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 CafĂ© (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.