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.

Mayor Gray cuts ribbon on Benning Park Community Center Playground Nov. 15

Hypothermia Alert on, Nov. 13

From DHS:
The Hypothermia Alert will remain on. The current temperature is 33 degrees with wind chill temperatures at 25 degrees. The high temperature today is expected to be 44 degrees with northwest winds of 8 to 15 mph, keeping the wind chill temperatures in the mid 30’s.

Those who are homeless, and the general public, may call the Shelter Hotline: 1-800-535-7252 or the Mayor's Call Center: 311 to get assistance.

Mayor Gray's Nov. 13 schedule

Mayor Gray's November 13 schedule includes participating in the 10:00 – 11:00 am D.C. Appleseed HIV report announcement at the John A. Wilson Building (1350 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Room G-9) and the 11:30 am - 12:30 pm Unity Health Care Parkside Health Center grand opening (765 Kenilworth Ter NE).

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

What would be awesome

Know what would be awesome?   If DC Council committees assessed which laws on the books were outdated, redundant, and inconsistent and repeal/amend them.   This idea is not new.   Former CM Kathy Patterson, while chair of judiciary, did this cleanup.   Not glamorous, for sure, but an essential part of governing.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Mayoral candidates forum, Nov. 13

The DC Affairs Section of the DC Bar is hosting "The Mayoral Election: One Year To Go!" November 13 at 6:00 pm at Arent Fox (1717 K St NW in the Auditorium).   Bruce DePuyt, Tom Sherwood, Nikita Stewart, and Mike DeBonis will be the journos asking questions.   This is a free event but reservations are required.

Hypothermia alert is on Nov. 12 - 13

The Hypothermina Alert will remain on overnight (November 12 - 13) since the the low temperature is expected to be 27 degrees.

Those who are homeless and the general public, may call the Shelter Hotline: 1-800-535-7252 or the Mayor's Call Center: 311 to get assistance.

A new approach to advocacy

Haiyya is doing advocacy differently.   I decided to learn more when I read this:
Tired of sloganeering and attending candle-light vigils to make the streets safe for Mumbai's women? Community action and technology are the way ahead say Haiyya and Akshara, who are encouraging people to develop sustainable ways to make a difference where they live.

This new effort is summariezed in Haiyya and Akshara: Bridging the gap between protesting and social change.

I will check on the progress of the fellows and change.   What are your thoughts?   Do you think we could stand to do thinks in a different way in DC?

NewsTalk talks paid sick leave for all Nov. 12

Jeremiah Lowery of the Restaurant Opportunities Center is one guest on NewsChannel 8’s NewsTalk with Bruce DePuyt November 12 at 10:00 am.   Lowery will talk about the campaign to require mandatory sick leave.   (Learn more about the campaign on Facebook, Paid Sick Days for All.)

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.

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Nonprofits, a way to show what your clients need

Shopping on Flipboard has been rolled out as a way for individuals to identify what they want others to buy them for the holidays.   But the app can also be used by nonprofits to identify items their clients need.   It's taking what the company says about its product
Time to think about gifts, wishlists and holiday plans—so it’s a good thing that today marks the official launch of shopping on Flipboard. Now you can discover, collect and buy products via Flipboard and create your own catalogs.

―and using it for good.   Just like nonprofits use Amazon wish lists to identify what individuals and organizations can buy to support people in need, organizations can use Flipboard in the same way.   Another tool in the social media and nonprofit support portfolio!

Hypothermia Alert activated Nov. 12, 7a

The Department of Human Services has activated the Hypothermia Alert.   The alert notice:
The Hypothermia Alert will be activated at 7:00am this morning. The current temperature is 53 degrees but it will fall throughout the morning into the 40’s with a wind chill at or below 32 degrees.

Today’s forecast calls for scattered rain and snow showers before 8am, then scattered snow showers between 8am and 10am. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 40. North winds of 13 to 16 mph expected, with gusts as high as 32 mph. Chance of precipitation is 40%. Little or no snow accumulation expected.

Those who are homeless, and the general public, may call the Shelter Hotline: 1-800-535-7252 or the Mayor's Call Center: 311 to get assistance.

Sign up for text alerts on

Monday, November 11, 2013

The first freeze of the season and hypothermia alerts

NBC Washington projects DC's first freeze Wednesday morning with an even colder start to the day on Thursday.   This means that the Hypothermia Alert will be activated.   You may recall the alert is activated when the temperature/temp and winch chill hit 32 degrees F.   And when the alert is activated, people should call the Shelter Hotline (1-800-535-7252) when they see or come across homeless individuals and families.

HSEMA and DHS's Darrell Cason issue the alert.   The hypothermia alert status is also posted on the Department of Human Services website,

A replacement for Google Alerts

You may have noticed problems with Google Alerts.   Talkwalker is a replacement; it advertises itself as "the best free and easy alternative to Google Alerts."   It is easy to use and you can schedule alerts to be delivered in a variety of ways.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Ward 8 Housing Fair and Town Hall, Nov. 16

The Coalition for Nonprofit Housing and Economic Development and other organizations are sponsoring the Ward 8 Housing Fair and Town Hall which will take place November 16 from 10:00 am - 1:00 pm at United Medical Center (1310 Southern Ave SE).   The event is a combination of resource fair and advocacy event at which residents will tell their stories to elected and appointed officials and the officials will tell how they plan to address the need for affordable housing in Ward 8 and across DC.

There are several ways for organizations and individuals to get involved:

  1. Tabling:   Those interested in providing information and resources to participants at the Housing Fair should register online
  2. Turn people out.   More information about this free event is in the flyer (PDF)
  3. Attend the event.   Register for the event using this online form

More information is available from Elizabeth Falcon, Campaign Organizer, by calling (202) 745-0902 x205 or via email,

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Thursday, November 7, 2013

Mayor Gray's Nov. 8 schedule

Mayor Gray's November 8 schedule includes the 10:00 – 11:00 am announcement on the DC Public Charter School Board performance management framework results at D.C. Bilingual Public Charter School (1420 Columbia Rd NW) and the Noon - 12:30 pm Marriott Marquis Job-Training Program announcement at Carlos Rosario International Public Charter School (1100 Harvard St NW).

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

PJs for kids!!!

Kathleen Jackson aka The Pajama Lady, active in Partners for Kids in Care, is supporting CFSA’s holiday drive with a way cool pajama drive.   Last year, Jackson collect 600 pj sets.   This year, the goal is 1,000 pairs!   More about the drive is in the video below and on the DC Holiday Pajama Drive Facebook page.

DCPS seeks input about report card redesign

DC Public Schools has redesigned their report card and are asking parents for feedback.   If you are a parent of a DCPS student or know such parents, encourage them to take the two-minute survey.   A complete sample new report card is on the site for review.   A snapshot is below.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Mayor Gray's Nov. 7 sked

Mayor Gray's November 7 schedule includes the 2013 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) scores announcement from 11:30 am – 12:30 pm.   US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan will be among those speaking at the presser.

The press conference takes place at Malcolm X Elementary School (1500 Mississippi Ave SE at the Green and Achievement Prep Academy Auditorium).

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

What would be awesome

Know what would be awesome?   If members of the DC Council, like the mayor, shared their daily schedule with the world.

#wiredhealth online health event, Nov. 6

I watched WIRED's Data | Life yesterday and was quite taken with the accessibility of the presenters.   Thought I'd share so you, too, could watch.   The event starts today at 9:00 am and you can watch via the live feed; check out the agenda here.

Slides from Building a Digital Strategy webinar

If you missed Building a Digital Strategy last week, all is not lost.   e.politics' Colin Delany has shared the presentation slides.   It's good for those who have been in advocacy for a while and for those new to it.

Mayor Gray's regular biweekly presser, Nov. 6

Mayor Gray's regular biweekly presser is being held November 6 from 10:00 – 11:00 am at THEARC (1901 Mississippi Ave SE).   The main topic at the event will be an announcement about Sustainable DC.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Get SNAP update and talk shutdown Nov. 8

All are invited to the SWOT (Strengthening Ward One Together) meeting November 8 from 9:30 - 11:30 am.   Attendees will get an update from DHS on federal changes to SNAP benefits and discuss the federal shutdown and lessons learned from it.

strengtheningward1together1113meeting.pdf by Susie Cambria

Learn about DC urban legends and more this November

Author Robert S. Pohl will talk about his book Urban Legends & Historic Lore of Washington, D.C. a couple times later this month.   Pohl will talk November 19 at 7:00 pm at DC Public Library's Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library in the Washingtoniana Division, Room #307 (901 G St NW) and November 20 from 6:30 - 7:15 pm at Ebenezer’s Coffee House (2nd and F Sts NE, downstairs) for a Capitol Hill Restoration Society event.   The event is free and handicapped accessible, and the public is encouraged to attend; no reservations required.   More info on

Politics & Prose has the book in stock; details for purchasing here.   About the book:

A carving of General Lee on the back of the Lincoln monument, the birth of lobbying at the Willard Hotel, a romantic gesture that built the distinctive homes of Capitol Hill--these are legends of Washington, D.C. The capital is home to all manner of colorful rumors and tall tales. According to local lore, the missing J Street was L'Enfant's snub to Supreme Court justice John Jay, and the course of history could have been changed if only a young baseball player named Fidel Castro had accepted a contract with the Washington Senators. In search of the truth behind these legends and more, local guide and writer Robert S. Pohl takes readers on a tour of the historic lore and urban legends that surround the monuments, neighborhood streets and even the Metro stations of Washington, D.C.

November 5 Legislative Meeting

The DC Council will meet November 5 at 10:00 am in the Council Chamber for a regularly scheduled legislative meeting.   Read the agenda and watch online.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Revised FY 2015 CSFL

The revised CSFL contains updated fixed costs.

REVISED FY 2015 Current Services Funding Level Budget.pdf

Join the conversation about the city's transpo future

moveDC is the District's effort to "develop a bold and implementation-focused vision for our city's transportation future."   The latest of their efforts is the online and interactive survey.   moveDC offers three approaches to developing the District’s transportation system and they want to know how the approaches correspond with your interests.   Survey takers will rate each approach and allocate money to priorities.

The survey closes November 8 so be sure to participate now!

Briefing on Nov. 5 leg meeting

DC Council Chairman Phil Mendelson will brief the media and community November 4 at 10:00 am in Room 412 at JAWB on the November 5 legislative meeting.   You can watch the briefing and meeting on the DC Council website.

Holiday giving opportunities, part 1

Here are several giving opportunities for the end-of-the-year holiday season.
  • Partners for Kids in Care, Child and Family Services Agency: This public-private partnership connects residents, nonprofits, and businesses with families.   The latest opportunity are the Thanksgiving and holiday drives; deets in the flier below.   The last day to sign up to sponsor is November 22.
  • Safe Shores 2013 Holiday Giving Drive: Safe Shores - The DC Advocacy Center 2013 holiday drive is underway.   The organization needs to fulfill 250 wish lists this year and individuals and organizations can help by sponsoring a child and wrapping presents.   Information is available by emailing the organization,

Holiday Donor Sign-Up Form 2013.pdf

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Community Affairs now on Twitter

FY 2015 Continuing Services Funding Level released

The Office of the Chief Financial Officer has released the FY 2015 CFSL (Continuing Services Funding Level).   See below.

General and specific assumptions are the backdrop to each agency CSFL.   And before you freak out, remember that this is an accounting function.   The CSFL, like the mayor's proposed and the DC Council approved budgets, must be balanced.   Also remember this is just one step in the process.   The others steps are:

  1. Agencies develop their budgets and submit them to OBP for technical review
  2. The mayor proposes his budget
  3. The DC Council reviews and amends

Just as Nat Gandhi, CFO, wrote: "I hope this document will assist the Mayor and the Council with your decisions in developing the FY 2015 budget."

FINAL_FY 2015 Current Services Funding Level Budget_Sent 11-1-13.pdf

Friday, November 1, 2013

Mayor Gray's Nov. 1 sked

Mayor Gray will guest on WAMU’s Politics Hour with Kojo Nnamdi November 1 from 12:30 – 1:00 pm.   Tune in to 88.5 FM or listen online.

Other items on the mayor's public schedule for the day are online.

Check out these November free webinars, curated by Wild Apricot

Wild Apricot has curated a list of free webinars in November; it includes fundraising, board development, volunteers, blogging, and more. This list is on top of the offerings by Wild Apricot itself. (UPDATE: Link updated 11/1/13)