Juneteenth Press Conference Today

Join ONE DC, the DC Black Workers Center, and the Kalmanowitz Initiative for Labor and the Working Poor TODAY AT 10AM at our Juneteenth Press Conference to release the Marriott Marquis Training Program Accountability Report.

Even with a landmark jobs training program for the new Marriott Marquis hotel and the First Source Law [which requires businesses that receive financial assistance from the District to make a “good faith effort” to hire DC residents for at least 51 percent of new jobs created] only 178 graduates of the Marriott Marquis Jobs Training Program were hired out of 719 trained.


Download and read the full report: "Trained to Death" and Still Jobless: A Case Study of the Efficacy of DC's First Source Law, Economic Development Policies, and the Marriott Marquis Jobs Training Program.

It is not enough.  We, the residents of Washington DC, want to see good jobs be available to Black District residents and public funds be used for the improvement of our communities, not just businesses.

WE DEMAND:

1. THAT THE DEPARTMENT OF EMPLOYMENT SERVICES (DOES) ENFORCE OUR FIRST SOURCE LAW

2. THAT THE MUNICIPALITY & DC RESIDENTS SUPPORT THE GROWTH OF THE BLACK WORKERS CENTER
SIGN THE PETITION

Can you support us by sharing a tweet?

This #Juneteenth, join @_onedc in demanding economic freedom for black District residents onedconline.org/firstsourcepetition #DCBWC #BlackWorkersRising

This #Juneteenth, join me in signing the petition to demand greater @DOES_DC enforcement of First Source Law http://www.onedconline.org/firstsourcepetition

'"Trained to Death" and Still Jobless' | Demand better employment opportunities for DC residents http://www.onedconline.org/firstsourcepetition #DCBWC

Join the conversation online by following @_ONEDC and hashtags #DCBWC and #BlackWorkersRising.

We chose Juneteenth (June 19th) because of its historical significance. Juneteenth celebrates the liberation of enslaved black Americans in the United States. 2015 marks its 150th Anniversary

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More Housing Coop Opportunities!

In these Cooperatives, the price is LOW to keep them affordable to the people who need housing most! 
The maximum income limit is $60,839 for one person and $69,530 for two people.
If you are interested in affordable home ownership, apply soon, these prices are too good to last long!
 
VACANCIES AS OF JUNE 2, 2015

2711 Q Street SE Cooperative
Join a 10 unit cooperative in the Randle Highlands area of Southeast with easy street parking and convenient to Pennsylvania Avenue.
1 BR - 2BR $990 - $1190 a month carrying charge, $1490 share price, payment plan available.  To view a unit contact Ms Weeks at (202) 421-6487 or e-mail her at minweekswife@gmail.com
1314 K Street NE Cooperative
Excellent location off the Potomac Avenue Metro stop with ample street parking available, and just minutes from DC-295. 1 BR $1100 a month carrying charge, $3500 share price, payment plan available.  To view a unit contact Nicole Pope at 202-543-6321 or e-mail her at nicolerpope@hotmail.com or nicole.sarr@rmxtalk.com.
HOPE Cooperative at 1445 Spring Road NW
Basement studio and large one bedroom with walk in closet available in Columbia Heights, near 14th street, rock creek park, and walk to bus or metro. Very large one bedroom with study available, $1200 and share price $2,300.  Basement efficiency $1,000 a month carrying charge and share price $2,300.  To view call Ana Margarita Pineda at 202-640-9093 or contact zenaidaquintanilla28@gmail.com
WHY COOPERATIVES?

OWNERSHIP
All the apartments listed here give you the opportunity to BUY YOUR OWN HOME at UNBELIEVABLY LOW COSTS.
The "share price" listed is the cost to become an owner and a member of the Cooperative. (There is no security deposit.)
The "carrying charge" is what you pay each month to cover the cost of the building mortgage and other common building expenses.
The Cooperatives listed here provide an opportunity to stop being a renter and become a homeowner.

MEMBERSHIP

When you buy into a Cooperative, you become a Member of the building.  Cooperative Members own and manage the building themselves.
This means that costs can be kept lower.  No landlord is pocketing the profit.
It also means that Cooperative Members work as a community to manage the building; you will be asked to take some responsibilities.

AFFORDABLE
The Cooperative buildings listed here have a goal of preserving affordable housing for low income residents.
You must be low income to qualify for membership, the amount of income depends on household size.
For example, a one person household must have income of less than $60,839  a year.
You can find the household income limits here: http://dhcd.dc.gov/sites/default/files/dc/sites/dhcd/publication/attachments/Inclusionary%20Zoning%202013%20Income%20Schedule.pdf
 
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Do You Support Black Organizing?

Resist.jpgLet me tell you a story about Libanos, an African immigrant living at Mount Vernon Plaza. A few months ago, Libanos was participating in a class discussion at UDC-Community College when the professor, who happened to be a ONE DC member, started talking about #BlackLivesMatter in DC and ONE DC. Libanos shouted out, “That’s my organization!” With tears in her eyes, Libanos described how resident leaders in Shaw are working with ONE DC organizer and African immigrant, Marybeth Onyeukwu, to resist displacement in their neighborhood. Under the leadership of over a dozen Mount Vernon Plaza resident-leaders and support from ONE DC’s People Platform campaign, Mount Vernon Plaza residents won their rent court cases, preserved 63 low-cost units, and now continue the struggle to win permanently low-cost housing at Mount Vernon Plaza.

Show your support for Black residents, workers, and organizing by making a donation to ONE DC today.

tenantorganizingTable.pngONE DC’s work has always been about doing the hard work of movement building - building community and building leaders to fight back against the rapid gentrification, displacement, and unemployment that longtime DC residents are facing. Our organizing connects the dots between underemployment, poor jobs, mass incarceration, and the demolition of affordable housing, forcing the state and private interests to recognize that #BlackLivesMatter.

This year, ONE DC’s Right to Income campaign is fighting to ensure that #BlackWorkersMatter in DC. With support from ONE DC organizers, resident leaders are forming a coalition of partners to plan for the establishment of a Black Workers Center, a black resident-led space whose mission is to create and maintain racial and economic justice.

As we build a movement to make #BlackWorkersMatter in DC, we are focused on building leadership, especially Black women leadership, who are so often minimized in conversations about Black employment. For us, movement building isn’t a fad: it requires us to organize alongside Libanos, Azieb, and countless other Black women leaders who are fighting for an economically and racially equitable city.kimandphyllissa.jpg

But to ensure we are building a movement and not a moment, we must continue to invest in leaders like Libanos. Movement building is hard work. But some residents—like Libanos, Azieb, Kimberly, & Phylissa (pictured) —are up for the task and ready to fight!

Here’s how you can help. Make a donation today to support ONE DC in sending members and staff to participate in movement-building trainings: Black Organizing for Leadership and Dignity (BOLD), and the Center for Third World Organizing (CTWO). ONE DC is a member-led, member-funded movement, and with your support, we can continue to build the leadership of Black organizers and longtime DC residents who will pave our way to a more equitable DC.

Build the movement with us.

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Interested in Cooperative Living?

1-Bedroom Units Available in the Maya Angelou Cooperative – Submit Your Application Now!

Newly Renovated and Excellent Location

Buy into the Maya Angelou Cooperative and own an affordable coop unit in a vibrant community of long-time residents who purchased their 9-unit building in July 2014 and are committed to affordable  homeownership in their Marshall Heights neighborhood (Ward 7). The coop will undergo renovations during February – April 2015 including: new roof, all new windows, new individual furnaces and air conditioners, new flooring, appliances, and lighting. The Coop will begin selecting new members as early as March 2015, so submit your application as soon as possible.

Unit and Building Features:

  • Individually controlled central heating and air conditioning
  • Large windows/light-filled rooms
  • Cable and telephone ready
  • New laundry room

1 bedroom Features:

  • Price = $750 per month plus gas and electric (plus one-time $2,000 buy-in price)
  • Size = 585 square feet, including linen closet and walk-in bedroom closet

Benefits of Cooperative Membership:

  • Residents make decisions about the building and its management (no landlord)
  • Long term affordability – non-profit coop is resident owned, keeps operating costs low, and re-invests in the building so it remains quality affordable housing for many years to come.
  • The coop share is inheritable (may be passed on to family) and increases in value

To join, your household income must not exceed 80% of the Area Median Income (for a one-person

household, the maximum is $59,920; for a two-person household, the maximum is $68,480)

  • Approximately 1⁄2 mile walk to Benning Road Metro Stop and nearby retail amenities
  • U5 and U6 bus lines stop at property and provide service to Benning Rd Metro Station
  • Approximately 1⁄4 mile walk to Capitol View Neighborhood Library
  • Plenty of street parking and easy access to DC-295 and I-95

To Obtain an Application, Please Contact:

Oakes Management

(202) 388-3900

Ask for Ms. Michele Washington

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Employment Justice Center Survey

The Employment Justice Center's workers' committee is interested in learning more about DC workers' experiences of being fired for any reason or no reason. Please complete the survey linked below to help guide a potential campaign on this issue!

Spanish survey: bit.ly/dcdespidos 
English survey: bit.ly/firingsurvey
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Read the 2014 People's Progress Report

Every year, ONE DC publishes The People's Progress Report highlighting the major milestones and accomplishments of our members and staff over the past year. This report debuts at our annual membership meeting and is shared with members, allies, and donors throughout the year.

Check out the 2014 People's Progress Report: "Dark Energy"

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DCFerguson & Baltimore Updates

DCFerguson: Community-led Security Initiatives, Not More Officers from New D.C. Police Funds

As the uprising in response to the brutal killing of Freddie Gray in Baltimore continues, it brings to the forefront the need for substantive action to address widespread systemic oppression of low-income communities of color by law enforcement across the United States. The DCFerguson Movement calls on the D.C. Council to dedicate the $2.9 million in new funding for police in the FY 2016 budget to community-led security initiatives. Currently, the Bowser Administration is proposing that $2.9 million be dedicated to put 48 new police officers on the streets. This proposal comes in addition to the egregious allocation of $5.1 million for body cameras on police officers, to collect footage that Bowser wants to make exempt from open records law.

Such proposals demonstrate with great clarity that the Bowser Administration and Chief of Police Cathy Lanier have not headed calls for police reform that have reverberated around the country, including here in D.C. Therefore, the DCFerguson Movement is launching a public campaign to demand significant funding, believing that the $2.9 million currently earmarked for new officers should be redirected to initiatives that actually reflect a commitment from the District to empowering communities, rather than continuing the current flawed, racially biased, militarized model of policing that has been so rightfully criticized around the entire world.

DCFerguson has written a letter that has been signed by at least 30 community stakeholders, including Organizing for Neighborhood Equity DC, Empower DC, Justice First, Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless, Workers United-DC, National Black United Front, We Act Radio, Working Families Party, DC Jobs with Justice, NAACP-DC Labor Committee, Alliance of Concerned Men, Cease Fire Don’t Smoke the Brothers and Sisters, National Association for the Advancement of Returning Citizens, Re-Entry Network for Returning Citizens, Employment Justice Center, Restaurant Opportunities Center-DC, American Friends Service Committee-DC, Fair Budget Coalition, American Federation of Government Employees Local 12, Washington Peace Center, Many Languages One Voice, George Washington Roosevelt Institute, Ecolocity Inc, AU Student Worker Alliance (USAS Local 21), Georgetown Solidarity Committee, GWU Progressive Student Union, DC Statehood Green Party, Metro-DC Democratic Socialists of America, Party for Socialism and Liberation, and the ANSWER Coalition. The letter reads as follows:

We, the undersigned, are very concerned that the proposed FY 2016 budget contributes to the forms of policing so widely condemned around the nation by the Black Lives Matter Movement. Specifically, the budget proposes to spend $2.9 million to place 48 new police officers on the street. The strategy of increasing police presence to address social ills is not only ineffective, but highly threatening to our communities, particularly those who already suffer constant harassment and occupation of their neighborhoods by law enforcement.

As such, we believe the time is right to try something new. As close as Baltimore and as far as Brazil communities across the Western Hemisphere are creating new, community-led initiatives, to reduce violence, and ease re-entry.
 In Baltimore, Maryland the “Safe Streets” program has been widely credited with having a significant impact decreasing community violence. This has been accomplished by employing “violence interrupters” who mediate disputes in “high-crime” areas including many where one or both parties are armed. In one neighborhood, Safe Streets reduced murders by 56%! Unsurprisingly, cities like Richmond, California, and New York City employ similar programs.

We are calling on the D.C. Council to appropriate that $2.9 million dollars for similar initiatives.

In particular, we want the money to be used to establish a council made up of representatives from community organizations, the Council, and the Mayor's office to develop in FY 2016 a working pilot program focusing on institutionalizing community-led peacekeeping efforts and restorative justice initiatives.

Our nation is in the midst of a massive conversation about how to keep citizens safe while respecting the human rights of all and the District needs to become part of this conversation in a real way. More police and tougher laws have been tried for the past 35 years, isn't it time we try something new?

The reactions of the Bowser Administration and Chief Lanier to widespread public concerns have ranged from indifference to outright denial. DCFerguson will be present at the May 4 Committee on the Judiciary FY 2016 Budget Oversight Hearing to protest the ineffective and harmful budget proposals put forth by the Bowser Administration, and to demand that the community’s voice be heard. Is the District of Columbia willing to own up to its own history – and present use of – brutal occupation-style tactics in Black communities? Here is a perfect chance; we hope they take it.

The #DCFerguson Movement was initiated by the National Black United Front, ANSWER Coalition, We Act Radio as well as organizers affiliated with ONE DC and of no particular affiliation. Our central organizing core is made up of Eugene Puryear, Salim Adofo, Yasmina Mrabet, Sean Blackmon, and a representative of We Act Radio.

Eugene Puryear, 202-556-1651 - Yasmina Mrabet, 202-441-5172 - dcfergusonmovement@gmail.com

 

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An Economic Agenda for Black Workers

Adapted from Black Worker Organizing Panel Discussion

My name is Jennifer Bryant and I’m a right to income organizer with ONE DC. I’m going to be talking today about grassroots Black worker organizing in DC and the policy agenda of the DC Black Workers Center. The Black Workers Center is a resident led space whose mission is to create and maintain racial and economic justice through popular education, policy campaigns, direct action and the creation of worker-owned coops and other worker-owned alternatives.

I want to highlight the fact that this is a Black worker-led space. We’re very intentional about centering the leadership of Black Workers, especially Black women who are so often minimized in conversations about Black employment. I think it’s important to make the distinction between organizing Black workers and Black workers shaping and guiding the policies that directly impact our lives.

The DC Black Worker Center’s policy agenda is two-pronged: one, we’re pushing for greater enforcement, accountability and transparency around the city’s First Source law which states that businesses that receive public subsidies from the District must hire at least 51% DC workers. Our second policy campaign centers on the incubation, funding and support of worker-owned cooperatives.

Our first campaign around First Source will create more quality, living wage jobs which will help Black workers avoid displacement and remain in this rapidly gentrifying city. Our coop campaign falls in line with our longer-term vision of communities where Black workers are in control of our own labor. For those that may not know, worker-owned cooperatives are businesses that are owned and operated by their workers. Studies show that compared to other small businesses they tend to pay higher wages and provide better benefits, invest more in workers through leadership and skills development, and encourage democratic, participatory and dignified work places.

For the last few months, DC Black Workers Center leaders, with support from Ria and the Consumer Health Foundation, have been organizing coop learning journey trips to visit worker-owned coops in Baltimore, New York City and in June Philadelphia. Last weekend, 7 Black Workers Center leaders met with worker-owners at a construction coop in Brooklyn, coop funders at the Working World in Manhattan and took part in the cities participatory budgeting process in the South Bronx to learn best practices as we begin implementing these things in DC. In March, we joined with a group of coop owners, lawyers, trainers, and grassroots organizers to form the DC Worker Cooperative Coalition. We created six policy recommendations for the City Council which are:

1) to pass a local definition of “worker co-op” and support public education on the model’s benefits;
2) Equip the D.C. Small Business Development Centers to support worker coop businesses;
3) Provide city-owned land and buildings to worker cooperatives;
4) Provide funding (grants, loans) to worker cooperative businesses and developers;
5) Make worker cooperatives a preferred contractor for city agencies; and
6) Provide tax benefits to worker-owned coops.

Government support has been instrumental in coop development across the country. This year, the Madison, Wisconsin City Council committed $5 million over 5 years to worker cooperative development. In 2014, the New York City Council allotted $1.2 million toward worker cooperative development. The City of Cleveland has also been supportive of local worker coops by providing land for a 3-acre hydroponic greenhouse. So it’s possible – and DC Black Workers Center leaders see coops as an entry point to move toward greater worker autonomy and community control of labor.

Our First Source campaign grew out of worker experiences with the Marriott Marquis Jobs Training Program. In 2009, ONE DC was written into legislation to develop a jobs training program for the Marriott Marquis hotel as outlined in the New Convention Center Hotel Amendments Act of 2009. We launched the ONE City, ONE Search campaign and successfully recruited over 3,000 job-ready DC residents to apply for the Jobs Training Program.

Out of the 719 residents who completed the Program only 178 were originally hired, which is about 26%. The First Source law requires that employers who receive public subsidies from the District hire DC residents for 51% of new jobs created. The Marriott Marquis fell woefully short of that benchmark. That experience was significant because it brought to light the inability of most local workforce development programs to actually produce jobs for people. Many of the people that stand to directly benefit from these programs, if they worked, are Black and Latino workers who, for a myriad of reasons, are systemically locked out of DC’s vibrant labor market.

In their 2010 policy brief titled “Reforming First Source: Strengthening the Link Between Economic Development and Jobs” the DC Fiscal Policy Institute (DCFPI) found that the First Source program has been largely ineffective. Lack of compliance and oversight have resulted in the estimated loss of hundreds, if not thousands, of jobs for DC residents and the loss of millions of dollars in revenue for the city.

So we held listening sessions with Black workers to hear about their work experiences and partnered with the Kalmanovitz Initiative for Labor and the Working Poor at Georgetown University to interview Marriott Marquis Jobs Training Program grads and other stakeholders about their experiences in order to produce a report on the program. We’ve been in conversation with the LA Black Workers Center to learn how they implemented similar reforms in LA, which I believe Sean will touch on later. DC Black Workers Center leaders are now in the process of organizing a press conference to release our Marriott report and planning a direct action at the Department of Employment services to hold the city accountable on First Source. We know we can’t do this alone. We’ve been working with several local coalition partners to help build the base for the DC Black Workers Center including ROC-DC, OUR DC, the DC Employment Justice Center, DC Jobs with Justice and others. We’re also knowledge sharing and building relationships with other Black Workers Centers nationally including the LA Black Workers Center, the Workers Center for Racial Justice in Chicago, the Baltimore Black Workers Center and the National Black Workers Center Project.

To contact Jennifer, you can reach her at jbryant@onedconline.org or 202.957.4987

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Reflections on ONE DC Coop Learning Journey to Red Emma’s

Video Credit: Adwoa Masozi
adwoa@impacthubdc.com

By Julia Eddy & Allison Basile

On March 14th, a group of colleagues, friends, and strangers gathered outside of ONE DC’s office at the New Community Church to embark on a special kind of Sunday spiritual journey. We set out for a lively worker-owned cooperative cafe/bookstore/event space in Baltimore called Red Emma’s Cafe. The idea grew out of organizing meetings for the DC Black Workers Center - a space that will, among other things, promote the creation of worker-owned cooperatives.

I call it a spiritual trip because it seemed from the conversation throughout the day that for many of us coops are a way of feeding the soul, in addition to hopefully feeding the mind and pocket. When I heard the music from the kitchen, smelled the warm roast of fresh fair trade coffee, and saw the mix of meetup groups, piercings, zines, books on revolutionary movements, and overgrowth of community fliers, my spirit felt instantly like it had come home.

Reggie and Josiah, two of Red Emma’s worker-owners, were our guides for the day. They walked us around the space and told us about their stories, the neighborhood, how Red Emma has evolved and operates today, and the transformational experience of being part owner in a collectively run business.

It was humbling and inspiring to hear the case study - how hard and rewarding it can be to create an alternative kind of company and navigate the pressures of capitalism; how humanizing it can be to engage in a truly democratic workplace and grow a radical vision.  Below you can find some collaborative notes we took throughout the day that go into more detail.

I would like to extend my personal thanks to ONE DC for organizing this learning journey and to the folks at Red Emma’s for being open to share so much of their stories.

There are several arms of Red Emma’s:

  • Bookstore, cafe, and event space
  • The Free School offers anti-hierarchical classes and a meeting space. It used to be independent entity, now is nonprofit extension of Red Emma’s. There is a list of classes happening all the time. Folks can submit a proposal for a free public class or rent the space for nominal fee.
  • Thread Coffee is independent coop within Red Emma’s.

History & Current Context:

  • Many people who work there identify as “radical” or even “anarchist”.
  • Original Red Emma’s was funded without any loans. The original worker-owners put in a lot of ‘sweat equity’.
  • They found a viable business in coffee and books and operated out of a basement for ~10 years until recently when they were able to expand into current space.
  • It’s a business AND a political act.
  • Trying to listen to the community and give the community what it wants.
  • Indiegogo campaign and line of credit with a traditional bank helped with expansion.

Philosophies:

  • Worker cooperatives are an act of resistance and rebellion. They are a political statement against market capitalism.
  • Being a part of a worker cooperative makes you feel like you have a stake in the world.
  • We need to infuse cooperative principles into our culture at large.
  • Many progressive/radical organizers/organizations neglect to build their own infrastructure and institutions.
  • Worker cooperatives can't escape capitalism. They have to negotiate with monopoly capitalism, which adds to the challenges.
  • "In a worker cooperative, we can't run to a supervisor when there's a problem. We have to figure it out ourselves!"
  • Regular trainings to support people as they transition from having a boss to having a lot of responsibility and self-reliance is important.
  • At the end of the day, a worker cooperative is also a business that needs to sell things people will buy. It's the way it is operated and owned that makes it political.

Other Nuts and Bolts:

  • $1,000 buy-in for new members - can pay one time or paycheck deductions.
  • Trying to raise salaries and figure out patronage distribution now.
  • People pay their own insurance and social security out of their wages.
  • MD living wage is $11/hr, which is what Red Emmas members make. They are working to raise it to $12.50 and $13.50.
  • Everyone is paid the same wage.
  • They have had a lot of turnover which has been hard.
  • Their first year in a new space it was hard to find that extra time for visioning
  • They are intentional and want to be more intentional moving forward about partnering with other coops - Epicurious Bike Coop, AORTA has done staff trainings for them, Thread Coffee works with international coffee grower coops.
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Join a Lending Circle with the Latino Economic Development Center

A lending circle is where a group of people lend each other money with no interest or fees each month.

The informal lending system, practiced by communities all over the world, is now being recognized by traditional financial institutions. Each payment made into a lending circle acts as payment towards a future loan, providing individuals with the unique opportunity to build their credit.

The Latino Economic Development Center (LEDC) is starting a lending circle for community members to build their credit. For more information, please call (202) 540-7401.

Lending_Circles_Flyer_no_date.jpg

 

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Organizing for Neighborhood Equity in Shaw and the District

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