On Friday we held our annual Supreme Court Term in Review: View from the Press Gallery. The panel of leading Supreme Court reporters covered the major decisions from the just-concluded term and predicted what lies ahead post-Justice Kennedy. If you weren't able to attend, check out C-SPAN's coverage.
By Christelle Tshibengabo Whitman-Walker Health is celebrating its 40th anniversary in the District of Columbia this year. Whitman-Walker Health is a non-profit community health organization. Whitman-Walker specializes in providing health care to the LGBT community and to those living with HIV; however, the centers are also open to those with a wide range of health concerns and needs. Whitman-Walker Health has six locations, including four in Northwest DC (Whitman-Walker at 1525, Whitman-Walker at WeWork Manhattan Laundry, and Whitman-Walker Research). Whitman-Walker Youth Services is in Eastern Market in SE and The Max Robinson Center is located East of the River in Anacostia. The Anacostia site offers medical care, behavioral health care, dental care, HIV testing, insurance navigation, and legal services. Recently, Whitman-Walker announced that it will be opening a pharmacy adjacent to its Max Robinson location. The Max Robinson Center is named after American broadcast journalist, Max Robinson, who was the first black anchor for ABC World News Tonight and one of the founders of the National Association of Black Journalists. Mr. Robinson died of complications associated with AIDS. In February, a program hosted by Whitman-Walker Health and PNC Bank at the Lincoln Theater celebrated the life of Mr. Robinson and other pioneers of black journalism. I recently spoke with Allison Dowling, a staff attorney who focuses on public benefits law including applications; advocacy; appeals for Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare; Food Stamps; and Interim Disability Assistance. Whitman-Walker Health has a legal services team that provides assistance across its sites to assist its patients with access to care and other areas related to patient's health and wellness, including healthcare planning documents, identity documents for transgender clients, discrimination, and immigration status. According to Ms. Dowling, the Max Robinson Center is important to the community because everyone deserves to be able to access care in their own community. Whitman-Walker Health has had a presence in SE DC for over thirty years. In its next decade, Whitman-Walker plans to continue to bridge the gap for access to healthcare throughout the Washington, DC metropolitan area. You can learn more about Whitman‑Walker Health here. Christelle Tshibengabo interned with Washington Council of Lawyers in 2018.
Most Washingtonians, regardless of where they reside, know that the city landscape is changing. It is hard not to notice the construction cranes and ubiquitous “sidewalk closed” signs signaling new buildings on the horizon. But this construction has left some, including those residing in older and economically challenged neighborhoods, asking whether these changes are ultimately a step forward, especially if construction makes the cost of living in their neighborhood unaffordable. A recent New York Times article addresses this battle between gentrification and the expansion of affordable housing options. Many advocates and residents are concerned that developers are solely focused on building high-cost, market-rate housing, leaving those in low-rent apartments or in lower-cost neighborhoods in untenable positions. Specifically, the Times discusses development in Anacostia, where median home sales prices jumped 22 percent in 2017. The Times also reports on the city’s efforts and commitment to increasing affordable housing. Since 2013, the city government has adjudicated thousands of legal challenges, many filed in an attempt to slow the speed of development across the District and ensure more affordable housing is included in development plans. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser is currently seeking to revise a comprehensive city plan to decrease these court challenges and undo the logjam of construction of badly needed new housing units. Despite these efforts, the future of affordable housing – and the effects of development on well-established neighborhoods – remains in question.