Thursday, September 30, 2010

And you thought the issue of educational neglect was settled. . .

The implementation of B18-0529, "Safe Children and Safe Neighborhoods Educational Neglect Mandatory Reporting Amendment Act of 2010," may not go off as CMs Wells and Catania had planned.   On September 24, Child and Family Service Agency (CFSA) director Roque Gerald sent a letter to CM Wells suggesting that implementing the bill, in spite of amendments, would potentially create a spending pressure.   The May 2010 fiscal impact statement from the Office of the Chief Financial Officer found
Funds are not sufficient in the FY 2010 through FY 2013 budget and financial plan to implement the provisions of the proposed legislation.   Implementing the legislation is estimated to cost $229,000 in FY 2010 and $8.5 million over the budget and financial plan period.

Further, writes Gerald, the amendments resulted in legislation that is confusing and contrary to the mission of the agency.

The legislation changes reporting requirements for missed school days from 20 to 10.

The City Council anticipates the bill will go into effect February 23, 2011.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

More on the Gray town halls

The list of town halls has made it to the Gray campaign web site (home page and town hall page).

Whether or not you plan to attend a town hall, you may submit a question or comment in advance.   You will be asked to categorize your question/comment.   Interestingly enough, neither health nor human services is an option.

Recent City Council committee action

Recent updates from and activity by committees of the Council of the District of Columbia includes hearing notices, community events, and the opening statement and witness list from the DRYS roundtable.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Gray town hall schedule is here!

The Gray campaign has announced the schedule of town halls that are being held in each ward.   The community meetings begin October 5 in Ward 5.   Each town hall is co-hosted by the ward member and ANCs.   The purpose of the events is to hear from residents about ways the government can serve them better.

Redistricting DC

Redistricting was a topic of discussion at the September 21 OCTO GIS Steering Committee meeting.   The meeting minutes report the following:
  • Redistricting will affect ward and ANC boundaries.
  • The City Council will have the final say on boundaries.
  • The City Council will begin the ward redistricting process in March 2011; the process will take three months.
  • Each of the eight wards must have the same population.
  • ANC redistricting takes place after new ward boundaries have been approved.

Redistricting will affect nonprofits and the way some services are delivered to District residents.   For this reason, advocates and providers will be well-served to pay attention.

What are you going to do with the latest revenue information?

You already know the bad news:   revenue is down for FY 2010 (which ends in a few days), for FY 2011 (which begins in a few days) and for the next couple of years.   In a letter to Mayor Fenty and Council Chairman Vincent Gray, CFO Natwar Gandhi reported that the city is realizing approximately $45 million less in FY 2010 than estimated in February of this year.   Gandhi goes on to say that the FY 2011 revenue was also being revised down by just under $100 million from the February 2010 estimate.   Supplemental materials provide a bit more information.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Workshops to help you help people better

Are you looking for low-cost ways to skill-up?   Then be sure to check out this series of four workshops offered by Susie Cambria and Diana Winthrop.   Topics are:
  • 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

Those who would benefit from the sessions include communications staffers new to the work or DC; policy, program and advocacy staff; EDs; and interns in government, nonprofit, business, and faith settings.

The cost is $15 per workshop per person with a discount for individuals who register for all four.

More information is here:

Questions? Email Susie.

Upcoming government activities

DC and federal government agencies have a busy few weeks ahead of them with activities ranging from prepping foster kids for college to talking about tenant rights to recovering mothers to improving communications from DCPS.

New report on unmet mental health needs of kids in juvenile justice system

On September 22, the DC Behavioral Health Association (DCBHA), which by the way has a new web site, released The Unmet Promise:   The Untapped Resource of Mental Health Treatment for Youth in Juvenile Justice System.   The association finds that while up to 70% of youth in the juvenile justice system have mental health needs, the government provides no definitive information on the number of young people who have actually received treatment via Medicaid.   Based on their assessment, DCBHA makes a number of recommendations designed to improve access by youth and improve youth outcomes.

Saturday, September 25, 2010


This list of recent comings and goings of nonprofit, media, and government folks should make keeping track of the changes easier.

Friday, September 24, 2010

City Council happenings

The council has a busy few months ahead.   Activities include community-based office hours, public hearings, new introductions, improving proposed legislation, and expanding access to services.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

FY 2012 budget kickoff delayed -- to after the general election

Excerpts from an email to agency finance directors from Eric M. Cannady, Director for Budget Administration in the Office of Budget and Planning:
The FY 2012 Budget Formulation Kickoff date has changed from October 1, 2010 to November 5, 2010 from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm.   During the kickoff you and your staff will have an opportunity to ask OBP managers, analysts, and others questions about the proposed FY 2012 budget process.

Updated intel on FYs 2011 and 2012 budgets

OCA reports it is waiting for the revenue estimate coming out next week before the real work begins on making cuts in the FY 2011 budget.   While OCA staff are prepared to get into the nuts and bolts of making recommendations to Mayor Fenty, they are more than ready to work with Council Chairman Vince Gray and his staff to make decisions about cuts.

Car seat safety check sked

The Metropolitan Police Department and the Department of Transportation have released the schedule of car seat safety and installation check events through the rest of 2010.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

What's your role in the Gray vision for One City?

So Council Chairman Vince Gray has won the Democratic primary and barring a completely unforeseen event Gray will be the next mayor of the District of Columbia.

The Gray campaign's ONE CITY web site provides opportunities for stakeholders of all kinds to participate in the transformation and assumed transition.   Current features on the site are:

  • the "I have an idea" tool for individuals to share an idea about the city's future
  • volunteering for a possible transition committee
  • information about the Gray vision
  • the presumably-to-be-live-after-the-general page where folks can apply for jobs in the Gray administration

In addition, the campaign has announced that Gray will be holding a series of ward-based town halls between now and the general election to solicit input from DC residents.

Monday, September 20, 2010

VPP's youthCONNECT to fund high performing youth orgs

Venture Philanthropy Partners (VPP) has announced it is now accepting applications for its youthCONNECT initiative which aims to create a network of high-performing nonprofits in the National Capital Region working to improve opportunities for low-income youth, ages 14-24.   Up to four nonprofit organizations will be selected through the open competition.   The initiative is funded in part through the federal Social Innovation Fund (SIF).

From the executive branch in the September 17 DCR

The latest edition of the DC Register contains proposed rules on the education issues of student conduct, Pre-K and procurement rules for the Office of Public Education Facilities Modernization and a meeting notice on HIV/AIDS, TB, and STDs.   The public is encouraged to comment on the proposed rules and attend the health meeting.

Friday, September 17, 2010

From the City Council

  • Ward 7 Health Council Meeting, September 20:   Ward 7 CM Yvette M. Alexander and the United Medical Center Foundation are hosting this meeting from 6:30 to 8:30 pm at Senior Wellness Center, (3001 Alabama Ave SE).   Prior to the health council meeting, UMC is hosting a technical assistance training program from 4:30 – 6:30 pm at the center.   Inquiries should be directed to Esther Tempies (via email, 574-6175), Sam Jordan (via email, 388-6661), or Derek Ford (via email, 427-4474).
  • Public roundtable on Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services, September 23:   The Committee on Human Services (Ward 6 CM Tommy Wells, chair) is holding this roundtable to hear from the recently appointed interim director about the status of agency operations and reform efforts.   The public is invited to testify and the details about registering, along with more information about the roundtable, are in the hearing notice.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Intel on the FY 2012 budget

Word is that the kickoff for the FY 2012 budget takes place October 1.   Office of Budget and Planning and Office of the City Administrator staff will deliver marching orders to agency finance and policy staff.   At kickoff, agency personnel will receive budget instructions and agency targets.

What folks are saying about Susie and Susie's Budget and Policy Corner

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Calendar updates

Recently added to the Advocacy and Learning Calendar:
  • Citizen Academy: Domestic Violence, September 22
  • Forum on the Jobs Crisis, September 26
  • Continuum of Housing Campaign Rally, September 30
  • Immigrant Women Dealing with Domestic Violence and Sex, October 22

Monday, September 13, 2010

New youth empowerment facility opens

Child and Family Services Agency (CFSA) is holding an open house September 21 to show off the new site for the agency's Office of Youth Empowerment (OYE) and the programs OYE provides for young people in foster care.   The event is for youth, private contractors and the public and the particulars about the event are in this flier.

Nearly 60% of children in foster care in DC are between the ages of 12 and 21.   This makes specialized services for older youth particularly important.

Rules from the September 10 DC Register

  • Proposed rules regarding DC Housing Authority waiting list:   DCHA plans to action on the proposed rules no earlier than 30 days from the date of publication.   Those who wish to comment may do so in writing.   Details about the proposal and guidelines for public comment are in the rules.
  • Comment period extended for child development facility proposed rules:   The Office of the State Superintendent of Education has extended the comment period for proposed rules concerning general licensing requirements and background checks, environmental standards, and licensing fees.   The new deadline is October 12, 2010.   The notice is online; it details preferred forms of comment.

OSSE's child care division moves September 16

OSSE's Division of Early Childhood Education will move to OSSE HQ (810 First St NW) this week.   The division will be closed between September 16 and 20.   More information about the move is available by calling 727-1839.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Support Walker Jones farm on September 15

It is 5% Day at Whole Foods on September 15 in support of The Farm at Walker Jones.   Shop at Whole Foods' P Street, NW; Tenleytown; or Georgetown locations and 5% of the day's take will be donated to this school-based urban farm.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

At long last, voter guides!

The staple of nonprofit work during mayoral and council elections are here:   voter guides.   Here we have guides about women and girls, good government and economic development.   Take some time to read and share with others, especially clients who may not have internet access.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Intel on FY 2011 budget

Some in the Fenty Administration are saying a memo from Mayor Fenty at the beginning of FY 2011 (October 1) cutting government spending is likely.   The memo would be in place of a new budget for the fiscal year which some outside of government believe will be considered.   Recall the mayor took the same Mayor's Order action for the FY 2010 budget.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Mayor Fenty's September 9 sked

The mayor will deliver remarks September 9 at 10:00 am at the announcement of 2010 Blue Ribbon School with Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.   The event takes place at School Without Walls High School (2130 G St NW).

Advocacy needed for kids with developmental disabilities

B18-528, "Health Insurance Coverage for Children with Autism Act of 2009", would mandate that private insurance companies cover medically necessary diagnostic and treatment services for children with autism.   Some, including The Arc of DC and Family Voices of DC, have advocated to the City Council that children with other developmental disabilities be included.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Can someone tell me what this means?

This is a snippet of an email that landed in my inbox today and I don't know what it means.   Can someone explain it to me?   Email me.

September is National Infant Mortality Awareness Month

DC's Healthy Start Community Consortium has planned an event-filled month to educate the community about the ways to reduce infant mortality.   Events include the DC Healthy Start Community Consortium Meeting on September 15 from 11:00 am – 1:00 pm at Brookland Manor Recreation Center (2525 14th St NE).   Other events include a 5K run/walk on September 16 and a September 23 briefing to "Celebrate Day 366."   Details about the events are available from Melinda Fallen (442-9171, 309-2000, and

Government news

The latest news includes a contracting opportunity with CFSA and final details about the reincarnation of the Office of Partnerships and Grant Services.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

From the latest DCR

No child- or youth-related items in the September 3 DC Register.

Calendar updates

Recently added to the Advocacy and Learning Calendar:
  • A Primer on High School Graduation Rates (September 8)
  • Building Livable Communities: Creating a Common Agenda (September 22)
  • Growing Communities Workshop (October 1 – 2)

Upcoming City Council activity

The Council of the District of Columbia is back from recess September 15 and in addition to the scheduled committee hearings, have a Committee of the Whole and Legislative Meeting scheduled for September 21.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Thanks for taking the survey!

Thanks to all who took the time to share their use pattern and thoughts about Susie's Policy and Budget Corner.   Some suggestions may take time to roll out, but I am working on them!   Thanks again.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Service providers, brush up on benefits for your clients

Legal Aid Society of DC, Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless and Whitman-Walker Clinic are once again offering the free Public Benefits Training Series designed for case managers, legal services lawyers, pro bono lawyers, or anyone who works with low-income clients.   The trainings are an opportunity to learn about eligibility, benefits, application procedures, and practical tips on how to help your clients navigate the system.  

Community amateur boxing tournament, September 4

Direct action checklist

Washington Peace Center's resource of the week is this direct action checklist.   Use it before, during and after your actions.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Youth issues voter guide

In mid-August, DC Lawyers for Youth (DCLY) and the DC Alliance of Youth Advocates sponsored the only (so far) candidate forum on youth issues.   If you missed it, here is recap of the event.   The two nonprofits also compiled a voter guide; candidate responses are on the DCLY web site.

Save the date -- October 28 for 4D Halloween Haunted House

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Quick guide to voting in the 2010 primary election in the District of Columbia

Thanks to Marina Streznewski from the DC Jobs Council for putting this flier together.
Quick Guide to Voting in the Primary

Children are not small adults and require special consideration in disasters

A shout out to TBD's NewsTalk with Bruce DePuyt for covering the Save the Children report card on state preparedness to protect children in a disaster.   DePuyt interviewed Mark Shriver, Save the Children's Vice President and Managing Director for U.S. Programs and chair of the National Commission on Children and Disasters.   Shriver gave the District both good and bad marks for protecting kids.

The real issue now, of course, is what the District will do to improve its ability to protect children and youth before, during and after a disaster.   On July 28, I reported the release of Save the Children's A National Report Card on Protecting Children During Disasters and how the District of Columbia fared in the rating—DC is one of 12 states of 51 counted (the 50 states plus DC) achieving three of the four criteria for disaster preparedness for children.

I also took a look at the city's 2008 disaster plan and the 2007 child development facility regulations in an effort to determine roles and responsibilities for ensuring child safety.   I concluded that much more should be done and made a number of recommendations including that HSEMA assess all child care center plans and, in fact, develop a template for disaster preparedness.   Child care programs are good at what they do but they cannot be expected to be expert in emergency preparedness.

The Commission's latest recommendations (PDF) provide additional food for thought and action and should also be immediately considered.   The August 23 recommendations involve a wide range of important issues such as mental health, planning and preparedness by all child- and youth-serving agencies (including juvenile justice and child welfare), and information sharing.   The final report will be published in October 2010 but there is nothing stopping EOM and HSEMA from starting on this critical issue right now.