Posts by Lynda Laughlin
|Lynda Laughlin is a family demographer at the U.S. Census Bureau. She holds a PhD in sociology and enjoys reading, writing, and researching issues related to families and communities, urban economics, and urban development. Lynda lives in Mt. Pleasant. Views expressed here are strictly her own.|
Amidst the hustle and bustle of the early commute to the Columbia Heights metro at the corner of 14th and Irving, dog owners in the Highland Park apartments are busy taking their dogs outside so they can take care of their business.
For those of you who are familiar with this stretch of sidewalk, there is very little green space and the sidewalks are particularly crowded in the morning with commuters going to the Metro or waiting for one of the many buses.
With so little green space, dogs pee on the large planters in front of the apartment building, leaving behind noticeable puddles of dog urine. For the dogs that do make it to the tree boxes, they are not the first for the ground is already fairly saturated by 8 am.
These dog owners are in no way breaking the law, unless they don't pick up after their dogs. However, how much dog urine is just too much for such a public space?
Public green space in Columbia Heights is a rare commodity. The recent building boom has brought has brought a slew of new business and residents in the last 5 years, including Highland Park on Irving Street. While Highland Park lacks a street level courtyard, they advertise a rooftop terrace with a landscaped garden. If there is a green space available on the roof, are tenants allowed to use this space for their dogs? Dog owners who live in apartment buildings, what is your experience with access to green space?
This is in no way an attack on dog owners, but raises some issues about the impact of large apartment buildings on densely populated areas as well as urban doggy etiquette. To be good neighbors, should apartment buildings build their own private dog parks? This would be a considerate gesture to the surrounding community as well as a desired amenity for renters.
Or should it rest on the city to build such spaces? What about the dog owners themselves? If you plan to own a dog in a city, shouldn't you at least consider taking your dog further then just the nearest tree box?
As it stands now, there is not enough green space on this small stretch of street to continue to satisfy dogs, commuters, and residents. And I have a feeling that the newly planted trees aren't happy about the situation either.
Marion Barry is right: generational poverty endangers communities and families. However, enforcing a time limit for welfare benefits is not the way to build strong communities or support families.
Councilmembers Marion Barry (Ward 8) and Yvette Alexander (Ward 7) recently introduced a bill to limit Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (also known as TANF and hereafter referred to as welfare) recipients to 60 months of welfare benefits.
After those 60 months are up, families would also be ineligible for other public benefits such as Medicaid, child care subsides, or food stamps.
It's a lot easier to blame the victim than to take the time and resources to fix the problem. Mr. Barry told the Washington Times that one of his neighbors gets "$400 or $500 worth of food stamps but won't get up in the morning and fix breakfast" for her children.
Yes, there are differences in parenting styles by social class, but to assume that low-income parents are less caring, concerned, or invested, or unskilled caregivers is not true and unfair. If anything truly puts families and children at a disadvantage, it is growing up in poor neighborhoods without access to jobs, good schools, or child care providers.
Barry and Alexander's proposed legislation also fails to understand the dynamics of welfare usage. Most families do not intend to use welfare as their only source of income, but rely on welfare to make ends meet. Instead, most families that enter welfare exit relatively quickly to take low-paying jobs. Families able to maintain full-time, year-round work are much better off than before.
Others, however, end up returning to welfare. Not surprisingly, the most vulnerable are single mothers with little work experience or education. The wealth of research done since the 1996 welfare reform act indicate that there are numerous barriers that may affect a recipient's ability to transition from welfare to work, including physical disabilities or health limitations, availability of child care, mental health problems, health of behavioral problems of children, substance abuse, domestic violence, involvement with the child welfare system, housing instability, low basic skills, and learning disabilities.
Similar to the nation, welfare and food stamp usage in the District has fluctuated over the last ten years. The number of individuals on welfare was 46,576 in 2000, fell to a low of 42,300 in 2008, and rose to 45,136 in 2009. Since 2000, food stamp usage has increased by more than 20,000 individuals, from 80,510 in 2000 to 107,618 in 2009. It is clear that welfare and food stamp usage have gone up recently because of the recession, not an increase in long-term users trying to abuse the system.
Without supports, the families that Barry aims to help won't be able to overcome a multitude of barriers. Just like how education loans/grants, mortgage tax credits, etc., help middle class families achieve a higher standard of living, social support programs like welfare, food stamps, and child care subsidies present a potential solution for low-income families.
Instead of placing limits on welfare, the DC council should support the TANF Opportunities and Accountability Act of 2010 sponsored by Tommy Wells (Ward 6) and Michael Brown (at-large). The bill would invest in job training and educational programs as well as develop a better system to track welfare recipients in order to better understand when and why families enter and exit social programs.
The welfare system is far from perfect, but as the District faces continued economic turmoil brought on by the recession, this is not the time to limit access to important social safety nets. District food banks, shelters, and other social services are already strained and woefully unprepared to face coming economic hardships as the economy tries to build itself back up. Families that have not been able to leave welfare are some of the most disadvantaged families without any means of support other than social programs.
If Barry and Alexander are serious about reducing poverty and thus reducing welfare usage, they must propose more innovative policies with a multi-pronged approach that involves families, neighborhoods, educators, and employers.
Dining out in the DC area is an occasional practice for many and an everyday indulgence for some. The restaurant industry is an ever-changing and fast growing industry not only across the nation, but here in DC. Unfortunately it is also an industry plagued with many bad jobs and only a few good ones.
There are almost 2,000 eating and drinking establishments in Washington DC alone and over 10,000 in Maryland and over 13,000 in Virginia.
Restaurants and other eating/drinking establishments are also a driving force for the local economy. It is estimated that in 2010, the industry will generate at least 2.4 billion in sales in DC, $8.7 billion in sales in Maryland, and over $11 billion in Virginia. The industry employees over 36,000 people in DC, 226,900 in Maryland and almost 331,000 people in Virginia.
However, the restaurant industry is plagued by low wages, poor working conditions, and inadequate benefits. The average annual salary for restaurant employees in 2009 was $22,982 in DC, $20,522 in Arlington County, and $18,949 in Montgomery County. These salaries are just below the poverty line for a family of four.
A major issue confronting restaurant workers revolves around benefits, especially those relating to employee health. Unlike many workers in the United States, restaurant workers often do not receive paid sick leave.
Because restaurant wages are often so low, the decision for a worker that she is too sick to work on a particular day could mean being unable to pay bills or care for her family. Restaurant workers who lack paid sick leave contribute to public health problem since they sometimes come to work sick.
In 2008 Washington, D.C. passed the Accrued Sick and Safe Leave Act, which requires employers to provide paid sick leave for workers. However, in the give-and-take negotiations to secure that law, restaurant owners won major concessions, including provisions that exempt tipped waitstaff and bartenders from coverage under the law.
Even for restaurant workers who do fall under the bill's provisions, many remain unaware of the new regulations. The DC government has taken the first steps of creating necessary regulations and adding the violation of paid sick leave provisions to forms workers can use to register official complaints against their employers, but education for workers about their new rights, which is critically important, has been slow.
The Restaurant Opportunities Center (ROC) is working to establish baseline standards for restaurant-industry workers, reward restaurants and their owners when they pay and treat their workers well, and call out those who violate workers' legal rights.
As restaurant goers, there are a couple simple things we can do to help support restaurant workers. First, leave your tip in cash. Since credit card tips must be processed, it can take longer for waiters to actually receive their wages, while some never receive their credit card tips at all. Restaurant employees and advocates are working to change tip processing, but for the time being the best way to ensure that your tips reach workers is to leave cash.
Second, dine out ethically. Support workers by eating at restaurants with fair labor practices. On Saturday, November 13th, ROC is encouraging consumers to dine at, or "Carrotmob," Teaism because of their support of workers rights. Teaism currently provides 5-7 sick days to all of their workers.
The restaurant industry provides and will continue to provide an important contribution to the region's economy. The industry is projected to grow by 12 percent in DC, and around 8 percent in both Maryland and Virginia by 2020.
The DC area restaurant industry can either take the high road by providing fair wages, access to health benefits, and advancement in the industry. Or, take the low road by continuing to create low-wage jobs with few benefits and poor working conditions.
As consumers we can encourage the industry and policy makers to support workers, thus not only benefiting restaurant employees but also the overall quality of the food we eat.
My friend Lester Feder relayed a story about about voting problems for non-English speakers in Mt. Pleasant:
When I went to vote at Bell Multicultural High School, the polling place for Mt. Pleasant, there was a woman in front of me who did not speak English. Instead of offering her Spanish translation as required by law in a neighborhood with such a large number of Spanish speakers, the poll workers just pointed to the next table after checking her in.
I walked over to pick up my ballot as the poll worker was trying to ask her if she wanted to vote by paper or computer, and I finally just asked her in Spanish which she preferred. The poll worker just pointed to the back of the room where the booths were stationed for filling out ballots, but I had to explain to her that she needed to go up there to fill it out. He did not even point out to her that voting instructions were available in Spanish.
While I was voting, I realized when I got to the ballot question on the attorney general that they had not given her a translation of the question in Spanish, and it was clear that she could not understand it. I went to ask the poll workers if they had a translator, and they responded, "She doesn't understand the ballot when you explain it to her?" They said if I didn't want to help her, they could call a translator on the phone, but there was no one on site.Is this a common problem across the District? Have you noticed other non-English speakers having difficulty voting today? If so, what kind of assistance did they receive? If you do witness problems, do not hesitant to contact the Election Protection Hotline at 866-OUR-VOTE.
I wasn't comfortable helping her filling out her ballot
— because my Spanish is not perfect and it feels weird going into the voting booth with another voter, but I translated the entire ballot for her as best I could. She told me afterwards that if I hadn't been there, she would have gone home.
The Justice Department has an explanation of language minority provisions of the Voting Rights Act on its website. ... Section 203 mandates that a state or political subdivision must provide language assistance to voters if more than 5 percent of the voting age citizens are members of a single-language minority group who do not "speak or understand English adequately enough to participate in the electoral process" and if the rate of those citizens who have not completed the fifth grade is higher than the national rate of voting age citizens who have not completed the fifth grade.
It is not clear to me whether DC is a covered jurisdiction under the Voting Rights Act (since we're not a state, and not listed in the code that follows) but I'm pretty sure this was against the law. My ANC candidate, China Terrel, was outside the polls. When I told her, she said "That's unlawful," and said she'd call Jim Graham's office to have the help get someone over there. I also called the Election Protection Hotline (866-OUR-VOTE) and reported it to the Justice Department's Voting Rights Hotline (800-253-3931). But regardless of the federal law, it's still shocking that a city as committed to diversity as ours supposedly is would leave such a basic barrier to voting in place.
While DC's mayoral and council races were effectively over after the primary, there are local elections worth paying attention to in November. Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) seats are up for election.
The ANC system was created in 1974 with the goal of providing residents a forum to discuss issues impacting their neighborhood and take recommendations to various District government agencies. Across the 8 District wards, there are 37 ANCs. Each ANC is subdivided into Single Member Districts (SMDs) of approximately 2,000 people and each SMD has one elected commissioner who represents their constitutes of their corresponding ANC.
For example, I live in Mt. Pleasant (Ward 1). My ANC is 1D and my SMD is 1D05. ANCs vary in size; some have as many of 12 SMDs while others have as few as two. To find your ANC and/or SMD, just type your address into the DC Citizen Atlas.
Unlike ward council members, ANC commissioners are not paid and are elected to a two-year term. While often considered a thankless job, ANC commissioners can wield a lot of power. ANCs consider and present recommendations to government officials on a range of issues including parking, traffic, zoning, trash collection, and economic development, to name a few. In short, these individuals can make a tremendous impact on your community, for good and for bad.
There are over 80 contested ANC seats on the November 2 ballot. A number of ANC seats face no challengers and there are even a handful of ANC seats that have no nominees. The list of candidates can be found at the DC Board of Election, in addition to maps of the ANC areas.
It is often hard to find information on ANC candidates, but a number of local blogs provide profiles of candidates, like The Hill is Home and Frozen Tropics for races around Capitol Hill, H Street and surrounding neighborhoods.
The ANC system was designed to provide residents a direct link with the larger DC government as well as serve as a forum to voice community concerns. Get informed and vote on November 2.
We'll be putting together some endorsements in key contested ANC races. Do you have a contested race in or around your neighborhood? What issues matter to you in those races? If you've been following the campaign, which candidates do you like?
DC's latest historic preservation debate centers around Barney Circle, the southeast corner of Capitol Hill, where preservationists are advocating for a new historic district.
Some residents in the area argue that Historic Preservation Review Board (HPRB) and local ANCs did little to no outreach for public input on the proposed historic district. Due to opposition to the plan and questions from Councilmember Tommy Wells regarding the process, the HPRB postponed a vote at their June 24 meeting.
The proposed Barney Circle Historic District consists of 192 buildings, including 189 contributing structures and three non-contributing structures. The district is bounded by houses fronting on Barney Circle on the south, by those on the north side of Potomac Avenue on the north, by those on the west side of Kentucky Avenue on the west and by the Congressional Cemetery on the east.
Barney Circle consists primarily of front porch rowhouses, also referred to as "daylighter" houses, wide tree lined streets, and two triangular parks. The Historic Preservation Office (HPO) has recommended that HPRBapprove the historic district on the grounds that the concentration of front porch rowhomes are rare within the L'Enfant Plan.
Historic district designation can be restrictive for residents because it can impose harsh regulations regarding exterior alternations, tax liabilities, raising rents, and the displacement of low income residents. There are benefits associated with historic districts as well, including increased property values and the preservation of historic buildings both of which can act as a catalyst for economic growth.
Some residents in the Barney Circle area feel that the historical designation process is biased and is being led primarily by individuals and organizations that don't even live in the affected area, such as the Capitol Hill Restoration Society (CHRS). Beth Purcell, president of the CHRS, was one of the original drivers of the Barney Circle Historic District. She lives outside the proposed boundaries. Reuben Hammeed, former vice president of the local neighborhood association, has also pushed for the historic district but no longer lives in the area.
Others say that the ANC originally agreed to be the applicant for the historic district based on information given to them by Hammeed and others, who had only polled a handful of residents on the general idea of a historic district, but did not contact the vast majority of property owners and were not able to show any specific information about what the guidelines would be. The ANC, knowing that only about one-third of homeowners were contacted, decided to go ahead and file the application with the HPRB anyway.
At the June 24th meeting, opposition to the historical designation was labeled as "new young people" who are just being "hysterical" and uneducated about the benefits of living in a historical district. Concerned residents plan to voice their concerns to Mayor Fenty and the DC Council regarding the HPRB handling of the situation.
Conflicts over the definition and preservation of neighborhoods have become a common feature or urban politics, and Barney Circle is certainly not an exception. Neighborhood planning, including whether an area should be an historic district, should be an inclusive process that provides residents full disclosure of the proposed plans as well as a way for residents to speak for themselves. If you don't allow residents of the affected area to be part of the process, then in effect you run the risk of destroying the cultural and social fabric of a community, factors that reflect just as much history as buildings.
Effective historical preservation needs to strike a balance between preservationists, developers, public officials, and residents. What works in one part of the District may not work for another area. The economic and social impacts of historic preservation are too situational, making the need for transparency all that more important.
The situation in Barney Circle calls into question how the process for other historic districts has been approached in DC. Are we in effect creating communities that benefit the privileged and ignore the voices of less privileged residents?
Mary Cheh's DC Healthy Schools Act proposes a tax of 1 cent per fluid ounce of sugary soft drinks. A 1 cent tax would add about $1.44 to the cost of a 12 pack of soda. Such a tax would generate about $16 million annual and provide the $6 million Cheh needs to implement school programs that promote healthy eating behaviors as well as healthier breakfast and lunch options.
If the bill passes, DC would join at least 30 other states that impose small sales taxes on soft drinks and/or snacks. However, Cheh's proposal is unique in that the tax would fund an educational program to foster healthy eating among DC's youth. It is important to lay the foundation of healthy habits early one because children often develop eating and brand loyalties at a young age.
The DC city council should pass this critical piece of public health legislation. While medical technology has certainly helped increase life expectancy, it is good public health policies that have improved the quality of life for many.
Compare the possible benefits of a soda tax to the cigarette tax. Taxing cigarettes has proven to be highly successful in reducing consumption. For every 10 percent increase in the price of cigarettes reduces sales by 3 to 5 percent and has lead to better health outcomes. Sugary beverages like soda can lead to negative health outcomes for children and adults. Obesity-related medical expenditures cost tax payers approximately 74 billion a year through Medicaid and Medicare.
A reduction in child obesity could lead to major savings for DC tax payers over the long term. In 2008 36 percent of high school students were clinically overweight and obese. If we assume that the patterns of obesity are the same among younger children, then about 41,000 children 18 and younger are overweight or obese in the District.
Researchers estimate that the cost of health care associated with obese children in 2008 is $15.97. If we multiply the number of overweight and obese children in the District by $15.97, then the total cost of obesity related health care is approximately $655,000.
While a small tax can generate millions, will it actually have the effect of reducing soda consumption? Most likely not. Studies indicate that a tax of at least 18 percent would be needed. Experts at the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity argue that the tax needs to be high if we want to change American's addiction to sugary drinks. However, city council members and the voting public may be less willing to accept a tax much higher than 1 cent. Only those who truly think that obesity is a major problem for the district would be willing to pay a higher soda tax.
Opponents of a soda tax argue that a tax would disproportionately hurt the poor who spend a larger proportion of their income on food. This may be true, but only for poor people who consume more soft drinks. The bigger problem for low-income households is having access to grocery stores that offer healthy, affordable food options. It is no coincidence that areas of the District that lack access to grocery stores (mainly in Wards 5, 6, 7, and 8) tend to have higher rates of obesity than wards in the upper Northwest. Hopefully Cheh's program could be extended to provide food subsidies to families living in areas with few healthy food options.
The beverage industry is fiercely opposing the proposed tax. The Maryland-Delaware-D.C. beverage association and more than three dozen city grocers and restaurants have formed a group called No D.C. Beverage Tax. The group has run full-page ads in the Metro along with other local papers and radio spots.
The Campaign for Healthy Kids argues that the American Beverage Association has spent $5.4 million to fight various state and local initiatives to tax soda, and that DC is now it's new target. They have started a petition to urge the City Council to pass Cheh's proposal.
While much of the debate regarding the soda tax is focused on the "tax" itself, proponents of the tax need to focus more on the public health message. The purpose behind the Healthy Schools act is to fund nutrition programs and reduce consumptions of unhealthy products. Hopefully it will be the public health message, and not the industry message, that will resonate with city council members when the act is up for a final vote later this month. Pass the soda tax, it's good public health policy.
What would it be like to live without using any disposable plastic items? Recently, I tried doing just this for one week.
In this age of green awareness, there has been a renewed emphasis on how personal choices impact the environment. Sometimes we need a little encouragement to be better environmental shoppers, which is part of the reason behind the five-cent bag fee in DC.
But it's not just bags. While I am pretty consistent about bringing my own reusable bag when I shop, I still use a lot of plastic for everyday things. I'm a coffee junkie, but my morning coffee comes with a plastic coffee lid. I don't usually carry water with me, instead opting for bottle water from the store.
If I grab a salad for lunch, I usually end up using a plastic container. While a lot of the plastic items I use daily are recyclable, there was really no need for me to be using this much plastic in my daily routine in the first place. Therefore, I decided to go plastic-free for one week.
To truly go plastic-free would mean a complete lifestyle change, one that I am not sure is entirely possible or desirable. While plastic has a lot of harmful properties, it also has it benefits. It is light and cheaper to ship, which means less fuel used to transport items. Plastic helps keep things sanitary, thus reducing the spread of germs.
There are already many items that I use every day that are in plastic: shampoo bottles, storage/food containers, credit/debit cards, smart trip card. My goal was to simply avoid plastic where I could find a suitable alternative.
Overall, by consciously trying to use less plastic, I reinforced some of my current behaviors. I consistently turned down disposal bags in favor or my of reusable canvas bags or I just simply used my backpack. I planned better about packing my lunch for work to avoid buying lunch at work, where most items come in plastic containers.
I was also much better about bringing coffee with me to work in a reusable mug. My own coffee is much better and much better for my pocketbook. On the day I forgot to bring my reusable mug, I went without the plastic lid on my coffee. Also instead of buying snacks that would have come in a plastic bag or container I focused on eating fruit.
I also realized how I could reuse other types of plastic items that I hadn't considered before. The plastic bag that my tortillas came in served as a handy kitty litter bag.
For a couple of days, I reverted back to my old ways. These were usually days where I didn't plan ahead or felt that I was too busy. The bag fee encouraged me to reduce my use of plastic bags, but I still bought a bottle of water when I could have brought my own or that bottle of soda I got with my Chinese food after a long day at work and a night of teaching.
What else can we do? Has the bag fee lead to other non-bag conservation efforts on your part? For my part, I intend to keep trying to avoid generating plastic waste where possible, by planning ahead more so more wasteful options don't seem so convenient.
It's not only a new year, it is also a decennial Census year. But more urban areas face dangers of undercounting not just from minority areas but from "transformed housing" like basement apartments.
As part of a constitutional mandate, every ten years the Census Bureau conducts a population count. The initial purpose of the census was to determine the appropriation of state representatives to the U.S. House of Representatives. However, the once a decade population count provides critical demographic and housing data that federal and local officials use to determine the distribution of federal money.
To count the population, the Census Bureau mails questionnaires to every residence in the United States beginning in March in preparation for Census Day on April 1st. Households fill out the form, using April 1st as a point of reference, and mail it back in the pre-addressed stamped envelope.
Unlike past Census years, the 2010 Census form contains just 10 short questions, including name, age, date of birth, sex, race, Hispanic origin, and housing type. For every Census form that is not mailed back, the Census Bureau sends a field interviewer to follow up with household and to collect the missing information. This is a costly operation and could be avoided if people would just mail back their forms. In 2000, the national mail-back response rate was 67%. The mail-back response rate for the District of Columbia was 60%.
There are several challenges to getting an accurate count of area residents. Past decennial counts undercounted racial/ethnic minorities. Blacks make up approximately 53% of the District's population, for example. The Wards with the largest black populations also had some of the lowest mail-back rates for the 2000 Census. Ward 8 had the lowest mail-back response rate in the District (45%). Local community organizations have stepped up efforts to help lessen the accuracy gap in the count of minority groups, but more out reach is needed to ensure an accurate count.
Another obstacle the District faces is getting 2010 Census forms to those who live in what the Census calls "transformed housing". Homes that have been subdivided into multiple units often only have one mailing address. A number of homes, especially in more urban communities, have basement apartments that are rented out separately from the rest of the house, but there is only one mailbox. Since the Census Bureau uses mailing addresses to send out forms, this means that a house that has multiple units but only one official mailing address will only get one form. Each unit/household should get their own questionnaire to make sure all persons are counted correctly.
If you do not get a 2010 questionnaire because you live in a transformed housing structure or have questions about how the fill the form out, you can contact your local Questionnaire Assistance Center (QAC). The Census Bureau expects to open 30,000 QACs across the county between March 19th and April 19th. The Census Bureau is still determining the potential sites, but all locations should be finalized by February 2010 and posted on the 2010 Census website. It will take a little effort on your part to get a form if you live somewhere with multiple units, but one mailing address, but being counted is priceless.
The 2010 Census form is one of shortest ever sent out, yet the information collected is just as important as ever for your immediate neighborhood and for the District. To keep up with the latest developments, check out the Census' 2010 Blog.
The Census Bureau recently released social and economic data from the 2008American Community Survey (ACS). The ACS is a nationwide survey conducted yearly by the U.S. Census Bureau. Unlike the Decennial Census, the ACS collects and produces population and housing data every year based on sample estimates.
What does the 2008 ACS tells us about the District of Columbia? Below is a basic social and economic snapshot of the District in 2008.
Total population: 591,833.
Gender and age: Female: 53%; Male: 47%. Median age: 35.
Race/ethnicity: White: 38%; Black: 53%; Hispanic: 9%.
Educational attainment for population 25 and over: Less than high school: 15%; High school: 20%;
Some college/Associate's degree: 18%; Bachelor's degree: 22%; Graduate or professional degree: 27%.
Income and poverty: Median household income: $57,936. Median household income for Whites: $101,171; Median household income for Blacks: $39,182.
Percent of families at or below the federal poverty line: 14%. Percent of female-headed families at or below the federal poverty line: 27%.
Marital Status: Married: 25%; Divorced: 10%; Never married: 56%.
Commute to work: Public transportation: 36%; Walk: 12%; Bike: 2%; Work from home: 5%.
In general, the District population continues to grow (population in 2007 was 588,292) and remains a majority Black city (although the percent Black has been declining over the past several years). The District is also fairly educated and young. While the District has a larger median household income compared to other parts of the country, there is a sizable difference by race. The median household income for Whites is about $60,000 more than the median household income for Blacks.
Keep in mind these data are for 2008 and do not reflect current economic conditions or show effects of the economic recession. We will have to wait until next year for that data.
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- DC Council makes major policy changes overnight
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