Unable to afford court costs and now ineligible to drive

POVERTY | A class-action lawsuit against the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles over a policy of automatically suspending the driver’s licenses of those unable to pay court costs and fines has caught the attention of the U.S. Department of Justice. (Richmond Times, 11/15)

“The statement of interest advances the United States’ position that suspending a driver’s license is unconstitutional if it is done without providing due process and without assessing whether the individual’s failure to pay was willful or the result of an inability to pay,” the Justice Department said in a statement. “As the Supreme Court has affirmed, the constitution prohibits punishing a person because of his or her poverty.”

RACISM | Being a long-term resident in your community should mean that you can take certain things for granted — for instance, your safety in a changing neighborhood. In her latest column, WRAG’s president Tamara Copeland recounts an incident that happened yesterday, in which her son was racially profiled by police while locking their front door. (Daily, 11/17)

HOMELESSNESS | Although a new Department of Housing and Urban Development report shows a 3 percent decline in homelessness this year, D.C. saw an increase of 14.4 percentwhich some say could be partially attributed to the lack of affordable housing. (NPR, 11/17)

Related: Interested in learning about how you or your organization can invest in (not donate to) affordable housing? Check out this webinar on the Our Region, Your Investment initiative on December 1.

HEALTH | D.C.’s children’s hospital gets 12 acres at former Walter Reed campus (WaPo, 11/17)

-Metro’s SafeTrack most likely will take longer than expected and cost more due to unexpected issues around maintenance work. (WaPo, 11/16)

Uber Threatens To Pull Out Of Maryland Over Driver Background Checks Policy (WAMU, 11/16)

-D.C. has partnered with a cab company to create a neighborhood shuttle service that will serve wards (such as 4, 7, and 8) that are traditionally unable to access popular transportation options like Uber and Lyft. (WaPo, 11/16)

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