This Fresh Take interview featured Jim Dyke, Sr. Advisor, State Government Relations, McGuireWoods Consulting LLC. JB and Jim discussed the business community’s role in influencing and driving inclusive growth and opportunities to partner with state and local governments to drive meaningful change.
Hosted by JB Holston. Produced by Jenna Klym, Justin Matheson-Turner, Christian Rodriguez, and Nina Sharma. Edited by Christian Rodriguez.
About our guest:
Jim Dyke is a partner in the law firm of McGuireWoods LLP. His broad practice covers corporate, legislative, education, governmental relations, and municipal law. He previously served as Virginia’s Secretary of Education under former Virginia Gov. L. Douglas Wilder, and as Domestic Policy Advisor to former Vice President Walter Mondale.
He is an active leader in the Northern Virginia business community, having served as chairman of the Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce; chairman of the Northern Virginia Business Roundtable; President of the Northern Virginia Community College Educational Foundation; and chairman of the Emerging Business Forum, an organization focused on enhancing minority and women entrepreneurs’ businesses.
He was elected Chairman of the Greater Washington Board of Trade for 2010. The Board of Trade is the largest regional business organization in the Washington, D.C., area, advocating for the business community in Virginia, the District of Columbia and Maryland. During his term, he was Co-Chair of the Joint WMATA Governance Review Task Force.
He has served or is serving on various commissions and committees, including the State Council of Higher Education in Virginia (SCHEV), the Commission to Restructure Virginia’s Tax Structure, the Board of Directors of the Maryland Chamber of Commerce, the Governor’s Commission on Economic Development and Job Creation (VA), the Governor’s Independent Bipartisan Advisory Commission on Redistricting (VA), and as chairman of the Board of Trustees of the University of the District of Columbia. He is a frequent speaker on educational, political, and legal issues.
Jim graduated with honors from Howard University (including first in his Army ROTC class) and the Howard University School of Law and has earned honorary degrees from the University of Richmond, Virginia State University, St. Paul’s College, Randolph Macon College, Marymount University and Northern Virginia Community College. He served as law clerk to the Honorable Spottswood W. Robinson III of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.
Jim Dyke 0:00
had the opportunity to attend the 1963 march on Washington. And to participate in that and to hear Dr. King speak. And to understand exactly what the civil rights movement was all about.
JB Holston 0:20
Welcome to fresh take a candid interview series featuring thought leaders and innovators from across the capital region. These one on one conversations, highlight the incredible work happening in our communities, and showcase both where we are and where we are going as a region.
JB Holston 0:40
My guest today is Jim dike with McGuire woods. And Jim has an extraordinary background. I'm going to I'm going to take 45 minutes here, Jim, just introduce you. Because by the time I get through all of your accomplishments, I think will be it will be at the end of the end of the conversation. I'll keep it a little bit briefer for folks. But it really is extraordinary. So just by way of background for folks fresh takes is our series of conversations with thought leaders in the region and nationally on a variety of different topics. And I'm delighted to to welcome Jim today we could literally talk about anything and everything that we've ever talked about any fresh take with Jim and he would have had value to add in that conversation. But I'm particularly interested in talking about how the region has been growing and developing regional development and inclusive growth, which is a big focus, Jim for our work going forward. By way of introduction for folks who don't know you, Jim, Jim's practice covers corporate legislative education, government relations, economic development and municipal law. He previously served as Virginia Secretary of Education under former Virginia Governor L. Douglas Wilder and his domestic policy adviser to former vice president Walter Mondale. He was included in the Washingtonian magazine's list of 150 most powerful people in the Washington region. He was named to the power 100 by the Washington Business Journal. He's been named eight times by Virginia business Magazine as one of the 50 most influential Virginian. So I think we just divide that 50 by eight, Jim and I think that makes you one of those six, most influential energetic that's how that math works.
JB Holston 2:17
Right. He's, he's well known throughout the region for a range of accomplishments, but also for his service. Jim was chair of the Greater Washington Board of Trade in 2010. He was appointed by Virginia Governor McDonald to be the Commonwealth representative on the Almada Board of Directors where he served for three years and chaired the Governance Committee. He was chair of the Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce Chair of the Northern Virginia Business Roundtable, president of the Northern Virginia Community College Educational Foundation and chair of the emerging Business Forum. She was a graduate from Howard both as an undergrad and from the law school, and has more honorary degrees, and then I can count Jim, welcome. Thanks again for joining us today.
Jim Dyke 3:05
My pleasure. Thank you so much. I've enjoyed watching your previous a fresh take. So I feel honored to be to be on today. Thank you.
JB Holston 3:13
Well, thank you, I'm glad we have a chance to go through this and also to record it. You know, we find that a lot of folks enjoy the opportunity to hear these when they're when they're off running on their podcast, and they run on their, on their on their machines, etc. Let's talk a little bit. This is just a total casual question, Jim. When when, when travel opens up again, where's the where's the first place that you and your wife might look to travel next?
Jim Dyke 3:42
Well, my wife is pretty focused on going to the Greek islands. So I suspect we'll be doing that along with visiting our children. So that's the top of the bucket list right now is the Greek islands. So I'm looking forward. Great.
JB Holston 3:54
Yeah, no, that's terrific. Well, that's on our bucket list here. So maybe we'll coordinate. But yeah, it's it's hard to imagine and given what we all been living through what it might be like being on a Greek island right now. But we're all we're all going to start imagining that. Again. We just a little bit about your background. And I want to talk a little bit about what you if you don't mind, Jim, what you consider the really formative things that led you to, to where you are you've you've you've been in federal, state government and politics. You've been a lawyer you've lived in throughout the region went to Howard, you graduated at the top of your class from Howard law, I should have mentioned that. You worked on Senator Mondale's campaign. You worked in the White House, you were the first black Secretary of Education in Virginia, in the country. And so really the question, Jim, is you reflect back on that, what were what were the pivotal moments What, what, what do you attribute your success to?
Jim Dyke 4:53
Well, there's several things that sort of pop to mind. The first is having loving parents who were committed to Seeing that I had an opportunity to develop to my full potential My mother was a public school teacher in the District of Columbia. for 30 years, my father was a postal worker, because at that time, those were one of the few opportunities that were available to him. I was born in the District of Columbia, I moved to Prince George's County when I was about six or seven was raised in Prince George's County, then moved back into the district and had been in Virginia, one way or the other since 1976. And my mother made it clear to me when I was growing up, what my options were in life, she said to me, Look, you have two options. One is you can get a good education, and develop to your full potential and become a instrument of social change to make this a better world for everybody. Or option number two is I will kill you. Now, I was, I was not a Rhodes Scholar, but I thought I was gonna go with option number one. So that sort of inspired me to be the best that I could be. I then, when I was, I guess, a rising senior in high school, I had the opportunity to attend the 1963 march on Washington, and to participate in that and to hear Dr. King speak, and to understand exactly what the civil rights movement was all about, and the need to work hard for equality. And I figured that I wanted to be a part of that I up until that point, I had wanted to major in math, he honest with you. But at that point, I decided, I'm going to go and study political science and study and go to law school, because that's the way you become a social change agent. And as a result of that, that inspiration, I decided that I was going to try to see if I can involve myself and as I think about it, now, I'm recalling the the hit play Hamilton, which I'm sure you may have seen or heard about, but
JB Holston 6:59
my kids have memorized every song in that. But one one
Jim Dyke 7:03
song that jumps out to me that ties into what you just asked me is where they say that no one really knows how the game is played the art of the trade, how the sausage is made, unless you're in the room where it happens. And I figured if I was going to be involved in making social change, especially since I saw how government policy impacted my life, for example, I said, I grew up in Prince George's County. Well, at that point in time, the schools were segregated. And even though I lived close to three or four white schools, I had to catch a bus to ride past those schools, a school bus But not only that, I have to catch a school bus, I had to catch a Greyhound bus in front of our farm and ride to where I would then catch the school bus. And then the state and the county paid for that. And I saw at that point that that's how government can impact the quality of life, the whole issue of equity, inclusiveness. And so I felt that I needed to be engaged, and put myself in a position where I was in the room where it happened, and could help change some of these policies. And then there's a personal note that is significant for me. And that is a 42 years ago, I married the love of my life. Ellen, who I everything that I am today is a result of having her as my partner because we are indeed partners. She's a lawyer. She's the smartest person I've ever met, the most caring person I've met. And our experience has helped shaped me in making some of these social change issues because we have an interracial marriage. Ellen is Jewish. Our kids are very diverse. In fact, we have four children. Ellen had a son from from a previous marriage, who was about nine years old when we were married. And the first three years of our marriage, we had three daughters. So they will like one, two, and three. And our family has become very diverse. Two of our daughters are involved in interracial marriages, just like we are. Our third daughter is married to a Muslim young man from Syria. And and so if you look at our family, it has exposed us to a lot of different things that I was certainly sensitive to how race played a role. But I also became quickly aware of the fact that religion and women having different issues, things that I had never experienced or at least did not feel them. But to the extent that I'm able to walk in someone else's shoes and see how it impacts them, that has helped shaped me as far as being advocates for issues and it was brought home. Back when I guess was 2017 or whenever it was when President Trump instituted this Muslim ban. Basically, the timing of it was that our daughter and her husband who was Muslim from Syria, were in Dubai. visiting his his mother, and we were concerned about whether or not they'd be able to come back into the country because he was Muslim. And that's something that I guess up until that point, I probably would never be on my radar screen. But the point being, if you put yourself in others footsteps, it helps you realize why it's so important to fight for equity, for justice, and for inclusiveness. So it's probably more than you wanted to hear. But those were great fundamental in my life.
JB Holston 10:30
That's terrific. Well, look, your compliments about your wife remind me of the compliments I would make about my wife. He's also an attorney. Jim, so that was terrific, the Muslim ban. I was dean of engineering Computer Science at the time that was implemented. And we had a lot of our grad students who were Muslim. And I tell you, you know, you talked about living in someone else's shoes, the stress, those people suddenly were being put under, not knowing if they'd ever be able to see their family members, again, worrying about driving across state lines, literally, when they haven't ever been thinking, and these are people were getting PhDs in electrical engineering. Oh, yeah. Yeah, yeah. And, and,
Jim Dyke 11:09
and, and our family had another added. Plus, because our son who is an attorney, as well, who lives in San Mateo, volunteered, he went out to the airport in San Francisco to be one of the volunteer lawyers to help make sure they can help citizens get back in the country. And so that's how our family has been impacted. I mean, we're sort of like a traveling United Nations family. So yeah, we're sensitive to all these issues.
JB Holston 11:34
Yeah. Well, that's terrific. Let's talk a little bit about a bit more about education. And you know, what I love to do, Jim, in our conversation is talk a little bit about how systems have improved and how they have improved over the last, the last period of time, particularly in the region. And, you know, you, you value education, obviously, you've been involved in educational system, you've been a secretary of education, as you think about where we are with particularly the public education systems in the region. How we do and, you know, are we making progress? Generally, particularly with respect to inclusion, and what do we still need to do,
Jim Dyke 12:15
we have a lot to do in that area, to be perfectly honest with you. And my starting point for how important education is, is a historical point. And that is, if you go back to the days of slavery, you will find that the worst offense a person could commit was to teach a slave to read. And the reason was, people realize that once a person is educated, you are not going to hold them down and enslave them. So that's why it was clear that every step was taken to try to make sure that African Americans were not provided equal access to education. And this region has a history of that I mentioned, when I grew up in Prince George's County, the schools were segregated. Well, in Virginia, that that was the case. But it was even beyond that. As you know, the schools in Virginia had been segregated from pre k up through higher ed, they had separate systems, for blacks and for whites. And as a result of that, obviously, there were equal unequal educational opportunities. The Supreme Court in 1954 said that's unconstitutional Brown versus Board of Education. And so instead of then moving to try to do something about it, to make sure that we had integrated systems, what did Virginia do? they instituted massive resistance, and said, we're not going to do that. And it was not until we were able to in massive resistance, that Virginia reluctantly started to move to integrate the schools. Now, as a result of that, we've got a tremendous disparity and an equity and education system in Virginia. And we're doing all we can to try to address it. And I'll give you one example, that I'm purely, really focused on this year. And that is the fact that because we were denied opportunities for higher education, we had to create the historically black colleges and universities to serve the black students. And Virginia has for now to public and to private. And those schools consistently have been underfunded, in Virginia, right up until this very day. And even though they've been underfunded, they've been able to, to perform. One of the things we look at is that there was a recent study by an outfit called education reform now, that looked at what was actually going on in schools, not only in Virginia, but nationwide. And one of the things that popped out was in Virginia, about 34% of the population between 18 and 24, are either black or Hispanic. And when you look at the 15 public institutions of higher ed in Virginia to see what their enrollment is, of students who fall in that category, you find that only Three public institutions are educating at least that number are more. And two of those three are historically black colleges and universities, Norfolk State and Virginia State. Old Dominion is also doing that, but the rest of the schools are not. That is a travesty, that means they are not serving not only minority students. But the same report showed that they were not serving Pell eligible students, which is, which is the metric for determining low income and students who receive aid. And if you look at that number, in Virginia, of the 15 worst public institutions in the country, as far as educating minorities, and low income students, 1/3 of those 15 are in Virginia, that is an absolute disgrace. And Virginia needs to step up. And I'm and I think the timing is right, because right now, the General Assembly is going to be coming into special session in August. And they're going to be deciding how to allocate money under the American rescue plan act, there's gonna be millions of dollars of federal money that can be used in a way to address some of these equities. And I'm calling on the General Assembly to step up and make significant funding grants to our historically black colleges and universities to make sure that they operate on a level playing field so that they can educate their students, not only minority students, but anybody who wants to get a quality education. And on top of that, what I'm suggesting is we have what we call financial aid in the Commonwealth. We also have Tuition Assistance Grants, which go to students, who are Virginia residents going to private institutions. And what I'm also suggesting is at the General Assembly step up, and say, looking at our dismal record, as far as other other schools, educating young people who are low income, that we provide an incentive of 1500 or $2,000 incentive for each Pell eligible student, that these institutions are able to enroll as an incentive to get them to start providing an educational opportunity for those students. I think now is the time to do that. But all of us focused on social justice, it's a time to step up. And I know the General Assembly has the authority to do it. Because if you look back at massive resistance, it didn't take them a study, to decide they were going to take steps to keep the schools from integrating, they need that same vigor and commitment now, to make sure we provide equal educational opportunities for our students. And while they're doing that, that also would include our dreamers, which is a whole new category of students. And we need to do more to educate all those students. And the same thing provides in K 12, we need to do more, to make sure that low income students are getting the support they need to get an education because that's the only way you're going to accumulate wealth in this region or in this country, to education and homeownership. And those areas that traditionally, Virginia has has denied. And let me add one other thing. When I talk about the HBCUs. What we're asking Virginia to do, Maryland just did their republican governor and democratically control General Assembly in acted legislation to provide significant new funding to their HBCUs because they had traditionally underfunded those schools. Now in their case, it took litigation to get that to happen. I'm hopeful and we will be progressive and move forward on our own and take these steps.
JB Holston 18:39
Yeah. legislation, not litigation. Yes. Let's talk a little bit about early childhood. And I know you're the Virginia Early Childhood Education Foundation Board. How do you think about the role of early childhood education pre k? And again, back to the question, how is the region doing on providing that opportunity?
Jim Dyke 19:06
Yes, well, early childhood education. It's always been a favorite of mine. And I know you've just you had Steven Moray on a couple of weeks ago. And Stephen and I, along with Debbie de Croce from the Hampton Roads Community Foundation, co chaired a task force for the Virginia early childhood foundation to focus on child care and early childhood education. That to me, if I only had one program to invest in, in education, it would be early childhood education, because that's when a young person's mind is formed, the foundation is laid. If those kids get access to early childhood education, when they get to kindergarten, they'll be ready to get into that educational pipeline on a level playing field. The statistics show clearly that those who have not given that opportunity perform well below others and it takes a long time for them to catch up if they ever catch So this pandemic, which is one of the positive things from it, is that because people had to stay home, and the kids are home with them, they all of a sudden realize how important and essential childcare is in early childhood education. And so we're starting, we created a program called Virginia promise. And it's an initiative that, thankfully, the governor and the First Lady in Virginia were the leaders in making sure that we invest in early childhood education. And we've got a program going the General Assembly, put some money into that in the last session, there's still more steps to be taken. But that is absolutely critical, because it not only helps give those kids the foundation they need. But it also helps move women back into the workforce. That's one of the things that we've noticed during this whole COVID situation was we had a number of women who had to leave the workforce because of a lack of accessible childcare. And so we're talking about investing funds, we want the state, and they've moved to sort of consolidate the people of the entities that provide this into under the Department of Education, so that we can make sure that there's a focused approach, that we can address the fact that we're not paying early childhood teachers, the wages or the salaries they need for the job that they're doing. We need to work hard to make sure that happens. And we need to make sure that every child in Virginia has access to early childcare and early childhood education, regardless of income status. But clearly, we ought to focus on those from low income areas, because they are the ones who need it most. So it's a big issue. It's something that that we need to work on. And I'm proud to be associated with.
JB Holston 21:46
Great. Yeah, there have been some have said that they're the Koch COVID. In many ways, it's kind of a gender recession, because it did differentially affect women, to such a such a huge degree, and getting them back into the workforce is has got to be a critical, a critical priority. Let's broaden it out a little bit talk again, about inclusive recovery recovering from from the recession, a large black and Latinx ownership of small businesses has historically been been pretty high. But these are not necessarily businesses that are you know, those that venture capital is going to going to finance and a lot of those businesses were just decimated. Bye, bye by COVID. What what are the kinds of things that that we should be thinking about trying to do to bring them back? Because it's, you know, it's one thing to give them pathways back through things like childcare, etc. It's another thing if you've owned a small business that suddenly had to go under or is racially, under what what are some of the things that come to mind that we collectively can be doing to encourage the recovery of those small businesses.
Jim Dyke 22:52
So that we can we can set up programs to provide them with access to capital, so that they can invest in their companies. That's one of the things that I've been involved when I was chair of the Fairfax County Chamber, which is now the Northern Virginia chamber, we created a program called emerging Business Forum, which focused on the fact two things one is that we have a large number of women and minority owned firms in this region that we want to be very proud of, we want to be celebrating them. But we also need to be growing the numbers of businesses. And that meant helping to provide access to capital for those businesses, so that there have the opportunity to grow. And to expand, we also need to make sure that we encourage the majority businesses, to partner with these firms to give them the opportunity to participate in contracts, federal contracts, local efforts in development efforts, we need to help them get access to capital. And right now, that's something that needs to be very much on the inclusive this agenda. And I'm glad to see that there's some discussion going on in the region about doing that. And that clearly is something that I think we need to do, because one is the right thing to do socially. But from a business perspective, to the extent we're growing businesses and making them more successful, you're creating more taxpayers, you're creating a growth for our economy, we all benefit. So even if you don't feel in your heart of hearts, it's the right thing to do. If your wallet is going to benefit, you ought to be on board for this. So I think that's the most direct way we can do it. And we also need to make sure that we hold people accountable for making sure that those businesses have access to capital. And that means involving some of the major entities and some of them are members of the Greater Washington partnership, who are looking to see what they can do to help infuse capital into some of these businesses. So we ought to be encouraging that sort of activity.
JB Holston 24:48
Yeah, that's great. Yeah, one of the things we've been looking at is how can we grow the CDF II and the MDI sector to be the strongest in the country. You know, there's a lot of great Institute tuitions here. But there's no reason that we shouldn't be the best in the country. And I think that's, that's one element of the solution, because they're often at the front end of that provision of various kinds of capital, not just financial capital, but other sorts of capital as well. And if we can collectively get behind that as an objective, we think there's some real opportunity here.
Jim Dyke 25:18
Yeah, I think that's great. And I'm hopeful that your your inclusiveness initiative is going to be addressing those.
JB Holston 25:24
Yeah, it absolutely will. And the good news is, I think the big financial institutions see it as directly interesting, a little orthogonal, but not entirely, the, one of the things we're finding is in the world of attracting the next generation of talent, to move to the region, the region that looks the most inclusive for this next generation is the most attractive that you know, it's kind of a different era than 20 years ago. And Gee, if it was the innovative place where I could go and do text or whatever, we're you know, a lot of our companies are hearing, boy, if you want to get and you want to retain that great talent, we have a lot more flexibility now to work wherever they want to work. You better you better authentically be really driving toward a very, very inclusive community and pagri of opportunities.
Jim Dyke 26:09
Can I mention one other thing I should have mentioned when I talked about the HBCUs and inclusiveness. We also have a great asset in Virginia that we ought to recognize, and I want to recognize it because it's a member of the Greater Washington partnership. And that's Marymount University. Marymount, this past year was recognized as the first Hispanic serving institution in Virginia, which is to paraphrase Joe Biden, it's a big deal. Okay. And that is one example another example of the fact of an underserved community that we ought to be getting behind and supporting them. And I just want to give a shout out to them because, in fact, the governor during his Commonwealth address, gave a shout out to Marymount about what they were doing in that area. And so I'm hopeful that they will be able to participate in this in this effort as well. Yeah,
JB Holston 27:00
they've been a good partner in our kolab efforts to digital skills, digital certifications. We found a number of the institutions you mentioned have been some of the earliest adopters of that because they I think they regard this as an alternative pathway towards successful careers that they can be providing to their their students with great success. So they've been a great a great partner.
Jim Dyke 27:25
And they've also been very good in the area of dreamers. I mentioned them earlier. They've they have more dreamers enrolled at Marymount than any other private institution in the Commonwealth of Virginia. And indeed, there was legislation just passed by the General Assembly that the Marymount played a part in advocating for that expanded the availability of tag and other financial aid programs to Dreamers. And this is a secret, don't tell anybody but the governor is going to be signing that bill at Marymount later on this month. So that's another plus. plus for our region.
JB Holston 28:03
That's great. Well, we'll make sure that no one that's listening to this oops. There's us. That's great. That's good to hear. Took a little bit about housing. You know, the, it's been a crazy housing world for the last 12 months in parts of the country where you know, you've suddenly seen the suburbs become, you know, ridiculously overpriced, but a lot of concern about the cities, you know, these are people gonna flee the cities, or people are going to, you know, what, I know you folks work on the question of housing and affordable housing, affordable housing stock across the across the region. How do you feel we're doing on that topic?
Jim Dyke 28:43
We have a lot of work to do there. And that's one of the things I'm proud of what we've done it McGuire woods, both the law firm and the consulting firm. As a result of what happened last year with George Floyd, the law firm, created a social justice committee to focus on what we could do to help address some of these issues. And as a result of that our land use people out in Tyson's looked at the book, a color of law, which talked about housing, and how those racial policies that impact it. And we've got a great group of people that I've been working with, they've reached out to myself and my colleague, Tracy bainer, and we put together a report on zoning and housing discrimination, which was released earlier this year. It got a lot of coverage in the Virginia papers, and it focused on the fact that Virginia's history, and zoning and housing was just as horrible as its history in education. It used to be that we had redlining and we segregated housing in Virginia, to have white neighborhoods and black neighborhoods. And that continued for a number of years when the courts finally said that's unconstitutional. Once again, instead of trying to comply and make up for what was done, Virginia shifted another two rection said, Okay, well, we'll use zoning laws as a way of segregating housing. As a result of it. We've got housing in Virginia, and it's more segregated now than it was 50 years ago. And we are looking at our part two of our study, as to steps that can be taken to address that, it falls under the broad category of making more affordable housing available, which helps the population in general, giving people opportunity to have access to housing, it means looking at things like inclusive zoning, requiring that you make affordable housing available throughout the jurisdiction, there are going to be things that need to be done in that area. And we're going to be looking at some suggested solutions. But the issue is much broader than that if you're going to talk about housing discrimination, because as I mentioned earlier, the two paths to building wealth are homeownership and education. And Virginia traditionally, has taken steps to put obstacles up in both those areas as far as minorities were concerned. So we have an obligation to take steps to address that. And you need to look at the fact that when you talk about housing, it's more than just affordable housing. And that's that's a regional issue, by the way, because it's a competitiveness issue, because I know you're focused on region, and what do we do as a region? How do we compete? Well, we need to have affordable housing in order to attract people to come here to know that job, people who come here for jobs will have affordable housing. So that's a pretty big issue for our region. Generally, when you get into it, to see what has to be done to address the racial discrimination component of it, it's more than just talking about affordable housing. It's looking at, for example, the steps that are taken in the in the financial arena, for example, to make it more difficult for minorities to buy homes, things like access to loans, or credit scores, or risk based pricing, or mortgage insurance. These are things that impact the ability of people to buy homes. And so in addition to addressing changing zoning laws, we need to also focus in on those kinds of issues. Now, while our report is going to focus primarily on on the land use component of it, there are other areas that need to be addressed. And what we're going to call for an hour report is that other parts of the sector need to step up and address these issues. And it needs to be done on a regional basis. Because that no, one of the things you're concerned about is how do we work more together as a region? Well, this is clearly an area, we can do that, we expect our part two report to come out in August. And we hope that we can address issues that will allow us to move in that direction. And once again, it the implications of it are more than just buying a house. One, there was an article written in the New York Times, for example, it talked about because of the redlining that went on. in neighborhoods, for example, let's just take the genuine that because blacks were confined to certain parts of the city, in let's take Richmond, for example. They were deprived had the opportunity to have parks and other things in their in their areas, there was more pavement there, because they will also usually put with commercial development. So there were a lot of asphalt there and a lot of roads. One of the results of that was those parts of that jurisdiction have more heat than other parts than the ones that were set up for whites, for example. And as a result of the fact that he was captured, you have that created health related issues, things like diabetes, and asthma and blood pressure, which created health care, sort of consequences of this racial housing discrimination. So it takes a comprehensive approach to address these problems. And we're asking Virginia and the region to step up and try to address these problems.
JB Holston 34:05
I had a conversation this morning with one of our board members talking about health equity. Jim Yes. And one of the observations that this person was making is that, you know, didn't just looking back and looking forward to look at some of the algorithms that the AI systems are using now to determine you mentioned credit scores, but you know, to determine allocation of health, opportunity, insurance prices, etc. There's a lot of work to do to make sure that the new systems we're building don't just build in the biases of the old system. You're
Jim Dyke 34:36
absolutely correct. And just as an aside, has nothing to do housing. But you talk about algorithms and how do we assess things. There was an article just this morning in the paper about the National Football League all of a sudden recognizing that the way they calculated the results of brain concussions and how they were playing paying players who were injured as a result of that. There was a Race based component of that which discriminated against African Americans, which is absolutely outrageous. So there are a lot of different areas that are impacted by this discrimination that don't fall in neat little categories. But the consequence of it, and now is the time if we're ever going to address it. Now is the time If not now, when?
JB Holston 35:21
I that's it. That's That's exactly right. And I think the the partnership companies have all decided that inclusive growth is the focus for the Partnership for exactly, exactly those reasons. We talked a little bit about transportation, Jim, and, you know, obviously, that has consequences, the historic decisions about what our transportation system looks like, has consequences for for the inequities, you know, where highways are in arts, where they're finished and cetera, it may be an opportunity to reimagine transportation in a pretty big way to the you know, people are going to go back to work in different ways, potentially. And boy, we got to be thinking about sustainability, and resilience, as we're thinking about these things as well, as you think about but but good things have happened, you know, things like the metro now coalition county gathered to make sure that there was funding at an appropriate level that when it hadn't been etc, went, how are you thinking about transportation? Were you How are you thinking about where the work needs to be to ensure that we've got, you know, an equitable, inclusive, modern, resilient, sustainable transportation infrastructure for the long haul?
Jim Dyke 36:37
Yeah, well, clearly, that's a big issue for the region. And we need to collaborate on that. And in fact, once again, talking about timing I just saw just today, there was a report released by Connect DMV, which talks about the need to collaborate on a number of different issues. I think, Victor Hoskins, my good friend out of town, the Economic Development Authority chaired that particular component of it. And they talked about the fact that we needed to work together as a region to address a number of these issues. That's how we landed Amazon. We were out there all competing for it. But then when Amazon came out and said, these are the top 20, and there was one site in DC, one site in Maryland, one site in Virginia. That's what brought together the legislative bodies in all three jurisdictions to say, wait a minute, if we work together and get this thing here, we will all benefit regardless of where which of the three is located. And we will all benefit. We need to do that on a grander scale, as far as economic development, but also transportation, because our transportation issues are in fact, regional, they don't stop at the jurisdiction. Metro covers all three areas, the step we took there is tremendous, we still have a lot of work to do as far as bus system, and providing bus service to make sure it's available, especially for low income people who may not have other ways of getting around, we need to make sure that our creative community planning is related to the transportation system, so that people where we locate the affordable housing, it's close to some mass transit, so people will have ways to access that and access to jobs, we need to also talk about how we use rail, for example, we need to make sure endless efforts have been made in this direction, but more needs to be done to so that Mart trains can go not only from Maryland to Union Station, but through Union Station into for jinya. To deliver people, the same thing for vre going into into Maryland, we need to look at things like extending the Express Lanes, which I'm glad to see we're doing now, as far as American Legion bridge is concerned. But we also be need need to be exploring other another Potomac crossing that make it easier for people have access in this area. And we need to make sure we emphasize that not only do we have to provide the transportation, and we also have to provide walkable communities. I know a number of people out there in this region have been working on that Stu Schwartz side is a good friend of mine, who I know has been a big advocate for those having walkable communities. And we're starting to see that that is starting to take place. Tyson's corner where my offices is a perfect example. We need to be able to make communities attractive, especially now as the millennials are looking to decide where they're going to live. They're going to be looking at things not so much buying cars, but what's mass transit, can you walk to work and your bike to work. We need to do all this stuff. And it needs to be done on a regional basis. So I was really glad to see that report come out today that Walter and connect DMV put out and I know it's consistent with what Greater Washington partnership is doing. We need to realize we're all in this thing together. If businesses come to this area, if they locate here we will all benefit. It is a competitiveness issue. Regardless of how you feel in your heart, it's company additive, it's a business winner, it will grow our economy and we all need to be on board.
JB Holston 40:05
Yeah. Yeah, I think, no question. And it certainly is the mission of the partnership, the real vision we published about a month and a half ago dealt with a lot of those issues. The gym that you mentioned, a lot of the work we've been doing has been to try to make sure you know, things are connected in the way that the and you mentioned that the Amazon recruit that was part of what brought me out here was I saw that from the other side, you know, I was in Colorado, trying to get get those folks there. And we would have meeting after meeting where they say, well, we just pulled all our executives at Amazon and all want to move here to Denver. But you know, if we look at the high red infrastructure, if we look at the pipeline of talent, if we look at all these other issues that matter, other parts of the country that you have that you want things a partnership didn't I love this about it was that they got 89, higher ed leaders to sign the same letter saying we don't care Amazon, where in the region, you can just come to the region. That's important. And boy, that was not happening in most other parts of the parts of the country.
Jim Dyke 41:02
And that's, that's makes us unique, we need to take advantage of it. The Workforce pipeline issue, Virginia's all over that. It's something that we need to be doing on a regional basis. Because we need cybersecurity workers, we need health care workers, we need people working in those high demand jobs that are going unfilled now. And we can do it on a regional basis by helping pool our resources, and to make sure that we're training every every potential person in this region to fill those jobs. It means growing our economy. And if you are not a social justice person, but if you like money, you need to be engaged.
JB Holston 41:41
That's exactly right. I mean, we've, McKenzie has been doing a lot of work with us. And you know, one of the things they've done is they've quantified the benefit to the national GDP, if we close the racial wealth gap. Oh, yeah, you know,
Jim Dyke 41:52
we're talking benefit.
JB Holston 41:54
That's right, we're talking a bit to your point, it's a billion and a half trillion dollars, that our economy would be bigger. If and when we close that, we close that gap. So you know, you, as you point out whether or not your motivation, social justice, or your pocketbook, there is no more immediate opportunity than to then to have a more inclusive set of pathways and opportunities for the child here and for the talent that will come.
Jim Dyke 42:20
And I'm so glad to see that the Greater Washington partnership is focused on that. That's why I'm glad to be available to help you and your whole inclusive of effort effort. As you can see, I'm I'm pretty fired up about this issue, I'm I realized that I've been able to help in some ways going forward, but I am more invested. Now Now that we have nine grandchildren, I want to make sure they have the kind of future that will enable them to grow to their full potential. And that means making sure that we take steps to provide equal opportunity for everyone, we will all benefit. And so I'm just excited by the work you're doing. And I'm looking forward to, to helping come up with new ideas and to make sure, quite honestly, that we hold people accountable. That's one of the things that DWP can do is we need to not only talk about this, but we need to ask companies, well, how many minorities and women do you have on your boards of directors? How many do you have in the C suite? We need to keep score, so people know what's actually going on. It's not enough just to talk about it, you actually have to do it, and you have to be held accountable. And that's why I raised the issue early about the HBCUs. And education funding. We need the General Assembly needs to hold people accountable. Maryland is set example for us. I'm hopeful Virginia is going to follow that lead. Right? Well, look, I
JB Holston 43:43
hope everyone across the region looks to what others are doing in the region as potential best practices to emulate rather than worry about. And you're right. I think the good news for the partnership companies is you mentioned this, it's a moment in time. I think they all understand that this is a unique moment in American history, and unique moment for businesses because they're expected to be more trusted than other institutions, which is an odd an odd thing. But that is true. And they're expected to be leaning in and solving. solving these issues and
Jim Dyke 44:14
business community has to take the lead. That's why I'm working so closely with DWP, I work closely with the Virginia State chamber with business organizations. We have a vested interest in getting these things done. If not now, when the other thing is right. The time is right.
JB Holston 44:32
I think that's exactly where I ended up. The faster we are the more we win, even if again if people just want to think about it from a competitiveness standpoint. Well, Jim, we're at time I knew we would get there quicker than I wanted. I did want to thank you for your time today. This has been a terrific conversation. We look forward to to working with you on on these issues and and more. And I think I just echo what one of the folks in the chat mentioned which Just to say preach, and thank you for all that you've done. Thank you for all that you're doing.
Jim Dyke 45:05
But my pleasure and thank you for focusing on this issue and I'm available to help in any way I can. This is too important not to be 150% committed to it. Thank you.
Unknown Speaker 45:20
Thanks for tuning into fresh take. This episode was produced by Jenna climb, Justin Matheson Turner, Christian Rodriguez and Nina Sharma. If you like what you heard, share it with your network. For more information and to access all of our podcasts, events and publications, visit Greater Washington partnership calm