Four years ago, I ran to become the District’s first elected attorney general on a promise of establishing an independent Office of the Attorney General (OAG) that would use the law to serve the public interest. I pledged to vigorously protect our residents, advance the District’s interests in court, and become recognized as one of our country’s premier AG offices. While there is more work to be done, I believe we have lived up to that promise.
OAG has developed programs that reduce crime by getting kids out of the juvenile justice system and on the right path. We’ve taken legal action against slumlords and businesses that harm our residents. Over the past four years, OAG’s legal work has resulted in more than $2.5 billion in savings and benefits to the District and relief for harmed consumers. In the years ahead, we are committed to developing new strategies and initiatives to protect District residents. Our focus will include:
- Reducing gun violence and saving lives in the District: In response to an alarming spike in homicides, OAG launched a violence interruption pilot program — “Cure the Streets” — at two sites with some of the District’s highest rates of gun violence. This program uses proven public-health strategies that treat violence like a disease that can be interrupted, treated, and stopped from spreading. OAG is working to expand this program and is looking at other strategies to combat gun violence and to stem the flow of illegal guns into the District.
- Addressing the harmful effects of childhood trauma: In too many District communities, youth face debilitating poverty, exposure to violence, and abuse and neglect. These experiences can induce trauma that, if left untreated, can have long-term negative effects on kids’ brain development and their ability to stay on the right track. To support these youth, we will explore new strategies to increase access to mental and behavioral health services and early intervention programs that treat the symptoms of trauma.
- Fighting elder abuse and protecting vulnerable residents: Too many of our senior citizens are victimized by unscrupulous individuals and organizations. OAG has launched a Special Victims Unit to seek justice for seniors, children, and other vulnerable victims of abuse and violent crimes. We have used enhanced authority to protect seniors from fraudulent caregivers and scammers and will double down on these efforts in coordination with agency partners.
- Standing up for our civil and human rights: To better protect the civil rights of all District residents, OAG will dedicate resources to protecting residents from discrimination and other harm based on gender, race, religion, country of origin, sexual orientation, and disability.
I deeply appreciate the trust that District residents have placed in me and I am grateful for our talented, dedicated team of lawyers and professionals. I am also thankful for the strong support and consistent engagement of District residents, the Council, and the willingness of the Executive Office of the Mayor to partner on matters that help our residents.
As I embark on this second term, District residents can rest assured that OAG will not rest on its laurels; indeed, we are more committed and energized than ever to continue the important work of protecting and improving the lives of District residents. Together, we can move the District forward.
Karl A. Racine