At the Office of the Attorney General for the District of Columbia (OAG), our top priority is protecting the District’s most vulnerable residents—including children.
As Attorney General, my goal is to make sure DC residents and consumers, especially children, are safe. From making sure baby food is safe to making sure companies like Juul don’t target our children with dangerous e-cigarettes to keeping ghost guns out of the hands of those that could harm children to keeping homes safe from toxic lead paint that is harmful to children–we are doing everything we can to protect District children.
Standing up for our children means keeping them safe, and it also means giving them every opportunity to learn and grow–even when they make mistakes.
To help accomplish that goal, since I became Attorney General six years ago, my office has implemented bold reforms to improve the District’s juvenile justice system, centered on the principle that children should be treated as children. And just last week, as part of that effort, I introduced legislation to modernize the process for charging juveniles in adult court, so all children accused of violating local laws would have their cases begin in family court.
When young people cause harm, we can hold them accountable for their actions, and, importantly, provide them with the support they need to make better decisions in the future. This approach enhances public safety by reducing recidivism and leads to better outcomes for children and our communities.
This legislation would bring our justice system into alignment with decades of scientific research that tell us the brain is not fully developed at ages 16 and 17, and that young people, even those who commit serious crimes, can learn and evolve into upstanding and valuable members of our community. We have the chance to make a small change to District law that will improve public safety, reduce victimization, increase fairness, and make a big difference in the lives of children.
Just know that through the efforts listed above, along with many others, we at OAG are seeking to ensure that all District children are treated liked children, that all District children are protected, and that all District children are provided with a better and brighter tomorrow.
Karl A. Racine
OAG Hosting Cure the Streets Grant Information Session on July 12th
Come join our efforts to reduce gun violence in the District. On July 12, 2021, at 6:00pm, join the leaders of Cure the Streets (CTS) for a virtual information session about how nonprofits can apply for CTS grants and help expand our efforts.
Cure the Streets is a pilot public safety program aimed at reducing gun violence in the District. It operates in targeted neighborhoods in Wards 5, 7, and 8 that are specifically chosen because of their high rates of gun violence. The Cure the Streets violence interrupters work to stop violence before it starts.
Each year, CTS offers grants to nonprofit organizations to implement CTS’ violence reduction efforts. This year, CTS will offer grants of up to $814,000 to nonprofits during fiscal year 2022.
OAG invites potential applicants and current grantees to an interactive informational session to receive additional information and updates about the Cure the Streets program, learn more about how to respond the FY2021 Grant Request for Application, and ask questions about the RFA evaluation criteria and grants process. This information session is not required but is encouraged for nonprofit 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(4) executives, administrators, program staff, and board members who are interested in seeking CTS funding.
Register for the virtual information session here.
Date: Monday, July 12, 2021
Time: 6:00PM – 7:00PM ET
Minimum Wage in the District is now $15.20 Per Hour
At OAG we work every day to stand up for District workers who may not always have a voice, including by fighting against wage theft, protecting workers rights, and holding employers accountable if they violate District law.
The minimum wage recently increased in the District. As of July 1, 2021, under the District’s wage and hour laws, businesses must pay employees a minimum wage of $15.20 per hour, up from the previous minimum wage of $15 per hour.
At my office, we enforce wage-and-hour laws to ensure that workers receive the wages and benefits they have earned. We also work to make sure employers live up to their legal responsibilities. To learn more about your rights as workers, watch this video. To learn more about workers’ rights and the work that my office does to protect them, visit our website.
Facebook Subpoenaed over COVID-19 Vaccine Misinformation on its Site
Our office recently subpoenaed Facebook as part of a consumer protection investigation we’re conducting into COVID-19 vaccine misinformation on its site. OAG is investigating whether Facebook has actually taken substantial efforts to reduce COVID-19 vaccine misinformation on its site as it claims it is doing. It has become clear there is still a great deal of vaccine misinformation spreading on Facebook. Our investigation aims to make sure Facebook is keeping its word to take substantial efforts to reduce vaccine misinformation on its site. Our office will keep working to protect the public health of District residents, and that’s why we’re holding Facebook accountable about combating vaccine misinformation on its site.
CDC Eviction Ban Extended
Last week, the Supreme Court upheld the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) extension of the eviction ban – an important step for public health and safety as we work to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. In June, Connecticut Attorney General William Tong and I led a coalition of 23 attorneys general in urging the court to keep this plan in place as it helps protect our communities and our fragile recovery. The District, like several other jurisdictions, passed its own local moratorium on evictions that remains in place, but the CDC’s Order is critical to preventing the spread of COVID-19 across state lines.
Holding District Landlords Accountable
Last week, I announced that my office filed three separate lawsuits against neglectful owners and managers of apartment complexes in Ward 8 and Ward 4 for endangering the health and safety of District residents.
OAG alleges that the landlords of these buildings ignored serious issues, including health, safety, and security issues at Marbury Plaza, a large Ward 8 apartment complex, and security failures at two other apartment complexes that contributed to violent crimes, endangering tenants and community members.
District residents have a right to safe and secure housing, but too many—including seniors, people with disabilities, and members of our immigrant communities—are in danger in their own homes. Sadly, we’re seeing this at Marbury Plaza and other apartment complexes. Protecting vulnerable tenants is among the top priorities of my office. When landlords fail to live up to their basic obligations, allow their buildings to fall into disrepair, or otherwise turn a blind eye to the suffering of tenants, my office will hold them accountable and stand up for these residents who deserve safe homes.
Area Childcare Program to Reform Business Practices After Mischarging Parents and Engaging in Unfair Debt Collection Practices
At the end of June, my office announced that Champions, an area before-and-after-school childcare program, will be required to overhaul its business practices after an investigation found the company misled and deceived parents about late fees, auto-enrollment payments, and other charges. When choosing before- or after-care for your child, trust in that program is of utmost importance. With this settlement, Champions is making needed changes to its business practices that will make their fee structure more transparent to ensure that its customers, including parents, know exactly what they are paying for.