Making Justice Real

The Official Blog of the Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia

Jun 15

2021

In Observance of Juneteenth

Annually on June 19th, communities across the country celebrate Juneteenth for it is the most popular celebration of emancipation from slavery in the United States. Juneteenth is also known as Emancipation Day, Freedom Day, Jubilee Day, Juneteenth Independence Day, and Black Independence Day. Read more →

Jun 14

2021

New Resource about D.C. Tenants’ Rights

Though the majority of Legal Aid’s housing work is representing individual tenants in litigation or administrative proceedings, our housing unit’s work extends far beyond that. Legal Aid works in the community – presenting Know Your Rights events, collaborating with community-based organizations, and representing tenants’ associations. We have long known DC tenant communities are strong. We know tenant associations that stand up to unscrupulous landlordstenants that vocalize the need for tenant protections, and tenants that band together to exercise their rights under TOPA, or the Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act. Read more →

Jun 11

2021

USDA withdraws harmful SNAP rule that would have cut off benefits for millions nationwide

On June 10, 2021, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) withdrew its proposed rule to revise categorical eligibility for SNAP. This represents a victory for SNAP recipients in the District and nationally, and is the result of critical economic justice advocacy by over a hundred thousand individuals and organizations, including the Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia and Bread for the City. Read more →

Jun 07

2021

The Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia Launches the 2021 Making Justice Real Campaign

On June 1, 2021, the Legal Aid Society of The District of Columbia (Legal Aid) launched its annual Making Justice Real Campaign to raise funds that cover the cost of providing free legal services to poverty-stricken individuals and families living in Washington, D.C.

The Making Justice Real Campaign brings together thousands of people to support the mission of the Legal Aid Society, the city’s oldest and largest civil legal services organizations. The goal: make justice “real,” in individual and systemic ways, for those who cannot afford legal services. Read more →

May 17

2021

The Council Should Not Weaken Protections from Utility Shut-Offs During the Pandemic

Earlier today, my colleague, Beth Mellen, highlighted that the Council will vote tomorrow on a bill that would substantially weaken the District’s COVID-19 pandemic eviction moratorium – even as the District struggles to process thousands of requests for rent relief.  The bill also includes language that would weaken existing protections against utility shut-offs during the pandemic, allowing households to have services cut off unless they enter into payment plans, apply to STAYDC for assistance, or participate in one of a few listed safety net programs.  Throughout the pandemic, the utility shut-off moratorium and the eviction moratorium have worked together to protect Washingtonians – eviction protections have kept them in their homes, while consistent access to electricity, water, gas, and telecommunications services have helped ensure health and safety.  Weakening utility protections puts safe housing for Washingtonians at risk, even as the pandemic continues.  Read more →