Accountability and Consequences for Gun Violence

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Muriel Bowser Ward 4




John A. Wilson Building

1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20004


Phone: (202) 727-2643

Chief of Staff:
John Falcicchio

City Administrator:
Kevin Donahue

Director of the Mayor's Office of Legal Counsel:
Eugene Adams

Senior Advisor:
Beverly Perry

Director of Mayor's Office of Community Affairs:
Jackie Reyes-Yanes

Director of Mayor's Office of Community Relations and Services:
Julia Irving

Scheduling Requests:




















January 28, 2022

Letter from the Mayor

Dear Washingtonians,

Every person, in every part of DC, deserves to move around our city without fear of gun violence. And the work to get guns out of our community remains urgent. Already, in January, the Metropolitan Police Department has removed 255 firearms from our streets – up from 175 recovered at this time last year. Still, there are too many guns in DC and too many guns in the hands of our young people. Residents in all eight wards are rightfully concerned about the use of guns in our community right now.

Every part of our public safety and justice ecosystem must be serious about how we apply the law. Consequences are important. If the message that young people in our community get is that when you use a gun in our city, nothing happens, then they will continue to use guns. Whether the guns are being used in a robbery, a carjacking, or mid-day shootout, any person, of any age, who is carrying illegal firearms and using them to terrorize our city must be held accountable.

And everyone needs to pay close attention to the entire public safety and justice ecosystem. When a violent crime happens in our city, we need people paying close attention to what happens along the whole process—from arrest to detention decisions for those awaiting trial. Pay attention to the prosecution decisions by the Office of the Attorney General and the U.S. Attorney's Office. Pay attention to the sentences imposed by judges. Pay attention to legislation that the Council is proposing or sweeping changes to the DC criminal code that are moving through without sufficient and meaningful resident input. And hold every part of the system accountable – including the executive branch, which is responsible for MPD and the Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services. But also know that the executive doesn’t prosecute; the District’s Attorney General is solely responsible for the prosecution of juvenile offenses. We also don’t hold trials. We don’t even have complete supervision of young people involved in the juvenile justice system—we want it because we believe that DC Government is best situated to supervise and support District youth and their families and to provide targeted interventions, but right now, juvenile probation is under the control of the D.C. Superior Court. (For now, we are expanding our DYRS programming and services to more young people, whether they are committed or not, because we know that our programming works.)

Accountability and consequences are particularly critical for helping young people get on a more positive and productive path. Unfortunately, right now we know that young people are not being held sufficiently accountable. Last year, 100 of the 149 arrests for carjacking offenses were of juveniles. This year, MPD has made 18 arrests for carjackings – 14 were juveniles. We need better systems of accountability and consequences. Of course, we don’t want to see hundreds of young people incarcerated, but we do believe it is important that youth who commit violent offenses, using guns that are just as deadly as the guns used by adults, face consequences. It is also important for them and for the safety of our community that those young people are afforded the intensive interventions offered by DYRS.

While the executive does not have control of prosecution or probation, we do have the ability to make an impact and we are throwing everything at the problem. Over the past several weeks, we’ve hired additional violence interrupters, added a group of detectives to our MPD carjacking task force, expanded the Safe Passage program for students, expanded eligibility for our MPD Cadet Corps Program, increased the reward for helping us get illegal guns out of the community, and just this week, we awarded 20 Building Blocks grants of up to $5,000 to residents who are leading efforts within the community to reduce gun violence.

And we will continue putting as many resources as needed into engaging our young people. We have worked hard to open our schools and keep them open, and that will remain a top priority. When our young people are in school not only do they have more structure and supervision, they are part of a community and have access to the love and support of their teachers, school staff, counselors, coaches, and so many other trusted adults and peers.

Additionally, just today, we launched applications for the Mayor Marion S. Barry Summer Youth Employment Program. So, we are asking all Washingtonians to reach out to the young people in their lives, between the ages of 14 and 24, and direct them to apply at Additionally, if you work at or know of an organization or employer who wants to work with DC Government to create opportunities for youth this summer, please also reach out to us through

We can and will do more to keep our community safe. Let’s keep pushing.


Muriel Bowser

In This Week's Newsletter:

Free KN95 Masks at COVID Centers

Free Masks

DC residents can now pick up two free KN95 masks per day at any of the new COVID Centers. Seven COVID Centers are open across DC, and in addition to free KN95 masks they also offer free vaccinations, boosters, rapid tests, and PCR tests. 

Find COVID Center locations and hours HERE

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Now Open: Applications for the Summer Youth Employment Program

SYEP Applications

Applications for the 2022 Mayor Marion S. Barry Summer Youth Employment Program (MBSYEP) are open and District youth between the ages of 14 and 24 are encouraged to apply at

Employers and organizations who are interested in partnering with DC Government to create opportunities for young people this summer are also encouraged to go to to learn more. 

Applications will be accepted until Monday, February 28.

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Free Tax Support


This week, Mayor Bowser announced that free in-person and virtual tax preparation services are being offered to low- and moderate-income District residents by the DC Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking (DISB) and the United Way of the National Capital Area (United Way NCA). The free services will help more families take advantage of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC).

The EITC, one of the nation’s largest and most effective anti-poverty programs, is a refundable tax credit. For the 2021 tax year, households with incomes not exceeding $57,414 can qualify for the EITC, which could put up to $6,700 into the pockets of eligible taxpayers. According to the IRS, 25 million workers and families got about $62 billion in EITC as of December 2020. The average amount of EITC received nationwide was about $2,461.

Tax preparation services are available virtually or in person (following COVID-19 safety protocols). For more information on using the services, please visit

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