Friday, December 31, 2010

Updated agency leadership list

Additions have been made to the Gray leadership list.

East of the River Youth/Young Adults Resources Forum, January 10

The 6D CAC is sponsoring a Youth/Young Adults Resources Forum January 10 from 7:00 - 9:00 pm at the Sixth District police station (100 42nd St NE).

The event will feature educational and vocational programs available for disconnected youth and young adults living East of the River.   Community-based organizations which provide this essential programming will be available to talk with young people and sign them up.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Gray appointments to date

So based on the Gray Transition web site, transition press releases, and this from Lydia DePillis, I've created this file of Gray appointments to date.   Too bad all of this is not more accessible on the transition site.   Not sure this bodes well for Gray Administration transparency.

Forum on managed care in DC, January 24

The Department of Health Care Finance (DHCF) is sponsoring a Community Managed Care Forum January 24 from 2:00 - 4:00 pm at Providence Hospital (1160 Varnum St NE).   Intended audiences for the event are Medicaid and Alliance members, providers, advocates, and DC government agencies.   More information is in the event flier.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

December 31 vigil in memory of youth who died this year

Join the Northeast Performing Arts Group/NE Outreach Youth Center at their 20th Annual Candlelight Memorial Vigil and Rally, December 31 from 5:00 - 7:00 pm at the organization's NE Outreach Youth Center (3431 Benning Rd NE in the parking lot).

According to the event flier, the event is "In Loving Memory of DC Youth who lost their lives through Homicide in the Year 2010."   As in the past, NEPAG hopes this will be the last vigil.   More information about the event is available from Carrington Lassiter at (202) 388-1274.

What do YOU want to know about the DC budget process?

What have you always wanted to know about the District's budget or budget process?   Let me know via email.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Peter Nickles' last hurrah on TBD

For the last Peter Nickles hurrah, tune in to NewsTalk with Bruce DePuyt at 10:00 am today.

Advocacy and Learning Calendar updates

A number of new events have been added to the Advocacy and Learning Calendar including:
  • Ward 6 Forum for At-Large Council Appointment, January 3
  • Mr. Mayor! Here's What Research Says About the Challenges Facing the District of Colubmia, January 4
  • Webinar Addresses Services for High-Risk Juvenile Offenders, January 6
  • The Research behind Race to the Top (RTTT), January 14
  • 3rd Annual Activism Workshop, January 22
  • "How Should the Safety Net Be Retooled to Work in Times of High Unemployment?", February 23

Monday, December 27, 2010

Discuss education in Ward 8 December 28

Thanks to Congress Heights on the Rise for sharing the information about a community discussion about education in Anacostia on December 28 from 6:30 (Meet and Greet) - 8:00 pm.   The event takes place at Anacostia Public Library (1800 Good Hope Rd SE).

New data by ward, ANC, neighborhood cluster, and more

NeighborhoodInfo DC has updated all their neighborhood profiles with data from the new 2005-09 American Community Survey (ACS).   You can see the latest ACS data for Wards, ANCs, Neighborhood Clusters, Police Service Areas, ZIP codes, and Census tracts.

Some of the data you will find in the updated profiles includes:

  • After decades of decline, the District of Columbia’s population increased between 2000 and 2005-09, with the fastest population growth in Ward 6 (9.7 percent) and Ward 5 (4.2 percent).
  • Overall, the number of children in the city changed little over the past decade, but the child population in Ward 3 grew 42 percent since 2000.
  • The share of persons living in the city who did not have a high school diploma or GED decreased during the past decade, falling from 22 to 15 percent between 2000 and 2005-09.   The largest drops were in Ward 8 (34 to 21 percent) and Ward 1 (31 to 19 percent).

NeighborhoodInfo DC has also updated profile data on TANF and Food Stamp cases, violent crimes, and property crimes.

Volunteers needed for Gray inauguration events

The Gray Transition has a call out for volunteers for the 2011 mayoral inauguration events being held January 2, 2011.   There is a mandatory volunteer training/orientation December 30 at 5:00 pm.   More information about volunteering is available from Carmen Kinsey via email.   Time is of the essence; email ASAP.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Gray education transition reaches out (finally)

Unbeknownst to some (many?) in the community and to some (many?) who volunteered for the Gray Transition, the Gray Transition Education Transition Team
has hosted 15 Stakeholder meetings on various topics and in various neighborhoods, listed below.   We have conducted conversations with approximately 250 stakeholders during this transition period to re-energize civic dialogue and gather feedback on key recommendations for education in our city.

The email from Katherine Bradley and Dr. Michael Lomax (co-chairs of the Education Transition Team), invited those not already engaged to submit ideas on more than 10 issue areas by December 29.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Ward 7 loses child and family advocate

Lillian Barnes, a Ward 7 resident who was active in the early days of the Collaborative movement and the creation of the East River Family Strengthening Collaborative, died December 10.

I met Lillian in my early days at DC Action for Children and she was a great ambassador to the east side of the Anacostia River.   I learned a lot from her and will miss her.

The funeral for Lillian is being held December 23 at 10:00 am at the Breath of Life Faith Church located at 311 Addison Road South, Capital Heights, MD.

New education and youth development assessment and plan released

The Education and Youth Development Plan, The Building Blocks to Ensure All District Youth are Prepared for College, Career, and Life (PDF) has been a long time in coming but was released yesterday by the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Education.

The document reports the results of the DME assessment of the District’s education and youth development infrastructure.   The publication also includes a set of recommendations that can be used to guide future work on the issues of education and youth development.

The publication will be posted on the DME web site next week along with the appendices.

Gray to announce additional agency nominees today

Mayor-Elect Vince Gray will name five nominees to positions in education and other areas of the Gray Administration.   See the announcements live at 1:00 pm at the Reeves Center (2000 14th St NW, 2nd Floor Community Room).

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

CMs Michael Brown and Kwame Brown slam Fenty for bonuses

CM Michael Brown and Chairman-elect Kwame Brown issued the following press release today:

Adult Job Training Funds Slashed by Nearly $500,000 for Payouts

Washington, DC – Today Councilmember At-Large Michael A. Brown and Council Chair-Elect Kwame R. Brown learned that DC’s outgoing Mayor Adrian Fenty reprogrammed $495,000 of FY 2011 Adult Job Training.   The funds were reprogrammed to cover costs associated with severance and separation pay for Executive Office of the Mayor (EOM) political appointees transitioning out of the government at the end of this year.

Kwame Brown keeps education in COW

Chairman-elect Kwame Brown has announced he is retaining education in the Committee of the Whole.   To help with the issue, Brown has hired Lisa J. Raymond as Senior Advisor on Education Reform.

Revised FY 2011 budget support act

Here is the "Fiscal Year 2011 Supplemental Budget Support Act of 2010" (PDF) (amendment in the nature of a substitute) under consideration by the council today.   Should changes be made, a revised copy will be re-circulated this morning.   Note that the FY11 Supplemental BSA Emergency will mirror this permanent.

Parents, principals and educators consider youth violence

The Senior High Alliance of Parents Principals and Educators (S.H.A.P.P.E.) recently had a conversation about the recent violence that resulted in the death of two students, Prince Okorie who attended Roosevelt and Ebony Franklin who attended Cardozo.   Underpinning the discussion was the view that parents, educators, community members, and others respond constructively and compassionately.

Meeting attendees developed recommendations on these subjects:

The qualitative and quantitative benefits of DC's creative economy

The Committee on Housing and Workforce Development (At-large CM Michael Brown, chair) held a public oversight roundtable on "Job Creation and the District's Creative Economy" on December 17.   More than 30 folks registered to testify.   CM Brown set the stage for the roundtable in his opening remarks.

The Creative Economy Association of the North Shore says the creative economy

consists of those industries that have their origin in individual creativity, skill and talent and which have a potential for wealth and job creation through the generation of ideas, products and/or services.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Nominate your favorite DC Tweeps

Lori Aratani, of WaPo's Lori's A.M. Buzz has announced that the Washington Post wants to know who your favorite DC Tweeps are.   Twitter gets us quicker and more varied access to all kinds of information, from news to where to eat.   So submit your nominations here by Noon December 24.

At-large candidate debate video and candidate bios

Miss the December 16 At-large candidate debate?   All is not lost.   The full two hour debate and candidate bios are online.   You can also see a low resolution video of the debate as it was broadcast live.

Last day to take the "Nonprofit staff professional development needs" survey

TODAY is the last day to take the "Nonprofit staff professional development needs" survey.

Why is it important that you take the survey?   I want to offer skill-building, information-sharing and networking workshops at affordable prices.   I also want to share the results with other trainers so they can offer what I cannot.

So tell me:   Do you want to learn about advocacy?   Basic outreach and communications?   The media?   Messaging?

Journalist and documentary filmmaker Diana Winthrop and I have already offered four workshops this fall--Having a personal relationship with local media, Getting to know and maintaining relationships with Council staff, Getting to know exec branch staffers, and Outreach that actually reaches out.   We are certainly able to offer the four again.   But we also want to meet your needs so you can help people better.

Please take a few minutes to tell us what topics you would be interested in learning more about.

The deadline for participating in the survey is December 20.

Chairman-elect Kwame Brown announces key staffers

Late on December 17, Chairman-elect Brown announced appointments to key positions.   Nicole Streeter will be Chief of Staff, John Hoellen will be Interim General Counsel, Nyasha Smith will serve as Secretary to the Council, and Jennifer Budoff will serve as the council's Budget Director.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Tell me and my readers about your advocacy and learning opportunities

Do you have advocacy or learning events coming up in the new year?   Email me the details and I will add them to the Advocacy and Learning Calendar.

City Year young people talk education to Committee of the Whole

Two City Year corps members testified December 11 before the Committee of the Whole for the last of the Council Chairman Vince Gray-initiated youth hearings.   Lauren Greenawalt and Aaron Kurz testified about the positive impact City Year corps members are having on DC Public Schools students.

City Year corps members regularly testify before the DC Council at the youth-only hearings.   On November 13, five City Year corps members talked about City Year’s plan to expand the Whole School, Whole Child program into the feeder patterns of the five high schools that produce 50% of the students who dropout of DC Public Schools—Spingarn, Ballou, Anacostia, Cardozo, and Dunbar.

Gray appointments to various agencies

Mayor-elect Gray announced (PDF) the latest round of appointments to the Gray Administration.   The seven appointments are to various agencies in numerous clusters, not just economic development as was reported earlier:   Harriet Tregoning, Director of the Office of Planning; Nicholas A. Majett will be the Director of the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA); William O. Howland, Jr. will continue as the Director of the Department of Public Works; Lucinda M. Babers, Director of the Department of Motor Vehicles; Soohyun "Julie" Koo will be the Executive Director of the Office on Asian and Pacific Islander Affairs; Ronald R. Collins, the Director of the Office of Boards and Commissions; and Eric E. Richardson, the Director of the Office of Cable Television (OCT).

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Volunteers needed for DC Public Charter School Recruitment Expo

FOCUS seeks volunteers for the Second Annual DC Public Charter School Recruitment Expo being held January 8 from Noon - 4:00 pm at the DC Convention Center (801 Mount Vernon Pl NW).   FOCUS welcomes students requiring community service hours and adults who want to volunteer to connect students to the best school for them.   Volunteers will assist with logistics on the day of the Expo including event set-up, registration and staffing information tables.   Volunteers are also needed to provide translation/interpretation services.

To register as a volunteer, go to the FOCUS web site or contact the Erika Wadlington at 202-387-0405 with any questions.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Court approves new LaShawn Implementation and Exit Plan

Today Judge Thomas F. Hogan approved the proposal of the LASHAWN A., et al v. FENTY, et al parties to replace the 2007 LaShawn A. v. Fenty Amended Implementation Plan with this new Implementation and Exit Plan (PDF).   The new plan covers what is left of 2010 and all of 2011.

Ward 2 CM Jack Evans on Twitter

My bad.   Forgot to add the CM news this morning that Ward 2's Jack Evans is now on Twitter, @JackEvans_Ward2.

Gray announces department heads, December 17

Another announcement from the Gray Transition about directors of offices and departments December 17 at Noon at the Reeves Center (2000 14th St NW, 2nd Floor Community Room).

Items from CMs

Here is some year-end activity and news from CMs:
  • December 17 public oversight roundtable on the job creation in the District’s creative economy.   The release on the event includes time, location, and partial list of witnesses.
  • Ward 7 CM Yvette Alexander to issue fitness challenge December 20:   The CM will begin an exercise and healthy eating regimen December 20 and will challenge other Ward 7 residents to do the same December 20 at 3:00 pm.   Details in the press release.
  • CM Bowser elected to Chair of the Metropolitan Washington Council of Government’s Transportation Planning Board (TPB).   More on this in her December 15 newsletter.

More news from Gray Transition

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Inauguration and swearing-in details

If you've not yet checked out the Gray inauguration plans, you can do so on the Gray Transition web site.   Events include a prayer breakfast, inauguration of the mayor, swearing in of CMs and ANCs, and an evening gala.   All events take place January 2, 2011.   Tickets (free) are required only for One City… Celebrating Together being held at Washington Convention Center.   Ticket availability and other details are on the web site.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Public safety cluster agency directors to be announced 12/16

Mayor-elect Vince Gray is slated to announce public safety cluster leadership decisions on December 16.   Tune in to WaPo's Mike DeBonis and/or WCP's Loose Lips for details (time, etc.)

DYRS in transition

As reported by WaPo's Mike DeBonis and Henri Cauvin, Robert Hildum is leaving the helm of the Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services December 17.   Read Hildum's memo to DYRS staff for yourself.

Cold kills. This info can help prevent deaths from hypothermia.

Some of us have the luxury of a roof over our head but so many do not.   Do your part and share this information about hypothermia season (in Spanish, in English) with, well, everyone.   And keep the Hypothermia Hotline number--1-800-535-7252--with you so you can call for anyone who wants shelter when it is below 32 degrees.

If you see someone who is laying on the street who is not responsive, or who’s shivering uncontrollably and having difficulty speaking, call 911.

CM Michael Brown on NewsTalk 12/15

Tune in to NewsTalk with Bruce DePuyt this morning at 10:00 am for the DePuyt/Brown interview.

Vince Gray guest at Washington National Cathedral

The Very Rev. Samuel T. Lloyd III interviewed Mayor-elect Vince Gray as part of the Cathedral's The Sunday Forum: Critical Issues in the Light of Faith.   Lloyd is dean of the Cathedral, known to many as "the national house of prayer."   The next mayor also took questions from the audience.   Gray appeared on December 12; you can watch the 47 minute video on the Cathedral web site.

Lloyd and Gray discussed a range of topics including the meaning of One City, success of the town halls, and pressing policy and budget concerns.

Tiffany Brown new Alexander communications aide

Late on December 14, Ward 7 CM Yvette Alexander announced that Tiffany Brown is now serving as the CM's Director of Communications.   Contact Brown by calling 724-8068 or via email.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

CM Jack Evans' take on the FYs 2011 and 2012 budgets

Ward 2 CM Jack Evans on the December 7 gap-closing vote, from his December 10 newsletter:
The Council reconsidered the FY 2011 budget this past week to address the $175 million revenue shortfall and "spending pressures" which came to light earlier this fall, and approved a revised plan 11-2.   It was a process filled with difficult choices, made somewhat more difficult by the very short time frame in which we had to act - the Mayor had only transmitted his plan to us just before Thanksgiving.   As such, it was always my thought that we probably could not do much more than rearrange some of those priorities and then move forward, which is precisely what ended up happening.

Protest crime and government reaction in Historic Anacostia, December 15 morning rush hour

Residents of Historic Anacostia, having recently experienced an atypical number of robberies and burglaries in their usually quiet community, are protesting the crime and poor response from government officials.   The protest is taking place Wednesday, December 15 from 6:30 – 9:00 am (yes, morning) at the intersection of Martin Luther King Jr. Ave SE and W St SE.

DC Coalition Against Domestic Violence Holiday Gift Drive

This annual Holiday Gift Drive allows the DC Coalition Against Domestic Violence to provide gifts to families living in emergency shelters and temporary housing.   And lest you think this is just another appeal for holiday presents, think again.   It's a way to help a family recovering from domestic violence have a happy holiday season.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Events this week just posted on advocacy and learning calendar

There are a ton of webinars and other events this week, a number just added to the Advocacy and Learning Calendar:
  • Ward 7 Health Council, December 13
  • A Healthy Start Healthy House Party & Holiday Celebration, December 15
  • Muskie Series 2010:   Batterers and Intervention Strategies, December 15
  • Protest violence and crime in Historic Anacostia, December 15

Wash your hands!

I missed National Handwashing Awareness Week 2010 (PDF) but in the spirit of handwashing to prevent flu and other ickiness, I am sharing this very cool soap dispenser that lights up and plays music for 20 seconds while kids wash their hands.   If, for some reason, you don't want to buy this gadget, the CDC recommends singing the Happy Birthday song twice.

The CDC also has this advice for when to wash your hands:

  • Before, during, and after preparing food
  • Before eating food
  • After using the toilet
  • After changing diapers or cleaning up a child who has used the toilet
  • Before and after caring for someone who is sick
  • After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
  • After touching an animal or animal waste
  • After touching garbage
  • Before and after treating a cut or wound

Sunday, December 12, 2010

2011 business mileage rates

On December 3, the IRS published the 2011 optional standard mileage rates.   The business rate went up one cent to 51 cents per mile for the business use of a car, van, pickup, or panel truck (I know so many of you drive panel trucks!).   Charitable, moving and medical rates were also announced.

Committee on Health newsletter, December 10

The latest newsletter from the Committee on Health (At-large CM Catania, chair) is now online.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Gift wrapping at Politics & Prose benefits Washington Literacy Council

Washington Literacy Council (WLC) volunteers are at Politics & Prose morning, noon and night through December 26 to wrap your holiday gifts (suggested per item donation is $1).   The longtime partnership between the Council and P&P helps ease the stress of the holidays for those who use this terrific service.

P&P donates the space and wrapping papers to WLC and WLC supplies the volunteers.   The Council has served the Washington community for more than 45 years providing reading education and support to District adults with the most limited reading skills, greatest needs, and fewest resources.

Want to volunteer as a gift wrapper?   Contact Jennifer Durkin via email with "P&P Wrap" in the subject line.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Take 6 minutes to watch the fight for budget justice in DC

If you were not in the Chamber for the December 7 Council vote on the revised FY 2011 budget, you missed activists arguing for a more just FY 2011 budget than the one proposed by Mayor Fenty before Thanksgiving.   Empower DC captured the action on tape along with statements from those who will be negatively affected by the cuts to the safety net.   View the People's Hearing here or below.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Seven more join Gray administration

On December 9, Mayor-elect Vince Gray announced the appointment of seven members of his new team.   The newbies are:   Eric Goulet, Deputy Chief and Director of the Mayor’s Office of Budget and Finance; Brian Flowers, General Counsel to the Mayor; Cynthia Brock-Smith, Secretary of the District of Columbia; Janene D. Jackson, Director of the Office of Policy and Legislative Affairs; Stephen Glaude, Director of the Office of Community Affairs; Roxana Olivas, Director of the Office of Latino Affairs; and Crystal Palmer, Director of the Office of Motion Picture and Television Development.

An excerpt of his full remarks and appointee bios is below.

Misunderstanding or misrepresentation? Gerald on Wells' budget amendment

Dr. Roque Gerald, director of Child and Family Services Agency, has taken CM Tommy Wells (Ward 6 and chair of the Committee on Human Services) to task for misrepresenting the savings associated with vacancies.   The CM was referenced in a December 9 article by Freeman Klopott in The Examiner:
The bulk of the cash Wells found for the grandparent subsidy was in a calculation error in Fenty's proposal.   Fenty's budget calculated $477,000 in savings from not filling vacant positions, but the calculation didn't include more than $500,000 that would be saved in the benefits provided for those positions.

Gerald's letter to Wells, copied to all members of the Council, explains why Wells was wrong on the vacancies.   Gerald also challenges Wells' decision to redirect funds to prevention when the agency is legally required to serve children who have already been abused and neglected and are in the system.

Though not said in the Gerald letter, the fact is that prevention work is the responsibility of multiple government agencies, not to mention the public.   If prevention were of such importance to CM Wells, other funding, such as that for home visiting or substance abuse treatment, would have been increased as well.

The Wells amendment to the budget support act is here.

Mayor and Council chair not only ones with transitions

Residents and others in the SMD 5C03 community are invited to a transition meeting of their commissioner December 15 from 7:00 to 8:30 pm at Big Bear Café (1st and R Sts NW).   The purpose of the meeting is to meet Commissioner-Elect Hugh Youngblood and discuss ideas for the new year.   Questions should be directed to Chenelyn Barker via email.

Gray to announce more appointments

On December 9 at 11:00 am, Mayor-elect Vince Gray will announce the appointment of seven key advisers and community office directors who will hold positions in the Gray Administration.   The announcement will take place at Reeves Center (2000 14th St NW, 2nd Floor Community Room).

First Gray appointments video

If you missed Mayor-Elect Gray's December 8 presser announcing his first appointments, you can watch it on video.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Not-too-sweet buttermilk sugar cookies

I am helping my mother make cookies for her library association's holiday cookie sale.   I've baked Christmas cookies for years and have a list of favorites.   But this year I wanted something different, and since I am helping, my mother wanted something different.   My recent infatuation with buttermilk led me to these Buttermilk Sugar Cookies.   UPDATE:   We added 1/8 tsp nutmeg and 1/4 tsp cinnamon.   We increased vanilla to 3 tsp, cinnamon to 1 tsp and nutmeg to a little more than 1/8 tsp.   They are not too sweet which is nice.   If you are looking for something different to bake this holiday season or anytime, give them a try.

Happy Hour and Holiday Drive for Washington Metropolitan High School

The YEP-DC Happy Hour and Holiday Drive is being held December 14 from 6:00 - 8:00 pm at Dirty Martini Lounge (1223 Connecticut Ave NW).   The purposes of the event are to socialize and celebrate the holidays while supporting a local school (Washington Metropolitan High School).   YEP-DC will be collecting school supplies--copier paper, pens/pencils, dry erase and regular markers, lined paper, and notebooks.   RSVP here.   Direct questions to YEP-DC via email.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Children need you right now!

A reminder that children and youth who are served by Safe Shores-The DC Children's Advocacy Center deserve a happy holiday season.   While many have stepped up to buy gifts, there are still children who are in need.   Please join with others in support of the Safe Shores Holiday Assistance Drive!   Send an email to Safe Shores for more info.

Changing lives one tax return at a time

Volunteers are the bedrock of the District's Earned Income Tax Credit Campaign and the Campaign is currently seeking volunteers as tax preparers and savings promoters.

Volunteers help bring more than $9 million into the homes of DC’s low-income working families each year.   Each tax return completed by a volunteer preparer can raise a low-income working family’s income by more than $6,000.   That's right:   $6,000.

And we've got an amended gap-closing plan

First we've got the committee print of B18-1100, "Fiscal Year 2011 Supplemental Budget Support Act of 2010."   Second, we've got an amendment to the Budget Request Act.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Memorial service for Mary Ann Luby, O.P.

Mass will be celebrated at St. Aloysius Church, 19 Eye St NW for our dear friend and colleague Mary Ann Luby December 11 at 1:00 pm.   The flier about the memorial mass is here.

No Monday Council meeting on gap-closing

The Council's Budget Office has reported that there will not be a meeting today to hammer out gap-closing options in advance of the December 7 vote.

Information about FY 2012 budget development

The FY 2011 budget is still not final and government agencies have begun working on their FY 2012 budget.

We should expect that the FY 2012 development process may be a little bumpy with a new budget director and staff and, of course, necessity to address the ~$400 million problem.   As you may recall, budget kickoff was delayed for a month this year until after the general election.   The schedule (excluding technical aspects) is shown below.   It reflects a compressed timeline with some soft deadlines.

FY 2012 Budget Calendar

As we move forward with the process, there are some items in the Draft FY 2012 OPERATING BUDGET MANUAL that are important for the public to keep in mind about FY 2012 development:

  • There will be no agency budget targets.   The starting point for the FY 2012 budget is the revised FY 2011 budget.
  • Budget reductions, increases, transfers or all other changes will be decided at the Budget Review Team (BRT) meetings.
  • No program enhancements or technical adjustments will be allowed.
  • A decision about step increases will be made by Mayor-elect Gray.

Finally, the budget manual provides a good explanation of the Budget Review Team, frequently referred to as BRT.   Those who have been too shy to ask may now read this explanation to be in the know.

Please take the "Nonprofit staff professional development needs" survey

What do you want to learn about advocacy?   Basic outreach and communications?   The media?   Messaging?   Tell us in this survey.

With four workshops under our belt, Susie Cambria (public policy and local budget expert) and Diana Winthrop (journalist and documentary filmmaker) are interested in providing additional workshops to DC nonprofits -- and we want to know what you want to learn.   This fall, we offered four workshops:

  • Having a personal relationship with local media
  • Getting to know and maintaining relationships with Council staff
  • Getting to know exec branch staffers
  • Outreach that actually reaches out

We are certainly able to offer the four again.   But we also want to meet your needs so you can help people better.

Please take a few minutes to tell us what topics you would be interested in learning more about.

The deadline for participating in the survey is December 20.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Advocacy and Learning Calendar updates

A number of new events have been added to the Advocacy and Learning Calendar including:
  • Intergenerational Study Circle, December 8
  • DC Campaign's Holiday Open House, December 15
  • Free Coffee and Conversation at the Foundation Center, December 15
  • “Young and Older Workers: (Not) Entering and Exiting the Labor Market”, January 25

Will there or won't there be a Monday meeting on the gap-closing?

In three days, the District will have a new FY 2011 budget; the City Council will vote on a gap-closing plan on December 7.   All expect the council plan to undo some of the decisions made by Mayor Adrian Fenty in his late November gap-closing proposal.   Some anticipated changes include the scaling back of cuts to the safety net and increasing revenue perhaps by adding a new income tax bracket.

The Examiner's Freeman Klopott reported last week "The council is expected to gather on Monday for a public meeting in which members are likely to hammer out the details of a tax increase."   But the Monday public meeting is not a done deal.   Council insiders report that Council Chairman Vince Gray is not sure a meeting is required to hash out the wants of the other 12 CMs.   Gray will make the decision sometime today.

Like kids? Join the DC Childcare Collective and support advocacy and empowerment

Joining the DC Childcare Collective means that you love working with kids, want to support social justice movements in dc, and have just a little (teensy weensy) spare time.   The next Volunteer Orientation will be held Sunday, January 16, 2011 from 1:00 - 5:00 pm.

Volunteers commit to provide childcare at least six times over 12 months and attend additional trainings that DCCC provides.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Free webinars in December!

Wild Apricot recently posted more than 20 free webinars in December.   Take a look at these diverse professional development opportunities and partake of some free learning.

HIV services planning meeting, December 16

Noticed in the December 3 DCR is the December 16, 5:30 pm Metropolitan Washington Regional HIV Health Services Planning Council meeting.   The meeting will be held at One Judiciary Square (441 4th St NW) in Room 1117.   A 5:00 pm dinner will precede the 5:30 meeting.   Questions should be directed to Michael Tietjen, Planning Council Coordinator, at 671-4824 or via email.   Information about the council is on the Department of Health web site.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Attend the PEOPLE’S Hearing December 7

The December 7, 9:00 am PEOPLE’S Hearing is the public's last opportunity to have their voices heard about the necessity of City Council members making the best choices that put people back to work.   The event, being held in the front of the John A. Wilson Building (1350 Pennsylvania Ave NW ), will feature a call to CMs to make the better choice by raising the income tax by 1% for those with income over $200,000/yr and at the same time investing in efforts focused on work.

Co-sponsors DC Jobs with Justice, DC We The People, Empower DC, Save Our Safety Net DC, local small businesses, and others have joined together to oppose the cuts proposed by Mayor Fenty to close the FY 2011 gap of $188 million.   The mayor proposed cuts to child care subsidies, TANF, adult job training, disability assistance, the grandparent caregivers program, and more.

Direct questions to Empower DC by calling 234-9119.   Or, review (and share) the event flier.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Update on City Council gap-closing efforts

As reported earlier, Chairman Gray was meeting today one-on-one with his colleagues to get their ideas for changes to the Fenty gap-closing proposal.   The latest news is that no marks have been made but will likely be made tomorrow during the meeting of the entire council.

Children's Law Center's Holiday Hope Drive

The holidays are just around the corner, and the Children's Law Center (CLC) needs your help.   Every year, with gifts from volunteer "Santas", CLC ensures that over 700 needy children in the District receive gifts for the holidays.   Their clients are children who have been abused or neglected and some of the children would never have a real Christmas if not for the kind Santas who volunteer to help.

City Council process re: gap closing

Word from the City Council's Budget Office is that Chairman Vince Gray will meet with members one-on-one today; members will identify what from the Fenty proposed gap-closing plan they want removed and how they want to address the resulting gap.

The council budget staff and Gray have, for the most part, identified items in the proposed gap-closing plan which are unsustainable and otherwise no-gos.   The Budget Office is also charged with finding additional revenue or other ways to pay for changes they and the chair are making.   The Budget Office is largely done with that effort.

We should expect the chair's office and Budget Office to be working over the weekend pulling everything together for the vote on December 7.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Public Media Corps hosts online chat on DC's Broadband Divide, December 2

Fellows with Public Media Corps (PMC) interviewed nearly 1,300 residents of Wards 1, 7 and 8 to learn more about patterns of broadband use and public media engagement specifically among African Americans and Latinos.   Using the interview results as a guide, the Fellows developed three projects to increase broadband and public media awareness and engagement.   PMC Fellows will be sharing information about both the findings and community engagement projects during a December 2, 11:00 am online chat.   Fellows will discuss the recent town hall meeting and the series, the family portrait project and What's Good DC?

Additional testimony and info from November 30 gap-closing hearing

More from the November 30 gap-closing hearing is below:

Finally, numerous folks were tweeting the hearing, including me.   Some who tweeted used the #gapclosing hashtag.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Testimony and more from gap-closing hearing

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

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

Gifts needed for Safe Shores clients

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

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

Monday, November 29, 2010

Witness list for gap-closing hearing, November 30

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

Bullying hearing witness list

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

Random notices

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

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Recent notices in DC Register

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

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Volunteers needed for free tax prep at Trinidad Recreation Center

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

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

To register or for more information, email Dottie Elliott.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Emergency rules re: shelter and supportive housing

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

Volunteers needed for Alice Deals holiday greens sale

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

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

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

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

The event is free and open to the public.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Latest additions to the advocacy and learning calendar

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

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

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

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

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Chairman-elect Brown commits to making difficult budget choices

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

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

Monday, November 22, 2010

DC Campaign roundtable rocked teen pregnancy prevention

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

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Brown Transition has new press sec

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

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

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

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

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

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

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

Monday, November 15, 2010

Updated Gray transition web site

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

TANF hearing witness list

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

Sunday, November 14, 2010

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

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

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

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

DC Dems activities

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

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

Friday, November 12, 2010

Youth hearing, November 13 (reminder and update)

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

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

Readers recommend and more

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

One reader also shared this:

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

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

DC Jobs Council’s Workforce Wednesdays Professional Development Series

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

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Condolences to the Gerald family

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

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

The debate around protecting homeless services

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

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

Public hearing on the DCPS FY 2012 budget

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

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

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

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

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

Craigs List bounty

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

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

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

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

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

Leave it to Graham Norton for a much needed laugh

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

FY 2011 budget balancing update

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

Monday, November 8, 2010

Education professionals networking opp

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

The Brown transition is off!

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

Sunday, November 7, 2010

A somewhat slow moving Gray transition, at least publicly

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

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

Shelter for the homeless at risk with new legislation

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

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

Saturday, November 6, 2010

An extraordinary film about extraordinary young women in DC foster care

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

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

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

Friday, November 5, 2010

Learn about the Brown transition November 8

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

The lastest from public safety committee

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

Child Care: The Corner Stone of a Strong DC Workforce

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

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Stepping up and helping our leaders make better choices

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

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

Gray transition press release

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

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

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

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

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

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

Volunteer drivers are needed; see the flier for information.

Thoughts on The Networked Nonprofit?

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

The Networked Nonprofit: Connecting with Social Media to Drive Change

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Gray transition site

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

Update on the FYs 2011 and 2012 budgets

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

WAMU’s Kojo Nnamdi on urban education, November 4

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

Latest additions to the advocacy and learning calendar

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

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

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

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

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

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

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

Public hearings noticed in October 29 DCR

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

Still have holiday gifts to buy?

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

Monday, November 1, 2010

New brief outlines FY 2011 reconsideration process and challenges

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

Health committee update

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

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Looked at the council budget office web site lately?

Eric Goulet, budget director for the City Council, and his colleagues have spent months collecting, scanning and uploading budget documents to the council site so that the public has access to important historical records.   Many more documents still have to be uploaded so check back often.   But a big ol' shout out for a job well done to the staff.

Buy a book for a child in foster care!

There is still time to participate in Child and Family Services Agency's Partners for Kids in Care 2010 Holiday Donation Drive.   And a perfect way to participate is to buy one or more award-winning books.   Consider the following Association for Library Service to Children winners:
  • 2010 Newbery Medal winner When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead (children's book)

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Gray Ward 6 town hall video now online

If you missed the last of the Gray ward-based town halls, you may watch the video on YouTube here.

Terrific free DC gov clip service

Karyn-Siobhan Robinson is delivering an invaluable service to the community with DC Government Clips.   Clips are available online and via email and allow those who work with the DC government to get the news before 9:00 am.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

An old message that still resonates

T.J. Sutcliffe created this graphic.

In preparing for my workshop with Diana Winthrop on October 29, I found these two graphics.   They were used as part of the Fair Budget Coalition's 2001 "Human Needs First" campaign.   It's truly a shame that we are still fighting these fights.

Apple cider spice cake recipe

It's that time of year when I must bake a spice cake or two.   The recipe this time around is this one from CD Kitchen.   Not so much an apple cider cake as a spice cake.   No matter, it is yummy and moist and easy to make.   I've now made three (not for me but for neighbors and friends) and I may have to keep baking them given the demand!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Who are your tweeps?

Many folks are already using Twitter and many more join every day. It is sometimes hard to keep track of whom to follow.   I'd be interested in hearing from you about who you follow and why; I'll compile the list and blog.   For the sake of being germane, let's keep suggestions related to public policy and practice for/about children, youth and families.   Local and national media are fine as are tweeps who contribute to organizational policy and capacity.

What are your must reads?

I know my day does not really get going until I have read Lori's AM Buzz, DeMorning DeBonis, and Loose Lips Daily, and Greater Greater Washington.   What is on your must read list?    Email me your list and I will blog them.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Help close the digital divide, attend 10/27 broadband summit

OCTO is hosting the city's second DC Community Broadband Summit (DC-CBS)—a city-wide gathering to address the District's digital divide—October 27, from 8:30 am - 1:00 pm.   The event is being held at Deanwood Community Center and Library (1350 49th St NE).

Will I see you there?

Child welfare news

  • The Freddie Mac Foundation's Adoption Expo, November 6 from 11:00 am - 3:00 pm at the Grand Hyatt Hotel (1000 H St NW), will showcase adoption agencies and services in the District of Columbia, Virginia and Maryland.

    Vendors will provide information about the adoption experience and the resources available if you're considering adoption.   Experts and families will share important information in myriad workshops scheduled throughout the day.

    Details about the expo are on the Freddie Mac web site.

  • Volunteers are needed to join the Citizens Review Panel (CRP).   CRP members are citizen-volunteers who are federally mandated to monitor and evaluate the policies and practices of the Child and Family Services Agency.   Members broadly represent members of the community and have an interest in foster care, child protection and related issues.   More about requirements and responsibilities are in the CRP recruitment flier.

Monday, October 25, 2010

City Council update

A little of this and that from the council this week.   We've got a hearing notice about the Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services, some amendments made to B B18-344, "Expanding Access to Juvenile Records Amendment Act of 2010", and the weekly update from the Committee on Health.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Three child-related items in October 22 DCR

The government is seeking public input in several fora through Thanksgiving.   Both the legislative and executive branches are holding public hearings to elicit feedback on bills, laws, and plans related to healthy schools, welfare, and public health.

Ward 8 town hall vid and sked for final two Gray town halls

The Ward 8 Gray campaign town hall video is now posted on YouTube.

If you are anxious to attend a town hall in person, two more remain:   Wards 4 and 6.   The Ward 4 event is being held October 26 from 6:30 - 8:30 pm at Peoples Congregational Church (4704 13th St NW). The Ward 6 event will be held October 27 from 6:30 - 8:30 pm at Atlas Performing Arts Center (1333 H St NE).   More information about the town halls is on the Gray campaign web site.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

More Gray town hall videos posted

Miss the Wards 1 or 2 town halls sponsored by mayoral candidate Vince Gray?   No worries, they are here:   Ward 1 and Ward 2.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Update on "helping others" workshops

Thanks to interest of providers and funders across the city, we have reached capacity for all the "helping others" workshops Diana Winthrop and I are offering.   Should you be interested in future workshops, email me with a request to be added to the outreach list.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The latest from Chairman Gray

City Council Chairman Vince Gray has taken on two important issues in the past few days:   bullying and paying for transition.

In a press release, Gray promised swift consideration of a new bill, "Harassment and Intimidation Prevention Act", introduced this week by Ward 5 CM Harry Thomas, Jr. and Gray.   The bill calls on various child- and youth-serving agencies to "establish policies and prevention programs to discourage and address bullying and similar offensive behavior."

On the issue of the mayoral and council chair transitions, Gray introduced a bill to restrict the government resource contribution to in-kind items such as office space and furniture.   Gray has recently said he will not use taxpayer dollars with the economy as it is.   More about this is in a Gray press release.

You can make the holidays spectacular for foster kids with just a little time

Volunteers are the heart and soul of the holiday season for children in foster care in DC.   They make the Thanksgiving Basket Giveaway successful and the holiday gift drive spectacular.

Consider making a gift of time this year with your office, civic club or friends to make the wishes of these children come true.   Learn more about holiday season volunteer opportunities with Child and Family Services Agency in this flier.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

It's holiday time and foster kids need us!

You can make a difference in the life of a child or youth in foster care this holiday season.   Consider making a donation to the Child and Family Services Agency (CFSA) 2010 holiday donation drive.

The drive is in full swing and there is a new deadline to sign up for holiday giving:   November 1.

There are donation opportunities at all price points and to meet all areas of interest.   For example, CFSA is collecting Thanksgiving baskets, holiday gifts for specific children, family sponsorship, and more.

So sign up to make a donation for foster children by November 1.

Individuals, families, businesses, civic association, and tenant groups stepped up during the 2009 holiday drive, donating 4,930 toys and other gifts which CFSA gave to 1,640 children.

Have you volunteered for the Gray transition yet?

Have you signed up to participate on a Gray transition team?   No work happening right now, but will start next week.   So get your name in the hopper, on the list!   Be part of the change.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

A Roundtable on Teen Pregnancy Prevention in DC: Federal Funding, Priorities and Grantees

DC Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy is sponsoring this event November 9 from 9:00 am - 12:30 pm at American Public Health Association (800 I St NW).   You will learn more about plans and priorities of the federal government to prevent teen pregnancy and collaborating to create change in the District.   Panelists include local and federal experts. Space is limited, so register early.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Help others keep warm this winter - donate a coat, poncho, or gloves

Ohev Sholom - The National Synagogue's annual coat drive is underway and as always, the community's participation is required to make this truly a "heart 'warming' mitzvah."   Consider donating never worn/lightly worn coats you and/or your family members are not using so those in need can stay warm and dry.   Ponchos, raincoats and winter coats are wonderful.   Other items like hats, scarves and gloves are appreciated.   Drop your coats and other donations in the lobby at Ohev Sholom (1600 Jonquil St NW); donations are being accepted through mid-December.

Witness list for FEED-DC public hearing 10/18

In the event you want to watch the public hearing on the FEED-DC bill before two City Council committees today at 2:00 pm and don't know the players, here is the witness list.   I use the lists to simply follow along.

Mayor Fenty cuts G'town library ribbon October 18

Mayor Fenty will join others and deliver remarks at the October 18, 10:45 am ribbon cutting at the Georgetown Neighborhood Library (3260 R St NW).

Items from the October 15 DC Register

  • Public hearing on making capital available to local businesses and nonprofits:   The Committee on Public Services and Consumer Affairs (Ward 4 CM Muriel Bowser) is holding a public hearing on B18-1042, "Capital Access Program Act of 2010" on October 20 at 2:00 pm in the JAWB.   The purpose of the bill is to enable the city to use federal funds to create a public-private partnership with banks and other financial institutions to make capital available to businesses and nonprofits.   The public is encouraged to testify; details about registering are in the notice.
  • Public hearing concerning the city's compliance with Title IX:   The Committee of the Whole (Council Chair Vince Gray, chair) is holding a hearing on B18-552, "Title IX Compliance Act of 2009", on November 10 at Noon in the JAWB.   The purpose of the legislation is to assess the District's compliance with federal law, require a plan to ensure compliance and to conduct an analysis after five years of the status of Title IX compliance.   The public is encouraged to testify; details are in the notice.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Youth hearing, November 13

The Committee of the Whole (Council Chair Vince Gray, chair) is holding a public hearing for youth under the age of 21 November 13 at 10:00 am in the JAWB.   All youth are encouraged to testify; more information about registering is in the hearing notice.

Gray Ward 2 town hall video is now posted

If you missed the Gray Ward 2 town hall, you may watch it on YouTube.   The Gray campaign is having technical difficulties with the Ward 7 video; as soon as those are resolved, the video will also be on the Gray for Mayor YouTube channel.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

DC students celebrate World Statistics Day October 20

Who knew there was such a day?   Not me until I saw a press release announcing that U.S. Census Bureau Director Robert M. Groves will celebrate the first-ever World Statistics Day October 20 by speaking to a 12th grade math class at Eastern High School (1700 E Capitol St NE).   The day was designated by the United Nations General Assembly and Groves will highlight the role of official statistics and the many achievements of national statistical systems.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Events in the community

Lots of interesting meetings and events are taking place through the end of October November, including fora on child health, poverty and economic disparities, and building a sustainable Ward 8.   Events include a fall festival and picnic.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Information from the Winter Plan hearing

On October 6, the Committee on Human Services (Ward 6 Tommy Wells, chair) held a public hearing on the District's 2010-2011 winter plan, the plan for sheltering homeless individuals and families during cold weather.   DHS director Clarence Carter testified as did many from the service provider and advocacy community; the witness list is here.   If you missed the hearing, it is now online at OCT.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Gather parents for Ward 8 town hall prep meeting on child care

Empower DC's Child Care for All Campaign is holding a pre-Ward 8 town hall meeting to plan how the community will make child care a top issue for the city's presumed new mayor, Vince Gray.   The meeting is being held October 20 from 6:00 - 8:00 pm at Thurgood Marshall Academy (2427 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave SE).

Why is punishment the default, and usually singular, solution to youth crime?

Ward 4 is dealing with a spike in crime, especially gang- and crew-related crime, according to a Convention Center Community Association (CCCA) summary of the October 9 Ward 4 crime meeting convened by Ward 4 CM Muriel Bowser.   Bowser held the meeting to update the community on efforts to address truancy, youth crime, gang and crew crime, and the use of guns.   Guests included Chief of Police Cathy Lanier, At-large CM Phil Mendelson, and Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services (DYRS) interim director Robert Hildum.   Video segments of the meeting, by issue, are on the CCCA web site.

According to Hildum, some recent crime is disproportionately committed by young people:   while six percent of crime overall can be attributed to youth, youth commit 48% of armed robberies.   Even more troubling is Hildum's statement about the prevalence of young men who are prone to violence.

Turque on Rhee at Noon 10/13

WaPo's Bill Turque takes your questions about the future of DCPS without Michelle Rhee on Washington Post live October 13 at Noon.   You may submit questions before or during the discussion.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Kids in action at the Farm at Walker Jones

If you are not convinced of the value of school gardens, this CNN video on the Farm at Walker Jones is sure to do the trick.   You will see the children of Walker Jones in action, coached by Farm volunteers and teachers.   And read this post on the Farm at Walker Jones blog for the story of the making of the CNN video.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Update on Gray town halls

The Gray campaign has announced new locations for the remaining town halls, October 12 – 27.   Town halls this week are:
  • October 12, 6:30 to 8:30 pm at Pennsylvania Avenue Baptist Church (3000 Pennsylvania Ave SE) (Ward 7)
  • October 14, 6:30 to 8:30 pm at Foundry United Methodist Church (1500 16th St NW) (Ward 2)
If you are not able to attend the events, you can follow Mike DeBonis and others by following the hash tags #ward7 and #ward2.

If you missed the Wards 3 and 5 town halls, they have been taped and are available on the campaign blog.   You can also search Twitter for tweets with the hash tags #ward3 and #ward5.