Thursday, July 31, 2014

New on the blog: Info about border crisis unaccompanied minors in DC

DC and the unaccompanied minors border crisis is a new page on the blog.   The purpose of the page is to be the place where info about this important subject, as related to DC lives.

While I collected the content there now, the goal is for readers to be real users and contributors.   If you see news reports you think will be of interest to others, add them to the file and upload the PDF.   Or, summarize what media reports are already on the list.   Similarly, there are lots of questions out there about the number of unaccompanied children and youth are in DC and the best ways to serve them.   Some resources are already posted but others are encouraged and welcome.

So please, read the new page and make suggestions via email.

Mayor Gray's Aug. 1 sked

One item on Mayor Vince Gray's Friday, August 1 schedule is the 10:00 – 11:00 am Trinidad Playground groundbreaking ceremony.   The event location is 1310 Childress St NE.

Meet the DCPL executive director Aug. 6

Richard Reyes-Gavilan, the now not-so-new director of DC Public Library, will be meeting and greeting residents Wednesday, August 6 at 6:00 pm at the William O. Lockridge Library @ Bellevue (115 Atlantic St SW).

Are you doing a back-to-school supply drive? Let OCY help.

A little birdie tells me that One City Youth has not heard about a lot of back-to-school supply drives.   Which is too bad since OCY will blog and tweet your org's pleas for donations so kids can hit school with all the stuff they need.

If your organization is collecting school supplies, read below and let One City Youth help.

@WildApricot's curated list of free webinars for August 2014

Thanks to Wild Apricot, we've got the latest list of free webinars.   The 19 Free Non-profit Webinars for August 2014 post includes Wild Apricot events and trainings related to fundraising, videos, storytelling, and annual reports.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Mayor Gray's July 31 schedule

Mayor Vince Gray's Thursday, July 31 sked includes two public events:
  • 10:00 – 11:00 am: D.C. Comprehensive Assessment System (CAS) announcement, DC Scholars Stanton Elementary (2701 Naylor Road SE, football field, enter via Alabama Ave SE)
  • 1:00 – 1:30 pm: MuralsDC Rumsey Aquatic Center mural unveiling, Rumsey Aquatic Center (635 North Carolina Ave SE)

Mayor Gray's July 30 sked

Mayor Gray's regular press briefing takes place Wednesday, July 30 from 10:00 – 11:00 am at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center (801 Mount Vernon Pl NW, Hall D).   As part of the briefing, Mayor Gray will update the media about One City•One Hire, the DCHR/DOES Job Fair, and answer questions.

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Elevate your content marketing with video, Aug. 13

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Local history project needs stories, photos, and home movies

Hola Cultura is working on a web-documentary about Mount Pleasant & Adams Morgan. We need your help. We want to hear your stories, see your photos, mementos and home movies that chronicle the tales of our grandparents, our mothers and neighbors—from the girl next story and the king of the neighborhood. It’s all part of who we are and how we came here. So please join us next Thursday, July 31, to learn more about the documentary, and share your part in our story. "El Barrio" information session.

Thurs., July 31 | jueves, 31 de Julio
11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library
Dream Lab inside the Digital Commons
901 G St. NW, First Floor
Washington, DC 20001
202-727-0321

FY 2014 spending report, July 28

CFO Jeff DeWitt yesterday released a report of variances between actual agency expenditures and approved spending plans through the second quarter of FY 2014.   The summary and agency list are online.

If you are looking for details beyond those at the agency and Fund Type category, this is not the report for you, at least as far as the operating budget goes.   The list for the capital budget includes, among other things, the project number and name.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Ward 6 Community Office Hours on vaca in August

Please note - Councilmember Tommy Wells will not host his regularly scheduled Community Office Hours during the month of August. We will resume our normal schedule in the Fall. Please feel free to contact our office at 202-724-8072 if you have any questions or concerns. You can also contact Pat Joseph at 202-724-8628 or pjoseph@dccouncil.us for any specific concerns. Enjoy your summer and we will see you in the Fall!

What ARE Millenials and how can we engage them?

Not sure who Millenials are, how they think, work, and exist in the broader community?   Wild Apricot's post Key Insights To Help Inspire and Engage Millennials delivers what the title suggests.

Wild Apricot summarizes the work of several organizations researching what moves Millenials, shares links to reports, and identifies the implications from the research.

Since 2010, their four Millennial Impact reports have identified some key insight into this generation of individuals born after 1979. Key trends have included:
  • Millennials engage with causes to help other people, not institutions.
  • Millennials support issues rather than organizations.
  • Millennials prefer to perform smaller actions before fully committing to a cause.
  • Millennials are influenced by the decisions and behaviors of their peers.
  • Millennials treat all their assets (time, money, network, etc.) as having equal value.
  • Millennials need to experience an organization’s work without having to be on site.

As Wild Apricot points out, BLS reports there are 14 million 20- to 24-year-olds and almost 32 million 25- to 34-year-olds employed in the US.   They "are both your current and future members, donors and volunteers."   To effectively engage Millenials, we need to understand who they are and what they respond to.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Help make DC safer; join the CASS board

CASS is looking for great people to join our board of directors! Do you have a passion for social justice and a drive to build a safer DC? Interested in helping to manage a unique community-based organization working to find solutions to one of the most prevalent forms of gender-based violence?

Collective Action for Safe Spaces wants the board to represent all quadrants of the city represented, and especially those east of the river.

Learn more about joining the CASS board by reading Join CASS’s Board of Directors!   And here's the board app.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Are you a DC Free Summer Meals Program hero?

Are you a hero to the kids in your program, your neighbors, family members?   It doesn't take a lot.   All you have to do is share information about DC Free Summer Meals Program (meals served Monday - Saturday).   The flyer is available in PDF and JPEG, both below.

One City Youth is encouraging DC Free Summer Meals Program heroes to email their outreach efforts so they can be documented them and heroes recognized!

DCFSMP Saturday Flyer

DC Council looking to hire an attorney

DC Council GC David Zvenyach has announced he is hiring an Assistant General Counsel to start in the fall.   Highlights of the duties are below.   The position is open until filled.   PD and application are online.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

TA: The value of visual

I've blogged a bit about the value and importance of visual content:   TA: Visual content improves social media traction, drives sharing and TA: 5 simple tips for visual branding on social media.

The Buffer post 9 Informative Infographics To Guide Your Visual Content Marketing presents, you guessed it, nine arguments in support of using visuals.   A number of the arguments for using visuals are grounded in research about how people learn and retain information, the ways they engage with what they see.   I'm most interested in how people process information and how the information can be used to convey information to various audiences.

Free lunch on Saturdays for those 18 and younger

Last week, Mayor Vince Gray announced the terrific news that some libraries and rec centers will be serving children and youth 18 and younger lunch on Saturdays through the DC Free Summer Meals Program.

Find the most convenient location for Saturday or Monday-Friday meals by using the searchable map on onecityyouth.dc.gov, by calling 211, or by referring to the Saturday lunch list, below.

Got community organizing skills? This may be the job for you.

ONE DC is looking to hire a full-time organizer to start in the fall.   The successful candidate will have demonstrated organizing experience and will be responsible for developing an an effective organizing team and organizing strategies to achieve community controlled development, housing policy and income/economic equity outcomes.   More about the position and how to apply online.

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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

TA from @WildApricot: Keeping volunteers coming back

Technology for good, examples from a news outlet

Do you know about the Center for Investigative Reporting?   According to Mediabistro's Morning Media Newsfeed - 7/16/2014 (click here to sign up for the daily email), CIR has secured funding to produce "Reveal," a new podcast supported by data, video, and online interactive tools.
CIR's Lisa Cohen says the nonprofit, nonpartisan journalism outfit will co-produce the show with the Public Radio Exchange, highlighting some of CIR's ongoing investigations, as well as the watchdog journalism of other initiatives, in their one-hour radio show.

Why does this matter to DC, local politics and public policy?   Because the site and the new program show what's possible.

One possibility, for example, is the video game designed to help kids make healthy eating decisions (see the blog post How CIR used a video game to teach kids about healthy eating).   There's no reason why a DC nonprofit could not do a similar thing.

Another example of possibility is described in 7 mass surveillance tools your local police might be using.   What this triggers for me is the idea that we could use technology to document landlord/property problems to make renter challenges more transparent.   Problems could be combined with building permit information and other types of info useful to current or potential renters.

What ideas do you have for using technology for good?

Sunday, July 20, 2014

The early years of Dunbar

Dunbar High School's Classic Age: 1870-1957 is a short documentary about the nationally recognized high school.   The documentary was made possible through a grant from the Humanities Council of Washington, DC.

Friday, July 18, 2014

DC history made July 14

In Making History – and Making History Work DC Jobs Council director Marina Streznewski explains the value of the recently passed Ban the Box legislation.

The highlights for me, though, are:

This bill is notable, too, for the quality and character of the negotiations that have brought us to this day.

and

Cooperation at this unprecedented level was possible because Coalition members and Chamber representatives came to a profound realization – we agreed that returning citizens deserve a fair chance at a job.

Take a moment to read the (beautifully written) piece by Streznewski.

TA: Making the most of Google Docs

Neighborhood history

I learned about truxtoncircle.org/ from the Historic Washington Yahoo group.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Free lunch on Saturdays, anyone?

Mayor Vince Gray announced the terrific news earlier today: Starting July 19, some libraries and rec centers will be serving children and youth 18 and younger lunch through the DC Free Summer Meals Program!   That's right.   Free lunch for all kids in DC.

Shocked?   Surprised?   Don't be.   DC has served free meals on Saturdays before.   The point, after all, is to make sure kids are not hungry on weekends.

From the release:

"Not only has the District committed to providing free summer meals on Saturdays for the second year in a row, but we have also significantly increased the number of sites offering meals at DPR and DCPL locations," said Mayor Gray. "I am proud that the District continues to rank first in the country in access to nutritious meals for children and young people during the summer months. By expanding summer meals to Saturdays for the second summer in a row and offering new meal locations, we are once again demonstrating our commitment to being a city where every child has a chance to succeed."

DC Free Summer Meals is an important component in One City Youth as evidenced by the real estate dedicated to the program on the OCY website, onecityyouth.dc.gov.   In addition to the searchable map prepared by OCY partner DC Hunger Solutions, the site is home to outreach materials, chief among which are the flyers in Amharic, English, French, Korean, SimChi, Spanish, and Vietnamese; a short PSA; and a list of sites containing Ward and ANC info.

What are you waiting for?   Help feed some kids on Saturdays and through the summer - tell them about the DC Free Summer Meals Program, refer them to the searchable map, and tell them to call 211 to find the most convenient location.

Al Jazeera on the divided DC

In late 2010, Al Jazeera began showing the half-hour long There goes the neighbourhood.   The program is summarized this way: "A black family may occupy its most important residence, but Washington DC's African American population is in decline."

The backstory:

As demographic data from the 2010 census starts to come in, it will show a startling trend - cities that have long been the African American capitals of the US are undergoing drastic change. On the south side of Chicago, in New York's Harlem, across New Orleans and in Washington DC, the black population is in rapid decline.

The numbers are particularly startling in Washington, DC - a city that was once so thoroughly black it gained the name "Chocolate City". In 1970, blacks made up over 70 per cent of the district's population. Things have changed. In this decade, over 27,000 blacks left the city, and around 40,000 whites moved in. Today, African Americans represent less than 54 per cent of the population and demographers predict they will be a minority in the next five to 10 years.

Learn about Latinos and unemployment in DC

This Tweet from CAAB led me to these videos which led me to Hispanic AGENDA.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Mayor Gray on NewsTalk July 17

Mayor Gray will make his regular monthly appearance on NewsTalk Thursday, July 17 at 10:00 am.   Tune in to the show streaming here: http://news8.net/.   If you have questions or comments, call (703) 387-1020 or email the show.

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Spreading the word about "Spreading the Word"


DC Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy's "Spreading the Word" is an effective way to share information―events, announcements, job postings.   Email emckinney@dccampaign.org.   Want to subscribe to the weekly pub?   Go to http://www.dccampaign.org/#!abouus/cjg9.

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Participate: Survey on abuse in later life

Elder abuse is a real and tragic, and often hidden, problem in DC.   For every one elder abuse case that comes to the attention of people who can help and intervene, 14 senior victims are thought to suffer in silence, according to the National Research Council.

One step in solving the problem is gathering information and that's where you come in.   DC TROV (see below for deets) is surveying senior and service provider communities to assess the needs of the elderly population and orient the project.   The survey is online.

Seniors are also being surveyed. Paper surveys are available via email, merry@nvrdc.org and the online senior survey is here.

Direct questions about the project or the survey via email, merry@nvrdc.org.

Background on DC TROV from partner AARP:

In January of this year, a joint effort was launched by the Network for Victim Recovery of DC, Adult Protective Services, the Metropolitan Police Department, Legal Counsel for the Elderly, the US Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia, and the DC Coalition Against Domestic Violence, called DC TROV - The District's Collaborative Training & Response for Older Victims.

DC TROV seeks to increase the ability of governmental agencies, victim assistants, law enforcement personnel, prosecutors, and local courts to recognize, assist, investigate, and prosecute elder abuse and is supported through a three-year grant from the Office Against Violence on Women at the U.S. Department of Justice.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Overview of the new LIMS

She Started It shows women can and are doing STEM

She Started It is a documentary largely by women about women for girls.   We've all read the stats and stories about growth in technology, the value of a STEM education generally and specifically for girls, and the dearth of support for girls in the booming science and technology fields. (See HuffPost's Women In Science And Tech By The Numbers (INFOGRAPHIC))

The documentary, to be launched this fall, takes aim at the problem and offers a solution: show girls that women are involved in science, math, and technology in very big and important ways.   Silicon Valley technologists and financiers who discount the role of women are a significant part of the problem.   And while we are a continent away, the DMV has skin in the game.   The growing tech field must better engage girls in STEM and highlight women in leadership roles.

TA: Getty Images and Storify are quite the pair!

Monday, July 14, 2014

CM Wells hosts Community Office Hours July 17

Ward 6 CM Tommy Wells will host Community Office Hours Thursday, July 17 from 8:00 - 9:30 am at Batter Bowl Bakery (403 H St NE).   Meet the CM and his staff to discuss issues and concerns affecting your neighborhood.   Direct questions to Pat Joseph: 724-8628 or via email, pjoseph@dccouncil.us.

Happy birthday Woody Guthrie

EcoDistricts Summit takes place this September in DC

EcoDistricts Summit is the go-to conference for the world’s municipal policymakers, developers, business leaders, planners, and community activists gather to teach and inspire through carefully curated plenary sessions and panel discussions.

EcoDistricts has this to say about themselves:

At EcoDistricts you'll find people, tools, services and training to help cities and urban development practitioners create the neighborhoods of the future — resilient, vibrant, resource efficient, and just.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

#dcfy15 budget update, July 13

From the DC Council:

Full scope of FY 2015 budget, explained

With all the discussions of individual aspects of the budget recently approved by the Council, it is all too easy to lose the forest in the trees. Let's try to zoom out a bit, then zoom back in, all in a way that's more approachable by the average District resident.

Due to the District's unusual status, the budget approval process is also complicated, involving passage of two pieces of legislation. The second of the two, the more detailed Budget Support Act, contains details of new programs and initiatives, as well as new policies for the District government. The Budget Support Act (BSA) must be voted on twice—it was approved 13-0 on May 28 and 12-1 on June 24. Subsequently, the Mayor vetoed an emergency version of the BSA, and on Monday, July 14, the Council will consider an override of the Mayor's veto. If the veto is not overriden, the individual and business tax savings outlined in the charts below will never occur.

...

How much more taxes will YOU pay if the Mayor's budget veto stands?

The Council passed the Budget Support Act (BSA) twice, as required by law: by a vote of 13-0 on May 28 and by a vote of 12-1 on June 24. That legislation included a progressive package of tax reforms for both individuals and businesses. Subsequently, the Mayor vetoed an emergency version of the BSA. On Monday, July 14, the Council will consider an override of the Mayor's veto, which would require the votes of at least nine Councilmembers.

...

How much more taxes will YOUR BUSINESS pay if the Mayor's budget veto stands?

The Council passed the Budget Support Act (BSA) twice, as required by law: by a vote of 13-0 on May 28 and by a vote of 12-1 on June 24. That legislation included a progressive package of tax reforms for both individuals and businesses. Subsequently, the Mayor vetoed an emergency version of the BSA. On Monday, July 14, the Council will consider an override of the Mayor's veto, which would require the votes of at least nine Councilmembers.

...

DC Council action on Mayor Gray veto of FY 2015 budget.   At the July 14 Legislative Meeting, the DC Council will take up the recent veto of the FY 2015 budget by Mayor Vince Gray.

TA: Website accessibility

NOI's Make Images Accessible offers simple ways to make photos and graphics accessible to those using screen readers.   A useful link shared is to A Web for Everyone.   The book is $39 and the book's blog is free.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

#dcfy15 budget update, July 12

On July 11, Mayor Vince Gray vetoed the FY 2015 budget passed by the DC Council, returning the legislation with a letter detailing numerous problems with the budget (PDF).   From the press release about the veto:
Mayor Gray Vetoes Fiscal Year 2015 Budget
Mayor Cites Tax Hikes on Seniors, Steep Cuts in Funding to Streetcar Program, Tax on Wellness and Provisions Tying Hands of Future Mayors; asks Council to Work with Him on Compromise

(WASHINGTON, DC) — Mayor Vincent C. Gray today vetoed the "Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2014" and returned the Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Request Act of 2014 to the Council with three line-item vetoes. Mayor Gray cited significant problems in a number of areas of the Council's budget, and asked the Council to delay their summer recess for 30 days to work with the Executive Branch on a compromise budget that best serves the interests of District residents.

Not long after the mayor delivered his veto, DC Council Chairman Phil Mendelson responded in a statement to the press which begins
Statement on Mayor’s Veto of the Budget
Posted: 11 Jul 2014 01:35 PM PDT
Understandably, I am disappointed that the Mayor has chosen to veto the Budget Support Act and two sections of the Budget Request Act, relying on legal arguments that would eviscerate Council authority over the budget. Although he has tried to spin this action in the best light, a careful reading of his letter reveals two issues: (1) restoration of streetcar funding over tax cuts; and (2) objection to limitations on the Mayor’s unilateral ability to spend.

Follow @rbett to learn how folks responded to his question about what the latest actions mean.

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Children's stories: Do positive morals have greater behavioral impact than negative ones?

I found Running head: Moral Stories (PDF) on Hacker News in the post Can Classic Moral Stories Promote Honesty in Children? [pdf] (kangleelab.com).   The comments, in the latter link, provide links to additional papers and thinking.

Congrats Dave Zvenyach!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Interesting addition to Barry history

Hacking architecture for good

Ever in search of interesting ways to solve problems, I found The Architecture Of Abortion: How Providers Build Their Own Buffer Zones and was immediately intrigued.   I'm fascinated with the prospect of how architects can solve a human problem.
As a building type, women's reproductive healthcare clinics in the U.S.--and those states and municipalities who support and protect patients and workers--face a series of insidious challenges.

A 2013 survey of NAF members found that 92% of responding facilities were concerned about the safety of patients in the areas near a facility. Because clinics run on shoestring budgets, Brown learned that many resort to clever architectural hacks to help safeguard against protesters.

One clinic uses a sprinkler system as a kind of water “fence.” Another blares classical music to drown out the shouts from protesters. Yet another blasts industrial fans inside for white noise.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Join the online chat about MLK reno Thursday, July 10

Thursday, July 10 from Noon ot 1:00 pm, join the Martin Luther King, Jr. Library reno architects for a free online panel discussion exploring the design of the main library.   During the first half hour, Philip Kennicott (WaPo) will moderate a discussion featuring Francine Houben (Mecanoo) and Tom Johnson (Martinez and Johnson Architecture).   The second half hour features audience questions.

The online forum takes place on DC Public Library's Spreecast page.   Note: You will need to sign in to Spreecast with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or email.   Submit questions in advance or during via email, MLKFuture@dc.gov.

Why libraries matter featuring @JosephLeitmann and his daughter

I think @JosephLeitmann would agree that DC's investment in libraries is also essential!

TA: Data mining from PDF

Data in a PDF? Just Rude from New Organizing Institute identifies several ways to extract data from a PDF document.   NOI recommends PDFminer and a commenter suggests using the full version of Adobe Acrobat.

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Some great advice from creative types

Scott Stowell of Open, a New York independent design studio, does the first of the Co.Design/Hyperakt LunchTalks.   According to the website, LunchTalks "are designed to foster knowledge, sharing and casual conversation with other friendly, creative people..."

There are so many things I like about this talk, from the idea of randomness to this from Stowell about his life motto: "No one has any idea what they're doing. We're all just figuring it out."

UPDATE, 7/11: I misspoke when I wrote this was the first talk. Here's the correct info:

Just one correction. We've actually been doing Lunch Talks for 4 years and have done nearly 40 of them. You can see our past speakers here: http://hyperakt.com/lunchtalks

We've filmed the last 12 talks which can be seen on our Vimeo channel: http://vimeo.com/channels/lunchtalks

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

DC economic indicators report for June 2014

Lessons from the field: learning from mistakes and more

The NonProfit Times piece "Marketing An A-Ha' Moment" offers much more than the title suggests.   Here are my noteworthy take-aways.

It's okay to change you mind, change course

DonorsChoose.org leaders learned that not every strategy that works in the for-profit realm will work for nonprofits, and sometimes you need to cut your losses.

Failing is acceptable (so long as you learn from it)

... failures are valuable teaching moments

It's not about you

"One of the things that’s most frustrating to nonprofit organizations is they're often angry at donors because they give to the 'wrong' things. The donor wants a simple problem and a simple solution, and the marketers ask rhetorically, 'What’s wrong with them?'"

Asking clients, constituents, what they want

First Book regularly surveys its constituents, and the results are often enlightening...

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

#dcfy15 budget update July 8

WAMU's Under D.C. Budget, Property Tax Exemption For Seniors Sees Tweaks briefly describes what the change in the senior property tax means for older residents.

CM Jack Evans wrote about the FY 2015 budget in his July 2 newsletter in the piece "Keeping the District on Solid Economic Footing":

I wrote this opinion piece in response to the changing economic conditions of the District and the FY2015 budget that recently passed the D.C. Council. It originally appeared in the Washington Post on June 29, 2014.

With the District's population growing by 1,000 residents per month, with its fiscal reserves topping $1.75 billion and with the D.C. Council's recent effort to cut taxes by $165 million to make our tax system fairer and more competitive, there is a sense in some quarters that the District has achieved fiscal prosperity.

Yes, our strengthened position, buttressed by careful investments in economic development, has kick-started a virtuous cycle in which growing tax receipts fund investments in education, public safety, transportation, health care, the social safety net and amenities such as neighborhood libraries and local playgrounds.

But let's resist the urge to celebrate quite yet. Our successes have been buoyed by a strong regional economy and the stabilizing influence of federal spending. Headwinds include a persistently high unemployment rate fueled by a skills gap, a regulatory environment perceived as hostile to business , a civic infrastructure approaching the end of its useful life and a reliance on the federal sector for job growth at the expense of economic diversification.

Fifteen years ago, when we passed the Tax Parity Act of 1999, we complemented broad-based tax relief with systemwide financial management improvements and responsible, long-term decision-making. We must now take the same thoughtful approach to address today's churning economic forces. Here are five places to start:

  • Beyond regional competition: The country's most successful cities have learned how to transcend regional competition and embrace regional cooperation. While the District is thriving due to macro-level trends that are spurring development in our transit-oriented urban corridors, these regional advantages are never permanent as tastes change and other communities replicate our successful models. Rather than chasing after the same businesses and residents, the District should work with our neighbors to identify our relative strengths and then focus on leveraging those strengths so that the region is stronger and healthier.
  • Beyond effectiveness: Although we have improved the quality of public services, too often that improvement has been through investing more resources rather than a more intelligent deployment of resources. Through the use of technology, the adoption of nationally recognized practices and the empowerment of employees, the District can improve service delivery and save resources. Areas that are primed for more efficient operations include affordable housing, business permitting, contracting and procurement, homeless services and post-secondary education.
  • Beyond simplistic solutions: We are a progressive city and our residents are deeply committed to education, opportunity and a safety net for those less fortunate. Given the great economic disparities, there is a temptation to fall back on business taxes, estate taxes and income taxes on high-income residents in our attempt to create a fairer system. The District is subject to the same global trends that are making it easier for people, businesses and capital to relocate with ease. We need to explore strategies to keep our residents and businesses from leaving when they become successful. Policies that raise revenue in the short term may have the opposite effect over the long term.
  • Beyond government-only solutions: Our most successful investments over the past 25 years have been the result of public-private collaboration. Projects such as the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, the Verizon Center and Nationals Park have been development drivers and have created long-term value for the District. Unlocking new strategies for funding infrastructure can catalyze the next generation of defining projects, including Union Station, Walter Reed, Poplar Point, Metro expansion and streetcars . Taking advantage of these opportunities will require us to be responsible and creative.
  • Beyond uncertainty: The commercial property market is changing in ways we don't yet understand. Sales prices are rising to record levels as sovereign wealth funds flock to D.C. real estate as a solid long-term investment. But in the short-term, market-shifting forces such as the transition of federal and private offices to smaller footprints, the increasing ease with which employees can telecommute and new business models that allow employers to disaggregate their operations across multiple offices, states and nations are contributing to a destabilizing uncertainty . The District must be attentive to these trends and seek citywide opportunities to enhance the stability of our investment climate.

Our recent tax cuts provide an occasion for us to look back and appreciate how far we have come, but let's make it a quick look. The opportunities ahead can take us even further.

Get your Ward 8 honey this weekend

Charles Wilson has just announced a successful honey season, in Anacostia Honey is Back!   Wilson will be selling the honey and doing a demonstration at the Ward 8 Farmers Market Saturday, July 12 from 9:00 am - 2:00 pm.   The farmers market takes place at THEARC (1901 Mississippi Ave SE).

Review of District of Columbia Economic and Revenue Trends (June 2014)

DC Economic and Revenue Trends Report_June 2014

Frank Bruni and kids on reading for fun

New York Times columnist Frank Bruni laments the end of reading by kids in Read, Kids, Read.   Writes Bruni, "I believe in reading — not just in its power to transport but in its power to transform."

Katherine Schulten's post Do You Read for Pleasure? re-runs Bruni's op-ed and ends with several requests for those 13 and under, among which are: What are the best books you’ve read on your own, for fun? What books would you recommend to others looking for pleasure reading? Why?

Here are some of the books recommended:

The list goes on and on and many young people did, in fact, speak to the power of reading along with the importance of reading the classics in addition to new books.

What the data says about the benefits of childhood immunizations

From VOX is the video Why you should vaccinate your kids, in two minutes.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Updated advice on staying cool in a heat emergency

When it's 95° or feels like its 95°, DC government declares a Heat Emergency.

What this means for residents, workers, and visitors is that additional services are put into place.

DC government and several community-based organizations operate cooling centers (mapped here):

  • Cooling centers open to all:
    • One Judiciary Square, 441 Fourth St NW
    • Frank D. Reeves Center (Lobby), 2000 14th St NW
    • King Office Building (Lobby), 3720 Martin Luther King, Jr. Ave SE
  • The Department of Human Services opens cooling centers for homeless residents; the list of the sites is on page 2 of the 2014 HEAT EMERGENCY PLAN (updated June 26, 2014)
  • DC Housing Authority opens buildings as cooling centers for seniors who live in a non-air conditioned buildings.   The locations are listed on pages 2 and 3 of the 2014 HEAT EMERGENCY PLAN (updated June 26, 2014).

United Planning Organization (UPO) vans will be on the lookout for homeless people to encourage them to get to a cool place.   UPO will also look out for people suffering from heat-related stress and provide transport to a Cooling Center.   If you need to call for transport, call DC Shelter Hotline at (800) 535-7252.

Department of Parks and Recreation operates 19 spray parks and they are open from 10:00 am to 7:00 pm every day.

Finally, DC government posts alerts on the DC government home page during heat emergencies.   The alert links people to resources.

Play-in for Climate Action July 9

OMG! I’m Middle Aged! Now What?

OMG! I’m Middle Aged! Now What? is a three-part workshop series taking place Sundays, July 13, 20, and 27 from 1:00 - 5:00 pm.   From the announcement:
Facilitated by Bill Amt and Lylie Fisher
Middle Age can creep up on us and before we know it we may find ourselves getting down about getting older, regretting missed opportunities and unfulfilled dreams, and worrying about what the future holds. This series takes a different view of middle age and sees it as an opportunity to proactively look at: where we are today how we got to this point in our life where we’d like our future to go, and how to get there.

During this series' three sessions, we will use these four lenses to examine various aspects of our lives, such as relationships, career, and health and wellness. Bill Amt, LICSW, a licensed clinical social worker at Iona who assists older adults and caregivers in coping with emotional challenges of aging, and Lylie Fisher, director of community engagement with Iona and a certified coach who leads community-based programs supporting participants in navigating life transitions, will help participants foster a better understanding of themselves, as well as an intentional and positive approach to aging. Group members will receive a notebook full of helpful resources.

LOCATION - 4125 Albemarle Street NW - Washington DC 20016
The cost for each series is $75.
Participants are encouraged to attend all sessions.
To register, please call (202) 895-9448, or email us at registration@iona.org

TA: 5 simple tips for visual branding on social media

More social media tips, this time from The Next Web in 5 simple tips for visual branding on social media.   The tips are common sense but worthy of a reminder.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

@hgil Tweets the July 3 DCR

School supply drives intel gathering underway by OCY

Get ready for Banned Books Week Sept. 21-27, 2014

Banned Books Week takes place September 21 - 27, 2014.   Some banned and challenged classics include:
  1. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  2. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
  3. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
  4. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  5. The Color Purple by Alice Walker
  6. Ulysses by James Joyce
  7. Beloved by Toni Morrison

Recently, some librarians suggested low-cost ways to celebrate literature and bring attention to censorship.   DC's own @DCdotNerd suggested short videos of people reading passages from their favorite banned book, a banned book scavenger hunt or treasure hunt, and short story writing--including themes that would get a book banned.   Read all the ideas in Banned Books Events.

DC Council recesses soon

The DC Council will recess for the summer starting July 15.   They'll return September 16.

More from the council calendar is in the 2014 Legislative and COW Meeting Calendar (PDF).

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Thursday, July 3, 2014

MPD on fireworks in DC

Here's how to stay cool July 3

It is likely that HSEMA will declare a heat emergency for July 3 given the weather.gov forecast of a heat index value high of 100.

What this means for residents, workers, and visitors is that additional services are put into place.

DC government and several community-based organizations operate cooling centers (mapped here):

  • One Judiciary Square, 441 Fourth St NW
  • Frank D. Reeves Center (Lobby), 2000 14th St NW
  • King Office Building (Lobby), 3720 Martin Luther King, Jr. Ave SE
  • Virginia Williams Family Resource Center, 33 N St NE
  • The Department of Human Services opens cooling centers for homeless residents; the list of the sites is on pages 1 and 2 of the 2014 HEAT EMERGENCY PLAN (PDF)
  • DC Housing Authority opens buildings as cooling centers for seniors who live in a non-air conditioned buildings.   The locations are listed on page 2 of the 2014 HEAT EMERGENCY PLAN (PDF).

United Planning Organization (UPO) vans will be on the lookout for homeless people to encourage them to get to a cool place.   UPO will also look out for people suffering from heat-related stress and provide transport to a Cooling Center.   If you need to call for transport, call DC Shelter Hotline at (800) 535-7252.

Department of Parks and Recreation operates 19 spray parks and they are open from 10:00 am to 7:00 pm every day.

Finally, DC government posts alerts on the DC government home page during heat emergencies.   The alert links people to resources.

Happy Birthday Charlotte Perkins Gilman

Feminist and labor activist Charlotte Perkins Gilman was born on this day in 1860 in Hartford, CT.

Gilman is best know for two pieces of writing.   First, the short story The Yellow Wallpaper, "regarded as an important early work of American feminist literature, illustrating attitudes in the 19th century toward women's physical and mental health." (Wikipedia)

The Yellow Wallpaper was first published in New England Magazine.   That version is online in PDF from NIH.

The power of the work continues as evidenced by the production of "Yellow WallPaper" by Pallas Theatre Collective.   The productions runs through July 6.   Read the WaPo review here.

Second, Women and Economics: A Study of the Economic Relation Between Men and Women as a Factor in Social Evolution was published in 1898.   The study was a "theoretical treatise which argued, among other things, that women are subjugated by men, that motherhood should not preclude a woman from working outside the home, and that housekeeping, cooking, and child care, would be professionalized." (Wikipedia).   Union Communication Services describes the work as a "landmark study" and highlights two radical ideas: the financial independence of women and urged a network of child care centers.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

What would summer be without reading lists?

It IS possible to read without first referring to reading lists, but what fun would that be?   What follows are some reading lists:

DC Public Library Foundation's Battle of the Summer Reading Lists
Summer is synonymous with beaching, barbecuing, and (leisure) reading. We couldn't think of a better way to relax and recharge than basking on the beach with a great book.

Lists of suggested summer reads are on offer across the web - from fashion site Refinery29 to social media news site Mashable to literary site The Millions.

Brightest Young Things has compiled one of our favorite lists curated by a selection of talented D.C. artists and writers -- including one of our favorite Washingtonians, the lovely Morgan Hungerford West -- and Kramerbooks staff. This list encompasses a variety of genres. If you are looking to immerse yourself in a psychological thriller, try Tom Robb Smith's The Farm. Are you in need of some savvy business inspiration? Read fashion CEO Sophia Armuroso's rags to riches tale, #GIRLBOSS. If you find your own summer getaway going stale, pick up Emma Stroub's The Vacationers and experience the Post family's juicy vacation instead.

WaPo's A summer reading list from college admissions counselors includes books for "parents, students and everybody else. The list includes books about college, other non-fiction and great fiction."   This list was recently featured on the One City Youth blog in the post Summer reading recommendations.   Some from the list: A Nation of Wimps: The High Cost of Invasive Parenting (available at Politics & Prose), The Fault In Our Stars (available at Politics & Prose), Whistling Vivaldi (available at Politics & Prose), and Wonder (available at Politics & Prose).

The Politics and Prose Children & Teens Department has a robust list of books to read this summer (see 2014 Children & Teens Department Summer Favorites PDF) and, as always, the store features a number of events just for the younger set.   For example, Len Vlahos - The Scar Boys & Mary Amato - Guitar Notes takes place July 10 and Brian Lies - Bats in the Band will happen August 31.

TA: Great storytelling with data

In DVR TIG Week: Gretchen Biesecker on Applying Structures of Good Stories to Reporting Data, Gretchen Biesecker, Vice President of Evaluation at City Year, shares lessons she learned from her first story slam, a terrific (and free!) resource, and tips for crafting good, interesting, and engaging stories.

As an added bonus, Biesecker shares the great news that Nancy Duarte's new book Resonate is available for free.   More on this news from Duarte herself in This Changes Everything: I'm Giving My Book Away.   Resonate is available for free on browsers and from Apple's iBooks.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

More on the #dcfy15 budget, the no more revenue edition

Quarterly Revenue Certification Letter_July 2014

Mayor Gray's biweekly presser and HIV/AIDs news, July 2

Mayor Vince Gray will hold his regular biweekly presser Wednesday, July 2 from 10:00 – 11:00 am at Bread for the City (1525 7th St NW).   The mayor will be joined by DOH officials to announce the city's 2013 HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis, STD and TB report.

Background from the announcement:

The 2013 HIV/AIDS report provides the annual update on the state of HIV, hepatitis, STDs and TB in the District through the end of 2011. It also includes a more in-depth look at behavioral risk factor contribution to HIV infection among heterosexuals. The report provides the latest snapshot of the epidemic.

Check it out: One City Youth shares incredibly useful information

If you are a service provider or policy wonk, you would be well served to check out the One City Youth blog.   The purpose of the blog is to share information, pulling the vast majority from what others are doing.   That's why the blog features content from other blogs (Must-read blog post: An incredible 13 years of DC SCORES at Arts and Technology Academy, led by four great leaders), Twitter, Facebook, and information shared by organizations via email.

Some of the latest posts are:

I urge you to follow the blog via RSS feed or daily emails (signing up is free), One City Youth on Twitter (@onecityyouth), and OCY on Facebook.

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July 2 will be a scorcher; here's what you can do to stay cool

It is likely that HSEMA will declare a heat emergency for July 2 given the weather.gov forecast of a heat index value high of 104.

What this means for residents, workers, and visitors is that additional services are put into place:

  • DC government operates four cooling centers:
    • One Judiciary Square, 441 Fourth St NW
    • Frank D. Reeves Center (Lobby), 2000 14th St NW
    • King Office Building (Lobby), 3720 Martin Luther King, Jr. Ave SE
    • Virginia Williams Family Resource Center, 33 N St NE
  • United Planning Organization (UPO) vans will be on the lookout for homeless people to encourage them to get to a cool place.   UPO will also look out for people suffering from heat-related stress and provide transport to a Cooling Center.   If you need to call for transport, call DC Shelter Hotline at (800) 535-7252.
  • The Department of Human Services opens cooling centers for homeless residents; the list of the sites is on pages 1 and 2 of the 2014 HEAT EMERGENCY PLAN (PDF)
  • DC Housing Authority opens buildings as cooling centers for seniors who live in a non-air conditioned buildings.   The locations are listed on page 2 of the 2014 HEAT EMERGENCY PLAN (PDF).

Department of Parks and Recreation operates 19 spray parks and they are open from 10:00 am to 7:00 pm every day. (UPDATE: Link from map corrected 7/2/14)

Finally, DC government notices alerts on the DC government home page during heat emergencies.   The alert links people to resources. (UPDATE: Graphic updated 7/2/14)