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Sales of sweets and raffle tickets held at Eastern Market on an unusually warm December Sunday generated more than $1,097 meant to help finance a public-records request to the U.S. Department of Justice for numbers on local conviction rates.

Denise Rucker Krepp, the Capitol Hill resident and ANC comissioner behind the “FOIA Cakes Bake Sale,” tells City Desk in an email that her effort drew “a steady stream of neighbors,” some of whom gave Krepp cash without buying anything. She says several others made donations through PayPal that haven’t yet been totaled. The event was part of the Krepp’s quest to get more precise data on prosecutions for crimes committed across the District’s eight wards during the past five years. DOJ officials recently told Krepp that her “complex” request would cost $40 per hour and take upwards of 30 days to process.

“Neighbors don’t understand (a) why DOJ doesn’t have the prosecution data readily available and (b) why they are charging neighbors to gain access to this information,” Krepp writes. “Every brownie counts and we need to know how many we’re baking to cover the costs of this endeavor.”

She adds that she’ll soon write a letter to the department “notifying them of the bake sale and the money raised” as well as requesting an update on the timetable for her request.

Sunday’s event got some attention on Twitter:

The bake sale ran from 1 to 4 p.m. The raffle was for two tickets to a Georgetown University men’s basketball game.

Update 4:55 p.m.: After tallying the #foicakes funds, Krepp says she’s raised a total $1,867: $1,097 from the bake sale and raffle, $420 in direct contributions, and $350 as a donation from Dangerously Delicious Pies, which sold items at the event. She’s also sent a letter to DOJ informing the department of her efforts and requesting that it tell her when to expect the results of her FOIA request. “We don’t understand why residents have to pay for that data,” Krepp writes. “Shouldn’t this be something you would want to share with D.C. at no cost? I’m going to share it with everyone as soon as I receive it.”

[documentcloud url=”https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/2646505-DOJ-121315-Bakesale-Ltr.html”]

 

Photo by Darrow Montgomery