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Historically Black DC Paper Publishes Article Supporting Displacement of Black Families

Historically Black DC paper, the Washington Informer, has published an article that supports a plan for gentrification, and the displacement of hundreds of Black families from Northeast Washington, DC.

The article is co-written by Thaddeus James and Kim Edwards, both of whom reside at Brookland Manor. James and Edwards are actively working with wealthy developer Mid-City Financial to support a redevelopment plan that will require the mass displacement of long-time, working class Black DC residents from our community in the name of profit. If you question the profit motive, look no further than this WAMU interview with daughter of Mid-City CEO Eugene Ford Jr, Maddie Ford, also Mid-City's director of legal affairs, who stated, “The smaller the unit size, the more people you can have there, the more money you can get per unit...The smaller your units are, the more profitable they are.”

In the article, Ward 5 council member Kenyan McDuffie is hailed as a supporter of the community, when in fact, he has demonstrated quite the opposite. McDuffie stands with developer Mid-City Financial, supporting their plan to profit from the displacement of his own constituents. In a recent mock people's trial, McDuffie was found guilty of crimes against our community, the evidence of which is documented in this 7-minute video presentation.

Mid-City's plan to move forward with the reduction of affordable housing units is sanctioned by city officials like McDuffie, and the DC Zoning Commission, in the midst of an affordable housing crisis and skyrocketing rents in the nation's capital.

To facilitate their plan, Mid-City has egregiously engaged in a brutal eviction campaign that is ongoing. Previously, the Washington Post, along with many other media outlets, have exposed Mid-City's ongoing actions. The Neighborhood Legal Services Program, in a letter submitted to the zoning commission, documented Mid-City's ongoing eviction campaign.

Currently, Mid-City is engaging in aggressive attempts to harass and intimidate residents of Brookland Manor. Shockingly, Mid-City is issuing notices of infraction as a basis for evicting tenants for sitting outside in our own community. One resident, Ms. Jennifer Sewell, faces ongoing harassment and intimidation by Mid-City for sitting outside. Here is a photo example from recent infraction she was issued, showing her "violation."


Mid-City is now using these infractions as grounds to attempt to evict Ms. Sewell from her home. We have assisted Ms. Sewell in securing an attorney to represent her in this matter.

Recently, Mid-City issued letters to us that restrict access to community spaces. We understand this move to be a part of their ongoing attempts to interfere with our right to organize. We ask the wider DC community to continue to stand with the families fighting Mid-City's predatory redevelopment plan, by increasing public exposure of, and pressure on, council member Kenyan McDuffie for his role in our suffering.


We, the tenants at Brookland Manor that are fighting to save affordable housing and family housing in our community, will continue to expose Mid-City's attempts to "divide and conquer" our community, and we will continue to fight the attempts by Mid-City to intimidate and harass us.

Minnie Elliott
President, Brookland Manor Residents Association

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Link Up for Black August

By Angie Whitehurst

For our monthly People's Platform political education event, ONE DC held "Link Up for Black August" at the Woolly Mammoth Theatre. Black August is a month of commemoration of the death of George Jackson on August 21st, 1971. The day is remembered to encourage social justice versus injustice throughout society.

Speakers and participants included Mia Clark, Eugene Puryear, Delonte Wilkins, Yasmina Mrabet, and Dominic Moulden; all of whom spoke passionately on the needs to change housing injustices, restorative programs for those incarcerated, and the Black Workers Center mandate to create a space where people can find "real jobs."

Raven Best and Reverend Erik Martinez Resley of The Sanctuaries, with a young team of printmakers, produced Black August posters on site as giveaways to attendees. Pop-up shops included EAT, The Difference Boutique, Cockee Clothing, and the Young Queen Project selling hats and shirts. Local caterer Peggy's Gourmet & Reek the Chef provided excellent food. Sounds were brought by DJ Say Say, with performances by Loony Goonz, King Shug, Supa Trippa, G.R.O.S.S. LIFE, & Visto of Hippe Life Krew.  Other organizations present were Our City DC, SURJ DC and organizers with the People's Congress of Resistance.

Also present were members of the cast from the upcoming production entitled, "The Arsonists," a play about the challenges of liberal politics some fifty years ago. The story sounds very similar to our current day events. ONE DC members and supporters are eligible for discount tickets to the performance on October 7th using code "ONEDC"

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ONE DC Monthly Voice - August 2017

 

“Black August is a month of divine meaning, of repression and radical resistance, of injustice and divine justice; of repression and righteous rebellion; of individual and collective efforts to free the slaves and break the chains that bind us.”
-Mumia Abu-Jamal


Win Congress Heights Now!

Tenants at Congress Heights have been fighting slumlord Sanford Capital, who has been working with the Mayor’s office and city planning agencies to displace tenants, eliminate affordable housing, and build luxury apartments at Congress Heights. Because tenants have been fighting to exercise their rights, they have not yet been displaced. In fact, they have found a non-profit developer they can work with to build 200 units of affordable housing INSTEAD of the luxury apartments that the city and slumlord Sanford Capital wanted. The only barrier standing between tenants and 200 new units of affordable housing is a vacant building at 3200 13th St SE, which is at the corner of their property and is currently under control of the DC government.

On September 6th at 10:00 AM, join tenants for a press conference and rally outside of the Wilson Building to demand Mayor Bowser turn the 3200 property over to the residents!

At the community forum led by residents this Tuesday, Ms Ruth Barnwell, president of the Congress Heights Tenants Association, had this to say: "Hell no, we won’t go. You will continue to hear our voices and feel our fury and strength until you do as you promised the people when you were asking for our votes – to give affordable housing to the people. You will be gone before we will. We demand Mayor Bowser give the residents 3200 13th Street SE so we can create affordable housing for our community.”  Watch what two Congress Heights residents, Ms. Ruth Barnwell and Ms. Gloria Ward, had to say here and here.

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Click here to RSVP


Link Up for Black August

By Angie Whitehurst, ONE DC member

For our monthly People's Platform political education event, ONE DC held "Link Up for Black August" at the Woolly Mammoth Theatre. Black August is a month of commemoration of the death of George Jackson on August 21st, 1971. The day is remembered to encourage social justice versus injustice throughout society.

Speakers and participants included Mia Clark, Eugene Puryear, Delonte Wilkins, Yasmina Mrabet, and Dominic Moulden; all of whom spoke passionately on the needs to change housing injustices, restorative programs for those incarcerated, and the Black Workers Center mandate to create a space where people can find "real jobs."

Raven Best and Reverend Erik Martinez Resley of The Sanctuaries, with a young team of printmakers, produced Black August posters on site as giveaways to attendees. Pop-up shops included EAT, The Difference Boutique, Cockee Clothing, and the Young Queen Project selling hats and shirts. Local caterer Peggy's Gourmet & Reek the Chef provided excellent food. Sounds were brought by DJ Say Say, with performances by Loony Goonz, King Shug, Supa Trippa, G.R.O.S.S. LIFE, & Visto of Hippe Life Krew.  Other organizations present were Our City DC, SURJ DC and organizers with the People's Congress of Resistance.

Also present were members of the cast from the upcoming production entitled, " The Arsonist," a play about the challenges of liberal politics some fifty years ago. The story sounds very similar to our current day events. ONE DC members and supporters are eligible for discount tickets to the performance on October 7th (more info below).

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Photo Credit: O. Michael Leslie

Click here to RSVP for September People's Platform
.
We need your support keep the movement going! Click here to sponsor.


Sunkissed Sundown featuring Talib Kweli: A Benefit Concert for ONE DC

TK_SKSD_final.pngFund the movement while you move at the Sunkissed Sundown benefit concert this Friday September 1st at the Howard Theatre! Featuring Talib Kweli with Jessica Care Moore, Alex Vaughn, Afrah Ali, Odd Mojo and Kinfolk. Proceeds go to ONE DC, Energy Justice Network, & Restaurant Opportunities Center DC.

Click here to purchase your ticket!


Build the People's Congress of Resistance

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"Without a revolutionary vision, change will not take a revolutionary direction. Resistance will remain rudderless, an exercise in activism for its own sake, or it will be co-opted into a vessel for the political elites. A vision for social, economic and political revolution is necessary. We need to know where we want to go. Our vision ties our actions to our goal by showing us what we are mobilizing for. It guides us in coordinating our strategies and tactics. It helps us build collective strength. Our vision tells us how we can win and that we will win.

A society organized for the equality and emancipation of the many is one where production is democratically directed for the benefit of the many and not for the private profit of the few. Rather than banks and corporations determining people’s lives and futures, the people determine their destiny themselves." -Manifesto of the People's Congress of Resistance

Join volunteers and organizers with the People's Congress of Resistance this Saturday for a day of citywide outreach! Teams will come to the Justice Center at 617 Florida Ave NW at Saturday, 12 noon and go out to build awareness about the inaugural People's Congress taking place Sept. 16-17 at Howard University.

The events of the past month demonstrate vividly the need for a true political revolution that replaces the power of the billionaires, war-makers, corrupt politicians and white supremacists with the power of the people. In Charlottesville, VA, white supremacists and fascists marched against the Black community, and armed forces of the state stood idly by as they violently attacked. In Texas, the government offered no significant evacuation plan — just a directive — for the millions of poor and working people prior to Hurricane Harvey, and now hundreds of thousands are in a dire state. Meanwhile, here in D.C. politicians that campaign on "affordable housing" immediately become the handmaidens for racist displacement.

While Trump and the U.S. Congress attack the people from every angle, the People’s Congress of Resistance will be a place where organizers of diverse struggles come together to provide a unified vision and coordinated strategies and tactics to fight back. Everyone in D.C. needs to hear about this historic event. Help us spread the word!

Click here to register for the conference September 16th-17th. If you cannot afford your registration fee and would like to attend for free as a ONE DC member, please contact Claire at ccook@onedconline.org or 202.232.2915.


$100 from 10,000 Supporters to Fund the Black Workers Center

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Do you share our vision for a community-controlled space in DC? Click here to donate.
Are you interested in helping us raise $100 from each of the 10,000 supporters in our database? Email Dominic at dmoulden@onedconline.org


 

Upcoming Events

 

Anti-Gentrification Housing Struggles in Los Angeles & Berlin
Thursday, August 31 - 6:00 PM
The Potter's House - 1658 Columbia Rd NW
Minority and immigrant communities and their mobilizations play a pivotal role challenging the ongoing nationalist political shifts right in the United States and Germany, which have been propagating xenophobia, racism, and economic, political, and social isolationism. In this historic configuration, housing serves as a central site of struggle, as a fundamental human right.
Click here to RSVP


¡Un canto por la Paz en Venezuela! A song for peace in Venezuela
Thursday, August 31 - 6:30 PM
Bolivarian Hall - 2443 Massachusetts Ave NW
Join us for an evening of live music, poetry and conversation about the situation in Venezuela, its Constitutional Assembly and the opportunities for peace in the country. Featuring César Guarcax, Xavier Bure, Patricio Zamorano, Ricardo Gallardo, Luci Murphy & the ONE DC Black Workers Center Chorus!
Click here to RSVP

ONE DC Member & Volunteer Orientation
Wednesday, September 6 - 6:00 PM
New Community Church - 614 S St NW
We welcome all supporters of ONE DC, whether long-time members or new volunteers, to join us for our next Member Orientation to learn about the history & structure of ONE DC, our mission, vision, & values, and find out how you can engage in our work.
Click here to RSVP


Pack The Room: WMATA Board Meeting
Thursday, September 28 - 9:30 AM - 12:00 PM
Washington Area Metropolitan Transit Authority - 600 5th St NW
With the next WMATA budget season looming, riders are worried that the system will keep getting worse. Join us at WMATA's August Board Meeting to demand that the WMATA Board holds a public meeting for community dialogue on the next budget at a time that is most convenient for riders. The WMATA Board meetings once a month and while they do allow for public testimony, the meetings are not accessible since they take place on Thursday mornings while many riders are at work.
Click here to RSVP

March for Racial Justice
Saturday, September 30 - 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
National Mall
Our mission is to harness the national unrest and dissatisfaction with racial injustice into a national mobilization that strengthens local and nationwide efforts for racial equity and justice. We are mobilizing a coalition of organizations, groups and individuals to stand together for racial justice on September 30 in Washington, DC. We invite you to stand with us. Our vision is simple: to create a just and equitable future for communities of color, so that we may all thrive together.
Click here to RSVP & for more info

THE ARSONISTS
Saturday, October 7 - 9AM - 12 PM
Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company - 641 D St NW
Join us after the October 7th performance of The Arsonists for a community conversation with ONE DC organizer Yasmina Mrabet. Use code "ONEDC" to purchase discounted tickets to the show!
Click here for more info & to purchase tickets


ONE Bit of Good News

Our membership goal for 2017 is to reach 500 total members and 200 paid members. We are excited to report we are 75% to our goal with 149 amazing members having paid their dues this year, bringing our total membership to 398!
Help us reach our goal this year by paying your 2017 membership dues here!


Do you want to be a writer, editor, or designer for the ONE DC Monthly Voice? Email organizer@onedconline.org

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The Struggle at Dahlgreen Courts

In 2011, Dahlgreen Courts residents exercised their rights under D.C.’s Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act (also known as TOPA) to purchase the two-building, 96 unit historic complex in partnership with a Philadelphia-based non-profit developer, Mission First Housing Group. Built in the 1920s, the complex was in dire need of rehabilitation. After almost six years since the completion of this 20 million-dollar renovation, residents are organizing again to hold the city and Mission First, the non-profit developer who “renovated” the complex, accountable for more than 150 housing code violations the residents are forced to live under.

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Tenant Association Vice-President Vaughn Bennett, ONE DC housing organizer
Yasmina Mrabet & Tenant Association President Leon Lightfoot

Officials have tried to use the common practice of bureaucracy to avoid the demands of residents and the Dahlgreen Courts Tenants Association. DCRA relinquished responsibility of the housing violations of paint peeling and cracked wall it cited to the DC Department of Energy and the Environment (DOEE). The DC Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), DC Housing Finance Agency (HFA), and Ward 5 council member, Kenyan McDuffie have opted to protect Mission First from claiming responsibility for the mess it has created, rather than answer to the complaints of the residents they have been placed in office to answer to.

These circumstances are why Bennett says the DCTA, ONE DC, and other committed individuals and organizations are seeking justice by demanding an investigation, potentially filing of criminal charges, and a civil suit against Mission First. Furthermore, Bennett says that residents are actively seeking a law firm to represent them in filing a lawsuit against Mission First Housing Group for fraud and breach of contract.

DCTA and residents like Vaughn Bennett show how vital it is for residents to organize in order to preserve livable conditions and affordable housing in the city. Bennett hopes his work “can inspire others and teach our children how to fight oppression.”

Even though, after significant pressure through a joint tenants action, council member Kenyan McDuffie recently sent a letter to the Dahlgreen Courts Tenants Association in response to their demands, it is yet to be determined whether or not Mission First will truly be held accountable. Additionally, the Dahlgreen Courts Tenants Association is concerned over the redevelopment plans at Brookland Manor, and other gentrification projects in the Rhode Island Avenue area. ONE DC members and supporters across the city won't back down until the tenants at Dahlgreen Courts receive the proper renovations they deserve, and until the various city agencies and the developers they serve are held accountable for their actions against the public.

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Metro: Profits Over People

Below is a speech given by Ms J at the Transit Justice Rally with the Save Our System Coalition on June 29, 2017.

Good evening. My name is Jourgette Reid-Sillah. I am a resident of the District of Columbia and a patron of Metro Access. Before I became a MA rider I would see the vans everywhere and think isn’t that nice that Metro is seeing that those people who can’t access the bus have service. In fact Metro isn’t doing anything out of the goodness of their heart. It is the law that requires that the service be provided for persons with disabilities. Now I am one of “those people” I have a better idea of how things work. Metro Access are private companies that contract with Metro to provide the service. As we know all know the goal of a private company is to make a profit. Metro Access’s goal is to make money, Profit over people.

If it is more profitable for a client to wait passed the 30 minute window, profit wins.
If it is more profitable for a client to remain on a van more than 2 hours, profit wins.
If it is more profitable to have a GPS system that is programed to take a longer route, profit wins.

I have personally experienced being on the van with another client. We both live in SEDC. I am going to NWDC and the other client is going to Hyattsville. Although I was to be dropped off first the other client was going to her dialysis appointment and would be late. I heard her ask the dispatcher “Will Metro Access be able to return the minutes of life I may lose for having to get off the machine early when MA comes to pick me up?” This is a life issue for many of the clients that use this service. Profits over people. Please note that even though MA clients are persons with disabilities MANY work every day. Many for both State and Federal governments. In case you are wondering we do not ride for free. Each trip requires a pre-determined fair that is calculated by some “algorithm” that causes your fair to change. This can be a challenge to those on a fixed income. While Metro Access picks profit over people many clients must decide life over death. Which would you choose?

I am a member of ONE DC, an organization that believes in equitable situations for all peoples. The People's Platform Manifesto speaks of having access to safe and affordable transportation so that we can travel between our homes, jobs, schools and recreational spaces.

 

 

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ONE DC Monthly Voice - July 2017

 

  "Like a cyclone, imperialism spins across the globe; militarism crushes peoples and sucks their blood like a vampire."
-Karl Liebknecht

People's Platform Updates

June People's Platform - Right to Transit


On June 29, ONE DC members joined the Save Our System Coalition in organizing DC residents and community members at the Columbia Heights Metro station for a Transit Justice Rally to express our discontent with the Metro system, with the goal of bringing awareness to how the community can fight for People's Platform principle #8, Access to safe and affordable transportation so that we can travel between our homes, jobs, schools, and recreational spaces.

In the past two years, construction has hindered the daily ride for many Washingtonians who commute via Metro, and WMATA has done a poor job of providing alternate transportation for those of us who rely on this system. Despite the community’s concerns, WMATA has chosen to ignore those who depend on Metro as their primary means of transportation, and has implemented new policies that further restrict our access to safe and affordable transportation. Many Metro riders feel we are “paying more for less” since WMATA implemented changes such as price increases, less frequent transit, and an end to late night trains.

Starting on June 26, 2017, Metro bus fares increased from $1.75 to $2.00. Metro rail added a $.10 fare increase during peak hours and $.25 during off-peak hours. Metro has also eliminated or reduced 33 travel routes in the entire DMV area, and cut 25% of Metro rail service during rush hour. When Metro outlined these changes in their budget and service changes, they failed to recognize how these changes will negatively affect thousands of people.

In addition to these flaws in the Metro bus and rail system, Metro Access, a privately contracted van service that provides transportation to disabled people in the District, has continued to disappoint riders. At the rally on June 29, ONE DC member Ms. Jourgette Reid-Sillah explained how Metro Access ensures that they make the maximum profit by taking longer routes and waiting past the 30-minute wait time, proving how they value “profits over people.” She points how this service exists because of a law requiring transportation services for those with disabilities, not “out of the goodness of their hearts.” Once again, Metro will do what they have to do in any given situation to capitalize off of those who use their services out of necessity, making it clear that WMATA’s main agenda is to maximize profit for private companies, rather than provide safe, accessible transportation for those of us who need it.


Moving forward, this fight doesn’t stop with the Transit Rally. The Save Our System Coalition continues to fight for transit justice by calling the community to action. If you wish to support, here are a few things you can do to help:  

  1. Sign the petition
  2. Join an upcoming meeting
  3. Like the campaign on Facebook

July People's Platform - Non-Imperialistic Education

In July, we met at the Brentwood Recreation Center in Northeast DC to explore People's Platform principle #6, Equitable and equal access to a free, decent, holistic, non-imperialistic education that creates critical, political thinkers and leaders. Residents broke down the myths & miseducation promoted by the city about housing policies in DC.

To join a ONE DC Housing Education Team, email Yasmina at ymrabet@onedconline.org or call 202.232.2915.

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Link Up for Black August
Thursday, August 24 - 5:00 - 9:00 PM
411 Arts Collective - 634 Rhode Island Ave NE
Join ONE DC for a Black August event on People's Platform principle #7 Full access for returning citizens to housing, jobs, education, as well as decriminalization, demilitarization, and prison abolition.

Click here to RSVP!


Dahlgreen Courts

In 2011, Dahlgreen Courts residents exercised their rights under D.C.’s Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act (also known as TOPA) to purchase the two-building, 96 unit historic complex in partnership with a Philadelphia-based non-profit developer, Mission First Housing Group. Built in the 1920s, the complex was in dire need of rehabilitation. After almost six years since the completion of this 20 million-dollar renovation, residents are organizing again to hold the city and Mission First, the non-profit developer who “renovated” the complex, accountable for more than 150 housing code violations the residents are forced to live under.

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Tenant Association Vice-President Vaughn Bennett, ONE DC housing organizer
Yasmina Mrabet & Tenant Association President Leon Lightfoot

Officials have tried to use the common practice of bureaucracy to avoid the demands of residents and the Dahlgreen Courts Tenants Association. DCRA relinquished responsibility of the housing violations of paint peeling and cracked wall it cited to the DC Department of Energy and the Environment (DOEE). The DC Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), DC Housing Finance Agency (HFA), and Ward 5 council member, Kenyan McDuffie have opted to protect Mission First from claiming responsibility for the mess it has created, rather than answer to the complaints of the residents they have been placed in office to answer to.

These circumstances are why Bennett says the DCTA, ONE DC, and other committed individuals and organizations are seeking justice by demanding an investigation, potentially filing of criminal charges, and a civil suit against Mission First. Furthermore, Bennett says that residents are actively seeking a law firm to represent them in filing a lawsuit against Mission First Housing Group for fraud and breach of contract.

DCTA and residents like Vaughn Bennett show how vital it is for residents to organize in order to preserve livable conditions and affordable housing in the city. Bennett hopes his work “can inspire others and teach our children how to fight oppression.”

Even though, after significant pressure through a joint tenants action, council member Kenyan McDuffie recently sent a letter to the Dahlgreen Courts Tenants Association in response to their demands, it is yet to be determined whether or not Mission First will truly be held accountable. Additionally, the Dahlgreen Courts Tenants Association is concerned over the redevelopment plans at Brookland Manor, and other gentrification projects in the Rhode Island Avenue area. ONE DC members and supporters across the city won't back down until the tenants at Dahlgreen Courts receive the proper renovations they deserve, and until the various city agencies and the developers they serve are held accountable for their actions against the public.

13th & Savannah SE Residents Exercise TOPA Rights

What started off as an attempt from Solid Properties to attract the community at 13th & Savannah and convince them to sign a document giving up their TOPA rights became a means for tenants to fight for their future. When one member of the community, Muhammad Rasheed, started asking questions on the details of the documents, the representative dismissed him and insisted that his signature wasn't necessary for this to go through. ONE DC, Housing Counseling Services, and attorney Blake Biles joined tenants, including Muhammad Rasheed, to support their work to organize a tenants association in order to exercise their TOPA rights. Several meetings were called to get the message out to the community. Consequently, the newly formed tenants association was able to assign their rights to NHT, a non-profit developer that worked with the residents to reach an agreement.

"We were successfully able to practice our TOPA rights and pick a new owner for our community," says Rasheed when explaining the successful outcome. We hope such successful attempts become a norm as we continue to fight for the right to housing, income, and wellness in DC.


Join ONE DC for Mass Outreach Days

Want to support the housing struggles above and spread the word about ONE DC? Join us for weekly outreach:

  • every Tuesday from 4 to 6 PM in Congress Heights
  • every Thursday from 3 to 7 PM in various neighborhoods
  • weekend & evening events as scheduled

 

To join the ONE DC Outreach team and receive updates on where and when outreach (and outreach training) will take place each week, whether you can join us for one week, some weeks, or every week, simply send an email to organizer@onedconline.org and we will add you to the list.


Public Land for Public Use, NOT Deals for Developers!

Amidst an affordable housing crisis in the District, politicians have been giving away our public land to private developers. In return, developers have donated large sums of money to campaigns run by those very same lawmakers. Over the past decade, $2.5 million has been donated to campaigns by groups who received subsidies. DC, an already enticing place to build and develop, does not need subsidies to encourage development agencies. Our taxpayer money is being wasted, rather than spent on programs to improve our quality of life. Politicians have excused their behavior by pointing out that many of the developments promise affordable housing and job creation, but in reality, their promises often don't follow through. For example, the Arthur Capper/Carrollsburg complex in Southeast DC, after 11 years, still didn’t have the promised recreation center, only half the public units had been replaced and only a fraction of the former families were moved back. Out of 110 redevelopment sites receiving subsidies, there were problems with half.

Since 2008, DC has turned over at least 20 public properties to developers- almost $200 million worth of taxpayer money sold for 20 cents to the dollar. Politicians argue that the campaign donations do not influence their actions, but evidence shows that the top 5 development teams that gave the most donations to lawmakers won the 5 biggest land deals. Stand with ONE DC and low-income DC residents as we fight these injustices, and demand that greedy developers and politicians change their ways and bring truly affordable housing to the people.

For more information regarding deals for developers, click here.


Resource Generation Hosts House Party Fundraiser for the Black Workers Center

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ONE DC is in the midst of raising $2 MILLION to purchase a building to house the Black Workers Center. We are excited to announce we have received a $1 million pledge! This means if we are able to raise $1 million through our 10th Anniversary & Black Workers Center Capital Campaign, a major donor will match every donation up to $1 million! One way we have been raising funds is through house parties. Thank you to Resource Generation for celebrating & raising funds for ONE DC this month!

Want to host a house party fundraiser for ONE DC? Email Dominic at dmoulden@onedconline.org or call 202.232.2915.

Donate today to get YOUR NAME on the Black Workers Center Wall of Liberation!


Upcoming Events

 

Time Banking Orientation for ONE DC Black Workers Center
Wednesday, August 9 - 6:00 PM
United Black Fund - 2500 MLK Jr Ave SE
Come learn what time banking is, why we need time banking as an alternative economic system, and set up your profile in the DC Time Bank so you can start earning & exchanging time banking credits for volunteer hours spent with the ONE DC Black Workers Center.
Click here to RSVP

Pack the Room: WMATA Board Meeting
Thursday, August 24 - 9AM - 12 PM
Washington Area Metropolitan Transit Authority - 600 5th St NW
With the next WMATA budget season looming, riders are worried that the system will keep getting worse. Join us at WMATA's August Board Meeting to demand that the WMATA Board holds a public meeting for community dialogue on the next budget at a time that is most convenient for riders. The WMATA Board meetings once a month and while they do allow for public testimony, the meetings are not accessible since they take place on Thursday mornings while many riders are at work.
Click here to RSVP


Community Announcements

Register for the People's Congress of Resistance
Registration is now open for the September 16-17 People's Congress of Resistance! This event will draw together grassroots resisters and diverse social movements from around the country for an exciting weekend of strategizing, deliberation and information-sharing. Click this link to register today! The registration fee covers participation in the two-day event, not including housing, food and other personal expenses. If you cannot pay the registration fee but are eager to attend the People's Congress of Resistance, please fill out this form. We are collectively fundraising so that no one will be unable to come on account of funds.
The People's Congress of Resistance is also looking for local volunteers in DC. Click here to sign up.

DC Research Collective: Need research to support progressive efforts?
Serving as mutual aid-based, collective resource for the social justice community in the DC-metro area, this collective of volunteer researchers can support progressive efforts with research and data analysis.
Learn more, submit a research request, or join the Collective here.

Contribute to the Black Workers Center Library

Did you know that ONE DC has an Amazon wishlist? Help contribute to our resources with prices starting at $1, including the development of a non-imperialistic educational library for the Black Workers Center. Drop by the ONE DC office in Shaw sometime to check out what we currently have in our library!
Click here to buy an item from our wish list.


A D.C. Neighborhood’s Transformation From “Chocolate” to “Cappuccino”

By Claire Cook

To longtime residents of Washington, D.C., the findings presented in Derek Hyra’s Race, Class, and Politics in the Cappuccino City—that gentrifying neighborhoods’ racial and economic diversity does not translate into integration—is likely not surprising.

As an organizer with Organizing Neighborhood Equity (ONE DC), a grassroots community organization working for racial and economic equity, and based in D.C.’s Shaw neighborhood, I’ve witnessed firsthand how a community can be “diverse” in name only.

The Black patrons inside Wanda’s Hair Salon or chatting outside Sammy’s carry-out do not generally have meaningful interactions and relationships with the young white professionals who are lined up around the same block to patronize the Game of Thrones-themed bar. We might all be moving through the same space, but integrated we are not. Hyra’s findings in Cappuccino City present a needed challenge to the neo-liberal rhetoric that has dominated housing policy for the last few decades—that demolishing public and subsidized housing and replacing it with “mixed-income” privatized housing will combat the concentration of poverty through economic and racial integration.

Based on years of ethnographic research, Hyra’s Race, Class, and Politics in the Cappuccino City provides an in-depth look at gentrification in the Shaw neighborhood. For those new to either D.C. or to gentrification scholarship, the book should be required reading. The first three chapters lay out the historical and current conditions in D.C. that have contributed to the non-stop growth we see today. He explores the rise and fall of D.C.’s Black political machine, exposing the differences between the District’s Black mayors, their relationships with the Black community, and how they’ve represented (or more often not represented) the working-class community’s interests.

Hyra also presents the complexity of the District’s relationship to the federal government and how our lack of home rule and representation has left us to the whims of interfering members of Congress. Hyra documents the transition of Shaw from a “dark ghetto,” an inner-city, poor Black community marked by disinvestment, to a “gilded ghetto,” a transformed urban space where upscale restaurants, luxury apartment buildings, and trendy bars proliferate through gentrification and decades of pro-development urban policy.

Readers might find Hyra’s concept of “living the wire” controversial. A nod to HBO’s The Wire, a series set in impoverished, high-crime Black neighborhoods in Baltimore, Hyra finds through his interviews and observations that many white newcomers to Shaw were drawn to the neighborhood because of “Black branding” and its notorious past of prostitution, open-air drug markets, and drive-by shootings.

Wait a minute. Is Hyra really saying white people came to Shaw because they wanted to live in a violent neighborhood? No, of course not. But the motivations behind wealthier, whiter people fleeing the stagnant, “soulless” suburbs in a “return to the city” movement cannot be ignored.

Despite devaluing Black lives, white supremacy has always found a way to capitalize on Black culture. It is this attraction to living in a historically Black neighborhood—to “Black cool,” that has drawn residents to Shaw. But although new residents may be consuming Black cool at places like Busboys & Poets, a hip, politically progressive restaurant-cafe on 14th St., for the most part, Hyra finds, newcomers ignore the existence and struggle of their actual poor and working-class Black neighbors.

Click here to continue reading the review on Shelterforce.com


ONE Bit of Good News - ONE DC featured on the Presbyterian Peace & Justice Monthly

On June 27th, ONE DC received a shout-out by the Presbyterian Committee for partnering with them on the Self-Development of People movement:

ONE DC is working to improve social and economic equity by organizing, training and educating housing residents in Shaw and the District.
“We are community organizers, working with longtime low-income residents,” said Dominic Moulden, resource organizer for ONE DC. “This organization has been around in one form or another for 20 years now and we’ve been connected with SDOP the entire time.”
Moulden says the organization was built around three main goals; involving grassroots people in the decisions that affect their lives, minimizing hierarchy and professionalism in the organizations working for social change, and engaging in direct action to resolve social problems.

Click here to continue reading


Do you want to be a writer, editor, or designer for the ONE DC Monthly Voice? Email organizer@onedconline.org

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People's Platform Meeting This Thursday!

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ONE DC Monthly Voice - June 2017

  "People get used to anything. The less you think about your oppression, the more your tolerance for it grows. After a while, people just think oppression is the normal state of things. But to become free, you have to be acutely aware of being a slave." -Assata Shakur, Assata: An Autobiography


Can you imagine your name on the Wall of Liberation?

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On Saturday, June 17th, ONE DC members, SURJ members, and supporters came together for an afternoon of good food, music, political education, conversation, and fundraising to celebrate Juneteenth! Baltimore-based hip-hop artist Son of Nun performed a couple of his amazing tracks. We heard stories & wisdom of movement building from our elders-- Betty Robinson, Arthur Brown, Jr. and Linda Leaks. Talented artists from around the DMV donated their art for a silent art auction.

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As many of you know by now, in 2016, ONE DC launched a 2-year 10th Anniversary capital campaign to fundraise over $2 million for the Black Workers Center and to sustain our future work. We are close to purchasing a building to house the BWC. A community-controlled space is critical to building power, political education, and leadership development with an emphasis on Black workers.

It is essential that ONE DC, a Black-led organization, operate from a liberated space East of the River, where unemployment rates are the highest in the city and where residents are vulnerable to a new wave of mass displacement and gentrification. All Juneteenth donors who give $50 dollars or more will be receive of honor of being recognized on our sponsorship “Wall of Liberation” when we succeed in purchasing a building to house the Black Workers Center!

Please donate today to get YOUR NAME on the Wall of Liberation!


Tenant-Led Accountability Action at Wilson Building

Tenants from Brookland Manor, Dahlgreen Courts and Congress Heights came together on Tuesday, June 20th for an action at City Hall where they got Ward 5 and Ward 8 council members Kenyan McDuffie and Trayon White on the public record with regard to underhanded displacement tactics and slum conditions tenants face at the hands of wealthy developers.

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Join the ONE DC Outreach Team for Thursday Mass Outreach Days

With the aim to cover more ground during outreach combined with the influx of new summer interns, ONE DC has now dedicated every Thursday from 3 to 7 PM as a mass outreach day where all staff, members, interns, and volunteers who can spare their time come together to conduct outreach at various designated locations in D.C. This month, ONE DC conducted outreach at Congress Heights, Brookland Manor, and Dahlgreen Courts to build our base of tenants who are fighting against displacement and other housing-related issues. We are also doing outreach every Tuesday from 4 to 6 PM in Congress Heights and have ongoing opportunities to table or distribute flyers at events throughout the city this summer.

To join the ONE DC Outreach team and receive updates on where and when outreach (and outreach training) will take place each week, whether you can join us for one week, some weeks, or every week, simply send an email to organizer@onedconline.org and we will add you to the listserv.




Making the Just City Campaign Welcomes Two Apprentice Organizers

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Serita El Amin
is the granddaughter of Samuel B. Ethridge, a former National Education Association official who worked for racial integration of state teacher organizations during the civil rights movement of the 1960’s. In 1968, he was named head of the NEA’s newly created Center for Human Rights, which developed leadership programs. So in her life, Serita was inspired to follow her grandparents’ dreams and legacy, and wanted to represent through changing relationships between organizations. She has struggled in many areas of separation and displacement, and truly believes in human rights and remembering our ancestors and what they fought for. Serita lives in Washington, D.C., in the NE Brookland Manor apartments, where tenants are now trying to protect their rights and preserve affordable housing. She has lived at Brookland Manor for 18 years-- has one biological child and raised 16 children. Serita loves life and believes we should live life to the fullest with equal shares. She happily joined ONE DC's Making the Just City Project in 2017 to move forward to success and equal rights.

Raheem Anthon is a native of Washington D.C. His childhood consisted of relocating many times due to systemic circumstances of a low-income, single-parent household. He grew up in Congress Heights, Baltimore, and Charlotte, N.C. where he witnessed and experienced the physiological effects that struggle can take hold on people, especially his family. This led him to try to understand the reasons why this takes place in society. When life led him back to D.C., he was stunned to see the effects of gentrification and displacement take place where he considered home. Places seemed familiar, but faces were complete strangers. This, along with the election of 2016, compelled him to get politically involved, begin reading revolutionary literature, and led him to local organizations, such as ONE DC. Being a member of ONE DC has been integral in reconnecting him back to the DC community and he is currently involved in the Making the Just City ​campaign. This campaign is an ethnographic study of late and new gentrification stages and its adverse effects in the Orange County, NJ and Shaw area. Raheem hopes to continue working with the people in order to restore our roots, not just with revolutionary ideology, but to bring people​ to revolutionary ideology- a praxis for the people. He believes this will truly ​create social change by having the people fight for what is theirs and build a new society together.

Click here for more info about Making the Just City. If you are a current or former Shaw resident who wants to get involved, please contact 202.232.2915 or organizer@onedconline.org.


Put a Price On It DC Coalition

 

ONE DC has attended several meetings over the past few weeks at the DC chapter of the Sierra Club to discuss a proposed climate rebate act with several other organizations. The “Put a Price On It D.C.” campaign includes groups like the Sierra Club, DC Divest, Working Families Party of DC, and Americans for Transit. The bill aims to tax people and businesses releasing carbon emissions into the environment. The fee would be $20 per ton of CO2 in 2019 and would rise to $150 per ton in 2032. With these goals, carbon pollution can be reduced by 23% in Washington, D.C. by 2032.

The revenue gained from the tax will be distributed back into the hands of DC residents. This rebate will be allocated to DC residents on a quarterly-basis, giving a higher rebate amount to low-income residents. For example, in the first year alone, the policy would offer about $900 to low-income residents. With every dollar that low-income residents pay in the carbon fee, they will see four dollars rebated. Additionally, the plan will offer a tax credit for local DC businesses. In addition to offering economic rebates to DC residents, the policy will make for a cleaner and greener DC by lowering the amount of fossil fuel emissions.


In terms of the bill’s progress, groups associated with “Put a Price On It D.C.” are working to convince DC councilmembers and both large and small businesses in the city to pledge their support. Direct outreach and canvassing will continue in order to put pressure on the DC government to support this bill that benefits both DC residents and our environment. The “Put a Price On It D.C.” campaign wants to make the capital city a leader in fighting climate change with this progressive legislation.

Click here to learn more and sign up for updates. If you would like to get involved with the Put a Price On It DC campaign as a ONE DC member, please email Claire at ccook@onedconline.org or call 202.232.2915.

Upcoming Events

 

Save Our System Transit Justice Rally
Thursday, June 29 - 5:30 PM
Columbia Heights Metro Station - 3030 14th Street NW
The Save Our System Coalition is organizing to oppose WMATA’s fare hikes and service cuts. At this rally we will be hearing from DC residents about their experiences with riding metro so we can organize and demand a better transport system. ONE DC joins this fight as reflected in People's Platform Principle #8: Access to safe and affordable transportation so that we can travel between our homes, jobs, schools, and recreational spaces.
Click here to RSVP

DC Fair Elections Hearing
Thursday, June 29 - 9:00 AM
John A. Wilson Building, Room 500 - 1350 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Attend hearing on bill to #FightBigMoney.
Click here for more info

A Right to the City: Discussion on D.C. Neighborhood Change (Smithsonian Folklife Festival)
Thursday, July 6 - 1:15 PM – 2 PM
After a half-century of population decline and disinvestment, Washington, D.C., along with other U.S. urban centers, has been witnessing a “return to the city”—with rapidly rising populations, rents, and home prices, but also deepening inequality. This discussion with local community leaders, organizers, and artists is related to the Smithsonian Anacostia Community Museum’s forthcoming exhibition A Right to the City (2018), which explores the history of a diverse range of D.C. neighborhoods and how their residents helped to shape and reshape their communities in extraordinary ways. Participating in this discussion will be Dominic Moulden from ONE DC, Busboys and Poets owner Andy Shallal, and Paso Nuevo director Quique Avilés.
Click here for more info

Save the Date: We’ve Been to the Future & We’ve Won: A Dance Party Fun(d)raiser for the Black Workers Center
Saturday, July 22 - 8 PM-2AM
Uptown Art House - 3412 Connecticut Ave, NW (Cleveland Park Metro)
Co-hosted by Resource Generation. Featuring Local DJs: DJ Tyron & DJ Young Ella Baker
More details to come!


Community Announcements

DC Research Collective: Need research to support progressive efforts?
Serving as mutual aid-based, collective resource for the social justice community in the DC-metro area, this collective of volunteer researchers can support progressive efforts with research and data analysis.
Learn more, submit a research request, or join the Collective here.


Register Now for the People's Congress of Resistance

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Registration is now open for the September 16-17 People's Congress of Resistance! This event will draw together grassroots resisters and diverse social movements from around the country for an exciting weekend of strategizing, deliberation and information-sharing. The registration fees of $50 and $100 help cover the enormous expenses that go with organizing an event of this magnitude. Click this link to register today!

The registration fee covers participation in the two-day event, not including housing, food and other personal expenses. If you cannot pay the registration fee but are eager to attend the People's Congress of Resistance, please fill out this form. We are collectively fundraising so that no one will be unable to come on account of funds.

The People's Congress of Resistance is also looking for local volunteers in DC. Click here to sign up.


ONE Bit of Good News - Alfred McKenzie Award

On June 7th, at the Wiley A. Branton Award Luncheon, the Washington Lawyers’ Committee presented ONE DC with the Alfred McKenzie Award. We thank the WLC for their ongoing support & commitment to ONE DC and to tenants leading the struggle against displacement.

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The Washington Lawyers’ Committee is proud to partner with ONE DC. In August of 2016, ONE DC, along with a group of families, filed a class action lawsuit challenging the discriminatory redevelopment of Brookland Manor, an affordable housing complex located in Northeast DC. More than 150 of the units house large families that have made their home on the property for generations. Brookland Manor is one of the few remaining DC communities with the four- and five-bedroom apartments necessary to provide safe, adequate housing for these families. Appallingly, the developer “justified” this discrimination claiming that large families are “not consistent with the creation of a vibrant new community.” The Washington Lawyers’ Committee and Covington & Burling represent ONE DC and the other plaintiffs in this case.

In addition, ONE DC’s organizers have identified important civil rights and racial justice issues facing tenants at multiple DC properties and connected those tenants to the Washington Lawyers’ Committee for legal representation. ONE DC has laid the groundwork for building trust between tenants throughout the District and the Committee, without which the Committee’s work would not be as fruitful and effective.

ONE DC’s values and work exemplify the life and spirit of Alfred McKenzie. In his name, we are proud to honor Dominic Moulden and all of his colleagues who make ONE DC a dedicated and courageous partner with which we hope to work long into the future.

Click here to read more


Do you want to be a writer, editor, or designer for the ONE DC Monthly Voice? Email organizer@onedconline.org

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Tenant-Led Accountability Action at the Wilson Building

mcduffie.jpg

Tenants from Brookland Manor, Dahlgreen Courts and Congress Heights came together on Tuesday, June 20th for an action at City Hall where they got Ward 5 and Ward 8 council members Kenyan McDuffie and Trayon White on the public record with regard to underhanded displacement tactics and slum conditions tenants face at the hands of wealthy developers.

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Click here to view a video of the tenant association presidents from each property giving their summary of the action and what it means moving forward.

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Making the Just City Campaign Welcomes Two Apprentice Organizers

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Serita El Amin is the granddaughter of Samuel B. Ethridge, a former National Education Association official who worked for racial integration of state teacher organizations during the civil rights movement of the 1960’s. In 1968, he was named head of the NEA’s newly created center for Human Rights, which developed leadership programs.
So further in her life, Serita El Amin was inspired to follow her grandparents’ dreams and legacy and wanted to represent in changing relationships between organizations. She has struggled in many areas of separation and displacement, and truly believes in human rights and remembering our ancestors and what they fought for. Serita lives in Washington, D.C., in the NE Brookland Manor apartments, where tenants are now trying to protect their rights and preserve affordable housing. She has been there for 18 years -- has one biological child and raised 16 children. Serita loves life and believes we should live life to the fullest with equal shares. She happily joined ONE DC's Making the Just City Project in 2017 to move forward to success and equal rights.

Raheem Anthon is a native of Washington D.C. His childhood consisted of relocating many times due to systemic circumstances of a low-income, single-parent household. He grew up in Congress Heights, Baltimore, and Charlotte, N.C. where he witnessed and experienced the physiological effects that struggle can take hold on people, especially his family. This led him to try to understand the reasons why this takes place in society. When life led him back to D.C., he was stunned to see the effects of gentrification and displacement take place where he considered home. Places seemed familiar, but faces were complete strangers. This, along with the election of 2016, compelled him to get politically involved, begin reading revolutionary literature, and led him to local organizations, such as ONE DC. Being a member of ONE DC has been integral in reconnecting him back to the DC community and he is currently involved in the Making the Just City ​campaign. This campaign is an ethnographic study of late and new gentrification stages and its adverse effects in the Orange County, NJ and Shaw area. Raheem hopes to continue working with the people in order to restore our roots, not just with revolutionary ideology, but to bring people​ to revolutionary ideology- a praxis for the people. He believes this will truly ​create social change by having the people fight for what is theirs and build a new society together.

Share