D.C. Mayor Bowser announces new fund for undocumented immigrants

IMMIGRATION | D.C. is going a step further in protecting its residents. After affirming the District as a sanctuary city a few weeks ago, Mayor Bowser has now announced a new fund to aid undocumented immigrants. The $500,000 fund, Immigrant Justice Legal Services Grant Program, will grant awards to nonprofits and defense lawyers who represent those facing deportation. (WaPo, 1/9)

The $500,000 fund will also help illegal immigrants in the District apply for asylum and will provide representation for those residing in the city legally with green cards to obtain permanent U.S. citizenship.

In a statement, Bowser said the District is “doubling down” on its status as a sanctuary city, where D.C. police have already been instructed to not cooperate with federal authorities working to deport residents.

“We must ensure that all District residents can take advantage of their federal and constitutional rights,” Bowser said. “If immigration enforcement changes and problems arise, DC’s immigrant population will have our support and the support of DC’s legal community.”

RACIAL EQUITY | Tamara Copeland, WRAG’s president, and fourteen Greater Washington philanthropic leaders attended W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation summit in December. Tamara shares why this group committed a full week to travel across the country to participate in this convening. (Daily, 1/10)

Related: Gail Christopher, Senior Advisor at W.K. Kellogg Foundation, discusses why their new initiative, the National Day of Racial Healing on January 17th, is necessary. (PND Blog, 1/6)

POVERTY | Study: One-quarter of Maryland families above federal poverty line, but can’t afford basic essentials (Baltimore Sun, 1/9)

NONPROFIT | With so many activities planned for next week’s inauguration, some area nonprofits are considering their plans, including the Latin American Youth Center. (WBJ, 1/10)

Related: Lori Kaplan, President and CEO of Latin American Youth Center, shares how the organization is tackling racism with its Community Organizing for Racial Equity (CORE) committee and how WRAG’s Putting Racism on the Table materials have helped inform their work. (Daily, 1/4)

HOUSING | A new solution to an old, but pressing problem: an argument for turning abandoned office buildings into new housing. (GGW, 1/5)

GENTRIFICATION | New research finds that falling crime in a neighborhood could be a precursor to gentrification (NYT, 1/5)

EDUCATION | Results from a Montgomery County summer learning program geared towards low-income children shows improvement in reading and math skills. (Bethesda Beat, 1/9)

The playground in the fourth picture is made of dreams…