Friday, February 28, 2014

CFSA hotline gets a best practice boost

Child and Family Services Agency announced today that they will implement the Structured Decision Making® tool at the city's 24-hour child abuse and neglect reporting hotline (202-671-SAFE) March 1.   CFSA expects that this best practice tool will result in improved accuracy and consistency of decisions, direct services to those children most in need, and ensure consistent application of the law and policies.

What can we learn from Baltimore's healthy corner store initiative? Think data.

Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
Photo from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Food in the Desert, an article in the Johns Hopkins Public Health Magazine, goes beyond the traditional food desert considerations-exemplified by calls for placing grocery stores in areas without them-and asks about the food available at the stores which are in low-income areas: corner stores.
With supermarkets out of easy reach, Baltimoreans living in food deserts often rely on corner stores and carryouts for their meals. According to 2012 data compiled by the School's Center for a Livable Future (CLF), the city teems with 440 such corner stores and 709 carryouts, while boasting just 47 supermarkets.

Hunger advocates in and outside government in the District of Columbia are practically aware of the Hopkins findings.   In fact, the D.C. Healthy Corner Store Program has worked
to reduce food insecurity and improve D.C. residents' health by analyzing ways that small retailers could improve customer access to fresh produce, low-fat snacks, nutritious beverages, and other healthy foods in neighborhoods without adequate supermarkets and other sources of affordable healthy food.

The fruit of the D.C. Healthy Corner Store Program labors are detailed in D.C. Corner Stores Aren’t Just for Junk Food Anymore just published by the Washington City Paper.

Still, DC can learn from Baltimore.   And the lesson to be learned is about data.   There is an enormous value in collecting and using data to make policy and practice decisions.   DC should consider engaging a research organization, a medical school or public health program, for example.   Then, the data related to healthy corner stores could be mashed up with the health outcomes of residents who live and work near the corner stores, transportation data, and much more to present a more robust picture of communities and individual health and well being.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Playgrounds For Everyone, brought to you by NPR

Mayor Gray's February 27 schedule

On Mayor Gray's February 27 schedule is an announcement about protecting the GLBT community from discrimination in the health care system.   The announcement takes place at 10:30 am in the Mayor’s Ceremonial Office (Room 507) at the JAWB (1350 Pennsylvania Avenue NW).

New revenue estimates boost money for FY 2015

On February 26, new CFO Jeff DeWitt released his first revenue estimate (PDF).   The new estimate for FY 2015, as shown in the Tweet above and the table from the letter below, is $139 million higher than the December 2013 estimate.   This estimate will be used as the basis for the FY 2015 budget being developed by Mayor Vincent C. Gray as I write.

Feb. 26 DC Council oversight and budget hearing sked changes

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

The Age-Friendly DC Block-by-Block Walk is a Community I Spy!

AFDC Block-by-Block Walk is a Community I Spy

Chancellor's Budget Address Mar. 4

Chancellor Kaya Henderson will present details about the priorities for the DCPS SY 2014-15 budget Tuesday, March 4 from 7:00 - 8:00 pm at McKinley Technology Education Campus (151 T St NE ).

Mayor Gray's Feb. 26 sked

The mayor's February 26 schedule includes his regular bi-weekly presser at which he will make an announcement about forWARD 8.   forWARD8 is a $2.5 million package of District-led career training and business development projects for Ward 8.   Background info on forWARD8.

The press conference takes place from 10:00 - 11:00 am at St Elizabeths East Campus Chapel (2700 Martin Luther King, Jr. Ave SE).

More information about Mayor Gray's schedule is online.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

DC Council oversight and budget hearings sked updated Feb. 24

#dcfy13 oversight testimony from CLC

The Children's Law Center has been busy this oversight season.   The organization has testified at numerous hearings.   Deets:

Monday, February 24, 2014

Get your walk on March 20 - April 15

Will you join the more than 100 individuals and organizations already signed up to participate in the March 20 - April 15 Age-Friendly DC Block-by-Block Walk?   Add to the momentum by registering on the Age-Friendly DC website.

The 2014 Walk will do more than just identify community assets and areas in need of improvement.   It will be the first time that assets and areas needing improvement will be systematically cataloged by government and community.

People of all ages are needed to volunteer for the Walk.   Volunteer teams will survey the city Single Member District by Single Member District.

The Walk has something for everyone.   You get to meet new people.   You will see things you've not seen before.   You and your team will observe things in a different way.   And DC residents 50 and older will benefit!   (So will all residents, visitors, and people who work in the city.)

If you would like to play a leading role, become a Team Leader.   Trainings for Team Leaders continue this week and you can schedule one for your community by contacting Gail Kohn via email.

Not interested in leading?   Promote the event and encourage folks to volunteer by distributing the Age-Friendly DC Block-by-Block Walk flyer (PDF).

Sunday, February 23, 2014

NoMa focus of March 12 Kojo in Your Community

Kojo in Your Community returns March 12 on the subject of NoMa, "the rapid changes occurring in neighborhoods east of North Capitol Street."   The free event
provides a unique opportunity for local policymakers, experts, and community members to participate in a conversation about issues relevant to the fast-changing NoMa neighborhood and beyond. The show will air the following day on the regular Kojo Nnamdi Show schedule.

More information about the NoMa Kojo in Your Community event is online.

Natalie Hopkinson discusses her book Go-Go Live: The Musical Life and Death of a Chocolate City

In the fall of 2012, author Natalie Hopkinson discussed her book Go-Go Live: The Musical Life and Death of a Chocolate City at the Harvard Book Store.   From the HBR event page:
Go-go is the conga drum–inflected black popular music that emerged in Washington, D.C., during the 1970s. The guitarist Chuck Brown, the "Godfather of Go-Go," created the music by mixing sounds borrowed from church and the blues with the funk and flavor that he picked up playing for a local Latino band. Born in the inner city, amid the charred ruins of the 1968 race riots, go-go generated a distinct culture and an economy of independent, almost exclusively black-owned businesses that sold tickets to shows and recordings of live go-gos. At the peak of its popularity, in the 1980s, go-go could be heard around the capital every night of the week, on college campuses and in crumbling historic theaters, hole-in-the-wall nightclubs, backyards, and city parks.

Go-Go Live is a social history of black Washington told through its go-go music and culture. Encompassing dance moves, nightclubs, and fashion, as well as the voices of artists, fans, business owners, and politicians, Natalie Hopkinson's Washington-based narrative reflects the broader history of race in urban America in the second half of the twentieth century and the early twenty-first.

Friday, February 21, 2014

WRAG pub's delivery sked changes

The WRAG's epub has changed from a daily to an about three days a week pub.   Same great info, just fewer times a week.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Calling all voters: identify your priorities

Jews United for Justice is asking voters to identify priorities in various areas of public policy including affordable housing, employment, and criminal justice.   The organization is asking candidates about several policy recommendations.   Let's see how voters and candidates compare.

Making the Grades What State Policy Report Cards Reveal about Education Reform Mar. 5

New America Foundation's Making the Grades: What State Policy Report Cards Reveal about Education Reform takes place Wednesday, March 5 from 11:00 am - 12:30 pm.   The event is a conversation about the future of education reform and a consideration of the idea that state policy grades translate into substantive change in schools.   More information and to register for the free event.

Mayor Gray on NewsTalk Feb. 20

Mayor Gray will make his regular monthly appearance on NewsTalk Thursday, February 20 at 10:00 am.   Tune in to the show streaming here:

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

National Cathedral commemorates victims of gun violence in DC in 2013

Gun Violence victim commemoration

Direct questions to Patty Johnson, Canon Missioner, Washington National Cathedral, (202) 537-5251.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

The Payoff of Higher Education: Value, Variation, and Trends Feb. 24

Mark your calendar to watch The Payoff of Higher Education: Value, Variation, and Trends February 24 from 123:30 - 2:00 pm.   From Urban's email about the event:
Despite visible examples of college graduates facing difficulties in the labor market, the data are clear on the benefits of getting a college degree. Going to college increases earnings, reduces the chances of unemployment, and opens doors to many opportunities. But there is considerable variation in outcomes. It is important to understand the range of experiences, the multiple options for measuring the benefits of education, and the changes over time in the payoff of higher education.

Please join the Urban Institute for a panel discussion with leading experts on the role of higher education in creating opportunities and the uncertainty generated by current economic conditions.

To participate in the conversation, submit questions to



  • Michael McPherson, president, Spencer Foundation


  • Sandy Baum, senior fellow, Urban Institute and research professor of education policy, George Washington University
  • Jared Bernstein, senior fellow, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
  • Stephanie Cellini, associate professor of Public Policy, Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration, George Washington University
  • Lauren Eyster, senior research associate, Urban Institute

Revised oversight hearing sked, Feb. 19

Between A Silver Spoon and the Struggle: Reflections on the Intersections of Racism and Class Privilege, Feb. 28

The DC Chapter of Resource Generation and author Nicole Lewis will celebrate Resource Generation's most recent publication, Between A Silver Spoon and The Struggle: Reflections on the Intersections of Racism and Class Privilege.   The event will feature selected readings and a Q&A, information about how to join upcoming DC Praxis Groups, food, and a community of folks dedicated to honoring our complexities, organizing, and social change.

The event takes place February 28 from 6:30 - 8:30 pm at Vera Cruz (2108 Vermont Ave NW).   More information and to RSVP.

The book is available at Politics & Prose.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Kojo Nnamdi at rescheduled Q&A Cafe Mar. 14

WAMU's Kojo Nnamdi guests at the March 14 Q&A Cafe.   According to program host Carol Joynt, Nnamdi's appearance is "So timely with all that's happening in DC, the mayor's race, and the recent sad trauma in his own family."

More information about Nnamdi and the event are on Carol Joynt's website.   The event started and ended abruptly January 31.

State of the District Address 2014, March 3

Shortcut Rad Resources and Hot Tips

Want shortcuts for Twitter, Word and more?   Check out these tips and resources:

Helping Young Adults Successfully Launch Careers Feb 21

Public Allies' next Everyone Leads Series Forum, Helping Young Adults Successfully Launch Careers, takes place February 21 from 10:00 am to 1:30 pm.   The event features Georgetown's Andrew Hanson and Brookings' Martha Ross on why young adults are launching careers later and strategies for helping young adults connect to career pathways.

The event is free.   RSVP online.

District of DeBonis on a short break

Don't fret.   Mike DeBonis will return to his daily duties on Thursday.   Right now, he and his lovely wife Dena Iverson are off on their honeymoon.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Age-Friendly DC Walk, an opportunity to do good and meet new people

The Age-Friendly DC Block-by-Block Walk takes place between March 20 and April 15.   The purpose is to identify the assets and the issues needing attention all through the lens of older DC residents.

People of all ages are needed to volunteer for the Walk.   Volunteer teams will survey the city Single Member District by Single Member District.

The Walk has something for everyone.   You get to meet new people.   You will see things you've not seen before.   You and your team will observe things in a different way.   And DC residents 50 and older will benefit!   (So will all residents, visitors, and people who work in the city.)

If you would like to play a leading role, become a Team Leader.   Trainings for Team Leaders start February 19; register for the training using the volunteer registration form on the Age-Friendly DC website.

Not interested in leading?   Promote the event and encourage folks to volunteer by distributing the Age-Friendly DC Block-by-Block Walk flyer (PDF).

The Ward 2 Ed Network meeting with DME Abigal Smith Storified

Sunday, February 16, 2014

CM Bonds in the community

Some out loud critical thinking about homelessness

Veronica Davis, expert in transportation issues and advocate extraordinaire, thought out loud on Twitter recently about the Clinton Yates piece For one homeless man, a snow day is a low day.   Davis wants to make clear she is not an expert on homelessness.   So why am I blogging her Tweets?   Because I appreciate her thinking critically.   I'm not the only one:

The Ward 2 Dems are on Twitter

Friday, February 14, 2014

When to call the DC Shelter Hotline

This means people should not call the DC Shelter Hotline to report a homeless person they saw hours before.   That report should be made via email,

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Oversight and budget hearings skeds updated

The oversight and budget hearing schedules have been updated by the DC Council.

Check the Cold Emergency activation notices regularly

Cold Emergencies are activated when the temp/wind chill is 20 deg. F with precipitation (there is a specific criteria too detailed to list here) OR when the temp/wind chill is 15 deg. F.   Notification of a Cold Emergency is noticed on in the Cold Weather Emergency Resources box and in the Featured News/Press Releases section.   Notices are typically posted between 10:00 am and Noon so check back regularly since subsequent changes are also posted there.

What the Cold Emergency means for homeless people:   The takeaway is that additional resources are put in place when the temperature drops.   The city has used warming buses and a non-shelter warming site and both are, by all accounts, a huge success.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Ward 2 EdNetwork update

The Ward 2 EdNetwork had a successful meeting with Deputy Mayor Abigail Smith.   Here's the follow-up and information about other events:
Many thanks to the dozens of you who turned out for our meeting with Deputy for Education Abigail Smith! Please find attached electronic copies of the handouts that were in such short supply.

You can read more about the revision process, see the timeline and find out how to get involved on the DME's website: Click Here

Materials created by the DME's technical team for the Advisory Committee can be found here: Technical Data

The "Boundary Participation Table" - the voluminous spreadsheet also making the rounds on Saturday - is not attached but can be found Here

Two other events:
Modernize Garrison Now meeting - This Wednesday!
The Logan Circle Community Association invites you to join the Garrison Elementary PTA, Dupont Circle Citizens Association, the Ward 2 Education Network and other community members as we work to make Garrison’s full modernization happen in FY 2015! Refreshments will be served.

On social media: #GarrisonNow

Garrison Elementary School
1200 S Street NW
Feb 12 6pm – 8pm
For more info:

Next Month: More Boundaries, Feeders, & Assignment discussions
SAVE the DATE: Sat March 15th, 10am. Next month's meeting will be a follow-up discussion on the same topic with updates. We'll try to gather more feedback and ideas around the pending Boundary, Feeder, and Student Assignment Revisions. Location TBD.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Oh, the possibilities! Re-imagine a new main library.

DC Public Library and the DC Public Library Foundation are going all out to engage residents from across the city in the future of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library (901 G St NW).   The library will undergo a major renovation to the building and the materials and programs it houses are better able to meet the needs of DC residents today and tomorrow.

Visit to review the final architect ideas and participate in idea-sharing in a community or survey setting, learn about upcoming public meetings, and more.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Empowerment circle on harmful developments and fighting back Feb. 15

From an email from Empower DC:
Join Empower DC for our next monthly Empowerment Circle:

All Across the District, DC government is pushing unwanted development on public property, without community support, and DC Communities Are Fighting Back Against Harmful Developments!


Saturday, Feb 15th, 2-4 PM
Anacostia Library
1800 Good Hope Rd, SE

Limited child care available w/ RSVP to Jennifer at (202) 234-9119 x 105 or

Find Out How Communities Are Using:
- The Zoning Process
- Historic Preservation
- Legal Action
- And other strategies!

Frazer Walton
Kingman Park Civic Association
Fighting the Streetcar barn at Spingarn High School

Tony Norman
Friends of McMillan Park
Fighting the Condoization of McMillan Park

Robert Lee
Highland Together We Stand
Fighting for renovations & preservation of public housing

Ward 4 residents talk long-term vision for education Feb. 11

From a community Yahoo group:
ForWard4 is holding a planning meeting to develop a long term vision and voice for education options in Ward 4, most particularly for middle and high school. At the moment, we have no comprehensive middle school comparable to Alice Deal. We have 2 high schools that are very under-enrolled and don't offer the range and quality of options that residents of Ward 4 are seeking. Yet the ward's school age population is growing dramatically and we shouldn't have to travel all over the city to find quality education.

Now is the time to plan for the future, but we have to work together to determine what we want and to fight for it, not leave all planning and decision-making to DCPS. We hope as many people as possible come out to share their dreams for their children. That means current and future parents, teachers and administrators, and community members who care about the future of our ward.

Date: Tuesday, February 11, 6pm-8pm
Place: Takoma Education Campus, 7010 Piney Branch Road, NW
Childcare, food and translation (Spanish) provided

S.H.A.P.P.E. (Senior High Alliance of Parents, Pricipals and Educators)
TakomaEC PTO
POPPS (Parents Organized for the Power of Powell)
Coolidge PTO

DCPS FY 2015 budget update

DC Public Schools is making an effort to engage the public more and earlier in budget development.   DCPS has, for example, formalized engagement.   Residents can tell DCPS of their budget priorities via, participate in budget workshops, and be a part of a school's Local School Advisory Team (LSAT).

WaPo's Emma Brown updated us all on the status of these engagement efforts in DCPS seeks early input to improve budget process.   What I learned is that on-going engagement amongst all the players takes place on, not Engage DCPS: Budget Matters as I would have expected.   (Think transparency, ease of access, etc.)

The DCPS budget sked per Engage DCPS: Budget Matters:

Thursday, February 6, 2014

#dcfy15 budget sked (this time for real)

The DC Council's budget office has released the FY 2015 budget hearing sked!!   It's below.   Note that it will change so check the DC Council website regularly.

FY2015 Budget Oversight Hearing Notice 2-6-14

A mayoral campaign forum by and for young people Feb. 13

The Mayoral Candidate Forum for Youth will take place Thursday, February 13.   The Youth Reception starts at 5:00 pm and the candidate forum runs from 6:30 - 7:30 pm.   The reception and forum take place at Fraser Mansion (1701 20th St NW, 20th and R Sts NW in Dupont Circle).

WaPo's Clinton Yates will moderate the forum for young District residents.   Youth will pose questions to mayoral contenders on the following topics:

  • Employment
  • Foster Care
  • Health
  • Violence and police relations
  • Homelessness
  • Education
  • Recreation

"There are lots of candidate forums but this is the only one designed to shine a spotlight on teen concerns and engage teens in the political process. The candidates and teens can look forward to having a frank and respectful dialogue about important issues," said Brenda Rhodes Miller, executive director of DC Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy.

Co-sponsors for the event include: The Young Women's Project; Crittenton Services of Greater Washington; Supporting and Mentoring Youth Advocates and Leaders(SMYAL), Concerned Black Men National, DC Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics; Adolescent Health Workgroup; Best Kids.

Contact for more information.

Join the TEDxManhattan viewing party about eating differently, Mar. 1

The Capital Area Food Bank and the Center For Science in the Public Interests' Food Day team are hosting a viewing party of the upcoming TEDxManhattan March 1 from 10:00 am - 1:30 pm.   Each speaker will talk about changing the way we eat.

You can join the party for free; more information and registration info are online.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

The Feb. 4 council breakfast in Tweets

Event: Legal Resources for Caregivers Caring for Children, Feb. 21

From the legal services providers electronic discussion list:
The East of the River Casehandlers is presenting two, free legal information programs at the Anacostia Neighborhood Library. Please share this event information with clients, community members, advocates, and legal colleagues. The East of the River Casehandlers are a group of public interest lawyers who meet every three months at the Anacostia Library to share program information and discuss strategies for dealing with issues of common concern to our low-income clients in Wards 7 and 8. Our next meeting will be on February 21, 2014. Please send an e-mail to if you would like to join our listserv and meetings.

Children's Law Center, in partnership with the East of the River Casehandlers, will conduct a presentation about the legal processes and resources available to caregivers caring for the child of a family member or friend. Topics to be covered include: when to seek a custody order from the court, the process of filing a custody case in D.C.

Superior Court, alternatives to the court process, and financial supports. Community members, family advocates, legal services providers, family services providers and pro bono attorneys are encouraged to attend.

Friday, February 21, 2014
10:00 - 11:30 am
Anacostia Public Library (1800 Good Hope Road S.E.) in the Ora Glover Community Room

To register, contact Heather Hodges (Neighborhood Legal Services Program) at or 202.269.5119.

Like what you see? Enter your email address to subscribe to
Susie's Budget and Policy Corner daily updates:

Delivered by FeedBurner

DC Council legislative actions, Feb. 4

The Committee of the Whole meets February 4 at 10:00 am (COW meeting deets).   A Legislative Meeting will follow the COW (leg meeting deets).

If you can't make it to the John A. Wilson Building for the meetings, watch here on the DC Council website.

Monday, February 3, 2014

It’s Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens

Danah Boyd, who among other things is a professor at the Berkman Center, has written the new book It’s Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens.   Here's what Boyd has to say about it:
In less than a month, my new book – "It’s Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens" - will be published. This is the product of ten years worth of research into how social media has inflected American teen life. If you’ve followed this blog for a while, you’ve seen me talk about these issues over the years. Well, this book is an attempt to synthesize all of that work into one tangible artifact.

Now I have a favor…. please consider pre-ordering a copy (or two ). Pre-sales and first week sales really matter in terms of getting people’s attention. And I’m really hoping to get people’s attention with this book. I’ve written it to be publicly accessible in the hopes that parents, educators, journalists, and policy makers will read it and reconsider their attitude towards technology and teen practices. The book covers everything from addiction, bullying, and online safety to privacy, inequality, and the digital natives debate.

If you have the financial wherewithal to buy a copy, I’d be super grateful. If you don’t, I *totally* understand. Either way, I’d be super super super appreciative if you could help me get the word out about the book. I’m really hoping that this book will alter the public dialogue about teen use of social media.

If you buy the book and want to review it, I'll publish the review on this blog.

Wild Apricot's curated list of free Feb. 2014 webinars

Wild Apricot has curated a list of free webinars in February; it includes fundraising, volunteers, and effectiveness in a variety of nonprofit practice and governance.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Legislative Meeting Media Briefing Feb. 3

DC Council Chairman Phil Mendelson will hold the February 4 leg meeting Legislative Meeting Media Briefing February 3 at 10:00 am in Room 412 of the John A. Wilson Building.   Additional information is available by calling (202) 724-8032.

If you can't make it to the event you can watch on the DC Council website,