PRESS RELEASE: With Final Vote for McDuffie’s “Expanding Access to Justice Act,” D.C. Takes Bold Step Toward Establishing Civil Right to Counsel

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Final vote of Fiscal Year 2018 Budget includes program to fund lawyers for low-income tenants in D.C. Landlord & Tenant Court Puts the District of Columbia on the path to establishing ‘Civil Gideon,’ the right to counsel in some civil cases For Immediate Release: Tuesday, June 27, 2017 Contact: Nolan Treadway, (202) 445-0361 Washington, D.C. – Today, the District of Columbia Council passed the Fiscal Year 2018 Budget Support Act of 2017 which incorporates Councilmember Kenyan R. McDuffie's “Expanding Access to Justice Act.” This legislation creates a grant program, managed by the DC Bar Foundation, to provide free legal counsel to low-income tenants at or below 200% of the federal poverty line facing eviction. Upon Passage Councilmember Kenyan R. McDuffie Stated: “I am encouraged that the Council today voted to…
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PRESS RELEASE: McDuffie’s “Expanding Access to Justice Act” Included and Funded in Current Budget Report

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Program would fund lawyers for low-income tenants in D.C. Landlord & Tenant Court Currently about 90% of landlords have representation while fewer than 10% of tenants do [1] Similar program in New York City reduced evictions by 24% [2] Puts the District of Columbia on the path to establishing a ‘Civil Gideon,’ the right to counsel in some civil cases Washington, D.C. - Today, the District of Columbia Council Committee on the Judiciary and Public Safety passed their budget report which included a subtitle, “Expanding Access to Justice Act.” This legislation would create a grant program, managed by the DC Bar Foundation, to provide free legal counsel to low-income tenants at or below 200% of the federal poverty line facing eviction. Statement from Councilmember Kenyan R. McDuffie: "I am encouraged…
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PRESS RELEASE: At Final Legislative Meeting, D.C. Council Passes McDuffie Bills to Fight Discrimination Against Returning Citizens and Those Affected by Poor Credit

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For Immediate Release: Tuesday, December 20, 2016 Washington, DC – Today, the D.C. Council passed two bills reflecting Councilmember McDuffie’s priorities for working people and returning citizens. Fair Criminal Record Screening for Housing Act of 2016 [Bill 21-706] This bill – often called “Ban the Box for Housing” – limits what aspects of a person’s criminal record housing providers from consider when evaluating an applicant for tenancy. Crimes committed more than seven years ago may not be considered and neither can arrests that did not result in a conviction. This legislation also prohibits housing providers from asking about any criminal history until after a conditional offer is made. Included in the bill is a list of crimes that are allowed to be considered; these crimes include murder in the first…
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PRESS RELEASE: Council Passes McDuffie Bills to Help Working People, Limit Corporate Campaign Contributions and Ensure Fairness to Returning Citizens

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Washington, DC – Today, the D.C. Council passed on first reading four bills reflecting Councilmember McDuffie’s priorities for working people, families and returning citizens. Universal Paid Leave Amendment Act of 2016 [Bill 21-415] This legislation would provide eight weeks of paid family leave for parents to bond with newborn or adopted children, six weeks to care for an ailing parent or family member, and up to two weeks leave for a personal serious health condition. Upon passage at first reading, Councilmember McDuffie remarked: “This bill, while not perfect, is a step forward for workers in the District. Ward 5 suffers from some of the highest rates of infant mortality in the District and this legislation will help that. Among many factors, infant mortality rates are higher because new parents are…
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PRESS RELEASE: McDuffie Sends Housing and LGBT Rights Legislation to Full Council

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McDuffie Sends Housing and LGBT Rights Legislation to Full Council Trio of Bills Will “Ban the Box” in Housing; Legalize Surrogacy Agreements; and Recognize Gender Identity on Death Certificates Washington, DC – Today, the Committee on the Judiciary of the D.C. Council voted unanimously to send three bills to the full Council. Fair Criminal Record Screening for Housing Act of 2016 [B21-0706] This bill – often called “Ban the Box for Housing” – prohibits housing providers from considering prior arrests that did not result in convictions when evaluating an applicant for tenancy. The bill also prohibits a housing provider from making an applicant disclose a pending criminal accusation or criminal conviction prior to making a conditional offer for housing. And after extending a conditional offer for housing, a housing provider…
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