Sunday, December 29, 2013

Annual candlelight vigil for youth victims of homicide Dec. 31

Northeast Performing Arts Group's annual candlelight memorial vigil and rally in memory of youth victims of homicide in 2013 will take place December 31 from 5:00 to 7:00 pm at NEPAG's outreach center (3431 Benning Rd NE).

More information from the organization's announcement:

For the past 23 years we have been holding this memorial vigil and rally, hoping that each one will be our last. We are driven to send a message of hope and peace for the future and the lives of our youth living in Washington, D.C. by coming together in peace and praying for the lives lost on the streets to homicide.

Participants in the vigil will light a candle to commemorate each of the young people ages 0‐25 that have been killed in the District this year. The victim count goes back to zero "0" at midnight, as though these young people are forgotten statistics, last year’s news. Who is thinking about the victims and the families?

Your attendance is necessary, on January 1, 2014 the count goes back to 0 and the homicide victims will no longer be a statistic. Help make a difference, the senseless killings must STOP. What could happen, if the more than 200 victim’s families over the past years were called together? There would be a movement in this city, "A Youth Life Movement."

Come join us! We are inviting youth, community groups, churches, families and concerned individuals to come out in droves and support this movement. Together we can make a difference!

For more information regarding this event, please contact NEPAG program director, Carrington Lassiter, at (202) 388-1274, or at

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Stateline: How Does Your State Stack Up?

The Pew Charitable Trusts's Stateline end-of-year compilation How Does Your State Stack Up? considers how states―including DC―compare in a number of areas including food assistance (SNAP), poverty, and teen drivers. It's worth a read, especially if you've been taking a pass on the news due to holiday prep and celebrations.

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Monday, December 23, 2013

Good news for revenue in DC (updated 12/20/13, 1:30p)

On October December 20, CFO Natwar Gandhi released the latest and his last revenue estimates for FYs 2014 through 2017.   The good news, as reported by Mike DeBonis in Natwar Gandhi’s final gift: Millions in new revenue, is a bump of $19.8 million for FY 2014 and an additional $42.7 million for FY 2015 which begins October 1, 2014.

Gandhi's letter to Mayor Vince Gray and DC Council Chairman Phil Mendelson and a summary are below.

Revenue Estimate Letter_12202013

December 2013 Revenue Estimate Summary

Sunday, December 22, 2013

DC Council releases outside gift disclosures for Nov. 2013

On December 16, the council's Office of the General Counsel released a record of outside gift disclosures for November 2013.   The information is available in CSV and PDF formats.

FY 2015 budget update

Two bits of news about the FY 2015 budget:
  • There will be no BRTs during FY 2015 development.   BRTs are usually the time when agency directors meet with the appropriate deputy mayor and staff from the Mayor's Office on Budget and Finance.   This year, agency directors have been having regular conversations with their DM and MOBF staff, discussing issues/concerns/enhancement ideas on a regular bases.
  • The mayor's budget is due no later than April 3, 2014.   This and other information about the FY 2015 budget are in R20-0567 Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Submission Requirements Resolution Of 2013 (PDF).

Friday, December 20, 2013

DC Council to recess December 23, 2013 - January 1, 2014

The DC Council's recess is December 23 to January 1, 2014.   The council is back in January 2, 2014 with a legislative meeting January 7, 2014.

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Mayor Gray on The Rock Newman Show, Nov. 9

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Save the date for the DC STEM Fair, Mar. 22, 2014

Right now, get your calendar and block out March 22, 2014 from 8:00 am - 3:00 pm for the DCPS STEM Fair.   More information, when it becomes available, will be posted on the DCPS website STEM Fair page.

DCist: New Census Explorer Tool Visualizes Survey Data At The Neighborhood Level

Thanks, DCist for New Census Explorer Tool Visualizes Survey Data At The Neighborhood Level!   As Sarah Anne Hughes writes,
Using statistics from the 2008 to 2012 American Community Survey, as well as the 2000 and 2010 Census, the tool can visualize data on total population, home ownership, education level and more.

Take a look; leave a comment about how you will use the data.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

A great tool for those who repurpose content

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Mayor Gray's Dec. 18 sked

One item on Mayor Gray's December 18 schedule is the 10:00 - 11:00 am biweekly press briefing.   The mayor will also use the event to make remarks about the Rhode Island Avenue Main Street designation.   The presser takes place at Washington Area Community Investment Fund (2012 Rhode Island Ave NE).

Another item on the mayor's schedule is the 1:00 - 1:30 announcement of the DCPS Trial Urban District Assessment (TUDA) results with DCPS Chancellor Kaya Henderson.   The announcement takes place in the Mayor's Ceremonial Office at JAWB.

Chief Lanier on NewsTalk Dec. 17

MPD chief Cathy Lanier will guest on NewsTalk December 17 during the 10:00 am hour.   Expect Lanier to be asked about accusations of wrongdoing by MPD officers, the Wilson Aquatic Center sex assault, and MPD's capturing of millions of license plate images.  Tune in to the show streaming here:

If you have questions or comments, call (703) 387-1020 or email the show.

Monday, December 16, 2013

DPR's great news: summer camp just got more affordable

The Department of Parks and Recreation has just announced a new policy to make camp more affordable to more children and youth in DC.   The policy, which goes into effect January 1, 2014, sets rate reductions and processes for families to apply for reduced fees.

The highlights:

  • The pre-qualification period begins January 13, 2014. While applications for reduced rate will be accepted at this time, camp registration will not open until Monday, February 10, 2014. The goal of the pre-qualification period is to assist residents with completing their reduced rate applications so that they can easily register for camp when registration opens on February 10, 2014.
  • Reduced rate applications will be accepted throughout the entire Summer 2014 season.
  • Applications must be submitted in-person at the summer camp office.
  • Approval for reduced rates is required before a child is registered for camp.
  • Reduced rates apply to DC residents only.

More information is available in the reduced rate release, by calling the DPR Summer Camp office at (202) 671-0372, or by emailing

Nonprofits: Share this information with your clients.

Ward 2 Education Network Briefing on Next Generation Science Standards

The Ward 2 Education Network is sponsoring Briefing on Next Generation Science Standards January 11 at a time and location to be announced.   The focus of the meeting is a discussion about the specifics of the new standards and OSSEs implementation plan.   More about the Next Generation Science Standards is on the OSSE website.   Additional information about the meeting and the network are available via email,

Briefing co-sponsors ANC 2A, ANC 2B, ANC 2F, Dupont Circle Citizens Association, Logan Circle Citizens Association, and Foggy Bottom Association.

Dec. 17 COW and leg meeting info

The DC Council will hold a Committee of the Whole meeting December 17 at 10:00 am in the Council Chamber (December 17 COW agenda (PDF)).   The COW will be followed by an additional Legislative Meeting.

DC Council's holiday party, Dec. 19

The Council of the District of Columbia's annual holiday party takes place December 19 from 6:00 - 9:00 pm in Room 412 at JAWB (1350 Pennsylvania Ave NW).   All are welcome and encouraged to attend.

Voter education and turnout, what's legal and not for nonprofits

Nonprofits and community organizations can play a significant role in voter registration and education.   NonprofitVOTE has, for example, A Voter Participation Starter Kit, fact sheets―such as Getting Started with Voter Engagement, 501(c)(3) Permissible Activities Checklist, and What Nonprofit Staff Can Do―and archived webinars.   All the resources are designed to skill up nonprofit staff to effectively engage in allowable election-related activities.

The Fair Elections Legal Network also provides valuable resources.   For those interested in promoting voting among college students, download District of Columbia Student Voting Guide (2012) (PDF).   While the election information is dated, the fundamentals still apply.   Conducting Voter Registration Drives in the District of Columbia (2013) (PDF) summarizes rules about training for those engaged in voter registration drives and what applications can be used to register voters.

The standard bearers in the field are Alliance for Justice (AFJ) and The Center for Lobbying in the Public Interest (CLPI).

AFJ's BolderAdvocacy dedicates a significant portion of their time and energy to helping nonprofits work within the rules.   Their work on electoral advocacy includes

CLPI contributes Nonprofits & Election-Related Activities (PDF), a summary of the do's and don'ts of such work by nonprofits.   CLPI has folded its other election-related work into NonprofitVOTE, mentioned above.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Ward 5 Council on Education features mayoral candidate Muriel Bowser, Dec. 17

The Ward 5 Council on Education's December 17, 6:30 - 8:30 pm meeting will feature mayoral candidate Muriel Bowser.   Bowser will discuss her education agenda.

The meeting takes place at the Lamond-Riggs Library (5401 South Dakota Ave NE).

More information is available by calling (202) 505-4309 or emailing

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Friday, December 13, 2013

DC Council holds leg meeting briefing Dec. 16

DC Council Chairman Phil Mendelson will lead the regular legislative meeting media briefing December 16 at 10:00 am in the JAWB (1350 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Room 412).   If you can't make it to the Wilson Building, you can watch the briefing on Channel 13 or via Watch Hearings Live on the DC Council website.

DC Council's schedule of 2014 meetings

Leg COW Admin and Council-Mayor Meetings for 2014

Mayor Gray's Dec. 13 sked

Mayor Gray's December 13 schedule includes the Noon - 1:00 pm participation in the One City Youth Initiative Symposium at the Kellogg Conference Center at Gallaudet.   The mayor and DC Children and Youth Investment Trust staff will share the findings from the 2013 One City Summer Initiative.

Symposium attendees will also engage in a deeper conversation―informed by local and national perspectives―of how citywide coordination, systems-level data collection, strategic resource allocation, youth and community engagement, and continuous quality improvement are "moving the needle" on youth outcomes in the District.

Mayor Gray's schedule is online.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Do you work with parents of young kids? This webcast is for you

Legacies of the War on Poverty, Lessons for the Future, Jan. 8, 2014

Legacies of the War on Poverty, Lessons for the Future takes place January 8, 2014 from 9:00 - 11:00 am in DC (at The Pew Charitable Trust, 901 E St NW) and online.   Participation is free.

According to the invitation,

January 8, 2014 marks the 50th anniversary of President Lyndon B. Johnson’s declaration of "unconditional War on Poverty." Today, 15 percent of Americans live in poverty today and yet no Administration or Congress since the Johnson era has made fighting poverty a top priority.

Exactly 50 years after President Johnson’s declaration, you are invited to join us for a forum that will offer diverse perspectives on the effects of anti-poverty policies in the U.S. in areas such as educational attainment, employment, earnings and living standards and health over the past five decades and in the years to come. The event, sponsored by the National Poverty Center at the University of Michigan's Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, the Russell Sage Foundation, and Spotlight on Poverty and Opportunity, will focus on research highlighted in a new book, Legacies of the War on Poverty (Russell Sage Foundation, September 2013) The panel will feature a discussion among the book’s editors and commentators from across the political spectrum who will address policy interventions that grew out of the War on Poverty and take a fresh look at strategies to fight poverty and promote opportunity.

More information and registration.

Equipping youth with essential social and emotional competencies

Roger Weissberg, President and CEO of the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL), recently presented at the University of Minnesota's Extension Center for Youth Development social and emotional learning symposium.   Weissberg's presentation was titled Social and emotional learning: From research to strategies.   The video and presentation are online and worth the time to watch and read.   In his presentation, Weissberg talks about why self-confidence, self-direction, empathy, teamwork, and critical thinking are extraordinarily important social and emotional competencies are essential for young people to thrive.

Andy Shallal, mayoral candidate, on NewsTalk, Dec. 12

Andy Shallal, owner of numerous restaurants in the DC area and mayoral hopeful (website:, not working at the writing of this post), will guest on NewsTalk December 12 during the 10:00 am hour.   Expect Shallal to be asked about his campaign.  Tune in to the show streaming here:

If you have questions or comments, call (703) 387-1020 or email the show.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Save the date for mayoral candidate forum-Feb. 25. 2014

Learn what others are doing to address major social challenges, including poverty

Tamarack is Canada's go-to for major issue problem solving.   The organization's Vibrant Communities Canada site is a valuable for its resource sharing around poverty reduction.   And Tamarack's Collective Impact Institute offers information and more related to community engagement, collective leadership, and community innovation.

CM Tommy Wells on NewsTalk, Dec. 11

Ward 6 CM Tommy Wells will appear on NewsTalk December 11 at 10:00 am.   Wells will be asked about the (lack of a) city fire truck inspection program and his pledge to spend one week living on what a worker earning minimum wage makes (see Tweets below).  Tune in to the show streaming here:

If you have questions or comments, call (703) 387-1020 or email the show.

Coverage of Dec. 9 GGE forum on education with CM David Catania

UPDATE: 12/11/13, 9:03a title corrected.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

CHotR asks: If you could wave a legislative magic wand what would you wish for?

Congress Heights on the Rise recently asked, and then answered, the question "If you could wave a legislative magic wand what would you wish for?"   Readers are challenged to think outside the box.
What piece of DC (or federal) legislation would you create? Could you create a law that would improve responsible development and investment in Ward 8? Could you create a workable program that would increase the number of jobs and careers east of the river? Could you create an initiative that would shape an economic plan for the future?

What are your ideas?   Add them to the blog.

Examples of and TA for data visualization for advocacy

New Tactics in Human Rights delivers again with Visualizing Information for Advocacy.   The purpose of the conversations was to consider specific examples of how
People around the world use digital tools and visualisation techniques to expose injustice and abuse, creating narratives to challenge the status quo and mobilising for action.

Summary standouts:

  • Humanitarian Tracker uses data sent by mobile phones to document human rights abuses in Syria and geospatially map them on Syria Tracker.
  • Planning: Captivating your audience with the right story
  • Implementing: Producing compelling visualizations to strengthen campaigns
  • Resources

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Engaging Veterans & Military Families in Service Forum, Dec. 18

Serve DC is hosting Engaging Veterans & Military Families in Service Forum December 18 from 1:00 - 4:30 pm at a location to be announced soon.   The forum will feature a facilitated discussion with the goal of exploring how local organizations are
  1. supporting and engaging veterans and military families in the DC metro area
  2. identifying needs of veterans and military familiess and determining how how services can be leveraged
  3. developing strategies for successful engagement

The event is free and open to organizations which engage veterans and military families or would like to engage them.   Registration is required and can be completed online.   More information is available from Kristen Henry via email.

Learn about the Next Generation Science Standards Dec. 11

The District of Columbia State Board of Education's December 11, 4:40 pm working session will focus on the Next Generation Science Standards.   The meeting will take place at One Judiciary Square (441 4th St NW, Room 842).   Meeting attendees will leave with a better understanding of the standards and what students will need to know and be able to do to demonstrate mastery of each standard.

Also at the meeting, a draft set of revisions to residency verification rules will be introduced.

From the meeting notice:

While working sessions are open to the public, individuals and representatives of organizations are not permitted to speak or participate during the working session. However, individuals and representatives of organizations may submit written testimony for consideration by the Board. Written testimony may also be submitted by email at

Monday, December 9, 2013

DC government promotes use of Hypothermia Shelter Hotline

The District government has taken to using the valuable real estate at the end of emails for promoting events and new plans.   Today, the city started promoting the Hypothermia Shelter Hotline:
Look out for those in need this winter. When the temperature or wind chill is 32°F or below, the District issues a Hypothermia Alert. For assistance during an Alert, call the Shelter Hotline at 1-800-535-7252 or 311.

So do what the message says: Call the Hypothermia Shelter Hotline number if you see an individual or family in need.   And consider putting the same or a similar footer in your personal and organizational emails.

Yay! Candidate information online in one place

#DCision14 in the media has a link to the various candidate websites; see the Candidate websites page.   CBS DC, the provider of the info, has posted Twitter handles, websites, and emails.   And more or less as available.

How do you like your research and data?

Susannah Fox asks for feedback on the numerous reports and infographics Pew has produced.   Fox is particularly interested in whether a compilation of health reports would be useful.

I admit, I'm a Pew fan.   But that's not why I'm interested in Fox's questions.   I'm interested in how people access and use information because I 1) want to learn and 2) am in the information-sharing business and want and need to do better.

What are your thoughts on Fox's questions:

How do you hear about new research? Do you tune in right away, when it’s first published, or later? What format do you find useful — tweets, slides, videos, infographics, fact sheets, reports? How about these blog posts I write and the conversations that ensue? What do you find valuable?

CM Jim Graham on NewsTalk, Dec. 9

Ward 1 CM Jim Graham will appear on NewsTalk December 9 at 10:00 am.   According to the December 9 Daybreak Daily, the CM "will be asked about the city’s building height limitation, marijuana decriminalization and Metro’s request for a rate hike."

Perhaps of more interest to advocates, electeds, appointeds, and community members is whether the CM will run again.   (See Jim Graham will announce his decision to run/not run Dec. 9 and Jim Graham - will he or won't he announce a run for DC Council? Find out Dec. 9).

Tune in to the show streaming here:

If you have questions or comments, call (703) 387-1020 or email the show.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Atlantic Cities considers the poor and housing

Mayor Gray's Dec. 9 sked (updated 12/8)

Mayor Gray's schedule for December 9 includes the Noon - 12:30 pm Department of Parks and Recreation Grow Your Own kickoff event.   The kickoff takes place at Raymond Recreation Center (3725 10th St NW).   (UPDATED: 12/8, 11:44: Date corrected)

Friday, December 6, 2013

Caroling in historic Anacostia now Dec. 15

A December 5 update from the HABA board:
Christmas Caroling!

"Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle All the Way!"
It is that time of year again. The Historic Anacostia Block Association and the Anacostia Coordinating Council invite you to sing along with us at our Annual Christmas Caroling in Historic Anacostia event.

Please join us on Sunday December 15th starting at 6pm at the Anacostia Fire Station for this fun filled event. We will start off by singing our favorite Christmas carols for our hard working firefighters and then walk the neighborhood sharing the Christmas spirit with our neighbors.

Please bring a friend and neighbor with you. The more the merrier!

Caroling will begin at the Anacostia Fire Station located at 2101 14th St., SE (near the Frederick Douglass Home). The event will begin at 6pm.

Save the date for Feb. 20, 2014 Democratic mayoral candidate event

The Ward 2 Dems and the National Democratic Club (WNDC) are sponsoring a Democratic mayoral candidates forum at the WNDC headquarters (1526 New Hampshire Ave NW) February 20 in the evening.   Follow the Ward 2 Dems on their new website.

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Thursday, December 5, 2013

Housing advocacy events (updated deets, 12/6, 10:30a)

CNHED's Housing for All Campaign has scheduled a couple affordable housing events:
  • Senior Housing Town Hall, December 13 from 10:30 am - 1:00 pm
  • Rally to End Homelessness, December 20 from 9:30 - 11:00 am

Details about both events are on the campaign's site.

All the media you want about #DCision14

Last night I launched #DCision14 in the media, a blog covering media and social media related to candidates for office in the District of Columbia.

My initial thinking:

  1. Subscribers will get emails in the afternoon.   Only one email per day unless the blank hits the fan.
  2. I'm starting with candidates for mayor but hope to quickly expand to other offices.
  3. I'm sure to miss something, so please email me, susie DOT cambria AT gmail a link and I'll post as soon as I can.    Journos and bloggers should feel free to email their work (I will be eternally grateful!).
  4. I will add social media soon.
  5. Blog post announcements will come from my current twitter handle @susiecambria.

Maybe candidate Catania on NewsTalk, Dec. 5

CM David Catania will guest on NewsChannel8’s NewsTalk December 5 in the 10:00 am hour.   Catania is expected to talk about his decision to form a mayoral exploratory committee.

Tune in to the show streaming here:

If you have questions or comments, call (703) 387-1020 or email the show.

Education forum with CM David Catania, Dec. 9

At-large CM and DC Council Committee on Education Chairman David Catania is front and center at the December 9 from 6:30 – 8:00 pm Greater Greater Education forum.   The forum will take place at The Hill Center (921 Pennsylvania Ave SE).   Light refreshments will be served.

GGE contributor Ken Archer and editor Natalie Wexler will moderate the discussion, fielding questions from the audience.   The moderators will also takes questions from the blog and via Twitter, @natwexler during the event.

RSVP online.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

The old Woodridge Library closes Dec. 22; interim opens in new year

The current Woodridge Library (right) will close December 22 at 5:30 pm and the Interim Woodridge Library will open January 13, 2014 at 9:30 am.   The location of the interim library 1790 Douglas St NE (the corner of 18th and Douglas Sts NE), only three blocks from the current library.    The interim space is a 4,200 square foot modular unit.

An overview of the Woodridge Library Project is online.   The new and improved Woodridge Library will open in 2015.

Postponed: Get your caroling on Dec. 8

A December 5 update from the HABA board:
Christmas Caroling!

"Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle All the Way!"
It is that time of year again. The Historic Anacostia Block Association and the Anacostia Coordinating Council invite you to sing along with us at our Annual Christmas Caroling in Historic Anacostia event.

Please join us on Sunday December 15th starting at 6pm at the Anacostia Fire Station for this fun filled event. We will start off by singing our favorite Christmas carols for our hard working firefighters and then walk the neighborhood sharing the Christmas spirit with our neighbors.

Please bring a friend and neighbor with you. The more the merrier!

Caroling will begin at the Anacostia Fire Station located at 2101 14th St., SE (near the Frederick Douglass Home). The event will begin at 6pm.

FY 2015 DCPS budget: DCPS wants your input and budget gets a facelift

DC Public Schools is interested in hearing from stakeholders about the FY 2015 budget for the school system.   Their website Engage DCPS: Budget Matters is the engagement and information-sharing hub and if you are a parent or have some other interest in the DCPS budget, you should take a look.

On this site you will find the three priorities for SY14-15 (Continuing to improve the 40 lowest performing schools; Improving middle schools for families and students; and Making sure DCPS students love their schools) and several ways to engage and provide feedback (survey and soon-to-be-launched online discussion platform to name just two).   The site also presents the FY 2015 budget development timeline with new activities highlighted (see below).

Be a Christmas angel

Together, you and Catholic Charities can provide Christmas presents to nearly 600 children and youth this year.   According to the Christmas Gift Program website 333 children still must be "adopted"!   The three ways you can help are explained below.

Help kids stay warm and have a drink, Dec. 5

Monday, December 2, 2013

Mayor Gray's regular bi-weekly presser, Dec. 3

Mayor Gray's regular biweekly presser takes place December 3 from 10:00 - 11:00 am at City Market at O Street (770 P St NW, 9th Floor).

The press conference includes a progress report on The Five-Year Economic Development Strategy for the District of Columbia (PDF) (executive summary (PDF)).   DM Victor Hoskins will join the mayor to talk about the progress made.   Goals of the strategy, according to the DMPED website, are

To identify Washington, DC as an ultimate worldwide destination spot

To create a roadmap of prosperity in Washington, DC

To bring together a meaningful community of businesses, civic leaders, academic organizations, and other stakeholders of Washington, DC

To forge the most business-friendly economy in the

To grow the most competitive technology presence on the East Coast

To preserve Washington, DC's signature shops and family destinations and to end retail leakage

To develop a best-in-class, global medical center

To become the top North American destination for foreign investment in businesses and tourists

To increase job opportunities in Washington, DC

To make Washington, DC one city

Mayor Gray's schedule is posted online at midnight for the following day.

Presentation on services for homeless adults

The Community Justice Project at Georgetown University Law School is presenting findings and recommendations on resources for DC’s "unaccompanied" homeless adults December 5 from 10:00 am - Noon in Room 123 of the JAWB (1350 Pennsylvania Ave NW).   The event is free and open to the public.

So Others Might Eat (SOME) requested CJP do the analysis.   According to the CJP website, students have worked with SOME "to design and implement a District-wide advocacy strategy for increasing and improving resources for unaccompanied homeless individuals (adults without children)."

Wild Apricot's curated list of free Dec. 2013 webinars is out

Wild Apricot has curated a list of free webinars in December; it includes fundraising, board development, volunteers, blogging, and more.   My favorites are:
  • Measuring Success: How to Strategically Assess Your Program (December 3)
  • Developing a Strategic Plan for Volunteer Engagement (December 5)
  • Creating a Culture of Storytelling: How to Collect the Stories You Need and Foster Collaboration (December 11)

This list is on top of the offerings by Wild Apricot itself.

Mayoral candidate forum, Dec. 5

Premier Cdc Mayoral Forum - Save the Date

Friday, November 29, 2013

Guaranteed income for all: Fantasy or possibility? Join @ezraklein Dec. 3 at 6:30PM for the next #wonkdebate

Talk transportation Dec. 9

moveDC's Transportation Plan Advisory Committee meets December 9 from 6:00 - 8:00 pm at the Frank D. Reeves Municipal Center (2000 14th St NW in the 2nd floor public meeting room).

The Transportation Plan Advisory Committee (TPAC) is comprised of DC residents from each Ward who are active in transportation-related issues and other civic endeavors.   The committee is charged with acting in an advisory role to the moveDC project team throughout the plan development process.   Committee members and the public will focus on policy components of the plan as well as a discussion of the approach to project prioritization and phasing.

Note:   Reeves Center is a 100% ID building; a state-issued ID is required to enter the building.

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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

New resource: How to Use the Internet to Win in 2014

Author and campaign and technology expert Colin Delany has just released his latest, How to Use the Internet to Win in 2014: A Comprehensive Guide to Online Politics for Campaigns & Advocates.   From the book release post:
The How to Use the Internet to Win in 2014 ebook is a comprehensive guide to effective online political campaigning and advocacy. Its focus is practical, concentrating on using today’s digital tools to elect candidates and move issues in tough political fights.

Chapters include: The Internet: What’s It Good For?, Preparing an Outreach Outreach Strategy, Grassroots and Field Organizing, and Data and Analytics.

I've not yet bought the book but intend to.   If you buy it, would love to hear your thoughts.

Ward 7 latest in Play DC playground renovation

Mayor Vince Gray, Ward 7 CM Yvette Alexander, and others will cut the ribbon on the Hillcrest Recreation Center Playground December 2 at 10:00 am at 3100 Denver St SE.

This event marks the latest in the Play DC playground renovations.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Don't be a bad neighbor; clearing snow is a group effort

The Department of Public Works and Department of Transportation are encouraging residents to come together in snow shoveling teams to clear sidewalks after it snows.   Property owners (residential and commercial) are required to clear the sidewalks surrounding their property within 24 hours after a snowfall.

Such a group effort is a terrific way to meet neighbors, help those who are not able to shovel, and generally support the community.

Comments needed on draft HBX financial sustainability report

The DC Health Benefit Exchange Authority is required to report to the mayor and council how it will be financially self-sufficient by January 1, 2015.   The draft report is here and the public is encouraged to comment.   Comments must be emailed to by COB December 6.   According to the announcement, "Comments will be reviewed and incorporated, as appropriate. The final report will be considered by the Executive Board on Wednesday, December 11, 2013."

Plotkin on politics and more

If you missed the November 6 The Q&A CafĂ© with guest Mark Plotkin, you can watch the taped conversation with Carol Joynt.   Joynt summarizes the convo:
The main topic is local politics, but Mark also offers opinions on various office seekers, reporters who are friends, on social media -- "it's crap" -- and on what he thinks was really behind his firing from WTOP radio.

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Monday, November 25, 2013

Mayor-Council breakfast, Nov. 26

Mayor Gray will meet with members of the DC Council November 26 from 9:00 – 10:00 am for the regular Mayor-Council Monthly Breakfast Meeting at the John A. Wilson Building.   The meeting is open to the media so be sure to follow your favorite journos on Twitter.   The following typically attend and report: Tom Sherwood, @tomsherwood, Mike DeBonis, @mikedebonis, Mark Segraves, @segravesNBC4, and Will Sommer, @willsommer.

Help drive New Tactics in Human Rights' conversation series topics for 2014

New Tactics is a terrific resource. I think one of the best is the conversation series.   You can help the organization select the conversation topics for 2014 by participating in this survey about the mobilizing allies theme.

Don't miss this Dec. 3 conference call about early learning

Be sure to participate in CLASP's December 3 at 2:00 pm Early Learning Conference Call (1-877-273-4202, Passcode: 2459696) to learn more about Strong Start for America's Children Act, which was just introduced in both the House and Senate.   Featured on the call will be a discussion of the legislation and one about the ongoing Budget Conference and the opportunities it holds for early learning.   If you have questions during the call, email them to Helen Blank,

Winter Wondercamp sign up starts today, Nov. 25

The Department of Parks and Recreation's Winter Wondercamp takes place during the DC Public Schools winter holiday break.   DPR will operate Winter Wondercamp in two sessions between December 23 and January 3.   Children ages 3 to 5, 6 to 12, and 8 to 13 may participate in the camp.   Camp hours are 9:00 am - 5:00 pm with aftercare 5:00 - 6:00 pm.

Registration is online only and participation is first come, first served.

More information about Winter Wondercamp is available by calling DPR's Camps/Seasonal Programs office at (202) 671-0372.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

2013 DC Community Heritage Project Showcase, Dec. 5

The 2013 showcase will feature the work of the DC Community Heritage Project grant award winners.   The event takes place December 5 from 6:30 - 9:00 pm.   The event is free but reservations are required.

The program will feature:

  1. A showcase of 18 local history and and preservation projects. Each project will share how they documented and/or preserved their history.
  2. A keynote address from a public history scholar.
  3. A brief film featuring all 2013 DCCHP grantees and their work.
  4. Catered refreshments.

The 2013 projects include:

  • Langston Terrace Dwellings Oral History
  • We are Fairfax Village
  • Kendall Green and the National College for the Deaf
  • Master Builders of Deanwood
  • A Loud Silence: a Visual Code on the Underground Railroad
  • DC Gardeners' Oral History Project

The DC Community Heritage Project

is a partnership between the Humanities Council of Washington, DC, the DC Historic Preservation Office, and the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities. It began in 2005 as a way to empower communities to construct their own local history narratives, preserving DC's collective memory in advance of rapid changes. Each year, the program offers symposia on local history best practices, workshops on house history research, a grant cycle, and a showcase at which community historians, scholars of local history, and the general public can network and discuss the innovative field work conducted by DCCHP grant award winners.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Celebrate the Meridian Hill Little Free Library Nov. 24

The Meridian Hill neighborhood's Little Free Library at 1312 Florida Ave NW will be featured in a Middle East Broadcasting Network segment being taped this weekend.   A network journalist is doing a segment on Little Free Libraries and be will be featuring the first such in DC!

Meridian Hill Little Free Library founder Phil Vahab and library supporters are gathering November 24 at Noon at the Little Free Library to talk with the journalist, support this neighborhood asset, and chat over hot chocolate and mulled cider.

Chairman Mendelson on NewsTalk Nov. 22

DC Council Chairman Phil Mendelson will talk with Bruce DePuyt on NewsChannel8’s NewsTalk November 22 during the 10:00 am hour.   The chairman is expected to talk about the building height decision, marijuana, and the 2014 campaign.   Tune in to the show streaming here:

If you have questions or comments, call (703) 387-1020 or email the show.

More from Dorothy Brizill on DC elections 2014

In the November 20, 2013 edition of themail, Dorothy Brizill penned "District Elections in 2014" [part 2]:
Voting precincts and polling sites. The DC Board of Elections (DCBOE) has scheduled two additional public hearings and extended the deadline for public comment on the proposed plans to redraw voting precinct boundaries and relocate many polling sites in 2014. The public hearings will be held on Thursday, November 21, at 10:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m., One Judiciary Square, 441 4th Street, NW, Room 280 South. Written comments must be submitted by November 30 by E-mail to or by postal mail to DC Board of Elections, 441 4th Street, NW, Suite 250, Washington DC 20001.

At the monthly Board meeting on October 2, the DC BOE tentatively approved a plan that had been developed by the BOE staff (with no civic or community input) that would drastically change voting precinct boundaries and polling locations in the District. The plan is on the Board web site at It was initially sent only to ANC commissioners, with a short public comment deadline of October 30, so that the new precinct boundaries and polling sites could be implemented by the BOE for the April 1, 2014, primary election. Most neighborhoods have reacted with surprise upon hearing of the plan, and many residents found the plan and accompanies maps indecipherable. Concerns were raised about the relocations of many polling sites, which in some instances were more than a mile away from their current locations. Assuming the Board reworks its plan following the public comment period, the earliest the Board could vote on it would be at its scheduled December 4 meeting. The BOE would then have to forward the plan to the city council, which retains the sole legislative authority to redraw precinct boundaries. (The Board can only determine the specific locations of polling sites within those boundaries.) Assuming that the council would not hold public hearings on the BOE plan until the first quarter of 2014, it now seems unlikely that there will be adequate time to implement new boundaries and polling sites properly by the April 1 primary date.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

CapitalComment and Afternoon Shots, must-reads

If you've not been reading Afternoon Shots on Washingtonian's CapitalComment, your missing out.   Benjamin Freed (@brfreed) gives us a late afternoon recap of the news of the day.

The rest of the CapitalComment real estate is also worth your time.

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DCOA talks about DC's Alzheimer's plan, Nov. 21

Premier CDC reschedules mayoral candidate forum; new date Dec. 5

Premier CDC Postpones Mayoral Forum to Dec 5th

DCPS budget hearing, Nov. 26

DC Public Schools is holding its annual budget hearing November 26 from 6:00 - 8:00 pm at Langley Elementary School (101 T St NE).   The public is encouraged to testify about the FY 2015 budget; those interested should register to testify by November 22.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Mayor Gray on NewsTalk, Nov. 21

Mayor Gray makes is regular monthly appearance on NewsChannel 8’s NewsTalk with Bruce DePuyt November 21 from 10:00 - 11:00 am.   Tune in to the show streaming here,, to see the conversation with Bruce DePuyt.

Photo from WJLA (screenshot of video)

If you have questions or comments, call (703) 387-1020 or email the show.

Mayor Gray's entire daily public schedule is online.   The schedule is updated at midnight.

Recap school boundary and feeder pattern Nov. 15 roundtable

Check out CHPSPO's recap of the DC Council's Committee on Education (CM Catania, chair) November 15, 2013 public oversight roundtable on school boundaries and feeder patterns in School Boundary Review Roundtable.

Mayor Gray's regular biweekly presser, Nov. 20

Mayor Gray's regular biweekly presser, being held November 20 from 10:00 - 11:00 am, includes a status update on affordable housing in DC.   The event takes place at the future site of Metro Village (7051 Spring Pl NW).

Mayor Gray's entire daily public schedule is online.   The schedule is updated at midnight.

Candlelight vigil for youth, Nov. 21

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

11th Annual Gift of Love Tree holiday campaign

2013 Gift of Love 1-Pager

Creating the Sustainability Leaders of the Future, Dec. 5

More information:   Contact the DC Environmental Network for more information about the issue and the event.

Must read: DCist's "Abandoned D.C.: Inside The Ruins Of The Forest Haven Asylum"

If you read nothing else today, read Abandoned D.C.: Inside The Ruins Of The Forest Haven Asylum.

Candidate Nate Bennett Fleming guests on NewsTalk, Nov. 19

Current D.C. Shadow Representative and at-large DC Council candidate Nate Bennett Fleming ( will guest on NewsChannel 8’s NewsTalk with Bruce DePuyt November 19 at 10:00 am.   Fleming will talk about his quest for a seat on the council.

Tune in to the show streaming here to see the conversation with Bruce DePuyt.   If you have questions or comments, call (703) 387-1020 or email the show,

Premier CDC mayoral candidate forum postponed to Dec. 5

The Premier CDC's mayoral candidate form originally scheduled for November 20 has been postponed to December 5.   Additional information will be posted here as it becomes available.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Apply for the Claudia L. McKoin Public Service Leadership Training Academy by Dec. 15

The Federal City Alumnae Chapter (FCAC) of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. is launching the Claudia L. McKoin Public Service Leadership Training Academy.   The purpose of the training academy is to increase the number of women involved in public policy development and increasing the number of women running and elected into public office.

The academy lasts for six months and will provide participants with a robust and comprehensive training in the fundamentals of developing and running a campaign for public office.   The academy is made up of four sessions (Campaign 101 - Fundamentals of Running a Campaign, Campaign Management, Effective Communications, and Developing the Candidate) and networking opportunities via special events > coordinated by partners of the Claudia L. McKoin program.

Applications for the 2014 Claudia L. McKoin Public Service Leadership Training Academy are due December 15, 2013 at midnight.   The application is online (PDF).   Applicants can email their application and resume to

DC Council now emailing legislative schedule (!)

To sign up for these emails, go to and add your information in the area illustrated below.

DC statehood subject of Greater Washington Council of Churches Fall Forum Nov. 21

The Council of Churches of Greater Washington Fall Forum on November 21 from 5:30 - 8:00 pm will feature Johnny Barnes, Esq., noted civil rights leader and former Director of the Washington Chapter of the ACLU.   Barnes will speak about statehood for the District of Columbia and how houses of worship can assist in achieving statehood.

The forum takes place at National City Christian Church (5 Thomas Circle NW in the Community Room).   Supper will be served and underground parking is available from N St NW.

RSVP online.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Advocacy is needed re: DC Council website

Having trouble using the DC Council website because the site won't load?   Email DC Council Chairman Phil Mendelson and urge him to ensure the site is fixed.   Soon.

Input needed on idea to create an application-only middle or high school EotR

The Hillcrest Community Civic Association is working with DC Public Schools and the DC Council's Committee on Education to explore the possibility of creating an application-only middle school or high school East of the River that would serve all DC residents.   HCCA wants input on the type of school.   Add your comments to an online survey.   The deadline is November 18.

Direct questions to DCPS ( or HCCA (

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Cowan presents brief history of elections in DC

Earlier this year, semi-retired journalist Edward Cowan (NYTimes 1962-86), shared "A Half-Century of DC Elections", part of his intermittent "Report to DC Voters."   The March 16, 2013 report is reprinted here.
If you go to the Web site of the Board of Elections and Ethics ( and click on Election Results, you can find tabulations of voting in elections going back to 1992.

As for earlier elections, the board's public information officer, Agnes Moss, said that I would have to come to the board's office (441 4th Street NW, Suite 250N) to see those results. When I arrived, Friday morning, Moss let me peruse a 1991 U.S. Senate committee document. It started with what looked like the beginning of city-wide balloting—the voting for Republican and Democratic party officials, such as national committee members and convention delegates, in 1956.

Those were strictly intra-party contests, with voting allowed only by people who had registered as belonging to a party. The first city-wide election of public officials came in 1968, when the voters chose a Board of Education consisting of three at-large members and eight ward representatives. The first election of a council and mayor occurred in 1974, after Congress passed the Home Rule Act.

Until that 1974 election, the District was governed by three "commissioners" appointed by the president. They adopted ordinances that laid down the law.

Friday, November 15, 2013

#dcfy15 budget forum sponsored by the Department on Disability Services, Nov. 19

Budget Forum 11-19-2013

Public input sought on DPR fee structure change ideas

The Department of Parks and Recreation is considering (see DPR Hosts Community Meetings to Discuss Fees and Regulations) changing its fee structure related to space/facility use.   Some options are:
  1. Switch to an hourly rate structure.   Currently, flat fees are charged.
  2. Create a new permit for users (organizations, businesses) that charge program participants.
  3. Set up a priority use system.
  4. Set policies for the use of DPR facilities for fund-raising activities.   The goal is for DPR to comply with District of Columbia law and allow clear guidelines for these commercial activities.
  5. Create policies related to the sale of foods and beverages.   The goal is for DPR to comply with District of Columbia law and allow clear guidelines for these commercial activities.

DPR is seeking public comment at three public meetings and by email.   The deadline for commenting is December 5, 2013.   The meetings will be held November 21 from 6:30 - 8:00 pm, November 25 from 6:30 - 8:00 pm, and December 5 from 6:30 - 8:00 pm.   Locations and additional information are online; use the link above.

Mayor Gray's November 15 schedule

Mayor Gray is participating in the November 15 Benning Park Playground ribbon-cutting ceremony from 10:00 - 11:00 am.   The park is located at the intersection of Southern Ave and Fable St SE.

Mayor Gray's entire daily public schedule is online.   The schedule is updated at midnight.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Dorothy Brizill's take on the 2014 elections

In the November 13, 2013 edition of themail, Dorothy Brizill penned "District Elections in 2014":
Candidates. The list of candidates in the April 2014 primary continues to grow. Three additional Democrats have picked up nominating petitions: Pedro Rubio for at-large councilmember, Frank Garcia for US Representative, and Kathy Henderson for both Ward 5 councilmember and at-large councilmember. Two additional Statehood-Green candidates have announced: Eugene Puryear for mayor and G. Lee Aiden for both at-large councilmember and US [Shadow] Representative. One additional Republican has announced: James M. Caviness for mayor. To date, two incumbent officeholders, Mayor Vincent Gray and Ward One councilmember Jim Graham, have not formally declared their candidacies, even though Graham registered an exploratory committee with the DC Office of Campaign Finance on October 15. Because he is a former Republican turned Independent, At-large Councilmember David Catania does not have to participate in an April party primary, and can wait to decide whether he will seek reelection or to run for another office, whether mayor or Attorney General, in the November 2014 general election.

Inside the campaigns. Several of the mayoral campaigns have gone outside the District to hire campaign managers: Muriel Bowser has hired Bo Shuff; Jack Evans, Josh Brown; Andy Shallal, Bob Muehlenkamp; and Tommy Wells, Chebon Marshall. Following the 2012 presidential election, there appears to be an abundance of political consultants from around the country who are on the market and who have signed on to local campaigns. It remains to be seen in the coming months whether they will be able to organize a grassroots political campaign, understand DC’s neighborhoods and issues, and master the political landscape in the District. One of the most unusual candidate meet-and-greets will be hosted by Jack Evans this Saturday, November 16, targeting residents east of the river. The event, which has in recent days been removed from Evans’ campaign web site ( will take place at Uniontown Cafe, and will be cohosted by Jahuar Abraham, who, along with Ron Moten, cofounded the Peaceoholics, and is being sued by the District government for, among other things, unlawfully diverting $100,000 in District grant funds in 2007-2009 so that Abraham could purchase two luxury utility vehicles. According to Evans’ campaign, Abraham is an Evans supporter and community field organizer for his campaign. Another instance of strange bedfellows is Andy Shallal’s naming of boxing promoter Rock Newman as the chairman of his campaign. Newman, who is not a District resident, has a controversial history in District politics, including in Marion Barry’s campaigns and Vincent Gray’s 2010 mayoral campaign.

Petition Circulation. Prior to the issuance of the nominating petitions on November 8, I wrote to all the major campaigns about their field operations and asked what internal controls they had in place to assure compliance with the District’s election laws, especially with regard to the circulation of petitions by non-DC residents. Each campaign responded that they had put in place measures to ensure compliance. On Sunday, I attended an in-depth training session that the Shallal campaign organized for its petition circulators. So I was somewhat surprised when I exited the Farragut Station Metro on Wednesday evening on my way to the candidates forum sponsored by the DC Bar to be approached by Spencer Collet, a petition circulator for mayoral candidate Reta Lewis, who asked me to sign her petition while at the same time proclaiming he was a resident of Virginia. When I queried him whether, as a non-DC resident, he had registered with the DC Board of Elections to circulate petitions, he claimed that he didn’t need to register with the BOE. Finally, as strange as it may seem, Jack Evans, who boasts about his long tenure on the city council, not only acknowledges but also appears to celebrate that his campaign is relying on paid nonresident college students to circulate his nominating petitions. See the photographs on Evans’ Twitter account (@evansformayor) and Facebook page. Because the DC BOE refuses to monitor the circulation of nominating petitions, District residents will have to be even more watchful of the activities of all campaigns this election season.

Candidates Forum. On Wednesday, November 13, the DC Affairs Section of the DC Bar held the first mayoral candidate forum at the K Street law offices of Arent Fox. The forum was largely polite and genteel, and there were no gaffs or fireworks from any of the six announced mayoral candidates (Bowser, Evans, Lewis, Orange, Shallal, and Wells). There were, however, a few interesting responses to the questions. Bowser, in an outright attempt to pander to Wards 7 and 8 voters, indicated that, if elected mayor, she would create an Office of Deputy Mayor for East of the River. She went on to suggest that the biggest challenge facing the District was “keeping up with our development.” Reta Lewis tried to label herself the outsider in the mayoral race, despite the fact that she has lived in DC for thirty-five years, worked in the Pat Harris and Sharon Pratt Kelly mayoral races in 1982 and 1990, served as a mayoral appointee at the DC Department of Public Works, and was appointed by Mayor Fenty as chair of the DC Commission on Women. Meanwhile, Vincent Orange could not explain why he had not filed his campaign committee with the DC Office of Campaign Finance even though his supporters picked up his nominating petitions on November 8). Tommy Wells argued that, because he will not accept corporate campaign contributions, he is the only “progressive” in the mayoral race.

Kojo celebrates 15 years and more

Carol Ross Joynt talked with Kojo Nnamdi on the 15th anniversary of the The Kojo Nnamdi Show on WAMU 88.5 FM.   Read Kojo Nnamdi on 15 Years of Life and Radio in Washington to learn about Nnamdi's personal and professional journey and thoughts on politics and DC.

Education-related activities in Ward 7

Two upcoming Ward 7 Education Council events are:
  1. Ward 7 Education Council Monthly Meeting w/ CM Catania and DME Abigail Smith:   November 21 at 6:30 pm at Capitol View Library (5001 East Capitol St SE)
  2. First Annual Ward 7 School Fair:   December 14 from 10:00 am - 1:00 pm atk Kelly Miller Middle School (301 49th St NE)

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Nov. 20 mayoral candidate forum focuses on neighborhood development and economic parity

(UPDATED: 11/18/13 9p): The event has been postponed to December 5. Deets to follow.


More information is available from Hazel Bland Thomas at Premier CDC, (202) 491-9245.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

People are fundamental to DC's open government initiative

Let's cut to the chase:   What is most important about the administration's transparency and openness efforts is that the government needs to hear from you about what you think will make the District more transparent and open.   Now to the background.

Mayor Vince Gray recently announced two open government initiatives.   The first is FOIAXpress.   The second is "Request for Comments on the District's Transparency and Open Government Initiative".   The latter is most interesting to me and was seriously underplayed in the announcement.   According to the release, "Request for Comments on the District's Transparency and Open Government Initiative" encourages

the public to participate in the formulation of possible initiatives and methods to increase openness and transparency in government. Comments may relate to government-wide or agency-specific policy, law, technology, culture and practices on issues such as:
  • What government information should be more readily available online or more easily searched;
  • Which document or data formats should be available for online information; and
  • How the operations of District government can be made more transparent and accountable.

The announcement details the numerous sites that make data available.   That's all well and good.   But know that you have a say in the improvements.   So weigh in today.   And then tomorrow if you have more ideas.   You can submit ideas using an online form, email, and by mail; the details are online.

Deadline for comments: November 29, 2013.