Friday, June 29, 2012

Extended pool hours, June 30 and July 1

The following Department of Parks and Recreation pools will be open from Noon to 8:00 pm Saturday, June 30 and Sunday, July 1:
  • Ward 1: Banneker Recreation Center Pool (2500 Georgia Ave NW)
  • Ward 2: Jelleff Recreation Center Pool (3265 S St NW)
  • Ward 2: Francis Pool (25th and N Sts NW)
  • Ward 4: Upshur Recreation Center Pool (4300 Arkansas Ave NW)
  • Ward 5: Harry Thomas Sr. Pool (1743 Lincoln Rd NE)
  • Ward 6: Randall Pool (25 I St SW)
  • Ward 7: Fort Dupont Pool (830 Ridge Rd SE)
  • Ward 8: Barry Farm Pool (1230 Sumner Rd SE)
  • Ward 8: Fort Stanton Pool (1800 Erie St SE)

Also, make use of the list of cooling centers (PDF) and the Department of Health's safety tips in extreme hot weather.

More CM McDuffie staff contact info

Ward 5 Heartbeat has the most up-to-date information about CM McDuffie's staff.   Names, contact info, and more are online.

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Beat the heat Friday, June 29

The Friday - Sunday forecast is wicked hot, hot enough for the city to implement the Heat Emergency Plan (plan in PDF).   This weather is dangerous, especially for children, the elderly, and homeless (you can call the United Planning Organization about water for homeless individuals and families, (202) 399-7093).

Cooling centers throughout the city are open.   To find a cooling center, call 311 or go to the HSEMA website (PDF).

The Department of Parks and Recreation has expanded pool hours (Word) through Sunday, July 1.   DPR also includes information from the fire department―leave those hydrants alone!―and about heat stroke.

Remember to be safe and here are some precautions to take:

  • Staying indoors as much as possible and limiting outside ventures between 10:00 am and 3:00 pm
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Wear light-colored, lightweight and loose-fitting clothes
  • DO NOT leave children or pets in vehicles

The Department of Health also provides safety tips in extreme hot weather.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Beat the heat

The forecast is a 90-plus degree today and 100 degrees tomorrow.   That's hot, hot, hot!   And dangerous especially for children, the elderly, and homeless (you can call the United Planning Organization about water for homeless individuals and families, (202) 399-7093).

What this means for residents, visitors, and business and government employees is that they should take a number of precautions including:

  • Staying indoors as much as possible and limiting outside ventures between 10:00 am and 3:00 pm
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Wear light-colored, lightweight and loose-fitting clothes
  • DO NOT leave children or pets in vehicles

The Department of Health also provides safety tips in extreme hot weather.

The city will activate the Heat Emergency Plan (plan in PDF) when the temperature reaches 95.   This means cooling centers throughout the city are open.   To find a cooling center, call 311 or go to the HSEMA website (PDF).   The Department of Parks and Recreation has extended pool hours during this horribly hot weather and details about pool hours are on the DPR website.

Back to school supply drive, July 2 - August 3

Generous individuals and companies help Safe Shores collect school supplies for Safe Shores clients every year.   The 2012 supply drive runs July 2 - August 3.   Safe Shores is collecting new backpacks and school supplies to distribute to children affected by abuse, trauma and violence in the District.

Giving is easier this year than ever before!   If you can't make it to the store to buy supplies―such as colored pencils, backpacks, thumb drives, and pocket folders―you can go to the Safe Shores wish list at amazon.com.   Details about supply needs, delivering the donation, and buying supplies online are in the 2012 back to school supply drive flier (PDF).

Improve your advocacy skills this summer

Summer is the perfect time to buy Communications for DC Advocates: How-to's and lessons learned over 15 years.

Will Singer, former clerk to the DC Council Committee on Human Services and former budget director for Mayor Adrian Fenty has said this about my advocacy communications guide:

Susie Cambria has written an easy-to-use guide that allows readers to benefit from her experience and insight as an influential advocate. This valuable resource will help new voices speak with persuasive force on public policy issues. Even seasoned insiders will find useful notes and reminders here.

The guide provides basics of and advanced suggestions and tips for advocacy communications.   Buy it here for only $35.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

A Midsummer Madness Used Book Sale, July 13-14

A Midsummer Madness Used Book Sale takes place July 13 and July 14 from 10:00 am - 4:00 pm at Palisades Library (4901 V St NW).

The Friends of Palisades Library, sponsors of the sale, have amassed a great selection of books and CDs.   Most books are $1 each ($10 per bag on Saturday).   CDs are $2 each.   Bargain books are 25¢ each ($2 per bag both days).

Direct questions to the Friends via email.

The Friends have suspended book donations until after the sale.

The Examiner wants you to share your story

The Examiner wants to share your story.   Really.   Learn more online, Got a story to tell? Share it with other readers.

CYITC seeks grant reviewers

The DC Children and Youth Investment Trust Corporation seeks reviewers for new funding proposals for two grant competitions: Green Team: Tag Removal and Community Beautification and DC YouthLink - Service Coalition.

Community reviewers are an essential part of the RFP process; reviewers help the Trust select high-quality youth programs throughout the District of Columbia.

They must participate in one reviewer training session, evaluate no more than five proposals, and discuss findings with fellow reviewers at a facilitated debrief session.   Those interested in becoming a grant reviewer should submit their resume to reviewers@cyitc.org by July 3, 2012. The Trust will contact qualified applicants within five days of submission.

Reviewers for the Green Team proposals will receive a $50 American Express gift card for their full participation. (DC government employees are not eligible to receive a gift card.)

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Updated DC Council list

The DC Council directory (PDF) was updated June 18.

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COW agenda, June 26

The June 26 COW agenda is now online.   The meeting starts at 10:00 am.

Chief Lanier on NewsTalk today at 10a

MPD Chief Cathy Lanier is one of today's NewsChannel8 NewsTalk guests.   She will be asked about MPD’s approach to summer, immigration, anti-LGBT violence, and other issues.   The show starts at 10:00 am and you can watch the stream.   If you have questions or comments for NewsTalk guests, call (703) 387-1020 or email between 10:00 - 11:00 am.

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Chat Wednesday about keeping communities clean

The Department of Public Works (DPW) and the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA) are holding a live, online chat to discuss illegal dumping and vacant lots June 27 between Noon and 1:00 pm.

Illegal dumping in alleys and public spaces and unkempt vacant lots in your neighborhood are about more than violations of the laws and regulations.   Illegal dumping can contribute to health issues for those who live near the trash and some say that blighted property contributes to crime or at a minimum community discord.

You can do something about both problems by tuning in to the live chat online.   Participate to get answers, discuss problem areas, receive status updates on previous requests, and receive valuable information to help keep your community clean and safe.   To participate in the session, go to dpw.dc.gov/livechat at Noon and chat away.

A transcript of the chat session can be reviewed when it's over; use the same link.

Monday, June 25, 2012

June 26 DC Council actions

On June 26, the DC Council is holding a Committee of the Whole at 10:00 am and a legislative meeting at 11:00 am/immediately following the COW.

You can watch the sessions via computer using the DC Council's system or that of OCT.

Chairman Mendelson on NewsTalk today

DC Council Chairman Phil Mendelson is one of today's NewsChannel8 NewsTalk guests.   The chairman will be asked about the recent upheaval in District politics.   The show starts at 10:00 am and you can watch the stream.   If you have questions or comments for NewsTalk guests, call (703) 387-1020 or email between 10:00 - 11:00 am.

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Council Chairman holds pre-leg meeting briefing June 25

DC Council Chairman Phil Mendelson will hold a legislative meeting briefing June 25 at 9:00 am in Room 412 of the John A. Wilson Building.   The chairman will preview the major legislative actions to be taken at the regularly scheduled legislative meeting June 26 (11:00 am; documents online here).   You can watch the briefing via computer using the DC Council's system or that of OCT.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Final thoughts on the FY 2013 budget

  • Approved FY 2013 budget
  • June 22, 2012 revenue estimates (PDF)
  • Budget recap from CM Jack Evans (Ward 2) (June 7, 2012 Jack's Newsletter)
    Given recent events and the attendant media scrutiny on the Council, I wanted to take a moment to highlight some of the positive things our government is doing and assure you all that I will continue to work hard for my constituents and the city as a whole. On Tuesday, June 5, the Council had its second and final vote on the Budget Support Act, and I think that it was a definitive improvement over last year's budget and I want to highlight a few areas of interest.

    First, I was pleased that this year's budget proposal included no tax increases. One of the primary reasons I was unable to support last year's budget was the inclusion of unnecessary tax increases to support our ever-expanding government. I believe the Mayor and my colleagues should find efficiencies within the agencies they oversee rather than asking our residents to pay continually higher taxes in the face of a recession. We are the only local government in the country to continue to pass the largest budget in our history every year despite the economic slowdown.

    Within my committee, for example, I was able in consultation with our Chief Financial Officer, to identify millions of dollars of unallocated funding through savings achieved in the Gallery Place tax increment refinancing. I was pleased to allocate some of these funds toward enhanced arts programming, which fills a gap in our public education system and supports our small business community. I also recommended additional funding toward marketing dollars that encourages additional tourism in the District. Studies have shown that both of these uses of government funds generate several dollars in new tax revenues for each dollar spent, which increases the pool of money we have for other items of importance to me, such as our libraries, parks, public safety, and education.

    Another very positive development is that we were able to push back the implementation of the municipal bond tax another year. If you recall, the initial bond tax proposal initially considered last year would have been retroactive to interest earned on or after January 1, 2011. This was a shocking and unfair proposal. After some amendments, the tax was subsequently set to go into effect for interest earned on or after January 1, 2012, to be included in one's tax filing in the spring of 2013 if a taxpayer files on an annual basis. As a result of the fiscal year 2012 supplemental budget bill, which we also passed on Tuesday, we were able to push back implementation an additional year, to interest earned beginning January 1, 2013, for inclusion in your tax filing in the spring of 2014. This is great in and of itself, as it provides relief for another year of this tax, and it also gives us another opportunity to seek to fully repeal the tax in next year's budget prior to it taking effect. While I was disappointed that the municipal bond tax was not fully repealed in the budget, particularly after I had identified approximately $800,000 of the $1.1 million necessary for this repeal within my own committee, I am still hopeful for full repeal the next time we revisit the budget.

  • Statement from CM Jim Graham about June 22 revenue estimate (Ward 1) (press release)
    No New Revenue to Fund Items on FY13 Wish List
    Just minutes ago - - - late on a Friday afternoon - - - the chief financial officer released information that there was no new revenue for FY12.

    This means that the items on the Wish List, which was part of the FY13 budget, cannot be funded.

    The immediate impact is that there will be no $7 million to restore homeless cuts and no $14 million for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) purposes.

    We have been dealt a major blow to the DC safety net and poor people.

    *Councilmember Graham issued this press release to the Human Services network.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Free fans for eligible DC residents

The DC Energy Office is giving fans to eligible DC residents, one per household.   Eligibility criteria are:
  • LIHEAP Certified, if not must bring
    *Photo ID to get into the building
    *Social Security cards for everyone in household
    *Rent Receipt
    *Proof of income
  • Eligibility:
    *5 years old and under living in the household
    *Seniors – 60 and older
    *Disability – Respiratory issues only

Those meeting the criteria should go to the closest location; the locations are:

Wards 1, 2, 3, 4
1207 Taylor St NW
(202) 478-9283

Wards 5, 6, 7, 8
2100 Martin Luther King, Jr. Ave SE
(202) 673-6700

CFSA's new deputy

Sandra Gasca-Gonzalez is the new Deputy Director, Entry Services at Child and Family Services Agency (CFSA).

What is Entry Services?   The short answer is that it is responsible for CFSA’s realigned front door.   It includes four administrations: Child Protective Services (CPS), Kinship Support, Clinical & Health, and Placement Services.

CFSA has shared Gasca-Gonzalez's background:

Gasca-Gonzalez brings strong management experience and a record of getting results for children and families. As part of child welfare reform and privatization efforts in Kansas and Nebraska, she has an impressive background in establishing and directing broad-based case management services that measurably improved outcomes for children, youth, and families.

During six years as Chief Program Officer for United Methodist Youthville in Kansas, Gasca-Gonzalez provided strategic direction for foster care and case management contracts with the Kansas Social Rehabilitation Services Department. She was charged with managing the child welfare system in the Wichita region, directing a staff of 300 in serving over 1,800 children. Under her leadership, the region jumped from meeting four out of 18 outcomes to meeting 15. She was also responsible for overseeing recruitment, training, and retention of over 500 foster homes.

Before joining CFSA, Gasca-Gonzalez spent three years as president of KVC Behavioral HealthCare Nebraska, Inc., a new subsidiary of the Kansas-based KVC Health Systems. This resulted from award to KVC of child welfare and juvenile justice case management contracts from the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services as part of a statewide child welfare reform effort. Gasca-Gonzalez developed the infrastructure, including a staff of more than 500, to improve case management and service delivery to 4,700 children in 19 counties. She was able to meet 10 out of 12 outcome measures in less than two years.

Gasca-Gonzalez holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in psychology, the latter from Emporia State University. When you see our new Deputy Director, please give her a warm welcome to CFSA.

A related post is CFSA's strategic agenda and agency realingment.

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Thursday, June 21, 2012

Caution: Extreme weather ahead

When the temperature reaches 95 degrees, the District activates its Heat Emergency Plan (plan in PDF).

What this means for residents, visitors, and business and government employees is that they should take a number of precautions including:

  • Staying indoors as much as possible and limiting outside ventures between 10:00 am and 3:00 pm
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Wear light-colored, lightweight and loose-fitting clothes
  • DO NOT leave children or pets in vehicles

Cooling Centers are located throughout the city and a call to 311 will tell you where you can go.

The Department of Parks and Recreation has extended pool hours during this horribly hot weather.   Details about pool hours are on the DPR website.

Remember, you can call the United Planning Organization about water for homeless individuals and families: (202) 399-7093.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Monday, June 18, 2012

What are you reading this summer?

Summer's a good time to catch up on reading.   So what are you reading this summer?   And what do you recommend others read?   Share anonymously in this survey (or below) and I'll blog the reading list in a few weeks.

Let's make more resource information available to people who need it!

Finding appropriate resources and programs for clients can be a challenge.   That's why the work of a group of providers, advocates, techies, and government staff is so exciting.   We are working together as the DC Resource Platform group to 1) improve 211/Answers, Please! and 2) assist community-driven platforms be the best they can be.

The group will next meet June 20 at 11:00 am at SOME's Family Dining Room (71 O St NW).   You're invited—no, you're urged—to attend.   And bring colleagues.   RSVP here or below.

At the meeting we will get updates about iCarol (the system DC has just started using) and Aunt Bertha, a similar, new effort in Texas.   We will also be establish working groups for future meetings.   The focus of this next meeting is to take actionable next steps.

Lest you think all we do is talk, here are two achievements.   The first is asking the city to upgrade the 211 program.   Last year it did and now there is greater capacity to share information from the backend.   The second achievement is the new 211 website shown below.   We asked and the District government delivered.

For more information about the group and its goals, check out the DC Community Resource Portal wiki.

We look forward to seeing you in a couple of days!

Ward 8 Farmers Market open and offering free shuttle

The Ward 8 Farmers Market has just made it easier to get to the market!   The market's free shuttle bus makes a continuous loop every 25-30 minutes every Saturday between 9:30 am – 1:30 pm, June 2 – November 17.   The shuttle hours differ from the market hours; the farmers market is open 9:00 am - 2:00 pm.

The market sells fresh fruit, vegetables, bread, and meat and they accept SNAP from DC, Maryland or any other state.   They also accept WIC and for those over 60 years old, the market accepts Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program vouchers distributed by the Commodity Supplemental Food Program.

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Friday, June 15, 2012

Summer starts June 16!

June 15 bake sale to support libraries in schools

You can help make sure DC public schools have librarians by purchasing an item (or two, three, or what the heck, a dozen!) at the June 15 Bake Sale to Support DCPS Libraries.

The bake sale takes place in front of DCPS HQ (1200 First St NE) from 7:30-10:30 am.

Parents and students alike will be selling baked goods this morning.   All proceeds will be donated to Kaya Henderson for the school libraries.   And as organizers have pointed out, this event and the work that has gone into it is a great way for children to "learn some civics about what it takes to be an involved citizen in our world."

The state of DC local history

The DC Humanities Council is sponsoring "DC Community Heritage Project Symposium 2012" June 28 from 6:00 - 8:30 pm at Cleveland Park Neighborhood Library (3310 Connecticut Ave NW).

The event features a panel of local professionals who will discuss the "State of DC Local History." The panelists, experts in the field of historic preservation and local history, will talk about how residents are involved in documenting, interpreting, and preserving DC's neighborhoods.

What's particularly intriguiging to me is the part of the discussion that considers

the beneficial effects from the "grassroots public history/preservation movement"; how the work of community organizations have made a difference or added value to surrounding neighborhoods and knowledge of residents; and whether the right people are telling the right stories in current community histories. (From an H-DC email; see http://www.h-net.org/~dclist/.)

For more information and to register, go to the DC Humanities Council website.

June 19 "Deconstructing Politics" lecture features CM Alexander

river east emerging eeaders (r.e.e.l.)'s next "Deconstructing Politics" lecture puts the spotlight on Ward 7 Councilmember Yvette Alexander.   The event takes place June 19 at 6:30 pm at the Dorothy I. Height/Benning Library (3935 Benning Rd NE; event is in the community meeting room on the lower level).

According to the event announcement, "Councilmember Alexander recently completed a tough primary election and has committed to a no-holds-barred conversation about challenges facing Ward 7; the latest political scandals; and women in politics."

More information and registration information is on the r.e.e.l. event web page.

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Thursday, June 14, 2012

The search is on for the best photo of Ward 5

Ward 5 CM Kenyan McDuffie is searching for the best photo of Ward 5.   From the CM's office:
Please submit your best Ward 5 photo to Jon at jmandel@dccouncil.us by the end of the day on Friday, June 22nd. The winning picture will be framed and displayed in our office along with the name of the photographer. The winner and the photo will also appear in next month's newsletter.

Did you know?

I was poking around the DC Public Library website yesterday and saw that each library has their own email!   How cool is this that you can contact Anacostia Library using anacostialibrary@dc.gov?   Want to be sure you have the right email address?   All the libraries are listed on the In Your Neighborhood page.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

DC Council takes up acting chairman today

Today at 10:00 am, the DC Council will consider which of the four At-large members of the council (Brown, Catania, Mendelson, Orange) will be selected as the acting chairman of the body.   The council will be voting on Interim Chairman Mary Cheh's introduction Acting Chairman and Acting Chairman Pro Tempore Election Resolution of 2012 (PDF).   You can watch the leg meeting via the DC Council website or OCT's Channel 13 stream.

As has been widely reported, Cheh supports Mendelson for Chairman and Brown for Pro Tem.   As has also been reported, Orange has been making rounds of the Wilson Building in an effort to get support for his approval as Chairman.   Yesterday, Orange circulated the notice (below) to offer an ANS.

COUNCIL OF THE DISTRICT OFCOLUMBIA
1350 Pennsylvania Avenue,N.W.
Washington, DC 20004

MEMORANDUM

To:   Chairman Pro Tempore Mary Cheh
From:   Councilmember Vincent B. Orange, Sr.
Date:   June 12, 2012
Subject:   Notice of intent to move Amendments in the Nature of a Substitute for the Acting Chairman and Acting Chairman Pro Tempore Election Resolution of 2012

I am writing to notify you of my intent to move amendments in the nature of a substitute for the "Acting Chairman and Acting Chairman Pro Tempore Election Resolution of 2012". These amendments in the nature of asubstitute will be offered at the June 13, 2012 Additional Legislative Meeting.

If you have any questions regarding this legislation, your staff may contact Peter F. Johnson, Legislative Director, at (202) 724-8172. Thank you very much for your assistance.

cc: Members, Council of the District of Columbia
Office of the Secretary
Office of the General Counsel

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Tuesday, June 12, 2012

6th Annual CFSA Youth Fashion Show, June 20

You're invited to CFSA's 6th Annual Youth Fashion Show Young Icons – Fashion Revolution 2012 June 20 from 7:00 – 9:00 pm at Arena Stage Theater (1101 6th St SW; Metro: Waterfront Station).   The event will showcase the talent and style of youth involved with CFSA and be a celebration for teens attending prom, graduating, and beginning careers.

Admission is free and business or casual chic attire is requested.

Paul Wharton, Celebrity Style Expert, is hosting this event.

Interested in making local resources more accessible to residents?

Finding appropriate resources and programs for clients can be a challenge.   That's why the work of a group of providers, advocates, techies, and government staff is so exciting.   We are working together as the DC Resource Platform group to 1) improve 211/Answers, Please! and 2) assist community-driven platforms be the best they can be.

The group will next meet June 20 at 11:00 am at SOME's Family Dining Room (71 O St NW).   You're invited—no, you're urged—to attend.   And bring colleagues.   RSVP here.

At the meeting we will get updates about iCarol (the system DC has just started using) and Aunt Bertha, a similar, new effort in Texas.   We will also be establish working groups for future meetings.   The focus of this next meeting is to take actionable next steps.

Lest you think all we do is talk, here are two achievements.   The first is asking the city to upgrade the 211 program.   Last year it did and now there is greater capacity to share information from the backend.   The second achievement is the new 211 website shown below.   We asked and the District government delivered.

For more information about the group and its goals, check out the DC Community Resource Portal wiki.

We look forward to seeing you next week!

It's almost time for Macy's Annual Shop For A Cause

Nonprofits, it's time to apply to be part of this annual event.   More information is on the Macy's Shop for a Cause website.

Thanks to Sylvia Brown for alerting me to this opportunity.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Ward 6 blogger discusses poverty in Ward 6

Ward 6 blogger and sociologist and anthropologist by profession Johanna Bockman has started what I think is a solid discussion about poverty and the working poor.   Who are the poor in Ward 6? starts with the basics:
Are students who are working for free on internships poor? Are retired people no longer making an income poor? Who are the poor in Ward 6? I'll start with an easy first snapshot of those who receive means-tested public assistance...

Bockman walks readers through the data related to welfare, SSI (support for disabled individuals) and SNAP (Food Stamps) and there is no surprise that much of the ward is not poor.   What I appreciate most about this post is Bockman's use of real-life examples.   She writes, for example, that barbers and salon shampooers, fast food cooks, dishwashers, cashiers, and food prep workers all qualify for SNAP (earnings dependent, of course).   Of these professions, food prep workers make the most at $22,510 annually.

I am looking forward to future posts on this subject from Bockman.   I hope we can get down into the weeds of the causes of poverty and be adult students of this thoughtful community member.

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Updated DC Council rules

In the wake of the swearing in of the new Ward 5 CM, the committee restructuring, and the resignation of DC Council Chairman Kwame Brown last week, the DC Council rules have been updated.   The latest rules are on the DC Council website. (PDF)

Friday, June 8, 2012

Updated list of DC Council standing committees

While the DC Council's office of the Secretary is updating the council directory, a two-page document listing key personal and committee staff information, the secretary has shared a formatted updated standing committee list.   Check the blog next week for the directory and updated Council Rules formalizing the recent changes.

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Emails for CM McDuffie staff

Staff Assistant/Scheduler: Jon Mandel, jmandel@dccouncil.us
Director of Constituent Services: Jeannette Mobley, JMobley@dccouncil.us
Legislative and Policy Director: Stephanie Liotta Atkinson, sliotta@dccouncil.us

Washington Peace Center shares resources

The Washington Peace Center makes available to fellow advocates and activists its library of books and DVDs.

Books include: Michael Jacoby Brown's Building Powerful Community Organizations, Srdja Popovic and Ivan Marovic's A Guide To Effective Nonviolent Struggle, and Berit Lakey's Meeting Facilitation: The No Magic Method.   DVDs include Finding Our Voices: Studies of American Dissent and Get on the Bus.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Permanency Day, June 26

More information about this event will be forthcoming from Child and Family Services Agency.

CM Wells on NewsTalk today at 10a

Ward 6 CM Tommy Wells will appear on NewsChannel 8's NewsTalk with Bruce DePuyt today to talk about former Council Chairman Kwame Brown's indictment and resignation.   Tune in to NewsTalk here.

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Acting Chair Mary Cheh's Statement on Future of Council

From the DC Council website:
Acting Chair Mary Cheh's Statement on Future of Council

Mary M. Cheh, Chair Pro Tempore of the Council of the District of Columbia, issued the following statement today:

"I want to reassure everyone that the work of the Council will continue uninterrupted. We will move forward focused on the business the people elected us to do.

"In accordance with Section 401(b)(3) of the Home Rule Act, I plan to convene the entire Council for a special meeting next Wednesday, June 13th, when we will adopt a resolution to elect an Interim Chair and Interim Chair Pro Tempore. Under the Home Rule Act, both positions will be selected from among the at-large members. Consequently, after their election, I will step aside as Chair Pro Tempore. The meeting will be open to the public.

"Under the Council Rules, the Interim Chair would become Chair of the Committee of the Whole, and would retain his role as Chair of his existing standing committee. Also, according to the Home Rule Act, the Interim Chair cannot hold outside employment, and will be eligible to receive an increase in compensation at the rate of the Chairman. The Interim Chair of the Council will serve in that role until a special election."

The Council Rules referenced by the Acting Chair are here in LIMS.

Staff in CM McDuffie's office

Chief of Staff: Corey Arnez Griffin
Legislative Assistant/Director: Stephanie Atkinson
Constituent Services Director: Jeannette Mobley
Staff Assistant/Scheduler: Jon Mandel

They can be reached via phone at (202) 724 - 8028.

Information from a post on a Ward 5 community discussion list.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

You can make summer less dangerous for homeless DC residents

What makes some love summer are the things that can be dangerous for the homeless, especially the elderly and those in poor health.   Heat and humidity can lead to hyperthermia and dehydration.

So Others Might Eat (SOME) is asking for your help to combat these dangers with summer care packages.   The Summer Care Package Campaign (scroll down) is underway and runs through August 1.   A list of items for the care packages can be found in the Summer Care Package Campaign flier (PDF).

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Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Let's help Dorothy and Gary

I'm writing a check.   Will you?
Emergency Relief Fund for Brizill and Imhoff
c/o PNC Bank
800 17th St. NW, Washington, DC 20006

4 June 2012

Dear Neighbors,

There are people among us who are engaged in the hard and critical work of building community. They advocate public policy that empowers citizens. They tackle, directly, debilitating socio-economic conditions. They teach the disenfranchised and disillusioned how to battle government neglect and abuse. And, most important, they inspire us to cross real or imagined boundaries so that we may know, trust and appreciate each other as neighbors.

These individuals do not seek reward, award or remuneration. Creating a better quality of life for everyone—their neighbors-- is their greatest satisfaction.

Dorothy Brizill and Gary Imhoff are such people. They exemplify the best in civic leadership.

For the past thirty years, they have dedicated themselves—time, energy, talents and money—to improving communities throughout the District of Columbia. It doesn’t matter where you live, you or your neighbors surely have benefited from their tireless work.

"Dorothy Brizill and Gary Imhoff are as essential to the District of Columbia as air," The Washington Post Columnist Colbert I. King said recently. "Government accountability and vigorous oversight of public service would virtually evaporate without them."

Robert Brannum, president emeritus of the D.C. Federation of Civic Associations, noted that "Through [Dorothy and Gary’s] selfless service, citizens of the District have been informed about what has been happening beyond the headlines and official government press releases."

This time, Dorothy and Gary need our help.

Last month, a two-alarm fire engulfed their Columbia Heights home, totally destroying everything --computers, clothing, books, art, and precious memorabilia. Equally devastating, Gary and Dorothy lost files, records and photographs detailing thirty years of history and public policy debate in the District. Adding to this pain and injury, their insurance company has refused, thus far, to honor their claim.

In the spirit of neighbors helping neighbors, a group of us met to consider how we could aid Dorothy and Gary in this time of loss and grief. They have contributed so much-- enriching our lives and our city. Given their dire situation, we decided to establish an emergency relief fund.

Please make a donation to this fund, today. All contributions of any amount will be gladly accepted and greatly appreciated. We recommend individuals consider a contribution of $100; organizations might donate $500 or more.

Please write your check, now, to: Emergency Relief Fund for Brizill and Imhoff. c/o PNC Bank, 800 17th St. NW Washington, DC 20006 Attn: Maggie

Non-cash contributions also are being accepted. Should you wish to donate a pre-paid gift card, computer, camera, any furniture, household items or clothing, you may call 202.234.6982 or send an email to donations@dcwatch.com.

We know you agree with broadcast reporter and anchor Bruce Johnson who said he has always been "inspired" by Dorothy and Gary’s "love of our great city and hard work to keep it safe and working for all citizens."

The proof of Dorothy and Gary’s dedication is in their record of achievement: When residents were concerned about the safety of the city’s drinking water, they made available a secret WASA database that detailed lead level readings for every home in the District. They advocated for community policing. They fought for more support for small businesses along neighborhood commercial corridors.

After trying unsuccessfully for several years to encourage elected officials to establish a government web site, Dorothy and Gary founded DCWatch.com. Begun in 1995, it was the first citywide web site to publish D.C. government information, providing copies of legislation and other documents.

In other words, Dorothy Brizill and Gary Imhoff have been on the scene for nearly every important struggle and development in this city.

"How they have been able to keep at it without the bi-weekly pay checks that most of us count on makes them near saints in my book," said Johnson.

Sometimes, even saints need help. It’s our turn to support Dorothy and Gary.

Please, don’t delay; make a generous donation to the Emergency Relief Fund For Brizill And Imhoff c/o PNC Bank, 800 17th St. NW Washington, DC 20006 Attn: Maggie. This money will help Dorothy and Gary purchase items critical to getting back on their feet and reestablishing their lives.

We think you’ll agree with us, their recovery is as important to the District of Columbia as it is to them.

Sincerely,
Robert Malson, Chair
Emergency Relief Fund for Brizill and Imhoff

Marie Drissel, Treasurer
Emergency Relief Fund for Brizill and Imhoff

Emergency Relief Fund for Brizill and Imhoff Advisory Committee:
jonetta rose barras; Robert Brannum, president emeritus of the D.C. Federation of Civic Associations; Ron Drake, attorney; Hebert Harris, Jr., chairman of the DC Consumer Utility Board; Ann Loikow; Nathan Saunders, president of the Washington Teachers’ Union; Joslyn Williams, president of the Metropolitan Washington Council AFL-CIO; and Yolanda Woodlee

To learn more about the many contributions of Dorothy and Gary, check out this document highlighting their work and providing testimonials from folks across the District (Word).

Mayor Gray to announce ethics board nominees June 5

One item on the mayor's to-do list today is to announce his nominees to the new ethics board.   The media release:
Mayor Vincent C. Gray to Announce Nominees to Board of Ethics and Government Accountability
New Panel Charged with Investigating Allegations of Ethics Violations by District Officials

WHAT/WHO:   Mayor Vincent. C. Gray will announce his nominees to the new Board of Ethics and Government Accountability (BEGA) in a press briefing. The new members, including the Mayor’s nominee for the board’s chair, will also speak.

WHEN:   Tuesday, June 5, 2012, 10:00 a.m.

WHERE:   John A. Wilson Building, Mayor’s Press Briefing Room (Room G-9), 1350 Pennsylvania Avenue NW

BACKGROUND:   BEGA, created by legislation that the D.C. Council passed in January, is responsible for investigating alleged violations of ethics laws by District government employees and public officials. In addition, the board will issue new rules and regulations regarding the ethical conduct of employees and public officials and conduct mandatory training on the D.C. government’s Code of Conduct. The legislation that created BEGA dictates that it will consist of three members, no more than two of whom may come from the same political party. Members will be appointed by the Mayor to serve for six-year terms (except for the initial appointees, who will serve staggered terms). Nominees to the panel must be confirmed by the Council.

The rest of the mayor's public activities are on the daily public schedule.

Budget documents for June 5 vote

The DC Council will give final consideration of the FY 2013 budget today at the 10:00 am legislative meeting (agenda here).   The budget-related documents are:

If you can't make it to the JAWB, you can watch online via OCT.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Expect budget support act ANS later today

As you can see from the memo below, the engrossed FY 2013 BSA will be replaced by an amendment in the nature of a substitute (ANS).   As soon as I receive the ANS from the council, I will blog it.

Council of the District of Columbia
Committee of the Whole
1350 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Suite 506, Washington, D.C. 20004

Memorandum

To:   All Councilmembers

From:   Chairman Kwame R. Brown

Date:   June 4, 2012

Subject:   Notice of Intent to Move Amendment in the Nature of a Substitute

Per Rule 346 of the Rules of Organization and Procedure for the Council of the District of Columbia for Council Period 19, this memorandum serves as notice of our intention to move an amendment in the nature of a substitute for B19-743, the "Fiscal Year 2013 Budget Support Act of 2012."

The amendment in the nature of a substitute will be moved at the Legislative Meeting scheduled for Tuesday, June 5, 2012, at 10:00am in the Council Chamber of the John A. Wilson Building, 1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC, 20004.

A copy will be circulated later today. Thank you for your attention to this matter. Should you have any questions, please contact Evan Cash, Director of the Committee of the Whole at 202-724-8196.

Panel discussion on public school choice in DC, June 5

Since the DC School Reform Act was passed into law in 1996, the District's public education system has experienced dramatic change – much of it driven by an expansion of choices for parents and students on where to attend school. Neighborhood public schools run by DC Public Schools (DCPS) are no longer the only option for many families. Charter schools – publicly funded but independently managed – now educate 41% of all DC public school students. Even within DCPS, students and parents now have the opportunity to apply to any district school across the city through the annual out-of-boundary lottery.

What has been the impact of this expansion in public school choice in DC? In what ways has it led to improved student outcomes and in what ways has it fallen short of expectations? How can parents and students make informed decisions on what schooling option makes the most sense for them? How have charter schools and DCPS influenced each other? With the DCPS Chancellor in support of making DCPS a second charter authorizer in the city and the City Council Chairman calling for a neighborhood admissions preference for charter schools, what does the future hold for public education in DC?

Young Education Professionals-DC (YEP-DC) invites you to explore these and other questions with a distinguished panel of experts on June 5 at the Wilson Building. Light refreshments (food and drink) will be provided.

WHAT: Assessing the Impact of Public School Choice in DC
WHERE: John A. Wilson Building, 1350 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Room TBD (Accessible via Metro Center)
WHEN: Tuesday, June 5, 2012, 5:30-7:30 pm
RSVP: on the YEP-DC website

Panelists:

  • Mary Filardo, Executive Director, 21st Century School Fund
  • Clara Hess, Director, Human Capital & Strategic Initiatives, DC Public Charter School Board
  • Crystal A. Moore, Instructional Coach, District of Columbia Public Schools
  • Jessica Sutter, Senior Advisor for School Quality, Office of the Deputy Mayor for Education
  • Margery Yeager, Policy Advisor, Education Counsel
  • Moderated by Sarah Rosenberg, Policy Analyst, Education Sector

The event is being held with support from Frontstream Payments.

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Engrossed BSA available

Here's Bill 19-743, Engrossed Version of FY 2013 Budget Support Act of 2012 (PDF) so you can read it before the second vote on the BSA June 5.

DC's response to secure communities

Mayor Vince Gray and Councilmembers will respond to the activation of federal Secure Communities Program at a press conference June 4 from 11:00 am - Noon on the front steps of the JAWB (1350 Pennsylvania Ave NW).

On June 1, Mayor Gray released this statement:

Mayor Gray Expresses Disappointment at Federal Government's Decision to Implement Controversial Immigration Program
Immigrations & Customs Enforcement to Proceed with 'Safe Communities' Next Week

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – Mayor Vincent C. Gray today expressed disappointment at the news that federal authorities intend to activate the controversial "Secure Communities" deportation program in the District Tuesday, June 5th. Last fall, the Mayor signed an executive order clarifying that the District's public-safety officials will not inquire into the immigration status of individuals or transmit information about immigration status to federal agencies except when that status pertains directly to a criminal investigation.

"I'm disappointed that the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency has decided to proceed with this program despite the vocal objections of local law-enforcement and elected officials in the District," Mayor Gray said. "In areas like the District that have large immigrant communities, police rely on the trust of those community members that their immigration status will not be threatened by their cooperation in local law-enforcement investigations. Secure Communities jeopardizes that trust, and consequently makes everybody less safe."

In October of 2011, Mayor Gray signed an executive order that directs District public-safety officials not to detain individuals on the basis of immigration status. It also bars District agencies from making incarcerated youth and adults under their supervision available for federal immigration interviews without a court order.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Updated Advocacy and Learning Calendar

A number of events have been added to the Advocacy and Learning Calender; items include:
  • Forum on Better Access to Services, June 5
  • How to Use Pinterest to Advance Your Organization, June 12
  • Liars, Cheats, & Thieves: Practical Internal Control Solutions for Nonprofits, June 13
  • Petition To Win: Benefits & Best Practices for Online Petitions, June 19
  • Tenant Town Hall, June 23
  • Special Community Meeting with Trayon White on New Legislation for DCPS Students, June 26

There are many more events listed on the calendar so be sure to take a look.

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Friday, June 1, 2012

CFSA's strategic agenda and agency realingment

Child and Family Services Agency (CFSA) director Brenda Donald recently shared CFSA's strategic agenda (see graphic) and simplified org chart (PDF).   The full text of Donald's email to stakeholders is below.
Dear CFSA Partner:

This spring, CFSA has taken several important steps in getting organized to go full force on the "four pillars" strategic agenda (above) that I’ve shared with you. With the final District Council vote on the city’s FY13 budget scheduled for June 5, we expect to get sufficient financial resources to continue moving CFSA forward next year. That’s good news! Even while devoting considerable time to the budget for several weeks, we also aligned the FY12 strategy plan required under LaShawn with our four-part agenda. This was significant in gaining buy-in from the plaintiffs and Court while also incorporating LaShawn requirements into our overall direction. During the same period, four work groups composed of both CFSA and external stakeholders proposed a series of specific strategies for achieving our four-pillar agenda. The CFSA Leadership Team then vetted the proposals and selected strategies with the greatest potential return on investment for action.

Today, I want to announce realignment of CFSA’s internal structure in support of the improved outcomes we’re seeking for children, youth, and families. There is nothing random about this decision but rather a thoughtful, deliberate approach to ensuring we’re organized for optimum performance. A simplified CFSA organization chart (attached) illustrates the realignment, and looking at it while reading the descriptions below will help you see what’s happening.

Evolution of Community Services and Clinical Practice Functions
The most significant change involves disbanding the organizational entities we’ve known as the Community Services Administration and Office of Clinical Practice in order to transition and integrate all their functions for greater impact.

In Program Operations . . .

  • CFSA will create a new position of Deputy Director, Entry Services to integrate a reorganized array of services at the front-door and improve overall performance. We are completing negotiations with a strong candidate who we expect to bring on board shortly.
  • In keeping with our strategic agenda, the front door will narrow while also becoming more robust for those who come in. The new structure supports a more well-rounded first response to abuse and neglect that coordinates and promptly mobilizes CFSA expertise in safety, family engagement, well being, and protection.
    *As always, Child Protective Services under Michelle Farr (CPS) continues to intervene for safety.
    *Family Team Meetings moves from Clinical Practice to the front door to take better advantage of their early engagement of family and potential to prevent placement when possible. This will form the basis of a new Kinship Support Division, where we will hire a Kinship Coordinator to ensure focus on increasing CFSA use of kinship care.
    * Clinical & Health, including the nurse care managers, moves from Clinical Practice to the front door in recognition of their critical role in immediate health assessment and ongoing coordination of care. Cheryl Durden will head this administration.
    *Placement Services under Jill Forbes joins the front-door team, which has long been their partner. This realignment recognizes Placement’s protective role and important function in establishing the cornerstone of well being for each child who must enter care.
  • To consolidate the important remaining functions from Community Services, we will establish a new Foster Care Resources Administration. It will integrate critical support services including foster/adoptive parent recruitment and family-based and congregate care licensing and monitoring (from the former Family Resources, Family Licensing, and Contracted Programs Divisions). Valerie Douglas will head this administration.

Under the Chief of Staff . . .

  • We are creating a Well Being Administration to vastly strengthen support services in the areas of education, domestic violence response, mentoring/tutoring, substance abuse treatment, and transportation. Nicole Hanley will direct this new administration, which will increase attention to healthy growth and development of children and youth in our care in keeping with a major pillar of our strategic agenda.
  • The Mayor’s social services liaison co-located with Family Court (Ora Graham) will join this administration, along with Partners for Kids in Care, our donor/volunteer coordination program under Beatrice Williar.

Due to this realignment, CFSA will no longer have Deputy Director positions in Community Services or Clinical Practice. As a result, we will lose the services of Dr. Cheryl Williams, deputy director, OCP. During her nine years with CFSA, Dr. Williams has been instrumental in improving health services for our children and youth in care, including replacing an expensive contract with improved health screening in-house and launching the nurse care manager model. All of us very much appreciate Dr. Williams’ dedication and contributions to CFSA and the children and families we serve.

Youth Empowerment Chain of Command
As part of the realignment, Sarah Thankachan and the team in the Office of Youth Empowerment will report directly to me. This will allow us to work together to meet ambitious goals for achieving permanence for more older youth while also ensuring they are well prepared for adulthood.

Changes During Next 30 Days
Changes I’ve described here align our organizational structure in support of our agency strategy, and we expect to complete them over the next 30 days. Within the next couple of weeks, I’ll announce some additional fine tuning within this structure. It’s time to rev up to "full speed ahead" on our four-pillar agenda. I’ll be reaching out soon to both CFSA staff and stakeholders with details about strategies under the four-pillar agenda. This will include reporting results of the work group activities and information about next steps.

CFSA must be very intentional in orchestrating and integrating continuing improvements to get to the next level of performance. The four pillars are a purposeful strategic approach to attaining consistent delivery of a smooth continuum of care and better outcomes to children, youth, and families. I know you share the values of wanting the best, doing our best, and achieving the best for all those we serve, and our four-part agenda is a blueprint for doing just that. The more we organize around it, the more likely we are to succeed.

Save the date for the Columbia Heights/Shaw annual conference June 29

Celebrate with the DC Employment Justice Center June 4!

The DC Employment Justice Center (DC EJC) has a brand-new office and they are working hard on some exciting new campaigns and want to share both with the community June 4 from 5:50 - 8:30 pm at their Open House and Volunteer Appreciation.   You can tour the new office; meet EJC staff, board, volunteers, and supporters; and chat over pizza, drinks, and dessert.

The EJC is located near the McPherson Square Metro Station, at 1413 K St, on the 5th floor. RSVP via email is appreciated but not required.

The Employment Justice Center is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that protects and promotes the rights of low-wage workers in the DC metro area.   They use experienced employment law attorneys and policy advocates to provide high-quality, free legal advice and assistance to low-wage workers and to push for changes in workplace fairness laws. With our combined focus on legal services, advocacy, and education, there is no stronger voice for the legal rights of low-wage workers in the D.C. metro area.