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February 22, 2018 / Kendra Allen, Editor

This is how the US criminalizes the poor and pushes them further into poverty

POVERTY | Being in debt has become more common for US residents as the price of goods and services has increased while wages have not. The ACLU has released a report detailing how low-income residents, who are the most burdened by these debts, are incarcerated when they cannot pay. (NBC News, 2/21)

The cases, as described in her report, include an elderly Maryland couple who owed $2,300 to their homeowner’s association; a Minnesota man placed in solitary confinement on an auto insurance debt despite the fact he’d filed for bankruptcy protection; a Georgia mother whose former landlord said she owed back rent; and an Indiana cancer survivor who’d fallen behind on her treatment bills.

The states with the most egregious abuses….were Maryland ─ where President Donald Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, reportedly sought the arrest of tenants of his real estate company ─ and Massachusetts, which are both considering legislation to curb such arrest warrants.

EQUITY | Last week the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia, along with the Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce, hosted the “Shape of the Region” conference to share its new opportunity index tool and discuss the challenges facing Northern Virginia and the resources needed to address them. (Alexandria Gazette, 2/20)

PHILANTHROPY | A new study exploring how nonprofit board diversity impacts philanthropy, leadership, and board engagement found that boards with a majority of women are more involved and participate more in public policy advocacy, among other things. (IUPUI, 2/20)

TRANSPORTATION | A local advocate explains why the District should pass a bill that decriminalizes fare evasion. (GGWash, 2/21)

– Maryland’s Governor Larry Hogan has announced his plans to create a system that allows residents to text 911 instead of dialing them. (WaPo, 2/21)

– District reaches $3.5 million settlement with family of unarmed motorcyclist shot dead by police officer (WaPo, 2/21)

TECHNOLOGYDataKind offers pro bono data science consulting to mission driven organizations that have data but lack the capacity to explore it. Check out a project Datakind did with DC Action for Children here, or inquire about working with Datakind DC here.

Here’s where you can find free movies in DC and Maryland.

– Kendra

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