Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Are you ready to advocate with new (maybe) CMs?

If voters in the District of Columbia elect new members of the Council, Communications for DC Advocates: How-to's and lessons learned over 15 years will come in handy.   This 40-page guide is full of how-tos, tips, and advice about writing letters and testimony, participating in meetings with DC Council and executive branch staff, and making phone calls.   But there's much more in the guide; take a look at the table of contents:

Section I: Writing to the Mayor and members of the DC Council, and ANCs
Section II: Writing to appointed officials
Section III: Preparing testimony and statements for the record
Section IV: Delivering testimony
Section V: After the hearing
Section VI: Executive branch agency hearings
Section VII: Commenting on proposed/emergency regulations
Section VIII: Fact sheets
Section IX: Meeting with elected and appointed officials
Section X: Briefing elected and appointed officials
Section XI: Meeting with legislative and executive branch staff
Section XII: Phone calls to elected officials
Section XIII: Facility tours
Section XIV: The value of nice
Section XV: Conclusion
Section XVI: Resources and extras

Buy the guide here for only $35 so you can have important how-to steps to engage new CMs at your fingertips.

The role neighborhoods play in child development

George Galster, a Wayne State University professor of urban affairs, adds a third option to the typical nature versus nurture debate: the role of neighborhoods and communities in how children develop and assist or restrict later outcomes.   In the video "Do Neighborhoods Matter?" (also below), Galster explains how children are harmed by growing up in predominantly poor neighborhoods.   He also recommends ways to improve federal and state housing programs to avoid high concentrations of poverty.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Crowdsourced Hurricane Sandy-related outages, etc.

UPDATED 10/30 8:37am: To see the CrisisCampDC map of Hurricane Sandy outages and more, go to

According to CrisisCampDC,

This Crowdmap is being run by digital responders who want to use the power of the people to help map out concerns, events issues and reports during Hurricane Sandy in the District of Columbia. So thanks for your report and someone from CrisisCampDC will review it & post it once approved. If this is an emergency, please contact 9-1-1. or HSEMA (202) 727-6161 @DC_HSEMA

I completely understand the value of a resource like this.   My only questions are:

  1. Should the District government―particularly DDOT, HSEMA, DMPSJ, and DC Water (I know they are not gov)―be active partners in this effort to make it most useful?
  2. Do the government agencies stream enough up-to-date data to quickly populate this and future maps?
  3. If CrisisCampDC does partner with the government, should HSEMA link to the latest crisis map?

If you follow me on Twitter (@susiecambria), you may have noticed I suggest improvements to various websites and practices, especially during emergencies, crises-in-the-making, and the like.   My on-going suggestion about emergency management and communications is this: The District government needs a better, more effective communications plan.   So rather than just add the CrisisCamp link to a future emergency page, I suggest stepping back and taking a fresh look at the entirety of the communications plan and include, of course, links to non-government resources.

More information about CrisisCampDC is on their blog.

Input needed about green issues around the 14th/U corridor

An important message from Brianne Nadeau:
Sustainable U is a community-led initiative that strives to increase the availability of and participation in green living (and working!) options in the 14th/U corridor. We are inspired by our interest in protecting the environment, improving the quality of life in our neighborhood and reducing energy costs for consumers. Please fill out this survey to help us take a snapshot of current participation in green programs, and to help us learn what other programs our community wants and needs.

DC-related Hurricane Sandy information, October 30

Mayor Gray has closed the District government Tuesday, October 30.   See the release here in the mayor's news room.   Highlights of Tuesday in DC:
  • For constant updates about the District’s response to Hurricane Sandy, visit this website:
  • A list of shelters is available on the D.C. Government’s Hurricane Sandy website. Rides to shelters are available until conditions are too dangerous. Call 311 for a ride. The shelters provide for basic human needs for those exposed to dangerous conditions (such as homeless people) or in the event homes are not habitable. Shelters provide cots, blankets and water.
  • To receive important text messages about the latest information on weather, traffic, closings and more, sign up for ALERT DC at

DC Public Schools have been cancelled for Tuesday.   All sports and afterschool activities are also cancelled.   OLA has provided the information in Spanish:

Compartiendo la última información de las Escuelas Públicas de DC:
Todas las Escuelas Públicas y oficinas administrativas estarán cerradas el día de mañana, martes 30 de octubre. Empleados de las escuelas públicas que no sean considerados personal indispensable o imprescindible (essential personnel) no se tienen que presentar a trabajar. Todas las actividades extracurriculares y eventos deportivos que han sido programados estarán cancelados también.

Por el momento, el personal indispensable no necesita reportarse a trabajar el día martes tampoco. Una vez que lo peor de la tormenta pase, el personal imprescindible recibirá información, por parte de sus supervisores, sobre donde reportarse para evaluar posibles daños y empezar a coordinar la apertura de las escuelas y el regreso a sus actividades normales.

Early voting sites are also closed Tuesday, October 30.   Residents should visit the Board’s website to monitor the status of early voting sites.

Finally, the DC Council will be closed October 30 and they have moved their COW and leg meeting to November 1 although the November 1 schedule does not include those two meetings.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Useful information about DC government and Hurricane Sandy, updated 10/29 11:56a

HSEMA has posted important information about Hurrican Sandy on its website,   What is missing is this vital information from The Community Partnership for the Prevention of Homelessness:
If you see a homeless person in need on the street or for shelter referrals, outreach and transportation services to homeless persons in the D.C. area - Please call the Shelter Hotline 1-800-535-7252 or 202-399-7093

UPDATE 10/29, 10:45 am: The Department of Human Services (DHS) reports the following locations have been identified as emergency shelters Starting at 10:00 am October 29:

  • North Michigan Park Recreation Center (Ward 5) (1333 Emerson St NE)
  • Guy Mason Recreation Center (Ward 3) (3600 Calvert St NW)
  • Deanwood Recreation Center (Ward 7) (1350 49th St NE)
  • Bald Eagle Recreation Center (Ward 8) (100 Joliet St SW)
  • Emery Recreation Center (Ward 4) (5701 Georgia Ave NW)

A map of these locations is here (PDF).   It is also shown below.

UPDATE 10/29, 11:56 am: This from the Office of Latino Affairs:

Refugios abiertos en el Distrito de Columbia
Ward 3/Área 3:
  • North Michigan Park Recreation Center (Ward 5) (1333 Emerson St NE, 541-3526)
  • Guy Mason Recreation Center (Ward 3) (3600 Calvert St NW, 727-7736)
  • Deanwood Recreation Center (Ward 7) (1350 49th St NE, 671-3077)
  • Bald Eagle Recreation Center (Ward 8) (100 Joliet St SW, 671-5125/671-5123)
  • Emery Recreation Center (Ward 4) (5701 Georgia Ave NW, 576-3211)

Para obtener información adicional sobre cómo llegar a estos lugares, visite la página web de DPRP.

Blog recap, week of October 22

Some highlights from the blog the week of October 22:

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Would proximity result in better services for clients, more collaboration among orgs?

A recent study found that researchers located close to one another collaborated more than those who were farther apart.   Sharing Space: Proximity Breeds Collaboration summarizes the full findings.   From the Science Daily summary:
A new University of Michigan study shows that when researchers share a building, and especially a floor, the likelihood of forming new collaborations and obtaining funding increases dramatically.

The findings have wide relevance to corporations, as well.

I wonder whether proximity would also boost collaboration among nonprofits.   Certainly, locating nonprofits providing services to community members in close proximity―perhaps even in the same building―would benefit service seekers.   Service seekers would spend less time getting to services.

What are your thoughts about co-locating nonprofits?   Share your thoughts in the comments.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Ward 8 Farmers Market news

The Ward 8 Farmers Market reports there are no more new Bonus Dollars being issued at the market located at THEARC.

While the market won't issue any more at THEARC, they will continue to accept them.   The good news is that Bonus Dollars will still be issued at the Ward 8 Farmers Market at Saint E's tomorrow (the last day for the market at this location).

Ward 8 Farmers Market locations:

  • THEARC (1901 Mississippi Ave SE)―Every Saturday 9:00 am - 2:00 pm until Thanksiving
  • St. Elizabeths Hospital (2700 Market Luther King, Jr Ave SE, Chapel Gate)―Every Saturday 10:00 am - 2:00 pm until October 27

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Let others know you have meeting space they can use!

Nonprofits spend a lot of time, too much time, looking for free and affordable space for meetings, events, and more.   In a 2009 survey, respondents agreed that an online resource listing free and affordable space would be useful.

And so (finally), this online resource.   Only two organizations have shared their information.   For it to be successful, owners of space all over the city will have to populate this list.   So please share far and wide.   And be sure to provide info for your free/affordable space.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Speak your mind about parking in DC

The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) wants to hear from those who live, work, or visit the District to take an online survey about parking.   Specifically, DDOT seeks comments and recommendations on a number of its current parking programs to gauge the state of parking, create a more efficient use of parking resources and shape future parking policies and programs.   You have until October 31 to take the Parking Think Tank Survey.   The survey takes no more than 10 minutes to complete.

All-Parks Town Hall, October 25

Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton will host "All-Parks Town Hall" October 25 from 6:30 - 8:30 pm at the John A. Wilson Building (1350 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Room 412) to begin a community conversation on making National Park Service (NPS) parks in the District more neighborhood-friendly.   A panel will kick off the event.   Panelists are Steve Whitesell from NPS, David Alpert from Greater Greater Washington, Richard Bradley from a BID, Catherine Nagel with national urban parks advocacy experience, and Danielle Pierce, a mother.   Attendees will have a chance to ask questions and offer ideas.

Mayor Gray on NewsTalk October 25

Mayor Vince Gray will make an hour-long appearance on NewsTalk October 25 from 10:00 - 11:00 am.   Tune in to NewsChannel 8 streaming here:   If you have questions or comments for the mayor, call (703) 387-1020 or email between 10:00 - 11:00 am.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

A must-attend event for limited experience and young job seekers, October 30

The DC Jobs Council and the DC Children and Youth Investment Trust Corporation are sponsoring "21st Century Workforce Development for Youth & Adults" October 30 from 9:30 am - 12:30 pm at DOES (4058 Minnesota Ave NE).   The purpose of the event is to share with young people and adults with limited workforce experience insights from industry professionals―insights on practical strategies and considerations for entering and succeeding in different careers.

More information is in this flier (Word).

Wear purple Thursday, October 25

Join thousands of people on Thursday, October 25 by wearing purple―an outfit or accessories―for Purple Thursday, a day to honor domestic violence survivors.   The DC Coalition Against Domestic Violence is incenting purple-wearing with a contest (PDF); winners will be announced in early November.

This event is one effort to make folks aware of this terrible problem during Domestic Violence Awareness Month (October).

A great use of a Twitter header

LEDC has taken advantage of the new Twitter feature, the customizable Twitter header (see the LEDC header here live).   They show the world what their work looks like in action, this time a shot of a community meeting sponsored by the org.

This new capacity allows you to promote your organization in new and different ways.   How are you using this feature?   Let me know via email.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

I'm participating in National Health Blog Post Month in November

November 2012 is National Health Blog Post Month.   I'm participating and will be blogging about health every day during the month.   I will need your help.   If you are having a health-related event (health fair, policy event, etc.), please let me know and I'll blog it.   Want to guest blog for a day?   Have a suggestion for a post?   Do you have a healthy and yummy recipe for these foods?   Collard greens, apples, plantains, swiss chard, mustard greens, or broccoli rabe?   Email details and links!

You, too, can blog about health all month.   More information here.


Monday, October 22, 2012

Blog recap, week of October 15, 2012

Some highlights from the blog the week of October 15:

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Advocacy and learning calendar, updated October 22

A number of interesting webinars and events have been added to the Advocacy and Learning Calendar:
  • "Building One Neighborhood" Community Dialogue on South Asian American Community (October 24)
  • Real Food Real Jobs kickoff (October 24)
  • Empower DC Child Care for All Campaign (October 27)
  • Stop Ward 4 Walmarts (October 30)
  • The Keys to Successful Nonprofit Blogging that Drives Engagement (November 6)
  • LGBTI Populations - Their Safety, Your Responsibility (November 7)
  • Aligning & Strengthening Coalitions, Commissions & Intermediaries (November 27)

If there are events you think belong on this calendar, email me the information and I will add it.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Today: Protest in support of school libraries and librarians, 9am-2pm

The Capitol Hill Public School Parent Organization (CHPSPO) protest in front of the John A. Wilson Building from 9:00 am - 2:00 pm is today!   My contribution to the cause are some baked goodies including almond sour cream cake, chocolate cake, eggnog cake (seriously yummy with nutmeg!), and brownies.

Inform the work of the Comprehensive Housing Strategy Task Force

The Housing for All Campaign and DCFPI have shared some valuable information about the upcoming Comprehensive Housing Strategy Task Force hearings October 22 and November 14.   DCFPI in particular, is urging a look back at the 2006 recommendations that have not been implemented.   As usual, they've provided links and summaries (thank you, DCFPI!).

Of particular interest to the Housing for All Campaign is one of the goals Mayor Gray has highlighted: How improving the jobs and wages of District residents would change the need for affordable housing.

If you want to join forces with others, check in with Housing for All using the above link.

Elections update, October 19

Today on NewsTalk with Bruce DePuyt, three of the candidates running for the DC Council At Large―A.J. Cooper, Ann Wilcox and Leon Swain―share their views.   The program airs live 10:00 - 11:00 am.   Tune in to NewsChannel 8 streaming here:

Nonprofit VOTE Voting in District Of Columbia

Mayor Gray's October 19 sked

Mayor Gray makes one public appearance October 19 from 11:00 am - Noon at 3600 Edmunds St NW for the District Department of Transportation Tree Planting Season Kick-Off.   Later today, the mayor will tape "Inside One City" from 1:00 - 3:00 pm.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

"Drop, Cover, and Hold On" today at 10:18 am

From NWtoSE: Are you ready for the Great SouthEast ShakeOut Tomorrow 10/18/12 @ 10:18 (see original for all hyperlinks):
Growing up in Salt Lake City, Utah preparing for natural disasters was part of daily life. My high school, East High School, (you may remember it from such movies as High School Musical) was actually built on a fault line. During my Freshman year the SLC school district tore down the school and built a new one that would be able to “roll” with an earthquake if one occurred. As a young person growing up in Salt Lake I remember participating in as many earthquake drills as fire drills. I remember being in 2nd grade and when the fire alarm would sound, the school made it sound different from a typical fire alarm so we would know it was an earthquake drill. We would then calmly huddle under our desks during the drill, wait for our teacher to tell us it was safe to leave and then leave in an orderly fashion to a designated spot in the field outside the school.

Why did I mention the above stories? Mostly because I enjoy reliving my childhood as far as public safety prevention is concerned (next blog post should be on my love of D.A.R.E), but also because I think DC should be excited about the Great SouthEast ShakeOut Tomorrow! Please see details below:

Good afternoon Jana,
On October 18, 2012 at 10:18 a.m. EDT, more than 890,000 people across five states and the District of Columbia are scheduled to take part in the first ever Great SouthEast ShakeOut. The ShakeOut is a regional earthquake drill in which participants simultaneously practice the recommended action during an earthquake. This action is known as "Drop, Cover, and Hold On", which means:

  • DROP to the ground
  • Take COVER by getting under a sturdy desk or table, and
  • HOLD-ON to it until the shaking stops

The states of Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia are encouraging their schools, businesses, organizations, government agencies, communities, and households to participate in this historic event. These states are being supported by the Central U.S. Earthquake Consortium (CUSEC,, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA,, and many other local, state, federal and volunteer partners.

District of Columbia Homeland Security and Emergency Management Director Chris T. Geldart is encouraging all of the District’s stakeholders to participate. It only takes a couple of minutes to register and it’s easy to do. Visit and click on the Great ShakeOut Banner on HSEMA’s homepage.

Register today for your family, organization, workplace, faith community and let others know too! Share this information with your networks. Here is a wonderful opportunity for the whole community to get prepared. Join the District of Columbia, an Official Participant in the Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drill.

Here are links that will take you to the drill’s website and registration: ,

Kim McCall, Division Director
Outreach and Engagement
District of Columbia
Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency

Why I read themail

I've been reading themail since I started in advocacy in DC in 1996 as an intern at DC Action for Children.   Back then, it was the only thing of its kind.   Today I was reminded of why I still read it.   The DC Watch team (Dorothy Brizill and Gary Imhoff) reports back with responses to what is painted as a "generationalists" debate―young 'uns versus old folks or, put another way, those interested in green, walkable communities deliberately excluding automobiles versus all others.

So what's so important about this particular issue (October 18, 2012) of themail?   This:

This is an ironic payback for the liberals and radicals of the baby boomer generation that in the 1960’s invented the motto, "Don’t trust anyone over thirty."

I'm not taking sides on this latest old vs. new debate.   What I am doing is trying to use what I know from the past, learn what I don't know about the past, and inform policy and practice today and tomorrow.   There's no better example of this than the blog post "Some thoughts about the Health Benefit Exchange Navigator Program" published today.

My final word for today on this: There is plenty of room at the policy table for all perspectives.   Advocates on all sides of an issue should remember this and understand that personal views may change over time.   So what you want 10, 20, 30 years from now may be very different from what you are advocating today.

The importance of knowing DC's history

I've been following H-DC (H-Net Network on History of the District of Columbia) for some time now and am absolutely fascinated with the information curated and shared on this list.   Matthew Gilmore is editor of the list that shares all manner of DC history information, research requests, and media stories.   You can subscribe to the H-DC list.

This 3-minute interview by Examiner reporter Naomi Jagoda has Gilmore talking about the upcoming D.C. Historical Studies Conference.   In response to the question "Why is it so important to learn about D.C. history?", Gilmore responded

People who have been here a long time can contribute to the understanding of how we got where we are and where we may be going. There's always discussion about historic preservation and urban renewal and development of the city, so if you don't have an appreciation of how we got where we are, it can be difficult to understand what you want to save and how you want to save it.

Some thoughts about the Health Benefit Exchange Navigator Program

I had a flashback to the early 2000s while reading The Crider Group's District of Columbia Health Benefit Exchange Navigator Program Analysis: The Role of Navigators in the District of Columbia Health Benefit Exchange (PDF).   Several themes in this Crider report for the Department of Health Care Finance mimic those in the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation-funded Covering Kids (CK) and later Covering Kids & Families (CKF) program.   Consider the Crider recommendations:
  • We suggest that the role of Navigators be limited to the functions identified in the Act initially. Since community based organizations (CBOs) are required to be one of the Navigator entities, additional services such as case management and social service support are currently being provided by some of these entities. These entities are best qualified to continue to provide these services and are already trusted by the community to do so. Additionally adding these services to the Navigator functions will not only result in duplicated services but is also likely to increase the cost of the Navigator Program.
  • The District would also benefit from allowing Navigators to target their services to specialized populations. Allowing Navigators to specialize in serving specific populations would allow Navigators to serve populations they are comfortable with and reduce the "learning curve" related to serving populations they are not familiar with.

DC's Covering Kids and Covering Kids & Families, part of a national movement to successfully implement the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP or CHIP), part of the Balanced Budget Act of 1997.   According to a 1997 analysis by the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities,

The legislation establishes a new child health block grant, through which $20.3 billion in new federal funds will be made available to states over the next five years for the purpose of reducing the number of uninsured low-income children... In addition, states may use the block grant funds to expand coverage under their state Medicaid programs to reach additional low-income children. (Emphasis added)

The District took advantage of the ability to expand access and chose to provide insurance in a Medicaid-like program, DC Healthy Families, to children and adults in the household up to 200% of poverty.   So how did Crider mimic CK/CKF?   The core of DC's Covering Kids program were the pilots, housed at community-based organizations.   Organizations were selected for their expertise with a target population.   Mary's Center, for example, was chosen to house the Immigrant Populations Pilot.   Mary's Center had experience with Spanish and Amharic-speaking residents.

The District is home to a diverse mix of immigrants from Central and South America, Africa, the Middle East and Asia. The District's immigrant community was selected as a Covering Kids pilot community because of its unique barriers to social services in general and health care services in particular. Some barriers are as simple as inability to communicate with Medicaid caseworkers or read relevant materials because of language differences. (Southern Institute summary of DC pilots)

It was during the early days of implementing CHIP and the myriad improvements in the application and application process that the Economic Security Administration (then the Income Maintenance Administration, IMA) in the Department of Human Services promoted the "Medicaid first" idea.   And while the Health Benefit Exchange is not promoting Medicaid first, community-based Navigators and their home agencies will, for sure, promote "health insurance first."

I hope the lessons learned from DC's Covering Kids and Covering Kids & Families will contribute to the development of the Navigator program for DC's implementation of health care reform.   A lot of money and a great deal of effort went into making DC a leader in CHIP enrollment.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Elections 2012, October 16 update

  • Congress Heights Meet the Candidates, October 15, 6:30 – 8:30 pm at UPO Petey Greene Center (2907 M.L. King Jr. Ave SE).
  • Chevy Chase Citizens Association and Advisory Neighborhood Commission 3/4G Candidate Forum, October 16, 7:30 – 9:30 pm 5601 Connecticut Ave NW.
  • Neighbors Incorporated, the Shepherd Park Citizen's Association, and the Takoma DC Neighborhood Association (TDCNA) Candidate Forum, October 17, 6:30 – 9:30 pm, Takoma Park Baptist Church (Aspen St and Piney Branch Rd NW).
  • The Cleveland Park Citizens Association Candidate Forum, October 18, 7:00 - 9:00 pm at Cleveland Park Library (3310 Connecticut Ave NW).
  • Candidate forum for Council Chairman and At-large seats, October 18 at 7:00 pm at the Ward Three Democratic Committee meeting.   The forum will take place at St. Columba's Episcopal Church (4201 Albemarle St NW, in the Great Hall).   Confirmed Council Chair candidates include Phil Mendelson and Calvin H. Gurley. Confirmed At-Large Council Candidates are Mary Brooks Beatty, Michael A. Brown, A. J. Cooper, David Grosso, and Ann C. Wilcox.
  • Ward 4 & At-Large DC Issues and Candidates Forum, Sunday, October 21, 4:30 - 6:30 pm.   The event takes place at Xi Omega Chapter Center (4411 14th St NW).   RSVP online.

Nonprofit VOTE Voting in District Of Columbia

A few things Mike Debonis

You should already know that District of DeBonis has a new look.   The new format aligns DeBonis' blog with other WaPo blogs, formalizing style across the site.   Have no fear, the quality DeBonis is known for is unchanged.

And because I found this amusing, I am sharing the following from DeBonis on October 10:

FY 2014 budget development milestones

The Office of Budget and Planning gathered various executive branch agency staff October 11 at budget kickoff.   One element of the event was the presentation of the budget milestones:
  • Agency budget requests are submitted to OBP (October 22 - December 17, 2012)
  • OBP provides budget recommendations to EOM based on analysis of the FY 2014 budget file submitted to OBP by agencies (January 3, 2013)
  • Operating Budget Review Team (BRT) meets with agency directors (January 3 – 31, 2013)
  • Performance measures completed by EOM and transmitted to OBP (February 4 – 28, 2013)
  • ORA issues Revenue Estimate (February (TBD))
  • Final decisions on the Mayor’s policy budget (pencils down) (March 12, 2013)
  • Mayor submits FY 2014 proposed budget and financial plan to Council (March 22, 2013 (Tentative)) [The DC Council will determine the date of release in November or December 2012.]

What I found most interesting in the PPT used in the kickoff event are these two slides:


Monday, October 15, 2012

Spending restrictions in FY 2013

Mayor's Order 2012-163, Fiscal Year 2013 Expenditure Restrictions (PDF), signed October 2, restricts and in some cases halts spending in some areas for FY 2013, October 1, 2012 - September 30, 2013.   Freezes apply to training, new hires, promotions, and travel.   Limiting spending is not a new idea.   Only last year, Mayor Gray did the same (see FYs 2012 and 2013 budget update, December 22).

Some media reports of the FY 2013 freeze are:

Blog recap for week of October 8, 2012

Some highlights from the blog the week of October 8:

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Elections update, October 15

Nonprofit VOTE Voting in District Of Columbia

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Friday, October 12, 2012

Lights on Afterschool events in DC, October 17 and 18

Quality afterschool programming can help reduce youth developmental risk factors and academic barriers.   Learn more about what is offered in DC at these two events:
  • DCAYA's Lights on Afterschool―for youth, parents, elected and appointed officials, residents, media―will feature live performances, music, food, and informational booths.   The annual event will take place October 17 from 5:30 - 8:30 pm at All Souls Church Unitarian (1500 Harvard St NW).   More information about the event is on the DCAYA website or by contacting Tommia via email.
  • The DC Children and Youth investment Trust Corporation will hold their annual Lights on Afterschool celebration October 18 at 4:00 pm.   The Trust event takes place in front of the John A. Wilson Building (1350 Pennsylvania Ave NW) and will feature dozens of youth sharing how their afterschool program has made a difference for them.   The young people will then form a "human light bulb" on the steps of the building.   RSVP online.

Take the guesswork out of planning an action―use this checklist

Washington Peace Center's resource of the week is this Direct Action Checklist.

Use it to plan activities before, during, and after your actions.   For example, before-the-action items include setting goals and developing messaging.   During activities include communication, transportation, and having a police liaison.   Post-action activities are things such as debriefing, writing articles and blogs, and celebrating.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

DC Reads, October 15 - November 15

The DC Public Library is sponsoring DC Reads 2012 October 15 - November 15 showcasing Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi.   Share your thoughts on Twitter using #dcreads2012.

If you want to purchase this book, Politics & Prose has paperbacks in stock.   You can also purchase an e-book from Politics & Prose.   Use this link.

DC Reads

is a DC Public Library literacy program that promotes reading for pleasure by having city-wide celebrations focusing on one book. Our goal is to appeal to a wide audience--high school students and adults of all ages--to generate in-depth questions and discussion. DC Reads uses various artistic means to discuss, display, entertain and celebrate the joy of reading.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Ward 6 affordable housing town hall, October 11

The Housing For All Campaign's October 11 event will feature a discussion about affordable housing needs in Ward 6 and highlight successful affordable housing programs in this part of the city.
Thursday, October 11
6:30 - 9:00 pm
Saint Aloysius Church (19 I St NW)

Can you help SOME's clients?

SOME is in need of the following items (there are more on SOME's Amazon Wish List) for the homeless women, children and men we serve.   Can you help?

  • Warm clothing for men and women
  • Deodorant for men and women
  • Soap
  • Disposable razors
  • New underwear for men and women
  • New socks for men and women
  • Pots and pans
  • Tickets to local cultural and sporting events for the men, women and children living in SOME's Housing Programs

For more information, contact Greg Chudy, SOME's Donations Coordinator via email.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Elections update, October 9

Nonprofit VOTE Voting in District Of Columbia

(Updated, Oct 9, 8:15a)

Candidate events and resources:

  • D.C. Affairs Section 2012 At-Large Candidates Forum, October 11:   This brown bag lunch event will feature David Grosso (I), Mary Brooks Beatty( R), Leon J. Swain (I), Michael A. Brown (I-incumbent), Ann C. Wilcox (STG), Vincent Orange (D-incumbent), and A.J. Cooper (I).   Noted journalist Tom Sherwood will moderate, asking his own questions and yours!   Details and registration information for this free forum.
  • At-Large Candidates Debate, October 20, 3:00 - 4:30pm at Catholic University.   Email suggested debate topics and questions.
  • The League of Women Voters of D.C. voter guide (scroll down for links to individual races).   Direct questions to the League via email.
  • DC for Democracy held a candidates forum September 24.   You can watch the segments for the various seats (US Delegate, Council Chair, At-large Council candidates, Ward 4 Council, Ward 7 Council, Ward 8 Council, Shadow Senator, and Shadow Representative) by choosing the appropriate link on the website.   You can also read answers to the candidate questionnnaires.
  • Listen to the October 4 Alexander-Moten debate on WPFW.

Other important election-related information and resources:

Public comments sought on health insurance exhange issue

DC's Health Benefit Exchange seeks public input on recommendations on the proposed Navigator Program for the city.   The Role of Navigators in the District of Columbia Health Benefit Exchange (PDF) lays out options and recommendations for this outreach and enrollment assistance work, work required by the federal Affordable Care Act.

Comments should be submitted to Rekha Ayalur via email by October 12.

Friday, October 5, 2012

DC Council meeting sked through year-end

The DC Council decided October 2 on a revised schedule of meetings for the rest of the year.   The new sked is here (Word). Want to leave a comment?   Click the title of the blog post.

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NewsTalk October 5

Today on NewsTalk with Bruce DePuyt, DC's head of forensic services, Dr. Max Houk, talks about the city's new crime lab.   Later in the hour, Congressoman Eleanor Holmes Norton talks about budget autonomy, sequestration and the Obama-Romney debate.

The program airs live 10:00 - 11:00 am.

Tune in to NewsChannel 8 streaming here:   If you have questions or comments for NewsTalk guests, call (703) 387-1020 or email between 10:00 -11:00 am.

Comment on proposal to eliminate boards and commissions

The Office of Boards and Commissions seeks public comment on the proposal to eliminate more than 200 District boards, commissions, committees, and task forces.   Some were created by law, some by Mayor’s Order.   The list of up-for-abolishment is on the OBC website.   Submit written comments by COB October 19 to: Davida Crockett, Office of Boards and Commissions, 1350 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Room 302, WDC 20004.   You may also submit them online (see link above).

Words to live by

Every time I hear these words, I get chills.   And recommit myself to the work.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Committee on the Judiciary update, October 1

The Committee on the Judiciary has released the latest Hearing Overview Sheet (PDF) listing all upcoming hearings the Committee has scheduled as of October 1, 2012.   One child-related hearing is "Truancy Reduction in the D.C. Public School System: School Year 2012‐2013," a joint hearing with the Committee of the Whole on October 23 at 11:00 am.

More information about the Committee and updates to the hearing schedule are on the committee webpage.

To receive email notices of updated Hearing Overview Sheets, email Brian Moore, Committee Clerk.

CCE seeking policy analyst

The Council for Court Excellence is looking for a policy analyst.   Read and share the position description. (Updated Oct 4, 5p: link to PD fixed)

Using your desktop for good

This post about desktop wallpaper got me thinking.   What if nonprofits or authors or candidates created wallpaper?   The possibilities are endless and might yield results for the making organization―otherwise what's the point, right?

Some ideas:

  • Save the date notice for your annual event
  • Calendar of events
  • A picture or pictures of your clients or of an event
  • A basic message about your mission
  • Holiday greetings (you could send this to friends)

What are your ideas?   Leave a comment, please.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Eat lunch and help feed others

Take a break from work October 17 from 11:30 am – 2:30 pm for Empty Bowls, an annual event that brings the community together through art, a bowl of soup and the desire to help in the struggle against hunger.

You can attend the Capital Area Food Bank event fir just $25.   Guests will enjoy a meal of soup and bread and take home hand-made ceramic bowls created by local artists.   The beautiful bowls, which are a highlight of the event, are a reminder of the 680,000 empty bowls in our region.

More information including the link to register is on the CAFB website.

Miriam's Kitchen invites you to "Is ending chronic homelessness possible?"

Miriam’s Kitchen is kicking off it's Action Series October 9 at 6:30 pm with "Is ending chronic homelessness possible?"   Linda Kaufman, field organizer with the 100,000 Homes Campaign, will talk about her work on the campaign and how permanent supportive housing is a critical solution to ending chronic homelessness.   Event participants will also have a discussion about what can be done to advocate for permanent solutions to chronic homelessness in the District of Columbia.   More info is in the event flier (PDF).

Linda is an incredibly dynamic and passionate speaker with years of experience working on homelessness and housing, locally and nationally.   She will engage, inspire, and challenge you.

RSVP to Jean Badalamenti (who was in my class at Howard University School of Social Work) via email.

Mayor's regular presser, October 3

Mayor Gray will combine the announcement of the Office of Aging strategic plan and his regular biweekly presser October 3 from 10:00 am - 11:00 am.   The event takes place at Washington Seniors Wellness Center (3001 Alabama Ave SE).

The DCOA strategic plan, according to the agency release, "focuses on a senior living a quality, independent life in the District of Columbia. It is an excellent framework to advance the goals and mission of the agency and demonstrates the new direction for aging services."   Mayor Gray will also release DCOA’s Senior Needs Assessment.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Today in DC government (October 2)

(Updated Oct 2, 9:45a): Cancelled due to rain: Mayor Gray will join the Department of Parks and Recreation today from 10:00 - 11:00 am to announce the list of playground renovations for FY 2013.   The announcement takes place at Benning Park Recreation Center (Southern Ave & Fable St SE).

Today at 10:00 am, the DC Council will convene for the Committee of the Whole.    Action items are on the COW webpage.   The council will also meet today at 11:00 am (or immediately following the COW) for the the 43rd Legislative Meeting (agenda in PDF).   If you can't make it to the Wilson Building you can watch using the DC Council link.

Roll Call's Emma Dumain (@DumainBlogette) reported yesterday that Council Chairman Phil Mendelson

is expected to introduce legislation authorizing a citywide referendum to amend D.C.'s home rule charter to allow the city government to set its own budget on its own fiscal calendar. (see D.C. Council to Consider Referendum on Budget Autonomy)

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Holiday food basket and gift drive for foster kids

If you're like me, it doesn't seem possible that summer is over.   But it is.   And CFSA is already planning for the upcoming holiday season.   CFSA's Partners for Kids in Care has just kicked off its 2012 Food Basket and Holiday Gift Drive.

Last year, generous donors made it possible for children in foster care to receive gifts for the holiday.   Donors also donated approximately 250 Thanksgiving food baskets.

Your help is needed to make the 2012 Holiday Donation Drive a success for children and families.   Take a look at the Holiday Donor Sign-up Form (Word) that details the various giving opportunities.   Please submit your sponsorship choice by November 5.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Advocacy and learning calendar update October 1

A number of interesting webinars and events have been added to the Advocacy and Learning Calendar:
  • Children’s Literacy: Raising the Bar (October 2)
  • Guidelines for Working with Young Homeless Families (October 3)
  • Has Mayor Gray Put the District’s Environmental Health at Risk? (October 4)
  • Outputs vs Outcomes: Taking The Mystery Out Of Measuring Progress (October 10)
  • Race and Wealth Inequality in the Post-Election Political Environment (November 14)

If there are events you think belong on this calendar, email me the information and I will add it.

More opportunities to share using Twitter's header capacity

I'm taking advantage of Twitter's new header capacity with a picture of my mother and me.

This is a great chance to share the specialness of your organization.   Have an event?   Promote it in the header.   Have pictures of your clients?   Post them in the header.   The opportunities are endless.

What will you use it for?   Email me a link to your Twitter page if you use headers and I'll blog.