Sunday, March 29, 2009

Public Safety Forum on Youth, March 31

5th District Public Safety Forum on Youth, March 31, 7:00 pm at Greater Mount Calvary Holiness Church, 610 Rhode Island Ave NE.

This forum, sponsored by CSOSA, features Chief Judge Lee Satterfield, police chief Cathy Lanier, DYRS director Vinnie Schiraldi, and Ward 5 CM Tommy Thomas.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Support literacy and the local economy!

Shop Smart for Literacy at the Third Annual Downtown Shop Around, April 25 - May 3.

This fundraising event is brought to you by the Junior League of Washington; 100% of the proceeds go to the many community programs that are League-supported.   And before you sneer at this, I am a former League member having done my provisional year in Springfield, MA and joining JLW when I moved down south in 1990.   It is a great organization for women.   Check out the League Web site for details about this event and the others they sponsor as well as what they offer women.   I highly recommend the experience!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Edgewood Civic Assn to create Youth Council!

The Edgewood Civic Association of Washington, DC has recently launched their new Web site.   On the site you will find a history of the community, upcoming events, etc.   You will also see that they are interested in young people; at the March 23 meeting, for example, there was a discussion of the creation of an ECA Youth Council.   So check the site out and if you live in Edgewood, get involved!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

FREE -- DC Saves Financial Fair, April 4

Take control of your money at the DC Saves Financial Fair at THEARC on April 4.

Attendees can pick up useful financial information, receive a copy of their credit report and meet with a credit counselor, get a chance to win great prizes (including a $500 Savings Bond), and MUCH MORE!   Eligible filers can even have their tax returns prepared and e-filed for free.

Learn more (black and white flier, colorful flier), www.dcsaves.org or call 2/419-1440.

New database of health care resources in DC!

The GW Medical Center’s Himmelfarb Health Sciences Library, in partnership with Georgetown University Medical Center's Dahlgren Memorial Library, have recently launched a free, online guide to health care resources in the District of Columbia.   Go to the free site.

Rally to Keep Juvenile Justice Reform On Track in DC

This rally is being held on Tuesday, March 31 from 6:30 - 9:00 pm and will feature food and live music by the Sasha Bruce Youthworks GOGO Band.   Speakers include Hilary O. Shelton, Director of the NAACP Washington Bureau.   Come to Merritt Middle School, 5002 Hayes St NE (you can take the U6 Bus to 50th and Fitch Sts NE; there is on-street parking, too).

Juvenile justice reform and juvenile crime are front-burner issues in DC.   DYRS and Mayor Fenty recently announced new initiatives and Ward 6 CM Tommy Wells is considering a number of the recommendations that a number of youth advocates believe is are steps backward for young people in the city.

Sponsors are:   The Campaign for Youth Justice, Justice for D.C. Youth, Mentoring Today, Sasha Bruce Youth Works, Life Pieces to Masterpieces, and DC Alliance of Youth Advocates.   Questions/RSVP:   Contact Nate, jjcommunity[AT]campaignforyouthjustice[DOT]org or 2/558-3580 x21.

Send me your testimony to share!

Once again, I am offering the blog as a place where you can share your budget hearing testimony with others.   Just send it to me (if in Word or WP I will put in PDF) and I will post.   A good way to share your perspective.

Briefing on DDS budget, March 30

Community Forum:   What’s in the Proposed 2010 Budget for the DC Department on Disability Services?   This event, sponsored and facilitated by The Arc of the District of Columbia, is being held on Monday, March 30 from 4:00–5:30 pm at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Library in Room A-5.   The address is 901 G St NW (by Metro, between Gallery Place and Metro Center).

This is a chance to learn more about how Mayor Fenty’s proposed FY 2010 budget affects the Department on Disability Services (DDS). DDS includes the Developmental Disabilities Administration and the Rehabilitation Services Administration.   The agenda includes:

  • Presentation by Judith A. Heumann, Director, Department on Disability Services (DDS)
  • Audience Q & A – will feature questions submitted in advance as well as questions from the audience.

Additional details, including how to submit questions in advance and to RSVP, are in the flier.

Ask the mayor about the budget

Got a question for the mayor on his proposed budget?   Email it to Fox 5 (fentyonfox@wttg.com) and maybe it will be one picked for the mayor to address on the air tomorrow (Thursday) morning.   This is not your only chance -- Mayor Fenty appears nearly every Thursday morning.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Briefing on funding for child care, March 26

Empower DC's CHILD CARE FOR ALL CAMPAIGN is sponsoring their annual briefing on child care funding in the mayor's proposed budget.   DC Fiscal Policy Institute (DCFPI) is leading the "What's in the budget for child care?" session.

Join Campaign members and others on Thursday, March 26 from 6:30-8:30 pm at All Souls Church – 2835 16th St, NW (16th & Harvard Sts MW, Columbia Heights Metro, 14th & 16th buses, street parking).

Free child care is provided -- as is pizza and lots of information!   RSVP to 234-9119 or parisa[AT]empowerdc[DOT]org.

CHS budget hearing format

The Council's Committee on Human Services has just reported that their budget hearings will start with the public.

CFSA's grandparent program to be permanent!

An important provision in the FY 2010 budget support act is to make the grandparent caregivers program operated by CFSA permanent.   This is an important and necessary improvement.   This program gives income supports to income-eligible grandparents whose grandchildren would otherwise be placed in foster care.   Greater detail about the program and its initial success is in the first annual report.

What Will YOU Do To Protect Children?

FACT:   1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys will be sexually abused by the time they turn 18.


April is Child Abuse Prevention Month:   What Will YOU Do To Protect Children?

Safe Shores is training adults in the interactive, innovative and effective prevention model Stewards of Children throughout the month of April.   Safe Shores' goal is to add 100 adults to the committed community preventing child abuse.   Will you be one of the 100 protectors?   Learn how here.

Briefing on the CFSA proposed budget

DC Action for Children (DC ACT) is sponsoring this community briefing on the budget Mayor Fenty proposed for CFSA.   The event is being held on April 1 from 2:30 - 4:30 pm at One Judiciary Square.   Check out the details of the event here.

CFSA goes to court

The Child and Family Services Agency (CFSA) goes to court on May 4 at 2:00 pm for a LaShawn contempt hearing.   Thanks to UDC law school's Matt Fraidin for asking for this info!

Monday, March 23, 2009

The Arc of DC does it again! They just issued "Asking the Right Questions", a budget guide

The Arc of the District of Columbia, Inc. (The Arc of DC) just released their awesome fourth annual guide to the DC Council’s annual oversight and budget hearings.   The guide, Asking the Right Questions, provides useful information on DC government agencies that support and serve residents with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families.   The guide also identifies key questions that people with disabilities, family members and advocates may want to ask during the Council’s deliberations over the budget.   For more information about The Arc of DC’s budget guide, or to request a printed copy, contact T.J. Sutcliffe, Director of Advocacy and Public Policy, at 636-2963 or tjsutcliffe[AT]arcdc[DOT]net.

The Arc will share their take on the mayor's proposed budget with interested individuals and organizations.   To receive emails from the Arc, email T.J. Sutcliffe, tjsutcliffe[AT]arcdc[DOT]net, to get put on the list.

Additional budget info posted!

OCA has just posted the first of the additional information on the budget in the link titled "Additional Information on Selected Topics" on the city's budget Web site -- budget.dc.gov.   Posted today, around 1:15 pm, were two items:   "OPEFM School Modernization Plan for FY 2010-15" and "OPM Fixed Cost Estimates for energy, rent, security, janitorial, and occupancy."

Condolences

Condolences to the family of Adeyinka Adesioye, a staffer in the office of Ward 7 CM Yvette Alexander.   Also condolences to the CM and her staff.

Budget Support Act and Budget Highlights online!

The city administrator's office has posted the Budget Support Act and Budget Highlights (distributed on Friday) on the city's budget Web site.

ARRA child welfare funds start flowing to DC

Thanks to the Child Welfare League of America, we know how much in Title IV-E funding the District will receive as part of the federal stimulus package.   CWLA also provides other useful information; check out their Web site.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Expect new budget-related docs

You can expect some additional budget-related resources from the Fenty Administration in the coming days.   For old-school advocates, they are mini-special studies.   For newbies, they are what they are.   So keep checking here and the Fenty budget site for updates.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Council takes on Fenty budget proposal

The Council gets its first real opportunity to question Mayor Fenty on his proposed budget on Monday, March 23 at 10:00 am in the Council Chamber (Room 500) of the Wilson Building.   More on the briefing from the Council Chair.

Children's Budget just added to budget.dc.gov

DC residents and advocates should thank DC Action for Children; Adrian Fenty, then CM from Ward 4; and Council Chair Vince Gray for the Children's Budget.

The FY 2010 proposed budget for children is $3.2 billion, 36% of the total budget (nearly $9 billion).

Check out the Children's Budget for FY 2010.

FY 2010 budget now online!

The mayor's proposed FY 2010 budget is now on-line; go to Budget Information for the Public.   The easy way to get to this site (and the URL to share with friends and colleagues), is budget.dc.gov.

The People's Blog -- Another way to comment on proposed budget

CM Kwame Brown today launched a new subject on his blog, the People's Blog:   Comment on Mayor Fenty's proposed FY 2010 budget!   The At-Large Councilmember wants residents, providers and others to use the blog as another way to communicate budget ideas.   The blog supplements the more traditional ways of weighing in -- CM and staff visits, testimony at public hearings and actions such as rallies.   Yours truly suggested the addition to the Brown blog.

Read stimulus briefing testimony

On March 17, the Council's Committee of the Whole held a briefing featuring City Administrator Dan Tangherlini and CFO Nat Gandhi.   The subject?   The Fenty Administration's plans for the federal stimulus funds.   You can watch the briefing on the OCT Web site on demand and read the testimony here:   Dan Tangherlini's and Natwar Gandhi's.   Council Chair Vince Gray did defer to Mayor Fenty a great deal when it came to plans for FY 2010 since the mayor is releasing his proposed budget today at 10:30 am.   So?   If you are interested in the use of stimulus funds, then pay attention to the FY 2010 proposed budget.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Fenty's State of the District address delivered March 19

Mayor Fenty delivered his 2009 State of the District address on March 19, one day before he releases his FY 2010 proposed budget.   The remarks are online on the city's Web site.

State of the District streaming live today!

Fox 5 just announced they were live streaming the State of the District address today.   They said it is at 10:30 but the press office announcement says 11:00.  So not sure about the time, but good news about the streaming!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Horrors -- Mocha Hut is closed

As reported by dcist and LL, Mocha Hut has closed!   Now where will advocates and others gather (other than Busboys and Poets, of course)?   Do share the places you like to meet and work.

State of the District address postponed

According to the D.C. Wire, Mayor Fenty's address have been postponed until Thursday, March 19.

Save the Date for the Rally for Juvenile Justice

The Campaign for Youth Justice is holding this rally on Tuesday, March 31 at 7:00 pm to make sure that juvenile justice reform in the District remains on track in the right direction.   The location still has yet to be confirmed but you will be sure to hear from Hilary O. Shelton, Director of the NAACP Washington Bureau.   To stay in the loop about the rally, contact Nate, jjcommunity[AT]campaignforyouthjustice[DOT]org or 2/558-3580.

Action Alert: Give youth a voice!

The Campaign for Youth Justice is encouraging youth and adults alike to turn out for the Ward 6 community meetings to comment on the recommendations of the Juvenile Crime Task Force.   According to the Campaign for Youth Justice, "The recommendations include ideas on ways to curb juvenile crime in DC’s neighborhoods—some of which are steps backwards for DC’s youth.   Of particular concern are several recommended initiatives that would open up juvenile records to a range of city agencies and community groups.   While these reforms are well intentioned, they risk the stigmatization of at-risk youth and juvenile offenders."

The community meeting schedule is here.

The Campaign is ready to help any and all who may need a little help to be an effective advocate for the city's young people.   Contact Nate, jjcommunity[AT]campaignforyouthjustice[DOT]org or 2/558-3580.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Council for Court Excellence comments on CFSA and DYRS

Priscilla Skillman at the Council for Court Excellence testified before the Committee on Human Services at the CFSA and DYRS oversight hearings.   CFSA = Child and Family Services Agency; DYRS = Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Hold the morning of March 20 for the proposed FY 2010 budget release

Mayor Adrian Fenty is scheduled to present his FY 2010 proposed budget to the City Council and the community on March 20 in the morning.   The budget has a couple of new features designed to make this most important policy document more accessible to residents, advocates and elected leaders.   Further, the budget and other documents will be posted on a new, budget-focused Web site the day the proposed budget is released.   Stay tuned here for more news about the budget.

Youth Advocacy Day - March 24!

The DC Alliance of Youth Advocates (DCAYA) is holding their first annual Youth Advocacy Day on March 24 from 9:00 am - 2:00 pm at the Wilson Building, 1350 Pennsylvania Ave NW.   The purpose is to start 'em young on advocating for important issues.   And, as they rightly point out in the event flier, when nonprofits, government and concerned youth collaborate, we make a stronger community for DC youth.

There is still time to register young people and adults for this event -- but do it soon, it's only about a week away!

Share your testimony!

Success in advocacy and lobbying is very much reliant on sharing and learning from others.   To help all of us do better for children and youth in DC, I am encouraging those who have testified at one or more of the Council's oversight hearings on FYs 2008 and 2009 agency performance to share their views with me and the volumes of this blog's readers.   Send me the link to your testimony on your Web site or blog or send the testimony for me to post.   Use the email tool at the right to share.

Pre-k expansion creeping along

The recently released Pre-K for All DC report on the implementation of the aggressive pre-k legislation finds that only one-third of the deliverables have been completed.   To read the report, go to the Pre-K for All DC Web site.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Budget countdown. . .

The countdown is on for the FY 2010 proposed budget.   Mayor Fenty will release it one week from today.   A number of organizations - including the Arc, DCFPI and DC Action for Children - and of course yours truly are chomping at the bit for the budget so we can help providers, concerned residents and others understand what it all means.   Stay tuned here for more on the budget!

Children's early learning will be hurt by UDC plans

Yesterday, the Council's Committee of the Whole held oversight hearings on UDC and the Office of the State Superintendent of Education.   Both play a role in early childhood development in the city.   UDC, as previously mentioned on this blog, plans to eliminate the undergrad education major.   I have weighed in on the issue; read the memo I submitted to the Chair.   Others, like Pre-K for All DC are paying close attention to this.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Comments needed on city's plan for students with disabilities

The Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) has posted the city's draft FY 2009 application for IDEA Part B for public comment.   According to the press release, "IDEA Part B funds provide a portion of the overall funds that support the efforts of the OSSE to 'create and support interventions that allow students with disabilities to receive an excellent education and life skills training to become well educated, independent, and productive members of our community (OSSE Strategic Plan, 2008).'"

There is a 60-day comment period; comments must be submitted by May 10, 2009. (The draft plan is here.)   Comments should be directed to Gregory Ellis at Gregory[DOT]Ellis[AT]dc[DOT]gov.

CM Wells schedules community meetings on juvenile crime task force recs

Ward 6 CM Tommy Wells has announced the community meetings focusing on the juvenile crime task force recommendations.   The meeting details are:
  • Monday, March 23, 6:30 – 8:00 pm at Payne Elementary School, 305 15th St SE
  • Tuesday, March 24, 6:30 – 8:00 pm at Westminster Presbyterian Church, 400 I St SW
  • Wednesday, March 25, 6:30 – 8:00 pm at Sherwood Recreation Center, 641 G St NE

To prepare, review the materials at CM Wells' Web site.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Eugene Kinlow to be honored at Far Southeast Collaborative event

Eugene Kinlow, one of the founders of the Collaborative Movement in the District is being honored on April 3 at a testimonial dinner.   The dinner kicks off the three-day 10th anniversary annual meeting and community conference extravaganza brought to you by the Far Southeast Family Strengthening Collaborative.   The conference celebrates Family Strengthening Month by offering trainings and workshops and a range of resources.   Details are here.

Fenty's re-election site

The Fenty re-election Web site is sparse right now, but if history repeats itself, and it will, the site will be home to a calendar full of campaign activities, media reports, calls for volunteers, etc.   The only way to participate now is to make a campaign donation.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

DYRS records public hearing

The Committee on Human Services is holding a public hearing on Bill 18-0105, “Records Access Amendment Act of 2009”, on April 8 at 2:00 pm in Room 120 in the Wilson Building.   The purpose of the legislation is to permit certain City Council members and staff to review certain DYRS records.   The legislation is here and the hearing notice is here.

Tell the DC government how to use the stimulus

From the DC government:  
Tell us how you think the District of Columbia should use federal stimulus funds to stimulate our economy and make key investments for our future.

UDC plans might negatively impact early learning

It is too early to tell how the proposal to end UDC's education major for undergrads will effect the District's early care and education system.   Stay tuned for intel on the issue.   If you have any info to share, just email me.

Important budget and stimulus docs

The DC Bar's recent event on the stimulus and local economic situation featured Jeff Coudriet from the Council's Committee on Finance and Revenue and Eric Goulet from the Council's Budget Office.   The Bar has shared the handouts with me so those who were not able to attend the event could be well informed.

We made some noise, had some fun!

Well, the DC press corps won the charity challenge game yesterday at Verizon. The City Council team led until the 4th quarter when the guys and gals in black were all offense.   Council staffers and DC Vote staff were courtside makin' some noise!   And a number of advocates and providers came out in support of this charity game for athletics in DC.   All in all, a good time, a way to have some fun before the hard work of budget season for the next 3+ months. . .

Friday, March 6, 2009

Mayor creates new child welfare advisory committee

On February 19, Mayor Fenty signed Mayor's Order 2009-17 (see p. 2041), the order establishing the new Mayor's Advisory Committee on Child Welfare.   The committee will advise the mayor on all things child welfare from prevention to permanency.   This committee replaces MACCAN, the Mayor's Advisory Committee on Child Abuse and Neglect.

To date, the mayor has appointed five members of the committee (see p. 2047).

The creation of this new committee is a long time coming.   There is lots for this committee to do including the big job of helping think through what a post-LaShawn CFSA and child welfare system look like.

New background check rules for government contractors

The Chief Procurement Officer of the District of Columbia has issued emergency rules regarding background and traffic checks for employees and unsupervised volunteers working with children and youth.   The emergency rules relate to organizations and companies contracting with the following DC government agencies:   Department of Human Services, Department of Health, Department of Parks and Recreation, fire department, Metropolitan Police Department, Office of the State Superintendent of Education, Department of Mental Health, Child and Family Services Agency, Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services, Department of Employment Services, and Department on Disability Services.

The emergency rules replace the rules currently in place and are in effect for 120 days from March 6.   To read the emergency rules, go to the March 6 edition of the DC Register.

March 17 public briefing on use of stimulus funds

The Committee of the Whole is holding a public briefing on March 17 to follow-up on the earlier hearing on use of the federal stimulus funding.   The Office of the City Administrator will speak to the city’s strategy for applying for competitive grants in the stimulus package.   Further, the administration will share with the Council and the public its priorities for the use of the funds.   The briefing will begin 30 minutes after the regularly scheduled COW (and Legislative Session if one is scheduled) ends.   The briefing will take place in the Council Chamber, Room 500, of the Wilson Building.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

ICSIC program evaluation released

On February 17, the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Education released the "first annual independent evaluation of the programs of the Interagency Collaboration and Services Integration Commission (ICSIC)."   Among the ICSIC accomplishments are the creation of a process to monitor goal achievement and the implementation of a pilot to improve educational and other outcomes of children.   The report is online here.

Public input sought!

The Ward One Library Coalition seeks resident feedback on library renovation/development plans.   The Coalition has created a short survey.   Questions about the survey or plans should be directed to the Coalition:   536-4065 or dclibrarydynamo[AT]rushpost[DOT]com.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

CM Wells releases juvenile crime reduction recommendations

On March 3, Ward 6 CM Tommy Wells released the draft recommendations from the Ward 6 Juvenile Crime Task Force.   The task force focused on four key areas:   increasing public transparency and government accountability, increasing meaningful juvenile offender accountability, addressing school truancy, and expanding innovations to prevent juvenile crime.   The specific recommendations include:
  • Reform the District’s confidentiality laws so that agencies and related service providers can share information about juveniles who commit crimes, and mandate the creation of an interagency database and assessment tool for tracking at-risk youth.
  • Make juvenile violent crime data available to the community in a format that helps residents understand the full dimensions of juvenile crime.
  • Streamline and strengthen the government’s ability to revoke the right for a youth committed to DYRS to stay in a community placement.

CM Wells plans to introduce legislation to implement the recommendations.   Prior to that, however, the CM will hold a number of community meetings to get feedback.   The recommendations, including data, research and neighborhood suggestions reviewed by the task force, are on the CM's Web site, www.tommywells.org.

***CYITC hearing time change

The CYITC oversight hearing scheduled for March 4 is now being held at 3:00 pm.

DC City Desk goes into retirement

Sam Smith is leaving DC for the clean air of Maine.   This is a huge loss.   According to the last edition of DC City Desk, the DC news site will be converted into a DC archives featuring such things as an almanac, timeline and interesting articles about the city.   Godspeed, Sam.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Youth blood donor legislation

In early February, CM Thomas introduced a bill lowering the age at which blood donation is possible.   Check out the bill here.

DC launches local stimulus tracking Web site

Mayor Fenty announced the launch of Web site to track the effects of the stimulus in DC.   Check out recovery.dc.gov.

Cheerleading update

The economy being what it is has put a damper on time available for extracurricular things like cheerleading at the Council/DC press corps game on March 9.   Because folks are so busy with current and new clients, the cheerleading squad is taking a pass.   But the game is still on, as are the two DC student games.

Federal site tracks economic recovery funding

Recovery.gov is a website that illustrates where money from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act is going.   Can't track DC money now but will be able to soon.   Bookmark the site and visit often.   Or, sign up for email notices of changes to the site.

DC Food Finder

This awesome tool is brought to you by Healthy Affordable Food for All (HAFA), a coalition of advocates, service providers and local food activists working to increase access to healthy, affordable food in all DC neighborhoods.   Be sure to bookmark it so you can share the resources with clients, neighbors, etc.