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DC NOW Feminist Legislative Agenda

Below are DC bills DCNOW endorses 

BILL: B24-0235- Aged out foster care economic support and financial literacy act of 2021

SUMMARY: As introduced, Bill 24-235 would provide for the creation of a program giving youth who have aged out of the foster care system a $1000 stipend each month for economic support as well as financial literacy advice and tools for money management.


DCNOW Position: This bill is important for both sexes, but especially girls. A lot of people who end up homeless or end up exploited are often people who aged out of foster care. This $1,000 stipend will not cover all costs, but will be a huge relief to former foster care children. In addition, this bill teaches financial literacy and money management. National studies show that those that age out of foster care within 2 or 4 years, “40% end up homeless, 40% were receiving public assistance or were incarcerated, 50% were unemployed, and 84% became parents” [1].  While $1,000 for each aged out foster care youth might sound like a lot, it is less than the cost of doing nothing. The cost of having hundreds of children homeless or unemployed is a bigger financial cost-- not to mention human cost. I urge you to support this bill. 


BILL: B24-0064 "Fair wage amendemnt act of 2021"

Summary: As introduced, Bill 24-64 prohibits an employer from seeking the wage history of a prospective employee or screening prospective employees based on wage history.

DCNOW Position: Salary history privacy from employers is one major way to close the gender pay gap. In the private sector it is common for employers to base an employee's salary based on their past salary as the basis for a new job offer. This practice perpetuates low wage earners and those who have been underpaid due to employment discrimination like women to a never ending track to being paid less. Currently salary history inquiries are only illegal for the DC government agencies. This should be extended to the private sector.  

BILL: B24-0372 Voter Ownership, Integrity, Choice, and Equity (VOICE) Amendment Act of 2021

Summary: As introduced Bill 24-372 would introduce ranked choice voting to the District of Columbia for the 2024 elections, which would include a public education campaign about the transition.


DCNOW Position: Ranked voting is not just more democratic, but makes it easier for women and minorities to get in office. Many voters fear their vote may be spoiled if they elect a third party, so end up voting for the two established parties. Many people might also fear that a minority or female candidate won’t appeal to the wider voting public, so vote for a safe male or white candidate. With ranked voting, people can choose for their first choice who they truly want without fear of spoiling the election. This also might increase voter turnout as people feel like their vote counts. In a report by Fairvote, they found that over the past decade “ women have won 45 percent of all municipal ranked choice elections. As of April 2020, nearly half of all mayors (46 percent) and 49 percent of all city council seats decided by RCV are held by women.” [1]

[1] “New report illustrates how ranked choice voting helps elect more women”

BILL: B23-498 Intersectional Discrimination Protection Amendment Act

Summary: As introduced Bill 23-498 explicitly prohibits discrimination wholly or partially because of any combination of statutorily protected traits.


DCNOW Position: would extend anti-discrimination protections to over 200,000 women who currently have no express legal recourse against discrimination that is based on both their sex and a second protected category, especially race, color, and ethnicity.

B24-0026 Maternal Health Resources and Access Act of 2021

Summary: As introduced, this bill establishes apilot program for Medicaid reimbursement of doula services, which includes emotional and physical support during pregnancy, labor, birth, and postpartum. Among other things, it also requires the Department of Health to conduct a study of the feasibility of establishing a birthing center east of the river. 

DCNOW Positon: This program will help reduce pregnancy complications and reduce the maternal mortality rate which is very high in DC. 

B24-0062 Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair (CROWN) Act of 2021

Summary: This bill would make it illegal for employers to discriminate based on hair tecture related to black people such as braids, twists, locks, and cornrows.

DCNOW Position: Discriminationg against someone due to their hair texture is no different than discriminating against someone due to their skin color. Kinky afro hair is an inborn trait and can't be treated as "unprofessional."

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