Friday, September 28, 2012
Thursday, September 27, 2012
called the "Great Vacation," lasted for eight weeks and ended in the workers' defeat. When the strike had stretched into its third week the discouraged workers decided to call it off. But when they discovered that the employers were now demanding more than the 10 per cent cut, they continued to hold out. On September 27, 1875, the strikers marched to the City Hall to demand bread for their starving children. They were greeted by three companies of militia and a cordon of police who prevented them from presenting their demands.
In the latter half of the 19th century, about one out of every six children between the ages of 10 and 15 were working -- in textile mills, print shops, coal mines and factories. Their labor was often critical to their families’ survival.
Why blog this? We may not have one of every six children working, but we do have many hungry and poor children (see DCFPI's blog post "In the Wake of the Great Recession, Poverty Rates in DC Remain High for Certain Groups of Residents").
Need a little help writing (at all) and writing well? I found the NYT piece Writing Rules! Advice From The Times on Writing Well helpful and reaffirming.
Longtime DC activist, Brian Anders, passed away in the early morning hours of Tuesday August 28, 2012. (Look for announcements for a speak-out/ memorial for this Thursday, prior to his memorial at Joseph’s House at 4pm). Brian was a devoted advocate on behalf of people experiencing homelessness in Washington, DC. He was one of the core members of Community for Creative Non Violence, including when it was at its most active in the 80s. CCNV was a vibrant community of anti-war and social justice activists, who succeeded, through direct action, in forcing the federal government to hand over the massive building at 2nd and D st. NW, so that CCNV could turn it into a shelter and community center for people without housing. The group also held dramatic actions at churches in the city, to get them to share space and resources with those who needed them most. Their organizing gained national momentum, and spurred passage of the McKinney–Vento Homeless Assistance Act, an important Federal bill that provides funding to programs to meet the needs of people experiencing homelessness. CCNV coupled their work to end homelessness with anti-war actions, always making the connection between the need to end imperialist war and suffering abroad, and to redirect those resources to helping those economically marginalized at home. While lacking its former community and activist spirit, the CCNV shelter still stands today. Brian went on to advocate for justice for low-income and marginalized communities in DC for the next decades.
Prior to his work with CCNV, Brian suffered PTSD as a result of serving in the military during the Vietnam war. He worked on healing throughout his life, channeling his energy into compassionate service and fiery advocacy. He was part of veterans’ peace organizations, and told me once that he spent months in prison in Texas for taking part in an action to block a weapons shipment. Over the decades, he worked at various organizations, helping get people into housing and helping people access needed services. He believed strongly in serving others in any way he could, in living in community, and in treating all people with dignity and respect. He had a healthy dose of disgust for politicians who rest in the pockets of the wealthy, and for the nonprofit industrial complex, which he understood to be wearing away at the true spirit of community and resistance in which many service providing organizations began.
Brain closely mentored young advocates, including members of a series of local groups who conducted direct actions to end homelessness, such as housing occupations, since the early 2000s. He was a down-to-earth human being, and he touched many lives. Brian apparently wanted people to memorialize him by taking action, speaking out on, standing up for justice and compassion. I hope we can honor his memory in this way.
Two excerpts from the Journal of Brian Anders, which he started writing in July 2012.
Living in joy. What exactly does that mean?
When do we ask the question what prevents us from living in joy?
Is it the need to blame others for our mistakes? Is it the inability to learn from our mistakes or forgive ourselves for any pain we caused to them or others? Could it be something as simple as being afraid to love ourselves?
Now is the time to be grateful and accepting of gifts I’m receiving from the divine.
What is self love? What is the key to seeing oneself as worthy of being loved and giving love? How- when can we learn self acceptance? With all of our weaknesses? How do we move past self hatred and learn to live in love?
Unconditional love? Begins within not from outside of us. Not looking for some religious answer, or even a scientific explanation or believe that it takes a form of trust. Giving in to your higher self. Ending the way within.
Brian, rest in peace.
If you have comments, please leave them with the original post.
Photo: Daniel del Pielago
Wednesday, September 26, 2012
The program will address a hypothetical real-life scenario when police and protesters interact and how the press covers it. The program will be moderated by Patrick Madden of WAMU.
TheFunTheory.com shows how doing things differently can result in behavior change, change for good. The piano staircase example here and below illustrates that making a small change to a public staircase can engage people and perhaps lure them from their usual transport, the escalator, to the static, and musical, staircase.
What are the ways the District―government and community―can use fun to change behaviors to elicit better results on individual and community levels? I'm no design expert so I encourage you to read what Dan Lockton has to say in the post "Thoughts on the 'fun theory'" (the theory stuff starts in the Triggers section).
Will using fun theory in DC policies and practices solve all our problems? Certainly not. But maybe instituting fun along with other behavior change mechanisms will put us on the right path to better health, improved auto safety, and greener living.
Have thoughts about this subject? Comment!
Tuesday, September 25, 2012
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.
Entering information into the this online resource is easy. Just provide the basis about your organization, the contact person, and the free space.
Please encourage your colleagues, neighbors, board members, and neighborhood organizations to enter their space info into the database.
To receive email notices of updated Hearing Overview Sheets, email Brian Moore, Committee Clerk.
What interests me about this approach to ending poverty is that it is turning the solution to the problem on it's head. Rather than just talking about the problem, Yumkella and partners will tackle poverty through the proxy energy head on. Says Yumkella:
But people rather talk about poverty alleviation, saving the poor people in Africa than talking about a true partnership with Africa to transform those economies. That's politics. That's an old paradigm of development in Africa: Africa as a receiver as a poor nation, "save their souls." No, it is about partnerships, it's about making Africa a viable entity in a 21st century global economy. That's the issue. Politicians will talk about poverty because it's a little bit more sexy.
Is the same true in the District of Columbia? Do we talk about ending poverty? Do we create action plans to end it? Do we nibble around the edges?
Yumkella's position is to be aggressive. Ending poverty, says Yumkella, is "doable."
We have the best minds working on this, our friends from the United Nations, friends form the World Bank, the international energy agency. We feel very excited because we just got a big boost in Rio...over 50 developing countries stepped forward wanting to be part of this initiative. The challenge now: we've got billions of dollars of pledges -- how do you convert pledges to real action on the ground over the next 10 years. Can we hold ourselves and countries and businesses accountable that what they pledged they really meant to do?
What can we learn from Yumkella? What can we take from his aggressive and active approach? Who's willing to do the work? Please leave your comments or even better, ask to join the conversation on Branch.
Monday, September 24, 2012
More information is on the DGS website. Reservations are required.
Friday, September 21, 2012
CAFB explains why the new facility:
Because hunger in this region is increasing dramatically, and our former facility lacked the space and technology required to meet the growing need. Though many of our partner agencies are seeing increases of up to 200 percent in the numbers of people who come through their doors, the Capital Area Food Bank was forced to turn away millions of pounds of donated food each year due to a lack of storage capacity.
A bigger facility means that we can distribute a higher quantity and quality of food. It also means we can expand our nutrition education and outreach programs, which address the root causes of hunger.
- Fallout from Federal Tax Reform: Implications for State & Local Revenues (September 21)
- Break ground in the Capital Area Food Bank’s Urban Demonstration Garden (September 22)
- How DC Government Works (September 25)
- Webinar: Coaching to Support Solution-Based Casework in Child Welfare (September 26)
- Daniel Burnham Forum on Big Ideas (September 30)
- Common Ground: A Roadmap to Investing in What Works for Children in Tough Fiscal Times (October 2)
- America's Report Card 2012: Children in the U.S. (October 10)
If there are events you think belong on this calendar, email me the information and I will add it.
River East Emerging Leaders, a nonprofit community action group begun in February 2009 that comprises roughly 100 area residents. The group's goal is to stimulate economic development and civic interaction in those struggling neighborhoods east of the Anacostia River.
The second interview, in September 2012, has Wilson talking about the Historic Anacostia Block Association and Anacostia's past, present, and future.
Thursday, September 20, 2012
In 2008, Washington, D.C. passed a groundbreaking law allowing many workers in the District of Columbia to take paid time off to recover from illness or instances of domestic violence. However, the law does not cover everyone. It does not protect anyone who has been working for less than a year or any tipped restaurant worker, even though these workers still get sick. Over 80% of restaurant workers in the District of Columbia cannot take paid sick days. Workers who lack paid sick days risk losing their wages or even their job if they stay home to take care of themselves or their families. No one should have to choose between their health and their economic security. Paid sick days for all would not only protect people’s jobs and financial security, but it would also reduce the District’s health care costs, limit the spread of illnesses, and boost business productivity. If you agree sign the petition here.
Stop by the booth between 1:00 and 4:00 pm to grab a book, enjoy some refreshments, and take action in support of this community effort to bring school librarians back to some DC public schools.
You can donate books to the pop-up library by dropping them off at 109 13th St SE between Wednesday and Friday this week (there will be a box under the steps) or take them to the festival on Saturday.
Photo: From CHPSPO.
Wednesday, September 19, 2012
The report will identify the actions necessary for UDCCC to operate independently from UDC. The advisory board which was appointed last fall, has made four recommendations. Three of the recommendations have been adopted by the DC Council and included in the FY 2013 Budget Support Act. The recommendations are designed to move UDCCC forward on the path towards academic, operational and financial independence.
Watch the briefing live via DCN (District of Columbia Network) (formerly Channel 16) or stop by the ground floor.
Tuesday, September 18, 2012
EPA asked federal and local government officials, non-profit leaders, and students
how they approach developing solutions to environmental and health issues in communities and we asked which moments in their efforts to advance environmental justice have changed the way that they think about solutions to environmental and health problems in communities. We also asked them to share why these lessons are important for the next generation who will receive the torch and continue to move it forward to achieve the goal of environmental justice.
Teri Blanton, former Chair for the citizens' group Kentuckians for the Commonwealth, for example, talks about the lessons she learned working with local residents―engaging them, encouraging them to take ownership over decision-making processes, and training leaders to advocate for healthier communities.
I was particularly taken with Vernice Miller-Travis's perspectives on working on issues in Harlem. She explains that after two years of yelling and screaming, she "just couldn't do that anymore." That approach to the work "wasn't productive, it wasn't moving us any further, it wasn't stemming the pollution, it wasn't addressing our issues..." She and others changed directions, deciding to talk with the various parties, something that resulted in benefits to her neighbors.
These videos would be terrific professional development tools, a starting place for colleagues, volunteers, board members, and interns to have a discussion about integrating new and different ways of doing advocacy.
Monday, September 17, 2012
- Committee of Whole: The COW will meet Wednesday, September 19 at Noon (Note new day.). The agenda was not online as of 7:45 pm September 14. You can watch the DC Council in action by using the council's online tool Granicus or the OCT council link (Channel 13).
- Legislative Meeting: The council's next Legislative Meeting is Wednesday, September 19 at 1:00 pm or immediately following the COW (Note new day.). The 42nd leg meeting agenda is online (PDF).
- Upcoming hearings and roundtables: Selected events include the September 20 roundtable on Department of Parks and Recreation Summer 2012 Programs at Fields, Aquatic Centers, and Recreation Centers; and the Department of Parks and Recreation Permitting Process & Residency Requirements for Facility Use (PDF), September 24 oversight hearing on Department of Employment Services’ Summer Youth Employment Program (PDF), and the October 29 Implementation of the Healthy Schools Act of 2010 and the District’s Environmental Literacy Plan (PDF) public roundtable.
- Ward 2 CM Jack Evans: According to his September 14 newsletter,
Next week, I intend to introduce a bill that would require each public school to have a full time librarian, art teacher and music teacher. It is hard for me to believe that we continue to invest nearly $2 billion a year into our public schools (yes, that's "billion"), with the highest per-pupil funding formula in the nation, and yet have the worst educational outcomes in the nation. This suggests to me that our money is not being spent in the right places.
The CM will also introduce legislation to limit the extent to which the council may intervene in the contracting process. Again according to the newsletter,
Too often we have seen allegations of ethical violations by members of the Council who are seen as advocating for or against a particular vendor that may have personal or campaign involvement with the member. Some of these contracts are for large amounts of money. I believe contracting should happen through a merit-based selection process that is insulated from political pressure.
CM Evans will also take on campaign finance reform and the commuter tax.
Friday, September 14, 2012
Join sponsors DC Children and Youth Investment Trust Corporation, DC Alliance of Youth Advocates, and National Summer Learning Association at the September 27 event "One City Summer Community Conversation and Debrief." The purpose of the conversation is to learn about the Trust's report evaluating the success of summer programs and discuss lessons for the future.
More information about the event is in the Trust's announcement of the meeting.
Thursday, September 13, 2012
You can sign up for the organization's Google Group using this link (you need to have a Google account).
Wednesday, September 12, 2012
- Projects like the proposed Adams Morgan hotel not only doesn't expand affordable housing it threatens what affordability and diversity we have remaining.
- The City is finding money and tax breaks for luxury hotels while they are cutting Homeless centers, cutting TANF, and other social services geared towards DC's working-poor and families. This is a great paradox of City spending priorities and is not acceptable.
- Planning of any project, including this proposed hotel project, cannot allow the voices of those who will be most directly impacted be left out of the conversation almost entirely just because they are immigrant families and small business owners. This is discrimination and is inappropriate for planning in the 21st century in the Nation's Capital.
More information about the hotel and opponents' views are on the NoAdMoHotel website.
- Measuring and reporting disparities in social determinants of health
- Using data for strategy development and improvement
- Using data for public education
- How to find out what works
Tuesday, September 11, 2012
Want the latest info on politicos, links to the latest news, tidbits about local happenings? Then be sure to read District of DeBonis every day. You can also find Mike DeBonis' stories in the Metro section, often writing with Nikita Stewart.
Monday, September 10, 2012
Guides must attend attend a four-hour training prior to Election Day and work a seven-hour shift on Election Day. A stipend of $100 will be given upon completion of service.
People with disabilities are encouraged to apply.
Be sure to stop by the Save School Librarians Display September 15 and sign the petition to save school librarians!
Residents apply directly to telephone companies.
Lifeline Awareness Week 2012 is September 10 – 14. Additional information is available on the FCC website in English and Spanish.
Friday, September 7, 2012
Thursday, September 6, 2012
The responses to date have been thoughtful and helpful. Examples include:
Differentiate expenditures by age groups of children (birth to five, six to 18, 18 to 24)
Use graphs and charts to provide useful information. Provide fiscal information for each agency by program area/expenditure. Provide real information on budgets for each area.
Make it easier to understand how much money is being spent and what is spent for. Add comparison data/info from other locals, when possible, so we can measure ourselves.
But you're not off the hook. The Deputy Mayor for Education and the Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services want all the input they can get! Please take the survey today.
Getting a library card is easy. You can apply online or visit any branch. Details are here.
Wednesday, September 5, 2012
Over three weekends from September 8-23, 2012, the DC Child and Family Services Agency will move 780 employees from three locations to a new agency headquarters at 200 I Street, SE. As that time draws near, we want to share some general information that will help you stay in touch as we transition to our new home. It’s especially important to let you know about the aspect of our move that will have the greatest impact on social workers and foster parents: Re-location of our in-house Healthy Horizons Assessment Center for pre-placement and 30-day health screenings (see box).
Not Moving: CFSA functions that will remain in the community include: 10 units of social workers co-located in neighborhoods with the five Healthy Families/Thriving Communities Collaboratives; the CFSA Youth Empowerment Center at 3700 10th Street, NW; and sexual and institutional abuse investigation units co-located at the Safe Shores-Child Advocacy Center.Contacting CFSA: All telephone numbers (including fax lines) and e-mail addresses for CFSA will remain the same. At the completion of the move on September 24, 2012, the new mailing address will be: DC Child and Family Services Agency; 200 I Street, SE; Washington, DC 20003.
Directions to CFSA: As the attached map shows, CFSA’s main entrance will be on 2nd Street, SE. We will be about three blocks from the Navy Yard-Ballpark Metro station on the Green line. M Street, SE (also about three blocks from our new location) is an active route for Metro buses. Parking in the area is very limited.
No Interruption in Critical Services: Throughout the move period, CFSA will continue to take and investigate reports of child abuse and neglect 24/7 without interruption. To report child abuse or neglect in the District, continue to call 202-671-SAFE. To report child abuse or neglect in person, begin coming to our new location on September 10, 2012, at 8 a.m.
The Healthy Horizons Assessment Center will also operate without interruption—but will shut down at 400 6th Street, SW upon opening at 200 I Street, SE. See the box and attached flyer (PDF) for details.
Looking Forward: CFSA has prepared for this move for months, and we expect it to be smooth. We’re looking forward to having key functions under one roof and to welcoming you to our new headquarters this fall.
Accessibility notes: There is parking on site. If driving, from Benning Road turn onto 39th Street to go up the driveway to the property. If taking public transportation, Minnesota Avenue on the Orange Line is the closest station.
Tuesday, September 4, 2012
Panelists include Barbara Lang, president and CEO of the D.C. Chamber of Commerce; Kojo Nnamdi, host of The Kojo Nnamdi Show on WAMU radio; Carol Schwartz, a former D.C. Council member; and Clinton Yates, Express editor and opinion writer for The Root DC.
More information about the event and details about RSVPing are online.
- Caring for America: A Dialogue on Justice, Dignity, and Health Care Policy (September 5)
- Restoring Confidence in the Power Grid (September 6 and September 10)
- Strategies for Increasing Father Involvement (September 17)
- Tools for Communicating Your Core Messages (September 25)
- Making Systems Work for Young Homeless Families - Building Collaborations and Effective Policies (September 26)
- Outputs vs Outcomes: Taking The Mystery Out Of Measuring Progress (October 10)
If there are events you think belong on this calendar, email me the information and I will add it.