Monday, May 31, 2010

June 1 at the City Council

Virtually no business is on the agenda for the June 1 COW meeting.

The 37th Legislative Meeting is a different story.   There is the first reading on B18-547, "Adoption Reform Amendment Act of 2010"; final reading on B18-559, "Reprogramming Policy Reform Act of 2010"; first reading on 18-356, "Data-Sharing and Information Coordination Amendment Act of 2010"; and the reading and vote on "Youth Safety and Summer Curfew Emergency Amendment Act of 2010."   This last piece is introduced by Ward 6 CM Tommy Wells who also chairs the Committee on Human Services, the committee with oversight of the Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services (DYRS) among other human service agencies.

Rules and notices from May 21 and May 28 DCR

  • Child and Family Services Agency (CFSA) issued emergency and proposed rules about the Grandparent Caregivers Pilot Program Establishment Act of 2005 in the May 21 DCR:   The rules, which went into effect May 18, will remain in effect for one hundred twenty (120) after the date of adoption, unless final rules are implemented or the order is rescinded.

    The rule concerns school records.

  • District of Columbia Early Childhood Advisory Council (ECAC) established:   On May 14, Mayor Fenty signed MO 2010-68 which created a new advisory group in the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE).   ECAC is the "official" council on early childhood education, focusing on children from birth until they enter school.   Representation is largely of DC government agencies with the provision for "Representatives of other entities as determined by the Mayor."   This new body has similar roles and responsibilities as the Mayor’s Advisory Committee on Early Childhood Development, eliminated by Mayor Fenty early on in his tenure as mayor.   (Published in the May 21 DCR.)
  • Notice of The District of Columbia’s Child Support Guideline Commission’s monthly meeting:   The commission will meet June 24 at 8:15 am in the DC Office of the Attorney General, Child Support Services Division (441 4th Street, NW, Ste. 550N, Conference Room A).   The purpose of the meeting is to discuss proposed changes to the city’s Child Support Guideline.   To review the Guideline prior to the meeting, go online http://www.dc.gov/.   More information about attending and the mechanism for submitting comments is in the notice.
  • Notice of emergency and proposed DCRA rules regarding business licenses:   DCRA published rules in the May 28 DCR regarding the new cost of a charitable solicitation license ($280), a basic business license.   The rules go into effect June 1 and will remain effective for 120 days unless permanent and final rules are adopted.

    According to the notice,

    This emergency rulemaking is necessitated by the immediate need to comply with District law requirements of a balanced budget.   The delay by the Council of the District of Columbia to review and approve the Fiscal Year 2010 Balanced Budget Support Emergency Act of 2010 has created the potential of an unbalanced budget.   This emergency rulemaking will contribute the revenue necessary to maintain the District’s balanced budget.   The revenue obtained will be used to maintain critical services to the District’s citizens and thereby preserve their health, safety, and welfare.

    Details about commenting on the emergency and proposed rules are in the notice.

Public hearings scheduled by the City Council

  • B18-763, "Commission on Juvenile Justice Reform Establishment Act of 2010" public hearing, June 7: The Committee on Public Safety and the Judiciary (At-large CM Mendelson, chair) and the Committee on Human Services (Ward 6 CM Wells, chair) are holding this hearing at 11:00 am in the Council Chamber. The purpose of the legislation is to establish a nine member commission to build a "transparent and unified juvenile justice system based on mutual accountability, coordination of resources and information sharing." The public is encouraged to testify. Details about registering to testify are in the hearing notice.

    The legislation includes a provision to review and assess the reforms recommended by the Blueprint for Action: Responding to Gang, Crew and Youth Violence in the District of Columbia as well as the dated blue ribbon juvenile justice commission.

  • June 3 public roundtable on "Implementation of the Youth Sexual Health Project": The Committee on Health (At-large CM David Catania, chair) is holding this roundtable at 4:00 pm. The purpose of the event is to hear from the executive branch about the status of implementation of the committee’s youth sexual health project. The public is encouraged to attend the roundtable and submit written comments; only invited witnesses will testify.

    The purpose of the Youth Sexual Health Project was to determine the awareness and perceptions of DC teens about sexual health. The research findings and lessons learned are reported in A Framework for Change.

    More information about the roundtable is in the notice.

  • Public hearing on B18-792, "Reasonable Health Insurance Rate-making and Reform Amendment Act of 2010" on June 30, 11:00 am: The Committee Public Services and Community Affairs (Ward 4 CM Muriel Bowser, chair) and the Committee on Health (At-large CM David Catania, chair) are holding this public hearing in the JAWB. The purpose of the legislation is to
    establish rate-making principles and standards as additional guidance in reviewing and approving health insurance rate filings; to provide the Commissioner with the authority to require new rates to be filed if a company’s loss ratio falls below 80% for individuals and 85% for groups; to require that companies pay a rebate if the annual medical loss ratio is below 80% for individuals and 85% for groups; to require that all accident and sickness rate filings be made available for public inspection; to amend the Fire and Casualty Act of 1940 and the Life Insurance Act of 1934 to require commercial insurers to file all group accident and sickness forms and rates; and to make conforming amendments.

    The public is encouraged to testify; details are in the hearing notice.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Ward 8 Farmers’ Market opens June 5 and now has two locations

The Ward 8 Farmers’ Market starts its 12th season on Saturday, June 5 at 9:00 am in the parking lot of the old Congress Heights School (500 Alabama Ave SE).   The Saturday market will continue its tradition of bringing fruits, vegetables, herbs, plants, and more from Pennsylvania and Maryland to the heart of Congress Heights June 5 through November 20.

The Ward 8 Farmers’ Market will expand this year, creating the only weekday farmers market east of the Anacostia River.   This new market opens June 8; it will be open from 3:00 - 7:00 pm each Tuesday through October 26.   The market will operate from the parking lot of United Medical Center (1310 Southern Ave SE).

Both locations will accept EBT cards issued in DC, SNAP cards issued in Maryland, the new WIC Cash Value Checks (CVC), and other food assistance coupons such as those offered by the WIC and Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program.

Equally exciting and important is the role the Ward 8 Farmers' Market plays in bringing vegetables and fruit to corner stores in Congress Heights.   With the help of a grant from the Capital Area Food Bank, the farmer's market will pilot the Corner Store Initiative, an effort to make affordable healthy food available to residents of underserved neghborhoods.   The recent DC Hunger Solutions report When Healthy Food is out of Reach supports the need for this new initiative.   The report drove home the point that too many neighborhoods in the District are food deserts.

WaPo Crime Town Hall Meeting

The Washington Post is holding a Crime Town Hall Meeting with WaPo staff on June 15 at 6:30 pm at Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Library (901 G St NW).   This is an opportunity to tell the Washington Post what crime-related news stories you want to see in this hometown paper.   WaPo staff in attendance will be:
  • Keith Alexander, Staff Writer
  • Maria Glod, Staff Writer
  • Emilio Garcia-Ruiz, Editor, Local News
  • Paul Duggan, Staff Writer
  • Tom Jackman, Staff Writer
  • Mike Semel, Crime Editor
  • Josh White, Staff Writer

Register by email.

On the campaign trail

I have made some changes to the candidates for mayor and City Council list.

In other campaign news, the Alexander campaign has a poll on their web site.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Documents from CFSA court hearing May 26

CFSA was back in court for a scheduled hearing on May 26.   Here are the documents:

From the City Council

  • Here is the latest from the Committee on Public Safety and the Judiciary (At-large CM Phil Mendelson, chair).   This includes a list of upcoming hearings and committee members.
  • Ward 5 CM Thomas is holding the State of the Ward Address on June 1 at 6:30 pm at Archbishop Carroll High School (4300 Harewood Rd NE).
  • The remaining schedule for the "Let DC Speak" Ward 5 Town Hall meetings, sponsored by Ward 5 CM Harry Thomas, Jr., are:

    *June 29, 7:00 pm, Ft. Lincoln/South Central/Aboretum/Gateway (Theo. Hagans Multicultural Center, 3201 Ft. Lincoln Dr NE)

    *June 30, 7:00 pm, Woodridge/Langdon Park/Brentwood (Washington Center for Aging Services, 2601 18th St NE)

    *July 7, 7:00 pm, Brookland/University Heights (Turkey Thicket Recreation, 1100 Michigan Ave NE)

    *July 8, 7:00 pm, Carver-Langston (Patsy Hartsfield Community Center, 21st St and Maryland Ave NE)

    *July 13, 7:00 pm, Bloomingdale/Stronghold (All Nations Baptist Church, 2001 North Capitol St NE )

    *July 14, 7:00 pm, Riggs Park/Pleasant Hills (WMATA Police Station at Fort Totten)

Orange on WAMU May 28 at Noon

Vincent Orange, candidate for the Chairman of the Council of the District of Columbia will be a guest on The Kojo Nnamdi Show's The DC Politics Hour today, May 28.   The show airs live from Noon to 1:00 pm on 88.5 FM.   You can also listen online.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

DC interest great in the promise of Promise Neighborhoods

Seventeen organizations in DC have submitted letters of intent to apply for the US Department of Education Promise Neighborhoods funding.   Those orgs which submitted LOIs are:
  1. Edgewood/Brookland Family Support Collaborative
  2. Center for Inspired Teaching
  3. Cesar Chavez Public Charter Schools for Public Policy
  4. Coalition of Organizations and Individuals Nurturing Neighborhoods Successfully (COINNS)
  5. DC Association of Chartered Public Schools
  6. DC VOICE
  7. Eagle Academy Public Charter School
  8. East of the River Clergy Police Community Partnership, Inc.
  9. Everybody Wins! DC
  10. Friendship Public Charter School
  11. Multicultural Career Intern Program
  12. Neighbors of Seaton Place, Inc.
  13. Perry School Community Services Center, Inc.
  14. The High Tea Society
  15. American University National Center for Health and Fitness
  16. The George Washington University
  17. Friends of Ballou/CFNCR

Submitting a letter of intent to apply was not required by the ED so other organizations may end up submitting applications.   Organizations which have submitted the letters may also decide not to apply.   Those not familiar with the Promise Neighborhood initiative should go to the US Department of Education's web site.

It will be interesting to see how the DC organizations propose to integrate the federal view that "Promise Neighborhoods will be most successful when they are part of, and contributing to, a city’s or region’s broader neighborhood revitalization strategy."   A significant player in the success of Promise Neighborhoods in DC is the local government, the thought leader and major funder of neighborhood revitalization.   As the application package notes,

we believe that it is important for communities to develop a comprehensive neighborhood revitalization strategy that addresses each of the essential neighborhood assets (as defined in this notice), which include accessible developmental, commercial, recreational, physical, and social assets that are vital to transforming distressed neighborhoods into healthy and vibrant communities of opportunity.

From my vantage point, it doesn't seem to me that many of the organizations submitting letters of intent have the kind of deep relationships with government needed to pull this off.   That said, the application is for a year of planning, so perhaps a current relationship is not necessary.   We will know more in the fall when the announcement is made.

WPFW Town Hall, June 5

Via a post in themail:
Please join us for the WPFW 89.3 FM Town Hall on Saturday, June 5 from 1:00 to 3:30 pm.   It will be held at All Souls Church, Unitarian (1500 Harvard St NW).   The town hall will be an opportunity for listeners and community members to share their comments, critiques, ideas, and visions with WPFW’s elected local station board, staff, and programmers.   This is also an opportunity to ask questions of the board, staff, and programmers.   The LSB will refer your ideas and feedback to its various committees for action.

The event is hosted by the WPFW Local Station Board (LSB).   More information can be found online or by emailing the LSB.

Posted by Ingrid Drake.

Today with Jonetta, DC budget, Tommy Wells

Today on WPFW (89.3 FM)'s DC Politics with Jonetta from 11:00 am - Noon:   The DC Council tries to tax the income of nonresidents who work for the District; refuses to create a millionaires tax; and blames on the city's budget woes on Mayor Adrian M. Fenty.   Joining host Jonetta Rose Barras and resident analyst Eugene DeWitt Kinlow to talk about budget issues and his own political future is Ward 6 CM Tommy Wells.   Anise Jenkins with Standup for Democracy talks about her group's effort to make DC the 51st State.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

More this and that

  • Washington Peace Center has announced a great tool – a guide to DC area organizations.   The Organization Directory lists organizations alphabetically.   Now you can find organizations doing similar work, connect and collaborate!   Or, reach out to organizations doing different things and forge new working relationships that leverage the resources of both.
  • Safe Shores is on WAMU (again)!   Reporter Elliot Francis interviewed Safe Shores executive director, Michele Booth Cole, as a child abuse expert for a story covering the PG County bus driver sexual abuse case that has been in the news recently.   Michele talked about how parents can protect their children from abuse, what institutions that serve children can do to prevent abuse and Safe Shores’ mission.   The interview aired on WAMU's Morning Edition on May 26.   Listen to the interview on WAMU.
  • DC Action for Children has a new web site.

Trainings and other events added to calendar

Lots of new events added to the calendar:
  • Urban Institute's' June 1 event, FIRST TUESDAY FORUM "Pounding the Pavement, Hitting the Books: The Black-White Divide after High School"
  • DC Campaign's FOR FATHERS ONLY events on Thursdays during the month of June
  • The June 15 webinar Family Driven Practices That Work
  • Substance Exposed Newborns: Collaborative Approaches to a Complex Issue on June 23 and 24
  • The July 27 event, Popular Education: the Tricks and Techniques of Educating for Social Change

Ward 3 mayoral candidate forum, June 10

Just announced by Tom Smith, Chair, Ward Three Democratic Committee:   The Ward Three Democratic Committee and the Federation of Citizens Associations of the District of Columbia are hosting a Neighborhoods Mayoral Forum in Ward 3 on June 10 at 7:30 pm at St. Columba's Episcopal Church (4201 Albemarle St NW).   All are welcome to attend this event.   The following candidates are confirmed:   Leo Alexander, Sulaimon Brown, Mayor Adrian Fenty, Council Chairman Vincent Gray, and Ernest E. Johnson.   In addition, the Ward 3 Dems are having a straw poll; all registered Ward 3 Demoncrats may vote.   More information is available at the Ward 3 Dems web site.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Ribbon cutting at Park Morton, May 25 with mayor

Mayor Fenty will give remarks at the May 25, 10:30 am ribbon cutting at the Park Morton Playground (Park Morton, 600 block of Park Rd NW).

Four CMs urge Gray to fund essential human services, consider income tax increase

In an eleventh hour effort to restore funds to human services cut in the mayor's proposed FY 2011 budget, four council members (At-large M Brown, Ward 1 Graham, Ward 6 Wells, Ward 8 Barry) have written a letter to Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray asking him to consider a small income tax increase.   The letter is below.

The letter comes two days before the only vote on the budget request act (which includes the funding levels only) and the first vote on the budget support act.   The Committee of the Whole is meeting to consider only budget legislation; the meeting is scheduled for May 26 at 10:00 am in the Council Chamber in the JAWB.


Income Tax Increase Plea to Gray

Helping Hand tool loan program - learn more May 26 at Noon

The Department of Public Works (DPW) is helping residents clean and green their community by loaning garden and cleaning tools free of charge!   That's right.   DPW will lend tools, provide free trash bags and mulch, and even pick up debris when you are done cleaning and/or greening.

Learn more about this and other programs during the May 26 live chat with DPW’s Solid Waste Enforcement and Education Program staff.   They will answer questions from Noon to 1:00 pm.   Join or follow the discussion at dpw.dc.gov/livechat once the chat session begins.   Residents also may submit questions in advance on Twitter (http://twitter.com/DCDPW), or by email to Nancee Lyons.

Public policy and practice reads

Public Policy Reads 0510

Sunday, May 23, 2010

A little of this, a little of that

  • Email for Mike DeBonis at WaPo is debonism@washpost.com.
  • Sommer Mathis is leaving DCist for TBD.   See DCist for full story.
  • In February 2010, APRA updated its Adolescent Substance Abuse Treatment Expansion Program (ASTEP) provider directory.   The directory includes information about services and requirements.
  • Columbia Heights/Shaw Family Support Collaborative is holding its 9th Annual Conference on June 11 at the Thurgood Marshall Center, 1816 12th St NW.   This year’s theme "It’s in You to Get Through" recognizes that, in spite of all the challenges of the bad economy, our community still has everything it needs to succeed.   Stay tuned here and to the Collaborative’s web site for details.
  • 2009 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) data and documentation and prevalence and trends tables for DC, the states, and territories are now available online.   Information on health risk behaviors, preventive health practices, and access to health care is among what is presented by the CDC.   The 2009 BRFSS prevalence and trends data are here and the 2009 BRFSS data and documentation files are here.
  • The federal Health Resources and Services Administration's Maternal and Child Health Bureau is seeking public input on ways the bureau can improve the Data Resource Center for Child and Adolescent Health.   Survey results are anonymous and participation takes about 10 minutes.   If you are interested in participating in the survey, being conducted by CFI under contract with this federal agency, go here.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

www.dcrca.org – a new web site for the DC recovery community

From the latest Progress Notes is the news that the new web site—www.dcrca.org—is actually an online community tool.   On the site you will find:
  • Community news
  • Recovery news feed
  • Directory of recovery clubs
  • Directory of recovery support services
  • Member blogs
  • Job listings

Friday, May 21, 2010

Teaching for Change's bookstore on Twitter

Teaching for Change's Busboys and Poets Bookstore is now on Twitter!   http://twitter.com/tfcbooks, @tfcbooks.

Public forum on licensed group homes, June 3

Ward 4 CM Muriel Bowser is holding a public forum on licensed group homes on June 3 at 7:00 pm at the Takoma Education Center (7010 Piney Branch Rd NW).   This meeting is an opportunity to discuss the impact of group homes on neighborhoods and to learn more about the existing regulations.   For more information, contact Brandon Todd via email or 724-8052.

Any thoughts about these two items?

Just curious when the John A. Wilson Building, also known as JAWB, became known as City Hall.   Also curious about when we started calling City Councilmembers "Councilmen" ("Councilman").   Thoughts, anyone?

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Serve youth and families better! Register today for effective training institute in DC!

Solution-Focused Brief Therapy: Creative Applications in Community-Based Settings is coming to Washington, DC June 29 – July 2, 2010

Leading thinkers and practitioners in the field guide attendees through workshops designed to build skills and knowledge and increase participant confidence in using Solution-Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT), an approach demonstrated to be effective when working with families.

Attendees can choose from a range of workshops on such topics as using SFBT in the juvenile justice and child welfare systems, with gangs and crews, and with young people aging out of foster care.   Training institute attendees will be actively engaged in the event, asking questions, role playing, and challenging themselves and others.

But register now!   Through May 28, there is a 10% discount on the training institute June 30 – July 2.   And members of the Solution-Focused Brief Therapy Association (SFBTA) get an even greater discount!   So go to www.chsfsc.org to review the program and to register for this event featuring world renowned trainers.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

CFSA seeking consultant for prevention grants

DC's Child and Family Services Agency (CFSA) has just announced they are seeking qualified contractors to serve as a consultant for CFSA’s prevention grants.   Referred to as the Prevention Program Officer (PPO), the contractor shall primarily serve as CFSA’s point person for child abuse and neglect prevention-related activities.   The PPO shall also be responsible for administration and oversight of the federal Community-Based Child Abuse Prevention (CBCAP) and Children’s Justice Act (CJA) grants.

The full Request for Applications is below (as of May 19, it has not been posted to the CFSA website).   The Solicitation Number is CFSA-10-A-0024.  Eligibility:   Interested parties shall submit offers in accordance with the solicitation requirements.   Offerors will be evaluated in accordance with section M.   Offers must comprehensive and demonstrate to the satisfaction of the District the ability to conform with the requirements of the solicitation.   Pursuant to the Child and Youth, Safety and Health Omnibus Congressional Review Amendment Act of 2004 and Mayor’s Order 90-27 Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988; the contractor will be required to complete a Drug and Alcohol Test, Criminal Background Check, Child Protection Registry (CPR) at the contractor’s expense.   See section H.   Contractor’s will be required to submit proof of insurance as indicated in section I.

Deadline for Submission:   2:00 pm on June 4, 2010.

Information:   Go to www.cfsa.dc.gov.   Select the "Contracting Opportunities" option under the "Information" header.   Send inquires regarding this RFA via email to Yorjai Chandy with a copy to Tara Sigamoni.   Reference CFSA-10-RFA-0003 in the subject line.   Mr. Chandy maybe reached via phone at 202-724-7510.

PPO final
PPO Addendum

Important news from DC Politics with Jonetta

Two important items in advance of the May 20 show:
  1. Jonetta is grateful for the support given to WPFW and her local politics show, DC Politics with Jonetta.   But we all know that more must be done – so be prepared to call (202) 588-9739 or (800) 222-9739 May 20 between 11:00 am and Noon and make a pledge.   In doing so, you will be demonstrating your support of DC Politics with Jonetta--the only radio show in the city devoted solely to reporting and analyzing local politics and public policy.   The show airs live each Thursday from 11:00 am - Noon on WPFW (89.3 FM/http://www.wpfw.org/).   DC Politics with Jonetta has been on the air only for a year, but already it is destination radio for people who want to know--really know--what's going on in the city.

    Basic membership is $35.   But Eugene Dewitt Kinlow, the show's resident analyst, and Jonetta are recommending you consider making a donation of at least $50.   Please call the show tomorrow.   Jonetta and Eugene want to announce your name as a member and personally thank you for your contribution.   So call (202) 588-9739 or (800) 222-9739 May 20 between 11:00 am and Noon and make a pledge.

    I look forward to hearing your name announced – mine was last week!
  2. What’s on DC Politics with Jonetta May 20 from 11:00 am – Noon:   All across the country, elected officials and civic leaders are grappling with an increase in violence among young African American males.   Some people point to the family as the answer.   Independent filmmaker Janks Morton has focused his work on urging fathers return to families and ensuring public policies don't get in their way.   The District is one place dealing with the rise in violence.   But the recession is making it hard for the city to continue to fund programs that might aid communities dealing with the uptick in crime.   Ed Lazere, executive director of DC Fiscal Policy Institute provides an overview of budget decisions being made by the City Council to close a projected revenue shortfall of more than $500 million.   The more controversial solutions include a so-called soda tax and a millionaire's tax.

First meeting of Council prior to budget vote

The City Council’s first meeting prior to the first vote on the FY 2011 BSA and only vote on BRA was held on May 19.   This document provides an overview of content for the meeting; it summarizes council committee changes to date, issues that the Council has identified as "to be resolved", and other budget issues.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

DPR director selected

Mayor Fenty has announced that Jesús Aguirre is the Fenty Administration’s selection for Director for the Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR).

A little more compassion, please, Mr. Evans

Ward 2 CM Jack Evans, chair of the Committee on Finance and Revenue, chastised his colleagues for nickel and diming District residents in an effort to balance the FY 2011 budget.   In a press release, Evans said, "We will not solve our budget crisis by increasing parking meter rates and raising taxes on soda and yoga."   Instead, Mr. Evans urged restraint.

CM Evans knows restraint well, as evidenced by the CFR draft FY 2011 committee report.   The Committee on Finance and Revenue’s portfolio of agencies had a collective proposed budget of $385 million.   Wager a guess on changes made by the committee?   The answer is $1 million.   That amounts to 2.6%.   That's right, a reduction of 2.6% (that was actually transferred to the Committee of the Whole, not cut).

At the same time, DC residents at the economic and social margins, already hard hit by the recession, were pummeled by the Fenty proposed budget.   Proposed cuts were made to supporting grandparents who care for their grandchildren, preventing them from entering foster care; basic sustenance via the Interim Disability Assistance program; and out-of-school time programs for children and youth.   And, as Ward 6 CM Tommy Wells pointed out in an interview with Bruce DePuyt on May 13, neither he nor his wife has been asked to contribute one nickel or dime to help close the budget gap.

And when Ward 3 CM Mary Cheh proposes a tax on sweetened beverages to pay for the oh-by-the-way-13-Councilmember-supported Healthy Schools Act that will improve child and youth well being now and into the future and will likely reduce healthcare costs related to disease, Big Soda comes on like Henny Penny.   Similarly, when advocates support updating the tax code to include more services including, yes, yoga and gym memberships, the fanatics also swarm into action, Tweeting and calling and complaining.   CM Cheh is doing what CM Evans typically wants:   Members to pay for the bills they propose.

To his credit, Mr. Evans restored $1 million to the DC Earned Income Tax Credit (DCEITC) in the Committee on Finance and Revenue mark-up.   The city’s credit is equal to 40% of a taxpayer’s federal EITC credit.   The federal credit is widely recognized as the single-most important way to move individuals and families out of poverty.   The District’s EITC program supplements the federal program and results in pumping about $120 million into the local economy from the approximately 50,000 DC taxpayers claiming both credits.   Since the credit was introduced in 2000/2001, at 10% of the federal credit, CM Evans and others have made significant improvements, allowing non-custodial parents to claim the credit and increasing the local claim from 10% to 40%.   This progressive program costs the city in excess of $25 million a year—and brings in four times that.

At the end of the day, the poor and otherwise marginalized are still taking a beating – by the economy and the budget.   Perhaps if more poor, under-employed, abused and neglected, special education, infirmed, and disabled people lived in Ward 2 and Tweeted, emailed, called, faxed, and commented on Facebook would Mr. Evans exhibit a little more progressiveness and compassion than just the DC EITC.

Chairman Gray joins Bruce DePuyt Wednesday, May 19

According to the NewsTalk with Bruce DePuyt web page, Council Chair Vincent Gray is scheduled for May 19 at 4:00 pm.  

Catching up on campaigns and election rules

On May 6, the Board of Elections and Ethics approved changes to certain election procedures.   The final changes were published as final rules in the May 14 DC Register.   The rules pertain to absentee voting.

In other news, BOEE is posting on their web site the candidates who have picked up petitions for office.   The list is cumulative and revised as candidates pick up petitions.   Updates are posted at the end of the day.

According to the Office of Campaign Finance, additional candidates have filed papers to run for office:   Kathy Henderson (Ward 5) and Dorothy Douglas (Chair).   These and the other candidates, including contact information, are online here.   (Do you have information that should be included in this spreadsheet?   Email it and I will update it.)   This file was updated May 18.

Finally, TENAC is having a candidates forum on June 1 from 6:30 - 8:30 pm at Charles Sumner Museum School, 1201 17th St NW.   A flier is online.

City Council hearings

Two child- and youth-related hearings noticed in the May 14 DC Register:
  • Public hearing on B18-0761, "Department of Parks and Recreation Fitness Curriculum Act of 2010":   The Committee on Libraries, Parks and Recreation (Ward 5 CM Thomas, chair) is holding this hearing on May 27 at 10:00 am in the Council Chamber.   The purpose of the bill is to discuss ways that DPR can help address epidemic child obesity.   Details about the hearing, including how to register to testify, are in the notice.
  • Youth Issues public hearing:   The next COW hearing for youth only is June 12 at 10:00 am in the Council Chamber.   Details are in the hearing notice.

Stewards of Children trainings - May through August

Stewards 0610 0710 0810

Help build a better DC

Interested in building a better DC?   Better for residents, better for families, better for business, better all the way around?   Then plan on attending CityCampDC, an unconference that will bring together designers, developers, entrepreneurs, DC government, residents, and non-profits to work and dream together.   But register early; there is a 300 person limit for this event, and 50 person limits for each ticket type.   Want more?   All tickets are free.   CityCampDC takes place June 12 and 13 at the George Washington University Elliott School of International Affairs.

More information is available online.

Oversight roundtable on abscondence, May 21

"A Discussion on Abscondence and DYRS Youth in Community-based Placements", May 21, 2:00 pm:   The Committee on Human Services (Ward 6 CM Wells, chair) is holding this public oversight roundtable to hear from the Department on Youth Rehabilitation Services (DYRS) on their definition of abscondence, how they calculate the rate, and their current protocol.   The community is also invited to participate in this discussion.   Details are in the hearing notice.

Make a difference, help build the safety net

More than $100 million has been cut from safety net services during the recession, and despite broad support for a more progressive budget, the Council is still considering cuts to programs such as job training, interim disability assistance, health care, rapid housing, and support for grandparent caregivers.

One more champion – superhero – is needed to reverse the cuts, to reweave the safety net.

Join Save Our Safety Net and the Fair Budget Coalition on May 19 at 8:30 am as they build a human safety net around the Wilson Building (1350 Pennsylvania Ave NW).   Show the City Council what a strong safety net looks like.

More information is here.

Friday, May 14, 2010

CM Cheh kicks off re-election campaign May 15

Ward 3 CM Mary Cheh is kicking off her re-election campaign on Saturday, May 15 from 2:00 - 4:00 pm at Murch Elementary School Playground (4810 36th St NW).   The event will naturally feature Ms. Cheh.   But it will also be an opportunity for Ward 3 residents to get involved with the campaign.   More information is on the campaign web site.

Shrinking the obesity rate -- here's how

If you want to support full funding of the Healthy Schools Act--the landmark legislation that will substantially raise the nutritional standards of school meals, bring fresh, local fruits and vegetables to schools, triple the amount of physical and health education, and create a school gardens program--sign this petition now.   Signing the petition, tweeting, and joining the FB effort are easy and quick ways to make a significant contribution to shrinking the obesity rate and grocery gap in the District of Columbia.

CM Tommy Wells promises hearing on youth violence and DYRS

On May 13, CM Tommy Wells (Ward 6, chair of the Committee on Human Services) reported on NewsTalk with Bruce DePuyt that his committee would hold a hearing on the Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services and the recent challenges of abscondance, recidivism, and violence.  

Elected officials on NewsTalk

Not sure where I have been of late, but this I know for sure:   I have been missing out on some interesting Bruce DePuyt interviews of elected officials.   Today on NewsTalk with Bruce DePuyt at 4:00 pm is Ward 3 CM Mary Cheh.   Ward 6 CM Tommy Wells appeared on May 13 to talk youth violence.   Mayor Fenty and Ward 2 CM were also on the youth violence hot seat recently.

Other important issues of import also discussed on this show; they include foster parenting, an Orange run for council chair, and various police issues.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Sugar is sweet -- it is also the catalyst of change

The proposed soda tax is as simple as this:   It is a catalyst for behavior change, necessary behavior change at that.   The soda tax would fund the Healthy Schools Act, introduced by Ward 3 CM Mary Cheh and unanimously supported by the entire council.   This legislation takes a comprehensive approach to improving nutrition, health, and wellness.   The legislation will
  1. Raise school nutritional requirements to meet national standards.
  2. Establish a farm-to-school program.
  3. Require increased physical activity.
  4. Promote green schools through recycling, composting, clean air, and school gardens.
  5. Improve school asthma treatment and allergy management.

While the legislation focuses on children and youth, the fact is that the benefits go well beyond the five stated goals.   It is anticipated that this legislation will help improve the health, nutrition, and wellness of families; increase demand for healthy and locally grown food; increase healthy options offered by the range of grocery retailers; and pressure the system to locate grocers in communities currently underserved.

On May 7, witness after witness testified against the soda tax at the City Council’s public hearing on the FY 2011 BSA.   Arguments included "it is a regressive tax", "it will hurt small retailers", "people will buy soda in Maryland and Virginia", and "soda company workers will lose their jobs."

There has been and continues to be strong support for implementing the soda tax for the sole purpose of implementing the Healthy Schools Act.   Health and nutrition experts, educators, parents, community-based organizations, and young people themselves support this bill.

The Healthy Schools Act will prove to be life changing.   And while I am not an expert on the effects of tax increases on behavior, I believe the Healthy Schools Act does what most other legislation does not—deliberately seek to change behavior.

The only reason for the proposed tax increase is to fund a bill that has universal support of the City Council, seeks to address epidemic levels of obesity, and can provide the momentum needed to propel proven steps forward.   Without specific and credible information to the contrary, the City Council should continue its universal support of the Healthy Schools Act by approving the soda tax as proposed.

WAMU seeks input on web site redesign

WAMU (88.5 FM) has issued a call for input on their web site redesign.   Ideas so far include making local community events/news easier to find, making the listen button easier to find, and improving advance notice of guests.   I don't know about you, but I love this community resource and use it regularly -- so I am weighing in and I encourage you to do the same.

More committee reports posted; one outstanding

We are almost there, folks.   With the Committee on Public Safety and the Judiciary, Finance and Revenue, and Public Works and Transportation FY 2011 draft committee reports posted, we are only waiting for the report from the Committee on Libraries, Parks and Recreation.

Today on DC Politics with Jonetta

Between 11:00 am and Noon today on WPFW (89.3 FM), host Jonetta Rose Barras and resident analyst Eugene Dewitt Kinlow will consider whether the the fight for District of Columbia voting rights died an unnatural death.   DC Vote director Ilir Zirka will participate in the conversation.   The show will then turn to the drama in Ward 8.   Some residents are battling the Peaceoholics plan to construct an apartment building that will house individuals recently released from prison, jail or juvenile facilities.   ANC Sandra Seegars is at the center of the battle.   (Check out Congress Heights on the Rise for a play-by-play, blow-by-blow account of the battle.)   She will provide details and predictions.

Please remember to call (202) 588-9739 or (800) 222-9739 to become a member or renew your membership to WPFW.   If you call during DC Politics with Jonetta, the journalist and analyst can acknowledge on the air your donation.   Basic membership is $35.   All contributions are tax deductible.

Healthy Schools, healthy children supported locally and nationally

Ward 3 CM Mary Cheh, Council Chairman Vince Gray, and U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack will celebrate the passage of the Healthy Schools Act May 13 at 2:30 pm at Alice Deal Middle School (3815 Fort Dr NW).

The Healthy Schools Act of 2010, which has been described as a landmark, will improve nutrition in schools, mandate physical education, and improve the health and wellness of students in the District’s public school system.   The legislation received unanimous support from the City Council.   More information about the legislation is online.

Funding options for the bill got a huge boost May 12 with the announcement that

A new poll commissioned by the Campaign for Healthy Kids found that 71 percent of likely D.C. voters would support taxation equal to one cent per ounce on sugar-sweetened beverages if the funding was dedicated to support programs that help fight childhood obesity.   The poll also found that 95 percent of likely D.C. voters are concerned about rates of obesity among children in Washington, D.C.

More on the poll is below.

Poll Supports Soda Tax 0510

Mayor Fenty around town

Mayor Fenty is delivering remarks at a May 13, 10:45 am presser on special education transportation.   The event is being held at the SW Terminal (2 DC Village Ln SW).

Yesterday, May 12, the mayor announced that he named Laura Nuss Acting Director of the Department on Disability Services.   Ms. Nuss replaces Judith E. Heumann who had served as director since 2007.   More information about Ms. Nuss is available online.

Support free childcare for social justice, organizing and empowerment work

The DC Childcare Collective is calling on members, supporters, friends, and fans to attend this fabulously fun and important event, the Community Potluck Funraiser.   The funraiser is being held on May 23 from 4:00 - 7:00 pm at Potter's House (1658 Columbia Rd NW).   Details about the event are online.

The collective provides free childcare at social justice events, making community organizing and empowerment more accessible to people with childcare responsibilities.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Two more committee reports posted

The Committee on Public Services and Consumer Affairs has posted its draft FY 2011 budget committee report.   Also just posted is the Committee on Economic Development draft FY 2011 budget committee report.

Gov Ops draft budget report posted

Check out the draft FY 2011 committee report from the Committee on Government Operations and the Environment here.

Committee on Human Services budget report online

The Committee on Human Services has posted their draft committee report on the FY 2011 budget.

Aging committee report posted

The Committee on Aging and Community Affairs draft committee report on the FY 2011 budget has been posted.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Make government transparency an issue in the 2010 local campaigns

The D.C. Open Government Coalition, D.C. Federation of Civic Associations, and the Committee of 100 are hosting Election 2010:   Open D.C. Government on May 20 at 6:30 pm.   The focus of the event is educating and mobilizing the public to urge mayoral and council candidates to promote DC government transparency, committing to it during the campaign.

We've got more committee reports!

Check out the Committee on Health and Committee on Housing and Workforce Development draft committee reports on the FY 2011 budget.

COW draft FY 2011 committee report online!

The Committee of the Whole (Council Chairman Vince Gray, chair) has posted their draft committee report on the FY 2011 budget.

CM Cheh on Healthy Schools leg and childhood obesity

Excerpts are here of Ward 3 CM Mary Cheh's interview on WAMU about the Healthy Schools Act, childhood obesity, a possible soda tax, and more.  

Mayor Fenty announces new tennis program, May 11

May 11 at 10:45 am Mayor Fenty will announce GAME ON, a new summer tennis program.   Join the mayor and others at Turkey Thicket Recreation Center (1100 Michigan Ave NE).

Vincent Orange on NewsTalk May 11, pre-campaign kickoff

At 4:00 pm on May 11, former Ward 5 CM Vincent Orange will appear on NewsTalk with Bruce DePuyt.   Mr. Orange will launch his campaign for City Council chair Wednesday, May 12.

Monday, May 10, 2010

CM Wells on DYRS, May 7 on Kojo

Ward 6 CM Tommy Wells, chair of the council's Committee on Human Services, was on The Politics Hour on May 7.   He and Tom Sherwood talked about juvenile justice, the Brian Betts murder investigation, and the negative attention on DYRS.   Listen here.

Consumer Health Foundation's annual meeting to focus on achieving health and social justice

Register today to attend the Consumer Health Foundation's 14th Annual Meeting--Health Equity:   From Awareness to Action on May 20 from 2:00 to 5:00 pm.   The event is being held at GW's Marvin Center.   The event will feature keynote speaker Dr. Tony Iton.   He will talk about how communities are working together to achieve health and social justice.   As the former head of the Alameda County Public Health Department in Oakland, Dr. Iton established its Social & Health Equity Initiative which addresses the effects of systemic injustices on the health of undeserved communities and promotes community empowerment strategies to eliminate health inequities.

For more information and to register.

Consumer Health Foundation is a vigorous and dedicated supporter of health advocacy in the District of Columbia.   Previous annual meetings have proven to be terrific networking and educational fora.   You should plan on attending.

Committee on Human Services has posted budget hearing docs

(Finally), the Committee on Human Services (Ward 6 CM Tommy Wells, chair) posted FY 2011 budget hearing related docs.

Please take a minute to thank CM Wells via email for getting this information up prior to the mark-up.   While you're at it, thank Vince Gray and David Catania for posting their budget docs.

Last but not least, email the rest of the City Council to encourage them to post their documents online ASAP:   Jack Evans, Mary Cheh, Muriel Bowser, Harry Thomas, Jr., Yvette Alexander, Jim Graham, Phil Mendelson, Michael Brown, and Kwame Brown.

Budget hearing/mark up sked updated

Updated yet again (on May 6) is the City Council's budget hearing and mark up schedule.

CFSA posts reconfigured jobs

Child and Family Services Agency has posted a number of jobs that update the skills of former positions.   Last week, CFSA let 115 staff go in an RIF.   Some of the positions posted, such as the Family Support Worker, update the skill requirements for a pre-RIF similar position.   It is possible that some staff who were let go last week may qualify for the new positions.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Immediate action needed to advocate for City Council transparency

DC Fiscal Policy Institute (DCFPI) had circulated a sign-on letter to Council Chairman Vince Gray.   The letter encourages Mr. Gray to open all meetings of the City Council on the FY 2011 budget to the public.   If you would like to sign on to the letter, email Tina Marshall ASAP.

The letter:

May 7, 2010

The Honorable Vincent C. Gray
Chairman, District of Columbia Council
1350 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Suite 504
Washington, DC 20004

Dear Chairman Gray:

We, the undersigned organizations, are writing to request that you make all meetings of the DC Council on the Fiscal Year 2011 budget open to the public.   As the Council struggles with very difficult decisions about how to craft a fair and balanced budget in this challenging economic environment—debating which services to cut or enhance and which taxes and fees to increase or reduce—it is critical these deliberations be open and accessible to the public.

We are encouraged that you are one of seven DC council members who co- sponsored the "Open Government Is Good Government Act of 2010," introduced by Ward 4 Council member Muriel Bowser in March.   The bill would make any meeting attended by a quorum of members, such as the budget deliberations, open to the public.   We are asking that you show your support for this bill by making the FY 2011 budget meetings public.   We understand that at least one such meeting has been scheduled for the week of May 17.

Many of the most important decisions about the budget are made in these closed-door sessions.   During budget deliberations last year, many of the meetings of the full DC Council held outside the official chambers were open only to the press.   Though we welcome press coverage of these discussions, having the press as a public witness is not sufficient.   Budget decisions have many impacts that go beyond daily news stories and will not be covered by the press.   If the meetings are not open to the general public, the public does not get a chance to offer insight and feedback on how their tax dollars will be spent before the final vote.   Transparent government is a good and effective government, and we believe public meetings are crucial to this.   We urge you to open these meetings to the public.   If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Elissa Silverman at the DC Fiscal Policy Institute, 202-408-1095, ext. 389.   Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely yours,

Ward 1 Democratic candidates debate, May 20

The Kalorama Citizens Association and the Reed-Cooke Neighborhood Association are sponsoring a debate between Ward 1 candidates for Council of the District of Columbia.   The event is being held on May 20 from 7:30 - 9:00 pm.   Davis Kennedy, publisher of the Current Newspapers, will moderate.   UPDATED 5/10/10 7:00 am:   The KCA meeting (immediately before the debate) and debate will take place at Good Will Baptist Church (1862 Kalorama Rd NW).

Three Democrats are currently running for the Ward 1 seat on the council:   Jim Graham, Jeff Smith and Bryan Weaver.

The sponsors encourage all those who attend to bring questions for the candidates; they will be asked by the moderator.

Those who want contact information about the candidates for City Council and Mayor should go to this post.

Second draft of FY 2011 consolidated plan

The Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) is having a public hearing on the "Second Draft Fiscal Year 2011-2015 Consolidated Plan and Fiscal Year 2011 Annual Action Plan for the District of Columbia" on June 3 at 6:00 pm at DHCD headquarters (1800 Martin Luther King, Jr. Ave SE, first floor conference room).

The second draft will be available for public review on May 18 on the DHCD web site.   The consolidated plan and action plan will also be available at all library branches and ANC offices.   Copies will also be available at three community-based organizations:

  • Housing Counseling Services, Inc., 2410 17th St NW, Suite 100; 667-7006
  • Lydia’s House, 3939 South Capitol St SW; 373-1050
  • Central American Resources Center, 1460 Columbia Rd NW; 328-9799;
  • University Legal Services, 220 I St NE , Suite 130; 547-4747
  • Latino Economic Development Corp., 2316 18th St NW;588-5102

The plans are important because they explain to the federal government how the DC government will handle several 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).

More information about the second draft and the public hearing can be found in the notice published in the May 7 DC Register.

From the May 7 BSA hearing

More than 60 people registered to testify at the May 7 Budget Support Act hearing.   Council Chair Vince Gray's opening remarks summarized the purpose of the BSA and outlined his concerns with the FY 2011 BSA as proposed by Mayor Fenty.

Following the public witnesses, City Administrator Neil Albert testified.

Public Safety Community Meeting, June 1

Public Safety Cmty Mtg Flyer 2010

Saturday, May 8, 2010

CM Cheh holding working group meetings on Open Government legislation

The committee on Government Operations and the Environment (Ward 3 CM Cheh, chair) is holding a public hearing on B18-777, "Open Government Act of 2010", on June 7 at 10:00 am.   Details about the hearing, including how to testify, are in the hearing notice published in the May 7 DCR.

Additional information about the legislation can be found on the CM's web site.   Here you will find a video clip of the introduction from the dais, documents related to the bill's introduction, and a schedule of working group meetings.

Candidate information

Here is a list of candidates for mayor and council.   The list is based on information from the Office of Campaign Finance.   I have added contact information, Twitter and Facebook accounts, and more.   If you have additional information to update this file, email it to me and I will make the changes and post an announcement on the blog.

Mayor at groundbreaking May 10

Mayor Fenty is scheduled to give remarks at the Sheridan Station housing development groundbreaking May 10 at 10:45 am.   The development is located at Sheridan and Bowen Rds SE.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Albert testifies on proposed budget for OCA

City Administrator Neil Albert testified before the Committee on Government Operations and the Environment (Ward 3 CM Mary Cheh, chair) on May 7 about the FY 2011 proposed budget for the Office of the City Administrator.   His testimony is below.
NA Testimony on FY2011 OCA Budget Proposal _05 07 10b

Awesome organizing principles learning opp!

So there is this thing called "Dining Organizers."   It's a new twist on book clubs, learning from peers, etc.

As described in a ProgressDC email,

The plan is to get a few organizers, say six to eight, and have them meet up about once a month at someone's home to discuss organizing principles based on a reading or video.   The hope is that organizers from different schools of thought, issue campaigns, and walks of life get together to share their unique perspective on organizing.   All of this is done, of course, while enjoying a glass of wine, some homemade lasagna, and making new friends.

I participated in this in the Fall as part of the DC group of dining organizers and I'm now a regional organizer for DC.   One of the things I loved about dining organizers was that it connected those who worked on national and local issues to connect & discuss organizing theory.   I wish there were more Dining Organizers based in DC working on local issues that can speak to it.   We're looking for people to get involved as a host or a participant. . .

More about the idea is here.   To participate in DC, email
Olivia Chow.

There but for the grace of God go I

Yesterday, DCFPI blogged about updating the District's tax system to include services not available when the tax code was written.   Since the post went live, the traffic on electronic lists, Tweets to CMs, and ire on blogs skyrocketed.   At the same time, CFSA RIFed 115 workers, the City Council is considering cuts to health benefits for those who are disabled, and funding for youth development has been dramatically scaled back.   Calls for paying "our fair share" and "saving the safety net" are just not heard, I suggest, by the vast majority of District residents.

I guess I have nothing new to contribute to the debate other than that I am saddened and embarrassed for the out-of-proportion response to the tax code revision proposal.   I understand times are tough, money is tight.   But imagine what life is like for someone else for a change, someone who does not have it as good as you do.   Imagine what it would be like if the floor fell out from under you, resources were scarce and services were absent.   I do believe that people should help themselves, in personal responsibility -- but what DCFPI and others are proposing is, in fact, about government taking responsibility to update laws when necessary, not just when people don't make a stink.

Quite the combo -- health and green in the same event!

On May 22, Thurgood Marshall Academy is hosting its 2nd Annual Health Fair and Green Fair.   The event features free health information and green living tips.   This free event, which is open to the public, also showcases some of the school's students.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Witness list for BSA hearing May 7

Chairman Vincent C. Gray is convening the Committee of the Whole to hold a public hearing on B18-731, "Fiscal Year 2011 Budget Support Act" and B18-732, "Fiscal Year 2010 Balanced Budget Support Emergency Act."   The hearing is being held on May 7 at 10:00 am in the Council Chamber in JAWB.   Click here for the budget legislation and other documents on the Council web site.

WITNESS LIST (City Administrator Neil Albert will testify at the end of public testimony.)

  1. Panel:   Ed Krauze, Vice President of Public Policy, DC, Greater Capital Area Association of Realtors; Earl Wynn, REALTY Pros
  2. Barbara Lang, Executive Director, DC Chamber of Commerce
  3. Merrick Malone, DC Building Industry Association
  4. Panel:   DC Hospital Association, Robert A. Malson, President; Robert Sloan, President and CEO, Sibley Memorial Hospital
  5. Panel:   AFSCME District Council 20, Geo T. Johnson, Executive Director; Al Bilik
  6. Tyrone Sydnor
  7. Veronica A. Damesyn-Sharpe, MHSA, Executive Director, DC Healthcare Association
  8. Linda Leaks, Empower DC
  9. Nechama Masliansky, Senior Advocacy Advisor, SOME, Inc. (So Others Might Eat)
  10. Angela Franco, President and CEO, Greater Washington Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
  11. Panel:   Christopher Ternet, T-Moblie; Gary Horewitz, Sprint; Jim Schuler, CTIA; Scott Mackey, KSE Focus; David Wilmont, Counsel, AT&T
  12. Panel:   Robert Branson, Verizon Wireless; Dennis Dunn, AT&T; Joseph Askew, Verizon; Trammel Alexander, Verizon; Donna Rattley, Washington, Comcast
  13. Ed Lazere, DC Fiscal Policy Institute
  14. Kristopher Baumann, Chairman, Fraternal Order of Police
  15. Panel:   Manna, Inc., Reverend Jim Dickerson, Founder and Chairman; Shiv Newaldass, Director of Advocacy
  16. Marina Streznewski, Coordinator, DC Jobs Council
  17. Panel:   Apartment and Office Building Association (AOBA), Shaun Pharr, Esq., Senior Vice President of Government Affairs; Nicola Y. Whiteman, Esq., Vice President of Government Affairs, DC
  18. Cecil Byrd, Executive Director, National Association of Concerned Veterans
  19. Panel:   Injured Worker Advocates Employment Justice Center, Gaynell Nixon, Edna McManus, Shirley Massey
  20. Panel:   Gary Cha, President of KAGRO, Christopher Clarke, citizen; Kevin Dietly, Northbridge; Frances Bailey, citizen
  21. Panel:   Ellen Valentino, MD-DE-DC Beverage Association; Craig Muckle, Safeway; Frank Myers, Teamsters Local 67; Larhone Blackwood, citizen
  22. Panel:   Lisa Katik, Registered Dietitian, “K” Consulting; Charles Williams, citizen; Cornelius Tyson, citizen; Miriam McCrackin, citizen
  23. Doug Jefferies, Owner, Results Gyms and STROGA
  24. Lee Aiken, Citizen
  25. Panel:   Geraldine Talley Hobby; John Fenwick; Joey Henson; Janice Dunbar
  26. Panel:   Tenants Association of 4000 Massachusetts Avenue, Tom Gregory; Anne Messner, Board Member; Erwin Klingsberg, citizen
  27. Angel Luis Irene, Vida Senior Center
  28. Panel:   Janell Perry, Julia Sanders, Ronell Perry
  29. Mary C. Young, Idaho Terrace Tenants Association
  30. Neil O. Albert, City Administrator

Training Resources - train and be trained!

Yup, another terrific resource from the Washington Peace Center:   training resources.   This online resource is incredibly helpful so I hope you take advantage and for good measure, thank WPC.

Pawnbroker legislation hearing postponed

From an email from Ward 4 CM Muriel Bowser:
Originally set for May 26, the hearing date for the "Predatory Pawnbroker Regulation and Community Notification Act" has been moved to June 2.   It will take place at 10 a.m. in the Council Chamber on the 5th Floor of the Wilson Building.

B18-0715, "Predatory Pawnbroker Regulation Act of 2010", is designed to protect consumers from predatory lending by pawnbrokers by limiting the interest rate that can be charged.   The legislation would also give regulatory authority of pawnbrokers to the Department of Insurance, Securities, and Banking.

Education-related hearings now available on demand

Some folks have reported problems viewing education-related hearings on the on-demand video system operated by the Office of Cable Television.   The Arc's Alison Whyte got to the bottom of the problem, with the assistance of OCT's Kenneth Borden.   Yay!

Getting prepared for April 6 RTTT community forum

As announced here, OSSE is holding a community forum on April 6 to get input on the District's Phase II application to the federal Race to the Top competition.   Thanks to S.H.A.P.P.E.'s Cathy Reilly, we know that the first round feedback is available.   Take a look before the forum tonight to get a feel for how DC can improve its second round application.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

DC's obesity reduction action plan requires more than docs and recess

2010 is a year of firsts for plans in DC.

In April, the mayor released the District’s first comprehensive citywide child abuse and neglect prevention plan.

And in early May, Mayor Fenty and DOH director Pierre Vigilance released the city’s first report on obesity, OBESITY in the District of Columbia, and action plan, Working Towards a Healthy DC The District of Columbia’s Overweight and Obesity Action Plan:   Action Plan 2010-2015.   Together, the DOH obesity work will focus attention on reducing obesity and chronic health conditions related to weight.

As the report shows, obesity is not just a health issue.   In fact, obesity is connected to economic development, food deserts, public safety, recreation, education, and employment.   This means that all parts of the community can and should play a role in reducing the incidence of obesity.   For example, nonprofits and residents concerned about public safety can ensure that the streets and public spaces are safe places for people to exercise and use as a path to farmers markets or grocery stores.   Similarly, employers can find ways to help shift workers access healthy food during the evening.

Mary Cheh on the Healthy Schools Act, April 6

Ward 3 CM Mary Cheh will be a guest on The Kojo Nnamdi Show on April 6 at Noon to talk about the Healthy Schools Act.   Listen online or find WAMU at 88.5 on the FM dial.

DCPS Public School Capital Expenditures - Past and Future

The 21st Century School Fund has prepared a detailed analysis of capital expenditures for DC Public Schools capital projects; the analysis is online here.   As the organization recently testified, the city has spent about $1.8 billion on major DCPS facility projects and plans to spend $2.7 billion more by 2019.

About the analysis:   It is a large spread sheet with six tabs at the bottom.   The "Summary" tab provides a ward-by-ward breakdown of past and planned spending on DCPS buildings including two graphs.   One shows capital spending per gross square foot of school space by ward from 2000-2006 and from 2007-2009; the other shows actual and planned capital spending per student by ward from 2006-2009 and 2010-2015.

Contact Nancy Huvendick or others at 21st Century School Fund, (202) 745-3745.

Staying on top of blogs on Wards 7 and 8

Recently launched, River East DC blogs, http://www.redcblogs.com/ is the go-to for all things River East/east of the river.   A great resource for staying on top of what folks are saying.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

May 8 youth hearing cancelled

The City Council's Committee of the Whole youth only hearing on May 8 has been cancelled.   Upon cancelling the May 8 hearing, the COW announced that the next youth hearing will be held on June 12.   See the flier below.Youth Hearing June 2010

May 6 community input forum on DC's Race to the Top application

DC is one of 16 Race to the Top (RTTT) finalists and the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) is sponsoring a community forum on the District’s application for Phase II of this federal competition.   The forum is being held May 6 at 6:30 pm at the Charles Sumner School (1201 17th St NW).

At the forum, DME staff will brief attendees on how Race to the Top will benefit DC schools and break down how the scoring went for Phase I.   The most important part of the event, though, is when the public offers comments.   Details about the forum are in the flier, below, and Phase I information is here.

05062010 RTTT Community Forum Notice