Sunday, June 30, 2013

Confusion during the second reading of the FY 2014 budget


This error is what happens when amendments made from the dais are not made public in a timely manner.   I take full responsibility for sharing the information I did during the second reading of the budget by the DC Council June 26.   The intel I had from earlier that day was that CM Catania's amendment zeroed out most, if not all, of what Mayor Gray and DC Council Chairman Phil Mendelson proposed for $50 million of the increased revenue.   The zeroing out included 200 infant and toddler slots and a 10% increase for infant and toddler care, a rate increase for DC Office on Aging grantees, and an expansion of school-based mental health.

When asked, @Catania_EdCmte emailed me CM Catania's amendment; it is toward the end of this post.   Certainly, it would have been better had the Committee on Education or CM Catania's personal staff tweeted, emailed, or posted on their website the amendment.   The same goes for CM Evans' amendment, below.   His staff should have posted or otherwise shared it with the public.   The same for all other amendments offered from the dais.


The council rules for CP20 (PDF) require written amendments prepared after the deadline to be circulated on the dais.   The rules also require CMs to make oral amendments available in written form to the public "as soon as practicable."   Where both provisions fail is with immediate public notice.   This is particularly important with subjects of great import to the public, such as the budget, and in an environment in which social media plays an essential role in information-sharing.


So what are we to do?   I suggest advocates and others write and call members of the DC Council (find the list here and the council directory here (PDF)) and demand that they change the rules so that written amendments from the dais are available to the public immediately.   Sure, I wouldn't have gotten a copy from a staffer since I wasn't in the room, but journos like Mike DeBonis, Patrick Madden, and Mark Segraves make a habit of tweeting pictures of documents.   Members of the general public could follow suit.   And while that is going on, the IT department led by Christopher Warren could post the amendment on the DC Council website.

Catania Amend 2 Nd Reading



FY 2014 School Libraries Amendment 2nd Reading

Friday, June 28, 2013

Mayor Gray's June 28 schedule

Mayor Gray's got a day filled with youth-related activities.   The one nearest and dearest to my heart is the June 28, 2:30 – 3:30 pm walk-through of Carver Terrace and Langston Dwelling as part of the One City Summer Initiative.   The mayor and others will start the walk-through at 18th St and Benning Rd NE.

More information about OCSI 2013 is on onecityyouth.dc.gov.

The mayor's full schedule.

July 2013 free webinar roundup by Wild Apricot

Wild Apricot's list of free webinars for nonprofits in July 2013 contains the usual list of fundraising webinars and these:
  • How to Use Technology to Help Your Board Become More Effective (July 9)
  • Single Days of Service: Make It Work! (July 24)

Calling all interns: Free learning and social opps this summer

The New Organizing Institute's free eight-week Intern Summer Experience is open to all interns in the DC area.   The program includes trainings, skill-building events, social functions, and much more.   Interns can sign up here.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

What to do in a heat emergency

Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency (HSEMA) plays an important role in managing heat emergencies in the District of Columbia.   What is a heat emergency?   According to HSEMA, a heat emergency is declared when the "temperature or heat index reaches 95ยบ."

Heat, like cold, can kill.   HSEMA, Department of Health, and Department of Human Services (which operates the cooling centers), offer guidance on staying cool in extreme heat: turning AC on, visiting a District government-operated cooling center, and drinking plenty of water.

Residents and visitors can also call the Shelter Hotline at 1-800-535-7252.   And of course, call 911 in an emergency.

Information about water for the homeless is available by calling United Planning Organization at (202) 399-7093.

Finally, feel free to use this badge and this code.

Another great resource from the Washington Peace Center!


Ward 8 map
Photo from Washington Peace Center
From the Washington Peace Center's description of resources:
Soapbox: Return to the Golden Age of Soapbox Oratory! Traditionally, towns were inundated with wooden crates used for shipping various dry goods, and radical dissidents found they made handy platforms for giving fiery speeches. If you find yourself short on shipping crates, the Peace Center has one handily available for smaller or more informal gatherings. Suggested donation: $5-$10

Learn more about what resources WPC has to offer and what they are up to by subscribing to their free newsletter.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

BSA to be voted on June 26

B20-199 REVISED ANS (2013-06-25 2134hrs)

#dcfy14 budget update, June 25 6p

The DC Council is finalizing the contingency list.

B20-199 ANS (2013-06-25 1143hrs)

#dcfy14 update: Mayor Gray on use of additional revenue, June 25

Letter From VCG to Mendelson - Use of Additional Revenue062413

#dcfy14 budget update, June 25

Use a pool (not a fire hydrant) to get cool this summer

The safe and legal way to get wet to beat the heat this summer―actually, every summer―is to use swimming pools and not by opening fire hydrants.   The Department of Parks and Recreation has more than 40 aquatic facilities open this summer; use this search and mapping tool to find a pool, splash park, etc. near you.

Opening fire hydrants is dangerous in so many ways, as the June 21 DC Water press release explains.   From the release:

District Fire and EMS Chief Kenneth B. Ellerbe added, "Opening a hydrant can lower the water pressure and seriously affect our ability to fight fires. Also, the force of pressurized water coming out of a hydrant can knock a person down and lead to injury."

Residents and visitors in the District can keep cool by staying in shade or air conditioning and drinking plenty of water. When the temperature or heat index reaches 95, residents are encouraged to take extra precautions against the heat. If they do not live in an air-conditioned building, they may take refuge at a District swimming pool, cooling center, recreation facility, senior center or other air-conditioned building. More information, and locations, can be found at dc.gov or by calling 311.

And of particular interest to community organizations, nonprofits, and District government agencies holding events this summer, DC Water makes a misting tent and cooling stations available on a first-come, first-served basis.   More information about these great resources is available by calling the Office of External Affairs at 787-2200 or by going online to the DC Water Event Request Form page.

Finally, watch Wendy the Waterdrop explain why opening fire hydrants is a bad move:

Monday, June 24, 2013

June 24, 2013 revenue estimates

June 24, 2013 Revenue Estimate letter

Additional COW and legislative meeting, June 26

The Committee of the Whole will meet June 26 at 10:00 am in the Council Chamber.

An additional Legislative Meeting will follow at 11:00 am or when the COW concludes.   Some of the June 26 leg meeting materials are here.   On the agenda is the second vote of the FY 2014 budget support act (delayed from June 18).

If you can't make it to the Wilson Building, you can watch the briefing via OCT's Channel 13 live stream.

The Trust on NewsTalk June 24

DC Children and Youth Investment Trust Corporation exec Ed Davies will talk with Bruce DePuyt on NewsTalk June 24 at 10:00 am.   DePuyt will ask Davies about the organization’s efforts to refocus on its mission of helping young people in the wake of the Harry Thomas, Jr. scandal.

Tune in to NewsChannel 8 streaming here, http://news8.net/, to see the conversation.   If you have questions or comments, call (703) 387-1020 or email the show.

A few previews of what the Trust is doing:

Barras moves to WaPo

Jonetta Rose Barras has a new home, as the June 12 WaPo piece says.   Read the entire article to learn when and where Barras's writing will be published.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

So You Want to Be DC’s Attorney General, June 25

Voters in DC will, for the first time in November 2014, vote for Attorney General.   Several organizations are sponsoring So You Want to Be DC’s Attorney General June 25 from 6:00 - 7:30 pm.    The forum, described by sponsors as a "lively and informative conversation," will consider the role and responsibilities of the elected attorney general.

The event takes place at the UDC David A. Clarke School of Law (4340 Connecticut Ave NW; Building 52, Room 518, Moot Court Room).    RSVP to Kathy Evangelista by phone (274-7437) or via email (kevangelista@udc.edu).

Every Student Every Day Coalition and DCLY talk truancy and school discipline

Today, the DC Council will hold an oversight hearing on truancy reduction in DCPS. This is an important topic for the future of the District, as school attendance is strongly linked with a student’s likelihood of high school graduation and future employment. While the Council and members of the Truancy Taskforce should be commended for their focus on truancy over the last two years, another major cause of schools absences – school suspensions and expulsions – has not received enough attention.

During the 2011-12 school year, the District suspended over 10,000 students (13% of its student body) and imposed over 18,000 individual suspensions. These suspensions disproportionately impacted certain populations of students, including students in special education and students attending schools in the wards with the highest levels of child poverty.

Compared to their unsanctioned peers, students who are suspended are twice as likely to repeat a grade and three times as likely to become involved with the juvenile justice system. These effects hold even when controlling for race, poverty, test scores, teacher-student ratio, per-pupil expenditure, and dozens of other variables. The current research validates common sense: taking students out of the classroom makes them less likely to succeed.

Additionally, the available research on truancy in the District suggests that suspensions may contribute to the high levels of truancy in the District. The numbers have consistently shown that truancy skyrockets in DC high schools, while DCPS suspension rates are highest among middle school students, with over 35% suspended during a single school year. According to an Urban Institute study published last year, the truancy rate of a DCPS high school was strongly predicted by the attendance rates of its students during eighth grade. Though more investigation is required, these pieces of evidence considered together suggest that the high level of suspensions in middle school may be a partial cause of the high levels of truancy in high school.

In short, suspensions and expulsions are a major source of school absences today and may produce many more future absences in the form of truancy. Based on these findings, we urge lawmakers to broaden their focus and consider how they can reduce all school absences, including those that result from suspension and expulsion.

Alex Peerman is the Policy & Advocacy Associate at DC Lawyers for Youth. Alex is one of the authors of "District Discipline: The Overuse of Suspension and Expulsions in the District of Columbia," (PDF) a recent report published by the Every Student Every Day Coalition.

  

Support DC statehood while celebrating the 4th

From an email from the DC Statehood Coalition:
Join the DC Statehood Coalition and other statehood supporters at DC's famous Palisades Parade on Thursday, July 4th at 11AM. We would like to have every DC neighborhood represented to show the strong momentum behind statehood. Just this week, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada) co-sponsored the New Columbia Admission Act, which grants statehood to neighborhood Washington, DC.

After we march for statehood, we can enjoy free food and drink, courtesy of the Palisades Citizens Association.

Meet us at 4755 Whitehaven Pkwy NW Washington DC (where MacArthur Blvd meets Reservoir Road). Since the parade starts at 11am, please arrive by 10:30am and look for statehood banners and signs.

Please RSVP at Eventbrite or at Facebook.

For more information on the statehood movement, please visit http://newcolumbiavision.org.

Reminder: Innovation Fund briefing June 26

Mayor Vince Gray is holding a briefing on the implementation of The Innovation Fund (commonly known as the One City Fund) June 26 from 10:00 am - Noon in the Old Council Chamber (441 4th St NW).

Terri Lee Freeman, President of the Community Foundation for the National Capital Region, will update attendees on the application and grant processes, timelines and other important details.

Although the name of the $15 million fund has changed, the purpose remains the same: to assist non-profit organizations in providing direct services to District residents and families in the areas of education, job training, health, senior services, arts, public safety, and the environment through a competitive and transparent grant process.

RSVP via email to mayorgrayevents@dc.gov by June 24.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Be in the know about summer via social media

Remain up-to-date on all things summer by following @onecitysummer and #DCSummer.   And if you are tweeting about a summer program or event, be sure to include @onecitysummer and use the #DCSummer hashtag!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

What will occupy your kids this summer?

The last day of school for students enrolled in DC Public Schools is June 21 and for children and youth in charter schools, school's already out.   The big question is, what are young people going to do this summer?

The city's new child- and youth-focused website onecityyouth.dc.gov is a terrific resource for parents and other adults in the family, youth themselves, case workers, organizations, policymakers, and the media.   Check out the screen shot below or click here for onecityyouth.dc.gov to see what the site offers.   Here's a cheat sheet:

  • Parents and youth can search for programs and events
  • Organizations can add their program to the summer's searchable database and add events to the calendar
  • Case workers can search for programs and various services and supports for all members of the family
  • Policymakers are able to learn about the goals for OCSI 2013 and read up on OCSI 2012
  • Members of the media are able to identify the programs and agencies involved with One City Summer and find potential sources for stories

Free summer meals are also incredibly important and they are available to all kids under age 18.   That's right: FREE.   More information about the program is available from the DC Hunger Solutions summer meals website.

Mayor Gray proposes three strategies in education transformation journey

Today Mayor Gray presented his vision for education in the District of Columbia.   An excerpt:
Today, we take the next step in our journey to transform public education in the District. Now, the plans and proposals I will share with you may not send out seismic shockwaves or make big headlines – but they will make a real difference to District families and students.

. . .

To achieve our goal, we must rapidly expand the number of high-quality school programs for all learners. And today I want to talk about our three overarching strategies for getting there. Each of these strategies is based on what we have heard from members of our public education community and feedback sessions we have held over the past two years:

  • First, we’re going to scale up existing pockets of excellence to serve more students;
  • Second, we’re going to strengthen existing schools and programs to ensure that they provide the highest-quality education to the largest number of students; and
  • Third, we’re going to simplify the way families access all aspects of our education system.

Scroll to the bottom using the link above if you want a printable version; it's in PDF.

A recap of One City Summer Kickoff and Truck Touch 2013

If you missed the One City Summer Kickoff and Truck Touch June 15, take a look at the Storified version of the event.   Truck Touch won't return until next year, but you can find child-, youth-, and family-related events on the new child and youth hub, onecityyouth.dc.gov.   You can also find programs and other information.   Have an event you want listed in the OneCityYouth calendar?   Provide the info and it will be included.

Mayor Gray's June 20 sked

Two items of note on Mayor Gray's June 20 schedule:
  • Mayor Vince Gray will talk with Bruce DePuyt on NewsTalk June 20 at 10:00 am.   Among other topics, DePuyt will ask the mayor about lingering scandals in the District, the dedication of the Frederick Douglass statue, concerns about fire-rescue service on July 4, the proposal to legalize small amounts of marijuana, and more.

    Tune in to NewsChannel 8 streaming here, http://news8.net/, to see the conversation.

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

  • Mayor Gray will outline his plan for the next steps in education reform June 20 from 2:00 - 3:00 pm at Savoy Elementary School/Thurgood Marshall Academy (2400 Shannon Pl SE, gymnasium).

LEDC seeks executive director

LEDC has announced they are looking for a permanent ED; details on the LEDC website.

Conversation on Race and Politics in DC June 23

DC Women in Politics is sponsoring Conversation Race and Politics in DC June 23 from 3:00 - 5:00 pm at Greater Washington Urban League (2901 14th St NW).

Panelists will consider the topic of "race based voting" and talk about its origin, impact of gentrification, relationship of scandals involving elected officials and voting.

Panelists are:

  • Franklin Garcia, President, DC Latino Caucus
  • Sandra Jowers-Barber, Ph.D., Professor, University of the District of Columbia
  • Susan Meehan, Dupont Circle Activist, Council of Churches
  • Anita Bellamy Shelton, former Director, DC Office of Human Rights
  • Frank Smith, Director, African American Civil War Memorial & Museum; former Ward One Councilmember

RSVP online.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Attend the Innovation Fund update June 26

Mayor Vince Gray is holding a briefing on the implementation of The Innovation Fund (commonly known as the One City Fund) June 26 from 10:00 am - Noon in the Old Council Chamber (441 4th St NW).

Terri Lee Freeman, President of the Community Foundation for the National Capital Region, will update attendees on the application and grant processes, timelines and other important details.

Although the name of the $15 million fund has changed, the purpose remains the same: to assist non-profit organizations in providing direct services to District residents and families in the areas of education, job training, health, senior services, arts, public safety, and the environment through a competitive and transparent grant process.

RSVP via email to mayorgrayevents@dc.gov by June 24.

DC Superior Court talks about working with young people and families

Judge Zoe Bush, Presiding Judge of the Family Court of the D.C. Superior Court, and Terri Odom, Director of the Family Court Social Services Division, talk about juvenile crime and delinquency and the ways Family Court works with youth and families in this Len Sipes with CSOSA interview.

More information about the Family Court Social Services Division.

CNHED is hiring

The Coalition for Non-Profit Housing and Economic Development is hiring.   The organization is looking to hire a Program Officer who will work on training and events, communications, and special projects.   CNHED is also looking for an Economic Development Policy Officer to develop and implement CNHED’s policy and advocacy strategies in this area.   Information about the two current CNHED job openings is here (PDF).

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Chief Lanier on NewsTalk June 18

MPD chief Cathy Lanier will talk with Bruce DePuyt on NewsTalk June 18 at 10:00 am.   Among other topics, Chief Lanier will talk about MPD’s summer safety plan.

Tune in to NewsChannel 8 streaming here, http://news8.net/, to see the conversation.

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

June 18 COW and legislative meeting info

The Committee of the Whole will meet June 18 at 10:00 am in the Council Chamber.

An additional Legislative Meeting will follow at 11:00 am or when the COW concludes.   The June 18 leg meeting materials are here.   On the agenda is the second vote of the FY 2014 budget support act.   Some materials are on the DC Council website; others are below.

If you can't make it to the Wilson Building, you can watch the briefing via OCT's Channel 13 live stream.

B20-199 ANS

2013 06 17 Notice of Intent to Move ANS

Monday, June 17, 2013

Advocacy and Learning Calendar Update, June 17

Webinars and other events have been added to the Advocacy and Learning Calendar.   There are many more on the calendar than those highlighted here:
  • Week of June 17: Healthy Schools: The Role of Parents in Promoting Healthy School Environments, Food in the City: Smart Growth America
  • Week of June 24: D.C. Tax Revision Commission meeting, Parent Empowerment: An Effective Strategy for Improving School Food and Fitness, Where You Live Matters: Addressing Concentrated Poverty Neighborhoods
  • Week of July 8: Identity Theft and Consumer Protection Resources Webinar

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

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Friday, June 14, 2013

Don't miss One City Summer Kickoff, June 15, 9a-5p

The One City Summer Kick-off June 15, 9:00 am - 5:00 pm at RFK Stadium Lots 6 (Truck Touch is in Lot 7) will have something for everyone.   Some of what you'll find at the event:
  • DC Housing Authority will recruit participants for the Fatherhood Initiative and Basketball Tournament
  • DC Office on Aging will share information about intergenerational programs for youth and seniors
  • DCRA is teaming up with Home Depot to offer a hands-on workshop at which children will learn about creativity and future careers in construction/building
  • MPD will provide information on summer safety and firework safety and McGruff will be available for picture taking with kids

The One City Summer Kick-off activities are listed here.   The activities list also includes Twitter handles for DC government and nonprofit organizations participating in the kick-off so you can follow them and share your positive experiences!   When tweeting, be sure to use the hashtag #DCSummer and include @OneCitySummer in the conversation.

DPR "DPR Town" Event June 15, 2013

Social media at Truck Touch and Summer Kickoff June 15

Follow the happenings at Truck Touch and One City Summer Kickoff June 15 by following Twitter.   Among those who will likely be tweeting, retweeting, posting pics, and more are:

Also, follow and use the hashtag #DCSummer.

If you plan on tweeting from this event, tweet me and by tomorrow I'll publish a longer list of Truck Touch and Summer Kickoff tweeters to follow.

What does the anti-bullying leg mean to nonprofits?

DCAYA is holding a Community Convening about the recently-passed anti-bullying legislation and what it means for nonprofits.   Details about the event.

Goodwill's new Twitter handle

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Catania talks education on NewsTalk June 13

At-large CM David Catania, Chair of the Committee on Education, will talk about the pace of educaiton reform on NewsTalk with Bruce DePuyt June 13 at 10:00 am.   Tune in to NewsChannel 8 streaming here, http://news8.net/, to see the conversation.

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

Mayor Gray's June 13 sked

One item on Mayor Gray's June 13 schedule is an appearance from 10:00 - 11:00 am at the Department of Health 2011 infant mortality report announcement.   Mayor Gray will deliver remarks.   The event takes place at Unity Health Clinic – Anacostia (1500 Galen St SE).

Improving municipal policy via Twitter

Eric Fidler has Storified a successful policy change, documenting the interaction between government and the public on Twitter.   Have thoughts about it?   Have you had a similar experience?   Leave a comment on Fidler's story.

A message from the Family Ties Project

You are just four clicks away from providing critical services to families infected and affected by HIV/AIDS in the District of Columbia.

The primary goal of the Family Ties Project is to support families and prevent children from entering the child welfare system.

WE NEED YOUR HELP!

Click 1. Go to www.familytiesproject.org

Click 2. View video

Click 3. DONATE NOW

Click 4. SPREAD THE WORD! Send this e-mail to your friends, family, colleagues, networks and post it on Facebook, Twitter, etc. and encourage them to do the same and so on...

Thank you in advance for your generous contribution to the Family Ties Project.

Dr. Boone

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Community meeting on crime and violence in Ward 5, June 20

Ward 5 CM Kenyan McDuffie is hosting a public safety and crime forum June 20 at 6:30 pm at Israel Baptist Church (1251 Saratoga Ave NE).   Deputy Mayor for Public Safety and Justice and MPD will brief community stakeholders about the actions MPD is taking to ensure the safety of residents and provide important safety information.

More information is in the CM's June 7 newsletter.

Mayor Gray talks food for kids June 12

Mayor Vince Gray will participate in the US Department of Agriculture Free Summer Meals Program Kick-Off June 12 at 3:00 pm at Elsie Whitlow Stokes School (3700 Oakview Terr NE).

Details about DC's Free Summer Meals program.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Show Off Your DC Love with DC Flag Day!

Flag Day is Friday, June 14.   Charles Allen's Show Off Your DC Love with DC Flag Day! describes a wicked cool Flag Day-related campaign: To photograph families displaying their DC flag.   Allen has amped up the campaign with a competition; read his blog post for the details.

Does your DC nonprofit run an "adopt-a-family" holiday program?

If your DC organization runs an "adopt-a-family" program for Thanksgiving or Christmas, tweet me (@susiecambria) or email me (susie.cambria AT gmail.com) the info.   My daughter, who works for a DC-based national nonprofit, wants to know.   There may be some new supporters in this for you and our families!

Truck Touch and Summer Kick-off June 15

Families and teens, come out for Truck Touch and the One City Summer Kick-off June 15 for lots of fun and a chance to win cool items!

Bolden and Weaver talk about Michael Brown

Attorney and Democratic activist A. Scott Bolden and community activist Bryan Weaver will talk about the Michael Brown case on NewsTalk with Bruce DePuyt June 11 at 10:00 am.   Tune in to NewsChannel 8 streaming here, http://news8.net/, to see the conversation.

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

Deets about the June 29 Ward 7 Economic Development Summit

The Ward 7 Economic Development Summit hosted by Mayor Vincent Gray will take place June 29 from 9:30 am - 2:30 pm at HD Woodson High School (540 55th St NE).   Free breakfast and lunch will be served to all participants.

Attendees will help develop a set of outcomes and priorities that will be used to ensure the community’s interests shape the future of the Ward.   More information and to register.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Evans talks about his run for mayor, June 10

Ward 2 CM Jack Evans will appear on NewsTalk with Bruce DePuyt June 10 at 10:00 am to talk about his run for mayor in 2014.   This is the first in-depth interview of Evans since his June 8 campaign kickoff.

Tune in to NewsChannel 8 streaming here, http://news8.net/, to see the conversation.

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

Update on the (DC) Innovation Fund, June 7

Calling all kids: Truck Touch and One City Summer kickoff June 15

DPW's annual Truck Touch event will be even better this year with the addition of the kick off of One City Summer Initiative (OCSI 2013).   Truck Touch takes place June 15 from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm at RFK Stadium, Lot 7.   District government agencies will do an uber show and tell, demonstrating and explaining how the vehicles are used to clean and repair streets, change traffic lights, fix potholes, clear snow, and provide emergency services.

Mayor Vincent Gray’s official summer kick-off event will take place June 15 from 9:00 am - 5:00 pm in the adjacent Lot 6 and will offer activities for kids of all ages as well as family services and information.   Nonprofits and government agencies will participate in the summer kickoff festivities.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Donate platelets now. Kids need 'em.

I can no longer donate blood or platelets but I'm hoping you can.   Please call the CNMC Blood Donor Center at 202-476-KIDS (5437) to learn more and/or make an appointment.   It's quick and easy and you get juice and cookies!   And free parking.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Frager's fire follow-up

Ward 6 resident Charles Allen summarizes the resiliency of DC residents and businesses in his blog post 24 Hours After the Fire.   The Friends of Frager’s relief fund has been created and Eastern Market will host Frager's pop up store this weekend.

Remember, more than just Frager's was impacted; small businesses on the second floor of the buildings also lost everything.

Comment of the day

Comment of the day in response to WaPo story Michael Brown tells supporters he will plead guilty:
"Brown described the transaction as a 'loan arrangement' but said that federal prosecutors saw the matter differently, 'as a bribe or gratuity,' according to Brannum."

Kind of like saying "X described the enterprise as an 'entrepreneurial pharmaceutical concern,' but said that federal prosecutors saw it differently, 'as a meth lab.'"

Reaction to Frager’s Fire from CharlesAllenDC

Charles Allen's Reaction to Frager’s Fire summarizes the tragedy that took place June 5 at Frager's.   Highlights from Allen's blog post:
Just a surreal night. When I arrived on the scene, I found John Weintraub, owner of Frager’s. He was calling employees one-by-one to make sure all were safe. After good news, we focused on getting him connected with the leadership of Fire & EMS so he could stay abreast of the fire.

On a hopeful note, before I handed John off to Chief Donnelly of FEMS to go to the Command Center, he was already talking about rebuilding.

Follow the blog for updates about Frager's and lots of other Ward 6 news.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

CM Catania's new website and newsletter

At-large CM David Catania, who also chairs the Committee on Education, has a snazzy new website and newsletter.   Check out the new davidcatania.com.

The new website contains details about committee actions, including a calendar; press releases and the CM's schedule; and contact info for key staff.   If you haven't already signed up for the CM's newsletter, you can do so easily.   Sign up using the tool on the upper right-hand part of each page.

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Speak out about DC Circulator service June 18

Can the DC Circulator provide better service to DC residents and visitors?   For example, while the Circulator provides a valuable service to Ward 8 residents, could more be done?   Should routes change?

The District Department of Transportation's Semi-Annual Circulator Forum, taking place June 18 from 6:00 - 8:00 pm at Studio Theatre (1501 14th St NW) is the opportunity for residents and stakeholders to comment on the strengths and weaknesses of the bus system to ensure the DC Circulator continues to meet the needs of current and future riders.

Bettmann makes the case for not using earmarks

Robert Bettmann, artist and arts advocate, makes the case for maintaining the short-lived practice of approving the budget without earmarking and lettermarking in Don't Let Earmarks Return in D.C. (a HuffPost op-ed).   The ear/lettermarking process, according to Bettman, denies competition for grant awards and "are an inefficient and quixotic way to achieve policy goals, and one could easily argue, represent an abuse of the public pocketbook."

Bettman pays much needed attention to a practice that is creeping back into the budget process.   In my view, earmarking was bad before and is equally bad now.   And it's bad for the same reasons I articulated in Bigger than the Bennett report in February 2010:

As interesting as all of the juicy stories might be, and as important as CM Barry’s transgressions are, what is more important to me is what is embedded in the comment Ward 7 CM Yvette Alexander made at the release of the report:   A lot of nonprofits serving residents east of the river rely on earmarks (go to 1:11:20).

What I believe is embedded in this statement:

  • For some organizations it is too hard to compete for funding; it is easier to get earmarks
  • Earmarks are less of a burden than regular grants or contracts
  • Elected officials make better decisions about meeting needs than grant managers
  • Elected officials can "tell" which organizations are good or worthwhile

There is still time for earmarks and lettermarks to be struck from the budget support act.   If you believe they are a bad form of budgeting, email Council Chairman Phil Mendelson.   But act soon; the second and final vote on the BSA is June 18.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

State of Ward 5 address, June 25

Ward 5 CM Kenyan McDuffie invites Ward 5 residents and stakeholders to his State of the Ward Address June 25 at 6:30 pm at Luke C. Moore High School (1001 Monroe St NE).   The CM will discuss numerous accomplishments for Ward 5 and present his vision for the future of the ward.

Parking will be available in the school’s parking lot and on the street.

Training and advocacy calendar updated June 5

Webinars and events have been added to the Advocacy and Learning Calendar.   There are many more on the calendar than those highlighted here:
  • Substance Use Disorders in Child Welfare: What Works for Children and Families (June 6)
  • Public School Reform: The New Inequality in Education (June 12)
  • News You Can Use for Brookland/Edgewood Community (June 15)
  • The Metropolitan Revolution (June 19)

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

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

The Word is Summer, a free mini-conference about literacy

The DC Children and Youth Investment Trust Corporation is sponsoring The Word is Summer, a mini-conference on integrating literacy and learning into youth summer programming in engaging, exciting ways.   The event takes place June 7 from 9:30 am - 3:00 pm at Martin Luther King, Jr Memorial Library (901 G St NW, Gallery Place/Metro Center Metro).

Register for this free training opportunity!

June 4 leg meeting deets

The DC Council will meet June 4 at 10:00 am in the Council Chamber for a regularly-schedule Legislative Meeting.   On the agenda (PDF) are the usual introductions, readings, ceremonial resolutions, and legislative chit-chat.   Some of the items to be considered are on the June 4 leg meeting event page.

If you can't make it to the Wilson Building, you can watch the legislative meeting via Granicus.

Monday, June 3, 2013

#hackfordc organizer's Storify of recent event

And the new Loose Lips is...

Washington City Paper's Mike Madden announced May 30 that Will Sommer is the new Loose Lips.   You should regularly read this column and follow Sommer on Twitter.   You can email news tips or share them by phone, (202) 650-6925.

Calling Trust-funded summer programs

If your organization received funding for summer 2013, please share your social media outlet information.   The information will be used to do outreach, highlight providers, and much more.   Social media info for non-Trust funded orgs will be collected in another way; you're not being ignored!

Grosso to appear on NewsTalk June 3

At-large CM David Grosso will guest on NewsTalk with Bruce DePuyt June 3 at 10:00 am to talk about ethics reform, the proposal to ease the city’s marijuana laws, food truck regulation, and the 2014 campaign.

Tune in to NewsChannel 8 streaming here, http://news8.net/, to see the conversation.

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

Leg meeting preview June 3

DC Council Chairman Phil Mendelson will brief the media about the June 4 Legislative Meeting June 3 at 10:00 am in Room 412 of JAWB.   Additional information is available by calling (202) 724-8032.   If you can't make it to the Wilson Building, you can watch the briefing via Granicus.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Highlights of #hackforDC May 31 - June 2

Techies, subject matter experts, and others converged on the John A. Wilson Building May 31, Google's DC office June 1, and Affinity Lab June 1 and 2 for #hackfordc, part of #hackforchange.   In DC, National Day of Civic Hacking resulted in Homework Helper, major improvements to the DC Code, linking 990s and 211 information, and interactive map of libraries and museums.

The work done demonstrates what can be done when variously skilled people come together to solve problems, answer questions, and share information.

Seriously, how cool is this?!

The DC Code online in an easy-to-use format!