Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Testimony and more from gap-closing hearing

Hopefully you caught some of the gap-closing plan hearing today.   If not, you can watch the whole thing (it is long) by going to Channel 13 online.   You may also read the

It is important to note that I requested opening statements from all the CMs.   CMs Mendelson and Catania replied saying that they do not prepare comments.   They prepare notes and speak extemporaneously.   The staff of CM Evans replied the same.   CM Graham replied to my first email (last week) that they were not done but did not respond to my reminder email.   CM Barry's staff said they would send something if a written statement was (or is it were?   I'm tired, sorry.) prepared.   Ditto the staff of Kwame Brown, At-large.   I did not get a response from the remaining members.

Gifts needed for Safe Shores clients

From Safe Shores-The DC Children's Advocacy Center:
It's getting down to the wire and we still need folks to sponsor a child's wishlist for our Holiday Assistance Drive!   Shoot an email to Safe Shores for more info!

Remember that Safe Shores works with children who have been physically and/or sexually abused in DC.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Witness list for gap-closing hearing, November 30

And we have the final witness list for the November 30 gap-closing hearing.   Tune in Tuesday at 9:30 on Channel 13 or in the Council Chamber in the JAWB.

Bullying hearing witness list

In the event anyone is interested given the public witnesses are almost finished testifying before the council, here is the witness list for the hearing on the two bullying bills currently under consideration.

Random notices

Here we have important notices with no connection other than that I have not yet blogged them!   We have the Bed Bug Summit, new address of the Department of Health, affordable stage and speaker rental, and much more.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Recent notices in DC Register

A number of child- and youth-related notices have been published in the DC Register in November, including regarding family medical leave, homelessness prevention and Medicaid.   There is still time to comment on emergency and proposed rules.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Volunteers needed for free tax prep at Trinidad Recreation Center

AARP will be providing free tax preparation services at Trinidad Recreation Center on Saturdays between February 5 and April 16, 2011 and volunteers are needed to make this effort successful.

Interested in getting involved?   Training is available for tax preparers.   Or, be a greeter.   Or, do outreach.   The catch is that those interested in tax prep training must register by November 30.

To register or for more information, email Dottie Elliott.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Emergency rules re: shelter and supportive housing

The Department of Human Services (DHS) has issued emergency rules in the November 26 DC Register regarding shelter and supportive housing for families and individuals.   The purpose of the emergency rules--in fact a new DCMR chapter--is to establish rules to administer the Districts Shelter and Supportive Housing Program for individuals and families.   These rules reflect changes made to rules published March 26, 2010.

Volunteers needed for Alice Deals holiday greens sale

Volunteers are needed to make the Alice Deal Middle School Holiday Greens Sale (December 4 and 5 and 11 and 12, 10:00 am to 4:00 pm) a success.   If you are interested in pitching in, email Steve Agostino.

And plan to attend the event to buy beautiful fresh evergreen trees, roping, wreaths and more.   All proceeds benefit the Alice Deal PTA.

Why You and Wi-Fi Town Hall Meeting, November 29

Why You and Wi-Fi, a town hall sponsored by the Public Media Corps, is being held November 29 at 7:00 pm (doors open at 6:00 pm) at the ARC (1901 Mississippi Ave SE).   The purpose of the event is to promote and educate communities East of the River about the benefits and opportunities of broadband adoption.

The event is free and open to the public.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Latest additions to the advocacy and learning calendar

A number of new events have been added to the Advocacy and Learning Calendar including:
  • Meeting on jobs, unemployment and the Gray Administration, December 1
  • Leveraging Social Media for Grassroots Advocacy, December 6
  • Understanding the Impact of Domestic Violence Among Teens and Adults, December 8
  • Non-Profit CEO Outlook, December 16
  • Should the Disadvantaged be Spared from the Budget Axe?, December 16

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Chairman-elect's comments on FY 2012 budget submission requirement leg

Yesterday, Chairman-elect Kwame Brown introduced "Fiscal Year 2012 Budget Submission Requirements Resolution of 2010."   The introduction was one of his first official acts as Chairman-elect.   For more, read his statement.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Chairman-elect Brown commits to making difficult budget choices

Chairman-elect Kwame Brown yesterday issued a statement stating his commitment to making the decisions required to keep the District in the black in FYs 2011 and 2012.

The statement also indicated his planned introduction of the FY 2012 budget resolution calling for the mayor's proposed budget to be introduced by April 1, 2011.

Monday, November 22, 2010

DC Campaign roundtable rocked teen pregnancy prevention

DC Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy's recent roundtable "Teen Pregnancy Funding, Priorities and Initiatives" (on YouTube here) received rave reviews from attendees.   Local, national and federal experts shared information, much of which according to attendees, was new to them.   The November 9 event focused on three topics:   plans and priorities of the federal government to prevent teen pregnancy, programs recently funded by federal grants for teen pregnancy prevention, and collaborating to create change in the District.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Brown Transition has new press sec

Traci Hughes—who can be reached at (202) 654-6422 and via email—is the new full-time press secretary for the Chairman-elect Brown transition.   Kelly Swanson of Swanson Communications, who had been in this role, is now advising the public engagement committee on best practices for communications, press relations and social media.

Remember, you can learn more about the Brown transition by going to their web site.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

A few more words on TANF time limit bill and public hearing

First, if you missed the hearing on B18-1061, "District of Columbia Public Assistance Amendment Act of 2010", you can watch it on demand at OCT.

Next, At-large CM Michael Brown, member of the Committee on Human Services, had this to say at the beginning of the hearing.   He is not a fan of the legislation and would prefer an approach that requires the government to provide quality services and supports people need.

Advocate Amy Loudermilk testified about the devastating impact of the bill as written on domestic violence victims.

Finally, I tweeted throughout the hearing.   The tweets are here.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Permanence for 20 children on November 20 at 24th Annual Adoption Day

The Superior Court of the District Columbia and the Child and Family Services Agency are celebrating the magic of family at the 24th Annual Adoption Day, November 20 from 10:00 am - Noon.   More than 20 adoptions will be finalized at the ceremony.

This is terrific news for these children and families.   But more than 150 children in the District who are currently in foster care are awaiting permanence in an adoptive home.

More information about the event, including the keynote speaker, is in the press advisory.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Updated Gray transition web site

Not much of an update for sure, but the Gray transition web site has a new look at a bit more content (short bios of the team leaders).

TANF hearing witness list

Here is the witness list for the Committee on Human Services hearing on B18-1061, legislation about TANF.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Unfortunately, B18-1061 does not end the cycle of poverty

Public policy analyst and advocate Kathryn Baer and the Legal Aid Society of DC have shared useful summaries of B18-1061, "District of Columbia Public Assistance Amendment Act."   Both have also published analyses of the legislation; Baer provides information to set the current context while Legal Aid presents research and practice challenges presented by the legislation.

The bottom line from both sources?   B18-1061 is bad public policy.

Not only would B18-1061 limit receipt of welfare benefits no matter the source of funding, as written the bill would limit other federal benefits.   These benefits include Medicaid, child care subsidies, homeless services, and funding for grandparents caring for their grandchildren.

DC Dems activities

Ward Eight Democrats host DCision 2010:   An Election Debrief November 20 from Noon to 2:00 pm.   The event is being held at Matthews Memorial Baptist Church (2616 Martin Luther King, Jr. Ave SE, near the Anacostia Metro station).   Questions?   Contact Ward 8 Dems Chair Jacques D. Patterson at 834-2553 or via email.

Citywide Candidates Forum featuring the candidates seeking appointment by the DC Democratic State Committee, December 16 from 7:00 - 9:00 pm at One Judiciary Square (441 4th St NW) in the Old Council Chambers.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Youth hearing, November 13 (reminder and update)

The Committee of the Whole (Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray, chair) is holding the regular monthly youth hearing November 13 at 9:30 am (note earlier start time) in the Council Chamber of the John A. Wilson Building.

These special hearings allow young people under the age of 21 to discuss issues of importance to them.   Some young people present complaints about city services and public policies, often describing issues in painful detail.   Others come to the table with homework assigned by Gray from a previous hearing.   Eleven panels with at least double the young people are registered to testify at the hearing.   The hearing will be aired live on Channel 13.

Readers recommend and more

  • Center on Wrongful Convictions of Youth on Twitter:   @cwcyouth.   The Center on Wrongful Convictions of Youth identifies, investigates, and litigates credible innocence claims of wrongfully convicted young people, provides resources and support for actors in the juvenile and criminal justice systems, and advocates for policy reforms that will decrease the likelihood that any youth will be wrongfully convicted. (From their web site)   (A blog reader)
  • D.C. Government/Council media clips.   Online and on Twitter (@DCGovClips) .   You need news about the DC government?   Look for clips between 7:00 - 7:30 am Monday through Friday by Karyn-Siobhan Robinson.   (Susie)
  • USATODAY Daily Briefing offers interesting tech, life, and other news that complements what I read from other sources.   Sign up online.   (Susie)

One reader also shared this:

Twitter has really changed the way I read, in that I spend less time searching the Post or the Atlantic and more time clicking on interesting things that end up in my news feed.

What about you?   Are you overwhelmed with feeds, emails, tweets?   What are you doing to manage?

DC Jobs Council’s Workforce Wednesdays Professional Development Series

Register now for the November 2010 session of the DC Jobs Council’s Workforce Wednesdays Professional Development Series!   The November 17 session, from 10:00 am to Noon, is Financial Management for Workforce Development Professionals.   DC Jobs Council will offer a broad overview of the financial management responsibilities of nonprofit leaders.   Resources for additional, more in-depth information will be shared.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Condolences to the Gerald family

Condolences go out to Roque Gerald, director of Child and Family Services Agency.   His father, Dr. Alfred Gerald, died November 6 after a long illness.   The obituary is in the Washington Post.

A Memorial Service will be held November 13 at 10:00 am at Riderwood Retirement Community Chapel (3140 Gracefield Rd, Silver Spring, MD).

The debate around protecting homeless services

If you missed the public hearing on B18-1007, "TANF Educational Opportunities and Accountability Act of 2010" and B18-1059, "Homeless Services Reform Amendment Act of 2010" you can watch it now here on OCT.   More than 30 community members registered to testify.

Advocates have rallied to oppose the bill, arguing the new provisions will prevent the most vulnerable from accessing shelter.  

Public hearing on the DCPS FY 2012 budget

DCPS has announced that the required public hearing is taking place on November 29 from 6:00 – 8:00 pm in the Old Council Chamber at One Judiciary Square (441 4th St NW).   The purpose of the hearing is for residents and other stakeholders to share their views on programs and funding needed for public schools in FY 2012.

Details about the event, including how to register to testify, are online.   Or, email Bryant Sewell.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

A Primer on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities in the District of Columbia

The Arc of the District of Columbia has just released A Primer on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities in the District of Columbia.   This new resource provides a wealth of information about the history and current status of services for District residents with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) and their families.   Features include:

Craigs List bounty

Do you CL?   If not, you are missing a great resource for free furniture and office items.   Routinely on the free items section of Craigs List (Washington, DC area) are desks, conference room furniture and binders, lots of binders!   So check it out, get free items, save your budget for client services.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Collective problem solving, November 11 (BTW, you'll make new friends, too)

Second Saturdays are now Second Thursdays (at least for the next few months).   The purpose of the events?   To connect with old friends and meet some new ones who call Ward 7 or 8 home, to support a local business and to discuss solutions to challenges that we all encounter in our neighborhoods.

The next Second Thursday is November 11 from 6:30 – 8:30 pm at Big Chair Coffee and Grill (2122 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave SE).  

Leave it to Graham Norton for a much needed laugh

Needing a Graham Norton fix today, I watched this segment (go to 5:15) over and over.   Love the contrast between the introduction and the performance.   Definitely made me smile during a break from budget calls.

FY 2011 budget balancing update

The latest intelligence on the FY 2011 budget fixing efforts is this:   Mayor Fenty and Mayor-elect Gray may get the recommendations/ideas from the Office of the City Administrator as early as this evening.   The City Council may receive the plan from mayor and mayor-elect as early as Friday, November 12.   No matter what the timing, the decisions are hard and surely will not please anyone.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Education professionals networking opp

Young Education Professionals-DC(YEP-DC) is holding this networking and professional development event November 16 from 6:30 - 8:30 pm at the AFT (555 New Jersey Ave NW).   The purpose of the event is to connect educators who are looking for a job and interested in advancing their career.   More information about the event, including the link to RSVP, are on the YEP web site.

The Brown transition is off!

Chairman-elect Kwame Brown's transition team leaders, introduced at a November 8 press conference, are Gregory McCarthy (transition committee chair), Irma Esparza Diggs, Jeffrey Humber, Natalie Ludaway, Neil Rodgers, Walter Smith, Michael Warren, and Rod Woodson.   Details about the roles and responsibilities, backgrounds and expertise of the members are in this press release and this bios sheet.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

A somewhat slow moving Gray transition, at least publicly

The Gray transition web site, live last week, had little to offer until this weekend.   Visitors can do one of three things:   Read about the team leaders, share their ideas, and seek employment in the Gray administration.

My assessment of the transition so far?   That the team is slow to take advantage of the energy and interest related to Mayor-elect Gray.   On the Gray campaign site, folks could volunteer for a transition team.   Yet there is no word on the transition site about how volunteers will be integrated into the teams.   This transition feels like the Williams' transitions with controlled public participation.   That's a fine approach but somewhat contrary to Gray's call for One City and resident engagement.

Shelter for the homeless at risk with new legislation

B18-1059, "Homeless Services Reform Amendment Act of 2010" would require individuals and families to prove their DC residency before they can access emergency shelter or other homeless services this winter.   The bill would also do away with health and safety protections in the law for families by legalizing communal family shelters.   The bottom line?   If passed, this legislation can have devastating consequences for DC residents seeking emergency services this winter.   (Updated 11/8 am) For more about the problems with this legislation, take a look at this fact sheet from Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless.

Oppose the bill November 8 at 11:30 am in the JAWB during the Committee on Human Services (Ward 6 CM Tommy Wells, chair) public hearing.   Register to testify or attend; details are in the hearing notice.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

An extraordinary film about extraordinary young women in DC foster care

Extra-Ordinary Life:   Journey to South Africa is a story of eight young women from DC who travel eight thousand miles and have an experience of a lifetime.   What is so extraordinary is that these young women in foster care have the opportunity to experience a profound journey of self discovery in an unlikely place.

You are invited to a special screening of the film as a wonderful pre-Thanksgiving family outing to celebrate National Adoption Month.   The screening is November 22 at the Lincoln Theater.

For a taste of the film, check out this short clip on YouTube.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Learn about the Brown transition November 8

Details about the Chairman-elect Kwame Brown transition will be announced November 8 at 11:00 am in the JAWB.   More information, including how to be kept apprised of the Brown transition are in the press advisory.

The lastest from public safety committee

Here is the latest update from the Committee on Public Safety and the Judiciary (10/27/10).

Child Care: The Corner Stone of a Strong DC Workforce

This panel discussion, sponsored by EMPOWER DC and DC Women's Agenda, is being held November 17 from 11:00 am - 1:00 pm.   Panelists will discuss the state of child care in DC and how residents, advocates and providers can take action to promote better child care policies that will support working low and middle income families.   More information is in the event flier.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Stepping up and helping our leaders make better choices

The most severe economic crisis since the Great Depression continues to hit DC residents hard.   Unemployment has more than doubled, and the recession has walloped the savings and investment income for many   These factors helped cause the serious revenue shortfall the District now faces – putting at risk funds for schools, police officers and health and human services.

You can help the District's leaders make better choices to make a better future by signing on to the BETTER CHOICES: MOVING DC FORWARD movement.

Gray transition press release

More information about the leadership on the Gray transition is here in this press release.   In the release you will find some info about the responsibilities of the various committees as well as short bios of the team leaders.

Still no word on how members of the public who have volunteered will be engaged in the transition.

Don't be alone for the holidays–attend one of these free dinners!

Annual Free Community Thanksgiving Dinner, November 25:   Ohev Sholom - The National Synagogue is again sponsoring this event featuring great food, fun, good company, and many laughs.   Dinner will be at 2:00 pm.   RSVPs are required; call (202) 882-7225 with your name, a contact number/email and the number of people coming to dinner.

Ohev Shalom needs volunteers to make this event a success. Opportunities—on November 24 and November 25—include cooking, decorating, cleaning up, and more.   For more information or to sign up to volunteer, send an send an email or call (202) 882-7225 with your name, a contact number/email.

Free Christmas dinner at the Basilica:   The Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception is providing free Christmas dinner at the Basilica or via home delivery.   Details are in this flier.

Volunteer drivers are needed; see the flier for information.

Thoughts on The Networked Nonprofit?

I've not yet had a chance to read the Beth Kanter, Allison Fine book The Networked Nonprofit.   Have you, what do you think?

The Networked Nonprofit: Connecting with Social Media to Drive Change

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Gray transition site

If you've not yet stumbled upon the Vince Gray transition web site, it is http://www.graytransition2010.com/.   Nothing there yet but a congratulations message.

Update on the FYs 2011 and 2012 budgets

Word now is that the mayor will deliver his plan to fix the FY 2011 budget to Council Chairman Gray in the next two weeks.   And the council's budget office has identified additional problem areas—structural problems—which bring the new total problem to $525 million.   Finally, we may learn more about how the city will tackle agency budgets in FY 2012 on Friday when the Office of Budget and Planning kicks off the FY 2012 budget.

WAMU’s Kojo Nnamdi on urban education, November 4

Kojo Nnamdi will help American University launch the new Collaborative for Urban Education, Research and Development on November 4 from 6:00 – 8:30 pm with the discussion "Re-Imagining Urban Education:   How Do We Improve Our Schools?"   The event will be held in the Butler Board Room, Mary Graydon Center at American University.   The event is free and open to the public, but RSVPs are requested at (202) 885-3720 or via email.

Latest additions to the advocacy and learning calendar

A number of events have been added to the Advocacy and Learning calendar, including:
  • Webinar, "Getting to Market – Improving Food Access in All Communities", November 4
  • An Emancipation Proclamation: How to Produce Creative Social Media, November 4
  • Nonprofit Legal Requirements Workshop, November 10
  • Shop with Your Heart: A Trunk Show Benefit for Break the Cycle, November 10
  • Small Business Brief Advice Legal Clinic, November 16
  • Chancellor’s Community Forum: Early Stages, November 17
  • Public Policy Forum on Issues Impacting Low-Income Women, December 1

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Free policy papers from "Making Fair and Effective Policy in Difficult Times" conference

If you are not able to attend the APPAM conference "Making Fair and Effective Policy in Difficult Times" in Boston this week, you can still read the papers from the event.

Immediate action required -- sign on to protect victims of domestic violence

The District Alliance for Safe Housing (DASH), District of Columbia Coalition Against Domestic Violence (DCCADV) and many other organizations and individuals are writing the City Council to oppose B18-1059, "Homeless Service Reform Amendment Act of 2010."   According to DASH, the legislation poses great danger to victims of domestic violence and their children.

To sign on to the letter, email Larisa Kofman.   The deadline for signing on is November 3.

Public hearings noticed in October 29 DCR

The City Council has noticed two child-, youth- and family-related hearings in November.   One concerns bullying and the other restricting welfare benefits.

Still have holiday gifts to buy?

Support local literacy efforts while you shop for unique merchandise and participate in interesting and exciting special events at A Capital Collection of Holiday Shops:   Public Shopping Event to Support Literacy, November 19 – 21 at Washington Marriott Wardman Park Hotel.   The proceeds of the event will support literacy efforts in DC, Maryland and Virginia.

Monday, November 1, 2010

New brief outlines FY 2011 reconsideration process and challenges

The just published brief All money is not green--things to know for FY 2011 renegotiations (PDF) takes a look at some of the finer points of what will be considered when the mayor and council reconsider the FY 2011 budget starting as early as this week.   The brief provides the context, the tentative schedule for reconsideration, and the problems to be addressed for the FY 2011 and FY 2012 budgets.

Health committee update

Check out the latest update from the council's Committee on Health here.