Mayor Muriel Bowser issued her third-ever veto of a bill in five years on Tuesday—and it was a power grab of D.C.’s arts commission. The Council was unanimous in its effort to cement the arts commission’s independence, but Bowser wasn’t having it.    


More than 14,000 residents, or 2 percent of the District’s population, are being monitored by two federally run programs that escape the purview of Bowser and the D.C. Council. And in the last five months, the programs radically expanded their ability to surveil residents.    

The programs are the Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency (CSOSA) and the Pretrial Services Agency (PSA); the former handles residents on parole or probation while the latter deals with defendants who aren’t convicted but are awaiting trial. 

City Paper’s Josh Kaplan obtained documents that show PSA signed a $4.1 million contract for ankle monitors that allow it to essentially listen to and record unconvicted defendants without their consent, at any time of the day. PSA says it is not taking advantage of this feature, but one defense attorney begs to differ. 

Meanwhile, a recent court decision now gives D.C.’s Metropolitan Police Department the freedom to work with CSOSA, allowing officers to access residents’ location information at will. “You’re just assuming someone’s going to screw up, and you’re not giving them the resources and tools to stay out of the system,” says Jessica Brand, the legal director of The Justice Collaborative. “And with this, you’re just monitoring them until they screw up.”

This kind of top-level surveillance isn’t unique to D.C. Chicago, for example, was tracking minors without their consent through GPS monitors that can record and call. But later, the Juvenile Probation Department stopped using the communication feature, pending review. Amanda Michelle Gomez (tips? Email


  • Health deputy mayor: Water system at Saint Elizabeths Hospital to turn on at the end of next week. Meanwhile, ACLU calls on Bowser to relocate patients. [Post, Twitter]  

  • Council passed a 20-year blueprint for development, and removed language that activists use to fight housing construction. [WAMU]

  • Why were Orange, Blue, and Silver lines delayed? Investigators say Metro train operator moved forward despite stop order and caused an overnight collision. [Post]

LOOSE LIPS LINKS, by Mitch Ryals (tips?

  • Mayor Muriel Bowser’s staff and aids are texting on WhatsApp, potentially to avoid open records laws. [WAMU, Twitter]

  • Ward 3 Councilmember Mary Cheh to chair the ad hoc committee that will decide Jack Evans’ fate. All pols but Evans will sit on the committee. [DCist, Twitter

  • White male councilmembers vote “present” on bill to rename Columbus Day as Indigenous Peoples’ Day. [Curbed, Twitter]

YOUNG & HUNGRY LINKS, by Laura Hayes (tips?

  • Visit Anacostia newcomer Open Crumb for fried chicken sandwiches and West African dishes. [WCP]

  • This Matchbox pizza has been around since day one and is still bringing the heat. [WCP]

  • Victor Albisu’s next restaurant will specialize in eggs. [Eater]

  • On whether to tip 20 percent, even when you get poor service. [Post]

ARTS LINKS, by Kayla Randall (tips?

  • Welcome to Trove, where you can find the costumes you need to slay Halloween. [DCist]

  • No more print for Capitol File. [Washingtonian]

  • How “design thinking” could change America’s classrooms. [Post]

  • What’s up with those dolphins in the Potomac? [Kojo Nnamdi Show]

SPORTS LINKS, by Kelyn Soong (tips?

  • In a thrilling back and forth Game 4 of the WNBA Finals, the Connecticut Sun held off a furious rally from the Mystics to win, 90-86. The decisive Game 5 will be tomorrow night at 8 p.m. at the Entertainment and Sports Arena. [Yahoo]

  • The Nats will take on the Dodgers in Game 5 of the NLDS tonight. Nats Park will host a free watch party starting at 7:30 p.m. Registration is required. [NBC Sports Washington]

  • Even with Evgeny Kuznetsovback after his drug-related suspension, the Caps lost their second straight overtime game at home. [Japers’ Rink]

MAKE PLANS, by Emma Sarappo (Love this section? Get the full To Do This Week newsletter here. Tips?

Sign up: To get District Line Daily—or any of our other email newsletters—sent straight to your mailbox, click here. Send tips, ideas, and comments to