Sunday, August 31, 2014

Friends of the Tenley-Friendship Library used book sale Sept. 13

Friends of the Tenley-Friendship Library is holding a used book sale September 13 at the library (4450 Wisconsin Ave NW).   More information.

Register today for the Sept. 13 Seventh Annual Tenant Summit

The Seventh Annual Tenant Summit takes place Saturday, September 13 from 8:00 am - 5:00 pm at Kellogg Conference Center at Gallaudet University (800 Florida Ave NE).   Registration, lunch, and parking are all free.

Who should attend?   Tenants, tenant associations, housing attorneys and advocates, policy experts, community leaders, and District officials.   Attendees at the day-long forum will discuss matters of concern to the District's tenant community.

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

Delivered by FeedBurner

Friday, August 29, 2014

RIP Bobby Coward

I didn't know Bobby Coward very well, but did have the pleasure of working with him during my years at DC ACT.   Here's a tribute that speaks better than I can about Bobby:

A Tribute and Thank You, Warrior Brother
In Remembrance of Robert Coward by Gerrie-Drake Hawkins, Ph.D. NCD Senior Policy Analyst

For a number of years, Mr. Robert (Bobby) Coward served as a staunch, capable, and respected representative of people with disabilities through Direct Action, his local advocacy leadership group in the District of Columbia and nationally with ADAPT. Coward passed away August 25, 2014. Among his many civic and activist activities, Bobby was also active at the national level with the National Council on Disability (NCD).

I met "Bobby" when he came to the NCD office in 2002 to ask for assistance with an upcoming panel presentation. After asking about his story, I learned very quickly that "self" was not his target.

No, he said. What Bobby really wanted to call attention to was people who did not have the opportunity nor sometimes the will to make their needs known and their rights observed by the "folk in power." He also told me about being ticketed a number of times by the local police for riding his chair in the street when there were no curb cuts in the neighborhoods he traveled to meet with people who were downtrodden. That never stopped him. Bobby perpetually aimed to lift the spirits of other men, women, and youth living with disabilities. He was a dedicated spokesperson, sharing information about civil rights, and an encouraging cheerleader for self-advocacy.

During the period at least as far back as the 1990s, when many of us with "hidden disabilities" were still in the closet (as was the writer of this message), Bobby was often among the few, and sometimes the lone outspoken and non-apologetic voice of people with disabilities from diverse racial, ethnic, and low income groups.

From the street corners of DC, to Capitol Hill, to the White House during his most active times of advocacy, he was a true face of many people described in NCD's renowned report Lift Every Voice: Modernizing Disability Policies and Programs to Serve a Diverse Nation.

Bobby also served on a number of key public policy panels sponsored by NCD in our efforts to raise awareness about some of the unmet unique needs of people who were/are not only living witnesses to personal, group, and institutional discrimination based on disability; he aptly represented the voice of people who were/are poor, disadvantaged economically or by the "station in life," and people of color.

He embraced the causes across a broad spectrum of people from diverse groups. In his last service for the people through NCD, Bobby served from 2006 – 2008 as a member of the agency's unique Cultural Diversity Advisory Committee, established under the Federal Advisory Committee Act.

Mr. Bobby Coward, man of the people, armor bearer for the principles of justice, is a man who will be missed by all who knew him and an example for all.

Too bad it's necessary...

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Mayor Gray's regular bi-weekly presser Aug. 27

Mayor Gray will hold his regular bi-weekly press briefing Wednesday, August 27 from 10:00 – 11:00 am at New Columbia Distillers (1832 Fenwick St NE).   At the briefing, the mayor will release "Ward 5 Works", the Ward 5 Industrial Land Transformation Study.

Voter education brought to you by Metro Washington Council AFL-CIO

Monday, August 25, 2014

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Ward 7's new ONE outreach specialist

Ward 7 has a new Outreach & Services Specialist in the Office of Neighborhood Engagement: Shanelle Simms.   Here's her contact info:
Shanelle M. Simms
Ward 7 Outreach and Services Specialist
Office of Neighborhood Engagement (ONE)
Mayor’s Office of Community Affairs
1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW Suite 332
Washington, DC 20004
(202) 701-3763 Cell

Simms will be working with Rufus Norris to provide rapid and complete responses to constituent requests, complaints, and questions.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Mayor Gray and others dedicate new Dunbar turf and stadium Aug. 22

One item on Mayor Gray's public schedule Friday, August 22 from 3:00 – 5:00 pm is the dedication of the Dunbar Senior High School stadium and athletic field (101 N St NW, stadium).

Thought You Might Be Interested Thursday

I'm trying out a new feature on the blog: Thought You Might Be Interested Thursday.   Hoping I can make it happen every week.

The inaugural Thought You Might Be Interested Thursday features YouTubeRepeat.   Find a video you want to watch or listen to over and over and over... this is what I do when I am writing and concentrating.   Usually to Indigo Girls, Closer to Fine specifically.

Anyway, YouTubeRepeat does just what it says.   You replace "tube" in the YouTube URL with "repeat" and bam!   You can repeat the video.   Or, as the graphic to the right says, drop the URL in to the box on the home page.

My new favorite online tool.

TA: Improve your internet skill with these tips from NOI

Straight from NOI is Your internet game just leveled up:
You may not know this, but Mozilla (the place that makes Firefox) has a ton of free resources for folks looking to break into code, build apps, learn front-end design, or just looking to up their GIF game.

Beyond the resources page, which I have found invaluable, they have a set of tools which is a must bookmark.

Some of the tools I have saved include:

  • X-Ray Goggles. Learning to code? See the building blocks that make the internet work. Just a programmer looking to see live changes to your website? Use the tool to remix elements with a click -- swapping in images, text, and more.
  • Thimble. Create and share your own pages in HTML and CSS. It can even host and share your projects.
  • Popcorn Maker. This is the one you are waiting for (probably). You can use it to make GIFs! But you can also remix video, audio, and images with its easy-to-use interface.
  • Appmaker. I haven’t used this one myself, but it is a free tool for creating mobile apps that allows you to do so without knowing how to code.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Mayor Gray's Aug. 21 sked includes NewsTalk

Mayor Gray will make his regular monthly appearance on NewsTalk Thursday, August 21 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.

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

Delivered by FeedBurner

I can't keep this to myself: THATCampSAA2014 session Storified

Thank goodness folks are paying attention to archiving and making tools and sharing tips for doing it.   Numerous ideas are captured in the THATCampSAA2014 unconference Storified below.   It's also worth the time to look through @katkimbell's Tweets.   Useful info.

Goodbye Andy, welcome Evelyn!

And a little love shown to @AndyLeDC:

Monday, August 18, 2014

Can I afford my life? A free financial education seminar, Aug. 21

Did you start college but not finish? Take the OSSE survey so they can help you.

OSSE is surveying adults who started college but didn't finish (online survey here).   According to the OSSE website,

Take our brief survey on your experience, and help us gather data on how to best assist you in completing your degree: Adult College Completion Survey.

Your responses are confidential and your identity will remain anonymous unless you indicate that you would like to be contacted for follow up. If you have any questions regarding the survey or would like to request the survey in an alternative format, please contact Tiffany DeJesus via email,

The survey closes Friday, September 12.

TA: Use nomination forms to recruit talent, another tip from NOI

Trying to recruit local talent? Try nomination forms! describes how and why nomination forms can help you recruit when other ways fail.   The tip's author explains that using nomination forms, and sharing them with a variety of organizations and communities, broadens the base of potential people who can join your team.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Mark your calendar: prescription drug take back on Aug. 23

MPD's Second District will hold a Prescription Drug Take Back Saturday August 23 at two locations:
  • 12:30 - 2:30 pm at 34th and Volta Sts NW.   PSA 206 Lt. Knutsen is hosting.
  • 2:00 - 4:00 pm at 15th and P Sts NW.   PSA 208 Lt. Dickerson will host.

I love this!

Friday, August 15, 2014

Mayor Vince Gray's August 16 sked

Mayor Gray has two public events on his Saturday, August 16 schedule:
  • 1:00 – 1:30 pm: Greater Washington Urban League and AmeriHealth Community Health and Wellness Back to School Festival, Greater Washington Urban League (2901 14th St NW)
  • 5:00 – 6:00 pm: Broccoli City 2nd Annual Smile Project Back-to-School Festival, St. Elizabeths East Gateway Pavilion (2700 Martin Luther King, Jr. Ave SE)

Mayor Gray will offer remarks at both events.

I'm obsessed with "Courage" by Justin Hines

TA: Canva, a free online graphic design tool

I've been using Canva for months now.   I LOVE it.   Dan McDonnell on Becoming an Amateur Graphic Designer with Canva tells you why.

McDonnell walks readers through the basics of creating a design with Canva and describes how the tool can be used:

Let’s say your research has uncovered some interesting facts, and you’d like to visualize this data in an interesting way. Canva can help you turn that data into a visually stunning Infographic, or a cool flyer...

DC Public Library staff are a terrific resource for students

Services and supports provided by DC Public Library staff include:

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Hiring DC Residents with a Criminal Record Makes Sense, Sept. 17

Calling all employers: Plan on attending Hiring DC Residents with a Criminal Record Makes Sense Wednesday, September 17 (RSVP here, required to attend).

The forum will address the new Fair Criminal Records Screening Act, but will also inform attendees about other resources available to those businesses, nonprofits, and other organizations who want to hire those with criminal histories.

Brought to you by: Council for Court Excellence, CJCC, CSOSA, DC Chamber of Commerce, DC Jobs Council, DC Workforce Investment Council, ORCA, and USADC.

District of Change: Making Schools Better for D.C., free event Sept. 10

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Candidate fora, brought to you by CNHED

Use the calendar to find candidate fora.   You can also use the calendar to check to see if particular events are listed; if not, complete a simple form (website).

How to Use the Media Before It Uses You, Aug. 20

Bread for the City, Healthy Affordable Food for All, DC Place Matters, and Service to Justice are sponsoring How to Use the Media Before It Uses You with Grassroots DC Wednesday, August 20 from Noon to 2:00 pm at Bread for the City SE Center (1640 Good Hope Rd SE).   Everyone is welcome and a light lunch will be available.

RSVP here for the free event.

Travel and other deets:

  • Metro: Anacostia Station (Green)
  • Bus Lines: 92, B2, U2, W8, DCPOTSKY Circulator.   Bus tokens available for those that need them.
  • Wheelchair accessible.
  • Gender neutral bathrooms.

School supply drive for kids at DC General shelter

From the One City Youth blog: Fill a backpack with school supplies, help a child at DC General shelter.

Stay apprised of all things children and youth by reading the OCY blog.   And subscribe to daily updates; it's free and easy!

Fill a Backpack for Children at DC General 2014

Mayor Gray's sked, Aug. 13

Mayor Vince Gray will hold his regular biweekly press briefing August 13 from 10:00 - 11:00 am at R.I.S.E. (formerly the St. Elizabeths Chapel) (St. Elizabeths East Campus, 2730 Martin Luther King, Jr. Ave SE).   The R.I.S.E. ribbon cutting is part of the briefing.

TA: Using data to improve performance, a free report

Nonprofit Performance Management: Using Data to Measure and Improve Programs by Idealware is free to download.   This is what the org has to say about the report:
Using data to improve your programs can pose a number of challenges. You might be limited by time, budget, and staffing restraints, or unsure of how to proceed. How are successful nonprofits implementing their data practices? What software are they using? What obstacles are they facing, and how are they overcoming them?

We reached out to our network of experts and consultants for examples of organizations that were successfully using data to improve and direct their work, and talked to staffers involved with data at 10 of them. Then we analyzed the information we gathered for common themes, best practices, and any patterns that might be useful. We also asked them for advice for other organizations looking to replicate their successes and learn from their mistakes.

From those 10 organizations, we wrote up seven case studies about the different ways they were using data. This report is built around those case studies and the additional conversations we had.

Plea to parents: Teach your kids about money

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Community conversation on bridging digital divide in Ward 8 Aug. 14

Ward 8 residents and stakeholders are invited to participate in the Thursday, August 14 from 9:00 - 11:00 am Connected Communities Initiative (CCI) community conversation/focus group taking place at Thurgood Marshall Academy (2427 Martin Luther King Jr Ave SE, library).

Attendees will discuss the steps required to bridge the digital divide in Ward 8.   CCI is particularly interested in working with the community to increase broadband adoption and technology access and giving stakeholders tangible examples of how technology can be used to create more engaged, informed, and empowered communities.

Breakfast will be served.

For more information, contact Michell L. Morton, (202) 478-5960 or via email,

TA: Free 25 Facebook Page Best Practices for NGOs, Aug. 19

The DC Register Storified by @hgil

Monday, August 11, 2014

John Oliver does more than sing about the horrors of payday lenders

John Oliver's recent tirade against payday lenders is funny.   It's also well-researched.   Watch it and then go out and prosthelytize the horrors of predatory lending.

Another take on CFO's strategic plan, some clarity and more information

So turns out after several reader comments and a call from an OCFO staffer, clarity is important.   As was pointed out, correctly so, much financial info is online in a usable format―on CFOInfo.   However, as I pointed out to OCFO staffer, what I understand people to want is the mayor's budget in Excel online when the PDF documents are released; that would be on   As you can see from the screen shot immediately below, the narrative and appendices, referred to as Chapter and Table respectively, are in PDF.

When you wander over to the CFO's website to look for the budget, you see what is shown below.

Note the sentence in the green box: "View and explore the District's operating budget with the interactive CFOInfo dashboard."   Click on the link and you end up at CFOInfo.   The first sentence on that site reads

Welcome to the District's web-based budget (amount of money planned for expenditures) and expenditures (the amount actually spent) dashboard. This dashboard includes data to present actual expenditures for Fiscal Years (FY) 2011, 2012 and 2013, the FY 2014 Approved Budget, and the FY 2015 Proposed Budget (as of August 7, 2014).

Good to know the proposed (that's what the budget that goes to the President is called) is available in usable formats.   Thanks, OCFO for making this happen.

I'll save other thoughts on transparency for another day.   If you have any, I suggest you email

The CFO has a new strategic plan and...

Thanks, Mike DeBonis, for writing about the CFO's new strategic plan (see Jeff DeWitt, new D.C. finance chief, pledges to upgrade customer service).   I had missed the news.

Why should you care about the new plan?   It has the follow strategic objectives:

Okay, I agree.   Not much there for advocates and the issues we care about.

What would I like to see in the plan?   You got it: Information shared in an easily consumable and useful way.   That means more tables in Excel (or XML, etc.) and yes, the budget in Excel.   (This is not the same as transparency).   I'll be sharing these ideas with the CFO via the new strategic plan email,

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Who said... are a girl's best friend?   Not when you've got the present my husband gave me tonight:

Community conversation on bridging digital divide Aug. 12

Wards 7 residents and stakeholders are invited to participate in the Tuesday, August 12, 9:00 am Connected Communities Initiative (CCI) community conversation/focus group taking place at First Rock Baptist Church (4630 Alabama Ave SE).

Attendees will discuss the steps required to bridge the digital divide in Ward 7.   CCI is particularly interested in working with the community to increase broadband adoption and technology access and giving stakeholders tangible examples of how technology can be used to create more engaged, informed, and empowered communities.

Breakfast will be served.

For more information, contact Deborah Nix at (202) 253-9780.

Q&A Cafe with MPD's Lanier Sept. 18

Police Chief Cathy Lanier will guest at the Thursday, September 18 Q&A Cafe.   Organizer Carol Joynt writes,
She needs no introduction, really, and she always is interesting and candid. She has served two DC mayors, so far, and may be about to serve a third. Who knows? We'll ask her.
The event takes place at The George Town Club (1530 Wisconsin Ave NW); the fee is $35, all inclusive of lunch, tax and tip.   The venue is open at Noon, the program starts at 12:30 pm, and the program ends around 1:15 pm.   To make a reservation, call (202) 333-9330.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Enticing readers with comics and graphic novels

If you are into comic books and/or graphic novels, you are surely familiar with Fantom Comics.   Did you know they've moved from Union Station to a great space at Dupont Circle?   In this new space, Fantom Comics will be holding more and better special events featuring bigger displays and more.

And we can help.   Fantom Comics is running an Indiegogo campaign (full disclosure: I know and adore in a purely platonic way one of the owners).   The money raised will allow this homegrown small business to:

  • Schedule guest appearances and signings
  • Hold special events such as book clubs, trivia nights and Comic Book Olympics
  • Outreach at Metro entrances (free comics, anyone?)
  • Education, coordinated with public libraries and schools, nonprofits; comic book creation classes for all ages
  • And more!

I'm supporting the campaign because it's all about reading and I want more people of all ages to read, explore, and have fun.   So if you're like me, you'll support Help Fantom Comics Bring New Fans Into Comics.   You can support the effort for as little as $5.   Just support them soon.   The campaign ends in 10 days.

As soon as I have more details, I'll be writing about what Fantom Comics will be doing for Banned Books Week 2014 since comics are a focus this year (see Get ready for Banned Books Week Sept. 21-27, 2014).

OPGS has a new home!

The Office of Partnerships and Grants Services has moved.   Their new home is 441 4th St NW, Room 707N.

Books That Shaped America, book discussions sponsored by AU

Books That Shaped America is a project of American University and engages residents in talking about books that have helped shape American society.   Sessions start with discussions about the book of the month and then go well beyond the focal text.   Discussions are led by an AU faculty or staff member.   Participants are encouraged, but not required, to read the featured text.

Featured books include:

  • New Hampshire by Robert Frost
  • A Street In Bronzeville by Gwendolyn Brooks
  • Red Harvest by Dashiell Hammett
  • Family Limitation by Margaret Sanger
  • Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman

Attendance is free and reservations are not required.

The Books That Shaped America series is co-sponsored by the American University Library and the Humanities Lab at American University.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Unaccompanied children page updated Aug. 7 (II)

New information and documents have been added to the DC and the unaccompanied minors border crisis page.   The Local resources section was added; there you will find info about health care and host homes (foster care).

Do you have information or resources to share?   Email me.

LAYC Seeks Funding for Services to Unaccompanied Minors, a Long-term Foster Care Program

Today, a guest blog post from Latin American Youth Center.   There are numerous media reports locally and nationally but little about what is actually happening on the ground in DC.   This post starts to address this.

Brandi Stanton, Grants Writer/Development Manager, and Araceli Rosenberger, Communications Manager, authored the post.

The Latin American Youth Center (LAYC) in Northwest Washington, DC has provided residential housing with comprehensive support services to hundreds of vulnerable young people for over 20 years. LAYC is a nationally recognized youth development agency whose mission is to empower a diverse population of youth to achieve a successful transition to adulthood through multi-cultural, comprehensive, and innovative programs that address youths' social, academic, and career needs.

As an organization that was founded in the late'60s to meet the needs of young immigrants from Central America, LAYC has expertise working with immigrant youth and families, offering services in a professional and culturally competent atmosphere. The recent surge in unaccompanied minors at the U.S.-Mexico border motivated LAYC to respond to a funding opportunity announced by the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) to offer residential and support services to 20 unaccompanied immigrant children while they await immigration proceedings.

Over 50,000 young people have crossed over the border since October 2013, and in compliance with the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008, these children must be granted court hearings to determine if they are eligible for asylum or some other form of immigration relief. According to the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees' report, "Children on the Run," 58% of all children arriving from El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, and Mexico "raise potential international protection needs" due to experiences including extortion, threats of violence, witnessing murder, abuse, sexual violence, trafficking, and other forms of exploitation. Although the number of young girls coming into the country is increasing, the majority of these children are boys between the ages of 12 and 17.

LAYC's proposed Services for Unaccompanied Minors (SUM) program is a long-term foster care program for unaccompanied immigrant children to meet the residential, case management, and family reunification needs of 20 children/youth while they await decisions about their immigration status. The SUM program will provide safe, structured foster care housing and wrap-around acculturation and adaptation services during their time in foster care, including legal orientations, education, individual and group counseling, recreation, and access to legal, medical, dental, and mental health appointments. Bilingual program staff will also deliver family reunification and release services, identifying and vetting family members or friends in the U.S. who may be able to take custody of the children. The project period is 36 months.

LAYC will work with partner community organizations and agencies to address the complex needs of these youth including Mary’s Center for Maternal and Child Care, La Clínica del Pueblo, DC Government, DC Public Schools and DC Public Charter Schools, Ayuda, Hispanic Bar Association, CARECEN, Consortium for Child Welfare, Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Washington, St. Ann's Center for Children, Youth, and Families, individual immigration lawyers, and foster families. Whether SUM is funded or not, LAYC stands ready with our community partners to help these young people and their families.

LAYC has increased its efforts to recruit potential foster families for SUM and its existing Foster Care and Residential Placement programs in anticipation of the grant announcement, which is expected in October 2014. Foster parents may be single or married, English or Spanish speaking, of any gender or sexual identity, renters or homeowners, U.S. citizens or undocumented.

Individuals and families interested in learning more about becoming a foster parent with LAYC may visit LAYC’s Website, or contact Doreen Allen, Family Resource Specialist, at or (202) 643-2753. Media inquiries should be directed to Araceli Rosenberger, Communications Manager, at or (202) 319-2253.

DC's FY 2015 budget is off to the President

The budget approved by the DC Council, vetoed by Mayor Vince Gray, overridden by the council, and sent to President Obama is now online on the CFO's website.   You'll find:
  • Executive Summary
  • Agency Budget Chapters - Part 1
  • Agency Budget Chapters - Part 2
  • Agency Budget Chapters - Part 3
  • Operating Appendices
  • FY 2015 to FY 2020 Capital Improvements Plan
  • Revised FY 2015 Current Services Funding Level (CSFL) Budget
  • FY 2015 Benchmarking Study

New from the mayor's proposed is a discussion of the policies moved by the FY 2015 budget.   See the section "Introduction to the FY 2015 Proposed Budget and Financial Plan" (page 1-1).   For those who've read budgets for awhile, this new section is reminiscent of the policy books sometimes produced during the Williams Administration.

Unaccompanied minors page updated Aug. 7

New information and documents have been added to the DC and the unaccompanied minors border crisis page:
  • Additional stories in the media have been added
  • Information on the Rights of All Children to Enroll in School has been added to the Practical Resources section

Do you have information or resources to share?   Email me.

Legal Aid Society's services provided in the community

Legal Aid Society community-based services flyer

The Washington Times has a new website

DC Public Charter School Board's 2014 annual report

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

The relationship between governing and skill

The majority of my professional career has been dedicated to public policy.   In particular, public policy (and budget) solutions to challenges confronting children, youth, and their families in the District of Columbia.   A significant portion of the work included how to make more people good at public policy.   That's why Want to Govern? Survey Says, Attend Policy School caught my attention.

The Governing Magazine piece discusses the results of the Governing-commissioned survey seeking to answer the question "Do people who attended policy school and now work in government think their education was worthwhile?"   Governing is not alone in thinking about preparation for effective government service.   As author J.B. Wogan wrote,

Eight months ago, The Washington Post published a provocative Sunday op-ed with the headline, "Want to Govern? Skip Policy School." The authors argued that schools of government did not prepare students for a career in public service.


The results offer a stark contrast to a critical assessment of policy schools by James Piereson, president of the conservative William E. Simon Foundation, and Naomi Schaefer Riley, a conservative journalist, in a Dec. 6, 2013 edition of The Washington Post. Piereson and Riley wrote "the schools' curricula and missions have become at once too broad and too academic, too focused on national and global issues at the expense of local and state-level ones. It's not clear that the schools are preparing their graduates to fix all that needs fixing."

According to Wogan, the senior-level officials in state and local governments surveyed reported fairly consistently that the courses they took were also those most helpful.   The most helpful?   Public policy, management, and public finance.   As for skills, "respondents mostly listed soft skills as useful in their career, such as working on a team, speaking in public and managing projects."

Anne-Marie Slaughter, current president of New America Foundation and former dean of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton, has said "if she were starting a policy school today, it would offer only joint degrees, so that students could develop expertise in the various arenas they might encounter in the years ahead", according to the authors of The problem with public policy schools.

So back to the beginning, what can we, the community, learn from the Governing and other work?   Do we take away that we need more, better, or different skills to effectively participate in public policy discussions and solutions?   Or, do we take away that public sector workers need more and better training?   Or some combination or something totally different?

2014 Library of Congress National Book Festival

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Mayor Gray breaks ground at Stead Aug. 6

Mayor Vince Gray will break ground at Stead Field, the first step in replacing the current field with synthetic turf.   The groundbreaking takes place Wednesday, August 6 from 10:00 - 11:00 am at Stead Park Field (1625 P St NW).

From the advisory:

WHAT/WHO: Mayor Vincent C. Gray; Ward 2 Councilmember Jack Evans; Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) Acting Director Sharia Shanklin; Department of General Services (DGS) Director Brian Hanlon; Friends of Stead Park President Chris Dormant; and ANC 2B05 Commissioner Abigail Nichols will join community members and campers from Stead Recreation Center for a groundbreaking ceremony at Stead Field.

BACKGROUND: The Friends of Stead Park partnered with DPR to oversee a major renovation and upgrade at Stead Field. The group raised over $200,000 toward this project. Once complete, Stead Field will include: a multi-purpose synthetic turf field, a plaza, decorative paving, a walking/jogging track, a spray park, a picnic/game table and more. Construction is slated for completion in the autumn of 2014.

Are you paying attention to #DCision14?

The best school supply of all: a library card

Did you know that the most important school supply of all is a library card?   and for adults, a library card is the smartest card in their wallet.   Having a DC Public Library card means you can check out books, movies, and music; use digital content; and much more.

The whole world is available to people of all ages at DC Public Library.   You can check out books and movies.   Young children are exposed to stories, the excitement of language during story hour.   Young people can get homework help and some teens even can get a job at the library.   And adults can join a book club or get assistance with resumes and job searches.

The library opens up a whole new world.   So visit your library today, get a card and start checking out the world – here and very far away.

Getting a library card is easy.   You can do it online or in person.   School-age children may apply for a card; young children may receive one upon request by a parent.   [Note:   A child’s record cannot be reviewed by the parents under the "District of Columbia Confidentiality of Library Records Act of 1984" (DC Law 5-128).   The child must initiate such a request.]

Homicide Watch needs new partner to ensure future

Monday, August 4, 2014

'Cause there are no "those people" in Oklahoma

C-SPAN Caller: 'Liberalism' to Blame for DC Homeless Population, Alcoholism

Roll Call's Hannah Hess covered the video today in C-SPAN Caller Tells Norton D.C. Belongs in Congress’ Hands (Video).   Hess opens with:

The District of Columbia's "No Taxation Without Representation" license places can apparently be quite jolting to tourists, but perhaps not in the way advocates hope.

An Oklahoma woman who identified herself as "Donna" called into C-SPAN's "Washington Journal" program on Aug. 1, griping about a three-day family vacation to the District and the many things that "appalled" her family, including the license plates.

Donna told Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C., that she saw alcoholics and people sleeping on the streets and said her family "couldn't find a park bench to sit on" because of the large homeless population.

Norton, a lawyer and civil rights activist in her 12th term representing the District, had a long list of positives about her hometown to rebuff the caller's claims.

Information added to unacommpanied minors page

New information and documents have been added to the DC and the unaccompanied minors border crisis page:
  • A new section, Entry and other processes, was added to illustrate the processes young people go through from when they enter the United States until they get placed by the federal government in a local jurisdiction.
  • Two videos have been added.   The first is a four-minute ABC news segment, "More Unaccompanied Minors Are Crossing the Border ABC News."   The second is the documentary (1:22:43) "Which Way Home (Migrant Children)/(Niños Migrantes)"

Do you have information or resources to share?   Email me.

NEW: Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Toolkit for Community Partners and DACA clinic

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has recently published Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Toolkit for Community Partners (PDF); it contains:
  • DACA program overview
  • "How Do I Request Consideration of DACA?" customer guide
  • Tips
  • Frequently asked questions
  • DACA process infographic
  • "Avoid Immigration Scams" flier
  • List of federal government resources

More information about DACA is available on the USCIS website for childhood arrivals.

USCIS has just announced a DACA clinic.   Deets are in the flyer, below.

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Clinic 8 16 Flyer

Mayor Gray's Aug. 5 sked

Mayor Vince Gray will participate in the Tuesday, August 5 citywide National Night Out event at H.D. Woodson Senior High School (540 55th Street NE) from 6:00 - 8:00 pm.

Information about other NNO events in DC are on the MPD website NNO 2014 page.

An event for those interested in transforming the city's food system

Metropolitan Washington Public Health Association's 2014 conference takes place Wednesday, September 17.   The objectives of the conference― "Transforming Our Food System: Creating More Just and Sustainable Communities"―are:
  • How local community-based organizations and government are engaged in food system development
  • How agencies working in food system development are collaborating to reduce food inequity and increase access to healthy, affordable food
  • How agencies are planning, implementing, and evaluating sustainable communities that provide access to healthy food resources

Register online.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

The DC Register according to @hgil

Status of several legal clinics in August

Bread for the City's legal clinics at the organization's northwest and southeast locations will be closed for intakes in August.   Intake will resume Monday, September 8 between 1:00 and 3:00 pm.   The Employment Justice Center's Workers' Rights Clinics, operating out of Bread for the City's two locations, will also be closed in August and resuming in September.

The DC Bar Pro Bono Program's regular monthly free Advice and Referral Clinic will take place as scheduled Saturday, August 9 from 10:00 am - Noon at Bread for the City's northwest and southeast locations.

Update on 500 Families. 100 Days.

Here's an update on 500 Families. 100 Days. Quality DC Housing Now kicks off today, by request.

In the days before Day 100 hit, Deputy Mayor BB Otero met with several reporters to talk update on 500 Families. 100 Days.   The summary?   Check out this from WaPo:

Landlords offered the city 532 apartments during the 100-day campaign. The Gray administration rejected 73 after inspections, for a usable total of 459 apartments. Otero also said landlords have suggested that additional units may become available at the end of the summer, potentially meaning the city could get closer to opening more space at D.C. General.

Have a say in the future of the DC Historical Society

The DC Historical Society is counting on community members to decide the future of the organization.   In 10 minutes, community members, researchers, academics, program attendees, and other stakeholders have the opportunity to help craft the future.   The survey asks questions about membership status, program participation and interest, and much more.

Those who complete the survey by Thursday, August 7 may be entered into a drawing for one of four $75 gift cards to Clyde's Restaurant Group.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Are you ready for National Voter Registration Day (Sept. 23)?

National Voter Registration Day is September 23.   Will your business, nonprofit, or DC government agency participate by encouraging staff and clients/constituents to register to vote?

Learn how to get involved by participating in the August 7 webinar dedicated to talking about ways for organizations of all kinds to get involved.