Friday, September 30, 2011

Share your thoughts on SYEP 2011

The DC Alliance of Youth Advocates (DCAYA) is conducting a scan of 2011 summer programs funded by the District government under the "One City Summer Fun" initiative.   Their ultimate interest is in ensuring a positive trajectory of the Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP).   DCAYA reports that DOES has not committed to being evaluated as was the case with the Brandeis 2010 SYEP eval.

If you—or your program's youth participants—are interested in sharing your thoughts about went well or what didn’t go so well with SYEP this past summer, email Anne Abbott.

How long does it take to hear back from exec branch staff?

Do you get email or phone calls returned in one day?   One week?   Never?

Please share your experience hearing back from the District government's executive branch in this brief survey.

I will organize the results and share them with those responsible for enforcing the return call and written communications standards shared September 26.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Wild Apricot's list of free webinars

Wild Apricot's list of free webinars in October is now available!   Offerings include sessions on fundraising, social media, volunteers, event management, and more.   And be sure to look in the comments for additional webinars.

More 2012 election news

Keith Ivey does voters and DC stakeholders a great service with his "DC candidates 2012" list and the equally superb Twitter list of candidates.

Nonprofit VOTE is a fabulous resource for nonprofits interested in doing work around the 2012 elections.   The group just announced something new, "Voter Registration Toolkit for Nonprofits and Social Service Agencies."   The kit includes a 4-page outline of the principles of nonpartisan voter registration for nonprofits, reasons to conduct voter registration, and a guide to online resources.

Nonprofit VOTE also offers an online training, research documenting the efficacy of voter registration efforts, fact sheets and check lists, guides and toolkits, and more.

Special note: A free webinar, The ABCs of Nonpartisan Voter Registration for Nonprofits, is being held September 29 at 2:00 pm.   RSVP online.

Mayor Gray to speak at Ward 8 town hall meeting September 29

Photo by Lateef Mangum
Mayor Vince Gray will offer remarks and answer questions at the Ward 8 Community Summit Report Back Town Hall Meeting September 29 from 6:15 - 8:00 pm.   The preliminary report along with other documents are online.

The meeting is taking place at Thurgood Marshall Academy/Savoy Elementary School Gymnasium (2427 Martin Luther King, Jr. Ave SE).

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Mayor-Council Monthly Breakfast, September 28

The Mayor-Council Monthly Breakfast is being held September 28 from 9:00 - 10:30 am in Room 502 of JAWB.   It is open to media.

News from the Board of Elections and Ethics

BOEE recently made a number of announcements related to the 2012 elections:
  • The Election Year 2012 page is up.   Updates are made as candidates file their Declarations of Candidacy for the April 3, 2012 primary election.   Note the links for filers with BOEE for ballot access are different from the Office of Campaign Finance links which concern raising and spending money.
  • BOEE expects to start releasing petitions for the primary election on November 14 according to their Calendar of Key Dates and Deadlines and with the assumption that things will go as planned in the timetable in "Comprehensive Military and Overseas Voters Accommodation Amendment Act of 2011."
  • There are new boundaries for 13 precincts and a relocation of two precincts from one ward to another.   Once the DC Council approves the precinct changes, they will be reflected in the BOEE voter registration database.

Be sure to share relevant information with clients, colleagues, family members, neighbors, and community members.   And nonprofits, use this information to plan election-related events and education efforts.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

New events have been added to Advocacy and Learning Calendar

Some of the events recently added to the Advocacy and Learning Calendar are:
  • D.C. Farm to School Week kick-off event, October 3
  • Community Organizing and the Revitalization of the War On Poverty, October 6
  • Interactive discussion on potential development and jobs in our underserved communities, October 20
  • District of Columbia Healthy Communities Network Forum, October 28
  • 38th Annual DC Historical Studies Conference, November 3 - 6

If you've got an event to add, email me the information (text and PDF or JPEG) and link to the information on your website.

Regular updates of DC Register items are back!

  • Public oversight roundtable notice (PDF) on "Middle Grades Education in the District: Preparing our Students for Success in High School and Beyond."   This roundtable is being held September 27.
  • Public oversight roundtable notice (PDF) on "The Progress of Economic Development Projects in the District of Columbia."   This roundtable is scheduled for October 5.
  • Public hearing notice (PDF) (Revised/Abbreviated) on B19-228, "District of Columbia Public School and Public Charter School Student Residency Fraud Prevention Amendment Act of 2011."   The hearing is scheduled for October 6.
  • Public oversight hearing notice on "Hate Crimes in the District of Columbia and Police Response to Reports of Hate Crimes."   The hearing is being held November 2.
  • Medicaid Reimbursement for Mental Health Services final rules (Word)
  • Notice of Final Rulemaking amending to the existing regulations regarding DCHA’s Waiting List final rules (Word)
  • District of Columbia Public Library - Notice of Change in Hours at Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library (Word)

Monday, September 26, 2011

What's your experience hearing back from executive branch employees?

Did you know there is a mayor's memorandum prescribing DC government employee responses to resident (and other) phone calls?   Yes, there is; it is Mayor's Memorandum 2003-4, "Minimum Standards for Telephone-based Customer Service" and it was signed by Mayor Anthony Williams.

Did you also know there is a memorandum prescribing DC government employee responses to resident (and other) written communications?   Again, there is one.   It is Mayor's Memorandum 2002-2, "Minimum Standards for Correspondence-based Customer Service."   This, too, was signed by Mayor Anthony Williams.

Please take this brief survey about your your experience hearing back from executive branch employees.   I am collecting the results and will share them with those responsible for enforcing the standards.   I will also blog the results.

The survey closes October 10.

By the way, not sure what a mayor's memorandum is and how it differs from a mayor's order?   I didn't know either until the fabulous Becky Katz (Administrative Issuances Specialist in the Office of Documents and Administrative Issuance, Becky's email) shared this with me:   Mayor's Memorandum 1999-5, "Uniform Procedures for Preparing and Processing Executive Orders of the Mayor of the District of Columbia".   Becky also reminded me that Mayor's Orders starting in 1973 are available at

UPDATE 9/27 11:00 am: Kathryn Baer pointed out the errors in my original post.   They've now been fixed.   Thanks, Kathryn!!!

Data is good, just not sufficient

Census, American Community Survey, and Kids Count are but a few examples of the latest headline-grabbing sources and reports of data.   You'd think I'd be thrilled with these reports.   After all, I'm the first one to say that data is important, having long preached about the value of and need for data.

But that's just it.   Data alone is not incredibly valuable.   Talking about the data may make us feel like we are doing something, moving the ball down the field, effecting change.   Unfortunately, this is not the case. Data analyzed and used to create public policy and practice solutions to problems, on the other hand, is valuable.   Very valuable.

Sociologist and blogger Johanna Bockman's post The Decline of Rental Housing in Ward 6 and DC (UPDATE: Link fixed 9/26, 10:40 am) does a good job of presenting data and combining it with a public policy question.   Bockman considers the cost of housing rental and ownership along with the very real earnings levels of various worker types.   This is what she writes:

Many would argue that it is good to increase the number of home-owners in these areas. However, the demand for rentals is ever increasing, especially for affordable units for interns, low-wage workers, etc. The supply of affordable rentals does not meet the demand. This is a nationwide trend. Even more problematic is the conversion of rental properties into owner-occupied properties, which displaces the poor. From the incredibly informative Housing Policy in the United States 2010 textbook, we know that the average nationwide income for those working as elementary school teachers ($49,781), LPN nurses ($38,941), security guards ($29,401), and cashiers ($19,757) would not allow them to buy a house or condo. Of course, many of the new rental units available are far outside the price range of the average hourly wage for those working as LPN nurses ($15.72), security guards ($14.13), janitors ($11.57), and cashiers ($9.50), who are also in poverty. What can be done to stop the decline in affordable rentals?

Others can take Bockman's work and propose solutions to solve the disconnect between rental housing numbers and affordability for Ward 6 residents.

There are myriad issues that could benefit from data analysis for the purpose of recommending public policy and practice fixes.   Issues ripe for such work are out of school time, violence prevention, violence intervention, parent education and support, child abuse and neglect prevention, teen pregnancy prevention, truancy prevention, and truancy intervention.

There is no better time than now to do this work.   The city's FY 2013 budget process kicks off October 6.   Between early October and December, agencies will be developing their budgets.   At the same time, the mayor's budget and other senior staff will be thinking budget.

What data-driven (analytical) solutions will you contribute to public policy and practice in DC?

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Volunteers needed during Domestic Violence Awareness Month

The DC Coalition AgainstDomestic Violence needs volunteers for their 2nd Annual Paint the Town Purple event on September 30.   DCCADV will kick off Domestic Violence Awareness Month with the ambitious goal of spreading awareness about domestic violence across the District of Columbia.

Volunteers are needed to help the Coalition canvass at 10 Metrorail stations throughout the day by handing out DVAM calendars, resources, purple candy, and ribbons and encouraging DC residents to take the their pledge, One City, Committed to Preventing Domestic Violence.   Volunteers will serve at one of the 10 sites for one of two shifts (7:00 – 10:00 am and 4:00 – 6:00 pm).   Metrorail stations with volunteers will be Archives/Navy Memorial, U Street, Minnesota Ave, Anacostia, Columbia Heights, Gallery Place/Chinatown, Metro Center, Foggy Bottom, DuPont Circle, and Navy Yard.

All volunteers will receive light refreshments for volunteering and there will be a brief training on the materials as well as how to handle any questions.

Those interested in volunteering should email Andrea Gleaves.   Include your name, phone, email, the shift you are available, and the Metrorail station at which you would like to volunteer.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Early intervention program to get awareness boost

A new public awareness campaign for the DC Early Intervention Program is being launched September 26 at 10:00 am at Gallaudet University.   Featured speakers are a parent along with De’Shawn Wright, Deputy Mayor for Education; Beatriz Otero, Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services; and Hosanna Mahaley, State Superintendent, Office of State Superintendent of Education.

The press event will include unveiling the new advertising campaign, an overview of the agency’s improved standing with the U.S. Department of Education, and the rollout of new community-based initiatives for organizations currently providing early intervention services to children under age three.

A Campaign Summit will follow the press event; it will take place from Noon - 1:30 pm.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

New events on Advocacy and Learning Calendar

Some of the events recently added to the Advocacy and Learning Calendar are:
  • Busboys & Poets author event, "Hey Shorty: A Guide to Combating Sexual Harassment and Violence in Schools and on the Streets," September 26
  • Bullying: Health Consequences and Role of the Health Care Provider (webinar), September 27
  • Creating and Editing Video, September 30
  • Fair Budget Coalition annual membership meeting, October 5
  • Evidence Informed Principles in Juvenile Justice (webinar), October 18

If you've got an event to add, email me the information (text and PDF or JPEG) and link to the information on your website.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Mayor's bi-weekly presser, September 21

Today between 10:00 and 11:00 am, Mayor Gray will hold his regular bi-weekly presser.   On the agenda is the announcement of nominees to Board of Elections & Ethics, commenting on DC Council actions, the taxicab lawsuit, and more.   The briefing will be held in the JAWB's Room G-9.

Two new budget workshops!

The first new session is the October 12 workshop on the capital budget.   It features capital budget director David Clark.

The second new session is DC Budget 201: Agency Budget Development on October 14.   I'll be leading this one and will be sharing a ton of information!

More information including registration info is on the DC budget workshops page at Helping Others Better.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

New how-to guide: Communications for DC Advocates

Are you new to advocacy and need pointers to writing testimony?   Have you been around advocacy but want to organize a briefing?

Consider buying Communications for DC Advocates: How-to's and lessons learned over 15 years.   The 41-page guide (PDF) offers instructions, tips, and notes for writing letters, preparing and delivering testimony, holding briefings, templates for written communications, and much more.

Will Singer, former clerk to the DC Council Committee on Human Services and former budget director for Mayor Adrian Fenty has said this about this new guide:

Susie Cambria has written an easy-to-use guide that allows readers to benefit from her experience and insight as an influential advocate. This valuable resource will help new voices speak with persuasive force on public policy issues. Even seasoned insiders will find useful notes and reminders here.

And then there is this from Veronica O. Davis, PE of Life in the Village and Hillcrest Transportation Committee:

Where was this when I started advocacy in DC? This is an extremely useful guide that helps understand the process and best way to communicate to decision-makers.

You can buy the guide here.

“Major Projects Lab Ward 8” Job Creation Summit

Mayor Vince Gray will give remarks at “Major Projects Lab Ward 8” Job Creation Summit today from 3:00 - 4:30 pm.   The effort is a collaboration of the Washington, DC Economic Partnership and George Washington University.

Don't know anything about MPL[W8]?   Well, it "seeks to galvanize business, education and community leaders to accelerate “transformer” opportunities intended to grow the economy in Ward 8. It is the launch pad for stakeholder led economic development projects in support of small business development, jobs and job training." (According to GW)

GW reports that the event will be streaming live but what link to use is anyone's guess.   Watch the event streaming live starting at 1:00 pm using this link.   (UPDATED 9:25 am)

News from the DC Council

Monday, September 19, 2011

Go green, be crafty, eat great food

SCRAP-DC and Think Local First DC are teaming up with the Washington City Paper for the Crafty Food Market at Crafty Bastards Festival Saturday, October 1 from 10:00 am – 5:00 pm in Adams Morgan.

Think Local First DC is accepting donations of unused or misprinted bags that have a good second life in them.   Call Think Local First DC (202-674-2005) to donate bags.   SCRAP-DC will provide reused and salvaged art materials so festival attendees can decorate the donated and reused paper bags.   Seriously, how much fun is that?   And green!   Last year, SCRAP-DC diverted 2.5 tons of material from the landfill and upcycled it into creative products.

You can use your decorated bag to carry food, new to the festival this year.   According to CutTheCraft

New at this October’s Crafty Bastards will be a whole area dedicated to the craft food scene. A “Foodie Bastards” if you may. Powered by Roadside Food Projects, the area will feature a Crafty Food Market with local and artisanal food to purchase and a D.I.Y. salon to showcase the D.C. area’s best culinary talent.

Budget-related news

Photo from Wikimedia Commons
  • September revenue estimate:   On September 16, CFO Natwar Gandhi released the latest revenue estimate (PDF); the FY 2011 revenue was revised upward by $89 million.   The increase does not extend to FY 2012 and for FYs 2013 to 2015, revenue is estimates to decline from the June projection.

    Gandhi also sent a letter about the contingent budget (PDF).   Gandhi reiterated his caution against the contingent budget, a provision in the FY 2012 budget request act enabling budgeting outside the normal budget process.   Gandhi argues that the city must maintain flexibility in the "current uncertain economic environment."

  • Balancing the FY 2012 budget:   According the Council Chair Kwame Brown, balancing the FY 2012 budget, which starts October 1, is one of the most pressing priorities facing the City Council this fall.

    The DC Council will be taking up an amendment in the nature of a substitute of B19-408, " Fiscal Year 2012 Budget Support Act of 2011" (Word, .doc) on September 20 at the legislative meeting.

    DC Fiscal Policy Institute says this about this technical change:

    Though much of it is technical in nature, one possible addition may be more than procedural: Some council members want to reverse previous votes to tax income from out –of-state municipal bonds. That’s not a small matter, and it deserves serious consideration. If a majority of the Council wants to “grandfather” the tax exemption for current bondholders, that will cost $13 million in reduced revenue for FY 2012 and more in later years.

    The budget must balance, so the removal of the bond tax must be replaced with another revenue source. As of today, no proposals have been circulated. One possibility for restoring this tax break for current bondholders would be to offset the revenue loss by creating a new income tax bracket for individuals with incomes above $350,000. This idea was floated in July but not voted upon. Another possible proposal would be to pay for the tax break with unanticipated revenues that may be announced by Chief Financial Officer Natwar Gandhi in his September revenue forecast.

    You can watch what happens with the three FY 2012 pieces of legislation (above plus Revised FY 2012 Budget Support Technical Clarification Emerg Amend Act of 2011 DRAFT 2011-09-16 and Revised FY 2012 Budget Support Technical EDR) live on Channel 13 online.

  • FY 2013 budget:   The FY 2013 budget (October 1, 2012 – September 30, 2013) process starts October 6 with OBP's annual kickoff event.   In December, the DC Council will determine format and other requirements, including the date Mayor Gray must transmit his proposal to the council.
  • Budget workshops:   Learn about the capital budget on October 12 and advocating to agencies October 14.   Details about these two new workshops will be available soon.

Friday, September 16, 2011

New learning opps added to the calendar

New to the Advocacy and Learning Calendar:
  • Making the Personal Political—Effective Advocacy with the DC Council, September 22
  • Community-wide discussion on Ward 5 schools, September 29
  • Perinatal and Infant Health Bureau to Host Improving Birth Outcomes Through the Life Cycle Conference, October 28

If you've got an event to add, email me the information (text and PDF or JPEG) and link to the information on your website.

Advocacy communications beyond calls and emails

There are myriad ways to communicate with elected and appointed officials including:
  • Briefing them
  • Meeting with legislative and executive branch staff
  • Facility tours

And what cannot be overrated is the value of nice.

Details about communicating with electeds and appointeds and their staff is contained in Communications for DC Advocates: How-to's and lessons learned over 15 years, a guide providing the basics of advocacy communications, on sale September 19.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Tips and resources for advocacy communications

Need to know the basics of advocacy communications?   For sale starting September 19 is Communications for DC Advocates: How-to's and lessons learned over 15 years, a guide providing the basics of advocacy communications.

The contents include:

  • Writing to the Mayor and members of the DC Council, and ANCs
  • Executive branch agency hearings
  • Commenting on proposed/emergency regulations
  • Fact sheets
  • Meeting with elected and appointed officials

Check back here September 19 to purchase your copy of Communications for DC Advocates: How-to's and lessons learned over 15 years.

Updated info from DC Council

I've caught up with some staff changes at the DC Council; here is the latest directory (PDF).

I'm also sharing the legislative meeting calendar (PDF) and the list of DC Council meetings and Council-mayor breakfasts (PDF).

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Do you need to know the basics of advocacy communications?

For sale starting September 19 is Communications for DC Advocates: How-to's and lessons learned over 15 years, a guide providing the basics of advocacy communications.   There are tips and notes and some superstar tips thrown in for good measure.   A list of resources associated with each communication method is also included.

The contents include:

  • Writing to the Mayor and members of the DC Council, and ANCs
  • Writing to appointed officials
  • Preparing testimony and statements for the record
  • Delivering testimony
  • After the hearing

Check back here September 19 to purchase your copy of Communications for DC Advocates: How-to's and lessons learned over 15 years.

The media, politics, and public policy

Interested in politics, public policy, and the media?   Then plan on attending the October 19 event “Demosclerosis: The Challenge of Moving America Forward in a Hyper-Partisan Age” featuring columnists David Brooks of The New York Times and E.J. Dionne of The Washington Post.   The event is the News Literacy Project's Second Annual Fall Forum.

The event is being held in Bethesda, MD.   More information and details about tickets are online.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Mayor Gray makes changes to media briefing location

Mayor Gray has changed up his regular contact with the media and announcements pattern.   The mayor is replacing his regular weekly press briefings with bi-weekly briefings and announcements in the community.   What this means to those of us who rely on the computer and television to watch the pressers is that we have to join Mayor Gray in the community.

Government news

  • The Committee on Health has a new newsletter (PDF).
  • The latest (August 25) issue of The Catania Chronicle is out.
  • The DC Public Library's board meeting is September 21 at 6:00 pm at the Deanwood Library.   The public is encouraged to attend. More about the board meeting schedule and meeting documents are online.
  • 3rd Annual Moving Forward Together Secondary Transition Community Forum and Youth Transition Fair, September 23 and 24: Local schools serving DC students are invited to bring their students to the September 23, 10:00 am - 2:30 pm Youth Transition Fair to hear speakers, browse exhibits and participate in interactive demonstrations and activities.   More information is available via email and phone (202-907-6887) from Leila Peterson.   Registration information is online.

    The Transition Community Forum is September 24 from 9:00 am - 1:00 pm and is designed for DC youth and young adults with disabilities, parents/caregivers, educators, employers, community organizations, government representatives, and community members.   The event features workshops, local resources, and interactive programming for youth. Registration information is online.

  • 2011 Mayor's Annual Disability Awareness Expo, October 8 from 10:00 am - 3:00 pm: This event is being held at MLK Memorial Library.   The event will feature opening remarks from Mayor Vince Gray, demonstrations, exhibits, and DC government program information.   More information and registration details are online.

Monday, September 12, 2011

There is still time to register for DC Budget 101

There is still time to register for DC Budget 101, a workshop at which you will learn the fundamentals of the DC budget.   Register today for the workshop being held later this week at East River Family Strengthening Collaborative in Ward 7.

You will learn the basics of the budget process, the roles of the various agencies, advocacy intervention points, key terms, what those darned acronyms stand for, where to get a copy of the budget, and much more.

Help the Council for Court Excellence decide its priorities for next 5 years

Those interested in the work of the Council for Court Excellence (CCE) are invited to participate in the organization's Long Range Planning Retreat on September 26 from 8:00 am – 2:00 pm at McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP (1900 K St NW).

Participants in the highly interactive retreat will discuss possible future CCE initiatives and identify those that should become the Council's top priorities for the next five-year period.   The goal is to select a limited number of major themes for the next several years where the Council for Court Excellence can make valuable contributions that will demonstrably improve the administration of justice for this community.

RSVP via email or phone, 785-5917.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Get a little peace on

Interested in volunteering with the Washington Peace Center?   They are having a volunteer orientation, a bash actually, September 19 from 7:00 - 8:30 pm at St. Stephen's Church (1525 Newton St NW).   More info on the WPC website.   RSVP by September 15.

More youth town halls with Mayor Gray

Mayor Vince Gray will talk with young people in Ward 6 September 17 from 10:30 am - 12:30 pm at King Greenleaf Recreation Center (201 N St SW).   The focus of this event is school and youth are invited to share concerns and ideas about their school and education.

More information is available from the DCYAC Office, 727-7966 or via email.   If you require translation or interpretation services, call 442-8150.

The flier is here (Word, .doc) and below.

Future youth town halls are October 29 (Ward 5), November 19 (Ward 4), and December 17 (Ward 3).

Media changes of note

  • Follow Andrea McCarren, multimedia journalist at WUSA-TV, Channel 9 (the CBS station in DC) on Twitter, @andreamccarren.   McCarren covers a wide range of issues and is always looking to interview folks.   Follow her on Twitter and you can 1) learn what she is covering and 2) respond to her call for interviews.
  • Martin Austermuhle has been promoted at DCist to full-time editor.   Austermuhle will do more of what he has been doing for awhile, reporting and analyzing current events and politics.   Congrats, Martin!
  • Freeman Klopott has left The Washington Examiner for northern pursuits.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Youth service provider announcing candidacy today

Max Skolnik will be announcing his candidacy for the Ward 4 DC Council seat September 8 from 11:10 - 11:30 am on WPFW 89.3FM (on the radio and streaming live).   Skolnik is appearing on the DC Politics Show with host Eugene Dewitt Kinlow and politico Chuck Thies.

Yowza, are there some great learning opps scheduled in September or what?

New to the Advocacy and Learning Calendar:
  • Rock a Bye Baby, Now Safely Lay Me Down to Sleep: Infant Suffocation Deaths in the Sleep Environment webinar, September 8
  • How can technology help get more healthy, fair, affordable, green food to consumers? webinar, September 15
  • Eradicating Hunger through State Efforts: Using Federal Resources and Other Low-Cost Options to Serve Those in Need webinar, September 15
  • Civil Disobedience Forum, September 29
  • Business Opportunity Meeting, October 20

If you've got an event to add, email me the information (text and PDF or JPEG) and link to the information on your website.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Mayor Gray available to media September 7

Mayor Gray will be available to the media September 7 from 10:00 - 11:00 am in the JAWB.   He will be talking the jobs agenda, National Preparedness Month, and other issues.

Can't attend in person?   Watch on the OCT website (Ch. 16).

Two important events

  • The Ward 8 Dems' 29th Biennial Convention is taking place September 17 from 10:00 am – 3:00 pm at Savoy Elementary School (2400 Shannon Pl SE).   The event is for Ward 8 voters and the general public (citywide) and features local businesses, government agencies, and nonprofit exhibitors.

    The first part of the convention is dedicated to W8 Dems business, the second to learning.   Workshop subjects include redistricting, statehood, youth engagement, and social networking.

    The agenda and registration are on Eventbrite.   Information about vendor and exhibitor opportunities is available from Angela M. Copeland via email.

  • The Gray Panthers of Metropolitan Washington is holding their 2011 Annual Geraldine Brittain Award for Community Service on September 24 from 3:00 – 5:00 pm at Watha Daniel Public Library (1701 8th St NW).   Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless executive director Patty Mullahy Fugere is the 2011 awardee.   The event is free and open to the public.

    Speakers will include Michael O'Neill of Community Council for the Homeless speaking on "Homelessness in the District" and Darryl Moch of Labor Heritage speaking on "Joblessness and how it Leads to Homelessness."

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Middle grades education public roundtable September 7

The Committee of the Whole (Council Chairman Kwame Brown, chair) is holding a public roundtable on reforming middle grades education September 7 at 10:00 am in the Council Chamber.

A release from Brown's office portrays the roundtable, “Middle Grades Education in the District: Preparing Our Students for Success in High School and Beyond,” as a step to "transform" educating students in the middle grades.   The roundtable will feature, according to the release, local and national experts including Joanna Horning Fox, Deputy Director, Everyone Graduates Center, Johns Hopkins University; Carl Forbes, Senior Consultant, ACT, Inc.; and Robert P. Moses, Founder & President, The Algebra Project, Inc.

The witness list (as of September 6 am) is here (Word, .doc).

This roundtable is for public witnesses only; government witnesses will testify at roundtable on September 27 at 10:00 am.

If you are not able to attend the roundtable in person, you can watch online via OCT.

Upcoming government events

  • The Office of Cable Television is holding a public meeting September 12 at 7:00 pm at the Reeves Center (2000 14th St NW in the second floor Community Room).   The purpose of the meeting is to gather DC resident comments on the desired future cable television public, educational, and governmental access programming services as part of the franchise renewal process with Comcast Cablevision, the District’s cable television provider.   The information will be used in a new Comcast franchise agreement.

    Those who want to testify will sign-in upon arrival at the meeting and will have three minutes to present testimony.

    Those not able to attend the September 12 meeting should submit comments via email to Marcella Hicks by September 8.

    Additional hearings will be held within the next six weeks.

  • DYRS director Neil Stanley is holding a community briefing for juvenile justice advocates and community supporter September 22 from 5:00 – 6:30 pm at the Youth Services Center (1000 Mt. Olivet Rd NE in the community room).   Stanley will talk about his accomplishments and priorities since his appointment and will seek input from attendees on the ways the agency can improve its performance and service delivery for the youth and families.   RSVP to Ayan Islam via email.
  • CM Barry and ANC 8D are sponsoring "Ward 8 Gentrification Roundtable: The demographic transformation of Ward Eight" September 28 at 7:00 pm at Petey Greene Community Center (2907 Martin Luther King, Jr. Ave SE).   Guest speakers are ANC Commissioners Mary Cuthbert, Darrell Gaston, M. Jay Lee, Anthony Muhammad, and Sandra Seegars.   More information is available from Brenda Richardson, 698-1668 or via email.   It is also available in this flier (PDF).

Maximizing the CM Catania open house opportunity

Are you going to maximize the opportunity presented by the CM Catania/Committee on Health September 13 open house?

What does "maximizing the opportunity" even mean?   It could mean meeting new-to-you staff.   It could mean asking questions about how hearings or markups or the legislative process work.   Or, it could mean just checking in, saying hello.

No matter what maximizing the opportunity means to you, be sure to stop by the JAWB September 13 from 2:00 – 4:00 pm.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Emergency Rental Assistance Program funding available immediately

Limited Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) funding is now available from Housing Counseling Services (HCS).

HCS has 40 application slots open for eligible households with active writs.   Eligible households should call the HCS Homelessness Prevention Program (HPP) Hotline at (202) 667-7339 to learn about eligibility guidelines, the application process and to schedule an ERAP appointment.

The hotline will be updated once the slots are filled.

The DC ERAP program is designed to provide financial assistance to prevent or resolve homelessness for very low income households that include a child, senior or disabled individual.

Nonprofit News

The latest news includes job openings, events, information seeking, and more from a wide range of nonprofits in DC.

  • The DC Abortion Fund is looking for motivated, hands-on individuals who are passionate about abortion access and reproductive justice in the District of Columbia metropolitan area to serve on its Board of Directors.   They seek to add two to three members to the board of directors in the next two to six months, with special emphasis in the following areas:   major donor fundraising and cultivation, grantwriting, small event fundraising/house parties.   Applications are due September 9.   The application and more information are online.
  • Help a child go to school in the proper uniform.   Martha's Table has a wish list for school uniforms for their clients.   More information is available from Michael Bartscherer via email.

    SOME is also seeking donations to provide school uniforms for children in SOME’s family programs.   Approximately 160 school-aged children live in SOME’s five family housing programs.   School uniforms are expensive, especially for those who rely on others for basic support.   To help provide uniforms for the children in SOME’s family housing programs, make a donation here.

  • The Near SE/SW Community Benefits Coordinating Council is trying to bring a community enrichment center into the neighborhood and would like to know what programs and services are of interest to area residents.   Take the quick questionnaire.
  • LIFT-DC is looking for a program manager who will have varied responsibilities including managing staff and being the lead DC presence.   Position description and information on how to apply are available online.
  • Check out Robert Bettman's 3-minute interview in The Washington Examiner.
  • Empower DC's Grassroots Media Project has spaces available in the Media Corps two-hour workshops on lighting and composition for video.   Those who are trained will work with Empower DC to cover campaigns and other progressive activity within the city.   More information about the project is online; details about the workshops are available from Liane Scott via email and phone, 234-9119 ext. 106.
  • The Public Benefits Training series is back with six sessions.   The trainings are free and an opportunity to learn about eligibility, benefits, application procedures, and practical tips on how to help your clients navigate the system.   It is also an opportunity to hear about new developments or policy changes affecting that benefit program.   Sponsors are encouraging case managers, legal services lawyers, pro bono lawyers, or anyone who works with low-income clients to attend these sessions.   The series kicks off September 20.   More information is in this flier (PDF)
  • D.C. Farm to School Week will take place October 3 – 7 and is a chance for schools across the District to celebrate local, seasonal food in school meals, and engage students in the farm-to-table process.   Participating schools will coordinate hands-on food and farm activities for students, and spread the word about the week to their school communities.   Organizers will make sure that seasonal, local foods are featured in school meals.   A ton of information about events and what families can do is on the D.C. Farm to School Week blog.
  • From Many Languages One Voice and DC Language Access Coalition are sponsoring a Language Accessibility Workshop on September 20.   Attendees will learn more about multilingual work in social justice, how to work with interpreters, and more.   The event takes place September 20 from 6:30 - 8:30 pm at St. Augustine's Catholic Church (1419 V St NW).   RSVP to Lillian at (202) 974-8281 or via email.
  • PIW offers inpatient and outpatient mental health services to youth; details here.
  • University Legal Services Protection & Advocacy Program seeks public input from the public for the program's priorities next year.   Consumers, providers, agencies, families, and advocates are encouraged to participate in the survey, online in a downloadable format here (PDF).   The deadline is October 29.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Register today for DC Budget 101

September is the right time to get the fundamentals of the DC budget under your belt.   Register today for the September 15 workshop, DC Budget 101 being held at East River Family Strengthening Collaborative in Ward 7.

You will learn the basics of the budget process, the roles of the various agencies, advocacy intervention points, key terms, what those darned acronyms stand for, where to get a copy of the budget, and much more.

Feel free to share the flier about the event (PDF) with colleagues, volunteers, board members, and neighbors.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Survey about medical homes, children, and youth

Children’s National Medical Center will host a webinar in September on the medical home model of health care provision.   In advance of the webinar, the Metropolitan Washington Public Health Association (MWPHA) is conducting a short survey to get a better idea about which issues would be most useful to learn more about regarding medical homes.

Direct questions to Mary Frances Kornak via email or (202) 412-7519.

The deadline to participate in the survey is September 9.