City-wide Forum on Barry Farms Displacement

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Solidarity 2: Home is Not a Commodity

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Edo of Sodere Park, Ethiopia, Photo By Dominic T. Moulden

Show Opening & Artist Talk
Friday, February 6, 6pm-8pm


Workshop & Art Conversation
Saturday, February 21, 3pm-5pm


Open Mic Ova East
Saturday, February 21, 5pm-7pm


All events will be held at MICA PLACE, 814 North Collington Avenue.

A home offers the space for nurturing, growth and comfort — a place of heart, family and self. Beyond its physical structure, the health and wellbeing of everyone is shaped by our access to home and place. What is home?  Who owns the land?  Who decides?  

These are topics community organizer and photographer, Dominic T. Moulden addresses in his upcoming photography exhibit “Solidarity 2: Home is Not a Commodity.”  This show provides a worldwide look (South Africa, Nicaragua, Ethiopia, Baltimore, and Washington, D.C.) at the idea of home and the universal human right to accessible housing.  

Dominic brings these topics to his home city of Baltimore, where he invites us to join an ongoing conversation and fight for universal access to fair housing.

In solidarity, the exhibition will also feature the photography of local youth leadership group members of theBaltimore United Viewfinders. Dominic T. Moulden, MICA PLACE and Baltimore United Viewfinders, cordially invite the greater Baltimore community to join us for this exciting exhibit and related conversations.

 

Exhibition Partners
Baltimore United Viewfinders
Baltimore United Viewfinders is a youth driven leadership organization using the digital arts to tell their own stories and home Middle East neighborhoods. These young photographers have documented the changing landscape of their communities over the past five years. Photographs by the youth will be featured alongside the work of Dominic Moulden, thereby providing both a global and local perspective.

Master of Fine Arts in Community Arts, Maryland Institute College of Art

Master of Fine Arts in Community Arts (MFACA) students co-author and implement liberatory, social justice-based art programs centered around the identity, voice, story and interests of community. This agenda is grounded in the principles and power of community-centered identity, knowledge and self-determination. The MFA in Community Arts Program is located at MICA PLACE.


Ova East Open Mic
Ova East is a transformative, critical, social justice-oriented, intergenerational community-based open mic space that functions as a forum through which people from all over Maryland can share their creative passions and talents in/with the communities of East Baltimore. This monthly forum functions as a collaborative and participatory place of convergence that embeds art as a means for community building incorporating themes that are currently relevant to the needs and concerns of the community of East Baltimore — issues of home and displacement.


About Dominic T. Moulden
As a seditious teen in East Baltimore he was introduced to organizing in the late 1970s with Baltimoreans United in Leadership Development (BUILD). Now close to 30 years later, he is still dedicated to a lifestyle of organizing evidenced through his current work with Organizing Neighborhood Equity DC (ONE DC), which focuses on resident-led organizing and leadership development through popular education and consciousness-raising to encourage and incite transformative social change. True to his conviction that social change is both personal and political, he has remained a steadfast student of social movement history and has accrued a wealth of knowledge around topics including but not limited to anti-lynching, abolitionist, women suffrage, black arts, civil rights and human right movements.

“Seeing with a heart when taking photos of people's sacred shelters whether it is made of straw, plastic, wood or bricks require a conscious effort to observe what makes a HOME special. These photos of East Baltimore, DC, Ethiopia, Nicaragua, and South Africa are political statements: my HOME is not a commodity; meaning not for SALE and we don't want to be DISPLACED!”

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Nonviolent Direct Action Training for Campaigns

Join this NVDA training to roll up your sleeves and delve deeper into some of the staples for nonviolent action: campaigning and strategy. Rosa and Noor will go through some staples for nonviolent strategizing: brainstorming, power analyses, goal-setting and envisioning, and some of those long-term planning tools that any movement-builder should have a firm grasp on. You'll leave with a better sense of how to push your campaign forward, establish clear goals, messaging and methods of communication, and manage group dynamics across various identities and backgrounds.

Location: Washington Peace Center
Address: 1525 Newton Street
Time: 7pm-9pm

The training will be facilitated by the Rosa Lozano and Noor Mir from Amnesty International USA.
The location is accessible by Columbia Heights Metro Station. We look forward to meeting you all!

For more information and to RSVP, click here

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Towards a New Gentrification Mythology

By Jennifer Bryant, jbryant@onedconline.org

Originally Presented at A.C.T.O.R. Deconstructing Gentrification Panel 1/4/2015

I studied English in college and I’ve always been fascinated by stories. In order to deconstruct gentrification, we first have to start by looking closely at the narratives we've built up around it.

One of my favorite quotes, and the epigraph to the novel I’m writing, is a quote from the Egyptian artist and writer Hassan Khan. He says: “Maybe we’re all guilty of building our own mythologies.” I love that quote because we’re constantly creating myths to make sense of, and in many cases to justify, what’s going on in the world around us.

I want to begin today by deconstructing the mythology of gentrification. There are many pieces to this puzzle but I want to zoom in on one recurring myth - and that is that gentrification is not a race issue but purely an economic issue. I want to explore this myth by lifting up a true story about a house on a tree lined street in Bloomingdale in Northwest, Washington, DC; and then I’ll end by exploring alternatives to our current model of development.

I live in Congress Heights in Ward 8. Every time I’m walking up Alabama Avenue I pass the Jewish cemetery that sits on the side of the road not too far from the metro station. It’s a visible reminder that this wasn’t always a predominantly Black neighborhood. Congress Heights was established around 1890 when Arthur Randle purchased land in the area and laid out the streets. Restrictive covenants were attached to deeds, as they were in many parts of the city, to prohibit the sale of land or buildings to African-Americans. This is why, for many years, Congress Heights was predominantly white.

Restrictive covenants were around for generations until May of 1948 with the landmark Supreme Court case Hurd v. Hodge. This case, one of the most crucial housing policy cases in the nation’s history, involved the issue of restrictive covenants in Bloomingdale right here in Washington, DC. The Hurd case is critical to understanding how race and class operate in DC, and ultimately to understanding how gentrification is a continuation of race-based housing policy.

In May of 1944 a Black couple named James and Mary Hurd bought a house at 116 Bryant Street NW. The home had a restrictive covenant on the deed that, quote, prohibited “the sale of the house to anyone of the Negro race.” A few doors down from the Hurd’s new home, at 136 Bryant Street NW, there was a white couple named Frederic and Lena Hodge. When they found out Black people were moving into their neighborhood they filed a District Court lawsuit to prevent the Hurd’s from living on their block. They argued that Black residents would bring down their property value. Because institutionalized racism is so deeply embedded in the fabric of the American legal system, the Hodges won their lawsuit, and the Hurd’s were forced to move.

Thankfully that’s not where the story ends. Our brilliant radical scholar ancestor Charles Hamilton Houston – a native Washingtonian, graduate of Dunbar High School, and former Dean of the Howard University School of Law - took up the Hurd’s case, took it all the way to the Supreme Court and won. One of his arguments was that restrictive covenants created overcrowding in Black communities which exacerbated the issues of poverty and crime and relegated millions across the country to permanent second class citizenship. That last point is significant, because race-based housing and economic policies continue to exacerbate issues of poverty and crime around the country and in the District.

As many of you know, there is a movement growing right now across the country where people have taken to the streets under the banner “Black Lives Matter”. The Ferguson Action Coalition and organizers all over the country have declared 2015 “The Year of Resistance to state violence against Black lives”. We know that there are gross inequalities in policing, that’s what kicked this whole thing off. But there are also gross inequalities in housing, education and labor. What this movement is doing, that is very important, is drawing the connections between all of these things. So when we say Black Lives Matter, we’re not just talking about state violence at the hands of police. But we understand that poverty and gentrification are forms of state violence too.

In April of last year Salon published a piece by Daniel Jose Older called “Gentrification’s Insidious Violence: The Truth about American Cities”. In it he explains that the violence of gentrification takes four main forms – cultural, political, economic and racial — and that these four pillars lead cities to go to war with themselves. He says:

“It is a slow, dirty war, steeped in American traditions of racism and capitalism. The participants are often wary, confused, doubtful...
To forge ahead, we require an outrageousness that sees beyond the tired tropes and easy outs that mass media provides. This path demands we organize with clarity about privilege and the shifting power dynamics of community. It requires foresight, discomfort and risk-taking. It will be on the Web and in the streets, in conversations, rants and marches. We need a new mythology.”

Many have posed the question, if not gentrification – what? When we step outside of gentrification mythology we see that there are, in fact, many alternatives. The central alternative is this: equitable development rooted in a solidarity economy. ONE DC, the organization I work with, has joined forces with our members who are long-time DC residents, and progressive organizations across the city to create the People’s Platform - our plan for equitable development in the city. The main push is for community control and equitable development without displacement.

This alternative is not only possible, but it already exists. Before I close, I want to lift up two ways equitable development is happening right now in the District.

Washington, DC has the second highest number of limited equity housing cooperatives (coops) in the country after New York City. Limited equity coops are a shared ownership housing model that helps to preserve affordability for existing and future residents. Unlike renting, coops provide direct control over one’s housing. They allow for long-time residents, including those on fixed incomes, to not be priced out of their neighborhoods.

Worker owned cooperatives have similar benefits, providing worker-owners with direct control over their labor. There are many different worker coop models but they are generally all democratically run businesses owned and/or operated by workers. When the business makes a profit the worker owners collectively decide how the surplus should be distributed. This is different than traditional business models that are common in the District which pay low wages and exploit workers. Currently, there are only a handful of DC-based worker owned coops; however, ONE DC has joined forces with Impact HUB DC, COOP DC and others to begin to develop and incubate new worker-owned cooperatives.

The District’s current model of development is not the only way forward. We can creatively and collectively chart a new course for this city – one that makes room for all of us, especially long-time residents. Together we can create a new mythology – one that is rooted in our collective values and honors each of our right to coexist in this city without the threat of displacement.

[1] Source: http://househistoryman.blogspot.com/2008/06/hurd-v-hodge-dc-racial-covenants-50th.html

[2] Source: http://www.weown.net/LimitedEquityCoops.htm

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ONE DC Responds to Demonstrations across the Country to Reclaim the Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

In honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. organizers around the country coordinated a series of events to reclaim his legacy as an anti-racist, anti-imperialist, anti-colonialist freedom fighter. In response to these demonstrations, Dominic T. Moulden, Organizer at ONE DC, issued the following statement:

“In a time where Dr. King’s radical politics are consistently misrepresented as capitulation to the status quo it is inspiring to watch a new generation of organizers remember and practice Dr. King’s unwavering commitment to protest. Dr. King taught active participation in civil disobedience was absolutely necessary in order to push the country towards racial and economic justice. He was deeply concerned for the poor and never missed an opportunity to challenge a system that denied people the ability to live with true dignity and respect. Dr. King understood true freedom for people of color included economic security.

Dr. King’s message of racial and economic justice is still very much needed today. Over the last decade, the divide between the “haves” and “have nots” have become glaringly apparent in the District. We know the current crisis in the city has not been by happenstance and is directly connected to neoliberal policies. City officials continue to auction off public resources including public land, housing and shelters in exchange for very little. Councilmembers consistently choose to disinvest from social welfare programs while calling for more funding for the police, which has resulted in more surveillance and harassment of low-income communities of color specifically in the form of “jump-out” squads. In essence, the issues of over policing, poverty and displacement do not happen in a vacuum and inform each other. It is time for an intervention.

In response to the crisis, several community members, leaders and organizers have come together to create the People’s Platform. The People’s Platform is a comprehensive policy agenda that addresses structural inequities primarily affecting long-time, low-income residents of color.

The members and leadership of ONE DC are committed to continuing the tradition of disruptive protest to change the status quo. We are dedicated to seeing change and will not stop until the District becomes a truly equitable city.”

 

Press Contacts: Marybeth Onyeukwu, ONE DC Organizer
organizer@onedconline.org
(202) 232-2915

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DHCD Negotiates Sweet Deal for Developers at the expense of Taxpayers and Low Income Tenants

On December 15th officials for the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) reached an agreement with Mount Vernon Plaza Associates L.L.P, which allows tenants in previously rent-restricted units to apply for a new program for “very low income” and “low-income” families. According to the agreement, the owner of Mount Vernon Plaza is not allowed to charge any more that 30% of the 50% area median income for the Washington, D.C. area for 63 set-aside units. Furthermore, tenants will be eligible to receive a refund of the “amount of rent collected that was in excess of the difference between the set-aside rent and the market rent.”

The agreement also stipulates that management for Mount Vernon Plaza Apartments must notify all the tenants in the previously rent-restricted units of the new program including individuals that have vacated the property. However, to this day, only ten tenants have received notices.

“It is outrageous that management expects us to wait to be notified of this program while we continue to pay the rent increase,” says Quitel Andrews, member of Mount Vernon Plaza Tenant Association. “In fact, we were threatened with legal action if we stopped paying the rent increase. Most of us could potentially be refunded for the money we have struggled to pay for the last year. Meanwhile city officials are using our story as a PR campaign, which does a complete disservice to us. We organized for the last year to get this point. For city officials to fail to hold the owner accountable feels like a slap in the face.”

“Most of us had to take a second job to be able to afford the 50% rent increase. Now they are telling us the rental housing preservation program is for very-low income and low-income families, says Danielle, a resident of Mount Vernon Plaza Apartments for the last 11 years. “I am worried that I will not qualify for the program.”

“It was a very difficult decision to leave Mount Vernon Plaza in the dead beat of winter with a child. The decision to end the program should have been given a year in advance. The increase would have taken so much away from me as a single mother. Why do developers get a break and not the tenants?”

City officials negotiated the land lease sale date as well as the remaining $3.35 million on a Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) loan in order to subsidize the new Rental Housing Preservation Program. Under the new agreement, the owner applies payments that would have been made to DHCD towards the subsidy. Upon the execution of the new promissory note, the sale of land will be considered complete and the remainder of the lease is nullified.

WHO: Mount Vernon Plaza Tenant Association

WHAT: New Rental Housing Preservation Program

WHEN: Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Press Contacts:

Marybeth Onyeukwu, ONE DC Organizer
monyeukwu@onedconline.org
(202) 590-9949

Quitel Andrews, Member of the Mount Vernon Plaza Tenant Association
(202) 415-2608

ABOUT ONE DC: ONE DC (formerly Manna CDC) was founded in 1997 in the midst of neighborhood change. From early on, ONE DC's approach to community development addressed structural causes of poverty and injustice, an orientation that stemmed from deep analysis of race, power, and the economic, political, and social forces at work in Shaw and the District. As a result, ONE DC’s organizing work centers on popular education, community organizing, and alternative economic development projects.

 

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ONE DC Seeking Spring Organizing & Admin Interns

ONE DC is seeking creative and dynamic individuals with a genuine interest in getting on-the-ground experience with community organizing around economic & racial justice issues, as well as a strong desire to learn, grow, and contribute to social change and community-building campaigns.

We are currently seeking interns to support our on-going campaigns and administrative work.

Organizing Intern Responsibilities

  • Help recruit and develop relationships with ONE DC members by conducting outreach via phone banking, one-on-one visits, and neighborhood door-knocking throughout the District.
  • Help develop leadership capacity of ONE DC members
  • Research economic and racial justice issues and legislation related to the Black Workers Center, People's Platform, Right to Income, or Right to Housing campaigns.
  • Attend staff meetings and strategizing sessions
  • Assist with facilitation and planning of ONE DC organizational and campaign events and popular education workshops
  • Track organizing and outreach efforts through data entry into Nation Builder contact database.
  • Help develop and/or edit outreach materials such as flyers, email blasts, and social media post

Administrative Intern Responsibilities

  • Update ONE DC database (Nation Builder) to track membership, donations, and attendance at events.
  • Assist with communications through social media, email blasts, and website updates
    • Help edit email blasts and monthly e-newsletter
    • Edit & publish website, Facebook, Twitter posts
  • Attend ONE DC staff meetings and take notes or facilitate as needed
  • Assist with facilitation and planning of ONE DC organizational and campaign events and popular education workshops
  • Assist with outreach for organizing, meetings, and events
    • Phone banking
    • Outreach Days

To apply, please email organizer@onedconline.org with a resume and cover letter. Include how you heard about ONE DC and why you are interested in joining the organization.

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Register for the 2015 Service to Justice Conference

Tired of the Revolving Door of Service? Want to see justice in DC? Register for the conference here.

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This dynamic two-day conference will wrestle with some of the hard questions facing service providers, advocates and organizers working for justice in DC. How can we balance our work in solving daily crises faced by low income residents with addressing long-term structural solutions? What tools do our organizations need to put more power in the hands of our clients? How can we support justice work within our own organizations?

Limited childcare available upon request. Limited transportation vouchers available upon request.

Registration Fee: Asking conference attendees to contribute $10 for one day, or $15 for two days. No one turned away for lack of funds.

Through interactive workshops and discussions, this conference will help to keep us thinking and reaching toward revitalizing our work, our relationships and our chance of success.

Sponsored by: Fair Budget Coalition, Bread for the City, So Others Might Eat, Latin American Youth Center, N Street Village, We Are Family, Positive Force, Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless, Maximize Good, DC Central Kitchen, Southeast Ministries, Campbell Center, Emmaus, COHHO, Miriam’s Kitchen.

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Why All Opponents of Gentrification and Police Militarization Should Oppose the DC 2024 Olympic Bid

By Jules Boykoff and Dave Zirin, The Nation

When Muriel Bowser was sworn in last Friday as the new mayor of Washington, DC, she made clear in her inaugural address outlining her vision for the future of the city that a major goal of hers was “winning the Olympics for Washington, DC, in 2024.” This reveals a set of priorities that are deeply disturbing.

The Olympic Games, time and again according to a slew of academic research, have revealed themselves to be defined by debt, displacement and the militarization of public space alongside attendant spikes in police brutality.

In the Washington, DC, area, debt, displacement, the militarization of public space and police brutality are otherwise known as “a Wednesday.” But with the Olympics these processes are always accelerated and intensified, making this a proposal from Mayor Bowser that’ll careen the city toward a precarious future for its most vulnerable residents. The Olympic Games inevitably induce a state of exception where the normal rules of politics do not apply.

For a city already experiencing gentrification at gunpoint, with a conspicuously parked police van for every new bistro in town, the prospect of hosting the Olympics should be terrifying. As Daniel del Pielago who is an organizer with a leading, deeply rooted community organization called Empower DC said to us, “We know that hosting the Olympics is yet another tool to push out Black and low-income residents from DC. We continue to see our so called leaders prioritizing events and stadiums over the lives of the city’s most vulnerable residents.”

Washington, DC, sits on the United States Olympic Committee’s shortlist of candidates to host the 2024 Summer Games, along with Boston, Los Angeles and San Francisco. Last month the cities’ bid committees convened in Redwood City, California where they pitched their shiniest presentations to the USOC. DC’s five-person contingent included high-powered banker Russ Ramsey and billionaire Wizards and Capitals owner Ted Leonsis—as well as Mayor-Elect Bowser, Olympic gold-medal-winning swimmer Katie Ledecky, and former NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue.

The USOC, which is only allowed to put one city forward to the International Olympic Committee, will make its decision perhaps as early as this week. The IOC, in turn, will pick the host city for the 2024 Summer Games in 2017, giving the “winner” seven years to prepare. Along with Los Angeles, Washington, DC has emerged as a leading contender. Meanwhile in Boston and San Francisco, activists have spoken loudly and clearly that the USOC can take their Games and shove them. Activist action absolutely matters as the IOC always factors in local support when selecting the Olympic host city.

DC’s neoliberal privatization project, with lower-income black and brown residents pushed to impoverished suburban enclaves, has met with community resistance by organizations like Empower DC, One DC, and others. The Olympics would provide a pretext to roll over both community organizers and a new generation of activists speaking out against connected issues of displacement and police brutality, like a tank. Based upon what we’ve seen during the Brazilian World Cup and Olympic preparation in Rio, not to mention Ferguson, it might even be with an actual tank.

While Olympic boosters are claiming the Games will cost between $4 and $5 billion, this is about as realistic as someone running a two-minute mile. Every single Olympics since 1960 has gone over-budget, and at a whopping average rate of 179 percent—and that number doesn’t even factor in the greatest heist of them all, the $51 billion Sochi Winter Olympics in 2014.

So who is the DC2024 Games committee? The group’s chair is multi-millionaire investment banker Russ Ramsey with Wizards and Capitals billionaire owner Ted Leonsis acting as vice chair. They’ve already raised $5 million to push their bid. Ramsey and Leonsis are joined by a quirky hodgepodge of venture capitalists and local powerbrokers, including celebrity chef José Andrés, Washington Mystics President Sheila Johnson, and former DC Mayor, the person who ushered in the city’s age of gentrification, the famously bowtied Anthony Williams.

Williams recently wrote in The Washington Post that hosting the Games would give DC an “economic lift.” Contradicting a strong and growing body of economic research that finds the exact opposite, he argued, “Bringing the Olympic and Paralympic Games to Washington—literally hosting the world would boost the whole region but particularly some of the places in our city that need it the most.” Meanwhile, as Holy Cross economics professor Robert Baumann has asserted about mega-events like the Olympics, “There is no economic rationale to host one of these things.”

Yet this hasn’t stopped politicos from across the ideological spectrum from supporting DC’s five-ring escapade. The bipartisan bedfellows pushing for this project are on the face, bizarre. Linking arms, we have new DC Mayor Bowser, Tea Party darling Jason Chaffetz, the incoming chair of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, which oversees DC affairs, as well as Newt Gingrich, Howard Dean, and Bob Dole. They appear in a short, slickly produced video along with liberal demigods John Lewis and Eleanor Holmes-Norton. The DC2024 committee not only puts the faces of two civil rights icons at the center of their PR push, but it also slakes people’s thirst to see Republicans and Democrats working together on anything. This messaging is a product of the combined efforts of President Obama’s re-election guru Jim Messina and Mitt Romney’s campaign manager Matt Rhoades who have combined forces—and funds—to push the bid.

It’s certainly understandable why people would want to see politicians working together on anything in this town. No doubt some of these folks see the Olympics as a way to show off the city to a global audience. But we should not be led astray by this idiosyncratic band of believers. The price to everyday people living, breathing, and being pushed out of the city would be horrific. Bowser’s remarks in making their pitch to the United States Olympic Committee should be particularly chilling. She said, “We’re used to putting on national security events; we can move the people; we have a lot of existing facilities and infrastructure. We put on a good case for D.C. being the American city.” In other words, we know how to carry out a crackdown.

We can thank Ted Leonsis for laying bare the logic that drives Games boosters. He said in 2011 that “Economic Success has somehow become the new boogie man…This is counter to the American Dream and is really turning off so many people that love American and basically carry our country on their back by paying taxes and by employing people and creating GDP.” This gets the Olympics argument perfectly. John Carlos, the 1968 Olympian once said to us that “They only hold the Olympics every four years because it takes four years to count the money.” In other words, the Olympics will surely bring in money, but for whom? In Leonsis’ mind, it’s money for him and there is nothing wrong with that because he thinks it’s his class of people that are “carrying the country, employing people and creating GDP.” In other words, what’s good for Ted Leonsis is what’s good for Washington, DC…even though he lives in an eight-million dollar home on the Potomac River in Maryland.

Leonsis has blended trickle-down economics with dime-store bloviating. Instead of making the positive case for the Games he has instead chosen to bluster: “This is about bringing the world to Washington and bringing Washington to the world. The idea of fostering unity could leave, for the whole of mankind, the greatest Olympics legacy ever. Only Washington could do this.”

As is always the case when the Olympics come to down, the foul stench of land grabbing pervades this project. A George Washington University professor recently stated about the area along the Anacostia River: “It’s very similar to the London setup…It’s a plot of land that’s been kind of wasteland, and people said, ‘We want to develop that because it’s on the water.’ Just like Sydney, where they developed that waterfront land, it’s there for the taking.”

This brazen land snatching is also symbolized by the proposed site of the Olympic Village, the place where the athletes stay during the Games. DC2024 has reportedly suggested building the Village in Hill East, an area to the south of RFK Stadium that is the current location of the DC General homeless shelter. The Washington Post wrote, “Housing built there for athletes could then help alleviate the city’s affordable housing shortage.” Yet similar promises that the Olympic Village would magically turn into high quality, low-income housing has been made in seemingly every Olympics in history and it never happens. One can practically imagine the officials of ancient Greece swearing that the Temple of Zeus would become quality multi-family dwellings after the last race. For the London 2012 Olympics, the Olympic Village was sold at a taxpayer loss to Qatar’s ruling Al Thani family’s realty company. “Affordable” homes in Olympic Park rent for $2,000 to $2,700 per month. And let’s not lose sight of the fact that DC2024 are saying nonchalantly that a homeless shelter will be destroyed for the Olympics.

Longtime DC movement leader Reverend Graylan Hagler got it exactly right when he told us, “The obsession that develops to accommodate the Games in local communities has always had a dramatic effect upon the poor. The poor are always displaced, and the homeless are removed from the city where the Olympics occur because the powers to be want to sanitize the venue so that those venues become artificial and deceptive places to enjoy the Games.” He pointed to Atlanta, the last US city to host the Summer Games back in 1996, where homeless people we’re scooped up and booted from the city in order “to create a superficial and untruthful story of Atlanta’s prosperity.” Reverend Hagler added, “We need jobs and affordable housing for poor and working class people in Washington DC, better schools and political leaders who advocate for and protect poor and working class people.”

Dominic Moulden, resource organizer at ONE DC, a grassroots community-building group, told us he was approached to sign on in support of the DC2024 Games, but emphatically declined. Moulden, who has organized in DC for nearly three decades, asked, “Why would any organization promoting racial and economic equity in DC support the Olympics which clearly creates lasting inequity and maintains the structures of social dislocation?” He vowed, “ONE DC will organize, protest, and raise our resident-led voices against the displacement and policing of long time DC residents and all residents if there are plans for the Olympics in DC.”

In November 2014, the Washington Post reported that DC2024 honchos “took members of the U.S. Olympic Committee on helicopter rides over the Mall and the Anacostia River to show off the city.” Nothing could be more appropriate in symbolizing this bid. From a helicopter, it’s a grand idea. From the street, it’s a cash grab. It’s using sports, civic pride, and people’s thirst to see something—anything—bipartisan come out of this town, into a smash-and-grab operation that will remake the city for the benefit of the people Leonsis believes “carry the country on their back.” This orgy of corporate welfare they propose reveals that it’s actually Leonsis, Ramsey, and their ilk who are being carried. If the Olympics come to DC, it will be schools, social services for the poor, and anyone affected by police violence who will suffer under that weight.

http://www.thenation.com/blog/194129/why-all-opponents-gentrification-and-police-militarization-should-oppose-dc-2024-olympic

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Equitable Development in DC: Sustainability from Below

ONE DC and George Washington University are joining forces for the second annual conference on equitable development in Washington, DC on March 26, 2015. To be held on the campus of George Washington University, Equitable Development in DC: Sustainability from Below will bring together residents of neighborhoods throughout Washington, DC, organizers, students, scholars, elected officials, and others who are engaged in efforts to create more living-wage jobs, affordable housing, and other opportunities for wealth accumulation for residents of traditionally underserved communities, many of which are experiencing rapid gentrification and displacement.

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Mindy Fullilove, Professor of Clinical Psychiatry at Columbia University and author of several books including Root Shock: How Tearing Up Cities Hurts America and What We Can Do About It and Urban Alchemy: Restoring Joy in America’s Sorted-Out Cities, will deliver the keynote address. Two panel discussions will follow; one focusing on national strategies and the second on local initiatives. But the objective is not simply to share ideas and inform the audience. The goal is to stimulate action to create the types of communities that are envisioned. A working lunch follows where participants will engage in further discussion and debate, and where they will be encouraged to join with ONE DC and other advocacy groups to create equitable and sustainable neighborhoods throughout the DC community.


The mood in the room at last year’s conference was truly electric with participants and attendees engaging in intensive conversation hours after the formal proceedings concluded. We anticipate this annual conference will become a national model for community-engaged research, networking, and advocacy for equitable and sustainable development principles and practice.

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ONE DC
Organizing for Neighborhood Equity in Shaw and the District

ONE DC