Cracking Down on Owners of Vacant Properties Evading Taxes

vacant properties

Hello DC Neighbors,

It will likely come as no surprise to you that the District is in the midst of a housing crisis, with too many residents struggling to access safe and affordable places to live. This problem is only getting worse as pandemic protections are coming to an end and rents are increasing across the city.

For years, my office has been using all the tools in our toolbox to protect tenants, including bringing lawsuits to preserve affordable housing, cracking down on housing discrimination, and disrupting the business model that drives out long-term residents for quick profits. Recently, we've begun to use another tool from that toolbox: suing the owners of vacant properties who are unlawfully evading taxes on those properties.

More than 3,000 homes are sitting empty across the District during a housing crisis. To help address this challenge, the DC Council imposed higher taxes on vacant and blighted houses to motivate owners to keep properties in use and in good repair. My office filed a lawsuit against the owner of 1000 C St NE, a crumbling and vacant Ward 6 home, for making false claims to the District to avoid paying higher taxes on the property since at least 2015.

Learn more in this Washington Post article.

This lawsuit is the first of its kind, but it will not be the last. We’re making clear that if you own a vacant home, you must register it and pay all required taxes. If you try to cheat the system and keep your home vacant and in disrepair, especially as so many neighbors struggle to find housing, my office will hold you accountable.

Karl A. Racine
Attorney General 

Our Country’s Hate Crisis

Our country has a hate problem, and if we don’t come together to address it, I fear it will only get worse. In recent weeks, we witnessed 10 people get murdered in a Buffalo grocery store in a horrific, racist attack targeting Black people. This act of terrorism is a stain on our country, and we continue to grieve with the people of Buffalo, and all of those who have lost loved ones to acts of hate.

The day after the shooting in Buffalo, there was another racially motivated shooting, this one against the Taiwanese community in California. These hate crimes are horrific, and honestly, terrifying. Hate, racism, and terrorism should have no place in the District or the United States. Our children deserve a world where they are embraced as friends and neighbors in their communities, no matter how they look, where they come from, or who they love. We have to keep working toward that future.

We have compiled resources for communities and survivors of hate, building off my yearlong initiative on addressing hate here.

Struggling to Find Baby Formula?

No family should have to worry about whether they can feed their children. My office worked with Councilmember Brianne Nadeau on crucial legislation that will help ensure families across the District can get the formula for their babies at a reasonable price. I urge the Council to quickly enact this bill banning price gouging on formula, so that my office can enforce the law and protect families.

You can report price gouging on baby formula to my office by calling (202) 442-9828 or emailing

If you are struggling to find formula to feed your baby, here is a fact sheet from the federal government that offers some guidance.

Know Your Rights While Protesting


In the aftermath of the leaked Supreme Court opinion that indicated that the Supreme Court will likely overturn Roe v. Wade, many DC residents took to the streets to express how devastating and dangerous that decision would be. Those voices matter—and I’m with them.

In the weeks to come, protests and shows of collective support for reproductive rights and access to abortion care are likely to continue. If you are joining a protest in DC to stand up for abortion access and gender equality—or if you are protesting here for any other reason—read about your rights and how to stay safe here.

Standing Up for Workers’ Rights

wage theft

Did you know that wage theft affects millions of workers nationwide?

Denying workers wages or benefits that they have earned, failing to pay minimum wage or overtime, and misclassifying employees as independent contractors are all forms of illegal wage theft. It occurs across job types and income levels, though workers in low-wage jobs and immigrants are especially vulnerable. My office has made it a priority to stand up for vulnerable workers who may not know their rights and to hold employers accountable when they take advantage of District workers. That’s why, in the last five years, we’ve launched more than 75 investigations and recovered over $7 million for workers and the District by bringing suing employers who violate the law. Learn more about how we stand up for workers’ rights here.

Suing Mark Zuckerberg for Violating DC Data Privacy Laws

This week, my office sued Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg for directly participating in decision-making that led to the Cambridge Analytica data breach—the largest consumer privacy scandal in the nation’s history.

We have compiled evidence during a sweeping investigation showing that Zuckerberg contributed to Facebook’s lax oversight of user data and misleading privacy agreements. This allowed companies like Cambridge Analytica to obtain personal data from 87 million users, including over half of District residents, and use that data to manipulate the 2016 election. This lawsuit is not only warranted, but necessary. Misleading consumers, exposing their data, and violating the law comes with consequences, not only for companies that breach that trust, but also corporate executives.

Learn more about the lawsuit in this Washington Post article.

Recognizing DC Natives and Long-Term Residents

May 20th was DC Natives Day, a day to recognize native Washingtonians who have shaped our city. In recent years, we have seen far too many long-term residents get pushed out by developers hoping to make quick profits by displacing the residents who have called DC home for generations. We’re working to disrupt that business model and advocate for DC natives to ensure they’re treated fairly and given a chance to remain in our community. DC would not be the vibrant and diverse place we love without DC natives.

Watch my discussion with renowned local historian Derek Musgrove to learn more about DC's Black history and how the city has changed.

Happy Haitian Heritage Month, DC!


Happy Haitian Heritage Month, DC! This year marks the 218th anniversary of Haiti’s independence. Haiti was not only the first country to permanently eradicate chattel slavery; its fight for independence against French colonizers is also the only successful revolt by enslaved people.

Last week also included Haitian Flag Day, a day to celebrate Haiti’s history and heritage, and Haitians’ pride in their country and flag. As a Haitian American, I’m truly inspired by Haitians’ struggle for liberation and ongoing efforts to build a better future even while being forced to pay massive reparations to its enslavers for decades after regaining their freedom.

Learn more about Haiti’s history and revolution here.