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Worse Than Mississippi: Some sobering news today in the Post that might help give a deeper understanding of the recent election results: “Three out of 10 children in the nation’s capital were living in poverty last year, with the number of poor African American children rising at a breathtaking rate, according to census statistics released Tuesday. … But the District, where unemployment has risen to nearly 30 percent in Ward 8, had the most sobering rise. Last year, there were more than 30,000 black children living in poverty in the city, almost 7,000 more than two years before, according to Census Bureau data. … The poverty rates in the District, where use of food stamps went up by about a third in two years, exceeded every other jurisdiction and even surpassed the rate in Mississippi. ‘Child care is very expensive,’ said Jenny Reed, an analyst at the D.C. Fiscal Policy Institute, which researches budget and tax issues in the District. ‘A lot of families in D.C. are in low-wage jobs, so even though they’re working, they’re not earning enough to live above poverty.’ The childhood poverty numbers stood in stark contrast to the city’s rising income level, which despite the recession grew steadily over four years, to more than $59,000 last year. But that growth has been uneven, too. In Reed’s analysis, the downtown area is the only place in the city where median incomes are rising. In the rest of the city, she said, incomes are down or unchanged.” Why does that help you understand the election results? Well, Mayor Adrian Fenty might have had an easier time convincing voters his administration was helping all D.C. residents if nearly a third of the District’s children weren’t living in poverty.
AFTER THE JUMP: OCTO losses; Cuttin’ Time; U Street Shooting …
It’s Just a Few Million: The City’s Office of the Chief Technology Officer was overcharged by $3.1 million by an up-and-coming District business, a new audit by the city’s inspector general finds. The Examiner‘s Freeman Klopott has the deets: “The company earned an $600,000 in excess profit and $2.5 million from the questionable invoices, the report concluded. Delivering Business and Technology Solutions Inc. was founded in 2000 as a minority- and woman-owned company that offered technology consulting services in the District. It closed down late last year, just as its star appeared to rapidly rising. In 2006, DBTS was listed as one of the 500 fastest growing private companies in the country by Inc. Magazine, and last year DiversityBusiness.com rated the company as one of the top 15 minority-owned businesses in the District.”
U Street Shooting: There are plenty of good straight news accounts out there about yesterday’s funeral-related shooting near U Street. See the Post’s version here,the Examiner‘s take here, WTOP’s story here. But for something a bit more in-depth, see TBD’s Jason Cherkis story on Jamal Coates, the man who who died yesterday. Cherkis recalls being routinely taunted by Coates years back, and gets a more nuanced take of the young man from former Ward 1 Councilmember candidate Bryan Weaver, who had taken Coates on a trip to Guatemala. TBD has video of Mayor Adrian Fenty and Police Chief Cathy Lanier’s presser.
Cuttin’ Time: The WaPo editorial board reminds D.C.’s elected officials that they’ve got some tough choices ahead in terms of what part of the city’s budget needs cutting. “Mr. Fenty might be tempted to punt the hard decisions to the council, but he’s uniquely positioned to offer guidance on where cuts can be made. Not only should he know where the government fat is, but his lame-duck status affords him the luxury of making recommendations without regard to political consequences. Clearly, though, the buck falls to Mr. Gray in his dual role as chairman of the council and presumptive next mayor. How does he balance the expectations of his supporters against the realities of the city treasury? Will he opt to downsize government or, as some are suggesting, push to raise taxes? Cuts are less painful if they are spread out over a whole year, so it’s important that whatever decisions are made be implemented well before January, when Mr. Fenty leaves office and Mr. Gray is expected to be sworn in as the city’s next mayor.”
Jonetta says a decision on School Chancellor Michelle Rhee can’t wait. [Examiner]
The Post makes it up to Arrington Dixon [Post]
Chief Lanier will be on Newstalk to discuss her future