Written by Yaida Ford

Apr 01


Long Lines in D.C. Shouldn’t Be Filled With the City’s Poor

Staff Attorney

The Washington Post published an article on Tuesday by Petula Dvorak in its Metro Section entitled Long lines in D.C. shouldn’t be filled with the city’s poor, discussing the work of Defeat Poverty DC.  Defeat Poverty DC is a coalition of social justice organizations that is working to turn the focus of this year’s city elections to poverty.  The article features one of Legal Aid’s clients, Neki Swinton, with whom I have been working for the last two years.  Ms. Swinton has been a remarkable voice for those living in poverty in this city, speaking out time and again about the importance of maintaining the District’s safety net.  Ms. Dvorak’s column gives a brief glimpse into the precarious state of families who are barely surviving in this economy – families who now face devastating consequences as a result of even the slightest changes in circumstances, such as losing a paycheck due to illness.

Jan 21


Legal Aid to participate in issue briefings with the Fair Budget Coalition

Staff Attorney

Staff Attorney

 With Council about to undertake planning for the FY 2011 Budget Year, the Legal Aid Society and other members of the Fair Budget Coalition will be the voice for DC’s most vulnerable residents. This year, Fair Budget advocates will be encouraging Council members to consider the needs of our client community as we trudge through another year of budget cuts and decreased services that have pushed an already struggling population further into economic despair.

The issue briefings are scheduled to begin this week and present an opportunity for advocates to have a conversation with council staff about the current crisis facing poor District residents in areas such as housing, health care and income support programs. Fortunately, Legal Aid, along with several other members of the Fair Budget Coalition, have created solutions to help the city resolve some of the economic challenges it faces. These solutions include changes to the welfare to work program’s job training component that would make it possible for those living on welfare to obtain employment that pays a livable wage. Hopefully, Fair Budget’s advocacy at the issue briefings and committee hearings will have a positive impact on the shaping of the FY 2011 budget for the sake of low-income individuals and families that live and work in the District.

The schedule for the issue briefings is as follows: 

  • January 22 – Hunger & Nutrition
  • January 29 – Tax and Revenue
  • Feb. 5 – Workforce Development and Income Support
  • Feb 12 – Youth and Families
  • Feb. 19 – Housing
  • Feb. 26 – Health

Briefings are tentatively scheduled to be held in Rooms 103 or 104 of the Wilson Building -1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW. All interested parties must send an RSVP to Kristi Matthews  and indicate which sessions you wish to attend.

Fair Budget Coalition