Friday, July 29, 2011

Got excess fruit?

Photo by wxmom
Do you have fruit growing on your property?   Does some of it go to waste every year?

Put it to good use by participating in Bread for the City's Glean for the City program.   Email BFC if you have apple or pear trees on your property or in your community and if they produce more fruit than you need.   You can also fill out this form.   Bread for the City will be in touch with more detailed questions about your trees and how they can best work with you to harvest the fruit.

Glean for the City is also seeking volunteers to help pick the fruit and even organize neighborhood harvest parties.   If interested, email Tonya Hamilton, Bread for the City’s gleaning coordinator.

More about the project is online here.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Public Safety Town Hall meeting July 28

At-large CM Phil Mendelson is holding a Public Safety Town Hall meeting July 28 at 6:30 pm at Mathews Memorial Baptist Church (2616 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave SE).

The purpose of this meeting is to discuss specific public safety issues that have an impact on quality of life of residents.   Joining the CM will be reps from MPD, US Attorney's Office, Office of the Attorney General, Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services, and Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency.

Refreshments will be served.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The basics of the budget on WPFW this evening

Tune in tonight from 7:00 - 8:00 pm to WPFW, 89.3 FM to hear Jenny Reed from DCFPI and me on Latino Media Collective.   Jenny and I will be talking the basics of the DC budget, how residents and other stakeholders can get involved, and more!

Goodies (what else) from Wild Apricot

If you do not yet partake of the information and resources shared by Wild Apricot, shame on you!   This organization regularly shares incredibly useful resources with nonprofits.

The July association jam includes blog posts and articles about fundraising and communications among other things.   And the August roundup of free webinars includes sessions on volunteer support and engagement, marketing, and technology.

Mayor Gray's presser, July 27

Mayor Gray's weekly presser is being held July 27 from 10:00 - 11:00 am in the JAWB.

The agenda includes the Mayor’s Interfaith Council, The First 200 Days, and the city's sustainability initiative.

Watch the event live on the OCT website's Channel 16.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Another morning must read

If you don't read DCentric's "Tasty Morning Bytes" you are missing out on news through the lens of race and class in the District.   Yes, it does aggregate stories from other sources but the lens is what makes the difference.

Recent mentions include 'Homelessness doesn't care': A life on the streets and Ethnic suburbs can isolate residents.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Mayor Gray's first youth town hall is July 30 in Ward 8

The first youth town hall with Mayor Gray is in Ward 8 July 30 from 11:00 am - 1:00 pm at THEARC (1901 Mississippi Ave SE).   The flier in English is here (PDF) and in Spanish is here (PDF).

Mayor Gray began engaging young people as an elected official when he chaired the City Council.

More information about the District of Columbia Youth Advisory Council (DCYAC), organizer of this and future events, is online.

Start the fall off right with the DC Budget 101 workshop

September is the right time to get the fundamentals of the DC budget under your belt.   Register today for the September 15 workshop, DC Budget 101 being held at East River Family Strengthening Collaborative in Ward 7.

You will learn the basics of the budget process, the roles of the various agencies, advocacy intervention points, key terms, what those darned acronyms stand for, where to get a copy of the budget, and much more.

Feel free to share the flier about the event (PDF) with colleagues, volunteers, board members, and neighbors.

Friday, July 22, 2011

A new City Council website is on the horizon

No drum roll yet, but soon, the City Council technology office promises.

Work is underway to improve the content, look, and usability of the City Council's website http://dccouncil.us/.   Technology office staff and the people actually doing the upgrade have gotten feedback and recommendations from advocates and Council staff.   For my part, I made these recommendations (Word, .doc) and re-submitted Results of "What you want from City Council communications" survey.   You may recall seeing or participating in that survey earlier this year.

The Council is implementing improvements in multiple phases with the redesign and content the first.   Improvements to LIMS and the DC Code will be implemented at a later time.

The new, improved site will be launched this fall.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Some amazing young women

Earlier today I had the pleasure of spending a couple of hours chatting with four young women in the Young Women's Project Peer Health and Sexuality Education (PHASE) project.   We talked about advocacy, what advocacy is, how each of us got involved with our current passion, and what it takes to be better at what we do.
My cat Moxie offered another thought about advocacy to the long list: cute works.

I was there to share with the young women my thoughts about and experiences with advocacy.   I did.   The picture on the left captures some of what advocacy means to me.   And then they asked questions and made observations that were incredibly insightful.   That was my time to learn.

I appreciate the opportunity to meet the young women and thank the Committee on Health for inviting me to participate in the pilot project.

Washington Peace Center offers discounted copying

The Washington Peace Center offers discounted copying to local individuals and developing organizations.   WPC charges $.05/page for black and white and $.25/page for color.   For more information or to tell staff you are stopping by to make copies, call (202) 234-2000.   Or, stop by WPC between 10 am and 6:00 pm.

Used book sale July 23

Photo by Jason Hargrove
Need some more books for all that summer reading you are doing?

Be sure to check out the Friends of Palisades Library used book sale July 23 from 10:00 am - 4:00 pm on the front plaza of the library on 4901 V St NW (at corner with MacArthur Blvd NW).   Fiction and nonfiction will be for sale.   Hardcovers sell for $1.00 and paperbacks for 50 cents.   In case of rain, the sale will be halted temporarily.

Email questions to the Friends.

Do you read Daybreak Daily?

No offense to Daybreak Daily's Skip Wood, but I just recently found this early morning news roundup.   I've been perusing it every day since signing up a few weeks ago.   DD is described as a "must-read, first thing in the morning email newsletter providing an early look at the day's news, traffic, weather, and sports."   Sign up here in the "Alerts and Newsletters" section.

This doesn't replace LLD or DeMorning DeBonis, different animals altogether, but a good, quick summary of what's what.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Getting ready for school

Photo by D Sharon Pruitt
DC Public Schools is on their back-to-school game with the recommended list of school supplies (PDF) and immunizations and more.

Worthy of a mention is this little tidbit:   Don't be fooled by the list linked above.   DCPS tells me that the list is for guidance only, not a list of required items.   "Individual schools may also have recommended supply lists. Schools will be mailing information to parents in early August, and often include recommended supply lists at that time", says the DCPS rep.

What does this mean for organizations collecting school supplies?   My suggestion is to buy the items on the DCPS recommended list.

Mayor Gray's July 20 sked

On July 20 you can catch Mayor Vince Gray at Councilmember Michael A. Brown’s 2011 Youth Summit from 8:40 - 9:45 am.   The mayor will deliver opening remarks.

A bit later, from 11:00 am - Noon, the mayor will hold his weekly presser in the John A. Wilson Building.   On the agenda are the heat wave, EMS report and first 150 days accomplishments.   Can't make it downtown?   Watch the presser online at www.oct.dc.gov.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Not sure how to make sense of the DC budget?

Photo by Common Pixels
Have burning questions about the DC budget or budget process?

Share them in this survey.   I will use the information to update materials from an earlier budget workshop.   While you take the survey, I will be scheduling a DC budget 101 type of workshop for the end of July.   I also plan to offer a budget 101 session in the early fall.

New workshop: DC Budget 101

Join me July 28 from 9:30 - 11:30 am at CYITC for a workshop on the basics of the DC budget.   You will learn about the budget process, the roles of the various agencies, advocacy intervention points, key terms, what those darned acronyms stand for, where to get a copy of the budget, and much more.

More information, including how to register, is here.   The flier is here (PDF).

Monday, July 18, 2011

Reminder from CM Mendelson--Council is open for business!

Events just added to the Advocacy and Learning Calendar

Just added to the calendar are these events:
  • Community forum on the Katie Beckett Waiver, July 21
  • CARECEN Open House, August 13
  • Educational Webinar: Brain Development and Child Neglect, August 16
  • How Housing Matters Conference, November 2

If you've not stopped by the Advocacy and Learning Calendar lately, do so today.   Numerous other events are listed.

If you've got an event to add, email me the information (text and PDF or JPEG) and link to the information on your website.

Interns still needed east of the river

Got college-age kids who need something to do for the rest of the summer?   reSPIN Public Relations is offering a way cool intern opportunity on part-time basis for two young people to do advocacy, blogging, and other important work.   Youth may contact (Ms) Nikki Peele, (202) 248 4820 or via email.

Encouraging healthy eating habits in new ways

Photo by Darren Hester
I'm not sure that the findings of the study Fast Food Restaurants and Food Stores: Longitudinal Associations With Diet in Young to Middle-aged Adults: The CARDIA Study should come as a surprise.   According to the extract,
Greater supermarket availability was generally unrelated to diet quality and fruit and vegetable intake, and relationships between grocery store availability and diet outcomes were mixed.
While reading the LA Times article about the study, I had this nagging question in the back of my mind:   Isn't the change we seek in eating habits and weight as much about modeling and knowing what to do as it is about retailers making more healthy options available?

Surprise, surprise, Jamie Oliver had the answer:

Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver, an outspoken advocate of healthful eating, said in an email that shopping at supermarkets did not automatically translate to good choices.

"If you go into most grocery stores across America, the majority of the store is chock-full of processed food calling out to you from the packages, 'Pick me! I'm tastier and more convenient,'" Oliver wrote. "And ringed around all this are good old veggies, with no instructions."

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Tom Sherwood interviewed me!

In case you missed the news that the first lady dined at Eatonville this week, here's NBC 4's Tom Sherwood with the story.   And if you watch the entire video, you'll see me at around second 54 commenting how great it was that Mrs. Obama was out and about in DC neighborhoods.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Youth focus of and active participants in July 20 forum

Life Long Support: Making the Connection is an apt name for the second in a series of youth permanency forums hosted by Child and Family Services Agency for youth in care and those who care about them.   The forum will focus on the importance of the importance of permanent connections with at least one committed adult who willingly offers a safe, stable, and secure parenting relationship.   The event will feature a panel of youth and their lifelong supports, as well as the special guest speaker, Stedman Graham.

The event is being held July 20 from 6:00 - 8:00 pm at Howard University's Armour J. Blackburn University Center (2397 Sixth St NW, 2nd Floor).

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

What do you want to know about the DC budget?

Have burning questions about the DC budget or budget process?

Share them in this survey.   I will use the information to update materials from an earlier budget workshop.   While you take the survey, I will be scheduling a DC budget 101 type of workshop for the end of July.

Budget update, July 13

The City Council approved changes to the FYs 2011 and 2012 budgets July 12.   Early July 12, Council Chairman Kwame Brown circulated an updated version (Word, .doc) of "Fiscal Year 2012 Budget Support Technical Clarification Emergency Amendment Act of 2011"; this was voted on during the 17th legislative meeting.   Ward 3 CM introduced an amendment (PDF) to delay for one year the implementation of a new tax on out-of-state municipal bonds.

Support Safe Shores at the August 1 Nationals game

Join Safe Shores at Nationals Park August 1 at 7:05 pm for the Nats-Braves game and help the organization raise money (via your ticket purchase).

And meet Safe Shores staff at the Community Kiosk, located between Sections 107 and 108 near the outfield reserve seats, for information about preventing abuse and the signs of child abuse and neglect.   Swag also available while supplies last!

Be sure to purchase tickets through the Safe Shores page on the National's website.   A portion of each ticket price will help this nonprofit continue to serve children and families affected by abuse, trauma and violence in the District.

Mayor Gray's weekly presser, July 13

Mayor Gray's weekly presser is today, July 13 from 10:00 - 11:00 am in the JAWB.   On the agenda:   City Council's final legislative meeting, announcement about the success of the Workforce Incentive Program and more.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Reminder: Social media brown bag lunch, July 14

Have questions about using social media effectively in your organization?   Have lessons learned you can share with others?

Then attend the July 14 Brown bag lunch discussion: The basics of social media—using it effectively in your organization.   It will combine a short presentation with a participant-driven discussion.   The presentation will focus on putting the "social" in social media, using it to engage stakeholders and the wider community and meeting your organization’s goals.

The event is taking place July 14 from 11:30 am - 1:00 pm.   More information is on the Helping Others Better blog.

Graphic by Chris Spooner.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Budget update, July 11 #2

Just in from the City Council's budget office is the "Fiscal Year 2012 Dedicated Tax Technical Amendment Emergency Act of 2011" (ANS final) (Word, .doc) and "Fiscal Year 2011 Second Revised Budget Request Emergency Act of 2011" (ANS final) (Word, .doc).   The City Council will vote on these July 12.

Budget update July 11

  • The City Council will vote on 11 and 12 budgets July 12:   The Council will vote on the FY 2011 supplemental and amended FY 2012 budget July 12 at 10:00 am in the Council Chamber.   The agenda for the meeting is here (PDF).   The legislation and related documents were posted in the July 8 budget update.

    Two pieces of legislation, "Fiscal Year 2011 Second Revised Budget Request Emergency Act of 2011" and "Fiscal Year 2012 Dedicated Tax Technical Amendment Emergency Act of 2011", will change from what is in the July 8 post.   According to the Council's budget counsel, the changes are being made to reflect proposals made by the executive branch at the July 7 roundtable.   Other changes are technical corrections deemed necessary by the Office of the General Counsel.

    The revised legislation, which will be in the form of amendments in the nature of a substitute, will be blogged as soon as they are available.

  • Public roundtable on FY 2011 supplemental:   If you missed the July 7 roundtable on the supplemental FY 2011 budget proposal and legislation you can watch it here on OCT.
  • Did the city violate its own tax law?   On June 10, CM Catania asked CFO Natwar Gandhi (PDF) whether the Office of Tax and Revenue had violated a "key provision of the Tax Clarity Act of 2000."   Catania goes on to write,
    Specifically, it has come to my attention that the OTR is currently reviewing whether, over the course of the last decade, it failed to collect recordation taxes from refinanced purchase money deeds of trust or mortgages on commercial properties.

    Catania followed up with this letter June 30 (PDF).   Gandhi responded (PDF) that taxes are not collected on refinanced mortgages less than the original mortgage amount.

Getting serious about youth and gang/crew violence

I assert we know how to prevent and effectively intervene in youth and gang/crew violence in the District of Columbia.   Yet it seems the preferred responses to the violence are hand wringing, wailing and vigil holding.   If any of these worked, they would have worked long ago to stop the violence.

My new analysis Getting serious about youth and gang/crew violence (PDF) (UPDATE: Document, without typos identified by Rob Fleming, is now posted! 7/11 11:25 am) presents what practice and research show have to happen to prevent and successfully intervene in youth and gang/crew violence.   The outstanding question really is whether residents, stakeholders and elected officials has what it takes to stop the violence.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Mayor Gray's July 9 public schedule

Mayor Gray will deliver remarks and participate in the Ward 8 Community Summit July 9 from 9:30 am - 3:30 pm.   The event is being held at Thurgood Marshall Academy/Savoy School Athletics Center (2427 Martin Luther King, Jr. Ave SE).

Note:   If you miss the event, don't fear.   OCT is taping it and will show it on Channel 16.

Graphic: By Dcmacnut (Own work) CC-BY-SA-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Friday, July 8, 2011

The Washington Peace Center is looking for new board members!

From WPC:

The Washington Peace Center is a Metro DC grassroots organization working for peace and justice in an egalitarian way.   Our mission is to provide education, resources and action for those working for positive social change and a world free from oppression.   We strengthen the impact of the peace and justice movements by
  1. fostering greater collaboration among activist groups
  2. bridging the gap between global, national & local issues and communities, and
  3. providing the material support to achieve these goals.

Budget update July 8

Section 8 community meeting, July 11

Ward 8 CM Marion Barry's constituent services staff are holding a community meeting on Section 8 July 11 at 6:30 pm at 2100 Martin Luther king Ave SE, Room 300.   Diane Oliver, head of DCHA Section 8 programs, will listen to concerns, challenges, etc.   For more information, call Jackie Ward in the CM's office, 698-1667.

Mayor Gray's July 8 public schedule

Mayor Gray will participate in the 2011 D.C. Comprehensive Assessment System (DC-CAS) results release presser July 8 from 10:00 - 11:00 am at Safe Shores located at Bundy School (429 O St NW).   The mayor will also meet with Crime Solvers about the organization's donation to SYEP.   This takes place at 1:00 pm.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Only one more day. . .

to tell me if you would be interested in learning the basics of the DC budget this summer.   Please take the quick poll right at the top of the blog.

ONE DC needs creative volunteers

Calling all writers, editors, and photographers!   ONE DC needs your skills for their print and email newsletter.   Whether you want to write opinion pieces or articles, snap photos at actions, or complete editing and layout, your input is needed.   Contact Gloria via email or by calling 232-2915.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Join me for lunch and learning about social media July 14

Have questions about using social media effectively in your organization?   Have lessons learned you can share with others?

Then attend the July 14 Brown bag lunch discussion: The basics of social media—using it effectively in your organization.   It will combine a short presentation with a participant-driven discussion.   The presentation will focus on putting the "social" in social media, using it to engage stakeholders and the wider community and meeting your organization’s goals.

The event is taking place July 14 from 11:30 am - 1:00 pm.   More information is on the Helping Others Better blog.

Graphic by Chris Spooner.

Mayor Gray's weekly presser, July 6

Mayor Gray will hold his weekly press briefing July 6 from 10:00 - 11:00 am in Room G-9 in the JAWB.   The mayor will update the public on the alleged sexual assaults of young women in the Summer Youth Employment Program and the Ward 8 Community Summit (PDF).

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Updated FY 2011 supplemental budget plan

Here is the updated (Word, .doc) FY 2011 supplemental budget plan from the mayor.

FY 2011 budget amendments

Here are the revised FY 2011 budget documents from the executive and thankfully released by the City Council:
  1. Fiscal Year 2011 Second Revised Budget Request Emergency Declaration Amendment Act of 2011 (Word, .doc)
  2. Fiscal Year 2011 Second Revised Budget Request Emergency Amendment Act of 2011 (Word, .doc)
  3. Fiscal Year 2011 Supplemental Budget Plan (Word, .doc)

Budget update July 5

The Committee of the Whole will hold a public roundtable on "Fiscal Year 2011 Second Revised Budget Request Emergency Act of 2011" July 7 at 10:00 am in the Council Chamber.   The public may testify; additional information including how to register to testify are in the notice.

For an idea of what's to come in this next round of budgeting for FY 2012, read FY 2011 and 2012 Budget Update! from DCFPI.

Check back here for the latest FY 2012 2011 budget legislation. (Updated 7/5, 9:53 am)