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THE NEWS:

D.C.’s official convention and sports authority announced that it would distribute $15 million to hospitality and restaurant workers, including undocumented residents who were left out of the Council’s latest COVID-19 relief package.

Events DC’s relief package sets aside $5 million for each of the following: hospitality and restaurant recovery efforts, for both workers and operations; hotel recovery efforts, for both workers and operations; and undocumented workers across the city. The tourist arm, which operates venues like the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, is largely funded by dedicated taxes on hotels and restaurants.  

“This $18 million relief package will provide a vital lifeline of support to our local economy, by helping to lay a strong foundation for the recovery and supplements what Mayor Bowser and the Council of the District of Columbia have approved over the last several weeks,” said Max Brown, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Events DC, in a press statement. “We’re all in this fight together and we remain dedicated to helping our city get back on its feet.” Brown told the PostEvents DC would work with immigrant advocacy groups and nonprofits to make sure the money reaches families in need. The fund is a one time deal. 

The announcement comes after the D.C. Council failed to include undocumented workers in its second COVID-19 relief package, passed April 7. These workers include housekeepers, caregivers, street vendors, day laborers, and restaurant workers who do not qualify for unemployment benefits or any other government relief, be it local or federal. Advocacy groups worked with At-Large Councilmember Elissa Silverman to include undocumented workers in the package, but Council Chairman Phil Mendelson, along with the mayor, took out these provisions at the last minute because they were too costly. 

“I am a believer in thanking people when they do the right thing. There is more to do done for sure,” said Silverman on Twitter in response to a tweet that workers shouldn’t have to depend on the “generosity” of Events DC. —Amanda Michelle Gomez (tips? agomez@washingtoncitypaper.com

CITY DESK LINKS, by Amanda Michelle Gomez:

  • At Friday’s press conference, Bowser began the presser with a moment of silence for COVID-19 victims. Rev. Stephen Planning, president of Gonzaga College High School, shared his own recovery process after testing positive for COVID-19 on March 15. Reverend Thomas Bowenof the D.C. Office of Religious Affairs says faith communities have been abiding by the ban on gatherings over 10 and that he expects this to be the case this weekend. [Twitter]

  • As of April 9, there have been 38 known deaths related to COVID-19, 65 percent of which are black residents. So far 1,660 have tested positive for COVID-19 while 9,355 have been tested. [EOM]   

  • Racial disparities exist in COVID-19 deaths and unemployment claims. [Post]

  • The union for Giant and Safeway workers is demanding that grocery workers be designated first responders so they qualify for priority testing. But the mayor is hesitating to do so. [WCP]

  • When practicing social distancing, keep blind neighbors in mind. [WCP]

  • As people lose their jobs, violence interrupters are working to make sure people don’t resort to “desperate measures.” [DCist]

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

  • A public works employee took down a bunch of campaign signs for Janeese Lewis George in Ward 4. [WCP]

  • Updated: Unemployed D.C. workers will see a $600 boost to their checks as early as April 21. [WCP]

  • A guide to unemployment benefits for gig workers and independent contractors. [WAMU]

  • ICYMI: Jack Evans pitches himself as the financial expert we need to recover from the coronavirus. [WCP]

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

  • D.C. residents with disabilities depend on grocery delivery services. Now everyone wants a slot. [WCP]

  • A D.C. chef has given away 200 sourdough starters. [Washingtonian]

  • Bad Saint Chef Tom Cunanan shares his chicken adobo recipe. [DCist]

  • More restaurants are suing their insurance companies for failing to bail them out. [Eater]

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

  • The Arts Club searches for humanity in post-apocalyptic London while watching 28 Days Later. [WCP]

  • Flying V Theatre’s audio anthology Paperless Pulp is perfect for binge-listening right now. [WCP]

  • A local artist has turned D.C. sites into free downloadable coloring pages. [Washingtonian

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

  • Maryland sophomore Jalen Smith, who recently decided to go pro,received information that “90 percent” of NBA teams would be taking him in the first round of the NBA Draft, including “12 percent” that have him as a lottery pick. [WCP]

  • Wizards rookie Rui Hachimura is out of the NBA 2K Players Tournament after losing to Devin Booker of the Suns in the quarterfinals, 71-55. [NBC Sports Washington]

  • Alex Ovechkin. John Wall. Elena Delle Donne. Rose Lavelle. Which D.C. sports stars would you like to be quarantined in a house with? [Twitter]

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

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