WASHINGTON, D.C. – Attorney General Karl A. Racine today announced the continuation of grants to the community-based organizations that run the Office of Attorney General’s (OAG) Cure the Streets program. Continued investment in community-based violence reduction programs is a critical piece of a much larger effort to reduce crime and violence.
OAG also announced that it is granting two community organizations, First Shift Justice Project and DC Jobs with Justice, a total of $750,000 in grants to expand education and legal services programming for District workers. This will be the first full year of the Workplace Rights Grant Program’s operation.
“In order to truly engage with the community, you must meet them where they are,” said AG Racine. “Cure the Streets is a complement to broader city-wide efforts to reduce violence. I’m grateful to the DC Council for joining my office in funding Cure the Streets. The issue of worker rights is critical. It’s important for workers to understand their rights. These grants will facilitate just that.”
“I’m grateful for Attorney General Racine’s ongoing commitment to address gun violence through our 10 Cure the Streets locations,” said Councilmember Charles Allen (D-Ward 6). “This is hard, relationship-driven work that follows the data to focus on the most at-risk neighborhoods and people to make reductions in gun violence. And it’s been shown to work as an important tool we have in the fight to reduce gun violence now and in the long-term.”
“The District has many workplace laws to ensure our workers are treated with dignity, paid appropriately, and get time to care for themselves and families when necessary,” said Councilmember Elissa Silverman (I-At-Large). “But that doesn’t help workers who don’t know about or understand those laws. I so appreciate the work of the Attorney General and of the organizations receiving these grants to make sure that workers here, especially low- and moderate-income workers, know their rights and can get help to make them real.”
Cure the Streets
Cure the Streets is a community-driven public safety pilot program working to reduce gun violence in targeted neighborhoods across the District that have historically experienced some of the highest rates of gun violence. OAG originally launched Cure the Streets in 2018 with two sites in neighborhoods that have experienced high rates of gun violence. By January 2020, the program was operating in six sites in Wards 5, 7, and 8.
Reflecting AG Racine’s belief that continued investment in community-based violence reduction is a critical piece of a much larger effort to reduce crime and violence, OAG requested and received funding from the Council to expand the program in Fiscal Year 2022. Cure the Streets selected four additional areas that continue to experience high levels of gun violence for expansion. For the 2023 fiscal year, OAG will be contributing $6 million to fund the program and the DC Council will be contributing $4 million to fund the program.
OAG awards grants to nonprofit community-based organizations to implement a violence interruption program based on the international CURE Violence model. The organizations are selected through a competitive application process that evaluates their relationships and credibility with high-risk individuals in the target neighborhoods and their ability to successfully run the program. Cure the Streets now includes 10 program sites, operated by five different community-based organizations. OAG through a competitive process renewed the grants for the five organizations to operate the 10 sites for the 2023 fiscal year.
Six Original Cure the Streets Program Sites:
- Washington Highlands – Alliance of Concerned Men
- Marshall Heights – Alliance of Concerned Men
- Bellevue – Father Factor
- Truxton Circle – The National Association for the Advancement of Returning Citizens (NAARC)
- Trinidad/Arboretum – NAARC
- Trenton Park & Wahler Place – NAARC
Four Expansion Cure the Streets Program Sites, Launched in 2022
- Ivy City/Sursum Corda – Father Factor
- Brightwood Park/Petworth – InnerCity Collaborative Community Development Corporation
- Congress Heights (Congress Park/MLK) – Women in H.E.E.L.S.
- Historic Anacostia/Fairlawn – Father Factor
Workplace Rights Grant Program
In 2021, the DC Council created the Workplace Rights Grant Program to support community organizations’ efforts educating DC residents about their employment rights. The grant program will also help the organizations alert OAG about workers’ rights violations they are seeing in the community, so that OAG can respond and target its enforcement efforts accordingly.
- First Shift Justice Project seeks to prevent job loss, especially for working mothers in low-wage jobs in Wards 4,5,7 and 8 with a specific focus on DC workers’ rights laws. First Shift will provide individualized direct legal services, conduct community outreach, and give Know Your Rights presentations in collaboration with other community organizations in D.C.
- DC Jobs with Justice provides Know Your Rights education to District workers who speak non-English primary languages (Spanish, Amharic, Chinese, French, and Vietnamese), and will provide workplace rights education workshops on employment laws, minimum wage laws, wage theft prevention, paid family leave and paid sick leave.
OAG’s Efforts to Protect Workers
In 2021, OAG established the Workers’ Rights & Antifraud Section, which is dedicated to fighting wage theft and protecting District workers. Since gaining wage theft enforcement authority in 2017, OAG has launched more than 75 investigations and recovered over $7 million for workers and the District by bringing investigations and lawsuits against employers who violate District law. OAG recently released a Labor Day report about the office’s efforts to advocate for workers.
How to Report Wage and Hour Violations
Workers who believe that their rights have been violated, or that they have experienced wage theft or other wage and hour violations, can contact OAG by calling (202) 442-9828 or emailing email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.