Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The imperative of protecting victims of domestic violence

The City Council's Committee on Aging and Community Affairs (Ward 7 CM Yvette Alexander, chair) is holding a public hearing on B18-796, "Protecting Victims of Crime Amendment Act of 2010" (B18-796), introduced by CM Yvette Alexander and co-sponsored by all 13 members of the Council, on July 1 at 11:00 am in the JAWB.   Details about the hearing are in the notice.

This legislation establishes critical protections from workplace discrimination for victims of domestic violence, sexual abuse, and stalking.   That abuse impacts workplace performance is well established.   Thanks to the DC Coalition Against Domestic Violence, I am now aware of the following:

  • On the employer side, research shows that the annual cost of lost productivity due to domestic violence alone is approximately $727.8 million.   (Corporate Alliance to End Partner Violence, available online (2003))
  • On the worker side:   victims of domestic violence lose nearly 8 million days of paid work each year; 74% of employed battered women report being harassed by their partner while they were at work; and between 25-50% of victims of domestic violence report that they have lost a job due to domestic violence.   (Corporate Alliance to End Partner Violence, available online (2003); Family Violence Prevention Fund, The Workplace Guide for Employers, Unions and Advocates.   San Francisco, CA (1998); National Task Force to End Sexual and Domestic Violence Against Women, Violence Against Women Act 2005—Title VII:   Economic Security (February 2005).)
  • Domestic violence crimes in the District have increased over the past several years.   In 2009, the Metropolitan Police Department received 31,232 domestic-related crime calls - a nearly 2% increase over the previous year.   That same year, despite the fact that the overall homicide rate was down by 25%, domestic violence homicides increased by 5%, a trend that Police Chief Cathy Lanier has publicly stated is a concern for her office.   (Survivors and Advocates for Empowerment, Statistics, available online; The Washington Times, "DC police expect fewer than 100 homicides this year," August 19, 2009, available online)

The bill, which is based upon laws and best practices in other jurisdictions, prohibits employers from firing or retaliating against workers on the basis of their status as a victim of domestic violence, sexual abuse, or stalking.   It also requires employers to take reasonable steps, when necessary, to ensure the overall safety of an employee.   Any such change or accommodation must be reasonable in relation to the size, staffing levels, and resources of the business and could be as simple as modifying a victim’s work schedule or changing a phone number.   Finally, the bill also requires employers to post a policy about workplace violence and, in partnership with experts in the field, provide trainings on the topic.

There is a clear imperative for this legislation.   To voice your support and to encourage CMs to support this legislation, email the entire City Council.   If you have questions about the legislation, email the DC Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

Some materials from roundtable on homelessness

On June 25, the Committee on Human Services (Ward 6 CM Tommy Wells, chair) held a public oversight roundtable on "The Status of the District's Low-barrier, Transitional and Permanent Supportive Housing Programs for Adults, Youth and Families who are Homeless."   The CM's opening remarks are here.   The witness list is here.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Another candidate forum announced

Eight Neighbors is sponsoring a forum for mayoral candidates on September 1 at a time to be announced at 1201 15th St NW.

Live chat on litter and graffiti hot spots and removal

The Department of Public Works (DPW) is holding an online live chat on June 30 at Noon to discuss with residents ways to combat litter and graffiti in neighborhoods.   DPW staff who collect litter and remove graffiti will discuss daily efforts to keep the city clean and also address concerns about litter and graffiti “hot spot” areas.   Folks can join or follow the discussion at once the chat session begins; they can also submit questions in advance of the chat using DPW’s Twitter account or via email.

Monday, June 28, 2010

More election info

DCAYA's Maggie Riden has done us all a great service by doing a little digging and reporting that Defeat Poverty DC is identifying all things election related on their web site.

In related news is the TENAC Candidates Forum II, Candidates for City Council is being held on August 3 from 6:30 - 9:00 pm at Sumner School (1201 17th St).   This is a great opportunity to ask the candidates questions about rent control, affordable housing, and tenants’ rights.

NewsTalk moved to 10 am

Starting on Monday, June 28, NewsTalk with Bruce DePuyt will air live at 10:00 am.   Shows will be replayed weekdays at 4:00 pm.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

New from the City Council

  • Ward 4 CM Muriel Bowser has announced that a community briefing with MPD on the 4D crime of late (namely burglaries and robberies) will be scheduled.   Contact her office (724-8052) for more information.
  • Join Ward 8 CM Marion Barry at a community meeting on the Washington Highland Library July 1 at 7:00 pm at Lydia’s House/The Zone (3939 South Capitol St SW).   RSVP by June 28 by email or phone, 698-1666.
  • Here is the latest update from the Committee on Public Safety and the Judiciary (At-large CM Phil Mendelson, chair).

Register now for DCPS Beautification Day!

More information, including how to register to participate in this annual event, is online.

Meet the candidates at the Ward 5 Dems meeting, June 28

The Ward 5 Democrats June 28 meeting--from 7:00 - 9:00 pm at Michigan Park Christian Church (1600 Taylor St NE)--will feature candidates for the Ward 5 City Council seat and City Council Chairman seat.   For Ward 5, invited are Kathy Henderson; Delano Hunter; George Jackson; Kenyan McDuffie; Councilmember Harry Thomas, Jr.; and Tracey Turner.   Invited candidates for chairman are Kwame Brown and Vincent Orange.

Questions about the event or Ward 5 Dems should be directed to the organization's chair, Angel Alston, via email or by calling 315-6057.

Final rules from June 18 DC Register

  • Final rules for Accrued Sick and Safe Leave Act of 2008:   The Department of Employment Services (DOES) issued final rules in the June 18 DCR in a new DCMR chapter implementing provisions of the Accrued Sick and Safe Leave Act.   According to the final notice, DOES considered comments from the public but made no substantive changes to the proposed rules published in the DC Register on February 5, 2010.
  • DMV final rules:   The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) issued final rules in the June 18 DCR about to myriad DMV issues including test taking, license fees, and moving violations.   Some impact young people.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Ward 1 candidate forum postponed

The previously announced forum for Ward 1 City Council candidates, originally scheduled for June 28, has been postponed.   When the new date is announced, it will be reported here.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Hydrants a no-no for summer cooling

Opening fire hydrants is a hot weather ritual in many cities.   And while DC fire department members once opened hydrants for too-hot residents, the practice is no more.

DC Water (formerly WASA) and DC Fire and EMS are reminding residents that opening fire hydrants is a legal no-no.   The practice is dangerous; the force of water coming out of a hydrant can result in injury, especially to children.   The practice is also dangerous for drivers and, of course, for those who have structure or other fires.

DC Water and the fire department are encouraging residents to take some obvious steps to beat the heat:

  • Use air conditioning
  • Visit a city pool
  • Take advantage of a cooling center on days when the heat index is at least 95 degrees
  • Avail yourself of public facilities like libraries and recreation centers

And while all of the other ways to cool off make sense, the fact is that a significant number of DC residents do not have air conditioning or if they do cannot afford to operate the units.   And pools operated by the Department of Parks and Recreation are not an all-day option for children whose parents work full time.   It is true that there are recreation opportunities available for children and youth throughout the city and many are free.   Hopefully, kids are cool when it is hot, hot, hot outside.

But if the city expects a catchy phrase (Beat the Heat, But Leave Fire Hydrants Alone!) or the threat of legal action to deter hydrant opening, they are misguided.   I appreciate the reasons why.   But I am not the audience or an offender.   Has DC Water, the fire department, rec department, or elected officials (yes, City Council members, this is a great job for you!) tried to determine why hydrants are opened and what it would take to change the behavior?

Ward 1 Council Issues and Candidates Forum

Sponsored by ANC 1A commissioners, the Pleasant Plains Civic Association, and the Georgia Avenue Task Force is the June 28, 7:00 - 9:00 pm forum for Ward 1 City Council candidates.   Invited are Jim Graham, Marc Morgan, Jeff Smith, and Bryan Weaver.   The event is being held at Bruce Monroe at Parkview Elementary School (3560 Warder St NW).   The candidates will be available to discuss their platforms as well as take questions from the community and panel.   (From the South Columbia Heights Yahoo group)

Mayor Fenty cuts ribbon at Deanwood Rec+Library

Mayor Fenty will deliver remarks at the June 25 ribbon cutting for Deanwood Recreation Center and Library (49th and Quarles Sts NE) at 10:45 am.  

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Will the District lead again on health care reform?

As Legal Aid’s Jennifer Mezey discusses in her recent blog post on health care reform in DC, the District has long been a leader in health care reform.

Back in the day, experts and interested parties from the community and government came together to apply for funding from Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Covering Kids initiative to implement the federal State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP or CHIP).   DC Action for Children organized and managed the effort which relied on community-based partners to conduct outreach and enrollment and government partners to make important administrative changes.   The effort had a lot to work with, thanks to an early decision of the DC government to expand eligibility for health care access and insurance to 200% of poverty.   The District was an early adopter of this eligibility level.   The new limit meant that thousands of children, and all adults in the household, could now get health insurance.   Hundred of individuals and organizations worked for years to increase the number of children who had health care benefits and reduce barriers to access.

Today, the District is in a position to lead again.   As the city considers how it will implement the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), it can either take a considered, deliberate, and inclusive approach, or not.   The former is the standard set by the CHIP experience and I, for one, am urging this approach.   I am not alone in supporting this tack.   Those with significantly more health policy and practice experience than I have put together a set of principles to guide the implementation of PPACA.   The principles are:

  • Principle 1:   The District should have a coordinated policy development and implementation plan allowing for all affected District agencies and critical stakeholders to provide input.
  • Principle 2:   The District should ensure that no one loses coverage as a result of health care reform implementation and that all individuals can access quality, affordable health care safely.
  • Principle 3:   The District should streamline its eligibility rules and processes for public insurance and the Exchange.
  • Principle 4:   Any money saved through the implementation of the PPACA should be reinvested into the health care system.

Presumably, there will be working groups, opportunities for public input, and more as the city moves to implement the federal health reform law.   Stay in touch with the council's Committee on Health and Legal Aid for updates.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

CM Michael Brown out and about in DC for Neighborhood Office Hours

At-large CM Michael Brown has announced summer community-based office hours:
  • July 13 at Safeway (1855 Wisconsin Ave NW) (Ward 2)
  • August 19 at Giant (1535 Alabama Ave SE) (Ward 8)
  • September 9 at Safeway (400 M St SW) (Ward 6)

The CM kicked off the summer hours in Ward 7 on June 22.

These summer Neighborhood Office Hours are one part of a broader outreach effort by the CM.   Other activities will include meet-n-greets at the homes of active District residents and Neighborhood Walkthroughs.   More information about all the events is available from Enrique Fern├índez Roberts, 724-8198 or via email.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Join Public Allies DC in developing new leaders

Public Allies Ally Information Session 6-23

Public Allies Partner Information Session 6-25

Here we go again - making youth family wage earners

I was expecting a robust turnout of advocates, young people, and providers to ask questions and demand answers at the June 16 roundtable on the DOES Summer Youth Employment Program.   None of that happened; there were only three public witnesses addressing the Committee on Housing and Workforce Development (At-large CM Michael Brown, chair).

The many issues raised during oversight hearings remain.   These include assuring quality summer experiences, making sure the young people are ready for the work world, and diverting young people to more education rather than work where appropriate.   None of this came up.

Perhaps most startling of all was the continued belief of Joe Walsh, DOES director that somehow summer youth employment is about increasing household income.   Is it true that families are poor and SYEP income is essential?   Yes.   But the fact is that the District should not be using summer youth employment to make families less poor.   The city should tackle family poverty in a meaningful way that does not force young people to be family wage earners.

The committee chair missed an opportunity to raise this with Walsh.   CM Michael Brown should be encouraged by advocates, young people, parents, and others, to make this a priority for his committee.   The CM has demonstrated he is concerned about poverty; now he needs to translate the concern into action.

From the City Council

  • Here are City Council Chairman Vince Gray's opening remarks at the June 21 COW public roundtable on the WTU contract.
  • If you missed the Committee on Government Operations and the Environment (Ward 3 CM Mary Cheh) public hearing on the open government legislation, check out CM Cheh's web site.   There you will find testimony from witnesses and statements from the executive.
  • On June 16, the Committee on Housing and Workforce Development (At-large CM Michael Brown, chair) held a roundtable on the FY 2010 Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP).   The CM's opening statement as prepared is here and the questions from the committee to the Department of Employment Services are here.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

My baking obsession continues

I have been on a baking frenzy of late.   The latest are these chocolate chip buttermilk muffins.   Yummy and easy as all get out to make.

Two Republican candidates to speak June 21

The Republican Liberty Caucus, RLC-DC, is hosting a Republican Candidate Forum on June 21 from 6:30 - 8:30 pm at City Vista (475 K St NW in the Party Room on the 12th floor).   Marc Morgan (candidate for City Council from Ward 1) and Dave Hedgepath (candidate for City Council from Ward 3) speak about issues facing Washington, DC and how they would like to see them addressed.   Additional information about the event, including additional speakers and modest donation for non-RLC members, is online.

Town Hall Meeting on the RSA 2011 State Plan, June 28

The Department on Disability Services is hosting a Town Hall Meeting on June 28 from 6:30 - 8:30 pm on the Rehab Services 2011 State Plan.   More information in the flier below.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Committee on Health public hearings and roundtables

Recently noticed are the following child- and youth-related hearings/roundtables:
  • Public hearing on B18-127, "Blood Donation Expansion Act of 2009," July 6:   The Committee on Health (At-large CM David Catania, chair) is holding this hearing at 2:00 pm in the JAWB.   More information, including how to register to testify, is in the hearing notice.
  • Public roundtable on Youth Mental Health Programs and Services on July 8:   The Committee (At-large CM David Catania, chair) and the Committee on Human Services (Ward 6 CM Tommy Wells, chair) are holding this joint public roundtable at 10:00 am in the JAWB.   The purpose of this roundtable is to hear a preliminary report from Nixon Peabody about its findings related to preventing youth violence (more here).   The roundtable will be open to the public but only invited witnesses will be permitted to provide oral statements.   More information, including how to submit a written statement, is in the hearing notice.
  • Public oversight hearing on Implementation of the FY 2011 Budget, July 12:   The Committee on Health (At-large CM David Catania, chair) is holding this hearing at 10:00 am in the JAWB.   The purpose is to hear from the Department of Mental Health, Department of Health, and Department of Health Care Finance about how they will implement the budget and particularly how they will avoid spending pressures.   This roundtable will be open to the public; however, only invited witnesses will be permitted to provide oral statements.   More information, including how to submit a written statement, is in the hearing notice.

COW roundtable on teacher contract, June 21

Committee of the Whole roundtable on PR18-927, the DC government/WTU contract, June 21:   The council’s Committee of the Whole (City Council Chairman Vince Gray, chair) is holding this roundtable on June 21 at 10:00 am in the JAWB.   Witnesses include DCPS and labor leaders, researchers, experts, and concerned individuals.

Two candidate fora

  • DC Latino Caucus Mayoral forum and endorsement meeting, July 24 at 4:00 pm at Josephine Butler Center (2437 15th St NW); more information visit their web site.
  • LeDroit Park Civic Association Ward One Council Candidate Forum, June 22, 7:00 pm at Florida Avenue Baptist Church (623 Florida Ave NW; enter on U St).   The four candidates running for the Ward One council-Jim Graham, Marc Morgan, Jeff Smith, Brian Weaver-will speak to and take questions from the audience.   The forum is part of the regular civic association meeting.   More information here.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

DCPS Annual Beautification Day, August 21

Mark your calendar now for the late summer, getting ready for school to open DCPS Annual Beautification Day, August 21 from 8:00 am - 1:00 pm.

Volunteers are needed to paint, plant flowers, pick up trash, and more.   Online registration for volunteers begins June 21 at the DCPS web site.

Do you serve TANF recipients?   Then DHS needs you!

The Department of Human Services has released a survey to gather information from organizations providing services to recipients of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF).   The information gathered will be used to assist DHS redesign TANF programs and services to better meet the needs of DC residents.

The deadline for participating in the survey is June 30.   Access the survey online here.   If you want to preview the survey, it is here.   Note that the survey must be completed online; it is adaptive and so you will answer questions that are specific to your previous responses and the scope of services provided by your organization.

Organizations that provide TANF recipients with any of the following services are encouraged to complete the survey:

  • Outreach and client engagement
  • Life skills and goal setting
  • Job search and placement
  • Education and training in preparation for employment
  • Work experience
  • Subsidized employment
  • Program and job retention supports

TANF was created in the District in March 1997 following the federal reform of welfare.   Approximately 16,400 District families receive TANF benefits each month; of those, 74% are required to engage in work, training, or education activities.   DHS aims to become a national model for an accountable, compassionate and person-centric approach that helps welfare recipients build capacity, increase earnings, and transition towards self-sufficiency.

Questions should be directed to Inessa Lurye via email.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Summer Youth Employment roundtable, June 16

The Committee on Housing and Workforce Development (At-large CM Michael Brown, chair) is holding a public oversight roundtable on the FY 2010 Summer Youth Employment Program June 16 at 11:30 am in the JAWB.   The committee will hear from DOES about the status of the agency’s planning and implementation of SYEP.   Other witnesses will include parents and youth who have expressed concerns about the program.   Additional information are in the media advisory.

Community Forklift has expanded its hours for summer!

Community Forklift has just announced their summer hours!   Even more evening and weekend hours--yay!   Starting June 16, they will be open Wednesday (10:00 am - 8:00 pm), Thursday (10:00 am - 8:00 pm), Friday (9:00 am - 6:00 pm), Saturday (9:00 am - 6:00 pm), Sunday (9:00 am - 6:00 pm), closed Monday and Tuesday.   Community Forklift is located at 4671 Tanglewood Dr, Edmonston, MD.

Ward 3 Dems have crowded agenda for June 17 meeting; CM K Brown to speak

At-large CM Kwame Brown, candidate for City Council Chairman, is the scheduled guest speaker at the June 17, 7:15 pm Ward 3 Dems regular meeting.   The meeting will be held at the Washington Home (3720 Upton St NW).

Also on the agenda for the meeting:

  • Prior to the formal start of the meeting, the Committee will conduct caucuses at 7:00 pm to fill open delegate slots in several precincts.
  • The Committee will vote on Thursday to consider endorsing candidates for all positions on the September 14 Democratic primary ballot, including the Mayor’s race and the Ward 3 council race.
  • Tom Smith, Chair of the Ward Three Democratic Committee, also reports that the committee plans to count the ballots cast in last week’s Ward 3 Mayoral straw poll at the conclusion of the formal program.   Nearly 400 ballots were cast in that straw poll.

For information about the meeting, the endorsement process, and the caucuses, see the web site.

Candidate forums in Ward 5

Premier Community Development Corporation and the Woodridge Civic Association are hosting two candidate forums; the first is for Ward 5 representative and council chair and the second is for mayor and at-large CM in advance of the September 14 primary.   Ward 5 resident and The Washington Times staffer Deborah Simmons will moderate.   The focus of both are these issues:   Jobs, the economy, economic development, and community benefits/neighborhood preservation.

Part I:   Ward Five Council Member and Council Chair Forum, June 17, 7:00 - 9:00 pm at Bethesda Baptist Church (1808 Capitol Ave NE, Fellowship Hall):   7:00 – 8:00 pm Chairman of the Council of the District of Columbia.   Candidates are:   Kwame Brown, Dorothy Douglas, Calvin Gurley, Vincent Orange, James Walker.   8:00 – 9:00 pm Ward 5 Member of the Council.   Candidates are:   Timothy Day, Kathy Henderson, Delano Hunter, Kenyan McDuffie, Harry Thomas, Jr.

Part II:   Mayor and At-Large Council Forum, July 13, 7:00 - 9:00 pm at Bethesda Baptist Church (1808 Capitol Ave NE, Fellowship Hall).   Details forthcoming.

For further information, leave a message at 239-0888 or email .

Free webinar series for nonprofits on trademarks, copyrights, and more

Trademarks, Copyrights and Proprietary Information, a free series of webinars offered by the DC Bar Pro Bono Program and WilmerHale, kicks off on June 29. Designed for nonprofits, the series is a must. More information, including link to register online, are in the flier.  

Monday, June 14, 2010

June 15 AFSCME event cancelled

The Transforming Public Will into Political Power event noticed here has been cancelled.   However, Vinny DeMarco and Michael Pertschuk will be at Politics & Prose (5015 Connecticut Ave NW) on June 18 at 7:00 pm.

You can help ensure DC's public pools are safe!

The CDC is equipping people everywhere who use public pools with the tools they need to assess the safety of pool water.   (Thanks to News Channel 8 for their piece on this.)   The CDC's map of test results shows that the one pool tested in DC (a public adult pool) had an unacceptable pH level and unacceptable chlorine level.   This puts this pool in the 45% and 49%, respectively, of pools with unacceptable pH and chlorine levels.

You can help fix this by testing public pool water and submitting the results to the CDC.   For a free test kit and more ideas about improving pool water safety, go to Healthy Pools, a CDC web site.

June 14 presser on June 15 leg meeting

This is a friendly reminder that City Council Chairman Vince Gray will hold his usual briefing at 10:00 am on June 14 in Room 412 of the JAWB.   The agenda is to brief the public on the leg meeting's agenda.

The Great Education Debate, June 28

Young Education Professionals-DC (YEP-DC) has just announced The Great Education Debate will be held June 28 at 7:00 pm at Navy Memorial and Naval Heritage Center auditorium (701 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Suite 123) (accessible via Archives-Navy Memorial-Penn Quarter Station).

The event is an opportunity for the Democratic mayoral candidates Mayor Adrian Fenty and DC Council Chairman Vincent Gray to discuss and debate the education issues, challenges and opportunities facing DC this year and ahead.   From turnaround strategies and teacher effectiveness to early childhood education and high school reform, all education issues will be put on the table for a robust and rich discussion.

About Young Education Professionals-DC:   YEP-DC is a DC-based network created by and for young professionals who want to connect around their common interests in education policy, research and practice in a nonpartisan environment.   The group has over 1,000 members and is growing rapidly.

Happy Flag Day

Did you know the Second Continental Congress officially adopted the US flag on this day in 1777?   Yup -- Wikipedia says so.   In any event, I am proud to fly the flag and proud to be an American.

Ward One Dems elect officers

From the Adams Morgan Yahoo Group comes the news of new Ward One Dems officials:   Bill O’Field, Chairperson; E. Gail Anderson Holness, Vice Chairperson; David Donaldson, Recording Secretary; Barbara Jean Johnson, Corresponding Secretary; and Lillian Perdomo, Treasurer.   The term is 2010-2012.

Calendar additions

Be sure to check out the calendar below.   There you will find the June 15 Susan G. Komen for the Cure 2010 Community Needs Assessment for the National Capital Area Presentation on Findings; July 10 Mentoring Works2 block party and health fair; and July 27 Politics & Prose event featuring David Kirkpatrick, author of The Facebook Effect

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Committee on Health weekly update

If you are not on Jen Barry's email list for the weekly council Committee on Health update (the latest of which is here), you are missing out!   Each week Jen summarizes committee activity and shares health-related event notices and blurbs.   If you want to receive the weekly email (it comes out on Fridays) or have your health event included, contact Jen via email or by calling 724-8170.

Public safety committee update

The latest Committee on Public Safety and the Judiciary update has been posted.   Of note are the public hearing announcements including the July 12 Secure Communities hearing.

Ward 7 candidate forum and straw poll

From the Ward 7 Yahoo Group is the news that there will be a Ward 7 Candidate Forum and Straw Poll July 24 from 8:30 am - 1:30 pm at Kelly Miller Middle School.   Why so "late"?   To include only candidates who have returned petitions.

Save the date for August public safety event

Concerned Fathers

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Curfew awareness campaign launched June 11

In the latest What's NEW from the Metropolitan Police Department, the chief announced a new campaign targeted at youth covered by the curfew law to make them aware of the hours and repercussions of violating the law.

According to the newsletter, the campaign is entitled “Are U in?”   A new video created by MPD police cadets highlights the message by showing it being texted to a young person who decided to stay out past curfew and gets picked up by the police.   The video is supplemented with a series of posters.   The message in all media are clear:   "If you’re under 17 years of age and you’re out in the District after curfew, you will be picked up."

Additional information about the curfew is online:

To request posters for high-traffic youth areas, email Vong Lim.

CM Catania calls for recommendations on preventing youth violence

At-large CM David Catania, chair of the Committee on Health, has called on Nixon Peabody LLP to prepare a report examining
possible solutions to the District’s chronic problem of youth and adolescent violence.   The firm will study a wide range of proposals to address this issue, including the possibility of early, targeted mental health intervention, needed juvenile justice reforms, and increased accountability for parents and guardians.

The announcement has surprised long-time prevention and intervention advocates and practitioners.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Nonprofit News - updated 10:25 am (emails fixed)

  • Nakeisha Neal takes over Public Allies DC as ED:   Nakeisha has left DC government service to become the new Executive Director of this leadership-building nonprofit.   Learn more about the organization here and contact Nakeisha via email.
  • Free training on the Guide to the DC Juvenile Justice System:   The Council for Court Excellence’s Priscilla Skillman will train staff at nonprofits and other organizations about navigating the juvenile justice system.   Those interested should contact her at 785-5917 or via email.
  • DC Vote has a new communications manager.   Her name is Leah Ramsay and she starts June 21.   Her contact info is:   462-6000 x12, email.
  • DC’S FUND BALANCE REMAINS LARGER THAN MOST STATES:   Current Proposals to Rebuild DC’s Reserves May Overly Restrict DC’s Ability to Respond to Ongoing Budget Needs:   This new paper from DCFPI is a must-read for all interested in the budget and services for the people we care most about.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

A tip for candidates

A tip for candidates:   DC does not have line item budget structure.

You are doing a disservice when you say you will assure fiscal responsibility line by line.   Those who do this work are not impressed with your poor grasp of the single most important piece of legislation considered by the District ever year.

And a related tip for the public:   You, too, need to understand the city does not have a line item budget structure.   In FY 2011, the city will implement across the board a division-based budget structure replacing the old PBB structure (Agency, Program, Service, Activity).   The structure is illustrated in the budget and various other places.

Today on DC Politics with Jonetta, June 10

Today on WPFW (89.3 FM)'s DC Politics with Jonetta from 11:00 am - Noon, Jonetta Rose Barras and resident analyst Eugene Dewitt Kinlow will be joined by The Washington Examiner's investigative reporter Bill Myers to kick off the local election season with their first in a series of on-air debates.   Candidates for the At-Large seat on the Council of the District of Columbia willb be on the hot-seat.   The candidates are incumbent Phil Mendelson, former Department of Parks and Recreation director Clark Ray, and nonprofit executive Richard Urban.

Ward 7 Health Council -- first meeting, June 14

Ward 7 CM Yvette Alexander and the United Medical Center Foundation are hosting the first Ward 7 Health Council meeting on June 14 from 6:30 - 8:30 pm at the Boys & Girls Club #14/Richard England Clubhouse (4103 Benning Rd NE).   The public, especially those in the business and nonprofit sectors concerned with health, is encouraged to participate.

According to the announcement from the CM, "The Ward 7 Health Council’s main goal will be to educate and facilitate activities that promote healthy eating and active living among Ward 7 residents. . . In addition, this event will serve as the initial campaign to provide Ward 7 residents with health related assistance."

For more information, contact Esther Tempies, Community Outreach Coordinator, United Medical Center Foundation (via email, 202-574-6175); Sam Jordan, HCN Communities, (via email, 202-388-6661); or Derek Ford, UMS, (via email, 202-427-4474).

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Public roundtable on WTU contract

The council's Committee of the Whole (Chairman Vince Gray, chair), is holding a public roundtable on on PR18-927, "Compensation and Working Conditions Collective Bargaining Agreement between the District of Columbia and the Washington Teachers’ Union, American Federation of Teachers Local No. 6, AFL CIO Emergency Approval Resolution of 2010" on June 21 at 10:00 am in the JAWB Council Chamber.   Details are in the notice, below.pr18-927

Did you know. . .

Did you know that when you spell out the rank of an officer in the Metropolitan Police Department, you only use their last name.   Example:   Assistant Chief Groomes.   When you abbreviate the rank, you use full first (No first initial) and last names.   Example:   Cmdr. Robert Contee.

Another crime summit - ANC 7B, June 17

ANC 7B is hosting a Crime Summit in place of the ANC monthly meeting on June 17 from 7:00 - 9:00 pm at Randle Highlands Elementary School (1650 30th St SE).   The event will feature At-Large CM Phil Mendelson who chairs the council's Committee on Public Safety and the Judiciary; Assistant Chief Groomes, Metropolitan Police Department; and Cmdr. Robert Contee, head of Metropolitan Police Department's 6D.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Ellen London new President and CEO at CYITC

The board of the DC Children and Youth Investment Trust Corporation voted late last week to name long-time Trust employee Ellen London its new president and CEO.   Yay, Ellen!   The press release is here.

CFSA extends deadline for prevention officer contracting gig

CFSA is looking for Prevention Program Officer to monitor use of the city's receipt of CBCAP funding from the feds and implement the District's first child abuse and neglect prevention plan.   The deadline to apply for this contract job is now June 11 at 2:00 pm.   The paperwork is here.

CM Alexander's State of the Ward remarks

On May 27, Ward 7 CM Yvette Alexander delivered the State of Ward 7 2010 address at Sousa Middle School (3650 Ely Pl SE).   "Making Ward 7 One, The dream is becoming a reality" was the theme for the address; the CM celebrated the many achievements—such as the completion of the Benning Library—in the ward over the past year.   She also recounted her legislative successes and described constituent services for residents of Ward 7.

Reminder: Ward 3 candidate forum June 10

For more information, check out this earlier post.

A few campaign reads

For those who missed WaPo's Colby King on Saturday, be sure to read his column which begins, "Observing the D.C. Council and the mayor work on the budget is like watching kids play in traffic:   You know sooner or later someone's going to get hurt."   The columnist goes on to present a number of terrific questions for the candidates.   Today, Washington Examiner's Harry Jaffe asks whether we are safer. . .   While I don't think the questions he asks are the ones to get to the real safety issues and challenges, perhaps his column will spur additional discussion of public and internal policy which drives practice.

And the online The Georgetown Dish has this recap of the first mayoral candidate debate.

What other sources are you relying on?

Youth abscondence roundtable scheduled for June 14

The Committee on Human Services (Ward 6 CM Tommy Wells, chair) has rescheduled the public oversight roundtable on “Discussion on Abscondence and DYRS Youth in Community-Based Placements”.   The roundtable will be held on June 14 at 11:00 am in the JAWB.   Details in the notice below.
2010-06-14 DYRS Roundtable on Abscondence

Monday, June 7, 2010

Transforming Public Will into Political Power

Check out this awesome event from AFSCME via Coalition on Human Needs:   Discussion of The DeMarco Factor-Transforming Public Will into Political Power by Michael Pertschuk, June 15 at Noon at AFSCME (First Floor Board Room, 1625 L St NW).   Bring your lunch.

From the invitation:

Michael Pertschuk, former chairman of the Federal Trade Commission (1977-81), has written a book chronicling three successful advocacy campaigns in Maryland led by Vinny DeMarco.   Come meet Pertschuk and DeMarco and learn the lesson of success.

"When it comes to the science and art of media advocacy - approaching the media in ways that propel your issue forward - Vinny DeMarco has 'written the book.' Except that Vinny has shown us all how it's done, and Mike Pertschuk has written the book . . . No advocate who wants to make change happen can afford to miss The DeMarco Factor." - Celinda Lake, President, Lake Research

Great news! The 10% discount on the Solution-Focused training has been extended!

Just out from Columbia Heights/Shaw Support Collaborative:   The 10% discount on the Solution-Focused Brief Therapy training institute has been extended to June 14!   Now you can train with the best for less.   Go online today and reserve your space to train with Peter De Jong, Yvonne Dolan, and others on ways to use Solution-Focused in community-based settings.

Who's keeping track of candidate fora?

So some inquiring minds want to know:   who is keeping track and publicizing candidate fora for mayor, Council, and other local (albeit federal) elections this fall?   Email me with what you know so I can share.

Open government hearing, June 7

The Committee on Government Operations and the Environment (Ward 3 CM Mary Cheh, chair) is holding a hearing on B18-777, "Open Government Act of 2010" on June 7 at 10:00 am in the JAWB.   For all those good government and transparency advocates out there, this is an opportunity to weigh in on what CM Cheh calls "a major reform measure of public accountability and transparency."

The bill covers changes to the District's FOIA legislation, disclosure laws (lobbyists and financial), and administrative procedure.   It would also establish a budget and spending transparency website.

The legislation under review on June 7, which has been amended with significant community input, is online.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Mayor establishes Mayor’s Health Reform Implementation Committee

On May 28, Mayor Fenty signed MO 2010-97 creating the Mayor’s Health Reform Implementation Committee whose purpose is to advise the Mayor on implementation of the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, approved March 23, 2010 (Pub. L. 111-148; 124 Stat. 119) and the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, approved March 30, 2010 (Pub. L. 111-152; 124 Stat. 1029).   Members of the committee include government agency staff who have some role and responsibility for health care, insurance, and compliance in the city.   The Committee shall sunset on January 31, 2014.

Proposed rules noticed in June 4 DCR

  • Proposed rules by Department of Health Care Finance (DHCF):   DHCF issued proposed rules in the June 4 DCR regarding health services for Medicaid recipients.   Proposed is a new DCMR section, “Medicaid Clinic Services and Reimbursement”; the guidelines in this section govern public and private non-hospital entities providing outpatient medical treatment to Medicaid beneficiaries.   Included in the proposed rules are the types of services and treatments to be provided along with the corresponding reimbursement methodologies.

    Further, to comply with federal law, DHCF is amending DC’s State Plan for Medical Assistance (State Plan) to reflect these changes.   According to the notice,

    The Council of the District of Columbia approved the resolution to request a State Plan Amendment (SPA) amending clinic services through Res. 16-478 on January 20, 2006.   The State Plan Amendment was approved by the U.S.   Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on April 27, 2010 and became retroactively effective on October 1, 2009.

    Final action on the proposed rules will take place in not less than 30 days of publication.   The public is encouraged to submit written comments; see the rules for instructions.

  • Proposed rules by Department of Health Care Finance:   DHCF issued proposed rules establishing
    criteria for determining whether a service is medically necessary, a prerequisite for reimbursement by the Medicaid Program.   Federal law requires that State Plans for Medical Assistance (State Plans) assure that care and services covered under State Plans or early and periodic screening, diagnostic, and treatment services are medically necessary and provided in a manner consistent with the best interests of beneficiaries.   Federal law also requires State Plans to assure methods and procedures pertaining to utilization of and payment for care and services under the State Plan, as may be necessary to safeguard against unnecessary utilization of such care and services, and to assure that payments are consistent with efficiency, economy, and quality of care.

    The June 4 notice is the third to be published.   Numerous comments were submitted related to the initial notice published on August 29, 2008 (55 DCR 009330).   According to the notice they were taken into account for the second proposed rule publication on May 15, 2009 (56 DCR 003969).   The June 4 notice responds to comments made to the 2009 rule proposal.

    Final action on the proposed rules will take place in not less than 30 days of publication.   The public is encouraged to submit written comments; see the rules for instructions.

  • Proposed rules re: school-based health:   The Chancellor of the District of Columbia Public Schools issued proposed rules in the June 4 DCR

    to allow the Department of Health, the Department of Mental Health, and non-profit community-based health care providers to operate school health centers, to allow licensed providers in school-based health centers to dispense prescription and over-the-counter medications, and to clarify the role of school health centers in addressing the prevention of pregnancy and sexually-transmitted infections.   The existing section 2413 of Chapter 24 of Subtitle E of Title 5 will also be repealed as part of this rulemaking.

    These amendments were previously published as proposed rulemaking in the D.C. Register at 56 DCR 6702 on August 22, 2009.   DCPS considered all comments received, made changes to the proposed rulemaking, and is now republishing this proposed rulemaking for a second round of notice and comment.

    DCPS will submit these proposed rules to the Council of the District of Columbia for review and approval and become effective upon Council approval, or 45 days after submission, if the Council has not disapproved the proposed rulemaking, and publication of the final rules in the D.C. Register.

City Council hearings noticed in June 4 DCR

  • Public hearing on B18-716, “Open Government is Good Government Act of 2010”:   The Committee on Government Operations and the Environment (Ward 3 CM Mary Cheh, chair) is holding this hearing on July 12 at 10:00 am in Room 412 of the JAWB.

    The purpose of the legislation is

    To amend the District of Columbia Administrative Procedures Act to require that meetings of government bodies be open to the public, and to establish exemptions, notice requirements, meeting procedures, recording requirements, enforcement mechanisms for that purpose, and training and certification for government employees; and to amend the Advisory Neighborhood Councils Act of 1975 to include additional notice requirements.

    The public is encouraged to testify.   Details, including how to register, are in the notice.

  • Public oversight roundtable on "D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics Readiness for the September 2010 Primary Election":   The Committee on Government Operations and the Environment (Ward 3 CM Mary Cheh, chair) is holding this hearing on July 1 at 10:30 am in the Council Chamber of the JAWB.

    Topics at the hearing will include training and staffing at polling places, improvements in technology, preparation of facilities, (the all important) public outreach efforts, and implementation of the Omnibus Election Reform Amendment Act of 2009.   The March 31 DCBOEE report on its preparedness for the September 2010 primary election, central to the roundtable, is online.   Additional information about the committee’s work on election reform is also online.

    The public is encouraged to testify.   Details, including how to register, are in the notice.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Who's on your must-read list for campaign season coverage?

Which sources are you relying on to stay on top of candidates this election season?   I have been reading DCist and WaPo's Mike Debonis and Nikita Stewart and Tim Craig (on and off the D.C. Wire).   Email me your must-reads and I will post the collection soon.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

CMs in action

  • Ward 4 CM Muriel Bowser's "Office Hours in Ward 4" are on -- June 5 from 1:00 - 3:00 pm at Ledo's Pizza (7435 Georgia Ave NW).   To confirm your attendance or for additional information, contact Brandon Todd at 741-0917 or
  • Join Ward 4 CM Muriel Bowser for the 10th Annual Ward 4 Family Fun Day, June 19 from 3:00 - 6:00 pm at Lafayette Elementary School (5701 Broad Branch Rd NW).   There will be food, fun, games, music, and fellowship!   For more information, RSVP, or to volunteer at the event, contact Brandon Todd at 741-0917 or
  • Join Ward 5 CM Harry Thomas at Drum Out Poverty Drum Circle on June 12 from 1:00 - 5:00 pm at Turkey Thicket Recreation Center (1100 Michigan Ave NE).   This event will feature a blend of African, Afro Cuban, and Caribbean drum styles, as well as other exotic rhythms.   This event is a unique way to tackle the serious issues surrounding national and global poverty, while also promoting the importance of community activism.
  • Ward 5 CM Harry Thomas and others are sponsoring the Ward 5 Community Forum on Public Safety on June 14 at 6:30 pm.   The event is being held at Luke C. Moore Academy (10th and Monroe Sts NE).   The purpose of the forum is to develop community policing strategies for public safety.

Addressing food inequities and public health epidemics, June 17

Will Allen, the father of the food justice movement and recipient of the 2008 MacArthur Genius Award for his pioneering work with urban farming, will be at Busboys & Poets (14th and V Sts NW) on June 17 from 6:00 - 8:00 pm for an intimate talk about solutions to food inequities and public health epidemics in the DC area.

The evening will feature complimentary hors d’oeuvres by Busboys and Poets, and by Restaurant Nora, DC’s premier organic restaurant.   Tickets ($25) are on sale now at   All proceeds benefit urban farming projects in the Washington, DC region.

This BBP event is part of a two-day stop by Allen in DC; on June 18, he will be the keynote at the "Sowing Seeds Here and Now! A Chesapeake Urban Farming Summit" in Beltsville, MD.

DC Politics with Jonetta, June 3

Today on WPFW (89.3 FM)'s DC Politics with Jonetta from 11:00 am - Noon:   Talking about the Washington Teacher's Union contract, elected attorney general, and other things political with Terry Lynch, director of the Downtown Cluster of Congregations.   Ward 3 Republican council candidate David Hedgepath will preview his contest with current Ward 3 CM Mary Cheh for the seat she holds.   Plus, is The Washington Post getting ready for serial endorsements of someone--either Mayor Adrian M. Fenty or D.C. Council Chairman Vincent Gray?   Tune in for this and more as Jonetta pow-wows with resident analyst Eugene DeWitt Kinlow.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Let the cooking -- and competing -- begin, all for a great cause

If you are like me, you are, dare we say addicted, to cooking shows especially ones that are competitive!   That’s why the 4th Annual Brainfood Grill-Off on June 10 at 6:30 pm is so appealing.   The event will be held at the Decatur House on Lafayette Square at 1610 H St NW.

The Grill-Off is an Iron Chef-style competition that pits teams of local chefs, amateur cooks, and Brainfood program graduates against each other.   Using a pantry of secret ingredients, each team creates and presents their dishes to a panel of food celebrity judges, to be announced soon.   Nearly a dozen local chefs will participate in the event, giving Average Joe’s the chance to rub elbows with chefs at the helm of some of the city’s hottest restaurants.   This year’s chefs include:

  • Daniel Giusti, 1789
  • Kyle Bailey, Birch & Barley
  • Kevin Villalovos, Cure
  • Dean Gold, Dino’s
  • Teddy Folkman, Granville Moore’s
  • Shannon Overmiller, The Majestic
  • Glenn Babcock, Nage
  • Bryan Moscatello, Zola and Potenza

Seriously, you have got to attend this event, a fundraiser for the DC nonprofit Brainfood.   Don’t know Brainfood?   They are waaaay more than just a cooking program for kids.   It’s a program about self-esteem, learning new skills, working together, working alone, making mistakes and learning from them, and seeing and seeking opportunity.

Tickets are $75 and 100% of ticket sales will help Brainfood to continue offering after-school and summer programs to local teens, including hands-on instruction, educational field trips and guest chef demos.

More information about the event, including how to purchase tickets, is online.

Calling the same thing by different names

A week or so ago I asked about the way some folks are referring to elected members of the Council of the District of Columbia and the building which houses their offices.

I have always referred to members of the council as Councilmember, Council member (depending on the use).   I learned this in the late 1990s from my then bosses at DC Action for Children and peers in the field.   This was the way we referred to these elected officials until recently.   Recently, however, CMs and people (advocates, residents, providers) started calling them "Councilwoman" and "Councilman."   To me, this is so Chicago (think Alderman) and San Francisco (Councilman when they are not being referred to as Supervisor).

Now it’s been pointed out to me that the title "Chairman" is used in the city’s home rule charter and former Council Chairman Linda Cropp made an effort to use the official, legal term throughout her tenure.   Current Council Chairman Vincent Gray is also using the appropriate term but his colleagues, chairing committees, are referred to as "chairperson."   Yuck.

So back to the Councilmember-Councilman issue, the home rule charter refers to members of the Council of the District of Columbia as members.   This friend who did the pointing out regarding “Chairman” also shared that Ward 5 CM Harry Thomas, Jr. has taken to referring to himself as Councilman.   But if you take a look at his web site, there is "Councilmember" everywhere.   So this still remains a mystery to me.

So now to the other question raised, and that is about the John A. Wilson Building, home of the Council of the District of Columbia, office of the Mayor of the District of Columbia, and home to various CFO and executive branch offices.

Again, going back in time, the building has been referred to as the District Building (pre-1994) and after the renaming in 1994 as JAWB or the Wilson Building.   When the council and mayor first returned to the fab building on Pennsylvania Avenue, some of us used to refer to it by the number (1350) so as to differentiate it from the "old Council Chamber" (441).   Some of you may be too young or new to the city to remember that when the Wilson Building was being renovated, the City Council and EOM moved to 441 4th St NW.   For a period of time after the move back to JAWB, we used building numbers to avoid confusion, particularly when we were scheduling meetings, etc.   Fast forward to 2009 and you see 1350 being called "City Hall."   Perhaps folks new to the work and the city whose home town had a city hall default to that.   Not sure, doesn’t much matter.

Map of notaries online

Many thanks to Marina Streznewski for sharing this awesome tool:   A map of notaries in DC!

More from the campaign trail from the Ward 4 Dems

The Ward 4 Democrats will sponsor two candidate forums this summer:
  • July 7, 7:00 pm, Emery Recreation Center (5701 Georgia Ave NW):   Candidates Forum for position of Chair, Council of the District of Columbia.   All Democratic candidates who are registered with the D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics will be invited to participate in these Candidates Forums.
  • August 4, 7:00 pm, Emery Recreation Center (5701 Georgia Ave NW):   Candidates Forum for position of Mayor of the District of Columbia.   All Democratic candidates who are registered with the D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics will be invited to participate in these Candidates Forums.   At the conclusion of the forum, the Ward 4 Dems will conduct an endorsement forum for the positions of Mayor, Council of the District of Columbia; (2) Chair, Council of the District of Columbia; and (3) Democrat, at-large, Council of the District of Columbia.

Following the September 14 DC Primary Elections, the organization will schedule a second Candidates Forum for the at-large, non-democratic seat, on the Council of the District of Columbia.

Like kids? Volunteer for the DC Childcare Collective!

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 Saturday, July 24 from 10:00 am - 2:00 pm.   Volunteers commit to provide childcare at least six times over 12 months and attend additional trainings that we provide.   Interested?   Want to get involved?   Fill out a volunteer application.   Deadline for applications is July 1.

Questions?   Email the Collective.

More on June 3 group home forum

When you attend the June 3, 7:00 pm Community Forum on Group Homes sponsored by Ward 4 CM Muriel Bowswer and the TDCNA, you will learn about the many roles of group homes (halfway houses, transitional living homes, independent living facilities).   Bring you questions, comments, and concerns (oh, and just plain interest in learning more about the value of these facilities) to Takoma Elementary (7th and Dahlia Sts NW).   Invited guests include:
  • Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs
  • Department of Mental Health
  • Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services
  • Child and Family Services Agency
  • Metropolitan Police Department
  • Office of the Attorney General

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

More FY 2011 budget documents - and then again, not so many

For those who have not yet tired of the FY 2011 budget process, the City Council has some documents up that have been fairly recently posted online.

On the other hand, there are many a document still missing from the council's online budget doc collection.   Absent are question and answer docs and final committee reports for six committees (there is no CHS report; what is posted is an error which is being fixed).   Am I the only one concerned about this?

Correction: June 7 juvenile justice commission hearing cancelled

Let's start with note to self:   Reading is a good skill (see the CPSJ doc which contains the cancellation notice).   Next, and of course more important, is the now not new news that the June 7 public hearing on B18-763, "Commission on Juvenile Justice Reform Establishment Act of 2010" has been cancelled.