Monday, March 29, 2010

Free child abuse prevention training in April

In recognition of Child Abuse Awareness and Prevention Month this April, Safe Shores is offering FREE educational opportunities for child-serving professionals and caring adults.   Safe Shores is offering four free trainings throughout the month of April.

Safe Shores will train on Stewards of Children, a revolutionary interactive prevention training program developed by Darkness to Light, a national child sexual abuse prevention organization.   This program educates adults to take simple, proactive to protect children from sexual abuse, including how to prevent, recognize and react responsibly. April 2010 Stewards of Children Trainings

City Council hearings

Some of the public hearings noticed in the March 26 DCR are:
  • B18-674, "Medicaid Benefits Protection Amendment Act of 2010":   The Committee on Health (At-large CM Catania, chair) is holding a hearing on April 29 at 2:00 pm in the JAWB. Details are in the notice.
  • "Post Hypothermia - A Review of Homeless Shelter Operations During the Winter of 2009-2010":   The public roundtable is being held on March 31 at 10:00 am by the Committee on Human Services (Ward 6 CM Wells, chair) in the JAWB. Details are in the notice.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Notices from the March 26 DCR

Notices relevant to children, youth and families are:
  • The Department of Health Care Finance (DHCF) issued emergency and proposed rules in the March 26 DCR "to change the current prospective payment reimbursement methodology for inpatient hospital services for hospitals participating in the Medicaid Program."   The public may comment in writing within 30 days of publication.   Details are in the notice.
  • The Department of Human Services (DHS) issued emergency and proposed rules in the March 26 DCR regarding a new DCMR chapter titled "Shelter and Supportive Housing For Individuals and Families."   The proposed rules will become effective in not less than 45 days from the date of publication.   DHS has also given notice "of its intent to take final rulemaking action to adopt these regulations within fifteen (15) days of approval by the District of Columbia Council ("Council") or the expiration of the Council review period, whichever occurs first."

    From the notice:

    The purpose of the new chapter is to establish rules to administer the District of Columbia’s Shelter and Supportive Housing Program for individuals and families. The District initially published proposed rules for the Program on Friday, September 28, 2007.   In addition, the District published the proposed rules for the Program to implement the new Permanent Supportive Housing initiative on Friday, August 15, 2008.   Public comments were received during the comment periods and the Department has revised the original proposed rulemakings to reflect the comments received on each.   Because the revisions represent substantial alterations, the Department is republishing the combined comprehensive Program rules, as an emergency and proposed rulemaking, in accordance with section 303(f) of the District of Columbia Administrative Procedure Act, as added by section 4 of the District of Columbia Documents Act, effective March 6, 1979, D.C. Law 2-153, D.C. Official Code § 2-553(f) (2006 Supp.).   In addition, these rules were submitted to the Council and are awaiting Council approval, or expiration of the Council review period, as required by section 31 of the HSRA.

    Details are in the notice.

  • Now available:   First Draft Fiscal Year 2011-2015 Consolidated Plan and Fiscal Year 2011 Annual Action Plan for the District of Columbia.   The Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) is making the draft available for public comment no later than April 2.   Comments are sought on four federal entitlement programs:   Community Development Block Grant Program (CDBG), HOME Investment Partnerships Program (HOME), Emergency Shelter Grant Program (ESG), and Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS Program (HOPWA).   The deadline for comments is May 3. Details are in the notice.
  • The Justice Grants Administration notice funding availability in the March 26 DCR.   Details about these opportunities are in the notice.
  • UDC’s Board of Trustees published a corrected final notice in the March 26 DCR regarding the university’s procurement rules approved by the City Council.

Underage drinking in DC

District Youth in Brief:   Underage Drinking, by the Center for Substance Abuse Research (CESAR) at the University of Maryland at College Park for DC's Department of Health, summarizes the prevalence of alcohol use by youth between the ages of 12 and 20.

You can subscribe to CESAR updates by going to http://www.cesar.umd.edu/.

Questions from DC Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy

DC Campaign has recently asked two important questions:
  1. What do you think DC spends annually to support families started by teens?
  2. What do you think DC invests annually in rigorously evaluated programs to prevent teen pregnancy?

DC Campaign wants to know what you think!   Email Jen Bissell with your answer(s):   jbissell (at) dccampaign (dot) org.

Getting to the DC Register online

There are a few ways to get the the DC Regs website - where you will find the DCR, mayor's orders and the like.
  • The first way is to use this URL:   http://www.dcregs.org/.
  • The second is to use this URL:   http://dcregs.dc.gov/.   Note that this option follows the DC government pattern of URLs which is agency abbreviation (dot) dc (dot) gov.
  • The third way is via the Office of the Secretary website, http://os.dc.gov.   Use the link "Access the DC Municipal Regulations and Register."

Friday, March 26, 2010

Proposed rules on election procedures

The Board of Elections and Ethics (BOEE) issued proposed rules in the March 19 DC Register regarding the various election procedures.   Specifically, the proposed rules are about the types and forms of ballots, polling locations, listing names on ballots, poll watchers, and other important election day issues.   BOEE will take action in not less than 30 days from the date of publication.   Written comments are due within that timeframe and details are in the notice.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Opening remarks from Master Facilities Plan hearing

The Committee of the Whole (Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray, chair) held a public hearing on "Master Facilities Plan for District of Columbia Public Schools" on March 24.  Mr. Gray's opening remarks are here.

More than 80 scheduled to speak at Healthy Schools public hearing March 26

More than 80 individuals are registered to testify at the public hearing on B18-564, the “Healthy Schools Act of 2009” on March 26 at 11:00 am.  The list, hearing notice, summary of the legislation, and link to watch the hearing live are on Ward 3 CM Mary Cheh's website.  CM Cheh is chair of the Committee on Government Operations and the Environment, co-sponsor (along with the Committee of the Whole chaired by Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray) of the hearing.

According to CM Cheh's website,
this bill would (1) make school meals healthier and more nutritious; (2) increase the amount of local and fresh fruits and vegetables served in schools; (3) increase exercise and physical activity in our schools; (4) promote school gardens, recycling, energy reduction, and other green initiatives; and (5) improve school nurse, asthma, and allergy programs.

Metro area prom dress giveaway May 2

Low-income teens in the District, Maryland and Virginia can take advantage of the May 2 CIAO BELLA Prom 2010, an event sponsored by St. Anthony’s Bridal, a PG County nonprofit.   This prom dress giveaway benefits Prince George’s County and metro area high school seniors who would like to attend their Senior prom but may not have the financial resources to purchase a prom gown.

The event is taking place on May 2 at 3:30 pm at the City of Glenarden’s Gold Room (8600 Glenarden Parkway).   For pre-registration and further information, contact Helen Robinson at Janeg1962 (at) yahoo (dot) com.   You can also go to their website.

Today on D.C. Politics with Jonetta

Today on D.C. Politics with Jonetta from 11:00 am to Noon on WPFW (89.3 FM or http://www.wpfw.org/) you will hear host Jonetta Rose Barras and resident analyst Eugene Dewitt Kinlow talk with City Council Chairman Vincent Gray about schools, budget, council-mayor relations, and his political future.   Listen and call in with your questions, (202) 588-0893.

DC joins Mayor's Action Challenge

The District of Columbia and Mayor Fenty have joined the National League of Cities' The Mayors' Action Challenge for Children and Families!

The purpose of the challenge is for mayors to

set at least one bold, measurable goal or target to guide local action in each of the following areas to ensure that every child has:
  • Opportunities to learn and grow;
  • A safe neighborhood to call home;
  • A healthy lifestyle and environment; and
  • A financially fit family in which to thrive.

DC's goals include school attendance, use of pre-k, reducing obesity, and connecting more families to jobs and job training.

Yay DC!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Committee on Economic Development changes hearing dates

The council's Committee on Economic Development (At-large CM Kwame Brown, chair) has changed the dates of two hearings for the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development.   One of the changes was to the oversight hearing and the other was to the budget hearing.   The details are here.

Washington Peace Center's latest activist resource

The Washington Peace Center does it again.   This time, it offers up a list of outdoor spaces to hold an event in DC.

Updated Child Abuse Prevention Month activities

Child and Family Services Agency has updated their suggested activities list to reflect changes made on other websites.   Check out the new and improved list here.

CFSA announces one Child Abuse Prevention month event

CFSA's April 7 Supporting our Youth and Young Parents and Preventing Teen Pregnancy event brings in the teen pregnancy prevention experts to help teens effectively deal with stress and pressure to have sex.

Be sure to share this info with teens and programs working with teens.   The first 50 teens will receive free gifts!

Anacostia Library update

The permanent Anacostia Neighborhood Library (1800 Good Hope Rd SE) is opening April 26.   The new library will feature 22,000 square feet filled with more than 75,000 books, CDs and DVDs; reading areas for various age groups; more than 30 computers and free Wi-Fi; and free meeting space.   The interim library closes April 3.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

CFSA to brief community on FY 2011 proposed budget

Child and Family Services Agency is the first DC government agency to sponsor its own community briefing on the mayor's proposed budget!

The event is being held on April 14 from 4:00 - 6:00 pm and is open to the public.  Details in the flier below.

This briefing follows the April 1 release of Mayor Fenty's proposed budget and is in advance of the April 22 public hearing by the Committee on Human Services on the CFSA budget.

CFSA FY11 Budget Briefing Announcement                                                            

Child welfare updates

So there are some opportunities out here around helping CFSA and working with them:

More public policy and practice reads

If you have missed national and local reports and studies, here is a short list.

CM Thomas and community present people's child care budget

Today at 10:00 am the Parents and Providers’ Alliance for Child Care and Ward 5 CM Thomas will present the alliance's child care budget for FY 2011 on the steps of the JAWB.   The alliance opposes past and potential cuts and is demanding increased funding for quality and capacity.   More information from Ben Parisi, ben (at) empowerdc (dot) org.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Mayor Fenty's March 23 sked

Two child-related events are on Mayor Fenty's schedule March 23.   First is the playground groundbreaking at Langdon Elementary School (1900 Evarts St NE) at 10:30 am.   Next are remarks at the 2010 White House Easter Egg Roll ticket giveaway at J.O. Wilson Elementary School (660 K St NE).   This is at 12:30 pm.

Election 2010: Candidate update

Here is some additional information on the 2010 DC elections, updated from this previous post and a number of posts made since last fall:

Calendar updated

Check out the calendar at the bottom of the page and you will find recently added events such as the Ward 6 Dems budget event on March 30 and the DC Family Court event on April 16.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

More testimony from oversight hearings

Some time ago I had offered to post testimony delivered at oversight hearings.   This is what I have recently received (and asked for):

The City Council in the March 19 DCR

Oversight roundtable on DPR contracting:   The Committee on Economic Development; Committee on Government Operations and the Environment; Committee on Libraries, Parks and Recreation; and Committee on Housing and Workforce Development are sponsoring a public oversight roundtable on "The Contracting Process Related To Parks And Recreation Projects."   The roundtable will be held on March 24 at 10:00 am in the JAWB.   Details about the roundtable, including how to register to testify, are in the notice.

FYs 2009 and 2010 oversight hearings schedule change:   The March 19 DCR includes the March 15 updated of the schedule.   Check out the notice.

Mayor Fenty's March 22 sked

One of Mayor Fenty's public appearances on March 22 is at the unveiling of the Harry Thomas Sr. Recreation Center.   At 2:00 pm, Mayor Fenty will give remarks at the unveiling of the renovations.   See the mayor and others at Harry Thomas Sr. Recreation Center (1743 Lincoln Rd NE).

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

DDS FY 2011 budget forum

What’s in the Proposed 2011 Budget for the DC Department on Disability Services?   A Community Forum is being held on April 13 from 4:00 – 6:00 pm.   The event is sponsored by The Arc of the District of Columbia and DC Fiscal Policy Institute.

Trainings for providers

Check out this list of free trainings in mental health, child welfare, and mentoring among other topics.   NOTE:   One of the trainings is being held on March 18.

JGA has a new website!

For those interested in public safety, youth development, crime, violence, and ex-offenders, be sure to check out the new and improved Justice Grants Administration website.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Testimony from the March 11 CFSA oversight hearing

More than 25 people signed up to testify at the March 11 oversight hearing on the Child and Family Services Agency convened by the Committee on Human Services.   Ward 6 CM Tommy Wells chairs the committee.

Some of those who testified:

DPR seeks public input on improving website

The Department of Parks and Recreation is joining the "let's improve our website" movement with the release of this survey.   DPR wants to gather input about improving the agency online presence, striving to have the new website "meet the needs of District of Columbia residents and DPR customers."   The survey will close at the end of the day, March 29.

Parks and Rec is also hosting focus groups during the week of April 5

to gather more in-depth information on what people want to see on the website.   Those interested in participating in focus groups can share contact information at the end of the online survey or can contact Stuart Allan by email at stuart (dot) allan (at) dc (dot) gov.   The update of the website is expected to be complete in late spring.

DCPS oversight hearings

The Committee of the Whole, which has oversight of DC Public Schools (and other K-12 and higher ed institutions), last week added a hearing to the one scheduled for March 15.   The public has been testifying today, March 15, and Chancellor Michelle Rhee will testify on March 22.

Council Chairman Vince Gray's opening statement for the March 15 hearing is here.   The witness list, 96 people long, which explains the separate hearing for DCPS staff, is here.

From and about the Fenty Administration

A little of this and a little of that from the executive branch:
  • Bernedia Long is the assistant to the Ward 3 MOCRS staff.   She is interested in being kept in the loop in Ward 3 issues.   Her direct phone is 671-2337 and her email is Bernedia (dot) Long (at) dc (dot) gov
  • DPR has a new application and vetting process for community partners:   This process is for organizations interested in providing free programs at Department of Parks and Recreation facilities during the summer of 2010.   The submission deadline is 5:00 pm April 15.   More information about the process is on the DPR website.
  • Two upcoming DCPS events:   1) Teaching and Learning Community Meeting in Ward 4, March 16 at 6:30 pm at Roosevelt Senior High School (4301 13th St NW) and 2) Chancellor’s Community Forum in Ward 7 on The Vision for DCPS High Schools, March 24 at 6:30 pm at Kimball Elementary School (3375 Minnesota Ave SE).
  • The DCPS central office has moved:   On March 1, the office opened at its new location, 1200 First St NE.   While the location has changed, all phone numbers have remained the same.   For a guide to the new location, click here.
  • The Mt. Pleasant Library is closing for renovation on March 27 at 5:30 and the interim branch (3164 Mount Pleasant St NW) will open on April 19.   The interim will be open until the spring of 2011 when the renovated library re-opens.   Over the next year, library patrons can return or renew books checked out from any DC library.
  • The brand spankin' new Benning Library (3935 Benning Rd NE) is opening April 5.   The interim library closed March 13.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

More candidates in 2010

Gotta love the Office of Campaign Fiance - the candidates do all the work and OCF makes the reports available.   Yay!   The list that is the basis for this post is here.

So this is what we know that has not been shared on the blog before:

  • Committee to Elect Ernest E. Johnson Mayor (D)
  • Can't find a website for Tayman 2010 but what we do know is that Patrick is running for mayor.
  • Current Ward 6 member Tommy Wells is running for re-election.
  • Delano Hunter is running for the Ward 5 seat.
  • Harry Thomas, Ward 5 CM, is running for re-election.
  • Kenyan McDuffie is running for the Ward 5 seat.
  • Tracey Turner is also running for the Ward 5 seat.
  • Current Ward 3 rep Mary Cheh is running for a second term.
  • At-large member Phil Mendelson is running to retain his seat.
  • Richard Urban is running for an At-large seat.

Building Governmental Transparency, March 19

President Obama committed his administration "to creating an unprecedented level of openness in government."   The administration has launched several efforts to operationalize the promise.   Three panels of experts will discuss the Obama Administration's initiatives and how they effect the public.   Details are online.

The Center for American Progress is having this free event on March 19 from Noon - 2:00 pm at Center for American Progress (1333 H St NW).   If you are not able to attend, watch the streaming video the day of the event.

A timely history lesson

From H-DC's Matthew Gilmore:
March 10, 1884 The [District] Time Bill was passed -- establishing the 75th meridian time for the District -- March 11, 1884 Washington Post.

An article the previous October (October 26, 1883) explained that this would move time in Washington ahead 8 minutes and 12 seconds.

This was a follow up to the adoption of the recommendations of the General Time convention which established the time zones with which we are familiar.   Those time zones went into effect November 18, 1883.

Friday, March 12, 2010

CM Cheh exemplifies transparency

Thanks to a CM Cheh staffer, I now know that the Ward 3 official is posting witness testimony in addition to agency testimony and pre-hearing questions and answers!   Seriously, this is exciting.   This is huge!

Check out an example here.

Witness testimony from other hearings is easy enough to find.   Go to http://www.marycheh.com/, go to the calendar on the right side of the home page (shown as "Events") and click the date of the hearing.   You can also watch the hearing from a link on the page.

If you like this improvement to the CM's site, send her an email, mcheh (at) dccouncil (dot) us.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

More changes made to oversight and budget hearings schedules

Both the FYs 2009 and 2010 performance oversight hearings and the FY 2011 budget hearings schedules were updated March 8.   Changes are highlighted in yellow.

New Ward 4 MOCRS staffer

Chris Davis has replaced Joseph Martin as one of the Ward 4 Mayor's Office on Community Relations and Services staff.   Contact Chris at chris (dot) davis (at) dc (dot) gov or 340-7853 (Martin's old cell phone).

Agency responses to council questions

Interested in how DC government agencies have responded to questions from committees related to the performance oversight hearings?   You are largely in luck.   Committees, some not all, are posting information on the City Council's website.   This information can be quite useful when testifying and suggesting questions to committees.

Mayor Fenty around town March 11

Mayor Fenty will make remarks at 10:15 am at the West End Library Update (24th and L Sts NW).   And at 11:00 am, tune in to DC Politics with Jonetta (WPFW 89.3 FM) to hear the mayor answer what are sure to be pointed questions.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Maternal and Child Health Community Meeting

The purpose of the Maternal and Child Health Community Meeting, being held on April 6, is to discuss Federal Title V Grant Funding and Services and define new priorities for the next five years.   The meeting will be from 3:00 – 7:00 pm at The Charles Sumner School (17th and M Sts NW).   To register, give your name, organization, title, and email address to Margaret Mackie, 442-9360 or margaret (dot) mackie (at) dc (dot) gov by April 1.

Survey of Ward 5 senior citizens - supporting our elders helps support kids

The Ward 5 Mini Commission on Aging is conducting a survey of the needs of seniors who live in Ward 5.

Why is a child advocate promoting a survey on the needs of senior citizens?   Beyond the fact that seniors are an important part of families, some grandparents in DC step up to parent their grandchildren.   According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 2008 American Community Survey, for instance, approximately 11% of children in DC live with their grandparent and the grandparent is the head of the household.

A few years ago, the city created the Grandparents Subsidy Program to help low-income grandparents care for their grandchildren and keep them out of the foster care system.   The program "provides monthly financial assistance (on a first come, first served basis) to low-income grandparents and other relatives residing in the District of Columbia who are raising grandchildren, great grandchildren, or great nieces or nephews outside the child welfare system."

Paying attention to the needs of our elders is important just because and particularly because so many are caring for children who might otherwise end up in foster care.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

CM Michael Brown's home run of a hearing

At-large CM Michael Brown hit a home run on March 5 at his first hearing as chair of the Committee on Housing and Workforce Development.   He demonstrated a command of the issues and asked good questions.   He started the hearing with this:
Stable employment, affordable housing and quality education are the keys to stabilizing our most challenged neighborhoods.   Job training and preparing District residents to succeed in the workplace must continue to be the focus of the Department’s operations.
  • Are we are training our residents in industries where jobs currently exist or where they are projected to exist in the near future?
  • How do we measure outcomes related to job training?
  • How do we ensure that our youth workforce development programs provide meaningful experiences year-round that set our youth up for success?

Read the rest of CM's opening statement here.   To see who testified at the hearing, take a look at the final witness list.

DOES director Joe Walsh will appear before the committee on March 15 at 1:00 pm in Room 120 of the JAWB.

Volunteers needed for Citizens Review Panel

DC's Citizens Review Panel is looking to expand its membership.   The panel is required by federal law.   More importantly, the panel seeks to improve outcomes for vulnerable children and youth.   If you are interested in volunteering, read the recruitment flier.

Mayor Fenty to attend education hearing in the community, March 9

Mayor Fenty will attend the education budget hearing on March 9 at 9:30 am at Smothers Elementary School (4400 Brooks St NE).

Child abuse and domestic violence featured on Social Justice Challenge

The Social Justice Challenge
was founded on the idea that reading can change the world.   Each month we will focus on a different area of social injustice in the world and encourage participants to learn about the issues through reading and other media and take action steps towards making a difference.

12 months.   12 themes.   Countless lives changed.

March at Social Justice Challenge is about domestic violence and child abuse.   The month's reading list is here.

Hub DC - space for social innovators

Hub DC will be a space for people who want to change our world for the better.   It will provide a platform for social innovators to meet, collaborate, and scale their ideas for maximum impact, whether they're working on green energy initiatives, healthcare systems in developing countries or anywhere in between.   Hub DC is a part of the global Hub network, a web of 24 spaces (with 60 more in development!) that all share a mission of social justice, grassroots innovation and collaboration.

The central concept behind Hub DC is that it's driven by the community - it provides the resources that members need to have their greatest impact.   Organizers are reaching out to others interested in making the idea real in DC.   At the first community meeting, it's our chance to think big ... how can Hub DC incubate social innovation, strengthen the local economy, and unify segmented groups?   How can we build a culture and a momentum that encourages others to join?   What do we want the space to look like?

The community meeting is being held on March 14 from 3:30 - 5:00 pm at St. Stephen's Church Dining Room (1525 Newton St NW).   RSVP by March 12 to alex (dot) denny (at) the-hub (dot) net.   You can also check out the Hub DC blog.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Calendar updates

Remember to check out the calendar at the end of the blog.   Numerous trainings, advocacy events, and learning opportunities have been added.   Events added include the March 11 "The Next Challenge for Public Housing: Serving Its Most Vulnerable Families"; the April 9-11 training, Training for Change; and the March 11 NAACP DC Branch meeting.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Oversight and budget hearing sked changes

Both the FYs 2009 and 2010 performance oversight hearings and the FY 2011 budget hearings schedules were updated March 4.   Changes are highlighted in yellow.

New report finds some progress in mental health services for DC kids in foster care

DC's Citizens Review Panel has just issued Meeting the Mental Health Needs of Abused & Neglected Children:   Findings and Recommendations Regarding the District Government’s Implementation of the 2007 Department of Mental Health and the Child and Family Services Agency Mental Health Needs Assessment.   The report evaluates the city's implementation of the 2007 mental health needs assessment conducted by CFSA.

The report finds that some "tangible implementation progress has already been made."   Examples include a crisis mobile response service for children and "Choice Provider clinicians are being trained to provide trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy."   Significantly more progress, however, must be made and the report contains a number of specific recommendations to improve services.

The DC Citizen's Review Panel is mandated by the federal Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act, known as CAPTA.   Members are concerned District residents who want to ensure that children and families receive the necessary services and supports to ensure their safety and well-being.

When Healthy Food is out of Reach, March 16

DC Hunger Solutions and Social Compact are briefing policymakers, advocates, concerned residents, and the media on access to full-service grocery stores across the District of Columbia.   D.C. Hunger Solutions and Social Compact will present data, maps, and innovative new recommendations for closing the "grocery gap", particularly for low-income communities.

"When Healthy Food is Out of Reach:   An Analysis of the Grocery Gap in the District of Columbia" is being held on March 16 from 2:00 to 3:30 pm.   The event is being held at the Washington D.C. Economic Partnership (1495 F St NW).   Speakers will include Harriet Tregoning, Director of the Office of Planning and Dr. Pierre Vigilance, Director of the Department of Health.

RSVP here.   Space is limited.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Event and other ideas for Child Abuse Prevention Month

As was previously announced on this blog, April is Child Abuse Prevention Month.   All across the city, organizations are planning ways to observe the important issue.   In 2009 alone, more than 3,900 children and youth were found to be victims of child abuse and neglect.   The effects can be long lasting, overwhelming, and destructive.

But we can prevent child abuse and neglect.   If you are interested in learning more about what your organization can do to participate in the month and beyond to prevent child maltreatment, take a look at this list of suggestions from CFSA.

And remember to share information about your event with Roopa Chakkappan at roopa (dot) chakkappan (at) dc (dot) gov so that it can be included on the calendar of events.

UPDATED: More on budget and oversight

Two important resources related to budget and oversight:
  • What's In Store for FY 2011?   A Forum on the DC Budget Outlook, March 8:   DC Fiscal Policy Institute, The Arc of DC and others are sponsoring this annual event featuring key players in the DC budget to hear about some of the possible ways to address the budget gap, and to learn about best how to advocate for the services important to you.   Registration and coffee, 9:00 am; Program: 9:30 - 11:30 am.   The free event is being held at the Sumner School (1201 17th St NW).   Speakers are:   Ed Lazere, Executive Director, DC Fiscal Policy Institute; Eric Goulet, Budget Director, Council of the District of Columbia; Fitzroy Lee, Chief Economist, Office of the Chief Financial Officer; Dawn Slonneger, Chief of Staff, Office of the Honorable Vincent C. Gray; T.J. Sutcliffe, Director of Advocacy and Public Policy, The Arc of the District of Columbia.   RSVP to Tina Marshall at marshall (at) cbpp (dot) org or 408-1080.
  • Just released--Asking the Right Questions:   A Guide to the FY 2010 Oversight and FY 2011 Budget Hearings:   The Arc of DC has done it again with this insightful and helpful guide to the City Council's oversight and budget hearings.   The guide offers questions related to services for residents with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families that the public may wish to track during the hearings.   The City Council's oversight and budget hearings are one of the public's main annual opportunities to weigh in on what's working and what needs improvement in DC services.   UPDATE March 4, 12:40 pm:   The guide is available by emailing T.J. Sutcliffe, tjsutcliffe (at) arcdc (dot) net.

Executive branch intel

Some recent news and information from the executive branch includes:
  • Clarence Carter's testimony before the Committee on Human Services at the DHS FYs 2009 and 2010 oversight hearing.
  • Joseph Martin has moved to Serve DC from the Mayor's Office of Community Relations and Services (MOCRS).   His email remains the same:   joseph (dot) martin (at) dc (dot) gov.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Mayor Fenty on facility modernizations

Mayor Fenty joins others on March 3 at 10:30 am for a show and tell of modernizations at North Michigan Recreation Center (1333 Emerson St NE).

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

CFSA seeks advocate input

Child and Family Services Agency has launched an online survey to collect ideas to make the CFSA website more meaningful and user friendly for stakeholders while also better representing CFSA.   This round of input is sought from advocates.   CFSA wants advocates to suggest ways to improve content.

This is just the initial phase of the redesign.   Described as "swift and basic," the upgrade will feature a new design, new navigation, and about 20 pages of content by June.   This vastly improved platform will allow for future improvements.   In the second phase and beyond, CFSA expects to seek and incorporate input from various sources.

Together, families and communities can prevent child abuse

The District of Columbia will actively observe Child Abuse Prevention Month throughout the month of April by hosting public outreach events, a policy forum and promoting prevention activities and programs so that we can work individually and collectively to prevent child abuse.

The public can learn ways to help by learning how to how to help family members and others better handle stressors like unemployment, poverty, and social isolation that make child abuse predictable.   Service providers can attend a policy forum to better understand the role that public policy plays in supporting families to reduce the likelihood of abuse.   The larger community can participate in trainings which educate adults to prevent, recognize, and react responsibly to child sexual abuse, and moves them to actions.

Child and Family Services Agency is going to promote such events and opportunities.   If your organization is sponsoring an event during Child Abuse Prevention Month, send details to Roopa Chakkappan at roopa (dot) chakkappan (at) dc (dot) gov.

Council news: Barry and earmarks

City Council chair Vince Gray has released a press release summarizing March 2 council actions.   The news of the day, of course, is the censure of Ward 8 CM Marion Barry.

The other news is about earmarks.   The council voted to remove all earmarks from the FY 2010 budget and City Council Chair Gray is recommending that the FY 2011 budget contain no earmarks.   It is curious that the council also approved requirements for nonprofit organizations seeking earmarks.   The requirements are consistent with those recommended in the Bennett report including rigorous grant management and compliance with business laws and regulation.

Catania's 2010 campaign website

It's no surprise that At-large CM Catania is running for reelection.   While not much there now, be sure to bookmark his website for the future, when the campaign heats up.

Jonetta Rose Barras' DC Politics, March 2, 11:00 am

Today on DC Politics (on WPFW-89.3FM), Philip Pannell, a Ward 8 resident a member of the DC Democratic State Committee, will share his perspective on Ward 8 CM Barry, the future of the ward, and some thoughts about what ward residents might hear at the March 2 state of ward 8 address by CM Barry.

Mayor announces SYEP registration

Mayor Fenty makes remarks on March 2 at 10:30 am at the opening of registration for the 2010 Summer Youth Employment Program.   Join the mayor, DOES and others at Allen House (3760 Minnesota Ave NE).

Too bad the mayor's announcement comes after the big email splash on March 1 that included details about requirements and the website, summerjobs.dc.gov.

Monday, March 1, 2010

New info on DME website

The Office of the Deputy Mayor for Education has posted some new information.   Check out the latest from the Statewide Commission on Children, Youth and Their Families, formerly known as Interagency Collaboration & Services Integration Commission.   Also new is the information about the evidence-based pilot programs instituted in DC Public Schools.   Programs include DC START, Second Step, and LifeSkills Training.

Bennett, earmarks and Councilmember responses

You may remember that CMs had one week to submit comments on the special counsel report on City Council earmarks.   The week was up February 23 and Bennett's team had one week to develop amend the plan or respond.   The secretary of the council will have copies of CM responses starting on March 2 in the afternoon.   Details as they become available.

March 2 City Council activities

The City Council will hold a legislative meeting on March 2 at 10:00 am in the Council Chamber in the JAWB.   On the agenda are:

The next Legislative Meeting is scheduled for April 6 at 10:00 am.

Late on March 1, the office of City Council Chair Vincent Gray announced an additional legislative session on March 2 "to address the findings of the Bennett investigation of Council contracts and earmarks.   It will follow the regular meeting that starts at 10 AM."   The council estimates the additional session will start at 3:00 pm.

More on earmarks (like the Auditor's report)

Remember the DC Auditor report that "found significant financial and management deficiencies" with the City Council earmark process?   You know, the one you read about in stories by WaPo's Tim Craig or the Examiner's Bill Myers.   The one that railed against no transparency and little accountability by earmark recipients?

The DC Auditor has finally posted it here (link updated 2/8/12).   I had a copy but it was not widely available to the public.   So I asked for a copy and the DC Auditor posted it!

But wait, there is more.   You now can read the formal response of Eric Goulet, council budget director.   Goulet's response provides contextual information as well as insights into future earmark reforms.