latinos and unemployment in DC

This Tweet from CAAB led me to these videos which led me to Hispanic AGENDA.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Mayor Gray on NewsTalk July 17

Mayor Gray will make his regular monthly appearance on NewsTalk Thursday, July 17 at 10:00 am.   Tune in to the show streaming here: http://news8.net/.   If you have questions or comments, call (703) 387-1020 or email the show.

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Spreading the word about "Spreading the Word"

DC Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy's "Spreading the Word" is an effective way to share information―events, announcements, job postings.   Email emckinney@dccampaign.org.   Want to subscribe to the weekly pub?   Go to http://www.dccampaign.org/#!abouus/cjg9.

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Participate: Survey on abuse in later life

Elder abuse is a real and tragic, and often hidden, problem in DC.   For every one elder abuse case that comes to the attention of people who can help and intervene, 14 senior victims are thought to suffer in silence, according to the National Research Council.

One step in solving the problem is gathering information and that's where you come in.   DC TROV (see below for deets) is surveying senior and service provider communities to assess the needs of the elderly population and orient the project.   The survey is online.

Seniors are also being surveyed. Paper surveys are available via email, merry@nvrdc.org and the online senior survey is here.

Direct questions about the project or the survey via email, merry@nvrdc.org.

Background on DC TROV from partner AARP:

In January of this year, a joint effort was launched by the Network for Victim Recovery of DC, Adult Protective Services, the Metropolitan Police Department, Legal Counsel for the Elderly, the US Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia, and the DC Coalition Against Domestic Violence, called DC TROV - The District's Collaborative Training & Response for Older Victims.

DC TROV seeks to increase the ability of governmental agencies, victim assistants, law enforcement personnel, prosecutors, and local courts to recognize, assist, investigate, and prosecute elder abuse and is supported through a three-year grant from the Office Against Violence on Women at the U.S. Department of Justice.