Credit: Darrow Montgomery/File

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The District will give about $1,000 in extra assistance to about 15,000 Temporary Assistance for Needy Families benefit recipients, Mayor Muriel Bowser announced today. The one-time payment is expected to be automatically distributed to families by the end of this month.

During a press conference at the Frederick Douglas Community Center on Alabama Avenue SE, Bowser framed the grant payment as a boost for families just as students return to school. But the money comes with no strings attached, and families can use it however they need, she said: food, new shoes, school supplies, or a night out. “And that’s OK,” Bowser said.

The grants come from $14.7 million in federal pandemic recovery assistance, Bowser said.

Department of Human Services Director Laura Zeilinger added that other states are using their funds in similar ways, but with stipulations on what the money can be used for.

“Far too many people believe if you’re receiving TANF, then you don’t want to work or are not working hard enough,” Zeilinger said. “It’s not OK. We know that’s not true.”

Bowser also took the opportunity to remind families and students of D.C. schools’ vaccination requirements. In addition to typical vaccines (measles, mumps, rubella, for example), students 12 and older are also required to be vaccinated for COVID-19. Students will also be required to test negative for COVID before returning to school, according to DCPS. Chancellor Lewis Ferebee will host a town hall at 5 p.m. today to discuss vaccines and other back-to-school requirements.

Mitch Ryals (tips? mryals@washingtoncitypaper.com)

  • To see today’s COVID-19 data, visit our coronavirus tracker.
  • This clinic specializes in helping Black and immigrant pregnant people in wards 7 and 8. [DCist]
  • Unionized American University staff plan to strike next week if today’s negotiations over higher and more equitable pay don’t result in an agreement. [WTOP]
  • Here are some D.C. conspiracy theories that could actually be true. (No, The Plan is not one of them.) [Washingtonian]

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

  • There’s plenty on the line for D.C. in the midterm elections, from Republican attacks on city autonomy to the future of parole to control of the RFK Stadium campus. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton may have to play tiebreaker on the latter issue, as Mayor Bowser and Council Chairman Phil Mendelson remain deadlocked on a path forward for the land. [Post]
  • Construction could finally start on the redevelopment of the Barry Farm public housing community in September, Bowser says. The project has faced many years of delays, so developers are starting small, with a single apartment building for seniors. Even that piece of the project has been a long time coming. [DCist, WBJ]
  • There are 56 districts across D.C. where no one is running to be an advisory neighborhood commissioner, the largest number since the ANC system’s inception. Only 10 of D.C.’s 34 LGBTQ ANCs are running for re-election, too, with many citing burnout as a reason to retire. [Blade]

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

  • Cheap tacos, fancy tacos, and the best tacos from restaurant families in the DMV, from Washingtonian’s August issue. [Washingtonian]
  • Blueberry season is fading fast. Here are 12 places to find blueberry drinks and snacks. [Eater]
  • At least five major food businesses closed just this week. [WAMU]

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

All the Dirty Secrets Dissects D.C. Private Schools With Suspense

Local author Aggie Blum Thompson’s second novel, All the Dirty Secrets, is a slow burn, […]

  • Dr. Anthony Fauci and White House chief of staff Ron Klain will headline this year’s Atlantic Festival, which will take over the Wharf from Sept. 21-23. [Washingtonian]
  • For eight years running, Team Rayceen Productions has created safe, fun spaces for the city’s queer community. Here’s to another eight years! [Blade]
  • Conceptualized by artist and director Madeleine Regina and written, co-directed, and performed by Adrienne Powell, Covenant Babatunde, Elizabeth Hoyland, Lisa Danielle Buch, and Rudaba Zehra Nasir, Family and Other Fractured Fairytales is an all-women production that centers underrepresented voices. [DC Theater Arts]
  • What do Don McLean and Antonio Gibson have in common? Absolutely nothing except this Deadspin article that parodies the singer-songwriter’s “American Pie” to report on the running back’s uncertain role in Ron Rivera’s offense. [Deadspin]
  • St. John’s College High basketball coach Patrick Behan was diagnosed with ALS, a rarity for a 34-year-old. As he fights the disease, he continues to coach. [Post]
  • The Mystics pumped in crowd noise during practice in Seattle to prep for their first round playoff matchup against the Storm. Tip off is 10 p.m. EST. [Post, CBS Sports]

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

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CORRECTION: This article incorrectly stated that Don McLean had died. He is very much alive.