Thursday, October 30, 2014

October 2014 releases from the OCFO

The OCFO this week has released DC Economic Indicators, October 2014.   You'll find information about the labor market, cash collections (a mixed bag compared to FY 2013), personal income, the population, and housing.   Also released was District of Columbia Economic and Revenue Trends: October 2014, below.

DC Economic and Revenue Trends Report_October 2014-1

Thought you might be interested Thursday

Love this cover.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

TA: Annotating charts

John Murphy on Ode to the Annotation explains the (in hindsight obvious) reasons why annotating charts makes a lot of sense.   Rather than burying the explanation of change in the narrative, the annotated run chart places "small text snippets that show when an intervention or event has taken place."

And if the simple, elegant graphic and explanation are not enough, Murphy provides links to others annotating charts.

Be sure to bookmark Murphy's post.

@WildApricot's curated list of free webinars

Thanks to Wild Apricot, we've got the latest list of free webinars.   The 23 Free Non-profit Webinars for November 2014 post includes Wild Apricot events (which look great!) and trainings by others including:
  • Mission-Driven Volunteering, November 4
  • Engaging Pro Bono and Skilled Volunteers, November 6
  • Legal Traps for the Unwary Fundraiser, November 19
  • How to Captivate and Engage Your Constituents with Your Website, November 24

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Mayor-Council meeting, Oct. 29

Mayor Gray will meet with members of the DC Council Wednesday, October 29 from 9:00 – 10:00 am.   The event is open to the media so you can expect @tomsherwood, @mikedebonis, @maustermuhle, and @SegravesNBC4 to be covering the fun. (Updated, with correct date in post, 10/29/14, 11:18a)

Two old, but still useful, reports recommending changes at the DC Council

Way back when, reform of the Council of the District of Columbia was all the rage.   DC Appleseed did an analysis with recommendations: Operational Reform of the District of Columbia Council: A Fix-It-Yourself Manual (PDF) (text version via DC Watch).   Then the council engaged the National Council of State Legislatures to perform the same task and their report is entitled Report to the Council of the District of Columbia: Building a Stronger, More Effective Institution.   The scanned copy of the NCSL report is below and the text version is on DC Watch.

The DC Council has accomplished a significant number of the recommendations.   Outstanding from the NCSL report, for example, are:

  • Presentation of a plain language analysis of all legislation prior to and with the introduction
  • Adherence to roundtable and hearing scheduling
  • Routinely update staff directory of CM and committee staff and office staff
  • Publication of user-friendly documents explaining the legislative process and the institution generally
  • Appropriately use emergency legislation

Since there's plenty left to do in these reports, I suggest the next council chair take another look at both reports and make changes.   In addition, it's probably time for another assessment.   DC Appleseed, are you interested?

NCSL DC Council Recs 1999

Disability and employment Twitter chat October 28

Leg meeting Oct. 28

The DC Council will hold a Legislative Meeting Tuesday, October 28 at 10:00 am in the Council Chamber.   The agenda is online.

Murch history project looking for students and teachers, especially from 50s - 60s

Friday, October 24, 2014

The DC Register in @hgil Tweets

An interesting watch on @BookTV

It goes without saying that C-SPAN's Book TV has a portfolio of interesting programs.   The latest to wow me is After Words: Jake Halpern, "Bad Paper: Chasing Debt from Wall Street to the Underworld," hosted by author Nomi Prins.

The program is so much more than the description:

A bank executive and a bank robber become business partners in buying uncollected debts for pennies on the dollar and collecting them on their own. According to Mr. Halpern, the collection industry is full of unregulated and questionable practices that can often compound the problems of working class citizens. He talks with author and former Wall Street executive Nomi Prins.

Halpern is a terrific storyteller.   He makes the complex story easy to understand and the program is easy to watch and listen to (huge in my book).   And as a bonus, Halpern provides usable advice to those who have debt and particularly debt in collection.   So take an hour and watch the program.   If you're interested in reading the book, local independent Politics & Prose has Halpern's book on their shelves now.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Stand up DC against underage drinking at October 27 public hearing

The Ward 7 Safe and Drug Free Communities Coalition is encouraging those who want to put a lid on underage drinking in DC to testify Monday, October 27 at 10:00 am before the council's Committee on Business, Consumer, and Regulatory Affairs.    Of the seven bills up for consideration, four relate to underage drinking and/or Ward 7:

If you need help preparing your testimony (or written statement if you are not able to attend the public hearing), the Coalition has prepared a guide to preparing testimony on these four bills.   And Ward 7 CM Yvette Alexander has prepared a summary of the four bills; see below.

DC Council Alexander Alcohol Legis Summary TN 10 2013 Revised

If you are not able to testify on October 27 but would like your statement submitted that day, Lois Callahan with the Coalition will deliver it to CM Orange at the hearing.   Email her for more information.   Or, submit your statement directly to the committee by November 6.   The revised hearing notice (PDF) tells you how.

Thought you might be interested Thursday

Perhaps a local college or university in the District could do a similar course, or set of courses, with former mayors, city administrators, and CMs.   I'd love to learn from them and participate in an effort to teach future leaders and government workers.

In the meantime, what have YOU learned doing advocacy that you would like to share with others?   Leave your thoughts in a comment.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Comment on B20-825, the "Youth Offender Accountability and Rehabilitation Act of 2014"

CM Tommy Wells (Ward 6 and chair of the Committee on Public Safety and Justice) has announced the committee will collect public comments on B20-825, "Youth Offender Accountability and Rehabilitation Act of 2014" via MadisonDC.   The use of this open platform is not to replace the public hearing taking place October 22.   Instead, this online tool will, according to the press release, "ensure that as many residents as possible have the chance to weigh in on this important legislation..."   The deadline for submitting comments via MadisonDC is October 30 at 5:00 pm.

Annual HIPS Candy Drive

The annual HIPS Candy Drive is here!   Candy is used as a conversation starter during street-based outreach since there is a natural reluctance to talk about condoms or syringes right away.   The candy is a way for staff and volunteers to connect with new clients and to let their existing clients know that they care.

HIPS is asking for donations of individually wrapped candy.   As a volunteer has said, "So this Halloween, consider purchasing an extra bag of candy for HIPS or donating your leftover candy. That's right, we'll help you get rid of all that dang candy leftover!"

For more information or to get drop-off or pick-up information, contact Emily via email or phone, (202) 232-8150 ext. 301.

For those who don't know, HIPS

promotes the health, rights, and dignity of individuals and communities impacted by sexual exchange and/or drug use due to choice, coercion, or circumstance. HIPS provides compassionate harm reduction services, advocacy, and community engagement that is respectful, non-judgmental, and affirms and honors individual power and agency.

Celebrate Home Rule October 28

Media Advisory on DCHRXL Commemoration

Monday, October 20, 2014

Mayor Gray's bi-weekly presser, Oct. 21

On Tuesday, October 21 at 11:30 am, Mayor Gray and DDOT director Matthew Brown will release the final moveDC Transportation Plan outlining policies, programs and capital investments aimed to enhance the District's transportation network.   The event takes place at Earth Conservation Corps Pump House (1520 First St SE).   From the advisory:
BACKGROUND: The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) will release the final moveDC Transportation Plan, the culmination of an 18-month process that has involved thousands of residents from the District and the Washington metropolitan region. The moveDC Plan is a comprehensive, multimodal transportation strategy that outlines policies, programs and capital investments to enhance the District’s transportation network, and includes detailed "elements" or "master plans" for each mode of travel in the District.

This announcement is part of the mayor's regular bi-weekly press briefing.

Keeping Her Safe | Violence Against Women Symposium Nov. 3

The Keeping Her Safe | Violence Against Women Symposium takes place Monday, November 3 from 7:00 - 9:00 pm at Campbell AME Church (2568 Martin Luther King, Jr. Ave SE).

From the invitation and reservation site:

Violence against women has become an epidemic in this country. Reality shows are glamorizing it as an acceptable form of behavior. Moreover, it shows little girls that this is the kind of socialization that is expected of them. Violence is also being perpetuated through social media for the whole world to see. In light of the incident with the football player and his wife on the elevator, we wanted to unveil the silence.

GOTV October 20

Friday, October 17, 2014

Grant budget modifications now online for FY 2015 forward

The Office of Budget and Planning is now providing the status of Grant Budget Modification and Establishment requests.   The status, updated every day at night, is on   This new tool will report budget mod requests starting with FY 2015.

To find the requests, click on the "Grant Requests" tab at the top of the page (see illustration below).

OBP reports that this online tool is the first phase of making such information easily available.

TA: Understanding the lingo

LightBox Collaborative: Content Marketing in 5 Easy Steps on October 15 discussed earned, paid, and owned media (well, the link did).   Not sure what these terms mean?   Wander over to The Roles of Earned Media, Paid Media, and Owned Media for an explanation.   Lest you think I'm crazy, skip the first section; start with "The Earned Media Lifecycle."

Thursday, October 16, 2014

DOH shares information about Ebola

The Department of Health has posted information about Ebola on the agency website.   Information includes that for community members and clinicians/health care providers.

On October 14, DOH director Joxel Garcia held a media briefing on the city government's actions regarding Ebola.   WaPo's Aaron Davis has this report: D.C. health officials clamp down on patient information to prevent Ebola rumors.

Global Handwashing Day

Well, I missed Global Handwashing Day (it was October 15), but the message is still vitally important:   Wash your hands 1) before eating and 2) after using the toilet.   The Centers for Disease Control and Global Public-Private Partnership for Handwashing with Soap have promotional and educational materials (CDC handwashing page, Global Handwashing Day).   Take a look at the posters, signs, stickers, and planning documents so you can determine the best way to promote handwashing in your home, school, and workplace.

TIP: Wash your hands while singing "Happy Birthday" twice.

Thought you might be interested Thursday

Not all of the tips in 15 simple, secret Windows tips and tricks designed to save you time are new to me, but some are and I'm thrilled.   I thought you might be interested in some of the wild and wonderful―okay, not so much wild―tips and tricks for using Windows 7 and 8.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Updates and news from @vdavez

ICYMI: Cost of raising a child born in 2013

In August 2014, the USDA released the annual report, Expenditures on Children and Families.   The report, on the USA website's project page, finds that parents will spend $245,340 between the child's birth in 2013 and their 18th birthday.   The website features the report, press release, and several infographics.   Also on the site are reports since 2011.

LightBox Collaborative: Content Marketing in 5 Easy Steps

LightBox Collaborative makes understanding content management easy with Content Marketing in 5 Easy Steps.   The post walks readers through the steps in an easy-to-understand way.   The post offers some links to tools and ideas to help out.

(The graphic at the top of the post is from Altimeter Group via LightBox Collaborative.)

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

The city's plan to close the DC General family shelter

On October 14, the Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services released the city's plan to close DC General and move families to several smaller shelters (the release is here).   Also posted was the Family Shelter Re-Structuring Plan on the DHS website.

CM Jim Graham, Ward 1 rep and chair of the council's human services committee, held a public roundtable on the plan on October 14.   DCist editor Sarah Ann Hughes Tweeted (@DCistsarah) from the roundtable:

Learning from others: social media for nonprofits

DC Reads opening event Oct. 15

Monday, October 13, 2014

Changes in the media

WCP's managing editor Jonathan Fischer is headed to Slate where he'll be a senior editor.   See the FishBowlDC piece.

And Mother Jones's Chris Mooney will start at WaPo October 20 to start an enviro blog on the business desk.   From the Post's announcement:

He will start as part of Wonkblog, and build toward the future rollout of a standalone blog that will pull together the excellent work of The Post’s all-star roster of energy and environment writers. Stay tuned for more details on that.

Mayor Gray's plans for excepted service staffers

Don't fret over the news: D.C.'s strong bond rating frees up millions for severance for Gray's top aides.   As journo Michael Neibauer points out,
It is tradition that, shortly before the turnover from one administration to another, the existing mayor’s cabinet and top aides are briefed on their looming unemployment. While Gray, who lost the April 1 Democratic primary to D.C. Councilwoman Muriel Bowser, has already lost many of his top aides, those who remain will be asked to submit their resignations.

Both executive and excepted service employees — at-will employees, including agency chiefs who serve at the pleasure of the mayor — are eligible for separation pay, in addition to payment for unused leave. By law, separation pay cannot exceed 12 weeks of an employees' basic pay (four weeks if the employee has worked for the District for less than a year).

Want more info about separation pay for excepted service?   Take a look at the DCMR section on this topic, 6-B913.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Mayor Gray's October 10 schedule

On Mayor Vince Gray's Friday, October 10 schedule is the 10:00 – 11:00 am Marvin Gaye Playground Groundbreaking Ceremony.   The mayor will make remarks.   The playground's address is 56201 Banks Pl NE.

Women's policy conference Oct. 18

The Commission for Women's Saturday, October 18, 2014 - 9:00 am - 4:30 pm Inaugural Policy Conference will take place at UDC.

The event is billed as "a full day of constituency-building, empowerment and solution-finding on issues of importance to women in the District of Columbia."

Registration is free and required; space is limited.

Comment NOW on draft military, vets, and families action plan!

Friday, October 10 is the deadline to submit comments on the draft Service Members, Veterans and their Families Workgroup action plan (PDF).   Feedback can be submitted using an online form or by email; details are on the SMVF web page.

The draft action plan proposes action in five areas: criminal justice, economic security and employment, housing and homelessness, education and healthcare.

Thought you might be interested Thursday

Design*Sponge describes like this the video below:
Kirsten Dunst and filmmaker Matthew Frost share some spot-on sentiments about selfie culture.

ASPIRATIONAL from Matthew Frost on Vimeo.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Mayor Gray's Oct. 8 regular biweekly presser to include affordable housing announcement

From the advisory:
WHAT/WHO: Mayor Vincent C. Gray and Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) Director Michael P. Kelly will provide an update on the administration’s efforts to produce and preserve affordable housing for District residents. Director Kelly will also announce the 2014 Notice of Funding Availability awardees.

The announcement is part of Mayor Gray’s regular Biweekly Press Briefing.

WHEN: Wednesday, October 8, 2014

WHERE: Future site of the Four Points Development Project
2255 Martin Luther King, Jr. Avenue SE

BACKGROUND: With the District’s population continuing to grow at a rate of more than 1,000 net new residents per month, Mayor Gray’s administration has sought innovative approaches to generating quality affordable housing and has leveraged as many resources as possible to boost the District’s supply of affordable housing. Mayor Gray revived the Housing Production Trust Fund Advisory Board, created the Comprehensive Housing Strategy Task Force and announced an ambitious and unprecedented goal to produce or preserve 10,000 affordable units by the year 2020.

List of agency tiers (budget development)

FY 2016 budget development has begun referred to agency tiers; here's the list.

Agency Tier System

FY 2016 budget development has begun

On October 2, the Office of Budget and Planning and DC government agencies kicked off the FY 2016 budget.

Here's what we know about budget development:

  • The Continuing Services Funding Level directly from budget manual:
    The CSFL, which is Local funds only, will serve as the starting point for the FY 2016 proposed policy budget. For non-Local Funds, the starting point will be the FY 2015 budget. As in the past, the Special Purpose Revenue and Dedicated Taxes budgets will require Office of Revenue Analysis' (ORA) certification. Budget Review Team (BRT) meetings to discuss policy initiatives and costsaving proposals may take place in January. The BRT schedule is created and managed by the Mayor, not the OCFO.

    The CSFL is published on the OCFO's website for the public to view in October. In addition to serving as a comparative tool for policy decisions made by the Mayor, the CSFL for each agency shall serve as the agency’s FY 2016 Local funds Maximum Allowable Request Ceiling (MARC). Non-Local fund budget requests are not limited to MARC.

  • Budget submission deadlines:
  • Tier 1: November 7
  • Tier 2: December 5
  • Tier 3: December 23
  • Enhancements directly from budget manual:
    Program enhancements should not be submitted to OBP. AFOs are expected to work with the Mayor's Office of Budget and Finance (MOBF) to negotiate any proposed program enhancements.

There will be questions about which agencies are in which tier.   That information will be posted as soon as it is available.

Highlights of the budget development schedule are below.

FY 2016 Budget Development Schedule


Still Bowling Alone: Trends in Millennial Political Participation and Civic Engagement Oct. 22

Still Bowling Alone: Trends in Millennial Political Participation and Civic Engagement takes place Wednesday, October 22 from 6:30 - 9:00 pm at Impact Hub DC (419 7th St NW).

About the event:

Earlier this year, primary voter turnout in the District was the worst it has been in three decades, suggesting a concerning level of political apathy for local government in our nation's capital. At the same time, there has been an enormous influx of the millennial generation following the recession, while the District's income inequality gap is the fourth-highest of any other US city.

We see these issues as inextricably connected, and want to hear from local politicians, members of the media, and social sector organizations that have a stake and a perspective to offer about why political and civic engagement (in its many forms) is disappointing at best, and what we can do to improve it going forward. There will be a panel and time for mingling with food and drinks.

Proceeds from your $10 ticket will support ONE DC's important work in organizing to make DC an equitable and inclusive city.


  • Will Sommer, Loose Lips Columnist & Staff Writer, Washington City Paper (Moderator)
  • Eugene Puryear, Activist and Council-at-Large, DC Statehood Green Party
  • Tommy Wells, Councilman, DC Government – Ward 6
  • Matt Segal, Co-Founder and President,
  • John McCarthy, Executive Director, Future Civic Leaders
  • Celinda Lake, President, Lake Research Partners

Buy tickets here.

Meet the Makers: MakerPlaces in Libraries and Beyond, Oct. 20

Dig DC, a new way to learn about DC

DC Public Library will publicly launch Dig DC Wednesday, October 8 from Noon - 1:00 pm at MLK Library (901 G St NW) in the Digital Commons.

What is Dig DC?   It's DCPL's new web portal to all sorts of materials in the Library's Special Collections.   From an email announcing the news:

Dig DC will make it much easier for D.C. residents to access the amazing resources of DCPL Special Collections - from ephemera to priceless photographs to some of our amazing maps of D.C. This is just the beginning and more materials will continue to be added over time, but there's already a lot to explore!

Please check out the site at and join us for our launch party this *Wednesday, October 8th*! Our goal is to give a 360 degree view of the benefits of the new resource, so we’ve gathered a wide variety of speakers, from history buffs to authors to artists, for a round of lunchtime lightning talks about the possible impact and uses of Dig DC. The event will take place from 12-1pm in the Digital Commons at MLK Library *(901 G Street NW).

Monday, October 6, 2014

Mayor Gray cuts ribbon on Virginia Wms Family Resource Center Oct. 7

Mayor Vince Gray will join DHS staff Tuesday, October 7 from 10:00 – 11:00 am to cut the ribbon on the renovated Virginia Williams Family Resource Center (920 Rhode Island Ave NE).

Services offered at this location are detailed in this DHS advisory.

DC Day for Civic Hacking Oct. 19

Join Code for DC and others Sunday, October 19 from 10:00 am - 6:00 pm for DC Day for Civic Hacking.   The event takes place at Impact Hub DC (419 7th St NW ).   Participation is FREE and get your tickets here.

According to Impact Hub DC,

At the DC Day of Civic Hacking by Code for DC, civic hackers will be working with technology to make the District better. Projects include helping DC parents with school choice, improving DC's 311 social services directory, making Advisory Neighborhood Commissions more open and accountable, and other projects. Anyone can be a civic hacker. Code for DC is a local chapter of the Code for America Brigades.

Infant mortality data for 2012 released + Stronger2gether launch

Saturday, October 4, 2014

DC Council Chairman to hold legislative media briefing Oct. 6

From the advisory:
Council Chairman Phil Mendelson will hold a Legislative Media Briefing to discuss the Council’s upcoming Legislative Meeting.

Monday, October 6, 2014
10:00 a.m.

John A. Wilson Building, Room 412
1350 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20004

Chairman Mendelson will hold a media briefing to preview major actions to be taken at the Council’s upcoming Legislative Meeting, which will held on Tuesday, October 7, 2014 at 10:00 a.m. A draft agenda for Tuesday's Legislative Meeting is attached.For additional information, please call: (202) 724-8032.

More information about the October 7 Legislative Meeting is on the council's website.

Nonprofits are needed to table at DV summit and health fair Oct. 18

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and MPD and Matthews Memorial Baptist Church are hosting a Domestic Violence Awareness Month Summit and Health Education Fair Saturday, October 18 at 9:00 am at Matthews Memorial Baptist Church (2616 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave SE).

The sponsors are looking for nonprofits and government agencies to table.   Those interested should contact MPD's Lendia Sue Johnson at (202) 698-1454 or via email,

In the meantime, share the flyer (below) with clients, neighbors, and others.

DVAM Summit and Annual Health Fair 2014

Friday, October 3, 2014

DC historical society gets new website and more!

On October 1, the Historical Society of Washington, D.C. launched a new online presence with   The new website is easier to navigate and features a blog (that is very cool).

The new website also changes the URL to   That means that all email addresses also change (staff listing here).

Domestic Violence and Guns: A Community Forum, October 8

The DC Coalition Against Domestic Violence and the DC Chapter of the Brady Campaign are sponsoring Domestic Violence and Guns: A Community Forum Wednesday, October 8 from 6:00 - 7:30 pm at Shiloh Baptist Church (1500 9th St NW).   RSVP.

Why we need to talk about these issues together: "Over 70% of domestic violence victims have been threatened by their abuser with a gun."

Many more events related to domestic violence prevention and awareness take place during the month of October.   The schedule of DCCADV events and tips for social media are in this guide (PDF).

Get info about National Disability Employment Awareness Month

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Upcoming voter registration deadline: Monday, October 6

The deadline to register or update your information for the November 4 General Election is Monday, October 6.   Register online at

If you are not registered by October 6, you can register at the polls.

Learn more about the races on the Board of Elections website.

Advocacy training program seeking applicants; deadline Nov. 7

DC Advocacy Partners (DC AP) is a free nine-month leadership training program designed for self-advocates and family members of individuals with intellectual/developmental disabilities.   The program is accepting applications; the deadline is November 7, 2014.


will gain leadership skills and techniques to help develop positive partnerships with elected officials, school personnel, and other community leaders. You will become a policy influencer, and will interact with policy makers and policy implementers regarding services that you and/or your family may use. You will be given opportunities to engage in interactive learning experiences and gain valuable information about current issues, services and strategies, as well as policymaking and legislative processes at local and national levels. As a part of this nine-month program, you will become a member of a DC network of community advocates working together to improve opportunities for Washingtonians with disabilities.

Thought you might be interested Thursday

FastCompany's discussions of the evolution of two brands, Coke and Citizen (Watch 128 years Of Coca-Cola's History In 2 Minutes and The Evolution of Product Design As Told By Citizen Watches), interest me.

Why?   They are great stories.   And watching both videos―they are short, you should watch them―my mind goes to the possibility of how others can use the video tool to tell the story of their community, their organization, their passion.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Mayor Gray's October 2 sked

Mayor Vince Gray will offer remarks at the Dunbar Senior High School DC CAS Scores Celebration Thursday, October 2 from 2:30 - 3:30 pm.   The event takes place in the gym (101 N St NW).

Statehood Meet-Up Oct. 8

Join other supporters of statehood at the Wednesday, October 8 meet-up at The Argonaut (1433 H St NE).   According to the invitation,
Come learn about what's been going on in the movement, ask questions, make suggestions, have a few drinks and talk with some mighty fine people. We'll have some DC history games to test your DC knowledge & we'll have "Statehood for the People of DC" signs for attendees.

It's FY 2015!

October 1 starts Fiscal Year (FY) 2015.   It runs through September 30, 2015.

Michael Neibauer changes Twitter handle