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In The News …

Residents Rally Against Cuts To DC Social Service Spending (WAMU 88.5): “They all turned out to a rally on the Wilson Building’s steps Monday morning, calling for Mayor Vincent Gray to spare funding cuts to social service programs and initiatives that help low-income DC residents. The rally was organized by the advocacy group DC Fair Budget Coalition. Mayor Gray is expected to release his proposed budget March 23 [...] Last year, Mayor Gray proposed $187 million in cuts, 60 percent of which were to social services.” According to Janelle Treibitz, campaign organizer of the coalition, Mayor Gray could propose a change to a current DC law (which mandates that all leftover money from the current fiscal year go into the city’s savings) and use half of this year’s budget surplus to prevent future program cuts. What do you think?

DC Unemployment Fell Below 10 Percent in January, but Number of Jobs Is Down Also (DCist): “After 29 consecutive months of being in double digits, the District’s unemployment rate fell below 10 percent in January, new figures from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics state.” But while the city’s unemployment rate fell to 9.9 in January, the district also lost over 6,000 jobs in that time. As to these the two contradictory figures, David Cooper of the Economic Policy Institute explains that the city itself can lose jobs while its residents find jobs in the surroundings counties. Additionally, “December 2011 unemployment was revised downward from 10.6 percent to 10.1. And 2011 showed solid growth overall across several industries, including hospitality.”

Walkathons and Athletic Events Raise More Money in 2011 (Chronicle of Philanthropy): “Last year, the top 30 fundraising races, walks, and other athletic events took in $1.69- billion, an increase of almost 2.5 percent over 2010, according to the Run Walk Ride Fundraising Council’s sixth annual study,” which reports that “exercising for a good cause continued to grow in popularity.” While 20 of the top 30 groups saw a drop in revenue during 2009, 23 of those groups in fact “saw their dollars raised climb in 2011.” Those groups vary widely in terms of physical and financial commitment: “programs in the top 30 vary from casual walks that don’t require participants to fundraise to endurance and multi-day programs in which participants commit to raising hundreds or thousands of dollars.”

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