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April 6, 2016 / Rebekah Seder, Editor

In D.C., racial disparities in marijuana arrests continue, despite decriminalization

RACIAL EQUITY
– Even with the dramatic reduction in pot arrests over the past few years in D.C., there are still significant racial disparities in who gets arrested (WaPo, 4/5):

One of the most common crimes involving marijuana in the District is smoking it in public. Doing so is a misdemeanor on par with getting caught with an open container of alcohol and can cost an offender $500 and 90 days in jail.

Out of 128 arrests last year for smoking pot in public, 108 were of black people, according to arrest data that the D.C. police department furnished to the Drug Policy Alliance, a group that advocates for marijuana legalization.

– New HUD guidance indicates that blanket policies of refusing to rent or sell a home to individuals with criminal records violate the Fair Housing Act because such policies amount to de facto racial discrimination. (NPR, 4/4)

Related: Did you know that April is Fair Housing Month?

FOOD | A Loudoun County school experimented with letting students take breakfast to the classroom, rather than making them eat in the cafeteria, and found that the change encouraged many more low-income students to take advantage of school breakfast. (WaPo, 4/5)

WORKFORCE | The business community in Baltimore, led by Johns Hopkins University, has come together to commit to direct $69 million toward local companies, particularly minority- and women-owned businesses. The effort, called BLocal, arose as a response to the economic disparities highlighted by last year’s uprising. (WaPo, 4/5) An interesting model that could be replicated elsewhere…GWRLocal, anyone?

HOMELESSNESS | On Closing D.C. General Homeless Shelter, A Tug Of War Over Terms And Timelines (WAMU, 4/6)

HEALTH | IRS Could Help Find Many Uninsured People, But Doesn’t (NPR, 4/5)

POVERTY |  The Growth of Concentrated Poverty Since the Recession, in 3 Infographics (CityLab, 3/31)

TRANSIT | Everyone take a deep breath: Metro general manager says no lengthy line closures are needed to make repairs (WaPo, 4/5)


According to National Geographic, if I were an animal, I’d be a peahen. What about you? Make sure you check out the amazing photos that accompany the quiz too.

– Rebekah

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