CD WiRe (New Years 2012 Edition)Posted on January 4th, 2012 No comments
HAPPY NEW YEARS!!!!
1. Newark development organization awarded federal status
Brick City Development Corp. — Newark’s economic development arm — has been certified as a Community Development Financial Institution by the U.S. Treasury Department, BCDC will announce today. The designation will serve as a credential and allow BCDC to apply for federal grant money that can be used for small business and community development lending.
2. Senate Committee Unanimously Approves Safe Streets Amendment
In a major step forward for Complete Streets, the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation passed a federal transportation authorization bill that includes a measure for the safe accommodation of all users in federally-funded street projects. Alaska Senator Mark Begich offered the amendment that established this measure and accepted an amendment from Senator John Thune of South Dakota. The Committee voted unanimously in favor of the measure.
3. Segregated Charter Schools Evoke Separate But Equal Era in U.S.
At Dugsi Academy, a public school in St. Paul, Minnesota, girls wearing traditional Muslim headscarves and flowing ankle-length skirts study Arabic and Somali. The charter school educates “East African children in the Twin Cities,” its website says. Every student is black. At Twin Cities German Immersion School, another St. Paul charter, children gather under a map of “Deutschland,” study with interns from Germany, Austria and Switzerland and learn to dance the waltz. Ninety percent of its students are white. Six decades after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down “separate but equal” schools for blacks and whites, segregation is growing because of charter schools, privately run public schools that educate 1.8 million U.S. children. While charter-school leaders say programs targeting ethnic groups enrich education, they are isolating low-achievers and damaging diversity, said Myron Orfield, a lawyer and demographer.
4. Congress is Going the Wrong Way on the Road to Investing in America’s Future
The Fiscal Year 2012 appropriations bill that Congress recently passed will make it more difficult for the lowest-income students to access postsecondary education and gain the skills and credentials they need to support their families and contribute to the economy. The bill reduces funding for Pell Grants and workforce investments, in spite of increasing need. And it fails to protect students’ eligibility for student aid, creating educational dead ends for the most vulnerable students. Students who do not have a high school diploma or equivalent are one of the most vulnerable groups.
5. How to Pay for America’s Infrastructure
America’s transportation infrastructure is in desperate need of an update, and most politicians would agree that more funding should be dedicated the nation’s highways and mass transit systems. Yet there is little consensus about where to find those new funds and Democrats and Republicans disagree stridently over whether Washington should increase its role. One potentially fertile place for compromise may be in the form of state infrastructure banks, which have gained support from both the left and right in recent months. These public agencies, provided some government funds, would be designed to encourage significant private investment. And they would do so with little interference from the national government.
6. Five Things the Census Revealed About America in 2011
A cascade of statistics from the 2010 Census and other Census Bureau sources released during 2011 show a nation in flux—growing and moving more slowly as it ages, infused by racial and ethnic minorities and immigrants in its younger ranks, and struggling economically across a decade bookended by two recessions. The nation’s largest metropolitan areas, and especially their suburbs, stood on the front lines of America’s evolving demographic transformation.
7. N.J. sets up website to provide nonprofits with information
Nonprofit organizations in New Jersey can now turn to a single website to find any resource they may need from the state. State officials say the Nonprofit Information Center portal — nonprofit.nj.gov — provides nonprofits with one-stop shopping on funding sources and other assistance available to them through state government. Legislation signed by Gov. Chris Christie required the New Jersey State Department to maintain such a directory.
8. The bold urban future starts now
America doesn’t do big projects anymore — we’re too broke, no one can agree on our priorities, that era of bold thinking is over. That canard has been repeated so many times that it’s now accepted as gospel. Except it’s not true. In cities in every region of the country, pie-in-the-sky ideas are moving from brainstorm to blueprint to groundbreaking — and 2012 will prove it. From a massive re-imagining of a postindustrial Chicago landscape to the rebirth of the Los Angeles River, these seven ventures point the way to a brave urban future.
9. Atlantic City to expand gambling, drinking options in casinos
There’s more gambling and drinking on tap for Atlantic City in the new year. New Jersey regulators are letting casinos put slot machines and table games into places they’ve never been before. They’re also letting casinos sell or give away alcohol in places like a clothing store, a wireless Internet lounge, and gift shops.
10. The Unfathomable Cuts in Housing Aid
For an up-close view of the affordable housing crisis—which predated the mortgage-driven financial crisis of 2008 but has deepened since then into a full-blown national emergency—one place to be was the Jesse Owens Memorial Complex in the Red Bird neighborhood of Dallas. There, in the early morning hours of a typically scorching day this past July, thousands of impoverished Texans lined up for a chance to get on a waiting list for federal housing assistance, the first time in five years that the county government had accepted applications. Back in May another 21,000 people had applied for a shot at 5,000 spots on the Dallas Housing Authority’s waiting list—still better odds than in nearby Plano, where 8,000 people applied for only 100 available housing vouchers.
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