Friday, October 28, 2011

Please wear pink or yellow on Saturday!

As you know, my father died recently.   The memorial service is October 29 at 10:00 am at his church, St. John's Episcopal Church in Vernon, CT.   We'll be giving thanks for Guy's life and work, his character and commitment.

Because my father was quite involved with the Episcopal Diocese of Connecticut, Bishops Douglas and Ahrens will be Officiating and Celebrating.   My dad would be thrilled.

St. John's parishioners and many of my friends will be wearing pink or yellow socks, favorites of my father.   Don't have pink or yellow socks?   Then feel put on anything you have in either of those colors tomorrow.   I would appreciate the support.   If you want to take a picture of yourself in pink or yellow, email it to me and I'll make a collage for my mother.

May Guy's soul and the souls of all our dearly departed rest in peace.   AMEN.   Rev. Virginia Army

"The Place and Value of Community Organizing" December 2

The CUA National Catholic School of Social Service is hosting Robert Fisher on December 2 from Noon to 3:30 pm to talk about "The Place and Value of Community Organizing."   Fisher is the author of seven books and has published more than 50 articles in scholarly and popular journals on urban policy, community organizing, and social history.   The workshop will include a discussion about the value and fundamentals of community organizing, including understanding its limits and potential and a critique of contemporary social work with an emphasis on the importance of political economic context.

Reservations and a modest fee are required to attend this event.   See the flier here (PDF) for details.   For more information, contact Ellen Thursby via email.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Youth testify before council today at 3:30 p

The Committee on Health (At-large CM David Catania, chair) is holding a public oversight roundtable on "Youth Perspectives of District Health Programs" October 27 at 3:30 pm.   The purpose of the roundtable is to hear from the young people from the Young Women's Project who worked with the committee to review youth-oriented health programs this past summer.   The youth will present their research, findings, and recommendations for ways to improve programs.

The witnesses scheduled are:

Panel 1:
Lateaisha Brooks, 18, Cesar Chavez Public Policy High School
Derrica Vines, 16, Junior, Woodrow Wilson High School
Tanika Ammy Rainey, 18, Cardozo High School
Avery Ross, 18, Senior, Calvin Coolidge High School

Panel 2:
Derrica Vines, 16, Junior, Woodrow Wilson High School
Denise Hicks, 18, Senior, Booker T. Washington High School
Geneva Batista, 18, Cesar Chavez Public Policy High School
Charnisa Royster, 17, Graduate, Calvin Coolidge High School

Watch the hearing live on your computer.

DCPS seeks input to improve family engagement

The DC Public Schools Office of Family and Public Engagement has scheduled interactive discussions throughout the city to hear from family members about ways the school system can design an effective family engagement system.   DCPS wants to know what support, information and partnerships parents think is necessary to support their child’s academic success, their child’s school, and the school district as a whole.   Family member input will help inform the development of DCPS’ family engagement strategy and next steps.

Remaining meetings are:

DCPS is providing child care, interpretation and light refreshments.   Contact the Office of Family and Public Engagement with questions or access requests; the phone is 442-8824.

Who's your ONE ward rep?

Do you know who your Office of Neighborhood Engagement ward rep is?   Find out in this list (Word, .doc).

Family Engagement: Bridging the Classroom-to-Living Room Divide

The research is clear:   family engagement is critical to the success of our education system–from implementing large-scale reform to improving individual student achievement levels.   Across the board, there is agreement among education leaders and stakeholders that parents and family members are central to the success of a school, a teacher, and a student.   There is less agreement and less clarity around what family engagement is, what family engagement is supposed to look like, and what effective, replicable models of family engagement exist.

YEP-DC, the Flamboyan Foundation, Sen. Michael Bennet and a panel of experts will explore the role of educators, schools, districts, and the federal government in developing, identifying, and scaling up best practices in effectively engaging parents, families, and community members in a child's education.   The event is being held November 2 from 6:00 - 8:30pm at the Russell Senate Office Building, Room 325 (accessible via Union Station Metro).   RSVP online.

Panelists are:
  • Kelly Young, Interim Chief, Office of Family and Public Engagement, District of Columbia Public Schools
  • Jacque Chevalier-Minow, Senior Education Policy Analyst, National Parent Teacher Association
  • Danette Dicks, Kindergarten Teacher, Eagle Academy Public Charter School
  • Aquila Watson, D.C. parent
  • Moderator: Kristin Ehrgood, President & Board Chair, Flamboyan Foundation

In the District, increasing and improving parent engagement has often been linked to the receipt of public benefits.   Read two analyses done for the District: this on punishing parents and ways to improve engagement.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Are you ready to help Bread for the City help others for the holidays?

Bread for the City will provide Holiday Helpings packages to 9,000 families in need—with your help.

Holiday Helpings ensures low-income DC families have complete holiday meals—a whole turkey and all the trimmings—so they can celebrate the holidays with family around the dinner table.

Each holiday feast for a family of four costs $28.85.   You can help by sponsoring a Holiday Helpings Drive.   Bread for the City will provide you all of the materials and guidance that you need to have a successful Holiday Helpings Drive.   Contact Emily Schneider via email or 480-8908 to get started right away.

Don't wait—Holiday Helpings starts in just six days!

Congress Heights on the Rise, a must-read

Fellow blogger TheAdvoc8te (@TheAdvoc8te) does an outstanding job covering issues east of the river with a focus on Ward 8 on Congress Heights on the Rise.   Two recent blog posts I find particularly interesting are Nov 8: Town Hall Forum on Jobs, Unemployment, Under-Employment & Work Force Development and In Video: "Is Congress Heights A Ghetto?" Discussion.

I appreciate the incredible access TheAdvoc8te has to information and her commitment to sharing useful information in a timely manner.

You can subscribe to Congress Heights on the Rise via email or RSS.

Guide to ethics bills hearing October 26

In spite of the seeming public support for improved ethics on the DC Council, only 26 members of the public have registered to testify (witness list here in Word) at the October 26, 10:30 am public hearing by the Committee on Government Operations (Ward 4 CM Muriel Bowser, chair).

The committee is hearing testimony on the following bills:

  • B19-0352: Campaign Finance Accountability and Reform Amendment Act of 2011
  • B19-0353: Campaign Finance Reporting Amendment Act of 2011
  • B19-0358: Ethics and Accountability Act of 2011
  • B19-0359: Ethics and Accountability Task Force Act of 2011
  • B19-473: Prohibition on Corporate and Lobbyist Giving to Public Officials Reform Amendment Act of 2011
  • B19-478: Fundraising Accountability and Reform Amendment Act of 2011
  • B19-481: Consecutive Term Limit Amendment of 2011
  • B19-482: Full-Time Employment for Council Members Charter Amendment Act of 2011
  • B19- 490: Lobbying, Finance, and Grant making Reform Amendment Act of 2011

Interested in reading one or more pieces of legislation under discussion at the hearing?   Go to LIMS.

Public witnesses can be lumped into six categories:   Candidates and former candidates, good government advocates, politicos, lobbyists/industry groups, government watchers, and others.

This is a hearing you should have on while you are at your desk tomorrow.   Watch online using OCT.

UPDATE 10/26 8:00 am:   Two media types write about ethics reform:   Mike DeBonis and Jonetta Rose Barras.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Rules and more from October 21 DC Register

Councilmember Wells Calls Parks and Programming Underfunded and Understaffed

A press release in advance of the October 25, 11:00 am - 3:00 pm roundtable on the Department of Parks and Recreation's summer 2011 programming:
Councilmember Wells Calls Parks and Programming Underfunded and Understaffed
Hearing Takes Place Today to Review Summer Programs

(Washington, DC) – On Tuesday, October 25, 2011, 11:00 am, Councilmember Tommy Wells, Chair of the Committee on Parks, Recreation, Libraries and Planning, will hold a public hearing on the DC Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR). The hearing will take place in Room 412 of the John A. Wilson Building, 1350 Pennsylvania Ave, NW.

“Over the last 10 years, DPR has moved to do more with less. But constant cuts to staffing in our neighborhood facilities have left recreation centers underutilized and unprogrammed for residents to use. I believe our efforts to provide high quality parks and programming in DC is underfunded and understaffed,” noted Councilmember Wells.

Nominate an individual for FAPAC Caring Heart award

The Foster & Adoptive Parent Advocacy Center (FAPAC) is hosting their third annual Valentine's Day concert and dinner in February 2012.

In preparation, FAPAC seeks nominations for their Caring Heart award, recognizing those who deserve to be honored for their work with the District's children and families.   If you would like to nominate someone, email Margie Chalofsky with the subject "FAPAC honoree nomination" and include the name of the person you want to nominate, their role and agency affiliation, why they have your recommendation, and your name and contact info.   The deadline for nominations is November 4.

Pink and yellow socks

My dad always took pride in the way he dressed.   I loved the way he looked all dressed for work: A beautiful gray suit, a bright white French cuff shirt adorned with personalized cufflinks, a colorful silk tie, white pocket square, soft-as-butter gray socks, and Cole Haan shoes.

Then dad retired and casual was the norm.   His favorite colors were red and yellow but took a liking to pink and yellow socks.   For years, I hunted for the right ones.   Until he got sick two years ago, Vineyard Vines socks were among his favorites.   Dad liked to coordinate his outfit so that his socks matched his shirt or sweater.

Dad got ribbed a lot back in the day for wearing pink but he kept on.   He loved pink and looked terrific in it.   He took less grief for wearing yellow but looked equally well in it.

My dad died October 15 after a two-year struggle with multiple myeloma.

Before my father died, I told my Twitter followers I would be tweeting from Connecticut our experience with my dad and hospice.   I'm sure some have ignored these personal tweets.   That's fine.   But others have expressed amazing support and for this I am incredibly grateful.

I told my dad I would ask my tweeps and blog readers to support us the day of his memorial by wearing pink or yellow socks.   The memorial service for my father is October 29 and it starts at 10:00 am.   He would be tickled if you wore pink or yellow socks because he loved them but any pink or yellow item of clothing will do.   If you feel like emailing me a picture, that would be terrific.   I'll make a collage for my mother and me.

Thanks for your support over the past two years and particularly over the past month.   I'm glad I could spend time caring for my dad before his death.   He deserved no less.

Who are your favorite k-12 policy and practice people on Twitter? Do tell!

Only three days left to suggest education experts to follow on Twitter!

A colleague is interested in learning more about k-12 education in the District.   Since education is not an issue I know much about, I thought I would ask you.   Who do you follow on Twitter who shares valuable insights, articles, and the like?   Who do you recommend my colleague follow?

Share your recommendations in this survey and I'll blog and Tweet the results.   The deadline is October 28.

Thanks for sharing!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Events added to Advocacy and Learning Calendar

Some of the events recently added to the Advocacy and Learning Calendar are:
  • Criminal Justice Coordinating Council public meeting, October 25
  • Interview with John Hanrahan about CM Jack Evans' potential conflicts of interest, October 26
  • Dialogue on Diversity 2011 Colloquium, October 26
  • Ward One Community Forum on preventing substance abuse amongst District youth, October 28
  • Working Washington Walking Tour, October 29
  • Screening of "Race to Nowhere", November 21
  • Black Friday at ONE DC, November 25

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.

Draft witness list for council 10/25 roundtable on DPR

The Committee on Libraries, Parks, Recreation, and Planning (Ward 6 CM Tommy Wells, chair) is having a public oversight roundtable to review 2011 summer programs at all Department of Parks and Recreation facilities October 25 from 11:00 am - 3:00 pm.   The draft witness list has only 13 members of the public signed up to testify:
1. Doreen Hodges, Executive Director, Family Voices of the District of Columbia, Inc.
2. Titus Hodges, Resident
3. Lauretta Jenkins, Spokesperson, DC Senior Olympic Training Team, the Water Wizards
4. Corinne Douglas, Chair, Wilson Advisory Group
5. Marla Leftwich, Ward 3 Resident
6. Steve Coleman, Washington Parks and People
7. Brian Rodgers, Washington Parks and People
8. Christina Turner, Ward 7 Resident
9. James Bunn, Chairman, Congress Heights Main Streets
10. Ben Butler, President, Local 2741 A.F.G.E.
11. Paul Taylor, Executive Director Southwest Community Unity Forum
12. Kathy Henderson, Former Commissioner, ANC 5B10
13. Michael Clark, President, Edgewood Civic Association

Those interested in testifying tomorrow may still register; email Tawanna Shuford.

I will blog the final list as soon as I get it.   And if you are not able to attend the hearing in person, remember you can watch the roundtable on the computer.

Selected DC Council hearings noticed in October 21 DC Register

  • The Committee on Health (At-large CM David Catania, chair) is holding a public hearing on B19-355, "Public Assistance Clarification Amendment Act of 2011" November 10 at 2:00 pm.   Details about the hearing, including how to register to testify, are in the notice.
  • There will be a public hearing on B19-38, "Equal Access to Employment for All Act of 2011" November 9 at 11:00 am.   The hearing is being held by the Committee on Public Services and Consumer Affairs (Ward 7 CM Yvette Alexander, chair).   Details about the hearing, including how to register to testify, are in the notice.
  • The Committee on Health (At-large CM David Catania, chair) is holding a public hearing on the "Status of Health Care Reform Implementation in the District of Columbia" November 10 at 10:00 am.   Only those invited will be able to testify.   More information is in the notice.
  • The Committee on Health (At-large CM David Catania, chair) is holding a public oversight roundtable on "Youth Perspectives of District Health Programs" October 27 at 3:30 pm.

    The purpose of the roundtable is to hear from the young people from the Young Women's Project who worked with the committee to review youth-oriented health programs this past summer.   The youth will present their research, findings, and recommendations for ways to improve programs.

    More about the roundtable is in the notice.

Buy a pie and feed a neighbor in need


Food and Friends' Slice of Life is the only area pie sale allowing you to purchase your Thanksgiving pies while making an impact in the lives of thousands in need in your community.   You can buy pies for you and your family, as gifts for friends, and for Food and Friends' to deliver to their clients on Thanksgiving Day.

Each pie purchased will provide one full day of meals for a neighbor in need.

Pie flavors are:

  • Picture Perfect Pumpkin Pie
  • Harvest Apple Crumb Pie
  • Oh So Sweet Potato Pie
  • Southern Pecan Pie
  • US Airways Sky Pie: Creamy Chocolate Covered Cheesecake (Each pie purchased enters you to win a $1,200 US Airways gift card)

Friday, October 21, 2011

FY 2013 budget development schedule

The FY 2013 budget development process is underway.   The Office of Budget and Planning (OBP) kicked off the process earlier this month.   Highlights of the operating budget process are in the the table entitled "Selected FY 2013 operating budget development activities."   Highlights of the capital budget process are in the table entitled "Selected FY 2013 capital budget development activities."

Selected FY 2013 operating budget development activities
Activity Deadline
Agencies submit budget requests to OBP October 17 - December 16, 2011
OBP presents budget recommendations to the Executive Office of the Mayor (EOM) based on agency submissions January 3, 2012
Budget review team (BRTs) meetings with agenciesJanuary 3 - 31, 2012
CFO releases revenue estimateFebruary 2012
Mayor submits proposed FY 2013 to DC CouncilMarch 23, 2012 (tentative)


Selected FY 2013 capital budget development activities
Activity Deadline
OBP capital budget staff meet with agencies to create agency and cluster priorities October 17 - October 28, 2011
Agencies send capital budget requests to OBP November 18, 2011
Capital budget review team meetings with agenciesDecember 1 - 21, 2011
Capital budget team submits final recommendations to the mayor's budget team and CAFebruary 10, 2012

Update on advocacy to improve DC government websites

Chief Technology Officer Rob Mancini's interest in the city's technology goes beyond the normal techie stuff to hearing from dc.gov users about usability and other website issues.

Mancini orchestrated a meeting between two members of his web team and me a while back to review the results of the community survey of ways to improve dc.gov and other government websites.   From my perspective, at least, the meeting was a huge success.   What I learned was that OCTO is responsible for setting the standards for websites and creating the various templates used by executive branch agencies.   I also learned that the content on websites is the responsibility of the agencies.   This means there can be great disparity between the content on some sites—such as OSSE (Office of the State Superintendent of Education) which, by the way, is new—and others, such as CFSA (Child and Family Services Agency).

The OCTO web team agreed to keep the recommendations related to technology on their list of items to consider now and in the future.   We all agreed to stay in touch.   Both are positive and I feel good about how the meeting went and relationship is moving along.

Improving website content remains a daunting challenge.   I've forwarded the results of the survey (see link above) to CA Allen Lew and Chief of Staff Chris Murphy with this letter (Word, .doc).   I've not had a response from either.   Perhaps some nudges from the public would motivate them a bit; feel free to email Lew and Murphy and link to this post.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Mayor Gray on NewsTalk at 10a today

Mayor Vince Gray's appearance today from 10:00 -11:00 am on NewsChannel 8’s NewsTalk With Bruce DePuyt is an opportunity to hear what the mayor has to say and to ask him questions.   Tweet questions to @TBDNewsTalk.   Watch the show online.

Witness list for 10/20 CHS roundtable on the winter plan for DC's homeless

The Committee On Human Services (Ward 1 CM Jim Graham, chair) is holding a public oversight roundtable on The Winter Plan: To Protect the Lives of Those Who Are Homeless During the Winter of 2011–2012 In the District of Columbia October 20 at 2:00 pm in the JAWB.   DHS director David Berns will represent the government at the hearing.   Berns will follow the 17 registered public witnesses (UPDATE: Link fixed 10/20, 10:08 am).   For those who can't download the list, here it is:
Public Witnesses

1. Chapman Todd, Ward 3 Resident
2. Amber W. Harding, Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless
3. Julia Barnett, Public Witness
4. Khadetria Bush, Public Witness

5. Lawrence Dixonbey, Public Witness
6. Crystal Hubbard, Public Witness
7. Karen Watson-Wheeler, Public Witness
8. Jeffrey Stewart, Public Witness

9. Debby Shore, Sasha Bruce Youthwork
10. Kelly Sweeney McShane, Community of Hope
11. Judy Diaz, Neighbors’ Consejo
12. Sue Marshall, Community Partnership for the Prevention of Homelessness

13. Robert Warren, Director of People for Fairness Coalition
14. John McDermott, People for Fairness Coalition, Ward 5
15. Junior Almozard, Individual, Ward 8

16. Maggie Riden, DC Alliance of Youth Advocates
17. Jacob Newman, Latin American Youth Center (UPDATED 10/20, 10:37 am)

You can watch the roundtable streaming live via OCT.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Meet Housing First, latest in CNHED series


Meet Housing First is the latest in the CNHED series "Meet the Continuum of Housing."   Read this blog post to learn more about this model of permanent supportive housing.

Subscribe to Housing for All for future updates.

CFSA 2011 food basket and holiday gift drive

DC's Child and Family Services Agency has numerous opportunities to share the holiday spirit with children and youth in the child welfare system.
  • Thanksgiving food baskets
  • Gifts for specific children
  • General gift donations (similar to "Toys for Tots")
  • Family sponsorship to interact with families during the December holidays
  • Monetary donations for the holiday season


Mayor Gray's biweekly presser, October 19

The mayor's biweekly presser at the JAWB is being held October 29 from 10:00 - 11:00 am.   The mayor's communications staff reports he will discuss the District's implementation of Secure Communities and announce the new director for the Department of Corrections.   The Office of Latino Affairs reports that the mayor will sign a "landmark Executive Order that protects immigrant families against harmful federal immigration enforcement actions."

If you are unable to make the press briefing at the Wilson Building, you may watch it live on your computer via OCT.

Are you prepared to testify at a DC Council hearing?

Are you new to testifying before the DC Council?   Not know the difference between written testimony and a statement for the record?

I've compiled a 41-page how-to guide with tips and notes for writing testimony and statements for the record, organizing briefings, making phone calls, and more in Communications for DC Advocates: How-to's and lessons learned over 15 years.   For $35, you will receive the guide and templates for written documents.

Not sure if this is for you?   Chuck Bean, Executive Director of Nonprofit Roundtable of Greater Washington, says this:

"Communications for DC Advocates" takes the guesswork out of writing testimony and planning events with elected and appointed officials and staff. This guide will surely become a go-to for nonprofits which engage DC government officials to make a difference.

Buy your guide today by using this link.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

An evening focusing on arts in education

Join (YEP-DC) and partner Phillips Collection October 20 from 6:00 - 8:00 pm for an evening focused on arts in education.   The event is being held in the auditorium of the Phillips Collection (1600 21st St NW; accessible via Dupont Metro).

The evening will highlight the importance of arts education for youth through a panel discussion, as well as a selection of performances by local students.   The conversation and performances will be preceded by a networking reception outside of the auditorium.   Appetizers and beverages will be served.RSVP online.

Remarks by:

  • Rachel Goslins, Executive Director of the President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities, an advisory committee to the White House on cultural policy.
  • Rikki Taylor, Principal, Takoma Education Campus. Takoma Education Campus is one of four DC schools designated as an Arts Integration Catalyst school. Teaching in a way that engages students through movement, music and various forms of artistic expression recognizes that students learn in many ways and leads to a deeper level of understanding. Arts integration also provides an avenue for learning valuable skills in confidence, creativity and collaboration.

COW and leg meetings October 18

On the DC Council sked for October 18 is the 10:00 am Committee of the Whole meeting (agenda) and the legislative meeting (agenda) immediately following the COW.

If you can't be at the JAWB for the sessions, watch via OCT.

Proposed rules and more from 10/14 DCR

  • Proposed rules about UDC parking:   The UDC Board has issued proposed rules (Word) to increase the daily parking rate at university parking facilities for non-students and other persons not holding seasonal permits.   UDC is accepting public comments; details are in the notice.
  • Proposed rules about UDC tuition:   The UDC Board has issued proposed rules (Word) to increase the out-of-state tuition for Community College students.   UDC is accepting public comments; details are in the notice.
  • Emergency and proposed rules regarding the Department of General Services:   These rules (Word) create a new chapter in title 27 (Contracts and Procurements) of the DCMR, new Chapter 47 entitled "Department of General Services Procurement Rules for Construction and Related Services."   The emergency rule was adopted on October 6, 2011, and took effect at that time.   The emergency rules will remain in effect until February 2, 2012, 120 days from the date of adoption or until a final rule is adopted, whichever occurs first.
  • Interim Director of new Department of General Services appointed:   The appointment of Brian Hanlon was made official by Mayor Gray in MO 2011-167 (PDF).
  • Integrated case management initiative established:   By MO 2011-169 (PDF), Mayor Gray established the Health and Human Services Integrated Case Management Initiative and related requirements pursuant to the Data-sharing and Information Coordination Amendment Act of 2010 (PDF).

Monday, October 17, 2011

DC Council hearings noticed in the October 14 DC Register

  • The Committee on the Judiciary (At-large CM Phil Mendelson, chair) is holding a public oversight hearing on "Re-Entry Programs and Services for the District's Returning Citizens" November 18 at Noon.   Details about the hearing, including how to register to testify, are in the notice (PDF).
  • There will be a public oversight roundtable on "Community Gardens and Urban Agriculture in the District of Columbia" convened by the Committee on Libraries, Parks, Recreation, and Planning (Ward 6 CM Tommy Wells, chair) December 15 from 1:00 – 5:00 pm.   The purpose of the hearing is to discuss the government's role in the creation and use of community gardens.   Details about the hearing, including how to register to testify, are in the notice (PDF).
  • The Committee on Libraries, Parks, Recreation, and Planning (Ward 6 CM Tommy Wells, chair) is holding a public oversight roundtable on "The Department of Parks and Recreation: Review of Summer Programs at DPR Fields, Aquatics and Recreation Centers" October 25, 11:00 am – 3:00 pm. Details about the hearing are in the notice (PDF).
  • The Committee on Libraries, Parks, Recreation, and Planning (Ward 6 CM Tommy Wells, chair) is holding a public oversight roundtable on "The Role of the Department of Parks and Recreation, DC Public Library System, and the Office of Planning in Emergency Preparedness for the District" November 30 from 1:00 – 5:00 pm.   Details about the hearing are in the notice (PDF).
  • There will be a public oversight roundtable on "The Winter Plan: Protecting the Lives of Homeless People in the Winter of 2011-2012" October 20 at 2:00 pm.   The Committee on Human Services (Ward 1 CM Jim Graham, chair) is holding the hearing.   Details about the hearing are in the notice (PDF)   This is a revised notice.

Please share your favorite education-related tweople

A colleague is interested in learning more about k-12 education in the District.   Since education is not an issue I know much about, I thought I would ask you.   Who do you follow on Twitter who shares valuable insights, articles, and the like?   Who do you recommend my colleague follow?

Share your recommendations in this survey and I'll blog and Tweet the results.   The deadline is October 28.

Thanks for sharing!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Health-related boards need members

The October 13 update (Word, .doc) from the council's Committee on Health concerns the city's health occupations boards.   The committee update is, in fact, a plea for community members to volunteer for a board.   CM Catania is working with Mayor Gray to fill health-related vacancies.

Earlier this month, Posties Tim Craig and Nikita Stewart quoted CM Catania, chair of the Committee on Health, in Hundreds of D.C. board vacancies await mayoral action

Council member David A. Catania (I-At Large), chairman of the Health Committee, also worries about five vacancies on the Board of Medicine, which helps to discipline and license doctors.

"If you don’t have a functioning board, you have no way to remove bad apples," Catania said. "When individuals bring complaints, they go before the Board of Medicine." (NOTE: The October 13 committee update reports three vacancies on Board of Medicine)

Both licensed practitioners as well as consumers are sought for a number of boards.

To learn more, be sure to read the October 13 update (Word, .doc).

Experience the magic inspired by a DCPS teacher

Artobet: A Magical Adventure of Artists from A to Z! is a children's narrative film inspired by by the unique early curriculum developed by Eleanor Palm, a first grade teacher at Key Elementary, produced by DC's Carol Pineau, filmmaker and DCPS parent, and features 40 kids from the area.   It's a wonderful success story of DCPS.   The 45-minute film is ideal for children 3-8, but with engaging stories, beautiful artwork, easy-to-chant poems, plus cameo appearances by the Tooth Fairy, Cookie Bandit and George Washington.

The film premieres at Kid's Euro Festival October 16 at 2:30 pm at the French Embassy (4101 Reservoir Rd NW).

To register for this free event, and the hands-on Artobet workshops every Saturday from October 15 - November 5, go to www.kidseurofestival.org.   For more about the film, go to the Artobet website.

Looking for book and article reviewers

By OpenClipart
Guest reviewers are sought to write book and article reviews for the blog.   This is a great opportunity for a policy wonk, academic, avid reader, voracious learner, subject area expert, or regular person to share their views on books about organizing, advocacy, public policy, and other issue areas.   I am especially interested in reviews of:
  • Coase’s Penguin, or, Linux and The Nature of the Firm by Yochai Benkler
  • Wiki Government: How Technology Can Make Government Better, Democracy Stronger, and Citizens More Powerful by Professor Beth Simone Noveck
  • Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap... and Others Don't AND Good to Great and the Social Sectors: A Monograph to Accompany Good to Great by Jim Collins

The length and delivery date are entirely up to you.   Email me if you are interested in one of the above or something else.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

October open houses for pro bono attorneys and community

Neighborhood Legal Services Program is opening their doors for two open houses (October 25 and 26) to law students, attorneys, and community members.   Attendees will learn more about NLSP's work east of the Anacostia River, particularly about the history of the organization and the current legal needs of low-income residents in these diverse and vibrant communities.

Attorneys will learn how they can assist NSLP by volunteering for a few hours in the Brief Services Unit or by accepting an extended representation.   NLSP also welcomes help from law students.   Members of the public can also volunteer.

To RSVP or for more information, contact Heather Hodges via email or (202) 269-5119.

Ward 7 Open House, Deanwood
Date: Tuesday, October 25
Time: 4:30 pm - 7:00 pm
Address: 4645 Nannie Helen Burroughs Avenue NE. On-street parking is available. Accessible by Metro (Orange Line - Minnesota Avenue) plus Metro Bus.

Ward 8 Open House, Anacostia/Congress Heights

Date: Wednesday, October 26
Time: 4:30 pm - 7:00 pm
Address: 3101 Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue SE. On-street parking is available. Accessible by Metro (Green Line - Anacostia ) plus Metro Bus.

Real people talk about transitional housing

The latest in the "continuum of housing" posts from CNHED's Housing for All is Transitional Housing.   Rather than explaining in writing, two videos tell the story.   Another great post in this series.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The latest additions to the Advocacy and Learning Calendar

A number of events have been added to the Advocacy and Learning Calendar are:
  • School Year 2011-2012 - New Opportunities to Increase Nutrition Resources for Low-Income School-Age Children webinar, October 11
  • Community Conversation about Youth Substance Abuse, October 18
  • "Healthy Eating" Nutrition Workshop, October 18
  • Working Washington Walking Tour, October 29
  • Community Roundtable on Ethics, November 2
  • Activist Awards Grassroots Gala, December 8

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.

Taking on the challenge of teen pregnancy

Teen pregnancy does nothing good for teens, their children, and the community.

Take earnings, for example.   Teen parents earn less than their non-parenting peers.   Not suprising since teen parents are under-educated and under-employed compared to their peers without children.

Teen parents also typically use more public resources than they contribute to society via taxes.   A media release from At-large CM Michael Brown says:

Facts overwhelmingly show that the burden of such pregnancies fall on the taxpayer. Over 50% of the recipients of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) started their families when they were teens. 76% of children placed in foster care were born to teen parents and sons of teen mothers are three times more likely to enter the criminal justice system. Frankly, teen pregnancy is a one way ticket to persistent poverty.

Older parents' children fare better over the time than do children of teen parents.   It is common for children of teens to have short- and long-term health problems.   Like their parents, children of teens struggle in school.

The bottom line is that teens and their children consume resources that could otherwise be used to strengthen communities or be directed to other priorities.   And teens set their children up for a life of struggles which are no fault of their own.

In the District of Columbia, there were 1,082 births in 2008 to teens between the ages of 15 and 19.   The ward breakdown is in the table titled "Number of births to teens aged 15 to 19, 2008."


Number of births to teens aged 15 to 19, 2008

Ward Number of births
1 124
2 38
3 6
4 141
5 172
6 78
7 215
8 306

On October 11 at Noon on the front steps of the John A. Wilson Building, Councilmember Michael A. Brown and colleagues will join with the DC Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy at a press conference to highlight the continuing challenges the District of Columbia faces with teen pregnancy and its impact on the economic well being of our residents and the city at large.   CM Brown will discuss his commitment to encourage our teens to act responsibly, live healthy and make informed choices.

CM Michael Brown will acknowledge the decline in the teen pregnancy rate and recognize the multi-faceted approach to the problem taken by DC Campaign.

Monday, October 10, 2011

DC Council hearings noticed in the October 7 DC Register

The DC Council is holding a number of public hearings and roundtables over the next month, some of which have just been noticed in the DCR.   Note that some of the notices revise former announcements.
  • Public hearing on B19-135, "The Automobile Lease, Procurement, and Disposal Reform Act of 2011" (PDF) and B19-354, "The Government Vehicles and Fleet Management Efficiency Amendment Act of 2011" (PDF) October 17 at 10:30 am by Committee on the Environment, Public Works, and Transportation (Ward 3 CM Mary Cheh, chair).   More information, including how to testify, in the notice (PDF).
  • Public hearing B19-17, "Human Rights for Ex-Offenders Amendment Act of 2011" (PDF) October 24 at 11:00 am.   More information, including how to testify, in the notice (PDF).
  • A public hearing on nine pieces of legislation related to ethics reform is being held October 26 at 10:30 am by the Committee on Government Operations (Ward 4 CM Muriel Bowser, chair).   Legislation considered at the hearing is:
    • B19-352, "Campaign Finance Accountability and Reform Amendment Act of 2011"
    • B19-353, "Campaign Finance Reporting Amendment Act of 2011"
    • B19-358, "Ethics and Accountability Act of 2011"
    • B19-359, "Ethics and Accountability Task Force Act of 2011"
    • B19-473, "Prohibition on Corporate and Lobbyist Giving to Public Officials Reform Amendment Act of 2011"
    • B19-478, "Fundraising Accountability and Reform Amendment Act of 2011"
    • B19-481, "Consecutive Term Limit Amendment Act of 2011"
    • B19-482, "Full-Time Employment for Council Members Charter Amendment Act of 2011"
    • B19-490, "Lobbying, Finance, and Grant making Reform Amendment Act of 2011"
    • B19-511, "Campaign Finance Reform and Conflict of Interest Public Disclosure Amendment Act of 2011"

    More information, including how to testify, is in the notice (PDF).

  • The Committee on Finance and Revenue (Ward 2 CM Jack Evans, chair) is holding a public hearing on PR19-368, "Fiscal Year 2012 Income Tax Secured Bond and General Obligation Bond Issuance Approval Resolution of 2011" (PDF) and other legislation October 26 at 10:00 am.   More information, including how to testify, is in the notice (PDF).
  • There is a public hearing on B19-475, "Assault of Bicyclists Prevention Act of 2011" (PDF) and oversight of "Enforcement of Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety" November 2 at 11:00 am.   The hearing is being held by the Committee on the Judiciary.   Details about the hearing are in the notice (PDF).
  • The Committee of the Whole (Council Chairman Kwame Brown, chair) is holding a public oversight hearing on "Youth Perspectives on Middle Grade School Education in the District" November 5 at 10:00 am.   Details are in the notice (PDF).
  • There is a public oversight roundtable on the "Implementation Plan for the Department of General Services (DGS)" October 11 at Noon.   More information is in the notice (PDF).
  • There is a public oversight roundtable on "The Progress of Economic Development Projects in the District of Columbia" October 12 at 12:30 pm.   It is being held by the Committee of the Whole (Council Chairman Kwame Brown, chair).   More information is in the notice (PDF).
  • The Committee on Human Services (Ward 1 CM Jim Graham, chair) is holding a public oversight roundtable on "The Winter Plan: Protecting the Lives of Homeless People in the Winter of 2011-2012" October 21 at 11:00 am.   More information is available in the notice (PDF).

Not sure how to format your testimony?   Need guidance on the best way to prepare for a public hearing or roundtable?   Grab yourself a copy of Communications for DC Advocates: How-to's and lessons learned over 15 years.   At only $35, it's a bargain.   And, almost as soon as you've paid, you'll receive it and written document templates via email.   More about the guide and how to purchase here.

Miscellany from October 7 DC Register

  • Proposed rules regarding criminal background checks for unlicensed health care workers have been published (Word).   Comments are due within 30 days of publication.
  • Mayor Gray creates Office of Community Affairs by MO 2011-165 (PDF).   The new office will provide outreach, coordinate government agency services, and supervise the numerous specialty offices, the Office of Latino Affairs, for example.

What's your experience hearing back from exec branch agencies?

Today is the last day to share your experiences hearing back from executive branch agencies.

Please share your experiences in this brief survey.

I will organize the results and share them with those responsible for enforcing the return call and written communications standards shared September 26.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Need your website revamped?

TechSoup is hosting a webinar November 3 to talk nonprofit website improvement.   Up for discussion will be design, usability, and interface along with learning how to reach your constituents.   As an added bonus, you can enter a survey for a chance for the experts to review your site on the webinar.

UPDATE, 10/7, 10a: Nechama Masliansky from SOME informed me the survey is now closed.   There are no details about the November 3 webinar on TechSoup as of now.   However, they will surely be emailing the info to subscribers to "TechSoup By the Cup" and so I encourage you to subscribe.   Apologies for the inconvenience!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Discover technology at Bread for the City November 5

Graphic design and general inspiration courtesy of the Detroit Digital Justice Coalition

In their usual fashion, Bread for the City is opening its doors to the community to engage, learn, and participate.   As part of DCWEEK Bread and others are hosting "Discovering Technology", an afternoon of free workshops, presentations, and discussions for those new and old to technology.

On the agenda for the afternoon are opportunities to learn about the Internet (for example, how to set up an email account and to use social media) and computers (how to get an affordable one and how to use one, for example).   Of particular interest to me are the discussions about how public policy impacts the internet, how the internet impacts our community, and how we can work together to pursue digital justice.

More information is in this flier (Google doc) and online.

Witness list and more for student residency fraud hearing October 6

Today, October 6 at 1:00 pm, Council Chairman Kwame R. Brown and the Committee of the Whole are holding a public hearing on B19-0228, "District of Columbia Public School and Public Charter School Student Residency Fraud Prevention Amendment Act of 2011".   The hearing is being held in the JAWB Council Chamber.

From the chairman's media release:

In response to community concerns about non-District residents attending DCPS or public charter schools based on false information, Chairman Brown introduced this residency fraud legislation in April 2011.

The hearing will give the Committee of the Whole an opportunity to hear more from the community and from the government agencies responsible for overseeing enrollment in order to create an even stronger bill that will tackle this problem and ensure that DC taxpayers are the ones benefitting from the city’s educational programs.

Specifically, the new legislation calls for investigation of student residency fraud cases and referral of violations to the Office of the Attorney General for prosecution; establishment of a hotline for reporting student residency fraud cases; and increased fines for residency verification violations from $500 to $2,000.

Follow along using the witness list (Word, .doc).   You can watch the hearing online streaming live via OCT.

Updated council committee meeting sked

Here's the latest (PDF) DC Council committee meeting schedule for 2011.

FY 2013 budget kickoff today

The FY 2013 budget (October 1, 2012 - September 30, 2013) kicks off today and Mayor Gray will be attending from 10:00 - 10:30 am.

I plan to blog agency budget deadlines and other information as I receive it.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Old documents to be posted on DC Council website soon

Yesterday morning, Mark Segraves from WTOP tweeted that documents back to the eighth Council Period have been scanned and put online.

I was psyched that this had been done and asked the DC Council staff where they were on the website.   The news from the IT office and the secretary's office is that the documents have been scanned but will not be online until October 15.   Good news nonetheless.

Mayor Gray holds biweekly press briefing October 5

Mayor Gray will hold his biweekly press briefing October 5 from 10:00 - 11:00 am at Hechinger Mall (Benning Rd and 17th St NE, in front of Ross Dress For Less).   On the agenda is an announcement about One City * One Hire and the appointment of the director of the Workforce Investment Council.

If you're like me and not attending, you'll be using Twitter to follow some journalists likely to be at the presser: @tomsherwood, @mikedebonis, @timcraigpost, @dcist_martin, and @Patrick_Madden.   Following on Twitter is particularly important today since OCT will not be streaming the presser live.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Meet the Continuum of Housing

I consider myself a fairly intelligent person, able to understand simple and complex issues.   But I've never spent a lot of time thinking about housing, the challenges, the subtleties and nuances, the bold and creative that help address the needs of all with a focus on the neediest.

Thanks to CNHED, I can learn at an even pace about housing in DC.   Last week, the nonprofit organization launched a series of blog posts on the blog Housing for All.   The series started with the post Meet the Continuum of Housing.   The series will discuss the "continuum" and what it includes.

The October 4 post, Meet Supportive Housing, discusses the various kinds of this housing including emergency shelter and transitional housing.

This blog series is a must read for those new to the housing issue as well as those who have experience on the issue.   It will surely prove to be a terrific primer.   You can stay on top of the series and other posts by subscribing to the RSS feed or email updates.

Charter schools on Twitter

Who knew there was a list of public charter schools on Twitter?   Well, FOCUS and the charters did, but now all of us know!   Very cool and incredibly useful.   Thanks, FOCUS!

There's something for everyone in October

I cannot believe the number of events being held in October.   As you can see, the month is jam-packed full of events--mostly learning ones, but some advocacy ones, too.

Some of the events recently added to the Advocacy and Learning Calendar are:

  • "The Other Wes Moore" Author Talk, Book Signing and Reception, October 4
  • Summer Learning Webinar, October 11
  • Exploring Youth-Driven Prevention Campaigns, October 11
  • AARP Drive to End Hunger, October 14
  • Women's Health Forum: Your Health, Your Way, October 15
  • DC Metro Area Food and Farming Mixer + Campout, October 22 and 23
  • DCPCA's 14th Annual Meeting, October 27

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.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Great transpo news for east of the river

Years ago I worked on a family economic sustainability project funded by the Annie E. Casey Foundation and operated by DC Action for Children.   We asked residents in a working group to identify challenges to economic success.   One of the solutions to the transportation challenge that stands out to me to this day was the need for program-provided transportation.   Not better bus and rail transportation but rather transport by van by each and every social service program operator east of the river.

I understand why big solutions, such as implementing a Metrorail and bus system of use to residents of Wards 7 and 8, are not often the solution identified by people on the ground who face numerous barriers to economic success.   Still, that was one solution I just could not wrap my head around.

So the latest news from Mayor Vince Gray should come as good news to folks living EotR.   The new D.C. Circulator route announced October 3 is "the first to ever provide service east of the Anacostia River. The new route runs from the Potomac Avenue Metro Station to Skyland and the Good Hope Marketplace Shopping Center via Barracks Row."

I have no reason to doubt that the expansion—long overdue, by the way—will be hugely beneficial to residents.   But as a long-time advocate for useful public policies for low-income and otherwise marginalized populations, I know that public policy and practice changes are not necessarily enough to change behavior.   I am hopeful that the Circulator will be the exception.

What is your organization going to do to promote this new transportation option?   Let me know via email and I'll share your plans.

Updated October 3, 8:10 pm.

Budget workshops cancelled

I apologize for any inconvenience the cancellation of the two workshops (October 12 and October 14) will cause, but I am attending to a family emergency this fall.   Should you be interested in doing a session on the capital budget and/or working with agencies during budget development later this fall or using technology, I am open to that; just email me.

From the DC Register

  • Public oversight roundtable notice (PDF) on "The Audit of Funding Agreements, Including Contracts, Loans, Grants and Sub-Grants Issued by the District of Columbia to Peaceoholics, Inc. from FY 2006 - FY 2010."   The hearing is being held October 3 at 11:00 am.
  • Abbreviated public hearing notice (PDF) on B19-479, "Board of Elections and Ethics Electoral Process Improvement Amendment Act of 2011", B19-356, "Comprehensive Military and Overseas Voters Accommodation Amendment Act of 2011" and PR19-392, "Precinct Boundary Changes Approval Resolution of 2011."   The hearing is being held October 12 at 2:00pm.
  • Public hearing notice (PDF) on B19-360, "Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program Amendment Act of 2011." The hearing is being held October 17 at 2:00 pm.
  • Notice of Final Rulemaking (Word) amending section 2203 (Graduation: Academic Requirements) of chapter 22 (Grades, Promotion, and Graduation) of subtitle E (Original Title 5) of title 5 of the DCMR.
  • Amendment (Word) to allow Licensed Professional Counselors to act as Approving Qualified Practitioners; to clarify the requirements for progress notes and service notes; and to require notification to the Department if a provider is excluded.   This is a notice of final rulemaking.
  • Notice (Word) of Proposed rulemaking to eliminate the $19 cap on taxi fares in the District of Columbia.
  • Notice (Word) of Emergency and Proposed Rulemaking implements the public notice and transparency requirements in the Procurement Practices Reform Act of 2010.
  • Rules (Word) Governing Alliance Eligibility Criteria and Eligibility Procedures. These are emergency and proposed rules.
  • Mayor's Order 2011-161: Appointments – The Mayor’s Interfaith Council (PDF).

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Celebrate with SAFE October 6

SAFE is celebrating their fifth anniversary of serving survivors of domestic violence on October 6 at 5:30 pm at Room & Board (1840 14th St NW). For the $20 entrance fee, you will be entertained, enjoy light refreshments, and have the chance to win door prizes.   Check the flier out here (PDF) .