Monday, January 31, 2011

Registration for budget workshop is now closed

If you have not already registered for the February 3 workshop on the DC budget process, you've missed this chance.   Registration is now closed.

But if you and some friends or colleagues want me to do the same presentation, I would be happy to do that.   Contact me via email.

Need a nudge on sending that "share ANC info" email?

This is what I sent this morning:
Dear Sirs,

For years I have asked the ANC office for an electronic contact list of ANCs (names, addresses, phone, email).   What I get—when I get anything at all—is a list in PDF.   Not helpful when trying to use the list to email ANCs, add them to database or Outlook, or make mailing labels.

This past inquiry resulted in nothing.   No response, no bounce (suggesting bad email address)—nothing.

So a Twitter friend has kindly made a spreadsheet with the ANC information that is available to the public.   The problems with this are:
1.   His list will not be updated regularly unless he remembers to check the list against the ANC web site.   This is not his job.
2.   Mayor Gray recently issued a memo to executive branch staff demanding transparency.   Nothing about the ANC web site or non-responsiveness is transparent.
3.   The public should not be required to do the work of a government agency.   Especially when the work is fundamental to the operations of the agency.

The remedy to the problem is quite simple:   Post a user-friendly spreadsheet of ANCs along with their contact information on the ANC web site.   Update it regularly noting the date of update.

And, respond to emails from the public.   All of them.

In the event you are interested, I have pasted today’s blog post about this issue below.   In addition to this call to action, I have made one on Twitter.

Thank you for your attention to this matter and I look forward to your response.

Susie

ANC info now in easy-to-use format -- no thanks to ANC office

ANC info now in easy-to-use format -- no thanks to ANC office

Self-proclaimed computer and politics geek Keith Ivey has done the community a great service by capturing online ANC information in this Google Docs list.   To make the Ivey list even better, he has given the link an easy to remember name, http://bit.ly/dc-ancs.   Thanks Keith!

What is so infuriating about Keith's list is that the ANC office cannot and/or will not provide an electronic version of the ANC list.   The last time I managed to get one (years ago), the list was scanned making it impossible to dump the info into Outlook or our database.   The result?   We spent valuable time retyping all the information.   This is what tax dollars pay for?   I think DC residents deserve a refund.

Now to the solution:   Anyone interested should call and email to demand that the ANC office staff make an electronic version of the ANC list (names, ANC, contact information) available immediately on the ANC web site and by request.   Contact:

Recent Council activity (from the January 28 DCR)

Some Council committee memberships have changed with the addition of At-large member Sekou Biddle.   The changes are delineated in Resolution 19-8, "Council Period 19 Committee Assignment Amendment Resolution of 2011."

Resolution 19-9, "Special Committee on School Safety and Truancy Establishment Resolution of 2011" was introduced and approved recently by the Committee of the Whole.   At-large CM Sekou Biddle is chairing the committee; members are Barry, Catania, Cheh, and Mendelson.

The purpose of the committee is to conduct a comprehensive study to determine the status of truancy, school violence and interventions for these issues.   Recommendations to address the challenges of these issues are also expected.   Recommendation: The Committee on Education under Ward 7 CM Kevin Chavous conducted several public hearings and performed considerable research including policy remedies.   This work should be reviewed as part of the special committee's initial work.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

The Gray cabinet list is now online

The Gray cabinet list is now online!

Good as the list is, it does not differentiate hold-overs from the Fenty administration from Gray appointees.   That information is updated on this blog as the mayor makes appointments.   The most recent list is online here.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Contact info for mayor's budget office

This time of year, the most valuable information to have is the contact information for budget analysts who work for the mayor.   Today is your lucky day--we have the list of staff (including contact info) in the Mayor's Office of Budget and Finance and a list of staff assignments.

Friday, January 28, 2011

What should the FY 2012 budget be named?

The fabulous Martin Austermuhle of DCist fame has issued a challenge to those of us--and for that matter those who don't--follow the DC budget closely and advocate about it:   Name the first Gray budget.   Austermuhle does a little research and finds that naming budgets has
reflected the purpose, personality and priorities of the sitting mayor. From 2001 to 2006, when Mayor Anthony Williams was in charge, his budget titles spoke to his desire to more equitably spread the city's newfound progress to all of its residents.   "Building a City That Works for Everyone" came in 2002, while 2006 was "Lifting All Communities."   The years 2004/2005 shared the name "Education, Public Safety and Opportunity For All," while 2007, which would have been Williams' last budget, welcomed "The Citizens' Budget: Affordable Housing, Education, Health, Jobs, Libraries, Youth."

Readers, it is imperative we participate in this exercise to show the DCist regular commenters we are smart and witty.   And let's just do it to have a little fun.

Another update of Gray appointments

The latest round of Gray appointments are now included in this Google docs spreadsheet.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Have you registered for the February 3 DC budget workshop?

Ever wanted the DC budget process explained to you?   Are you curious about how decisions are made?   Want to know why things are they way they are?

These questions and more will be covered in the February 3 workshop The DC Budget Explained.   The workshop will answer all these questions and more—including intervention points and ideas for intervention tactics.   The event will be interactive with participants asking questions and sharing ideas and experiences.   You will leave with materials to help you through the learning and budget processes!

More information, including how to register, is here and in this flier (PDF).

Space still remains but don't wait too long or there won't be room as this space-limited event.

CM Biddle and at-large candidate Mara on DC Politics Hour 1/27

Tune in today at 11:00 am for WPFW's DC Politics Hour with Eugene Dewitt Kinlow and Chuck Thies.   Interim At-Large CM Sekou Biddle and challenger Pat Mara will guest.   Expect a brief discussion at the beginning of the show on the latest local and national news as it affects DC.

Listen on the radio (89.3FM) or streaming online.   And remember, you can send questions or comments to Kinlow and Thies via Twitter (@DiscussDC) or email.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Updated and user-friendly budget/oversight hearings notices

So despite my regular pleas for greater access and outreach, I must admit I failed by sharing somewhat inaccessible hearing notices in the latest Microsoft format.   I apologize.

The good news is, I have the files in PDF and they are here:   FYs 10 and 11 performance oversight hearings sked and FY 2012 budget hearings schedule.

Mayor Gray amends contracting rules

Mayor Gray has informed all agency directors to seek approval on contracts worth more than $1 million "regardless of whether the contract was originally awarded before or after October 15, 2009."   The mayor delivered the message in person and is sending a memo via email to ageency staff with particular focus on contracting and procurement staff.   More on this dramatic change in practice from the Fenty administration is in this press release.

DCAYA gets new leader

Ram Uppuluri, former Committee on Human Services staffer under Ward 6 CM Tommy Wells and current vice president at DC Children and Youth Investment Trust Corp., is moving to the DC Alliance for Youth Advocates starting February 7.   Uppuluri is the nonprofit's new executive director.

Do you read the Examiner's three-minute interviews?

If not, you should every day.   The 3-minute interview is a daily feature with local, regional and national folks who represent the diversity of the DC area.   Today, for example, Cheryl Borden (principal of KIPP) is interviewed.   Other recent DC interviewees are Terry Lynch and Peter Rosenstein.

I learn all kinds of interesting things about people I know and don't know.   Reading this column has led me to meet folks I would not have otherwise.   And you never know; one day, you'll be reading about yourself!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Budget hearing schedule now available

The Council's Budget Office has released the FY 2012 budget hearing schedule (Excel).

Malcolm Gladwell on fulfilling our moral obligation to each other

My minor obsession with Malcolm Gladwell and search for talks, speeches and interviews led me to this YouTube video from a Children's Rights gala (~10 mins.).   The message resonated with me for many reasons—my love of dogs, my commitment to reducing the incidence of child maltreatment, my quest for ways to improve my work and life.

My takeaway is that we must demonstrate that Gladwell's statement that we do a "haphazard" job fulfilling our obligations to each other is no longer the case in the District of Columbia.   We should immediately work on ways to fulfill our obligations to others using the budget as a vehicle.   It is, after all, the most important piece of legislation crafted each year.

Who's in?

Some of this and that from the government

We've got meetings, personnel news, Council committee updates, and more in public safety, education, health, governance, and yes, more.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Updated Gray appointee list

Mayor Gray announced more cabinet-level appointments on January 21.
Mayor Gray named Victor L. Hoskins as the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development (DMPED); Jeffrey D. Richardson as the Director of the Office of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Affairs; and Phillip A. Lattimore III as Director of the Office of Risk Management.   Hoskins and Lattimore must be confirmed by the DC Council.

The updated list of appointments is here.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

DCPS community engagement and education events

DC Public Schools is doing more than educating children and youth.   It is engaging families and education stakeholders and educating the community, too.   Upcoming events are:

Calling all Ward 1 organizations and residents

All Ward 1 nonprofits, businesses and residents are invited to the January 28 Strengthening Ward One Together (SWOT) meeting (notice here).

On the agenda for the regular monthly meeting is "Progression and Change", strategizing about how the community can come together to effectively use what remains of the safety net for the ward's most vulnerable residents.   The special guest for the meeting is School Board Member Patrick Mara.

Free webinars in February

Wild Apricot has published a list of 31 free webinars for nonprofits in Feruary.   Next month, topics focus on social media and fundraising, with a smattering of events about leadership and internal operations.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

FYs 2010 and 2011 oversight hearings schedule

The City Council's Budget Office has released the schedule (Excel, .xls) for the FYs 2010 and 2011 performance oversight hearings.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Mayor Gray announces more appointments

Today at 11:00 am, Mayor Gray will announce three new cabinet appointees for the positions Deputy Mayor for Economic Development; Director of the Office of Gay, Lesbian, Bi-Sexual and Transgender Affairs; and Director of the Office of Risk Management.   The presser will take place in the JAWB's Mayor’s Press Briefing Room (G-9).

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Oversight and budget hearings update

Not really much to tell other than the Committee of the Whole briefing on the CAFR is scheduled for February 8.   And the full schedule of performance oversight hearings should be released soon; the Council's budget office is waiting for info from a few committees still.

Ward 7 CM loses 18 lbs - learn how and join her!

Ward 7 CM Yvette Alexander updates us on her workout and healthy eating progress and announces the news that she has lost 18 pounds.   Go CM Alexander!   The CM is also interested in hearing how others are doing on their fitness goals.   So read the update today.

Tune in to the Politics Hour program at 11:00 am 1/20

Tune in today at 11:00 am for WPFW's Politics Hour with Eugene Dewitt Kinlow and Chuck Thies.   Bryan Weaver, who yesterday announced he is running for the open At-large City Council seat, will have a conversation with Kinlow, Thies and guest analyst is Freeman Klopott from the Washington Examiner.

Other topics on the agenda are Mayor Gray's comments on former DCPS Chancellor Michelle Rhee's philosophy and much more.

Listen on the radio (89.3FM) or streaming online.   And remember, you can send questions or comments to Kinlow and Thies via Twitter (@DiscussDC) or email.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

New! Workshop on understanding the DC budget process

Ever wanted the DC budget process explained to you?   Are you curious about how decisions are made?   Want to know why things are they way they are?

These questions and more will be covered in the February 3 (updated 1/20 9:25 am) workshop The DC Budget Explained.   The workshop will answer all these questions and more—including intervention points and ideas for intervention tactics.   The event will be interactive with participants asking questions and sharing ideas and experiences.   You will leave with materials to help you through the learning and budget processes!

More information, including how to register, is here and in this flier (PDF).

The DC Budget Process Explained

Ever wanted the DC budget process explained to you?   Don't know what the acronyms stand for?

Then this new document is for you!   The DC Budget Process Explained (PDF) contains links to find budget-related documents (CSFL, budget books, revenue estimates) intervention points in the process along with what advocates can do.

Note:   The document is legal size but can be printed on either letter or legal paper.

A special thanks to T.J. Sutcliffe and Marina Streznewski for reviewing the document and, as always, making it better.

Watch TBD's NewsTalk via computer

I think I'm pretty on the ball, but I have to admit this just passed me right by until today.   You can watch TBD's NewsTalk with Bruce DePuyt live on computer daily at 10:00 am by going to http://www.tbd.com/tv/.   You can also follow the show on Twitter @TBDNewsTalk.

An objective tool to assess the mayor's budget and the Council's changes

If you are looking for a way to assess the mayor's proposed budget and Council committee changes to mayor's proposed, check out this new tool (opens in Word).   You don't have to be a budget expert to ask and answer these questions.   You just need to do a little homework and encourage the mayor's staff and Council's committee staff to answer them.   Alternatively, answer the questions and give them to the appropriate committee staff.

Some of the questions are:

  • Are there court orders connected to the agency? (e.g., LaShawn, Salazar, Dixon, Jerry M., Blackman/Jones, Evans)
  • Are there requirements related to federal funding? (i.e., Maintenance of Effort (MOE), Match)
  • Is this a one-time expenditure or revenue source?   If so, is it truly a one-time?

And for those still working on the mayor's staff in advance of the release of the FY 2012 budget, be sure to ask them these questions.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

"311" only works from 202 area code (update 3:00 pm)

This has been updated from the original post thanks to the diligence and quick actions of some DC government staff
If you've ever tried calling 311 from your cell phone with a 240, 301 or other area code when you are outside the city, you know it doesn't work!   The solution is dialing (202) 737-4404.   This gets you to the Mayor's Citywide Call Center.

As pointed out by DC gov staff, you can call 311 from inside the District from non-202 area codes (though that still doesn't work for me - but then, I am special). and get right through to the call center.

Advocacy and Learning Calendar updates (featuring Helping Others Better workshops)

A number of new events have been added to the Advocacy and Learning Calendar including:

Monday, January 17, 2011

Updated information on ANC 2B

The Dupont Circle Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC 2B) has an updated list of newly-inaugurated Commissioners, newly-elected Officers and staff.

Upcoming Council hearings as noticed in January 14 DCR

Three hearings were published in the January 14 DC Register that might be of interest to those working on budget and policy issues related to children, youth and families and good government issues.   One is on access to technology, another on bike and pedestrian safety and the third concerns open government policy.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

William Lockridge Educational and Scholarship Fund

The Lockridge family has announced the contact information for the William Lockridge Educational and Scholarship Fund:   P.O. Box 54012, Washington DC 20032.   The family asks that donations be made to the fund in lieu of flowers.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Services for William Lockridge

The funeral services for William Lockridge (Ward 8 State Board of Education member) will be January 20 at Temple of Praise Church (700 Southern Ave SE).   The viewing is from 10:00 - 11:00 am, memorial service where friends and family can give tributes from 11:00 am - Noon, the the funeral service at Noon.

In lieu of flowers, the family has asked that donations be made to the William Lockridge Educational Scholarship Fund.   More information about the educational fund will be provided at the services.

Chancellor's Office Hours now DCPS Office Hours

To solve parent's issues more quickly, DCPS Chancellor Kaya Henderson is making DCPS leaders and staffers more available at the new DCPS Office Hours, a monthly event.   Effective immediately, each monthly event will feature one topic.   DCPS specialists will talk with parents and solve problems.

The schedule is:

  • February 10, 6:00 - 8:00 pm at Deal Middle School.   The topic is Out of Boundary Lottery
  • March 9, 6:00 - 8:00 pm at Wheatley Education Campus.   The topic is to be determined.
  • April 14 6:00 - 8:00 pm at Whittier Education Campus.   The topic is Facilities.

DCPS is interested in learning what other topics you are interested in, what other staff you would like to meet with.   Email, call in (719-6614) or share online your suggestions.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Really? Only 15 nonprofits in DC online. Huh.

According to the results of my informal survey about where nonprofits are on the web (Twitter, web sites, blogs), only 15 nonprofits across the whole of DC have an online presence.

This just cannot be possible.

If you are a nonprofit and want free exposure to policy makers, the media, other nonprofits, businesses, and the wider community, I can help.

All you have to do is take this quick survey, sharing the addresses (URLs) and/or Twitter handles with me, and I will share the list on the blog and Twitter.   I am hopeful that those in the media will link to the list and further increase your exposure.

There is no downside.   But it's entirely up to you.

The deadline is January 31.

Key dates for oversight and budget season

The key dates are as follows:
  • CAFR (Comprehensive Annual Financial Report) released:   February 1
  • Performance oversight hearings:   February 16 - March 18
  • Budget transmitted to Council:   April 1
  • COW budget briefing:   April 6
  • Budget oversight hearings period:   April 7 - May 6
  • Committee budget markups:   May 10 - 12
  • Only vote on Budget Request Act and first vote Budget Support Act:   May 24
  • Second vote on Budget Support Act

On January 18, members will vote on the detailed oversight and budget hearings sked at the Committee of the Whole meeting.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

WPFW's January 13 Politics Hour

Join Eugene Dewitt Kinlow and Chuck Thies January 13 at 11:00 am for the hour-long Politics Hour on WPFW 89.3 FM.   Listen on the radio or streaming from the web site.

Guests this week are Brenda Pennington, Interim Peoples Counsel, and Denise Rolark Barnes of The Washington Informer.   Pennington will talk about Pepco, service reliability and utility services for needy populations.   Barnes will talk about the MLK holiday and the Freedom Walk.

Join in any of the discussions by calling the on the air studio line (202) 588-0893.   Or (drum roll please), send questions or comments to Kinlow and Thies via Twitter (@DiscussDC) or email.

Daniel Patrick Moynihan in his own words—A review of his letters

Daniel Patrick Moynihan (1927-2003) prided himself on correctly predicting the demise of the Soviet Union and for having served as a presidential appointee under four different presidents.   And he wasn't shy about letting people know about these accomplishments, referring to them numerous times in the voluminous letters he wrote during a half-century as a government official, university professor, Senator, and public intellectual.

Urban event on the challenges facing DC is now online

Urban Institute's First Tuesdays event "Mr. Mayor!   Here's What Research Says About the Challenges Facing the District of Columbia" was, by all accounts, a success.   The room was packed and scores of folks watched the event live online.   Thankfully, UI posted the video and handouts from the event.   This is perfect if you missed the event or want to watch it again, like me.

Panelists included Alice Rivlin of Brookings, Peter Tatian of Urban and Barbara Ormond of Urban.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

BRTs start next week

FY 2012 budget decision time is coming soon for the human services cluster.   The Budget Review Team (BRT) meetings for human services agencies are scheduled for February 7 and 8 as is shown in the BRT schedule.   So if you have recommendations for the budget, let the appropriate agency and EOM (mayor's budget office and the Office of the City Administrator) know now!

Anti-bullying legislation introduced

On January 4, 2011, CMs Harry Thomas, Jr. and Michael Brown introduced "Bullying and Intimidation Prevention Act of 2011."   B19-11 would
establish within District of Columbia Public Schools, District of Columbia Public Charter Schools, the Department of Parks and Recreation, District of Columbia Public Library, and the University of the District of Columbia policies to prohibit harassment, intimidation, and bullying, including by means of electronic communication; and to establish bullying prevention programs in the respective agencies.

CM Michael Brown, who spoke extemporaneously at the introduction, prepared this statement.

Advocacy tip (actually, a "nice" tip)

You may have heard that Ward 4 CM Muriel Bowser had surgery and will be recovering for the next couple of weeks.   (See excerpt of email announcing the news below).

So what's the tip?   Send a get well email or card.   It is nice.   And nice is good and useful.

Bowser to spend the next few weeks recovering from routine scheduled surgery
Today Councilmember Bowser underwent routine scheduled surgery and will spend the next few weeks recuperating and working from home.   Do not hesitate in contacting our office at 202-724-8052 or Director of Community Outreach Brandon Todd via email or 664-7594.

"The Challenge of Poverty to Achieving Educational Excellence", January 15

Adas Israel Congregation is sponsoring "The Challenge of Poverty to Achieving Educational Excellence:   A Mini-Conference on the Future of Education in the District" January 15 at 1:00 pm at Adas Israel (2850 Quebec St NW).

The keynote address will be delivered by Mayor Vincent Gray.   There will be a panel discussion with Beatrice "BB" Otero, founder of DC Bilingual Public Charter School, and Maurice Sykes, former Deputy Superintendent for DCPS Center for Systemic Educational Change.   The panel will be moderated by WaPo's Marc Fisher.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Calling nonprofits—where are you online?

Nonprofits, do you want to increase your exposure to policy makers, the media, other nonprofits, businesses, and the community?   I can help.

If your organization is on Twitter or otherwise online (do you have a blog or organizational web site), share the addresses (URLs) and/or handles with me and I will share the list on the blog.

Organizations and their clients will win when you share this information.   First, organizations will increase their exposure to a range of folks—other nonprofits, the media, elected and appointed officials, advocates, community members, and funders.   Second, it can increase your readership/following.   Third, I will have an additional source of information to blog.

So take just a minute and provide me with your information.   The deadline is January 31.

City Council hearings

The Committee on Health is off to a busy start this CP with three hearings on new legislation being held in January.   Committee chair David Catania will oversee hearings on B19-2, "Department of Health Care Finance District of Columbia Health Care Exchange Authorizing Act of 2011"; B19-3, "HIV/AIDS Program Management Act of 2011"; and B19-7, "Athletic Concussion Protection Act of 2011."

Recap of local political news

  • The Kojo Nnamdi Show with Mayor Gray, January 7:   Nnamdi was joined by Tom Sherwood and Alan Suderman in this conversation with the new mayor.   Go to The Kojo Show web site to listen and read the transcript.
  • Listen to former Mayors Barry, Pratt and Williams on the District, the challenges facing the city, suggestions for Mayor Gray, and, of course, the Redskins returning to DC.   The mayors appeared on The Politics Program with Mark Plotkin January 7.

    NBC 4's Tom Sherwood has snippets from the former mayors' appearances.
  • Council Chairman Kwame Brown talked with Eugene Dewitt Kinlow and Chuck Thies on WPFW's DC Politics weekly show January 6.   Note:   Listen quickly - the archived shows are not permanently available.
  • Sekou Biddle is selected to fill At-large seat:   WaPo's Tim Craig tells the story of how the State Board of Ed member was selected January 6.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Gray makes more appointments

Friday morning, Mayor Vince Gray announced the appointment of four new senior staff:   Dr. Mohammad N. Akhter was named Director of the Department of Health; Wayne Turnage, Director of the Department of Health Care Finance; Antonio Hunter, Director of the Department of Small and Local Business Development; and Dr. Linda Wharton Boyd, Director of Communications.

These appointments and other notes about interim appointments are included in this list of Gray appointments.

A new round of Helping Others Better workshops announced

Are you looking for low-cost ways to skill-up?   Then be sure to check out this series of four workshops offered by Susie Cambria and Diana Winthrop.   Topics are:
  • Getting to know and maintaining relationships with Council staff
  • Getting to know and maintaining relationships with exec branch staffers
  • Having an effective relationship with local media
  • Outreach that actually reaches out

Workshops start January 21 and run for four consecutive Fridays.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Advocacy and Learning Calendar updates

A number of new events have been added to the Advocacy and Learning Calendar including:
  • Fair Budget Friday Breakfast Briefings starting January 14
  • Ward 5 Council on Education meeting, January 18
  • MLK Day of Service Knit-a-thon, January 17
  • Helping Others Better workshops starting January 21

Free webinars

Charityhowto.com is offering free webinars on social media.   And of course, there are these from Wild Apricot.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

ANC 1B commissioners' contact info

Wow!   Check this out:   The contact information for all ANC 1B Commissioners elected for the 2011-2012 term is now on the ANC 1B web site.   It would be great if all ANCs followed 1B's lead.

Volunteer with YEP-DC at local high school for Martin Luther King Day of Service

YEP-DC's new "Adopt-a-School" partnership between YEP-DC members and Washington Metropolitan High School are starting the year off right with their Martin Luther King Day of Service with their new partner high school.

The event takes place January 17 from 10:00 am - 1:00 pm at Washington Metropolitan High School (300 Bryant St NW).   RSVP online.

Friday, January 7, 2011

A must-read from DCFPI on Council transparency (not)

DC Fiscal Policy Institute has done a bang-up job explaining how the Council, led by Chairman Kwame Brown, failed to improve transparency for CP19.   The Council rules outline how the legislature will operate, deliberate and, well, legislate.   Brown and the transition team were given detailed recommendations by the community on ways to improve transparency and access.   Be sure to take a few minutes to read Meet the New Council Rules, Same As the Old Council Rules:   The Public is Still Left in the Dark.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

What you want from City Council communications - a brief survey

The pending announcement of Linda Wharton-Boyd's move to the executive branch from the legislative branch prompted me to think about what it is we (advocates, providers, the community at large) want from Council communications.   This (What you want from City Council communications) is your opportunity to share your ideas.   I will sort them out, tidy them up and share here on the blog and send to CMs.

Please share ideas by January 31.   Take a few minutes and provide ideas--format, frequency, content, etc.   Hopefully, our recommendations will be implemented.

Need help this budget season?

Now more than ever, adults with political, policy, and budget experience are needed to address the challenges facing children, youth and families in the District of Columbia.   I am currently available to consult on short- or long-term projects, capacity building and on retainer.   Learn more about what I can contribute to your work by reading this letter in which I outline my areas of expertise and rates.

Council news

  • Ward 5 CM Harry Thomas, Jr. has announced staffing changes in his office.
  • At-large CM David Catania had this to say after being sworn in for another term on the Council.   He retold the successes of the Council and the Committee on Health.   He also talked about the challenges confronting the city moving forward.   Some of this is also captured in the press release issued January 3.

Mayor Gray joins US Ed Secretary Duncan at Sousa today

Mayor Gray is making an appearance with US Education Secretary Arne Duncan and DCPS Interim Chancellor Kaya Henderson January 6, 10:00 am for a back-to-school visit at Sousa Middle School (3650 Ely Pl SE).

Revenue estimate unchanged from September 2010

On December 29, 2010, CFO Natwar Gandhi sent Mayor Fenty and then-Mayor-elect Vince Gray a letter stating that the latest review of revenue for FYs 2011 - 2015 was the same as that done in September 2010.

Gandhi wrote that the real property tax bills (prepared in January) will give the CFO a better idea of revenues for FY 2012.   Further, tax revenue increased the first two months of FY 2011 (October and November); this is a good sign but the February revenue estimate will be based on a full quarter of tax earnings.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Advocacy Training Day for workforce development organizations, January 19

The DC Jobs Council is hosting an Advocacy Training Day January 19 from 9:00 am - 2:00 pm at DC Community College.

This free event, made possible by support from the Greater Washington Workforce Development Collaborative, is for staff of community-based workforce development organizations and related services (e.g., adult learning).

Registration is required.   More information along with the registration form are online (Word).

I look forward to seeing workforce development folks at the event; I will be leading the DC budget process session.

Nonprofits eager for affordable professional development opportunities

Late last year I surveyed nonprofits, civic associations, ANCs, and others to find out what affordable professional development opportunities they wanted and needed.   The results are now in.   Not surprisingly, the basics of fundraising and nonprofit management were mentioned most often.   I was surprised at the number of advocacy-related mentions, but heartened that there is interest in learning skills but also in engaging more nonprofits in this important work.

The survey was framed in the context of learning what others wanted beyond the workshops Diana Winthrop and I conducted last fall.   You may recall that we offered training opportunities on Having a personal relationship with local media, Getting to know and maintaining relationships with Council staff, Getting to know exec branch staffers, and Outreach that actually reaches out.   I am pleased that we were asked to repeat this series and I think there are some recommendations we can add to the list.

But we are not able to meet all the interests mentioned (for example, nonprofit HR, working with the board, developing and expanding the board, staff management, and effective facilitation skills).   I hope others will fill the void with training opportunities that are affordable.   If you do offer such things, I am happy to add them to the Advocacy and Learning Calendaremail the information to me.

Let's try this again - good links for nonprofits online form

Okay.   This time, we have the correct link so you can tell me where your organization is on the web.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Yoohoo, nonprofits, where are you on the web?

Is your nonprofit on Twitter, have a blog or organizational web site?   Please share (link updated 1/5 at 6:30 am) the addresses (URLs) and/or handles with me and I will share the list on the blog.

Organizations and their clients will win when you share this information.   First, organizations will increase their exposure to a range of folks--other nonprofits, the media, elected and appointed officials, advocates, community members, and funders.   Second, it can increase your readership/following.   Third, I will have an additional source of information to blog.

So take just a minute and provide me with your information (link updated 1/4 at 1:30 pm).   The deadline is January 31.

Video of inauguration and swearing in

Miss the January 2 inaugural and swearing in?   Want to watch it again?   It is on-demand at Channel 16.

CP19 rules as introduced

The CP19 Council rules are now online (Link updated 6/7/12).   LIMS struggled with the new year so it took some time for the staff to get the rules posted.   The Barry amendment will be included in an updated version later this week.   Thanks to Nyasha Smith, Secretary to the Council, for the update.

McCoy remains Gray communications staffer

Doxie McCoy moved with Vince Gray to the executive branch.   Her info is:
Doxie A. McCoy
Senior Communications Manager
Executive Office of Mayor Vincent C. Gray
(202) 727-9691
doxie.mccoy@dc.gov

Executive branch leadership update

We have some updates to executive branch leadership.   Shannon Hall from DC Behavioral Health Association provided three updates and another source provided two more; the updated list is here.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Bread for the City has bigger home!

Share in the excitement of the Bread for the City's Grand Opening of their Northwest Center January 7 from 4:00 - 7:00 pm.   The address is the same--1525 7th St NW--but the new space is fab-u-lous!

Stop by and see the twice-as-big space which will allow the medical clinic to serve twice as many patients.   The ribbon cutting will take place at 4:00 pm.   If you miss that, you can still enjoy food and a performance by DC's own Christylez Bacon until 7:00 pm.

RSVP at (202) 386-7613.

Catching up on blog posts

Just back into town?   Just catching up on news and blogs?   Here is a cheat sheet to Susie's Budget and Policy Corner:

Find other blog posts, as usual, by visiting to the blog's home page.

From and about the Council

The Council and its committees were active at the end of 2010 and there is important news from and about the members.   Highlights of action include CP-end activity reports, committee assignments for CP19, and staff changes.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

CP19's business starts at 10:00 am January 3

CP19 gets rolling January 3 at 10:00 am with the organizational meeting at which committees are confirmed, the rules are established and key staff appointments are made.   The agenda is here.

The first Legislative Meeting takes place January 4 at 10:00 am in the Council Chamber.

Mayor Gray's prepared remarks from inauguration

The prepared remarks from the Mayor Gray inauguration are now available.

Kwame Brown sworn in as Council Chairman

Kwame Brown was sworn in as Council Chairman today at the Washington Convention Center.   The press release (PDF) about the occasion provides additional information.   Read the prepared remarks (PDF) delivered after Brown took the oath of office.

Bowling for books at Ballou

Ballou Senior High School and the Friends of Ballou are hosting a Bowl-A-Thon at Lucky Strike in downtown DC January 29 from 2:00 - 5:00 pm.   The purpose of the event is to raise money so the Ballou library can increase its book collection to meet the national standard of 11 books per student.   The current ratio is 1:1.   Ten thousand dollars is needed to help make this goal reality.

Corporate and individual sponsors are being sought to help boost the fundraising efforts.   Additional information is in this letter from Melissa Jackson, Library Media Specialist at Ballou Senior High School.   More information is available from Jackson by calling (202) 250-0397 or via email.