The UPDATE | October 6, 2021

The UPDATE | October 6, 2021

Youth Justice Public Hearing

Tune in tomorrow, October 7, to the DC Council Committee on the Judiciary and Public Safety hearing on the Redefinition of Child Amendment Act of 2021. DC Action Executive Director Kimberly Perry will be testifying in support of legislation to amend the DC Code to ensure that children under age 18 who are accused of crimes are treated fairly, as youth, instead of being forced into the adult criminal justice system.

COVID-19 in the District--the Pandemic Isn’t Over Yet

While confirmed COVID-19 cases among children are less common than among adults, more than 10,000 DC children and youth have still contracted the disease. The COVID-19 vaccine has been widely available for individuals 12 and older for months, but stark disparities in vaccination rates remain among youth. As of October 1, 91% of Ward 2 youth in this age range were fully vaccinated, while only 16% of Ward 8 youth and 22% of Ward 7 youth in this age range had received the shots.

Youth Homelessness--New LGBTQIA+ Youth Shelter in the Works, While Existing Shelter Struggles

Covenant House plans to open a new shelter, to be located in Deanwood, for LGBTQIA+ youth. More than one-third of unhoused youth in the District are LGBTQ, and 13 percent are transgender. According to a Washington Post article, “Young people ages of 18 to 24 can just show up and stay for 90 days. As part of the Covenant House model, case managers will begin working to place them in permanent housing within 30 days of their arrival.”

Health--Changes to Nutrition Benefits as of October 1

Important changes to SNAP--a nutrition program that benefits more than 140,000 District residents including more than 46,000 children--went into effect on October 1. The bad news is that the emergency allotment--a 15% increase in SNAP benefits implemented in January to help families deal with the economic fallout of the pandemic--has ended. The good news is that the USDA updated its Thrifty Food Plan for the first time in 46 years to more accurately reflect the costs of groceries. As a result of these concurrent adjustments, households that receive SNAP benefits will see a modest increase of $12 to $16 in their monthly allotment.

Find Strength in Collective Action--DC Action’s Coalitions Welcome Your Participation

Our four coalitions are marshalling the power of collective action to advocate for change. We welcome organizations and individuals who are ready to join the fight or who just want to learn more about what we do. Mark your calendar for these meetings.

Home Visiting Council | October 19 from 1:30pm-3pm | Contact DC Action Program Manager Nisa Hussain at  

Out-of-School-Time Coalition | October 12 from noon-1pm | Contact DC Action Policy Analyst Ryllie Danko at

Under 3 DC | October 27 from 4pm-6pm | Contact DC Action Program Coordinator Hannah Francis at  

Youth Homelessness Advocacy Coalition | October 28 from 12:30pm-2:30pm | Contact Kim Perry at


if, A Foundation for Radical Possibility, is the new identity of what was once known as the Consumer Health Foundation. Now focused on racial justice, if is working “to radically transform philanthropy and society by centering the voices, leadership, and lived expertise of Black people and people of the global majority living at the sharpest intersection of oppression. Read more.


EmpowerDC held a webinar about this year’s redistricting process, which uses the newest US Census numbers to ensure equal representation on the DC Council for District residents. Watch here.


The Equal Justice Initiative has opened the Legacy Museum: From Enslavement to Mass Incarceration in Montgomery, Alabama. Listen to EJI Founder and Executive Director Bryan Stevenson’s conversation with NPR’s Michel Martin.