Walter’s Corner


The Second Amendment and Concealed Carry in DC

You probably saw that yesterday afternoon, D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine announced that the District would not be appealing the D.C. Circuit’s decision on the city’s public-carrying law to the Supreme Court. This was a difficult decision, but we think the Attorney General made the right call, and we are glad he did it with support from […]

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On the Brink of a Multi-Million Dollar Investment in D.C. Health

You may have seen the Washington Post report last week on the District’s persisting racial and geographic disparities in healthcare access and health outcomes. For example, chronic diseases and depression are highest in Ward 8, and less than a quarter of residents in the District’s east end see a primary care provider in their own […]

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Investing in D.C.’s Children

High-quality childcare is essential to children, families, and the local economy. Science tells us that brain development in a child’s first three years provides the building blocks for all future learning, and that children deprived of appropriate stimulation in that crucial period will struggle to meet their full potential. With studies showing a $7.30 return […]

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Defending D.C.’s Gun Laws

On Tuesday, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit held by a 2-1 vote that the District’s requirements for carrying a concealed handgun in public violate the Second Amendment. The District’s law requires that a person applying for a license to carry a concealed gun must show either a “good reason […]

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A Real Chance for a CareFirst Settlement

Throughout our longstanding effort to hold CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield accountable to its nonprofit mission, we’ve always hoped for a settlement that would avoid further litigation and protect the public interest. Now, because of an order this week from the D.C. Insurance Commissioner, a settlement finally is within reach. The Commissioner of the D.C. Department of Insurance, Securities, and […]

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Giving D.C. Residents a Vote

Yesterday was a busy news day, so I wanted to deliver some groundbreaking local news that you may have missed. Councilmember Mary Cheh introduced a bill on Tuesday morning that would give the District’s Delegate to Congress the right to vote on all matters applying exclusively to the District. Chairman Phil Mendelson, along with Councilmembers Charles […]

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Holding Congress Accountable on the Health Care Bill

Although Congress’s pending health care bill has been overshadowed by other headlines, the Senate and the President are moving forward with efforts to undo the Affordable Care Act (ACA). According to recent press reports, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell plans to have a vote by July 4 on the Affordable Health Care Act (AHCA). And […]

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A Settlement with CareFirst?

I hope you saw the recent article in the Washington Business Journal with the headline “CareFirst CEO Chet Burrell says it’s time to finally end the 10-year fight over its surplus.” We agree with Mr. Burrell. That is why this week we informed Mr. Burrell’s lawyers, the D.C. Insurance Commissioner, the D.C. Attorney General, and the […]

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Almost There: Holding CareFirst Accountable

I want to give you an important update on our longstanding effort to hold CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield accountable to the public and ensure that it spends the excess of its nearly $1 billion surplus on community healthcare needs. The good news is that CareFirst for the first time has admitted that it has excess surplus, and […]

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Testimony by Walter Smith on the Clean up of the Anacostia River

TESTIMONY OF WALTER SMITH, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, DC APPLESEED CENTER FOR LAW AND JUSTICE COUNCIL OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA – COMMITTEE ON TRANSPORTATION AND THE ENVIRONMENT  John A. Wilson Building Room 412 – April 28, 2017 Fiscal Year 2017 Budget Oversight Hearing on the Department of Energy and Environment Good morning Chair Cheh and other members of the […]

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