A vial of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine
A vial of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. Credit: Darrow Montgomery

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The D.C. Council’s Special Committee on COVID-19 Pandemic Recovery released recommendations this week for legislative and executive action to strengthen safety net programs, help small businesses, track and improve education outcomes, and bolster infrastructure.

You can read all 20 of the committee’s recommendations here. Some of the highlights include:

• Expanding D.C.’s new monthly basic income program to undocumented residents as well as workers without children between ages 18 and 24 and over 65, who don’t currently qualify for the cash benefit.

• Continuing eviction and foreclosure moratoria for those who likely qualify for federal assistance through the STAY DC program. The District requested an additional $238 million in federal assistance, according to the special committee’s report.

• Extending tax credits for businesses that hire returning citizens. 

• Targeting business stimulus funds toward small, Black-owned local businesses that might still be struggling. The committee report notes that while some businesses have begun to bounce back, dining, hotel, fitness, and leisure industries are “only hanging on by a thread.”

• Providing incentives for mixed-used developments in Wards 7 and 8, as well as incentives to drive residential density in the downtown core.

• Expanding after-school programs, in particular for low-income families and students. The committee recommends increasing funding for these programs above the $22 million approved in fiscal year 2022.

• Giving every D.C. resident up to $100 per month for public transportation. The committee report notes that WMATA was among the hardest hit industries. Although rail ridership is bouncing back from a 90 percent drop during the pandemic, the committee believes the $100 monthly credit (essentially making public transportation free) will help bring ridership back to pre-pandemic levels.

In other COVID news:

This week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and DC Health recommended a second booster shot for people age 50 and older as well as people 12 and older with weakened immune systems. Those who qualify should get a second booster four months after their first booster, health officials recommend.

Those who received the one-shot Johnson and Johnson vaccine are not as well protected against serious illness and hospitalization as those who received Moderna or Pfizer’s mRNA vaccines, according to CDC data released this week. The data suggest J&J recipients switch to Moderna or Pfizer’s mRNA vaccines for their first or second boosters.

D.C. operates COVID vaccine centers throughout the city. Residents can also make in-home appointments by calling 1-855-363-0333.

—Mitch Ryals (tips? mryals@washingtoncitypaper.com)

  • To see today’s COVID-19 data, visit our coronavirus tracker.
  • Five fetuses were found at a home on Capitol Hill where a woman charged with civil rights violations for her participation in an abortion clinic blockade was arrested. [Post, WUSA9]
  • Gallaudet University makes more history this week: Its debate team was the first to use ASL when it competed in a multi-college tournament at Morehouse College in Atlanta. [NBC4]
  • MPD Chief Robert Contee says the department has lost recruits due to COVID-19 vaccination requirements. [DCist]
  • A hacking incident resulted in TANF recipients receiving less money in March. The Department of Human Services says it has identified the problem and is working to reimburse those affected. [Street Sense]
  • Mayor Muriel Bowser has set aside $10 million in her budget to support Black homeowners. [Post]

By City Paper staff (tips? acastillo@washingtoncitypaper.com)

  • Council Chairman Phil Mendelson is pressing forward with another attempt to ban marijuana “gifting” stores, shifting sales entirely to medical dispensaries. A vote could come as soon as Tuesday. [DCist]
  • Mayor Bowser is “challenging the Council” with her move to strip funding for a new ombudsman set to oversee the Child and Family Services Agency, some lawmakers say. Ward 1 Councilmember Brianne Nadeau now has to come up with $4 million if she hopes to reverse that budget maneuver. [DC Line]
  • Ward 5 State Board of Education Representative (and Council candidate) Zachary Parker has come out as gay, noting that some community leaders tried to dissuade him from discussing his sexuality. [Twitter]

By Alex Koma (tips? akoma@washingtoncitypaper.com)

  • Mumbo sauce-flavored La Croix? I don’t think so. [Twitter]
  • Tom Sietsema dines at Magpie and the Tiger, the latest restaurant to occupy the former Himitsu/Pom Pom/Crane and Turtle space in Petworth. [Post]
  • The Runaway, now open in Brookland, offers unlimited Narragansett at brunch. Sign me up! [Eater]
  • Chesapeake crab season kicks off today. [Washingtonian]

By City Paper staff (tips? editor@washingtoncitypaper.com)

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By Sarah Marloff (tips? smarloff@washingtoncitypaper.com)

  • The Wizards have officially been eliminated from playoff contention. [NBC Sports Washington]
  • The Spirit rallied for a 2-2 draw against the North Carolina Courage on Wednesday and will host the Orlando Pride at Audi Field this Sunday at 4 p.m. [Black & Red United
  • Congress is investigating allegations of financial impropriety by the Washington Commanders under owner Dan Snyder. [Front Office Sports]

By Kelyn Soong (tips? ksoong@washingtoncitypaper.com)

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