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Southeast Virginia has long been home to numerous early care and education programs. However, operating traditionally in siloes, these programs were not seeing the results they desired.In 2016, Hampton Roads Community Foundation initiated a region-wide process involving nearly 100 stakeholders to scope and plan Minus 9 to 5, an initiative designed to unite previously disparate programs and people together for greater impact through systems change. This case study details the opportunities, highlights, and lessons learned in the first two years of the initiative.
Center for Gun Policy and Research at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health;
There is a major flaw in federal firearm laws in the U.S. and in most states' laws; prohibited purchasers can acquire firearms from unlicensed private sellers without subjecting themselves to background checks and record-keeping requirements. Violent criminals and traffickers exploit this weakness with fatal consequences. This report discusses the need to improve background checks and handgun purchaser licensing laws which would result in reduced gun deaths.
Institute for Transportation and Development Policy;
While momentum in recent decades has elevated bus rapid transit (BRT) as more than an emerging mode in the U.S., this high-capacity, high-quality bus-based mass transit system remains largely unfamiliar to most Americans. In the U.S., lack of clarity and confusion around what constitutes BRT stems both from its relatively low profile (most Americans have never experienced BRT) and its vague and often conflicting sets of definitions across cities, sectors, and levels of government. As a result, many projects that would otherwise be labeled as bus improvements or bus priority under international standards have become branded in American cities as BRT. This leads to misperceptions among U.S. decisionmakers and the public about what to expect from BRT. Since its inception in Curitiba, Brazil, BRT has become a fixture of urban transport systems in more than 70 cities on six continents throughout the globe. Just twelve BRT corridors exist in the United States so far.This guide offers proven strategies and insights for successfully implementing BRT within the political, regulatory, and social context that is unique to the United States. This guide seeks to illuminate the upward trends and innovations of BRT in U.S. cities. Through three in-depth case studies and other examples, the guide shares the critical lessons learned by several cities that have successfully implemented, or are in the midst of completing, their own BRT corridors. Distinct from previous BRT planning and implementation guides, this is a practical resource to help planners, and policy makers specifically working within the U.S. push beyond the parameters of bus priority and realize the comprehensive benefits of true BRT.
Feeding America (formerly America's Second Harvest);
This report presents information on the clients and agencies served by The Blue Ridge Area Food Bank, Inc. The information is drawn from a national study, Hunger in America 2010, conducted in 2009 for Feeding America (FA) (formerly America's Second Harvest), the nation's largest organization of emergency food providers. The national study is based on completed inperson interviews with more than 62,000 clients served by the FA national network, as well as on completed questionnaires from more than 37,000 FA agencies. The study summarized below focuses on emergency food providers and their clients who are supplied with food by food banks in the FA network. Key Findings: The FA system served by The Blue Ridge Area Food Bank, Inc provides emergency food for an estimated 145,600 different people annually.43% of the members of households served by The Blue Ridge Area Food Bank, Inc are children under 18 years old (Table 5.3.2).43% of households include at least one employed adult (Table 5.7.1).Among households with children, 76% are food insecure and 33% are food insecure with very low food security (Table 220.127.116.11).51% of clients served by The Blue Ridge Area Food Bank, Inc report having to choose between paying for food and paying for utilities or heating fuel (Table 6.5.1).31% had to choose between paying for food and paying for medicine or medical care (Table 6.5.1).25% of households served by The Blue Ridge Area Food Bank, Inc report having at least one household member in poor health (Table 8.1.1)The Blue Ridge Area Food Bank, Inc included approximately 432 agencies at the administration of this survey, of which 428 have responded to the agency survey. Of the responding agencies, 250 had at least one food pantry, soup kitchen, or shelter.78% of pantries, 54% of kitchens, and 43% of shelters are run by faith-based agencies affiliated with churches, mosques, synagogues, and other religious organizations (Table 10.6.1).Among programs that existed in 2006, 73% of pantries, 72% of kitchens, and 70% of shelters of The Blue Ridge Area Food Bank, Inc reported that there had been an increase since 2006 in the number of clients who come to their emergency food program sites (Table 10.8.1).Food banks are by far the single most important source of food for agencies with emergency food providers, accounting for 78% of the food distributed by pantries, 49% of the food distributed by kitchens, and 32% of the food distributed by shelters (Table 13.1.1).As many as 88% of pantries, 90% of kitchens, and 89% of shelters in The Blue Ridge Area Food Bank, Inc use volunteers (Table 13.2.1).
Center for American Progress;
This report examines how the pernicious problem of partisan gerrymandering stymies efforts toward sensible reforms in several states—including North Carolina, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Virginia—despite strong public support for gun safety measures. These states provide some of the most extreme examples of gerrymandering: Even though Democrats won a majority of the statewide votes, control of the state legislatures remained with Republicans who, for the most part, have refused to allow meaningful debate on any commonsense gun safety measures. In each of these states, it is likely that, in the absence of partisan gerrymandering, the legislature would have enacted measures to strengthen gun laws—measures that could have saved lives.The report also puts forward a policy solution: States should require independent commissions to draw voter-determined districts based on statewide voter preferences. Implementing this policy would end partisan gerrymandering and increase representation for communities that have too often been shut out of the political system and also suffer the most from the lack of sensible gun safety legislation
Northern and southeastern Virginians will vote in referenda this November to approve or reject increases in the retail sales tax to fund transportation projects. Northern Virginians will decide whether to increase the sales tax from 4.5 percent to 5.0 percent, an 11 percent increase. Virginians in the Hampton Roads area will decide whether to increase the sales tax from 4.5 percent to 5.5 percent, a 22 percent increase. Proponents of tax increases point to unmet transportation needs to support their cause. Yet state spending increased 13 percent in 1999, 7 percent in 2000, and 9 percent in 2001. If key transportation needs have not been met, the problem is not a lack of funds but legislators who have not properly prioritized the budget. If the sales tax referenda are passed, the state government will have a strong incentive to reduce what it would otherwise spend on transportation in northern Virginia and Hampton Roads. By some measures, northern Virginia already gets the short end of the stick with regard to the state budget. Tax increases are not just bad budget policy; they are also bad economic policy. Since higher taxes reduce economic growth, an added cost of higher sales taxes would be lower incomes for Virginians. During the 1990s Virginia taxes grew faster than incomes, and local property taxes have soared recently. Even modest restraint in nontransportation spending could save enough money to fund priority highway projects without tax increases. Further, the state could adopt a spending growth cap that channels excess future tax revenues to transportation needs and tax cuts.
National Council of Nonprofits;
This report summarizes the most recent available data on Virginia's nonprofits and illustrates the significant role this sector plays. Much attention is given to the condition of government and business in the Commonwealth, but let's not forget that nonprofits fill a critical role as a third and independent sector. The primary source for this data are fiscal year annual reports filed with the IRS by charitable nonprofits with over $25,000 in gross annual receipts. The data in this report was released in June 2007 by the National Center for Charitable Statistics. Data is based on information from 2006 IRS Form 990 filings, detailing 2005 activities.
Public Education Network (PEN);
The PEN national office launched a 2005 No Child Left Behind (NCLB) online survey to follow up on the 2004 survey. The 2004 survey generated 12,000 responses and greatly influenced the recommendations in the "Open to the Public" report released in March 2005. PEN was particularly interested in reaching grassroots constituencies, but the voices of everyone -- including educators -- were counted.
Voices for Virginia's Children;
Examines the demand for community-based children's mental health care, the availability of various services in the state, and the need for uniform, accurate data collection across state agencies. Outlines implications.
Legal Aid Justice Center;
Explains how suspension and expulsion for minor misbehavior leads to lower achievement, higher dropout rates, and more contact with juvenile justice. Calls for evidence-based alternatives, incentives to reduce school exclusion, and data collection.