Broad Coalition Urges DC to Expand Protections for Low-Income Residents During Public Health Emergency

DC Action for Children signed on to this letter to the Mayor and DC Council. The DC Council will consider emergency legislation on Tuesday, March 17, 2020 to support DC residents and businesses during the COVID-19 public health emergency. If your organization would like to sign onto this letter, please contact


Friday, March 13, 2020

Dear Mayor Bowser, Chairman Mendelson, and Members of the DC Council:

As social and legal service providers, and organizers and advocates for socially, racially, and economically just policies in the District, we write to thank you for your leadership in the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic. We are grateful the District is taking quick and decisive action to protect public wellbeing including by declaring a State of Emergency in the District and proposing the “COVID-19 Response Emergency Amendment Act of 2020.” 

It is unfortunately times like this that require us to confront the interconnectedness of the human condition and entwine our collective fates for the sake of the greater good. Public health crises should not be the catalyst that drives our ability to meet the needs of the District’s many vulnerable residents, yet here we are, and we are calling on you, our elected leadership, and your designees to do whatever it takes to protect all DC residents from the spread of disease, ensure economic stability, and provide for the basic needs of our most vulnerable residents grappling with large scale and rapid changes to their daily routines and income. As a financially healthy city with full reserves and additional FY 2019 surplus capital at our disposal, we are better prepared than most to do our part to serve our residents and flatten the curve. We hope this letter will further spur legislative and administrative action by the District in response to the myriad harms posed by COVID-19. 

The “COVID-19 Response Emergency Amendment Act of 2020” is an excellent first step as the District prepares to alleviate the suffering that is already being experienced by many. We appreciate the Council’s proactive work to advance such legislation. We believe provisions of that legislation can be strengthened in the following ways:

Follow this link to continue reading the recommendations and the rest of the letter. The post on the Legal Clinic's website will be updated periodically as the Coalition receives new sign-ons.