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THE NEWS:

On Tuesday, the D.C. Council passed emergency COVID-19 legislation for the third time during the pandemic that includes relief for tenants, homeowners, and restaurants alike.  

The highlights include: 

  • Requiring landlords to negotiate payment plans with residential and commercial tenants who are facing hardship due to the pandemic. (No rent cancelation.)  

  • Extending the eviction moratorium to 60 days after the emergency ends, as well as bans court filings during the emergency. 

  • Imposing a foreclosure moratorium during the emergency and 60 days after for select homeowners. 

  • Instituting a 15 percent cap on commission fees for third-party delivery services.

  • Lowering the number of signatures required for candidates running in November’s general election. 

  • Forcing the mayor to regularly brief the Council on DC Jail’s response to pandemic. (Dire conditions got the court involved.)   

What didn’t make it? 

After a heated debate between members, the Council pulled a provision that would compel business interruption insurance to kick in, City Paper’s Laura Hayes reports. Restaurants, for example, have had to sue their insurance companies for not covering losses due to COVID-19. Ward 5 Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie was the first to question the provision, arguing it would be caught up in litigation. But Chairman Phil Mendelson pointed out that the Office of the Attorney General cleared it. After some back-and-forth, Mendelson withdrew the provision. Ward 6 Councilmember Charles Allen is disappointed and believes the insurance industry is framing the debate.—Amanda Michelle Gomez (tips? agomez@washingtoncitypaper.com)

CITY DESK LINKS, by Amanda Michelle Gomez (tips? agomez@washingtoncitypaper.com

  • Today’s press conference convened leaders from the hospitality and tourism industries. Under normal circumstances, D.C. would be celebrating National Travel and Tourism Week. The head of the U.S. Travel Association says the U.S. will lose $500 billion this year in national travel dollars. In D.C., according to the head of Destination DC, the city will lose $1.7 billion in unspent travel dollars and $78 million in tax money. Also according to Destination DC, the District lost $163 million when 22 city-wide conventions were canceled due to COVID-19. The Convention Center is still being built out as a temporary hospital that the mayor hopes the District will never need to use. Tourism organizations say they’re still focused on recovery, but hope to start marketing D.C. as a place for domestic and international travelers to visit when it’s safe. Gregory A. O’Dell from Events DC talked about the $5 million relief packages that are already being rolled out for the hotel and restaurant industries. The additional $5 million for undocumented workers is still being finalized, as City Paper reported yesterday

  • As of May 5, D.C. reported 13 new deaths and 139 new cases related to COVID-19. Tragically, 277 have lost their lives. So far, 5,461 of the 24,984 individuals who have been tested for illness have turned up positive results. D.C.’s test-positivity rate is still around 22 percent. [EOM

  • After the Council excluded undocumented residents from COVID-19 relief, District lawmakers pointed to philanthropic funds that could help them. Weeks later, workers haven’t received any of that money. [WCP

  • Sidwell Friends School—along with other prep schools in the D.C. region—keeps its small-business loan. [Post

  • A kindergarten teacher who lives in a group house in Mount Pleasant describes what it was like to be sick with COVID-19. [WAMU]  

  • New study finds that essential workers of color are more at risk of severe illness from COVID-19. [WUSA9]

LOOSE LIPS LINKS, by Mitch Ryals (tips? mryals@washingtoncitypaper.com

  • Participate in our voters’ guide by telling us what you want us to ask local politicians. [WCP]

  • President Donald Trump says D.C. will never be a state because it would add Democratic seats in Congress. [NY Post]

  • Some recent Ward 2 Council endorsements: 

    • Longtime LGTBQ rights activist Peter Rosenstein endorses Patrick Kennedy. [Blade]

    • Former California Rep. Henry Waxman endorses Jordan Grossman. [Camp Grossman]

    • Massachusetts Rep. Joe Kennedy endorses Brooke Pinto. [Twitter]

YOUNG & HUNGRY LINKS, by Laura Hayes (tips? lhayes@washingtoncitypaper.com

  • D.C. becomes the third city to pass legislation that puts a commission fee cap on delivery apps like Uber Eats and DoorDash. [WCP]

  • D.C. Council pulls provision from emergency legislation that would have compelled insurance companies to pay business interruption insurance claims tied to COVID-19. [WCP]

  • How DC Sweet Potato Cake’s April Richardson continues to innovate during a pandemic absent of any relief funding. [WCP]

  • Gay bar DC Eagle closes permanently after close to 50 years in business. [DCist]

  • Crowds came out and got too close while picking up food on Cinco de Mayo. [Washingtonian]

ARTS LINKS, by Kayla Randall (tips? krandall@washingtoncitypaper.com)

  • The local beat ya feet dance scene gets explored in a dance docuseries. [DCist]

  • The AFI Docs film festival is moving online this year. [The Hollywood Reporter]

  • Dr. Anthony Fauci was the inspiration for the romantic suitor in Sally Quinn’s 1991 novel Happy Endings. [Washingtonian]

  • Former First Lady Michelle Obama’s Becoming, a Netflix documentary film about her life and companion to her bestselling book, begins streaming today. [CNN]

SPORTS LINKS, by Kelyn Soong (tips? ksoong@washingtoncitypaper.com)

  • Baseball is back… in South Korea. ESPN will be broadcasting games from the Korea Baseball Organization’s regular season in the absence of other live sporting events. [NPR, Post, ESPN]

  • The MLB is considering what USA Today calls a “radical plan” to realign the 2020 baseball season into divisions based on geography of the teams’ spring training homes. [USA Today]

  • Starting tonight for the next six Wednesdays, NBC Sports Washington and Monumental Sports Network will broadcast video game simulations of Mystics games on NBA 2K20. [Twitter]

  • Wizards coach Scott Brooks will let his daughter shave his head if $25,000 in donations are raised for Monumental Sports & Entertainment’s Feeding the Frontlines charity. [NBC Sports Washington]

CITY LIGHTS, by Emma Sarappo (Love this section? Get the full newsletter here. Tips? esarappo@washingtoncitypaper.com)

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