The UPDATE | January 28, 2022


Attorney General Karl Racine and District Youth Discuss How to Meet Young People’s Needs

The message that over-policing and criminalization of Black and brown youth sends to young people: you are only as good as your worst actions, you are dangerous, you are bad. The message that Black and brown youth have for adults in power: give us meaningful opportunities to learn and work, mental health support, and restorative justice, and we will lead and strengthen our communities and become powerful and successful adults.

DC Action’s January 25 community conversation “Shifting the Narrative: the Role of Youth Development in Crime Prevention” featured a panel of youth and youth development professionals from the DC Girls’ Coalition and the Latin American Youth Center, along with DC Attorney General Karl Racine. Participants made these recommendations about what Black and brown youth in the District need:

  • Accessible, engaging, and meaningful out-of-school time (OST) opportunities
  • Accountability from adults in power
  • Community centers and OST programs in their neighborhoods
  • Mental health support
  • Removing police from schools
  • Opportunities to find and build confidence in their voices and their strengths
  • Opportunities to work and earn money
  • Pride in and respect for their identities
  • Representation in government policymaking

These opportunities require resources, which is why the DC Out-of-School Time Coalition is pushing policy makers to fully fund the programs that offer them, to ensure we are investing in young people’s futures. AG Racine strongly supported the coalition’s efforts to significantly increase funding for OST programs including dedicating local, recurring dollars to replace one-time federal funds and securing opportunities for growth of the sector.

Join Us in Urging Mayor Bowser to use Surplus Funds to Prevent Eviction Crisis

Our colleagues at the DC Fiscal Policy Institute published a sign-on letter to Mayor Bowser that makes the case for dedicating budget surplus and other funds to sustain STAY DC so tens of thousands of District residents can remain in their homes. We encourage you to lend your support to this recommendation to help prevent an easily avoidable housing crisis on top of the ongoing public health crisis.


Expand Healthy Futures to Continue Building Positive Culture in Early Learning Communities

On January 24, DC Action Policy Analyst Jarred Bowman testified before the Committee on Health at the Department of Behavioral Health Performance Oversight Hearing. He discussed the impact of the Healthy Futures program, which offers child-focused consultation services to early educators and family members. Studies have shown that Health Futures effectively builds educators’ and parents’ skills and capacity to promote social-emotional development, prevent escalation of infants’ and toddlers’ challenging behaviors, and increase appropriate referrals for additional assessments and services.


Mark Your Calendars: Upcoming Performance Oversight Hearings to Keep District Government Accountable

We’re into the third week of the DC Council’s performance oversight hearings, which give residents the chance to make their voices heard about what is and isn’t working in the District. Upcoming hearings related to DC Action’s work include:

Monday, February 7 | Committee on Health: Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services

To testify about the importance of home visiting programs, contact Nisa Hussain at

Monday, February 7 | Committee on Health: Department of Health Care Finance

To testify about the importance of the DC Healthcare Alliance, contact Rachel Metz at  

Thursday, February 10 | Committee on Labor and Workforce Development: Workforce Investment Council

To testify about the importance of workforce development for youth, contact Rachel White at

Monday, February 14 | Committee on Labor and Workforce Development: Department of Employment Services

To testify about the importance of workforce development for youth, contact Rachel White at

Thursday, February 17 | Committee on Human Services: Child and Family Services Agency

To testify about the importance of home visiting programs, contact Nisa Hussain at

For a full list of the performance oversight hearings, please see the Council’s schedule here.


DC Action Priorities in the News

A Just Recovery for DC Families, WPFW, 1.18.22

COVID Spike Has After-School Programs Demanding Better Collaboration with Partners - The Washington Informer, 1.19.22

D.C. Could Take First Steps To Increase Child Care Worker Pay, dcist, 1.19.22


READ Turning Pointe: How a New Generation of Dancers Is Saving Ballet From Itself by Chloe Angyal, which offers a “reckoning with one of our most beloved art forms, whose past and present are shaped by gender, racial, and class inequities — and a look inside the fight for its future.”

WATCH ABC series Abbott Elementary and Disney film Encanto. You can laugh, cry, sing, and dance while exploring issues of identity, racial equity, and social justice.

LISTEN to this Democracy Now! interview with legendary writer and activist Angela Davis, who discusses the re-issue of her autobiography and her new book Abolition. Feminism. Now