Uplifting the Next Generation of Changemakers
Dear Fellow Washingtonians,
At the Office of the Attorney General (OAG), supporting positive youth development is a priority. Our kids are the heartbeat of our city, so it is essential that we listen to them and amplify their voices, concerns, and ideas.
At OAG, we cultivate, elevate, and celebrate young people by welcoming them into our office as interns, by recognizing kids who have overcome the most challenging of circumstances, and by giving them outlets to share their talents and stories. We do this through several programs, including our Do the Right Thing (DtWT) Challenge—a national writing contest that gives middle school students the opportunity to speak out about how violence impacts their lives and share their ideas about how to stop it. I’m pleased to announce that Anthony Carter III of Charles Hart Middle School and Kelsey Matthews II of Statesmen College Preparatory Academy for Boys were selected as the DC winners for this year’s DtWT Challenge. Click here to read Anthony’s submission, and click here to read Kelsey’s submission.
Summer marks the arrival of students eager to learn about and participate in the work of our office. We welcomed over 60 summer interns from law schools and colleges all over the country. They are contributing in so many important ways—researching complex legal issues, preparing testimony, drafting court pleadings, and more.
And earlier this week, 18 local students joined our office to serve on our High School Advisory Council (HSAC). The students will spend the next six weeks learning about our office’s work, meeting with District officials and community organizations, and preparing policy recommendations about a pressing policy issue. This year, the students will focus on recommendations about how to address the impact of social media on young people. I look forward to hearing their perspectives on the issue and their recommendations in the coming weeks.
I am hopeful and heartened by the tremendous talent and potential these young people possess.
Securing Refunds for DC Consumers Who Were Improperly Charged Recurring Subscription Fees
OAG will hold companies accountable when they seek to profit by deceiving or manipulating DC residents. Earlier this month, we announced a multi-state settlement with online underwear retailer Adore Me that will require Adore Me to reform its business practices, provide refunds to consumers who were improperly charged recurring subscription fees, and pay $2.35 million, $151,798.65 of which Adore Me will pay to the District. No one should be surprised by recurring charges or be forced to jump through hoops to cancel subscriptions. If you encounter issues with deceptive or fraudulent business practices, my office wants to hear from you. Click here to share a tip or file a complaint.
Ensuring Every DC Resident is Paid the Wages They are Legally Owed
OAG enforces DC’s wage-and-hour laws to ensure DC workers are paid the wages they are legally owed. Last week, we announced that Georgetown University will pay up to $550,000 to resolve allegations that it required staff working in research settings to work unpaid overtime. Workers in academic research settings are often pressured by supervisors to work off-the-clock overtime, a practice that is illegal and unfair. I encourage anyone who feels they are not being paid their earnings, on time and in full, to file a complaint through our workers’ rights tipline (email@example.com).
Obtaining $2.3+ Million from Suboxone Maker Accused of Monopolizing Opioid Treatment Drug
Earlier this month, we announced a settlement with Indivior, which makes the opioid addiction treatment medication Suboxone. The District had joined a coalition of 42 attorneys general in alleging that the company engaged in an anticompetitive scheme to illegally profit from the opioid epidemic by making it harder for people struggling with addiction to access critical treatment medication. To settle the lawsuit, Indivior will pay $102.5 million to the states, including approximately $2.3 million to the District, and will stop the type of anticompetitive practices that were at issue.
There’s A Lot to Celebrate This Month!
The month of June called on us to celebrate freedom and progress, but also to reflect on our history and acknowledge that the struggle for equity and justice continues. We kicked off the month with Pride by joining other DC agencies in raising the LGBTQIA+ flag to celebrate the vibrate tapestry of love, resilience, and identity that binds us all together, and by marching in the Capital Pride Parade. And we rounded out the month honoring the 158th anniversary of Juneteenth at a morning church service followed by a soul-nourishing prayer breakfast, and a series of events and ceremonies throughout the District, all of which reminded me that our Black communities hold a powerful history of resilience, resistance, and hope.
It’s crucial that we use this month—and every month—as a time to reaffirm our commitment to the principles of equity, fairness, and justice, and to demonstrating our dedication to building a more inclusive and equitable society.