Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space

"A community’s physical form, rather than its land uses, is its most intrinsic and enduring characteristic." [Katz, EPA] This blog focuses on place and placemaking and all that makes it work--historic preservation, urban design, transportation, asset-based community development, arts & cultural development, commercial district revitalization, tourism & destination development, and quality of life advocacy--along with doses of civic engagement and good governance watchdogging.

Friday, February 01, 2013

Reprise: Using "arms-length" government controlled instrumentalities to support influence peddling

Yesterday, the Post editorialized ("A D.C. middleman awaits reform") against the continuation of DC's Children and Youth Investment Trust, a government created instrumentality that was supposed to coordinate fundraising from the private sector and direct the monies to nonprofits.  Instead, it mostly has been funded by DC government funds, and elected officials have undue influence on how the monies are distributed.  Some of the shenanigans included conversion of monies by former Councilman Harry Thomas Jr., who is now in prison as a result.

Anyway, I made the verysame point in January 2012, in "Using "arms-length" government controlled instrumentalities to support influence peddling," that there is no good reason for having this entity.

Although I did suggest in another entry, "What should be the future of the Children & Youth Investment Trust," that by moving to an open and transparent process, preferably with a citizen-involved "participatory budgeting" process, that it might be worth giving the entity a second chance.

But that road wasn't taken, and the organization is still subject to manipulation and grant steering.

From the Post editorial:

The trust’s main reason for being is its ability to use public money to attract private funds; but if those private monies aren’t forthcoming, what purpose is served? Better to cut out the middleman and have the government do what it is supposed to — identify and prioritize public needs, and then fund them in an open and transparent way.

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