HOUSING | There were almost 900,000 eviction judgments in the US in 2016, which means landlords were given the right to remove tenants from their property. In Richmond, VA, which has one of the highest number of evictions, advocates and others want to fix a system which they don’t believe works for tenants or landlords. (NYT, 4/7)
“The whole system works on default judgments and people not showing up,” said Martin Wegbreit, director of litigation at the Central Virginia Legal Aid Society. “Imagine if every person asked for a trial. The system would bog down in a couple of months.”
The consequences of what happens here then spread across the city. The Richmond public school system reroutes buses to follow children from apartments to homeless shelters to pay-by-the-week motels. City social workers coach residents on how to fill out job applications when they have no answer for the address line. Families lose their food stamps and Medicaid benefits when they lose the permanent addresses where renewal notices are sent.
Related: The article mentions Matthew Desmond, author of Evicted. An exhibition inspired by the book recently opened at the National Building Museum to show the effects of chronic eviction through new interviews, data, and photography.
CIVIC ENGAGEMENT | The Council on Foundations held a conference last week that focused on how foundations can connect the communities they invest in to the political process. (Chronicle, 4/13)
HEALTH CARE | The US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit has struck down a Maryland law that gave the attorney general the power to take legal action against drug companies that dramatically increase the price of generic drugs. (WaPo, 4/13)
FOOD INSECURITY | Petition hopes to end DC’s food delivery desert east of Anacostia River (WTOP, 4/16)
DIVERSITY | Miriam Heyman, program officer at the Ruderman Family Foundation, discusses how grantmakers can be more inclusive of individuals with visible and invisible disabilities and also encourage their grantees to do the same. (Center for Effective Philanthropy, 4/12)
EDUCATION | Last week, Montgomery County’s Board of Education voted to name its newest public school after Bayard Rustin, a Black, gay civil rights activist. (Bethesda Beat, 4/12)
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Also: Happy DC Emancipation Day!