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It is well-known that D.C.’s murder count is ticking up. But not enough is known about the people who were murdered.
For the last four months, City Paper staff contacted the families and friends of those who were killed this year. The intent was to share something about each life lost—what they liked to do or what they dreamed of, and the natural gifts they brought into this world. Reporters, and in some cases loved ones, wrote vignettes about the people behind a devastating statistic.
D.C.’s murder count went down for two decades following 1991, when there were 479 homicides. Last year, however, the number jumped by 38 percent from the previous year. Now, homicides are up 5 percent from last, at 160.
“Over the years it’s been, ‘Oh look, it’s the lowest number it’s been in a generation,’ and there was a celebratory wrapping around the homicide number,” says David Bowers, founder of NO MURDERS DC. “But there’s a difference between progress and ‘mission accomplished.’ What about those 88 that were still killed that year? Let’s go tell their parents that we’re celebrating.
“You have to have a fundamental view that one is too many.”
In writing about more than 40 homicide victims, we learned that everybody is somebody’s everything.
If you know someone who was killed but not included in the remembrances project, email me directly or reply to this newsletter. City Paper will be updating this list until the end of the year. —Amanda Michelle Gomez (tips? Email email@example.com)
CITY DESK LINKS, by Amanda Michelle Gomez:
WMATA board meets to discuss operations, safety, and finance. [Twitter Thread]
Past racist housing policies segregated D.C.—so how do we do better now? [GGW]
DCPS’ flawed funding models means cuts for Ward 7 & 8 schools. [DC Fiscal Policy]
Michelle Obama’s visit to a local elementary school raises questions about why the school needs donations to begin with. [Post]
LOOSE LIPS LINKS, by Mitch Ryals(tips? firstname.lastname@example.org)
The DC Housing Authority will sell its headquarters to developers and then pay them rent to stay there. [WCP]
The political makeup of the D.C. Council is at stake in next year’s elections. Here’s a look at the Ward 4 race. [DC Line]
Former EagleBank CEO Ron Paul’s sudden retirement rocked the business community. Paul was one of Ward 2 Councilmember Jack Evans’ private consulting clients. [WBJ]
YOUNG & HUNGRY LINKS, by Laura Hayes (tips? email@example.com)
The stories behind local chefs’ most sentimental pots and pans. [WCP]
How Sweetgreen’s“family fund” is a symptom of a larger problem. [Eater]
What virtual reality dining looks like. [Post]
ARTS LINKS, by Kayla Randall (tips? firstname.lastname@example.org)
Inside go-go star Donnell Floyd’s wonderful farewell to the genre. [WCP]
Liz At Large: “Perfect.” [WCP]
Local museum leaders and journalists discuss what they’d want from a new Newseum. [DCist]
Shop Made in DC co-founder Stacey Price chats about the region’s booming artisan community. [Washingtonian]
SPORTS LINKS, by Kelyn Soong (tips? email@example.com)
Legendary local hockey coach Neal Henderson will be inducted into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame today. Henderson, 82, spoke with City Paper last year in an extended interview about his life, why he loves hockey, and his visits to the White House. [WCP]
Just a few days after Stephen Strasburg agreed to a seven-year, $245 million deal to stay with the Nats, third baseman and MVP candidate Anthony Rendon is set to sign for the exact same amount and duration with the Los Angeles Angels. Fans and sportswriters have jokingly pointed out that the spotlight-averse Rendon will enjoy not being the talk of his new team. (That honor will likely remain with Mike Trout.) At least ex-teammate Bryce Harper is happy for him. [ESPN]
The World Cup champion U.S. women’s national soccer team, which includes local players Rose Lavelle and Mallory Pugh, has been named Time’s 2019 athlete of the year. [Time]
These fans grew up rooting for the local NFL team. Now, because of Dan Snyder, Bruce Allen, and the dysfunction around the franchise, they’re flocking to support Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens. [Post]
The Nats have shuffled their coaching staff. [Washington Times]
Tonight: The psychedelic and the scientific entwine in Fantastic Fungi, the new documentary from Louie Schwartzberg. 7 p.m. at the AFI Silver Theater and Cultural Center, 8633 Colesville Road, Silver Spring. $8–$13.
Friday:Smooth-voiced Omar Apollo is taking over a significant corner of the R&B space at only 22. 6 p.m. at 9:30 Club, 815 V St. NW. $25.
Saturday:Dance Place’s annual Kwanzaa celebration features Coyaba Dance Theater highlighting the holiday’s seven principles. 7 p.m. at Dance Place, 3225 8th St. NE. $15–$30.