Showing posts with label DC Government. Show all posts
Showing posts with label DC Government. Show all posts

Friday, April 1, 2016

DC Ward 7 Economic and Social Data Analysis by Creative Investment Research, Inc

At the request of community groups in DC's Ward 7, William Michael Cunningham and Creative Investment Research are conducting a preliminary analysis of the Ward's social and economic condition. An informal straw pool is also underway. These efforts will provide information on the real time economic and social landscape of Ward 7.

This data may also be used as a preface for a Ward 7 City Council Candidate Forum and Straw Poll. The Ward 7 Candidates Forum and Straw Poll will be h
eld on Saturday, April 9, 2016 at H.D. Woodson Senior High School at 9am. The moderator for the Forum will be Harold T. Fisher of WHUR-FM Radio The Daily Drum along with two Youth Mayors from the Marion S. Barry, Jr.'s Youth Leadership Institute.

Our preliminary economic and social data analysis reveals the quality of life in Ward 7 has declined. Further analysis reveals that this is due to the protracted lack of economic opportunity and an increase in certain negative social issues directly related to the lack of economic opportunity. Although, the population has remained predominantly African American, it is noted that the lack of economic opportunity is caused by major disparities in key areas and not by the mere fact that the ward is heavily African American.

The informal straw pool can be found at:

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

DC's Revealed Black Economic Development "Plan"

DC's Revealed Black Economic Development "Plan"
DC's Revealed Black Economic Development "Plan"

DC has the highest rate of HIV infection, the highest Black/White income disparity and the most rapid gentrification in the United States. These facts are not unrelated. Together, they point to the true economic development policy, at least for Black people, in the city. My analysis and experience, described in detail below, supports this contention.
Since 2005, we have been managing an effort to bring crowdfunding to small businesses in DC. My firm was selected to develop a crowdfunding program for the District's Great Streets Program. The effort we undertook was initially funded at $85,000, was reduced to $25,000 and further reduced to $20,000. DC has actually paid a fraction of this amount. Despite this, we moved ahead.
At DC's Historic Metropolitan AME Church, we worked with four innovators to launchcrowdfunding projects in support of their DC-based businesses.
We helped increase positive perception of economic development officials in DC. A senior official at the US Small Business Administration complemented these efforts, stating that:
“It's good that the DC team (DMPED) continues to explore innovative paths to support entrepreneurs and civic-centered projects.”
Our efforts resulted in an innovative partnership between the US SBA and DC.
On March 6th, I testified before the DC City Council and provided detailed comments on economic development in DC.
The bottom line is this: male African-American DC native owned firms receive far less consideration from the DC Government, relative to the favors accorded and afforded non-minority (white-owned) firms in the city:
“The D.C. Council gave..$33 million in tax breaks for LivingSocial to keep the growing company in the District after members deemed it essential to city efforts to brand itself as a hub for start-up and technology companies…the deal will save the five-year-old company about $32.5 million in taxes over a five-year period beginning in 2015. Yet, LivingSocial has no male African-American DC natives in the management ranks.
The City recently "sold" the former site of the R.L. Christian Library at 1300 H Street NE to FundRise, another DC firm that operates in a discriminatory manner with respect to employment and with respect to offering development or investment opportunities to African Americans.
And, then, there's this: "District officials are slated to spend more than $475,000during their visit to South by Southwest in March.. half the budget would be used to convert a restaurant near Austin’s convention center into a “We DC” lounge and work space during the day, and a party venue for attendees to socialize at night. The rental and food costs would be $251,500 over five days."
Really? We spent $300 creating a "South by Southeast" conference focused on Anacostia. It was very successful in highlighting talent in DC. The reason the City did not support this is that we were focused on Black talent. This lack of support is consistent with the "development policy" noted above.
These different standards reflect the true, or revealed economic development plan for the City. It is one that ignores firms owned and operated by male African-American DC natives, women and minority firms, preferring to focus on firms owned by white 20 something entrepreneurs.
It is this policy and behavior that gives rise to the income and wealth gap pictured above.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

DC actually leads the nation in municipal environmental responsibility

Yesterday, I testified on the Sustainable DC Omnibus Act of 2013 (Bill number: B20-573). According to the Mayor, the Bill will:

"1. Require electric and gas utilities to provide aggregated whole building (energy consumption and environmental performance) data to building owners and managers electronically to facilitate their ease of reporting required benchmarking data..on a monthly basis
2. Require sellers to transfer all benchmarking data at time of building sale. This will eliminate a 10% fluctuation in buildings reporting data.
3. Create a broad public engagement venue that will allow District residents and engaged stakeholders to participate in an open process each quarter that allows for information sharing and program examination…
4. Prohibit..polystyrene containers for food services.
5. Provide support for an Environmental Literacy Program.
6. Establish a Radon Contractor database.
7. Require the Mayor create a responsive Apiculture regulatory environment.
8. Require property owners to pay for the loss of a tree.”

DC actually leads the nation in municipal environmental responsibility, and I support these initiatives. I noted that the Advisory Board responsible for insuring public input on these activities is not as diverse or as representative of the City as I believe it should be. For example, there is currently no Low Income Group Representative. I find this disturbing, but not unexpected.

A video of my testimony is included below:

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