Monday, February 29, 2016

March 1: COW and Legislative Meeting

Data about children, youth, drugs, and Ward 7 coming March 1

The Ward 7 Safe & Drug-Free Communities Coalition is talking child and youth drug use data every day during the month of March.   Starting March 1, the Coalition will Tweet (@Ward7sdcc) and post on their website a fact about child and youth drug use in Ward 7.

Lois Callahan, project director, has said, "It's as though youth drug use is just accepted among adults. Maybe if we confront adults with how bad it really is we can build a stronger movement to support our young people."

Full disclosure: I work for the Coalition.

Millenials in DC

The November 2015 OP report titled DC's Millenial Population Age 18-34: Then and Now (PDF) contains definitions, population size and make-up, education attainment, employment and earnings data, commuting methods, living arrangements, and marital status.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

February 29: March 1 leg meeting media briefing


Council Chairman Phil Mendelson will hold a Media Briefing to preview the Council’s upcoming Legislative Meeting.

Monday, February 29, 2016
10:30 a.m.

John A. Wilson Building, Room 120, 1350 Pennsylvania Avenue NW Washington, DC 20004

Chairman Mendelson will hold a media briefing to discuss major actions to be taken at the Council’s legislative meeting on Tuesday, March 1, 2016 at 11:00 am or immediately following the additional meeting of the Committee of the Whole.

Additional information is available by calling (202) 724-8032.

Unable to make it to the Wilson Building?   Watch the briefing streaming live on the council website.

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TA: Breaking Through: A Communications Skill Share, Mar. 11

The Advancement Project is sponsoring Breaking Through in the Media: A Communications Skill Share Friday, March 11 from 11:30 am - 1:00 pm at SEIU (1800 Massachusetts Ave NW).

The event, a brownbag discussion, will highlight successful traditional and digital media strategies to break through in the media and elevate your work.   Speakers—Valerie Holford, Communications Consultant, VVH Consultin; Jennifer Farmer, Managing Director of Communications, Advancement Project; Margot Friedman, Principal, Dupont Circle Communications; Andrew Ambrogi, Communications Associate for Digital Media, Advancement Project—will examine tactics and offer tips to garner favorable media coverage especially in a crowded news cycle.

Register for the free event.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Storified: February 26 DCR Tweets

Big news for all registered seniors (62+) living in rent-controlled apartments

Barbara Cline, rent-control expert, has shared the following super important information:
Earlier this month, the Office of the Tenant Advocate (OTA) announced that the 2016 standard rent increase for residents age 62 and older in rent-controlled apartments will be 0%.   That's right.   Zero.   Renters of any age with a disability who are registered are also eligible to receive the 0% increase.

All other renters in rent-controlled apartments will have a 2% rent increase.

2016 rent increases begin on May 1, 2016 and run through April 30, 2017.

Now to the fine print: Are you registered?   Only those 62 and older or those with a disability who have registered with the Rent Administrator's Office will be eligible for the 0%.   Register at least 30 days before your next rent increase.   Register using Form 6 - Tenant's Notice to Housing Provider of Elderly or Disabled Status (English) (Spanish).   Rent-control increases are not retroactive, so registration before May 1 is imperative.

Need help in applying?   Call or make an appointment with OTA (202) 719-6560.

Need more information on rent control?   See the 2015 rent control article by Barbara Cline.

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Friday, February 26, 2016

Follow @councilofdc for #StatehoodSaturday

DC Council has added oversight hearings to calendar

A shout-out to the DC Council for adding the CAFR-related oversight hearings to the main council calendar.   In the past, the main calendar only contained non-CAFR and -budget events.   That left folks toggling between the calendar and the oversight or budget hearing list.

Thanks for listening to the community, DC Council!

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Save the date of March 22: Crafting Amazing Stories

Join NetSquared DC for the Tuesday, March 22, 6:30 - 8:30 pm event Crafting Amazing Stories.   What to expect:
Telling great stories is vital to connecting with your organization's audience. How do you go about finding the stories? Once you find a story, how do you craft it in a compelling way that captures and inspires your audience? Join us for an exciting evening of experts sharing storytelling best practices. If you're working on a story, you will also have a chance to share it and get feedback.

The meeting is free but reservations are required as space is limited.

April 30: Prescription Drug Take-back Day

May 11: DC Council all-day budget review

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Oversight hearing schedule updated Feb. 22

The #dcfy15 and #dcfy16 oversight hearing schedule was updated February 22 (PDF).

February 26: Deadline for Ward 7 Women of Excellence nominations

East River Family Strengthening Collaborative is accepting nominations for their third annual Ward 7 Women of Excellence awards to be celebrated March 31.   The deadline for making nominations is Friday, February 26.

If you know a woman who lives in Ward 7 who is exceptional in her life, service and love for the community, nominate (PDF) her for the award.

Watch the video: Diane Rehm on Q&A Cafe

Monday, February 22, 2016

Fantabulous! DPR summer camp registration is open!

Comments needed on Census Commission proposal

Longtime public servant Merrit Drucker has recently taken on the Census in DC.   Meaning, he is working with others to encourage the DC government to create in legislation a permanent Census Commission.   As drafted, the Census Commission would:
  1. Ensure a complete count in the decennial Federal Census.
  2. Ensure the accuracy and validity of the Census conducted in the District of Columbia.
  3. Ensure that the Mayor and the Council jointly form a Complete Count Committee three years before the decennial Federal Census.
  4. Ensure ongoing public education about the Census.
  5. Create a comprehensive history of the Census as implemented in the District of Columbia.

The complete draft is below.

If you have any thoughts on the draft, email them to Drucker.

Census Commission DRAFT leg (1/30/16)

ICYM the event: Languages as a Pathway to Opportunity event Storified

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Interested in pubic policy and programming on the subject of teen sexual health?

Jennifer Grossman, Ph.D. walks listeners through the research about teen sex and sexual health in Communications about Sex in the Nuclear Family and Beyond: How Extended Families Support Teens' Sexual Health.   Grossman gave the presentation at Wellesley, as part of the WCW Lunchtime Seminar Series, in April 2015.

The event summary:

Talking with family about sex can protect teens from risky sexual behavior. Parents play a critical role in family sexuality communication, but today's adolescents often rely on nontraditional communities for support, including extended family and "fictive kin," who can serve as core parts of the family unit, particularly among African American and Latino families. Beyond a focus on parents, few studies investigate who in the family teens talk to about sex, why they talk to them, and how these conversations connect with teens' sexual behavior. This talk shared findings from teen surveys and teen and parent interviews to describe the who, what, and why of teens' talk about sex with their extended families as well as how talking with extended family relates to teens' sexual behavior.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

@hgil's Tweets of February 19 DCR Storified

Fort Dupont Ice Arena supporters call on city leaders for investment

This Ward 7-based gem is turning up the heat on electeds and appointeds this budget season with a user- and other-supporter-driven push to expand the space to accommodate the increasing demand for services.   According to their recent appeal (advocacy tool, survey, general support measurer):

I am a District resident and a user and supporter of the Fort Dupont Ice Arena. I strongly urge the District government to complete full funding for construction and operating support for the new, 2-rink facility in the next city budget so the non-profit rink can expand its community programs for DC residents, both in our community and throughout the city!

For those who are not familiar with the Fort Dupont Ice Arena, the Friends of Fort Dupont Ice Arena (Friends of FDIA)

was formed in the summer of 1996 in response to the pending closure of the ice arena by its former owner, the National Park Service. Parents and friends organized and took over the management of the arena, revitalizing the facility that is located in the heart of Ward 7 in Southeast DC.

There is something for everyone at FDIA, from community free skates to Kids on Ice to special education students learning to skate during the school day.

If you believe Ward 7 and the whole of the city deserve robust programming that builds self-esteem and coordination and is good for people of all ages, email leaders to support FDIA's call for funding in the mayor's FY 2017 budget.

Residents of Wards 5, 6, 7, and 8: Take this survey

The Deputy Mayor for Greater Economic Opportunity is interested in hearing from residents and stakeholders in Wards 5, 6, 7, and 8 about their vision for their ward, the major issues in their ward, and the sorts of amenities they would like to have close to them. Take the DMGEO survey.

Questions should be directed to Tina Fletcher, DMGEO outreach guru, via email,, or by phone, (202) 545-3068.

Friday, February 19, 2016

March 6: Art+Feminism Wikipedia Edit-a-thon

The Women in the Arts Wikipedia Edit-a-thon 2016 takes place Sunday, March 6 from 10:00 am - 2:00 pm at The National Museum of Women in the Arts (1250 New York Ave NW).

Why participate?   There is a dire need for better information on Wikipedia about women by women.   At this event, attendees will focus on improving articles related to notable women artists and art-world figures.

Learn more and register.

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Thursday, February 18, 2016

Must attend event, February 20: Languages as a Pathway to Opportunity

Thought you might be interested Thursday: "Restoring hope by repairing violins of the Holocaust"

From PBS NewsHour:

At a music shop in Israel, a violinmaker has been collecting stringed instruments once owned by inmates of Nazi concentration camps. Largely silent for seven decades, they now speak for horrors of the Holocaust as part of a project called "The Violins of Hope." Special correspondent David C. Barnett from WVIZ/PBS ideastream reports from Cleveland on a series of concerts and exhibits they inspired.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Let the #dcfy17 budget process begin!

Mayor Mmuriel Bowser has announced the community input sessions for the #dcfy17 budget:
  • Thursday, February 25 at Roosevelt Senior High School (RSVP)
  • Saturday, February 27 at the Department of Employment Services (RSVP)
  • Monday, February 29 at King Greenleaf Recreation Center (RSVP)

March 5: Rally to Fulfill the Promise

Join Housing for All and The Way Home Campaign Saturday, March 5 from 10:00 am - Noon at Foundry United Methodist Church (1500 16th St NW) for a joint rally about building and preserving affordable homes, ending chronic homelessness, and creating new opportunities for home ownership.

Register to attend, volunteer, and help promote the event.

DC's black history and heritage

Monday, February 15, 2016

Interesting: After Words with Barry Latzer on violent crime in America

Samuel Bieler, Research Associate at Urban Institute's Justice Policy Center, interviewed Barry Latzer, Professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, February 2 on C-SPAN's After Words program.   According to the event page on the C-SPAN website,
Barry Latzer talked about his book The Rise and Fall of Violent Crime in America, in which tracks violent crime in America from the 1960's through the 21st century and examines the factors behind the surge and downturns in violent crime.

The two talk about violence in the south, the reduction of violence as socio-economic status rises, the crack epidemic, and more.

Watch the video.

Check it out: District Dig

What is this thing called the District Dig by Jeffrey Anderson and Andy DelGiudice?   Well, according to the journalist and photographer, respectively,
The District Dig is a website, but it’s also an idea, a feeling, a commitment to high quality photojournalism and investigative reporting. It is the brainchild of photographer Andy DelGiudice and reporter Jeffrey Anderson, who met at a D.C. Council oversight hearing and quickly began to collaborate on various projects and investigations.

These initial collaborations became the impetus for The Dig, an outlet for stories about the District and its inhabitants. An emphasis on quality over quantity is a core principle of the The Dig and a guide for what is published and presented.

The Dig aspires to be an agent for change, and as founders, Jeff and Andy hope to elevate the conversation about life in our evolving city. We look forward to presenting information and insights that are essential to its communities, and to offering its residents an uncompromising alternative to traditional outlets.

To date, Anderson and DelGiudice have created The District Digs Out and Out To Pasture: The Only Thing Worse Than Living In Barry Farms Is The Threat Of Being Pushed Out.

Be sure to sign up for their email list so you are notified when new stories are posted.

Friday, February 12, 2016

A new child and youth mental health services guide

Kids and Mental Health Services in DC: A Handbook for Parents and Legal Guardians (PDF) is new from Disability Rights DC at University Legal Services.

Chapters are:

  • Mental Health Services at Home and in the Community
  • How Can I Get Services for My Child?
  • Help for Kids Involved with Juvenile Justice or Foster Care
  • Going to a Hospital
  • Legal Rights of Children and their Parents/Legal Guardians
  • Where Can I Get Help?

University Legal Services is looking for partners to help distribute the guide.   They are also offering trainings for families and/or advocates on District mental health services.   For either, contact Francis Nugent at (202) 547-0198 x113 or via email,

Thursday, February 11, 2016

@WCP journos covering all 'Closing DC General' meetings Feb. 11

Thought you might be interested Thursday: Interesting and useful data

Jeremy Singer-Vine's Data is Plural is a most useful website.   Consider, for example, the data sets he has shared recently:

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

A twist on the DC General Shelter closing community meetings Feb. 11

Topher Mathews: The Mandate to Remember Black Georgetown

Program your phone NOW with DC Shelter Hotline contact info

The next several days will be frigid according to the National Weather Service.   Prepare yourself to help folks out on the street experiencing homelessness by adding the following DC Shelter Hotline information to your mobile phone:
  • (202) 399-7093
  • 1 (800) 535-7252 (toll-free from a pay phone)

When you contact the DC Shelter Hotline, be prepared to share the following:

  • The time the person was seen
  • The specific location where seen
  • Description of the person's appearance
  • If you know, whether they speak a language other than English

Want to encourage friends and colleagues to help the homeless by contacting the DC Shelter Hotline?   Consider sharing one or more of these images.

Marie Cohen on CFSA's evaluation of contractors

Marie Cohen considers the idea of evaluating nonprofit agencies providing child welfare services in Evaluation of Foster Care Agency Should Look Beyond ‘Performance Scorecard’.

Cohen summarizes:

Close to 40 children had to leave their foster homes homes due to the Child and Family Services Agency (CFSA)'s decision to close a private agency, reports social worker Marie Cohen based on a delayed response to a Freedom of Information Act request. CFSA's response indicated that the decision to close Foundations for Home and Community was based on its "Performance Scorecard" scores. But these scores are influenced by facts that private agencies can't control, like the age and problems of their clients. And Foundations took the oldest and most difficult youth that other agencies wouldn't serve.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

FYI: Updated oversight and budget hearing schedules

An important piece of information to know about the updates from the council's budget office re: FYs 2015 and 2016 oversight and FY 2017 budget hearing schedules: Both schedules receive an update date even if only one of the schedules is actually updated.   Take a look at the budget hearing sked linked from the post #dcfy15/#dcfy16 oversight and #dcfy17 budget hearing skeds updated.   You'll see that it is dated February 3 but there are no changes listed after the boxed text on page 1 and before the hearing information.

DC Campaign has a new address

The DC Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy has moved.   Their new address is:
1101 Fifteenth St NW
Suite 1212-B
Washington, DC 20005

Their phone number and email addresses remain the same.

Monday, February 8, 2016

February 9: Mayor-Council Breakfast

Mayor Bowser and members of the Council of the District of Columbia will pow-wow Tuesday, February 9 at 9:00 am for their regular breakfast meeting.   On the agenda: The mayor's plan for closing DC General.   The event is open to the press so follow your faves on Twitter for updates.   Based on some of the comments in the Storify about reactions to the plans, it will be an interesting discussion.

February 9: Helping Consumers Make Informed Financial Choices Using Interactive Technologies

Dr. Oded Nov will speak Tuesday, February 9 at 12:30 pm at the Princeton University CITP Luncheon Speaker session Helping Consumers Make Informed Financial Choices Using Interactive Technologies.   From the event announcement:
In this talk Nov will present three retirement saving studies in which we developed and evaluated HCI interventions for consumer finance decision making. Users in the experimental interventions conditions made better choices and were more likely reach their financial goals. Moreover, the studies shed light on the potential role of policy and regulation: just as certain information is required by law to appear on the packaging of food products, in the future policy makers and regulators may devise policies about the interactive information elements which should be provided to consumers of financial products.

Watch the event streaming live.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

ICYMI: Mayor Bowser's first accountability report, event recap

Brenda Rhodes Miller, executive director of the DC Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, attended Mayor Bowser's January 11 accountability report release.   She's written a summary of the event for those of us (me included!) who were not able to attend.
Mayor Muriel Bowser released her 2015 Accountability Report last night to an enthusiastic crowd that responded with all the energy of a pep rally and the fervor of true believers at an old fashioned camp meeting.

Fourteen months into her administration, Bowser reported that she has already "delivered, launched or prepared to launch 92%" of her commitments from last year's mayoral transition period. A 49-page work plan highlighted the progress city agencies have made in Health and Wellness, Education, the Arts, Jobs and Economic Development, Public Safety, Housing, Good Government and Full Democracy, Transportation and the Environment.

The lively format included moving testimonials from two young women who the mayor has helped get on "the path to the middle class," a video, two panel discussions with cabinet level officials, and of course, a rousing speech by Bowser herself. When she spoke of closing DC General and opening safe, decent family shelters in all eight wards Bowser appeared to be overcome by emotion at the mention of Relisha Rudd's name.

Big plans to increase the amount of affordable housing, put an end to homelessness, strengthen the 60,000 small businesses in the city and connect District companies to increase their capacity to apply for government contracts and benefit from the booming economy brought rounds of applause.

The mayor also pledged to keep city residents engaged in budget discussions to ensure that their priorities are reflected in what the government decides to do.

The event at Gallaudet University's Kellogg Conference Center concluded with a reception where members of the Bowser administration were available to answer questions.

For more information:

Free lead testing kits from @dcwater

February 3: CAFR briefing

CFO Jeff DeWitt and his staff will brief the DC Council on the results of the FY 2015 audit Wednesday, February 3 at 9:30 am in the Council Chamber.   If you can't make it to the Wilson Building, you can watch the event online.

The Chief Financial Officer released the FY 2015 CAFR (Comprehensive Annual Financial Report) February 1.   The good news:

This is the 19th consecutive year in which the District received a clean audit opinion. Also noteworthy, for the first time the audit found no Material Weaknesses or Significant Deficiencies in the central government. Therefore there is no Yellow Book accompanying this report.   (release announcing the CAFR)

Read the two reports (summary and full).

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Tips for blogging

Want to start blogging or be a better blogger?   Jeremy Porter has some advice; read Six Quick Tips for Writing Short Blog Posts.   Porter lists tips and provides link to useful resources.

Monday, February 1, 2016

New leader at WACIF

Privacy: one of the most important issues of our time (and why you should care about it!)

For more information on the documentary, read Review: 'The Power of Privacy'.   The takeaway: "with new technological breakthroughs constantly at our fingertips privacy needs to be at the forefront of the minds of both consumers and developers, and not just an afterthought."