D.C. Policy Center Turns One

March 9, 2018

As you may know, the D.C. Policy Center is an independent policy and research center that provides analysis on local policies affecting the District of Columbia, led by Yesim Taylor. Lisa Mallory, CEO, DCBIA is a founding Board member of this organization. We congratulate Yesim and her team for a very active and informative first year.  In 2018, DCBIA seeks to work with the Policy Center to perform agile research studies and data compilation on the economic development impact of increased regulations on residential and commercial development in DC.

Today, the D.C. Policy Center turns one.  We opened our doors on March 8, 2017 to advance ideas for a vibrant and growing economy in the District of Columbia. In our first year, we worked very hard to make our name known and ideas heard. We met with policymakers to share our research, took part in policy discussions with advocates, attended conferences, testified in hearings, and participated in community meetings. We wrote over 90 studies on the District covering topics including taxes, fiscal conditions, the business environment, demographic change, poverty, equity, transportation, housing, and education. We partnered with other non-profits and associations in the District on projects varying from evaluating the state of the business in the District to conducting a needs assessment for afterschool and summer programs. While our issue areas are many and we engage at many levels, one theme unifies the D.C. Policy Center’s work: building a strong and competitive economy is vital to serving the needs of our city. And as a District-bred organization, we have a singular focus on D.C.’s economy and residents, and the city’s ability to compete for jobs and families in the larger metropolitan region. We think that an inability to think beyond the District’s administrative borders handicaps our growth and limits the inclusiveness of the city. And we work very hard to put in context the local and regional push and pull factors, and bring together policymakers, employers, industry leaders, community advocates, and other stakeholders to advance comprehensive policies that support a strong and growing economy for all District residents. Thank you for following our work. Yours sincerely, Yesim Sayin Taylor Executive Director, D.C. Policy Center yesim@dcpolicycenter.org
Highlights from our first-year publications Broadening our thinking on the District of Columbia The District’s administrative borders define where we can pass and follow our own laws and regulations, but those borders are not impenetrable walls that shield us from economic and demographic realities. The knowns and unknowns of Airbnb in D.C. A new analysis estimates that commercial operators make up 11 percent of Airbnb hosts in D.C., but their properties make up 30 percent of listings. How to build bus lanes and bike lanes—faster D.C. wants more people on buses and bicycles, but it needs to pick up the pace on its projects to get there. Fellow Canaan Merchant explains how. The loss of DC TAG could disrupt college attendance among the children of low-income families If Congress eliminates the DC Tuition Assistance Grant (DC TAG), it would disrupt university attendance among students from the city’s lowest-income families. Confronting the opioid crisis in the District Washington, D.C. is now on the front lines of the nation's opioid crisis, reversing the traditional narrative around most drug epidemics. Metrorail is no longer the second-busiest rapid transit system in the country Metrorail’s ridership is clearly lower than that of legacy rapid transit systems, due to basic decisions made during the design of the system. Making room for Millennial families A new look at D.C.'s housing challenges for middle-income Millennial families. The federal tax law changes will increase District revenue, but this is no “windfall” Executive Director Yesim Sayin Taylor explores some of the potential revenue implications of the 2017 Tax Act. Twenty years after the Revitalization Act, the District of Columbia is a different city An excerpt from “The 2017 State of Business in the District of Columbia: Twenty Years of Change Since the Revitalization Act,” a report D.C. PolicyCenter prepared for the DC Chamber of Commerce. Improving bus service east of the Anacostia River How can D.C. and WMATA improve public transportation east of the Anacostia River? It's possible—with the right investment. A decade of demographic change in D.C.: Which neighborhoods have changed the most? The District has become whiter and richer in the last ten years, but not all neighborhoods experienced change in the same way. Can fiscal risks be eliminated with more taxing and more spending? No amount of reserve or spending alone will diversify our economy. Pushing through complacency to fight health disparities in D.C.’s African American communities Why does the city that’s frequently ranked the “Healthiest City in America” still have such disparities in health outcomes for its African American residents? Goodbye to Chocolate City The District of Columbia joins New Mexico, California, and Texas as states without any one racial group forming a majority of the population. Where it’s easiest to live car-free in D.C. Car-free means different things across different neighborhoods in the District. All D.C. Policy Center Publications>>
Recent testimony February 12 | Kathryn Zickuhr, Deputy Director of Policy, provided testimony to the Committee on Health on the "Opioid Abuse Prevention Amendment Act of 2018," based on findings from a recent article by D.C. Policy Center Fellow Matthew Pembleton. January 30 | Chelsea Coffin, Director of the D.C. Policy Center's Education Policy Initiative, provided testimony to the Committee on Education on the "Student Fair Access to School Act of 2017," based on findings from a recent report by the Policy Center on current out-of-school suspension practices in D.C. and surrounding school districts.
Spotlight: Education Policy Initiative presentation at The Forum @ DC Chelsea Coffin, Director of the D.C. Policy Center’s Education Policy Initiative, spoke at a poster session at a conference organized by The Lab @ DC on Tuesday, February 27.  Her presentation previewed new findings from a study of D.C. students’ enrollment patterns at in-boundary and out-of-boundary public schools and public charter schools that will be published later this month. A copy of the presentation poster is available to view and download here. Other recent D.C. Policy Center events: 2018 Youth Advocacy for Action Summit Ward 7 Democrats Meeting: Focus on the Budget II D.C. Policy Fireside Chat: Local Policy Decisions Affecting the CRE Market Economic Intelligence Roundtable: Focus on Retail and Food Access Upcoming National Tax Association 48th Annual Spring Symposium Program: The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act: Where Are We Now and What Comes Next?
D.C. Policy Center in the news March 5, 2018 | Universal Basic Income Could Help D.C.’s Poorest Get By, But Could The City Afford It? – WAMU February 15, 2018 | Oversight Committee Turnover Means Uncertainty for D.C. Home Rule Advocates - National Journal February 12, 2018 | Executive Director Yesim Sayin Taylor quoted by Urban Turf January 18, 2018 | “Improving bus service east of the Anacostia River” cross-posted to Greater Greater Washington December 4, 2017 | District sees soaring revenue from speed cameras: Here they are mapped. All D.C. Policy Center news »