Emilia Calma

Director of Policy & Research
D.C. Policy Center

Emilia is the Director of Policy & Research at the D.C. Policy Center. Her research focuses on racial equity, health equity, social policy, and workforce issues in the District of Columbia. Emilia has previously served as the Co-Director of the Policy Innovation Lab at Georgetown’s McCourt School of Public Policy and a Fellow at the Montgomery County Council.

Emilia holds a Bachelor of Arts from Carleton College and Master of Public Policy from Georgetown University’s McCourt School of Public Policy.

You can reach Emilia at emilia@dcpolicycenter.org.

Written By Emilia Calma

Testimony on Bill 24-0712, the “Domestic Worker Employment Rights Amendment Act of 2022”

In contrast to its stated intent, the bill may reduce opportunities for the most vulnerable workers. Little is known about the demographics and number of domestic workers in the District, and the bill does not examine the impact employment agreements will have on workers. By formalizing employment agreements, the bill may close doors to workers whose immigration status cannot be verified.

June 16, 2022 | Emilia Calma

The case for investing in trauma-informed management practices in the workplace: Knowledge, practice, and policy that can improve life outcomes in the District of Columbia

Individuals with trauma responses can face great difficulties in finding and retaining a job. Trauma responses oftentimes make it difficult for workers to handle everyday stressors at work. While many publicly-funded job training programs have adopted a trauma-informed approach, it is rare to find private employers who have adopted trauma-informed management practices as these changes are often considered difficult and outside of the scope of management.

March 30, 2022 | Emilia Calma

D.C. high school alumni reflections on their early career outcomes

Introduction Data exist on D.C.’s public and public charter school students’ high school graduation rates and student’s enrollment in postsecondary education six months after graduation. But beyond that six-month mark, in terms of publicly available data the picture goes dark: there is very little qualitative or quantitative information on early career outcomes…

November 10, 2021 | Emilia Calma

Observed disparities between 911 calls and crash reports

In D.C., the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) is responsible for planning and building the city’s transportation infrastructure, including where bicycle lanes, crosswalks, and safety features are installed. When making decisions about public infrastructure investments, DDOT relies on public crash data provided by the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) to understand where crashes happen in…

October 5, 2021 | Emilia Calma

The case for creating a local talent pipeline in the District of Columbia

The District of Columbia and the greater Washington metropolitan area have always been great places to live and work. High wages, high quality of life, and a stable hiring environment with a depth of talent has attracted workers from all parts of the nation and all corners of the world. Data from…

April 29, 2021 | Emilia Calma

Testimony of Emilia Calma on the “Sense of the Council to Declare Racism A Public Health Crisis” (Resolution 23-0990)

Good evening, Chairman Gray and members of the Committee on Health. My name is Emilia Calma and I am the Director of Research and Policy for the D.C. Policy Center, an independent, nonpartisan think tank committed to advancing policies for a strong and vibrant economy in the District of Columbia. I thank…

November 5, 2020 | Emilia Calma

The geography of environmental toxins in the District of Columbia

Living in a toxin-free environment is essential to people’s mental and physical health. Being exposed to chemicals from pollution in soil, air, and water has wide ranging health effects including acute asthma symptoms, hormone disruption, decreased mental ability, and cancer. A U.S. national environmental quality index determined that there are over 30…

October 15, 2020 | Emilia Calma

Road to recovery: What we have learned from other cities’ and states’ responses to COVID-19

Introduction October marks the seventh month of closures and job losses due to COVID-19. To combat the health and economic impacts of the pandemic, many jurisdictions, including the District of Columbia, have implemented emergency measures; adopted short-term policies to cushion the initial shocks, and are now looking for longer-term policies to aid…

October 6, 2020 | Emilia Calma