Walter’s Corner


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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Saluting Roger Wilkins

Roger Wilkins was one of the truly great citizens of the District of Columbia, and DC Appleseed was lucky to work with and be inspired by him. He served on our Advisory Council, worked with us on a number of school reform  issues, was a plaintiff in the D.C. voting rights and commuter tax lawsuits we […]

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A $51 Million Rebate for Area Residents

I have some very good news regarding our longstanding efforts to require CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield to spend down its excess surplus. Yesterday, the D.C. Insurance Commissioner ordered the company to rebate $51 million in excess surplus to the more than 200,000 subscribers with D.C.-based CareFirst contracts. This group is primarily D.C. residents, but it includes a significant […]

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A Busy Week: Statehood, CareFirst Reform, Public Safety

It’s been a busy week in the District and at DC Appleseed. We have important updates on three different projects–D.C. Democracy, CareFirst Reform, and Public Safety–and we wanted to let you know about them. Statehood Will Be on the District’s November Ballot On Tuesday, the D.C. Council unanimously approved a resolution calling for a statehood […]

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