Friday, August 30, 2013

DC Watch is home to wealth of historical documents (DC history IV)

If you're looking for old documents and assessments of policies and politics, DC Watch has a collection worth looking through.

You'll find, for instance, some interesting documents about the Public Benefit Corporation, the old owner and operator of DC General Hospital when it was operational; links to community opposition to the convention center; and a bibliography including book, magazine articles, and reports.

This info is useful because it puts current community issues in context, especially for new residents.   The Shaw Coalition page is particularly relevant since some of the coalition's concerns related to parking, a topic high on the list of planners today.

Ward 5 Ed Council, becoming go-to for ed info in DC

The Ward 5 Council on Education is making itself the go-to place for information on education.   The organization posts (to Facebook, W5COE and Twitter, @Ward5EdCouncil) DC-focused education news and national research.

Mayor Gray's Aug. 30 sked

One of two items on Mayor Gray's August 30 agenda is the ribbon cutting ceremony at Fort Greble Playground (Martin Luther King, Jr. Avenue and Elmira Street SW).   The event takes place from 10:00 - 11:00 am.

The mayor's schedule is online and updated at midnight for the following day.

Advocacy requires Evaluation!

Barry Seltser, an evaluation specialist, is guest blogging today.   He has worked extensively with nonprofit and governmental organizations, helping them develop their capacity to evaluate their effectiveness and work processes.   He offers tailored consulting services and workshops for a wide variety of people and organizations.   He can be reached at   Check out his website,

As individuals and as parts of organizations, most of us are natural advocates—for our communities, for our values, for our children.   But if we want a cleaner environment for our community, more funding for our nonprofit organizations, or better schools for our kids, we had better be able to make the case that more funding or attention is likely to yield better results.   Making that case requires evaluation—of what we have done in the past and of what we may be able to do in the future.

Based on my years of working with organizations to design better evaluations, here are a few initial suggestions for designing and implementing more effective evaluations.

  1. Focus on outcomes, not only on outputs.   Outputs are the goods and services we provide; outcomes are the results of what we provide.   A teacher provides information and support (outputs), which hopefully results in greater knowledge and increased capacity to succeed (outcomes).

    Think carefully about coming up with a small set (2-3) of outcomes that reflect the results—actual or potential—of what you do.   Funders, policy-makers, and potential volunteers are more likely to help if they understand not only what you do but what difference it will make.

  2. Think about a sequence of outcomes.   Your results are not isolated measures; they are part of a process of intended improvement.   It is often helpful to create a causal sequence of results, starting from your activities and leading toward an ultimate desired goal.

    For example, a social service agency helping homeless individuals might have an initial outcome of increased self-confidence, leading to increased capacity to look for work, leading to applying for apartments or jobs, and then resulting in obtaining and keeping stable housing for a period of at least three months.   Each of these stages can be measured with a separate outcome indicator.   Having a sequenced set of outcomes allows you to take credit for realistic, more humble results that you might otherwise overlook.

  3. Tie outcomes to activities.   This is one of the most commonly ignored guidelines.   Try to identify your desired results by looking realistically at what you actually are doing, and what you can expect to change as a result.

    For example, if you are mentoring students one hour a week on their reading skills, you might expect to identify some improved attitudes toward learning or some increased specific reading skills, but you are not likely to have much of a measurable impact on family stability or educational community graduation rates.   The more closely you can connect your specific outcomes to your specific actions, the more credible the evaluation will be, and the less likely you will be to create unrealistic expectations.

  4. Design an evaluation that is feasible for you to complete.   Don't set unrealistic goals for how sophisticated your evaluation will be.   In most cases, you aren't trying to conduct research that will be published in refereed academic journals; the standards they use for "convincing" evidence are generally unreasonable for most individuals and organizations to meet.   Instead, think about the question:   "How can I make a plausible case to my key audiences that what I am doing makes a difference?"

    For some audiences, a couple of carefully selected outcome measures, with a pre- and post-test score, might be sufficient; for others, a couple of well presented narratives of people who have benefited from what you've done might be enough.   Think about your capacity to design and implement an evaluation.   It's better to bite off a small piece and carry it through, than to attempt a more ambitious project and have to abandon it.

  5. Collaborate and compare.   Talk to your peers in similar organizations or communities, and share ideas and experiences.   Think about sharing the workload for conducting a combined evaluation of different programs or activities.

    Also, evaluations are stronger if they have a comparative component—how do your results compare to those of other programs? If others have gathered information, seek it out and use it as a benchmark or a starting point for your own evaluation.   If you are thinking of giving a survey to some clients, see if other organizations have already developed survey questions.   The internet is a great source for finding other organizations and evaluations that can help you.

There's a lot more to say about all of this, and I'd be glad to talk more about improving your evaluation capacity.   But I hope this has provided some initial thoughts on how to proceed.   Good luck!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Freeeeeeee... at Freecycle Fete Sept. 8

Seriously, how awesome is this?!   I LOVE Freecycle and you should, too.   It's a great way to pass along the stuff you no longer need and get stuff you do need.   Check it out on Adams Morgan Day September 8.

Here's some easy reading for the long weekend to get you up to speed on the FY 2015 budget process

It's time to start thinking about advocacy around the FY 2015 budget.   That's right.   Start now and keep pace with both the executive and legislative branches.   DC Budget Process (PDF) can help you out.   It lists steps in the process along with advocacy that can be done along the way.

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Families of people with developmental disabilities project gets underway

The District of Columbia was one of five states (yes, I know) awarded funding under the National Community of Practice: Supporting Families throughout the Lifespan grant (see the announcement).   DDS's Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA) and the Developmental Disabilities Council (DD Council) are responsible for implementing the grant.   According to an email from DDS,
Through this grant, DDA and the DD Council are convening a team of family members, people with disabilities, and other government and community partners, to develop and implement an action plan that ultimately will shape policies and programs that support families. The objective of the grant is to develop best practices that will build strong sustainable systems of family support throughout the lifespan of their family member with an intellectual or developmental disability.

The project will feature a series of community meetings and fora over the life of the five-year grant.   Want more information?   Want to get involved?   Contact Erin Leveton, Project Facilitator, at 730-1754 or via email.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

There's an app for finding tap water while out and about

Tenant summit, Sept. 28

The Sixth Annual Tenant & Tenant Association Summit―a day-long forum for tenants, tenant associations, housing attorneys and advocates, policy experts, community leaders, and city officials―will be held September 28 at the Kellogg Conference Center at Gallaudet University.   The event is free.

Are you interested in an overview of timely substance abuse trends or issues?

CESAR FAX, by the Center for Substance Abuse Research (CESAR) at the University of Maryland at College Park, is a "weekly, one-page overview of timely substance abuse trends or issues."   Sign up for the weekly email here.

Recent editions have presented information about bath salts use by college students, college student use of fake weed, and drug use by high school completion.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Do you know the history of Washington, DC? (DC history III)

If you know the recent history of Washington, DC but not the history going back to the 1600s, H-DC's DC History, A Timeline of Washington DC History is a great place to start. The timeline is brought to us by H-DC, Washington, D.C. History and Life,
a refereed, multi- and inter-disciplinary discussion list, provides a means of communication and interaction for those who research, write, read, teach, collect, curate, and preserve Washington, DC history and culture and for those who work in cultural institutions located within DC, regardless of discipline.

I subscribe to the H-DC electronic discussion list so that I can learn things about the city that are out of my wheel house.

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Rec opportunities grow in Ward 6

The Department of Parks and Recreation just announced the expansion of services in the Ward 6 with the renovation of the New York Avenue Recreation Center and formal agreement with a local nonprofit to operate youth programs at the Butler-Wyatt Boys and Girls Clubhouse #2, located at 128 M St NW.   Thanks to the partnership with the Perry School Community Services Center and the Save the Bill Butler and Julius Wyatt #2 Clubhouse Fund, DPR is able to provide programming to DC residents of all ages.

According to the release,

The goal of these partnerships is to provide a safe environment for the youth and their families; to offer skills and opportunities to build confidence, develop strong character, and acquire the skills needed to become productive, civic-minded and community- focused responsible adults.

But these two nonprofits are not the only partners in this new endeavor.   MPD will continue its role in OST and other programming at the clubhouse and DC Children and Youth Investment Trust Corp. will fund programming and train staff through their recently launched Center for Excellence in Youth Development.

Rally for statehood at the "Let Freedom Ring" Closing Ceremony, Aug. 28 (updated)

If you missed the DC Rally for Statehood and Self-determination, then this August 28 event is for you!

UPDATE 8/27, 12:25 pm: Mayor Gray will be speaking at approximately 11:00 am at the Lincoln.   Signs and banners are not allowed but people can wear their statehood t-shirts and EOM may be providing small DC flags.   The mayor is still interested in making the most of this final 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington event--just without all the hoopla of signs!

The "Let Freedom Ring" closing ceremony takes place from 1:00 - 5:30 pm at the Lincoln Memorial.

Mayor Gray and others are looking to make the final day of the celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr. and the 1963 March on Washington big for the District of Columbia.  

If you are interested in attending and showing your support for DC statehood and rejecting taxation without representation, contact Steve Glaude via email.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Latino health forum, Sept. 30

The Washington Council of Government's Regional Latino Health Forum takes place September 30 from 8:30 am - 2:30 pm in DC.   The event will feature leaders from the region including Deputy Mayor BB Otero and Mary's Center ED Maria Gomez.   Reservations are required by mid-September.   Event details here.

"Progress" in Ward 6 (DC history II)

Urban Renewal and Grief in Ward 6 does a terrific service to those of us who have been told about the wholesale clearing out of part of Ward 6 back in the day.   If you're like me, that's about all you heard.   Blog author Johanna Bockman, who is a sociology professor at George Mason University, walks through the grief that planners caused when they "cleared out the housing and 23,500 residents" to "build a 'new town in the city."

Bockman's post summarizes the findings of Where are they now? A study of the impact of relocation on former residents of southwest Washington, who were served in an HWC demonstration project, pulling out some interesting findings.   For example, I would not have expected government officials to have two groups of residents, one a control group and the other one that received additional supports.   This is but one of the interesting items from the book.

If you do public policy in DC, read the Bockman piece.   It's worth the time.

Got a story idea for the media?

Pete Tucker from The Fight Back has had a great run on The Taxi Link.   He's looking to once again cover a range of issues.   Says Tucker, "If you’ve got a story idea, don't keep it a secret."   Contact Tucker by phone (202-365-6118) or email.   You can also follow Tucker on Twitter, @fightbackradio.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Pictures and video from the statehood rally and march

This was video was shared by Franklin Garcia in an email.   Here's the email:

The rally for DC Statehood was very successful. If you didn't have time to attend, most of it has been captured on video. Please visit to see it. You can also see video and many photos of the rally and the March at:

DC Aug. 24 march for statehood

Friday, August 23, 2013

Back to school update courtesy of CM Wells

Ward 6 CM Tommy Wells has gathered all sorts of back-to-school info and put it in one place: Tommy Wells Back to School Update.   You'll find info about individual schools, homework help, Early Childhood Transition Week, and much more!

Segraves moving to WNEW

Mark Segraves To Be Heard On WNEW - 8/19 - DCRTV hears that Mark Segraves... will be joining the news team of CBS all-newser WNEW, 99.1 FM, as a senior correspondent. He'll continue his reporting duties for NBC's Channel 4/WRC. Back in January, Segraves left Hubbard's all-news WTOP for WRC. He worked as an investigative reporter for WTOP since 2004. He also worked at Allbritton's Channel 7/WJLA before and while at WTOP. Segraves had also been doing a local news interview show for Tribune's Channel 50/WDCW. WNEW Program Director/Executive Editor Robert Sanchez tells us: "I could not be more excited to have Mark join WNEW. Mark is a tenacious reporter and will bring a new dimension to the type of stories we cover that goes beyond chasing the stories of the day. He will help us lead the news. In addition, he's also an invaluable resource. He brings to WNEW a wealth of experience, an unparalleled institutional knowledge of this town, and a thick Rolodex".....

Not sure when Segraves is making the change.

How the history of the Southwest Library is related to DC statehood (DC history I)

At any other time, the history of the Southwest Neighborhood Library would have me oohing and aahing at the race relation improvement fairs, the inclusion of a library in the southwest redevelopment plans, and the long-standing support by community members for a local library.

But this isn't any other time.   It is the week of the commemoration of the 1963 March on Washington.   DC residents and friends of the city will rally and march August 24 from 8:30 - 9:30 am in support of DC statehood and self-determination.   And here's why:

The library's Board of Trustees requested $175,000 for construction. The 1938 Congressional Appropriation Act for the District of Columbia included $111,000 for the construction of the Southwest Library as a wing of the new junior high school. (Emphasis added)


Negotiations with the Redevelopment Land Agency and the National Capital Planning Commission over a suitable site continued until 1962 when a parcel at the corner of Third and K streets S.W. was set aside for library use. Congress approved $49,500 for purchase of the site and an additional $36,000 for plans and specifications in 1962. (Emphasis added)

Don't get me wrong.   The history of this library branch is interesting and it provides a necessary lesson on the community, especially for those who are 1) not from DC, 2) are not familiar with the history, or 3) too young to know much about DC pre-1990s.

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Thursday, August 22, 2013

Mayor Gray's Aug. 23 sked includes NewsTalk appearance

Mayor Vince Gray will make his regular monthly appearance on NewsTalk August 23 from 10:00 - 11:00 am.

Tune in to NewsChannel 8 streaming here,, to see the conversation with Bruce DePuyt.   If you have questions or comments, call (703) 387-1020 or email the show.

The mayor's schedule is online and updated at midnight for the following day.

DCPS students, here's how you ride the bus for free

DDOT Student Ride Free on Bus Program_Student Notice to DCPS Schools_080913

Anacostia Community Museum wants to hear from you

The Smithsonian's Anacostia Community Museum is launching a blog but before it does, staff want to know what content residents would relevant and meaningful.   Share your views in this survey.   The deadline is midnight August 28.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Mayor Gray breaks ground on Chuck Brown Memorial Park Aug. 22

One of the stops Mayor Gray will make August 22 is the Noon - 1:00 pm groundbreaking ceremony for Chuck Brown Memorial Park (at Langdon Park, 2901 20th St NE ).   In addition to breaking ground, the event will feature the unveiling of the renovation designs for the the portion of Langdon Park that will honor Brown.   According to the release,
Last year, the Mayor designated August 22 – which was the late musician’s birthday – as "Chuck Brown Day" in the District. Earlier this year, the Mayor signed the Chuck Brown Park Designation Act of 2012 to name a park in honor of the man known as "The Godfather of Go-Go," and a section of Langdon Park was chosen for the tribute. The design includes a memorial wall encircling a new public plaza as well as outdoor toy drums that will link the memorial to an existing playground. The plaza can be used for entertainment, with surrounding grass for sitting or dancing. Other renovations to be made to the surrounding park include new benches, trash receptacles, more lighting and enhancements to the dog park. Renovations and improvements to the park and the adjacent Langdon Park Community Center have been ongoing since 2005.

The mayor's schedule is online and updated at midnight for the following day.

A look back at Washingtology, Part IX

Columnist John Kelly takes us along on a recent walk around Logan Circle in Logan’s walk: Sampling D.C.’s latest heritage trail.   Perhaps you'll learn, like I did, that the original name of the circle was Iowa Circle.   Or that part of 14th Street, NW was auto alley.   Take a few minutes to learn something about DC!

In 2011, Cultural Tourism DC and the Washington Post joined forces to offer readers "Washingtology, where readers are invited to 'Go deep in D.C.' Washingtology is an interactive forum for discussing DC, telling stories, sharing photos."

Will you be standing up for DC August 24?

Sixty organizations have already signed up to participate in the August 24 Rally for DC Statehood and Self-determination from 8:30 - 9:30 am at the DC War Memorial.   Are you part of any of these groups?   You don't have to be to participate in the rally for DC and the following march to join the national commemorative March on Washington.   But you should participate if you believe DC residents and elected officials should be making decisions for the city, and not members of Congress.

DPR has questions. Do you have answers?

The Department of Parks and Recreation has a question for you: "Would you be willing to pay a reasonable fee to use parks and recreation services?"

You can weigh in on this and other important questions and issues on the Let's Play DC website, the online home of the District's recreation strategic plan.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Mayor Gray's regular bi-weekly presser Aug. 21

Mayor Gray will talk statehood and self-determination August 21 from 10:00 - 11:00 am at the DC War Memorial (1900 block of Independence Ave SW, across from Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial) at his bi-weekly press briefing.

The mayor's schedule is online and updated at midnight for the following day.

"Demystifying Development", Aug. 27

You're invited to a sign making party!

Will you take some time Thursday to make a sign in support of DC statehood and self-determination for the August 24, 8:30 - 9:30 am rally for, well, statehood and self-determination?   You should!   Here are the deets:

Monday, August 19, 2013

The new Judiciary Café (!)

A release from the Department of Disability Services:
Grand Opening of Judiciary Café

Washington, DC - The D.C. Department on Disability Services (DDS) Randolph Shepherd Blind Vendors program today officially opened the Judiciary Café at the Judiciary Square office building located at 441, 4th St, NW. The Judiciary Square location houses several high traffic District Government agencies including the DC Office of Human Resources, the Office of Human Rights, Labor Relations and Collective Bargaining, and the Office of the Attorney General. The Judiciary Cafe is part of a complex of restaurants located on the first floor of the building and expands the lunch-time options for individuals working and visiting the Judiciary Square location.

The Judiciary Café is a snack bar operated by Brenda Beaty a licensed blind vendor in the DC Randolph Sheppard Vending Facilities Program (RSVFP). Ms. Beaty was educated in DC Public Schools and is a graduate of the Small Business Administration Certification Program sponsored by Howard University and the DC RSVFP. Licensed in 1979 as a blind vendor, Ms. Beaty has managed over ten (10) vending facilities throughout her tenure, served on the elected Blind Vendor Committee, and has been a training mentor to blind vendor trainees. Andrew Reese, Deputy Director of the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) of DDS stated "Ms. Beaty truly embodies the entrepreneurial spirit of the Randolph Sheppard Program. We are proud of her accomplishments and the role model that she has become for all individuals with disabilities who have the desire to create their own business."

The Randolph Sheppard Act (Act) of 1936 established the Business Enterprise Program (BEP) for placing blind entrepreneurs in lobbies of the federal office buildings. Currently, the RSVFP employs over 700 blind persons and contributes over $758 million dollars into the United States economy. The District of Columbia RSVFP has 34 vending facilities all managed and operated by the eighteen licensed blind vendors of the program. The Judiciary Square location is the second location on District Government property following the opening of the Deanwood Café at 4058 Minnesota Avenue, NE in April 2012.

Laura Nuss, Director of the Department on Disability Services praised the efforts of the Randolph Shepherd Blind Vendors programs to continue to expand the network of vending facilities throughout the District and to provide opportunities for individuals with blindness to become successful entrepreneurs.

Persons interested in learning more about the Randolph Shepherd Blind Vendors program or other opportunities and services for individuals with disabilities should contact the Department on Disability Services at 202-730 1700 or visit the DDS website at

This is great news!   Next a café at JAWB!!

Mayor Gray's Aug. 20 sked

One of the stops Mayor Gray will make August 20 is at the 3:30 - 5:30 pm Dunbar Senior High School Dedication Recognition Ceremony.   The mayor and others will be recognized for helping make the new Dunbar a reality.   Dunbar is located at 101 N St NW.

The mayor's schedule is online and updated at midnight for the following day.

A look back at Washingtology, Part VIII

The 50 'essential' Washington history books has GOT to be my most favorite of the Washingtology items.   Mike DeBonis writes about the list pulled together by DC Public Library Washingtonia Division staff,
Some of them you may have heard of: City of Magnificent Intentions; Capital Losses; Dream City. Most of them, I am guessing, you have not. You can get all of them at the library — for each book, there’s a link to the DCPL catalog.

The list includes Marching on Washington: the forging of an American political tradition, The last of the Black emperors: the hollow comeback of Marion Barry in the new age of Black leaders , and Between justice and beauty: race, planning, and the failure of urban policy in Washington, D.C..

Anyone who lives in the Washington, DC region is able to get a DC Public Library card.   The how-to's of getting a DCPL card are online.

In 2011, Cultural Tourism DC and the Washington Post joined forces to offer readers "Washingtology, where readers are invited to 'Go deep in D.C.' Washingtology is an interactive forum for discussing DC, telling stories, sharing photos."

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Mayor Gray's Aug. 19 sked

On Mayor Gray's August 19 schedule is the Dunbar Senior High School (101 N St NW) ribbon cutting.   The event takes place from 3:30 - 4:30 pm.

According to the advisory,

The ribbon-cutting ceremony will kick off a week of events to dedicate Dunbar’s new facility, which celebrates the past, present and future legacy of the historic school. Dunbar was the nation’s first public high school for African Americans. Inspired by the school's tradition of academic excellence, the new Dunbar was designed to ensure that every square foot of the building and the campus would support students’ education and foster a professional teaching community.

Mayor Gray will take a brief tour of the building following the ceremony, and members of the media are welcome to join. Starting Tuesday, August 20 and continuing each day of the dedication week, guided tours of the new building for Dunbar alumni will be held from 12:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

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DC residents working for statehood

(UPDATE: Link fixed 9:15a 8/19) Support statehood for the 633,000 citizens of Washington, DC asks residents of other states to sign the petition demanding members of Congress and President Obama to support statehood for DC.   To date, the petition organizers have collected 231 of their goal of 300 signatures.   On their behalf, I encourage you to sign.

Neighbors United for Statehood is using grassroots organizing to achieve the statehood goal.   The recent blog post Not Just Meeting but Acting for Statehood Too shows and describes how the loose-knit organization is taking action for statehood and voting rights.   This is how blogger Josh Burch described August 24 rally and march poster-making at a recent meeting:

"Posters were developed to highlight our model, that the statehood movement should have its roots and its leadership come from the people and the neighborhoods that make up the District of Columbia. Statehood is not an abstract political theory discussion, for those of us that live here it is something that determines whether 633,000 tax paying American citizens deserve to be treated equally with our neighbors in the 50 states."

Friday, August 16, 2013

Mayor Gray's Aug. 16 schedule

One of the items on Mayor Gray's August 16 schedule is an 11:30 am interview with WNEW 99.1’s Matt DelSignore about the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington.   The mayor will also share some personal recollections of the 1963 march.   Listen to the interview streaming live here.

CM Cheh guests on NewsTalk Aug. 16

Councilmember Mary Cheh will guest on NewsTalk August 16 at 10:00 am and will be asked about ethics reform, the city’s ambulance fleet, Walmart, the Attorney General election, and more.   Tune in to NewsChannel 8 streaming here,, to see the conversation.   If you have questions or comments, call (703) 387-1020 or email the show.

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DePillis's new gig

Apologies for not blogging DePillis's latest gig sooner.   Her email is

A look back at Washingtology, Part VII

Here's a question national in nature:
Which inauguration was the
first to be nationally televised?

The answer, and source link, are here.

In 2011, Cultural Tourism DC and the Washington Post joined forces to offer readers "Washingtology, where readers are invited to 'Go deep in D.C.' Washingtology is an interactive forum for discussing DC, telling stories, sharing photos."

Thursday, August 15, 2013

DPR updates pool openings/closings

Yesterday DPR announced schedule updates to three aquatic facilities:
  • All repairs at Ferebee-Hope Aquatic Facility have been completed and the facility will open August 15
  • East Potomac Aquatic Facility will remain open until 6:00 pm October 13
  • Barry Farm Aquatic Facility will remain open until 6:00 pm September 2

Mayor Gray and others take on fake weed

The Office of Cable Television has produced the short feature "1350 PENN: Ward 8 Forum on Synthetic Marijuana" to illustrate how Mayor Gray and community members are taking action against synthetic marijuana.   For more info on this herb/chemical combo, visit

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Mayor Gray on the DC Rally and March for Statehood

Mayor Gray's August 15 schedule includes two media appearances concerning the commemoration of the 1963 March on Washington and the DC Rally and March for Statehood and Self-determination.
  • 9:00 - 9:15 am: Live Radio Interview on WPFW 99.3’s Community Watch and Comment with Gloria Minott
  • 7:00 - 7:15 pm: Live Radio Interview on WHUR 96.3’s the Daily Drum with Harold Fisher

Information about the 50th Anniversary March is online, and info about the DC-focused events are online here:

What kind of signs will you make for the Rally for DC Statehood Aug. 24?

Sure, the August 24 rally is about DC Statehood.   But what message will be on the sign you carry?   To get you started, consider some of the demands made at the 1963 March on Washington:
  • Equal rights
  • And end to bias
  • Integrate schools
  • Equal housing
  • Jobs for all
  • Decent housing

Leave your sign message in the comments section, or write it in the sample sign and email a pic for me to post on the blog.

NeighborhoodInfo DC adds more housing data to website

From an email:
NeighborhoodInfo DC has just updated its website to include a new housing tab. This area of our website, which previously only covered foreclosures, now covers property sales, housing prices, and continues to cover foreclosures in the D.C. area. Check out our new housing section today!

A look back at Washingtology, Part VI

In Unseen D.C./The hidden side of Washington, photographer David Deal takes us to places rarely seen.   Deal, WaPo writes,
has gone down sewer pipes, climbed into attics and explored countless darkened corridors to capture the hidden structures -- and unexpected beauty -- of the nation's capital.

In 2011, Cultural Tourism DC and the Washington Post joined forces to offer readers "Washingtology, where readers are invited to 'Go deep in D.C.' Washingtology is an interactive forum for discussing DC, telling stories, sharing photos."

Mayor Gray's Aug. 14 sked

Mayor Gray makes an important announcement August 14 from 11:00 – 11:30 am: DC launches ASK DC smartphone app.   The mayor and others will announce the first-of-its kind app to assist victims of sexual assault and dating violence.   (How awesome is this?!)   The announcement takes place at the John A. Wilson Building in the Mayor’s Press Briefing Room (Room G-9).

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Small business owners, learn about the Affordable Care Act Aug. 22

The Affordable Care Act: What Small Business Owners Need to Know is being held August 22 from 9:00 to 11:00 am at Patton Boggs.

This free training will be led by representatives from the law firm of Patton Boggs and the DC Health Benefits Exchange Authority.   Attendees will learn about the major provisions of the law, how they will apply to small business owners, and help owners determine if their business is subject to the employer mandate, and much more.

Space is limited; register online.

Monday, August 12, 2013

What's your back-to-school-organization tip? Tweet it!



What is your favorite tip?   Tweet it to @dcpscb!

A look back at Washingtology, Part V

Think you know about Al Capone?   Take the January 25, 2013 quiz to see!
As we remember the demise of
gangster Al Capone in prison
on this date in 1947, it is said
that before turning to a life of
crime, he did his civic duty of
registering for the draft
In 2011, Cultural Tourism DC and the Washington Post joined forces to offer readers "Washingtology, where readers are invited to 'Go deep in D.C.' Washingtology is an interactive forum for discussing DC, telling stories, sharing photos."

Mayor Gray's weekly radio address focuses on advocacy for DC

In Weekly Radio Address, Mayor Gray Urges District Residents to Commemorate March on Washington with Advocacy for D.C.
Mayor Says Dr. King’s Dream Is Still Deferred for Residents of the Nation’s Capital

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – In his weekly radio address this week, Mayor Vincent C. Gray noted that thousands of people would come to the District later this month to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom – and that District residents should use the opportunity to advocate for full democracy, just as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. did.

The broadcast can be heard on All News 99.1-FM WNEW radio beginning at 10:05 a.m. on Sunday, August 11. The text of the address is below:

Remarks of Mayor Vincent C. Gray
Weekly Radio Address
All News 99.1-FM WNEW
Sunday, August 11, 2013

Hello, WNEW listeners! I’m Vincent C. Gray, mayor of the District of Columbia. Later this month, we will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. This event was pivotal in the history of the American Civil Rights Movement. It drew 250,000 people to our city to call for the passage of meaningful civil-rights legislation and an immediate end to all forms of racial discrimination.

At the time, I was a young college student at The George Washington University, and I participated in the March on Washington. It was an absolutely spine-tingling experience. Without a doubt, the most memorable speaker that day was the last one – The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who delivered what some believe to be the greatest speech ever – "I Have a Dream."

I consider it to be the greatest speech ever because Dr. King successfully appealed to Americans of all backgrounds to live up to the promises on which our country was founded – that all human beings are created equal, and that we deserve equal rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Dr. King knew that, if African Americans continued to wait patiently for the freedom and equality they were being denied to be given to them, it would never happen. In his "Letter From Birmingham Jail," Dr. King himself famously summed it up by quoting British statesman William Ewart Gladstone’s timeless line: "Justice delayed is justice denied."

But justice has been delayed and denied to the District of Columbia for decades.

The nation’s capital is home to more than 632,000 people, but we have no voting representative in our own Congress. We pay more than $3.5 billion a year in federal taxes, just like others who do enjoy voting rights.

And we send our sons and daughters to fight America’s wars – wars authorized by a Congress in which we have no vote. We can’t even spend our own locally-raised tax dollars or enact our own laws without first getting permission from Congress!

Dr. King himself recognized this fundamental injustice, and he frequently advocated for self-determination for the District of Columbia. In 1965, he led a march from Shaw to the White House in support of democracy for the District. In a speech in Lafayette Park at the end of that march, he said Congress had been "derelict in their duties and sacred responsibility to make justice and freedom a reality for all citizens in the District of Columbia."

While much of Dr. King’s dream has come to fruition for our country today, sadly, the District of Columbia still languishes without full voting rights, full representation or full democracy.

On Saturday, August 24th, we’ll have a chance to make our voices heard on this important matter of justice. At 9:00 a.m. that day, we will gather at the D.C. World War I Memorial on Independence Avenue to rally for D.C. statehood prior to the larger 50th anniversary march. Please join us in calling the nation’s attention to a part of Dr. King’s dream that, 50 years after the March on Washington, remains deferred.

Thank you for listening. I’m Vincent C. Gray, Mayor of the District of Columbia.

More about the DC rally is in this blogpost.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Update: Rally for DC Aug. 24

Here's an update on the August 24 Rally for DC Statehood immediately preceding the March on Washington:
The rally will take place at 8:30 am at the DC War Memorial (Across Independence Avenue from the MLK Memorial)

Bring your banners and signs advocate for your cause!

The rally coordinators and their contact info list listed below.   Contact them for more info or to register your group.

  • Steve Glaude (202) 442-8150
  • Terese Lowery (202) 724-7690

The fine print of free bus rides to and from school

Starting with the first day of school this year, students in DC ride Metrobus and the DC Circulator for free.

Now to the fine print:

  • Children and youth must be DC residents, under age 22
  • The youth must be currently enrolled in school (legalese: currently enrolled in a regular course of instruction at an elementary or secondary public, parochial, or private school located in the District)
  • Young people in the District's foster care system can participate until they turn 21
  • Free bus transportation applies to regular school days only, Monday through Friday, 5:30 - 9:00 am and 2:00 - 8:00 pm
  • Free rides are only available to youth who participate in DDOT's School Transit Subsidy Program (STSP)
  • The program, aka "Ride Free on Bus" program, begins August 12, but students can only use the program once their schools have opened for the 2013-2014 school year
  • DCPS students must use their DC One Card to access free bus rides (Important note: Students must get their DC One Cards at school and not at a service center)
  • Charter and private school students are required to use a DC One Card BUT can use a DDOT Student Metro Travel Card until they receive their DC One Cards

Additional information about using the DC One Card to access free transportation is on the DDOT 2013 Student Transit Subsidy Program page.   More information about the "Ride Free on Bus" program is available by calling DDOT, 673-1740 (Monday - Friday, 9:00 am - 4:00 pm) or by emailing DDOT's Customer Service Clearinghouse.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Let's get ready to... participate in the DC Statehood Rally Aug. 24

Mayor Vincent Gray and others, including you (?) will stage a DC Statehood Rally August 24 from 9:00 - 9:30 am at the DC War Memorial (north side of Independence Ave between World War II and Lincoln Memorials).   "Remembering the Legacy; Where Do We Go From Here?" will raise awareness for the lack of DC Statehood and congressional representation 50 years after the legendary March on Washington.

Attend the rally, listen to the speeches, and show your support for the District gaining independence.   The event is a perfect way to explain democracy to the children in your life and to those who don't live in the region who are―should be―familiar with the lack of rights for DC residents.

When the DC Statehood Rally is over, join the mayor as he walks to the Lincoln Memorial for the main march for the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington.

Want to know more about the DC rally or the March on Washington before you go?   Check out and follow updates via Twitter, @MarchonDC50.

A look back to Washingtology, Part IV

Take the Washingtology Quiz with WaPo writers (from 2010).   It's kinda funny and you're sure to learn something.

In 2011, Cultural Tourism DC and the Washington Post joined forces to offer readers "Washingtology, where readers are invited to 'Go deep in D.C.' Washingtology is an interactive forum for discussing DC, telling stories, sharing photos."

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Approved FY 2014 budget finished, online

The approved FY 2014 budget is now posted on the CFO's website.   The budget is offered in a variety of ways including by book (i.e., Agency Budget Chapters – Part 1 and FY 2014 to FY 2019 Capital Improvements Plan), agency budgets by appropriation title, and as a a .zip file.

Youth, please tell us about your summer experience

Thousands of children and youth participated in programming this summer.   The One City Summer Initiative is interested in learning how youth feel about their experience.   For example, did they feel safe?   Did they learn something?   Answers will help individual programs and the OCSI effort overall improve.

The survey is voluntary and private.   No one will know which young person is responsible for a particular survey response.

Please encourage the children and youth, ages 5 to 24, to participate in the summer survey.

DC Parent and Family Engagement Summit, Sept. 7

OSSE's Second Annual DC Parent & Family Engagement Summit takes place September 7, 8:00 am - 3:30 pm at Washington Convention Center (801 Mt. Vernon Pl NW).

The day-long summit, an agency-wide initiative, gives parents an opportunity to provide input into the State Education plan and learn about resources that would be beneficial to their children.   Register online or by phone, 727-8577.

The event flyer is online.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Build-a-Back-Pack for children and youth at DC General

Help get kids ready for school by participating in Build-a-Back-Pack, a joint project of the Department of Human Services and The Community Partnership for the Prevention of Homelessness.   Donations are needed by August 19; details are in the flyer on the DHS website (PDF).

DPR announces schedule for closing outdoor pools

The Department of Parks and Recreation has announced that outdoor pool closings start August 11.   The broad strokes:
• All Outdoor Pools will close in waves beginning on Sunday, August 11, 2013. Pools will close for the season at 6 pm on their respective Sundays.
• All Spray Parks will be closed for the season by 7 pm on Labor Day, Monday, September 2, 2013, with the exception of the spray park at 14th & Park Rd, which will close for the season at 7 pm on Monday, September 30, 2013.
• All Children's Pools will be closed for the season at 6 pm on Sunday, August 18, 2013.
Please call DPR's Aquatics office at (202) 671-1289 for additional questions or further assistance.

Other news from WaPo

The Switch is a new feature by The Washington Post.   It combines tech policy and and technology in one place.   According to their intro,
Every week, we’ll report on what’s happening on Capitol Hill, at the FCC and elsewhere in Washington, while we also keep you up to date on the latest gadgets, technological breakthroughs and security exploits.

A look back at Washingtology, Part III

The "Are you a Washingtologist?" quiz question from January 16, 2013:
Which president was
entertained by comedians
Abbott and Costello, singer
Jane Froman, and actor Gene
Autry at his inaugural gala?

Go online to see if you got the answer right.

In 2011, Cultural Tourism DC and the Washington Post joined forces to offer readers "Washingtology, where readers are invited to 'Go deep in D.C.' Washingtology is an interactive forum for discussing DC, telling stories, sharing photos."

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

DCFPI convenes a "what the heck is this stadium deal about and what's my role?" meeting Aug. 8

The DC Fiscal Policy Institute will host a meeting for interested groups and residents to discuss the proposed soccer stadium deal.

The meeting will be on August 8, from 4:00 to 5:30 p.m., at the DCFPI offices, 820 First Street NE. When you enter the building lobby, head toward the left. You will need someone to escort you up. Call 202-408-1080 if you do not see an escort.

At the meeting we will:
* walk through the details of the proposed deal
* discuss the role of the DC Council in approving (or disapproving) the deal, and the timeline
* identify questions about how the deal would work
* discuss possible responses to the proposed deal

Please RSVP to if you plan to attend.

Mayor Gray's Aug. 6 sked

Mayor Gray will participate in the city's National Night Out kickoff August 6 from 6:00 - 8:00 pm at Walker Jones Education Campus (1125 New Jersey Ave NW).

The mayor's other public appearances are on his daily schedule.

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Monday, August 5, 2013

A look back at Washingtology, Part II

Front and center in the WaPo and Cultural Tourism DC joint project Washingtology is the War of 1812.   Written a year ago, War of 1812: The National Portrait Gallery’s 'A Nation Emerges' Reviewed considers the exhibit, which closed earlier this year.   Thankfully, the exhibit is available online.   A quintessential illustration of the war and how Americans felt with the win, or draw depending on it you opt for myth or fact, is We Owe Allegiance to No Crown by John Archibald Woodside (1781–1852).

In 2011, Cultural Tourism DC and the Washington Post joined forces to offer readers "Washingtology, where readers are invited to 'Go deep in D.C.' Washingtology is an interactive forum for discussing DC, telling stories, sharing photos."

Friday, August 2, 2013

Can you say "Yes" to the question "Has your opinion been heard?"

Residents and stakeholders should participate in the development of the city's comprehensive Parks and Recreation Master Plan, Play DC by voting for and commenting on fundamental questions about parks and recreation facilities via Let's Play DC (a crowdsourcing platform, see screen shot below) and an online survey.

Want to know more about the master plan being developed?   According to the Play DC website,

We need your help to develop a comprehensive Parks and Recreation Master Plan for the city! This plan will guide a new, bold and strategic vision for advancing DC's parks and recreation resources. From small pocket parks perfect for reading a book to large recreation centers full of active programs, DPR wants to provide you with the best system in the nation! Washingtonians deserve the best recreational programs and facilities — places where everyone has the opportunity to get out and play.

Nonprofits and other programs can encourage their clients to share their views on recreation facilities and green space.   It's a great way to engage people and can be a terrific way to participate in community building no matter the type of program you operate.

Testing your knowledge about Washington, DC: A look back at Washingtology, Part I

In 2011, Cultural Tourism DC and the Washington Post joined forces to offer readers "Washingtology, where readers are invited to 'Go deep in D.C.' Washingtology is an interactive forum for discussing DC, telling stories, sharing photos."

We're going to take a look back at the quizzes and history highlighted in Washingtology.   We'll start with Are you a Washingtologist? Answer this question about Union officer Elmer Ellsworth.:

This shows where Elmer
Ellsworth, the first Union
officer killed in action in the
Civil War, met his fate. What
was he doing when he was

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Mayor Gray guests on The Politics Hour August 2

Mayor Gray will guest on the WAMU 88.5’s The Politics Hour with Kojo Nnamdi August 2 at Noon.   Tune in to WAMU at 88.5 FM or on the computer (look for "Listen to WAMU" in the upper right hand corner of the page).

Free webinar: Creating Effective Social Good Videos

From Fenton:

It's all about the storytelling.
AUGUST 7, 2013 | 12:00-1:00 PM ET

Video has quickly become one of the most effective ways for organizations to communicate their impact and engage stakeholders with social good initiatives. But the creation of a compelling video is no easy task. With over 100 hours of video uploaded to YouTube every minute, how can you make sure YOURS breaks through the noise?

Join us for a one-hour webinar on August 7 as leaders from UPS and Mary Kay, winners of the 2013 Corporate Citizenship Film Festival, talk to veteran 20/20 producer Victor Neufeld and seasoned marketing executive Robin Staley about how you can most effectively use video to tell a social good story. Moderated by #CSRchat founder and Fenton SVP Susan McPherson, the conversation will shed light on every step of the video-making process, from concept to production to promotion to measurable results.


Chairman Mendelson on NewsTalk Aug. 1

DC Council Chairman Phil Mendelson will talk with Bruce DePuyt on NewsTalk August 1 at 10:00 am.   Mendelson will be asked about the big-box retailer bill, the legalization of marijuana, the D.C. United stadium deal, and the decision to delay the Attorney General election.

Tune in to NewsChannel 8 streaming here,, to see the conversation with Bruce DePuyt.   If you have questions or comments, call (703) 387-1020 or email the show.

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Grosso on Tumblr

Who knew At-large CM David Grosso was on Tumblr... well, obviously, some folks did.   I just found this out.