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Partnership for Working Families;
This study explores labor conditions in the construction industry across six key Southern cities in the U.S. and finds that far too often construction workers across the South face working conditions that should not exist in the twentyfirst century in the richest country in the world. The study documents the alarming prevalence of jobs with wages too low to feed a family. It captures the impact of disabling work injuries on workers and their families that are made even more devastating when the employer does not carry workers' compensation insurance, or misclassifies a wage worker as an independent contractor ineligible for compensation payments.
Galveston Bay Foundation;
Galveston Bay is resilient, but faces an uncertain future. The Bay's watershed is home to the fourth- and ninth-largest cities in the U.S., Houston and Dallas. It's also home to three ports, and remains a hub for the manufacturing and refining of chemicals and petroleum products. But people, industry, and commerce often come with environmental challenges. Galveston Bay's most significant problems are tied to pollution, declines in habitat acreage, and to the impacts of climate change, like sea level rise.
That Galveston Bay could receive C for overall health despite facing these monumental issues shows how resilient it is. This offers hope that we can change our negative impact on water quality, wetlands, seagrasses, and wildlife. But a healthier Galveston Bay is in everyone's interest.
Meals On Wheels America;
The national Meals on Wheels network continues to face limited funding, rising costs, unprecedented demand and need and increasing for-profit competition. That is why Meals on Wheels America set out to compare the experience and health outcomes realized by older adults who receive three different levels of service: daily traditional meal delivery, once-weekly frozen delivery and individuals on a waiting list.
This study, funded by AARP Foundation and conducted by researchers at Brown University, implemented a groundbreaking approach to investigating the impact of meal service delivery on homebound seniors receiving Meals on Wheels. The study's findings validate what we've all known for decades anecdotally through firsthand experience: that Meals on Wheels does in fact deliver so much more than just a meal.
Cultural Policy Center at The University of Chicago;
Supported in part by Arts Alliance Illinois, and with the cooperation of several local arts agencies, including Chicago's Department of Cultural Affairs and Special events, and of the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies.
This study compares the direct public dollars received by organizations and artists in Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Columbus, Denver, Houston, Miami, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Portland (OR), San Diego, and San Francisco from 2002-2012.
Often, studies of public funding for the arts look at appropriations made on the national and state levels and estimates of local expenditures, but this report delves more deeply using grant-level data to examine the dollars received by organizations and artists resident in each city or region.
In 2012, Chicago arts organizations received $7.3 million in public dollars via competitive grants from local, state, and national public arts agencies combined. Only three of the 13 regions studied received more total dollars in 2012.Though Chicago arts organizations receive among the greatest amounts of public funding in total, a relatively small portion comes from the city's Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events. Of the competitive arts grants dollars received in Chicago in 2012, 59% came from the Illinois Arts Council, 24% from the National Endowment for the Arts, and 17% from the city's Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events. For most cities/regions in our study, excluding Chicago, the majority of public grant dollars received by not-for-profits in the area for arts programming came from their local arts agency in 2012. For example, in 2012, San Diego received 93% of its public funding from the local level, 2% from the state level, and 4% from the federal level.DCASE's funding levels have been among the lowest of the 13 cities/regions studied on both a per capita basis, and in terms of total dollars, over the past decade (2002-2012). In 2012, Chicago's Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events awarded $1.2 million in grants, which is $0.44 per capita. Of the 13 local agencies analyzed, only Phoenix, Boston, and Baltimore spent less in total dollar or per capita terms in 2012.Over the past decade, DCASE annually awarded among the highest total number of grants compared with other regions' local agencies. In 2012, DCASE awarded 520 grants in total -- 305 to organizations and 215 to individuals. In 2012, it awarded competitive grants to approximately 31% of the arts and cultural organizations in the city.Aside from competitive grants, five of the 13 cities/metro regions included in this study provide support to select arts and cultural organizations through line-items, which serve as significant sources of general operating funds.
Many community development initiatives traditionally funded by foundations and the federal government evolved to respond to the economic conditions and barriers facing communities in big cities of the northeast and midwest. But conditions are dramatically different in Houston and other fast-growing metros like it. Neighborhood Centers, Inc. is developing and testing strategies for connecting underserved people to opportunities that reflect the realities of Houston's geography, demographics, and economy. This paper is intended to start a discussion about how these strategies differ from more traditional place-based antipoverty strategies, and how similar approaches may suit other metros like Houston.
National Center on Time and Learning;
This report looks deeply inside 17 schools that stand at the vanguard of the current revolution in teaching. It reveals the substantive ways in which these schools are providing their teachers with more time to reflect on, develop, and hone their craft, by very explicitly leveraging an expanded-time school schedule and calendar. These schools' expanded time (on average, they are in session almost 300 hours more per year than the national norm of 1,170 hours) affords not only more hours and days focused on classroom instruction, but also a full array of professional learning opportunities.
Cultural Policy Center at The University of Chicago;
This study measures the creative industries and workers of Chicago and eight peer cities. It is meant to provide an objective benchmark for Chicago as it undertakes the goals articulated in the Chicago Cultural Plan 2012 of attracting and retaining creative professionals and measuring the size and strength of the cultural sector.
Creative workers, a group which includes professionals such as scientists and programmers as well as artists, make up almost 21% of Chicago's civilian labor force, which approximates the portion of creative workers in the US labor force.However, if one looks at artists specifically, Chicago rises above the national baseline: the portion of Chicago's labor force made up of artists is 1.6 times that of the US.An estimated 63,008 artists work in Chicago. Designers represent the largest share of the artist workforce in Chicago, at 36.3 percent.Fifty-seven percent of Chicago's artist labor force is employed in the for-profit sector. Among the cities studied, only Houston and Philadelphia employ barely larger proportions of their artist labor force in the for-profit sector.Chicago's artist workforce is less diverse than its total population in terms of race and ethnicity. Seventy-four percent of Chicago's artist workforce is White (non-Hispanic), compared with a total population that is 32 percent White (non-Hispanic).Among Chicago artists, writers/authors and architects are most highly concentrated compared to the U.S. as a whole. Chicago also has higher concentrations of designers, musicians, photographers, actors, and dancers compared to the national baseline.
In the 1990s and early 2000s, the Department of Housing and Urban Development sponsored two major experiments to test whether housing choice vouchers propelled low-income households into greater economic security, the Moving to Opportunity for Fair Housing program (MTO) and the Welfare to Work Voucher program (WTW). Using data from these programs, this study examines differences in residential location and employment outcomes between voucher recipients with access to automobiles and those without. Overall, the findings underscore the positive role of automobiles in outcomes for housing voucher participants.
Pew Charitable Trusts;
The Great Recession created fiscal challenges for the 30 cities at the centers of the nation's most populous metropolitan areas that continued well past the recession's official end in June 2009. For most of these cities, the fiscal brunt was borne later than for the national and state governments and recovery has been slow.
Cities dealt with fiscal strain in a variety of ways: dipping into reserve funds, cutting spending, gaining help from the federal or state governments, and increasing revenue from tax and nontax sources. Although these strategies offered short-term solutions, many cities still faced declining revenue in 2011, the consequence of reduced spending, shrunken reserves, and rising pension and retiree health care costs.
Property taxes, which can be slow to respond to economic swings, helped delay the early fiscal effects of the Great Recession for most of these cities, but they began to decline in 2010, reflecting a deferred impact of the housing crisis. This trend was compounded by increasingly unpredictable aid from states and the federal government that were dealing with their own budgetary constraints.
Researchers from Pew standardized data from the Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports from 2007 through 2011, the latest year of complete data available, for all of these 30 cities. This report examines key elements of each city's fiscal conditions, including revenue, expenditures, reserves, and long-term obligations, and adjusted them for inflation to facilitate comparison across the years. These adjustments allow insight into fiscal trends across cities and over time. Direct comparisons between cities may be limited, however, by differences in cities' tax structures and the range of services each city provides
Houston Endowment, Inc.;
This annual report includes the following information:
* Description of the Foundation's history and purpose
* Grantmaking activities in the areas of arts and culture, education, environment, health and human services
* Information about the founders
* List of the Board of Directors
* List of staff
* Financial Reports
* Grant Application
Center for American Progress;
Profiles the goals, activities, implementation, and challenges of the twelve states that won Race to the Top federal funds to improve teacher quality and preparation program accountability; analyzes their strategies; and makes policy recommendations.