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Extreme Gerrymanderers

February 22, 2022

Gerrymandering is the intentional practice of manipulating the boundaries of congressional districts to provide an unfair advantage for a specific party or group. The practice has increasingly created barriers to representative democracy and allows politicians to select their voters, rather than allowing voters to pick their politicians.New maps that create the boundaries between congressional districts are drawn every 10 years, following each decennial census. In the wake of the 2020 Census, state legislators crafted a number of hyperpartisan and discriminatory gerrymanders. This report highlights a dozen of the worst.

Farm Forward: How Chesapeake Bay Farms Can Improve Water Quality, Mitigate Climate Change, Create a More Resilient Future, and Support Jobs and Local Economies

February 15, 2022

This report highlights the multiple benefits of agricultural conservation practices essential to restoring the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries. It examines practices that reduce pollution, combat climate change, improve soil health and farmers' bottom lines, and boost local economies. Measures such as these are especially relevant now as the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) rolls out multiple initiatives promoting climate smart agriculture and Congress has started hearing on the 2023 Farm Bill with a review of USDA conservation programs.

How Post-Pandemic Tax Cuts Can Affect Equity: An Examination of How State Tax Changes Affected Different Income Groups and Representative Households in Arizona, Maryland, New Mexico, and Ohio

February 9, 2022

State policymakers across the country are considering tax cuts in 2022. While there are many reasons and ways to cut taxes, state policymakers should keep in mind that the pandemic's negative effects were unequal and that future state revenue growth is uncertain. This report, using the Tax Policy Center state tax model, analyzes 2021 tax cuts passed in Arizona, Maryland, New Mexico, and Ohio, showing how each state's tax cut affected different income groups and representative households from different racial and ethnic groups. In general, states that expanded refundable tax credits provided larger benefits to representative Black and Latino households.

2021 Chesapeake Bay State of the Blueprint: Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia

January 7, 2022

Time is running out. A healthy Bay, clean streams, and resilient rivers are at risk without a major acceleration in pollution reduction.Less than four years remain to the 2025 implementation deadline for the historic Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint—our last, best chance to save the Chesapeake Bay and its rivers and streams. Its success is critical to our region's health, economy, outdoor heritage, and quality of life. Make no mistake, the Blueprint is working, but much work remains in a short amount of time.Our State of the Blueprint report looks at one question: Are the Bay states on track to reduce pollution by the Blueprint's 2025 deadline?Based on our assessment of progress in Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Virginia, which together account for roughly 90 percent of the Bay's pollution, the answer collectively is 'no.' If progress continues at its current pace, the Bay partnership will not achieve the Blueprint by 2025.

Social and Emotional Learning Is the Cornerstone

December 16, 2021

This report provides an illustration of two Opportunity by Design (ObD) high schools in which practices for supporting students' SEL were implemented schoolwide and integrated into teachers' academic instruction. The ObD initiative was launched by the Carnegie Corporation of New York to support the design and creation of a network of small, innovative high schools of choice in large, urban districts in the United States. These schools provide a unique perspective on what implementation of schoolwide, integrated, explicit SEL instruction can look like when it is a core design feature from school inception. The findings may provide valuable insight for leaders of other small high schools seeking to strengthen their own focus on SEL.

Maryland Nonprofits by the Numbers: Key Findings

December 15, 2021

The 2021 Maryland Nonprofits by the Numbers survey investigates the size, scope, structure, and impact of nonprofits in the state, and demonstrates this vital set of organizations as essential drivers of community and economic development in Maryland. Maryland's nonprofits employ nearly 13% of all non-governmental workers in Maryland and paid over $15,000,000,000 in wages in 2017.

COVID-19 Pandemic and Racial Equity Survey: Report of Survey Findings

November 18, 2021

Nonprofits in Maryland have been on the front lines of the COVID-19 response effort, stepping up to address emergency needs. While responding to the crisis, nonprofits have lost staff members, board members and loved ones, and endured massive shifts and in many cases declines in revenue. With resilience, many started entirely new food distribution programs, rental assistance programs, and other ways to address unprecedented levels of need. These needs have now stretched for more than 18 months of physically, mentally and emotionally exhausting work for nonprofit staff and volunteers.In Maryland and around the nation, Black and Latino communities were hardest hit by COVID-19, experiencing the highest levels of illness, deaths, job losses, social isolation, and evictions. The rise of the Black Lives Matter movement following the police killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor brought issues of race to the forefront of our nation's consciousness.This survey aimed to uncover issues of racial equity within the nonprofit sector itself.The findings in our COVID-19 and Racial Equity Survey show two nonprofit sectors: one that is far more challenging and inequitably structured for Black, Latino, Asian and Indigenous People leading nonprofit organizations, compared to the nonprofit sector experienced by white leaders. Organizations led by people of color saw greater declines in resources during COVID-19 and had lower levels of reserves going into the pandemic than white-led organizations. White-led nonprofits were more likely to be larger organizations that were able to pivot and grow by accessing more relief funds during the pandemic.By sharing this data, we hope Maryland governments and philanthropists will be motivated to re-design funding programs, making programs accessible and intentionally directing funding to community-based and people-of color-led organizations. 

Evaluation of Proposed Spray Irrigation (Trappe East WWTF)

October 11, 2021

This report was written by the engineering and environmental consulting firm Antea Group. It was commissioned by the Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) and ShoreRivers to review MDE's preliminary approval of a wastewater permit for the development, which would add about 2,500 houses and apartments as well as a shopping center to the small Eastern Shore town of Trappe. The spray irrigation plan would allow the developer to spray an average of about 540,000 gallons per day of treated wastewater onto nearly 90 acres of fields near the project.Antea determined that disposing of the new development's treated wastewater by spraying it onto fields could create flooding and pollution problems that MDE overlooked by using outdated formulas and faulty assumptions. The firm's experts did not agree with MDE's finding that no pollution would leave the spray field.

In Pursuit of Equity: Four Case Studies of State Arts Agencies

September 30, 2021

This report describes how state arts agencies in four states—California, Maryland, Massachusetts and South Carolina—have integrated equity principles across multiple aspects of their work. This volume includes information on equity-centered planning, partnerships, grant making and programming, communications tactics, and managing change. Based on in-depth interviews, this research report is the first in a three-part series of publications produced in collaboration with the Washington State Arts Commission which also includes the reports Deepening Relationships with Diverse Communities: State Arts Agency Strategies and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in State Arts Agency Public Art Programs: A Roundtable Report.

Chasing Justice: Addressing Police Violence and Corruption in Maryland

August 23, 2021

"Chasing Justice" reviews and cross-analyzes data Baltimore Police Department provided to Code for America's Project Comport, which includes with five years of information about misconduct complaints, use of force incidents, and officer-involved shootings, from 2015 through 2019. The purpose of the report is to examine 1) race disparities in different aspects of policing, 2) how police departments contribute to violence in the community and further distrust of both the legal justice system and internal disciplinary process; and 3) the consequences of failing to hold officers and departments accountable.

2020 Baltimore Community Foundation Annual Report

August 10, 2021

The year 2020 could be summarized in one word: pivot. As our region's existing challenges became ever more urgent and donors and community partners were suddenly at a distance, the Baltimore Community Foundation put every tool in our toolbox to use in new and different ways - and we saw results! By year-end, more than $38 million had been donated across BCF funds and a record-breaking $30 million distributed in grants, impact investments, and program activities. We were successful in 2020 because we never lost sight of our unique role: bringing a diverse community of people together to build a better Baltimore. That role is more important than ever, as it's clear that the effects of COVID-19 will be with us for years to come. Read more about how we were able to support our community and multiply impact through our donor-advised funds, grantmaking, impact investing, and advocacy in our 2020 Annual Report. 

How Can Revolving Loan Funds Make Our Coasts More Resilient?

January 21, 2021

A revolving loan fund (RLF) is a self-replenishing financing mechanism that can be used to fund a variety of programs, ranging from small business development to clean water infrastructure. For example, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) revolving loans have for years helped states fund clean-water and drinking-water infrastructure projects. Though RLFs can vary greatly depending on their mission and scope, they all share the same basic structure. RLFs start with a base level of capital, often consisting of private investment or grants from the federal government or state. This capital is then loaned out to several borrowers. Over time, as these borrowers make repayments and pay interest on their loans, the capital is replenished. When enough repayments are made, the fund uses its reaccumulated capital to issue new loans.RLFs are often employed by states, municipalities, and nonprofits as a means for property owners to overcome financial barriers to undertaking environmental improvements. The self-sustaining nature of RLFs allows them to operate for decades with little to no additional investment if designed correctly. By providing low-interest loans with long repayment periods, RLFs can help those who may not have funds available to pay for improvements up front. In this way, RLFs can be used as a tool for building community resilience to environmental hazards.