Expanding the Cure the Streets Violence Reduction Program
Yesterday, I announced that the Cure the Streets violence reduction program, which we launched in 2018, will expand with four new program sites in Congress Heights, Brightwood Park/Petworth, Sursum Corda/Ivy City, and Historic Anacostia/Fairlawn.
Cure the Streets is a community-driven public safety pilot program working to reduce gun violence in targeted neighborhoods across the District that have experienced high levels of gun violence both historically as well as in the past few years. We have been overwhelmed by the support for Cure the Streets and are proud of the progress it has made.
The program takes a public health approach to gun violence: treating it as a disease that can be interrupted, treated, and stopped from spreading. By employing local, credible messengers with deep ties to these neighborhoods, we can detect and mediate conflicts, and prevent shootings.
These four new program sites were chosen through a process that included quantitative and qualitative analysis of where the program is likely to have the greatest impact. These program sites will become operational in spring 2022.
We first launched Cure the Streets because we knew we needed to think creatively about how to help address gun violence and make our communities safer. In 2018, we only had two sites. By January 2020, the program had expanded to six sites, operating in Wards 5, 7, and 8.
To build on the early progress we have already seen to make communities safer, we wanted to expand Cure the Streets to more neighborhoods in need of violence prevention efforts. We asked for more funds to expand the program and greatly appreciate the Council’s support.
Too many communities in the District live with violence nearly every day. We cannot break this cycle of violence overnight, especially in communities facing generational violence. But we can step up to the plate and put in the work to bring about change. Cure the Streets is my office’s effort to do our part. And we have already seen that the dedication of the outreach workers and violence interrupters is improving public safety.
We’re proud our efforts have become a critical piece in a much larger effort to address gun violence and are helping make these neighborhoods and the District safer.
For more information about where the program currently operates, click here.
To learn more about some of the people behind the Cure the Streets program, read this Medium post.
Karl A. Racine
Investigating Instagram's Impact on Young People
Last month, I joined a bipartisan coalition of attorneys general to investigate what Facebook knew about the harm Instagram poses to children and why its public statements differed from what its internal studies showed. This has real life impacts on millions of kids, and we plan to get to the bottom of it. My office has been independently investigating and is also proud to join this bipartisan probe. Read more from The Washington Post.
Congratulations to the 2021 Do the Write Thing Challenge Winners!
Favour Onyeka-Ben (DC Prep Middle School) and Samuel Andargachew (Sidwell Friends School) were selected as the District of Columbia winners for the 2021 “Do the Write Thing” Challenge, a national anti-violence writing contest. This year marked the fifth year of my office sponsoring the contest in DC, which gives young people across the country a creative outlet to promote their ideas to address gun violence and create communities that are healthy, safe, and thriving. Their submissions were deeply moving, and I’m so proud of them for using their voices and words to help stop gun violence. To learn more about the winners, and to listen to the pieces they wrote, watch this video.
Holding Predatory Online Lender Accountable
Today, I announced that the predatory online lender, Opportunity Financial, LLC (OppFi), will pay $1.5 million in refunds to over 4,000 District consumers who were charged exploitive interest rates and will waive over $640,000 in interest owed by those consumers. The company will also be required keep interest rates that are below the District’s legal cap and stop engaging in misleading business practices. OppFi’s scheme misled and hurt thousands of District consumers, trapping many of them in cycles of debt. We will continue to hold bad actors that take advantage of consumers accountable.
DC Parents: Don’t Wait, Vaccinate!
Children ages 5 through 11 are now eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. If your children can get vaccinated, they should do so. The vaccine is safe and free, and you do not need to have health insurance to get it.
The vaccine will help keep kids safe by preventing infection and by reducing the virus’s impact if they are infected. It will also help reduce the spread of COVID-19 to other family and community members. I encourage District families to discuss the vaccine with their health care providers.
To learn more about where to get your children vaccinated, visit coronavirus.dc.gov. You will find dates and times for COVID-19 vaccine clinics for children ages 5 through 11 there.
Click here to find other opportunities to get vaccinated today, including at pharmacies and health clinics across all eight wards. If you are unable to leave your home, call 1-855-363-0333, and the vaccine will be brought to you.
For any questions regarding the vaccine program, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Defending the District
An important part of the Attorney General’s responsibility is defending the District government when it is sued. Over a recent two-week period, my office defended five separate emergency motions for injunctions in both the United States District Court for the District of Columbia and the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. The cases involved the development of the McMillan Sand Filtration Site, employment decisions by District agencies, and delivery of special education services. OAG successfully defended all five motions based on the strong and prompt work of the litigating teams, who presented persuasive arguments on the facts and law, protecting the public fisc and allowing the District to continue its important work.
Giving Back to the Community
Earlier this month, my office’s ATTEND program hosted a fall resources and food baskets giveaway at Malcolm X Middle School with local partners. We were able to help many families from OAG-supported schools get what they need ahead of Thanksgiving. I love seeing our staff out there in the community!
Transgender Day of Remembrance
Saturday, November 20, was Transgender Day of Remembrance. On this day, we remember the innocent lives cut short due to a crisis of hate and bigotry. Tragically, this year is the deadliest on record for transgender and non-binary people. We stand with the transgender community against the scourge of hate.