Monday, February 28, 2011

More from 2/26 school safety and truancy hearing

The February 26 public hearing convened by the Special Committee on School Safety and Truancy, now shown on demand via OCT, attracted parents, young people, school personnel, community-based organizations providing services to children and families, and community members.   Also in attendance were CMs Sekou Biddle, chairman of the committee; Marion Barry, Ward 8; Muriel Bowser, Ward 4; David Catania, At-large; and Mary Cheh, Ward 3.

I tweeted the hearing--what witnesses and CMs said along with my reactions and questions.   I've compiled the tweets and supplemental information here (Word, .doc).

Additional items of note:

  • CM Biddle's prepared opening and closing statement is here
  • You have until March 4 to submit a statement for the record
  • The next hearing of the special committee is being held March 16

Mayor Gray's March 1 presser

Mayor Gray's March 1 presser is being held from Noon - 1:00 pm in Room G-9 in the JAWB.   On the agenda are:   an announcement of teaching award winners, updates on One City SYEP, school budgets, and the federal shutdown.

Graham shines at DYRS performance oversight hearing

If you have not watched the February 16 DYRS performance oversight hearing, you really should.   Committee Chair Jim Graham (Ward 1) set the tone for the hearing with his opening statement (Word, .doc).   Graham's approach for the hearing was to listen and ask questions with an eye toward solving the "serious, complex jurisdictional, and policy and budget challenges."   This is a refreshing and quite necessary approach.

Neil Stanley, interim director of DYRS, testified at the end of the hearing, following the public witnesses; his statement is on the DYRS web site.

Changes on blog

I ask for your patience as the new widgets on the blog work themselves out.   If they don't work out, I will remove them.   But I am hopeful they will add value to your blog reading experience.

Tentative schedule for Mayor’s City Hall Press Briefings, March 2011

Certainly, the dates and times may change, but right now, this is the sked:
  • Tuesday, March 1, 10:00 am
  • Wednesday, March 9, 10:00 am
  • Tuesday, March 22, 10:30 am
  • Tuesday, March 29, 10:30 am

You're needed--help with youth and young adult homeless survey

The DC Alliance of Youth Advocates with George Washington University and the Interagency Council on Homelessness will survey homeless and unstably housed youth between March 7 and 21.   To be successful, these groups need your help.   Orientation sessions continue this week.   More about orientation and the count are here on the DCAYA web site.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Public hearing on school safety and truancy, Saturday

The Special Committee on School Safety and Truancy (At-large CM Sekou Biddle, chair) is holding its first hearing Saturday, February 26 at 10:00am in the Council Chamber.   More than 20 have signed up to testify; the witness list is here (Word, .doc).

It's not clear what the witnesses will talk about at the hearing though I don't expect anything new since many of the individuals are frequent witnesses who talk about similar issues.

In advance of the hearing, here is some preparatory reading.   At a minimum, read the first two.

The special committee, created by legislation (PDF) at the beginning of CP19, is charged with examining the "current state of safety in the District of Columbia Public Schools and public charter schools" and making "recommendations to the Council to ensure a supportive, safe learning environment for all public schools students."

Witness list for recreation department public hearing

We've got the witness list for the performance oversight hearing on the Department of Parks and Recreation scheduled for today at 10:00 am in the Council Chamber.   Watch via Granicus on the City Council web site (not advised) or via OCT.

Washington Peace Center's Online Progressive Calendar

The Washington Peace Center offers one of the most comprehensive online calendar's in the DC Metro Area.   If you want your event featured on their activist alert or posted on their web site, fill out the event form here.   If you want to look at the calendar, it is here.

DOES on Twitter

The Department of Employment Services (DOES) and the Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP), now known as One City Summer Youth Employment Program, are now on Twitter.   DOES is @DOES_DC and One City SYEP is @OneCitySYEP.

DataPost: Another great source of data

If you've not looked at The Washington Post's DataPost, you should.   On the web site you will find demographic data from the Census and American Community Survey as well as health and safety and crime information.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Well, this is odd

Completely off the topic of children and youth, and for that matter budget, is this picture of a certificate given to a DC police officer.   Note the subjects of the workshop.

Oversight hearings sked changes again

The FYs 2010 and 2011 performance oversight hearings schedule has changed again.   Here is the 2/24 version (PDF).

CM David Catania on "Politics Hour" Thursday at 11am

Tune in today from 11:00 am - Noon for WPFW's "Politics Hour" with Eugene Dewitt Kinlow and Chuck Thies and guest At-large CM David Catania.   Expect the discussion to include United Medical Center, SUVgate and the budget.

Listen on the radio (89.3FM) or streaming online.   And remember, you can send questions or comments to Kinlow and Thies via Twitter (@DiscussDC) or email.

Books! We love books! Buy used books March 5!

Janney Elementary's Used Book Sale & Café are being held March 5 from 10:00 am - 2:00 pm at Janney Elementary School (4130 Albemarle St NW in the Multipurpose Room).

There will be great deals on gently used DVDs and all kinds of books--children's books, adult fiction and nonfiction, cookbooks, and coffee table books.

Donations are still being accepted.   If you have books or DVDs in good to excellent condition, drop them off at Janney by March 4 (during business hours: Monday through Friday, 8:00 am – 6:00 pm).   Donation bins are to the right of the guard's desk as you go in the main entrance.

The latest news from the Gray Administration

Mayor Gray made a number of announcements at the February 3 presser.   One was about the Summer Youth Employment Program and another was to announce the appointment of six more individuals to his administration.

As is written in the SYEP press release (Word, .doc), the 2011 program will serve 12,000 youth between the ages of 14 and 21, will run June 27 to August 5, and applications will be available February 25 at 3:15 pm.   Given the changes in SYEP 2011, youth-serving organizations are encouraged to read the press release or call the Department of Employment Services at (202) 698-3492.

The appointments press release (Word, .doc) provides the details about those selected to become permanent members of the Gray Administration.   These officials have been added to the list of appointments to the Gray Administration I have been updating since Gray took over the helm of the District.

More news from the press conference is available in the mayor's News Room.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Tune in to panel on race and recession tonight at 6:30 pm

The Washington Post is hosting a community forum this evening at 6:30 pm (tune in to watch streaming video) to talk about how local families have been affected by the recession.   The forum topic is the subject of a recent poll done for The Washington Post, the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) and Harvard University.   According to KFF, the partners "conducted a survey to examine how the recession has reshaped the lives of Americans and takes a closer look at experiences by race and ethnicity."

Michelle Singletary, nationally recognized personal finance columnist, will moderate the event.   Panelists include Julianne Malveaux and Jared Bernstein.   Others are listed here.

In preparation for the event, read the WaPo article, Despite losses, minorities remain optimistic, and Toplines (PDF).

More about the partnership is on the KFF web site.

Are you missing Lori's A.M. Buzz?

I have been and just got a minute to figure out what is up:
Missing Lori's A.M. Buzz?   My morning column has moved to a new home.   If you have subscribed to my RSS feed in the past, you may need to resubscribe.   Just click here.

If you want to just read the column, go here.

(Photo:   From The Washington Post)

Mayor's weekly presser, February 23

Mayor Gray's weekly press conference will be held today at 1:00 pm in the JAWB.   He will talk about the Summer Youth Employment Program and make appointment announcements.

More about a good thing about DC

You may have read about the Fort DuPont Cannons in this recent blog post.   Ralph J. Chittams, Sr., who shared the information which prompted the post, has also shared this link to the CNN video about the team and community.   You should take a minute to watch the video.

How President Obama's FY 2012 budget impacts children, youth and families

I've received a number of questions about how the president's budget will affect children, youth and their families in the District.   The answer is that I don't know.   But others do and I would direct you to Voices for America's Children and the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities among others.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Two things to know about oversight and budget hearings

Two bits of information:
  • The Committee on Health has received responses from agencies related to FYs 2010 and 2011 performance oversight hearings.   The community is invited to stop by the committee's office to review the documents.
  • CDs of the mayor's proposed FY 2012 budget will be available again this year.   The Office of Budget and Planning expects to have the CDs within a few days of the release.

Witness list for Children and Youth Investment Fund hearing February 22

Here (Word, .doc) is the witness list for the February 22 public oversight hearing on the Children and Youth Investment Fund.

Remember the hearing is scheduled to start at 3:00 pm.   You can watch the hearing via computer by going to this City Council web page.

Nonprofits, please take this brief survey about QR codes

I'm interested in how DC nonprofits use QR codes, those square things you have probably seen around in stores and magazines.   Please take this brief survey by March 4.

Calling all DC government folks

Are meet and greets organized by nonprofits effective?

I am asking current and former DC government staff (in executive and legislative branches and including elected officials) about this in this brief survey.   Please take the survey by March 1.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts on the subject.

CM Biddle open house February 25

At-large CM Biddle is hosting an open house February 25 from 4:00 - 7:00 pm in Suite 410 in the Wilson Building.   More information is in the event flier (PDF).

Monday, February 21, 2011

Miscellaneous news

Check out what follows for news and events related to urban stability, food accessibility, nonprofit and for profit comings staff changes, grant-related surveys, Ward 8 on television, and mental health.

Do you follow me on Twitter?

Do you follow me on Twitter (@susiecambria)?

If not, you should.   I Tweet about oversight and budget hearings related to children, youth and budget issues; press conferences; articles in the paper and blog posts; important issues facing residents of the District of Columbia; and sometimes, just random things.

If Twitter is too daunting or you just can't be bothered or remember to open it up in the morning, you can follow me on this blog.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Ward 3 Dems host Mayor Gray, CM Cheh February 24

The Ward Three Democratic Committee are holding a community dialogue with Mayor Gray and Ward 3 CM Mary Cheh February 24 from 7:15 - 9:15pm at St. Columba's Episcopal Church (4201 Albemarle St NW).   All welcome.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Important DHCD community input events

The Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) is convening four community needs assessment hearings in February and March.   The purpose is to hear about resident's housing needs so the agency can prepare the draft "Consolidated Plan for the District of Columbia Fiscal Year 2012 Action Plan" and the spending priorities utilizing federal entitlement funds.

The hearings are scheduled for February 23, February 24 (focus on "special needs housing" such as that for housing needs for the homeless, persons with disabilities, and persons living with HIV/AIDS), March 1, and March 10.

Those who want to testify should register in advance via email or by calling 442-6993.   Provide your name, address, telephone number, and organization affiliation, if any.

More information about the hearings is here (Word).   Information about the "Special Needs Housing" hearing is here (Word).

Friday, February 18, 2011

A good thing about DC

This was recently posted on the Fairlawn list by Ralph J. Chittams, Sr.   I wanted to share a little good news about DC with my readers.
I watched the Cannons play the Presidents tonight at Fort DuPont.   It was GREAT fun.   All of the players (boys and girls) played well.   Admission is free to the games.   I highly recommend supporting these teams.   Check with the arena for game schedules.   I will be back.

If it matters, the Cannons won, 7-1.

More info about Fort Dupont Ice Arena is on their web site.

Outreach suggestion of the day

If your organization is sponsoring an event, please be sure that you have all the information on your web site or blog before you start emailing, Tweeting and engaging in other forms of outreach.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Gabe Klein guest on WPFW's DC Politics today at 11:00 am

Tune in today from 11:00 am - Noon for WPFW's Politics Hour with Eugene Dewitt Kinlow and Chuck Thies.   Former DDOT director Gabe Klein (@gklein97) will be the guest on the show.

Listen on the radio (89.3FM) or streaming online.   And remember, you can send questions or comments to Kinlow and Thies via Twitter (@DiscussDC) or email.

News from the City Council, February 17

  • Committee on Health newsletter:   The Valentine's Day edition is online.   (The delay in sharing is all mine.   Sorry.)
  • Committee on Human Services postpones DHS oversight hearing:   As announced at the DYRS oversight hearing February 16 and shown in the February 15 update of the performance oversight hearing schedule, the DHS hearing has been postponed.   The reason?   The director is leaving.
  • CM Bowser and Petworth library:   Ward 4 CM Bowser and many others will attend the ribbon cutting of the renovated Petworth Neighborhood Library (4200 Kansas Avenue, NW) February 28 at 10:30 am.   Additional information is available from Brandon Todd, 741-0917 or via e-mail via email.
  • CM Michael Brown on budget autonomy:   At-large CM Michael Brown has issued a statement praising President Obama for including budget autonomy for the District in his FY 2012 budget.   He also criticizes Congress for meddling with the District's affairs via the CR.
  • Chairman Brown testifies before Congress on education:   On February 16, Chairman Kwame Brown testified before the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, Joseph Lieberman (ID-CT), and Ranking Member Susan Collins (R-ME), in support of the "Scholarships for Opportunity and Results Act of 2011" (SOAR).   The release and prepared statement are here.
  • Add your Ward 7 event to CM Alexander's newsletter:   If you want to share your Community Announcement with Ward 7, send a detailed email to Tiffany Brown, Director of Communications.

Thought for the day

"Decision are made by those who show up." (Aaron Sorkin)

Hear from the best about what's in store for FY 2012

The annual What’s In Store event is back.

Join the co-sponsors (The Arc of DC; DC Fiscal Policy Institute; Fair Budget Coalition; Think Twice Before You Slice) for What’s In Store for FY 2012? March 9 at 9:00 am.   This forum features the latest information and perspectives on the DC budget outlook from the perspectives of the City Council, mayor and local budget experts.

Reservations are required for this free event.   The flier with all the details is online here.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Chairman Brown, please fix Granicus

I just emailed a letter (Word) to Council Chairman Kwame Brown imploring him to fix the on-going problems with the audio on the Granicus system.   If you are like me, you watch hearings and other City Council events via the City Council's live streaming system (Granicus).   Simply, the audio is terrible.

The solution?   Advocate for the City Council's IT department to fix the system permanently.

Please join me in asking for Brown to address this problem immediately.   Write, Tweet (@KwameBrownDC) or call (202) 724-8032.

Update, February 17, 7:00 am:   Granicus tweeted Brown and me telling us they were looking into the problem.   That was at 3:28 pm February 16.   The audio was no better when I stopped listening at 6:00 pm.

Performance oversight hearings changes

The FYs 2010 and 2011 performance oversight hearings schedule (PDF) (link fixed 11:10 am 2/16) has changed again.   Modifications are in red.

Candidate forum, February 23

The Current Newspapers and The Georgetown Dish are holding a candidates forum for the At-large City Council seat February 23 from 7:00 - 9:00 pm.   The event is being held in the lounge at the Social Safeway (1855 Wisconsin Ave NW).

Invited participants are Sekou Biddle, Patrick Mara, Vincent Orange, and Jacques Patterson.

Mayor's regular press briefings

Mayor Vince Gray announced at his second regular "city hall" presser February 15 that by next week the communications team will have the day and time set of future regular press briefings.   Good news for those of us who follow such things.   Will blog the deets when they are available.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Advocacy and Learning Calendar updates

A bunch of events have been added to the Advocacy and Learning Calendar some of which are:
  • Community Teach In to Recognize Teen Dating Violence Awareness, February 17
  • Community Brainstorm: How do we build a healthy and hunger-free DC, February 19
  • Reproductive Health and Teen Pregnancy in the District of Columbia: Lunch and Learn, February 23
  • Preventing Youth Violence in Communities: What Does the Evidence Tell Us?, February 24
  • District of Columbia Citywide Pediatric Health Forum, February 25
  • Public Oversight Hearing on School Safety and Truancy, February 26

Info on the February 16 DYRS performance oversight hearing

Here in Word is the witness list for the Committee on Human Services February 16 performance oversight hearing on the Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services.   The hearing is at 1:00 pm in Room 412.   If you can't make it to the Wilson Building, you can watch via live streaming.

BB Otero's plans

BB Otero, nominated by Mayor Gray to be the new Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services, is slated to begin work the first week of March.

Advocates have long called on mayors (Fenty and Gray) to bring back this position.   Mayor Fenty eliminated the position when he took over the helm of the DC government from Mayor Tony Williams.   Some, however, question the value of adding another layer to the administration and adding to the current budget gap.

Transition team summaries now available

Mayor Gray and the Gray Transition have released summary reports of the eight transition teams.   The reports (one collective one and also eight individual ones) are on the Gray Transition web site.

The mayor has already directed agencies to "consider the findings and recommendations within these reports" and implement them with objectives and hopefully outcomes. (NOTE: Susie added outcomes.)   For more, read the press release. (added 2:55 pm)

There is some talk that the transition reports will form the basis of the city's strategic plan.

Mayor Gray 2/15 presser on transition reports and more

Today at Noon in the press room in the Wilson Building, Mayor Gray will hold his second regular press briefing.   To be discussed are the transition committee reports and the recent visit to Wall Street.

Word is that the reports from the transition committees are all over the map with regard to their utility.   Anyone who has served on a transition team or followed them knows this is always the case.   Mayor Gray plans to have agency directors review the reports and implement them over the term of the administration.

Connecting with online DC nonprofits

Looking for nonprofits to follow on Twitter?   Want to read a blog or two by and about DC-based nonprofits?   Are you a reporter looking for a story or sources?   Then check out this list of nonprofits which are online.

February 15 Leg Meeting agenda online

The agenda for the February 15 Legislative Meeting is now online.   Be sure to tune in to Channel 13 on tv or via OCT for live streaming at 10:00 am.

Need a media list?

Want to communicate with the media but your list is not terrific?   I've got one for sale that includes more than 200 reporters, editors and other decision-makers in local media (radio, television and print; few non-English outlets are included).   Twitter handles are also listed.

The list (in Excel, .xls) costs $25 and will be emailed within one business day upon payment with a credit card.

Send media list to this email:

Monday, February 14, 2011

Jack Evans, Remembering Jeff Coudriet

This is from the Ward 2 CM's February 14 newsletter:
As many of you are likely aware, my long time friend and Committee Clerk, Jeff Coudriet, recently lost his fight with cancer.   Ward 2 and the entire city has experienced a great loss.

Jeff served as my Clerk for the Committee on Finance and Revenue and knew the District's budget and financial workings like no other.   It was exemplary of this character that he always took the time to share this knowledge with others - new Council staff, members of the media, and anyone else who might be interested in the workings of the District.

Over a decade of public service to the District also took Jeff to the Alcoholic Beverage Regulatory Administration and the office of Ward 6 Councilmember Sharon Ambrose.   He served as President of the Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance, the Gertrude Stein Democratic Club, and as a board member of the Logan Circle Community Association.   Jeff stayed just as busy outside of the Wilson building as he did while at work, and we are all better off for it.

Information on the DC budget now easier to find

With the addition of the DC Budget Information page on this blog, information about the city's budget is now easier to find.   Currently, all the materials are ones that I have written.   Others will be added as time goes on.

So bookmark the DC Budget Information page so the information you need is at your fingertips.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Schedule a workshop on the DC budget process

If you missed the February 3 workshop on the DC budget process, all is not lost.   Susie is available to do a session specially for your group or organization.   More information is here.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Council Chairman Brown convenes first CP19 youth hearing

Council Chairman Kwame Brown will convene the first youth hearing for CP19, following in the tradition of his predecessor Vince Gray.

The Committee of the Whole Public Oversight Hearing on Youth Issues is being held Saturday, February 12 at 10:00 am in the Council Chamber of the Wilson Building.   The focus for this hearing is vocational training and youth leadership initiatives.   The witness list for the hearing is here (PDF).

The hearing can be observed in person, on television in the District or via live stream from the Office of Cable Television.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

ANC office delivers on ANC contact list in spreadsheet format

Gottlieb Simon, head of the ANC office, took issue with my rant and did a little research and found some old emails from me requesting electronic versions of the ANC list.   Long story short, I have apologized to Mr. Simon.   He delivered then and has delivered this spreadsheet today.

Budget and oversight hearings schedules change again

The City Council's budget and oversight hearings schedules have been updated again.   The latest iterations are here.

The best part?   The changes are highlighted in red.   Score one for the Council's Budget Office and the advocates who asked for this!

Help wanted: Director of the Department of Human Services

Clarence Carter, Director of the Department of Human Services, is now the former director of the DC agency.   He has been appointed the director of the Arizona Department of Economic Security according to this report.

Department of Human Services budget over time

Nechama Masliansky, Senior Advocacy Advisor at SOME, Inc. (So Others Might Eat), recently compiled a history of funding for the Department of Human Services.   Masliansky developed this tool for a reason, as she explains here:
Recently, the statement has been made in the Wilson Building that "the human services budget has grown enormously over the years."   Curious about that, I dug out past budgets and prepared a spreadsheet that compares the D.C. Department of Human Services’ budget from Fiscal Year 2006 to date.

It would be helpful if someone were able to do a larger-scale comparison chart for the "human services cluster," which include District government departments other than DHS.

Note:   There is always the caveat that year-to-year comparisons are imperfect, because over time entire agencies have been moved and repositioned (made independent or incorporated in another department) and programs have similarly been moved.   It is possible, however, to track the growth and shrinkage of particular departments over time.

Feel free to reach out to Masliansky via phone (202-797-8806 ext. 2107) or email.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Still time to register for February 11 "Outreach that actually reaches out" workshop

There is still time to register for the February 11 "Outreach that actually reaches out" workshop, the final one in the "Helping Others Better" series.   We will cover timing on notices, invitations, flyering; formatting materials; and developing good lists, and getting on good lists.   We will also share a list of lists and other good stuff.

Hillcrest community promotes pedestrian and bicycle safety

Veronica O. Davis (Chair of the HCCA Street, Traffic and Transportation Committee) and David Kirkpatrick (Chair of the HCCA Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Committee) testified February 4 about pedestrian and bicycle safety before the City Council Committee on Public Safety and the Judiciary.

Aside from the obvious reasons for promoting safety for folks on foot and bicycle, the members of the Hillcrest Community Civic Association (HCCA) specifically mentioned children.   According to the testimony, one in four households in this neighborhood has children and one of the three pedestrians struck by a motorist in 2010 was a child.   The child was hit in front of Anne Beers Elementary School.

This testimony is not the only effort HCCA has made to address and significantly reduce motorists speeding through the area and improve the safety of walkers and riders.   HCCA and Hillcrest residents collectively and alone have long called on the government to improve safety.

For this and other work, a shout out to a community advocating for itself.

To learn more about what the Street, Traffic and Transportation Committee is doing, read their blog.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Details about DC memorial service for Jeff Coudriet

From CM Jack Evans:
Wednesday, February 16 at 11:00 am at Foundry United Methodist Church (1500 16th Street, NW).   All welcome.

Spanish language flier for DCPS Ward 1 parent event

Here is the Spanish language flier for the DCPS event in Ward 1 for parents.   The events are about building successful families.

Mayor Gray's first general press conference

Finally, Mayor Gray is holding a general press conference.   It is today at 11:30 am in the briefing room (G9) in the Wilson Building.   Mayor Gray is expected to talk about his first 30 days in office and announce nominees to two boards and commissions.

Panel discussion on the DC deficit, February 9

The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) is holding a panel discussion February 9 at 9:30 am at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill (400 New Jersey Ave NW).   The event is titled The D.C. Deficit! Can creating and maintaining public sector jobs remedy the deficit?.

While the event is part of a larger conference, the public is encouraged to attend.   Panelists include Ed Lazere from DC Fiscal Policy Institute and Eric Goulet from the mayor's budget office.   I am also on the panel.

CAFR briefing today at 10:00 am

Remember, the Committee of the Whole briefing on the FY 2010 city audit (Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR)) is today, February 8, at 10:00 am in the Council Chamber.   If you are unable to make it to the Wilson Building, you can watch the event streamed live on OCT, Channel 13.   And FYI, the CAFR has not yet made its electronic debut on the OCFO web site; the printer is having problems converting it to PDF.

DCPS events for parents

DC Public Schools is offering a host of events for parents in February.   Highlights include this Ward 1 event on raising and nurturing successful families (starting February 8) (PDF), a Ward 8 event on raising successful families (starting February 10) (PDF) and multiple sessions on raising a challenging child (PDF).   Additional events are listed in this calendar (PDF).

Monday, February 7, 2011

Sending cards and funeral flowers to Coudriet family

Those who wish to send cards to Jeff's family should address them to Mrs. Kay Coudriet and send them to the office of Ward 2 CM Jack Evans, 1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20004.   The office will then send them on to Jeff's mother.

Those who wish to send flowers to the February 12 funeral should send them to Our Lady of Good Counsel Church, 701 West Main Street, Endicott, NY 13760.   The phone for the church is (607) 748-7417.

Services for Jeff Coudriet

By now you have heard the news that Jeff Coudriet, human being extraordinaire, died Saturday evening surrounded by family.

His family has just announced services for Jeff:

The funeral is being held in Endicott, NY on February 12 at Our Lady of Good Counsel Church.   Calling hours will be held from Noon to 1:00 pm.   Services follow at 1:00 pm.   Services in Washington will be held February 16 at 7:00 pm at Foundry Methodist Church. (Update 2/7, 12:14.)

If you haven't put a condolence card in the mail to CM Evans and staff, be sure to do so today.

Updated list of Gray appointments

This list includes the latest of the Mayor Gray appointments--announced February 4 and February 5.   This iteration of the list also alphabetizes the agencies and identifies EOM agencies and offices.

Note:   There is some question about the February 5 notice of the appointment of an interim director of the aging office.   The press release is no longer online but I have received no response about the departure of Clarence Brown from the mayor's communications office.

From and about the City Council

A variety of news from and about the Council this week.

The news is the passing of Jeff Coudriet, long-time Council staffer who took a short break to work at ABRA.   Those who knew Jeff describe him in lots of colorful ways; he was a terrific friend and I enjoyed working with him while he was the clerk of the Committee on Finance and Revenue.   I will miss him.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

A "groundbreaking resource" for team-building and making meetings work

If you are looking for a resource to help you improve your training sessions and other group facilitations, An Innovative Approach to Group Facilitation, Learning, and Action by Stanley Pollack and Mary Fusoni is a useful one.   The Teaching for Change's Busboys and Poets Bookstore describes this book this way:
A groundbreaking resource packed with insight and practical exercises for building effective teams, engaging students in learning, and making meetings and trainings work.   It introduces a truly innovative approach to facilitating groups and documents over 300 interactive exercises (not just "icebreakers") to help group members make difficult decisions, create new ideas, solve problems, resolve conflicts, and understand new concepts.

You can purchase the book in the Teaching for Change shop in the 14th and V Streets, NW Busboys or on the Teaching for Change online store.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Suggested hashtags for upcoming oversight and budget hearings

Since oversight hearings start in another week, some folks have been talking Twitter hashtags to monitor traffic about the performance oversight and budget hearings.   I suggest #DCFY11 for the performance oversight hearings and #DCFY12 for the budget hearings.   What do you think?   Do these make sense?

Now I realize this from me is odd; I never remember to use them, but I promise to try!

Mayor Gray to announce new appointments

Mayor Gray is holding a press conference February 4 at 11:30 am in the JAWB to announce six new top level appointees.   The mayor will announce his selections for Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services; Director of the HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis, STD and TB Administration; and Directors of the Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking; Office of Ex-Offender Affairs; Office of African Affairs; and Youth Advisory Council.

Updates on FY 2012 budget development

Nothing earth shattering about the updates which follow.   But they should be used to inform advocacy tactics between now and the release of the mayor's proposed budget on April 1.   Keep reading to learn more about agency budget submission formats, OBP analysts, and the change of timing in decision-making.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Draft witness list for state of human services hearing

If you missed the Committee on Human Services roundtable on the state of human services in DC, this draft witness list will be helpful when you watch the video on demand (go to the OCT web site).

New budget-related documents from Susie Cambria

What the DC Budget Is and Isn't (PDF) is short and to the point:   The budget is not fair or equitable, though it could be if the community valued fairness and equity.   But the budget is the most important legislation crafted by the City Council and mayor each year.   It is also a demonstration of the city's priorities.   I run through where the money comes from and goes.

Basic it is.   But sometimes basic is good.

Also new is Where to Find Budget-related Documents and Resources (Word), a list of web sites and other resources for budget analysis and advocacy.

If these only get you part-way to effective analysis and advocacy, check out my rates and competencies.   I have some time available to take on another client or two depending on your needs.   Keep in mind that putting me on retainer means that you can ask questions and get answers, gain access to executive and legislative branch staff, and more.   All at an affordable rate.

Interim DCPS Chancellor Kaya Henderson on WPFW's Politics Hour at 11am

Tune in today from 11:00 am - Noon for WPFW's Politics Hour with Eugene Dewitt Kinlow and Chuck Thies.   Interim DCPS Chancellor Kaya Henderson is on for the whole hour.

Listen on the radio (89.3FM) or streaming online.   And remember, you can send questions or comments to Kinlow and Thies via Twitter (@DiscussDC) or email.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

City's audit report released

CFO Natwar Gandhi reported February 1 that the District received a clean audit for the 14th consecutive year with the completion of the audit of FY 2010.

Documents currently available are the Gandhi letter to Mayor Gray and the press release.   The complete CAFR will be available on the CFO's web site,

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

DCPS workshops on child behavior, February 5

DCPS's First Saturdays Family Education Series:   Understanding Your Child’s Behavior is being held February 5 from 10:00 am - 2:00 pm at the Ward 8 Parent and Family Resource Center located inside M.C. Terrell Elementary School (3301 Wheeler Rd SE).   More info in the flier below.
1st Saturday - Focus on Behavior

Oversight and budget hearings schedule changes

Changes have been made to both the FYs 2010-2011 performance oversight hearings sked and to the FY 2012 budget hearings sked.   The latest information is on the City Council web site.

News from and about the Council Committee on Human Services

On January 25, the committee approved its committee rules outlining how the committee will operate--including meeting and hearing notice timing. Watch the meeting here on OCT.

CM Graham also announced the staff of the committee:

CM Graham reports the committee has one vacancy; it is for budget analyst.

In other news, the committee is holding a public roundtable February 3 at 11:00 am in the Council Chamber on "The State of Human Services in the District of Columbia:   The Views of Advocacy Organizations."    The purpose of the roundtable is for the committee to hear from invited advocates and providers working directly with clients and DC government agency staff.   The public is encouraged to watch the roundtable in person, or on tv or via computer.

The committee will hold future hearings open to the public so they, too, can comment on the state of services and public policy approaches used by the various human services agencies under the purview of the committee.

Direct questions about the roundtable to Benton Heimsath, 724-8191 or via email.

Update on ANC information

Last night I received an email from Gottlieb Simon, Executive Director of the Office of Advisory Neighborhood Commissions, responding to my email.   He explained the email system for ANCs designed to make it easier to communicate with them--(ANC SMD)   I agree that the system makes it easier and I told him that.

I also wrote that the easy system is not so easy when you want to add all ANCs to your database or email system.   Why type everything in when you can get a spreadsheet from OANC and import it?   This is efficient and saves time for everyone.

Should I get another response with the link to a spreadsheet, I will naturally announce it here.

A special shout out to Bob Summersgill for asking Mr. Simon about posting the ANC list in a spreadsheet last night at an ANC meeting.