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Hello, D.C. Only one presidential candidate brought up D.C. statehood during last night’s Democratic debate, and it was South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg. Mayor Muriel Bowser took note


Attorney General Karl A. Racine just filed a lawsuit against the owner of a Ward 7 apartment building for exposing tenants to lead-based paint and endangering their health and safety. This is the first time the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) sued a landlord for violating the District’s Lead Hazard Act. 

Backstory: Since 2017, the Department of Energy and Environment (DOEE) has received multiple complaints about peeling or chipping paint in this building. After inspecting the four-unit, two story property, DOEE said it found lead-based paint and dust, and asked the landlord to eliminate the hazards. 

After the owner mostly ignored the administrative orders to remove or contain the lead paint for two years, OAG decided to sue. Attorneys with OAG believe all four units are still occupied, with eight to 10 tenants total; the landlord actually lives in one of the apartments herself.     

Racine has filed dozens of lawsuits against property managers since he was first elected in 2014. While housing advocates welcome all the cases, they also don’t want the lawsuits to distract from the systemic problem of improving code violations enforcement.  

“It’s definitely a positive step for the AG to tackle these issues, but I worry that the scale of the problem with housing conditions exceeds the OAG’s capacity,” says tenant organizer Rob Wohlof the Latino Economic Development Center. “The problem with the administrative agencies isn’t that they never investigate or cite violations; the problem is that they don’t do a very good job collecting fines, so landlords aren’t afraid of violating the law.”

DOEE says it “has issued 201 administrative orders to eliminate lead-based paint hazards to owners of rental properties in the District since DOEE began issuing these orders in December 2015. 143 have been resolved by the owner making repairs and submitting a clearance report prepared by a certified lead risk assessor.” The agency can’t comment on pending litigation, but says it supports Racine’s effort. 

Lead paint is a big issue in D.C., and one that the city has struggled to address. —Amanda Michelle Gomez (Email me at agomez@washingtoncitypaper.com)  


  • When is it still OK to tip a dollar per drink? [WCP]

  • D.C. native Hailey Baptiste, 17, scored her first WTA victory over Madison Keys in the first round of the Citi Open (which is operated by City Paper owner Mark Ein). [WCP]

  • Tenants score a win after exercising TOPA rights when the church decided to sell their rent-controlled apartments. [Post

  • Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton backs impeachment inquiry. [DCist]

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

  • All D.C. councilmembers ask Mayor Muriel Bowser to re-examine the decision to end a disability services contract with Georgetown University. [WCP]

  • Please, Maryland, give Metro that $56 million. [Post]

  • You need to make $132k to rent a two-bedroom apartment in D.C., report finds. [Curbed]

  • D.C. police chief calls for tougher penalties for gun crimes, doesn’t understand why heavily policed areas are hesitant to call the police. [WAMU, Twitter]

  • D.C. Councilmember Elissa Silverman backs Elizabeth Warren. [Twitter]

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

  • How much is too much to pay for a mocktail? [Washingtonian]

  • Why so many restaurant playlists sound the same. [Eater]

  • Seven Reasons reopens after the Grady’s fire next door. [PoPville]

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

  • Synetic Theater’s Treasure Island is serving high seas energy. [WCP]

  • What on Earth is up with Woodstock 50? [Kojo Nnamdi Show]

  • There’s a silent tour of the monuments this Thursday. [DCist]

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

  • The person behind Frances Tiafoe’s career highs is a 27-year-old first-time pro tennis coach named Zack Evenden. [WCP]

  • Elena Delle Donne finished with a season-high 33 points in the Mystics’ 99-93 win over the Phoenix Mercury. [AP]

  • Erick Fedde made it less than four innings after recording 11 outs and allowing nine runs against the Braves. [NBC Sports Washington]

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

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