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Celebrate Juneteenth with ONE DC

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Making the Just City Presents at DC Ideas Fest

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Derek Hyra (associate professor in the Department of Public Administration and Policy at American University and author of Race, Class, and Politics in the Cappuccino City) and Dominic Moulden (ONE DC Resource Organizer) speaking at DC Ideas Fest about the innovative Making the Just City project that brings together researchers and community organizers in neighborhoods facing displacement in DC to understand and produce community-level responses, such as affordable housing and social capital, to reduce health disparities.
Click here to view presentation slides

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ONE DC Monthly Voice - May 2017

  "It takes the courage of fortitude and persistence to practice alternative economics – it takes deliberate action and re-education, both which could also be difficult." -Dr. Jessica Gordon Nembhard, interview on Black co-ops


#WorkingWhileBlack

An important pathway to systemic progressive change connects efforts to change dominant narratives with vibrant policy and workplace justice campaigns and the building of powerful member-driven organizations. The National Black Worker Center Project’s (NBWCP) signature national campaign will be its Working While Black initiative.  This initiative will change the narrative about the causes of the Black job crisis and the solutions to this crisis by projecting a nuanced view of the nature of Black worker lives: the challenges they face and how to address these challenges through individual efforts and collective action.  These stories will emerge from Black workers and the campaigns of local Black worker centers; simultaneously, these stories will enhance the capacity of affiliates to win local fights. The ONE DC Black Workers Center is an affiliate with the NBWCP.

Read the latest story on the ONE DC Black Workers Center featured in PolicyLink

Wouldn’t it be powerful for the ONE DC Black Workers Center to have its own home? We are exploring the possibility of purchasing a building in Southeast DC. Stay tuned!


Join the People's Congress of Resistance

The United States Congress does not represent the people who live and work in the United States. Given the threat posed by the Trump regime, the people must take matters into our own hands, together, and claim the power we already have.

The People demand a new Congress, a fighting Congress of the working class of all racial and ethnic backgrounds, genders and ages. We must create a Congress of communities under attack by the reactionary Trump agenda and fighting back against it, a Congress of the grassroots and the working class, of resisters, organizers, and activists, of everyone who recognizes we can no longer continue as we have. Such a People’s Congress will confront the Congress of the millionaires. It will galvanize the energy of the many groups resisting Trump. It will demonstrate that this is what democracy looks like.

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In the face of the assault waged against working class and poor communities and the environment by the Trump Administration a grassroots People’s Congress of Resistance will convene in Washington, D.C. on September 16 and 17, 2017.

The People's Congress of Resistance launched in May with a livestream event featuring activists & conveners from around the country, including ONE DC organizer Yasmina Mrabet. Watch video from the launch event here.

Click here to endorse the People's Congress of Resistance and click here to volunteer

Coalition Updates

Put A Price On It D.C. - Carbon Rebate Coalition

This month ONE DC joined with local faith leaders, economic justice advocates, labor organizers, environmentalists, and others gathered on the front steps of D.C.’s city hall to unveil a dynamic “carbon fee and rebate” plan to reduce global warming pollution in D.C. The plan would charge polluters for their carbon emissions and rebate the overwhelming majority of the revenue back to every resident of the District.

The groundbreaking plan, released in the wake of April’s massive Peoples Climate March in D.C., outlines how the District of Columbia can reduce carbon pollution in the city while increasing employment. The plan will also boost incomes in the District through a universal “carbon rebate” paid to every resident on a quarterly basis, including an enhanced rebate to low-income District residents. The plan would also make investments in green infrastructure throughout the city. Finally, the plan proposes using a small share of the carbon revenue to create a tax credit for local businesses.

Click here to learn more

Save Our System Coalition: FIX IT, FUND IT, MAKE IT FAIR
Thursday, June 29th - 5:30 PM
For our June People's Platform meeting, we will take action with the Save our System Coalition to fight for a more equitable transit system in DC. Additional details TBA!

Black Workers Center Chorus Performs at LEDC Tenant Town Hall

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Together, Sheila White, Luci Murphy, Angie Whitehurst, and Terri Acker led the crowd inside in singing "We Ain't Gonna Move" and "No Nos Moveran/We Shall Not Be Moved."


Reflections on Training with the Center for Third World Organizing

By Jourgette Reid-Sillah

On May 19-21, I attended the Community Action Training led by the Center for Third World Organizing (CTWO). Friday evening was an introduction/ icebreaker session with an overview of the organization and its mission and the overall objectives of training. Throughout the training, understanding the concept of said objectives were achieved by role play. The groups were often split into teams and acted out actual actions that had taken place in the past. This allowed us to learn the nuances that went into the planning and execution of actions of the past. It also allowed us to note the challenges and how to tweak them to make them better. {Note: I have been involved in actions in the past but this training allows me to understand the pre-action planning that went into it.}

Both Karissa and Avery from CTWO brought a wealth of knowledge and front line experience to the training. By them interjecting their experiences into the training, it gave the lectures life. The role play allowed for critical thinking and analysis. Those within the groups that had more experience guided those of us who were less knowledgeable. It was a good balance. I also again had the opportunity to see that Black and Brown people are indeed putting themselves on the line for social justice. This was most evident at the Barry Farm outreach.

I wish to thank ONE DC for the opportunity to enhance my understanding of the disenfranchisement of Black and Brown people. It also allows me to think about what role I can play in this struggle for social change. Also please note that Nawal was a jewel and looked out for me this weekend. {She does not know that once I ride in the front seat of your car you are stuck with me for life.}This weekend has been a positive experience for me. I will have a more in-depth analysis on a personal level once I review my notes and receive PowerPoint from Avery. I am excited about what this knowledge will mean in regards to my community and how I will use it to enhance the lives of the residents at Richman Apartments.


Celebrate Juneteenth with ONE DC

 

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Click here to RSVP & Volunteer

Can't make it? Host your own Fundraiser BBQ or House Party for ONE DC this summer! Email Dominic at dmoulden@onedconline.org for more info.


Upcoming Events

 

Resourcing Our Resistance, Nurturing Our Connections: A DC TimeBank Movement Makers Fair
Saturday June 3rd - 12:00 - 3:30 PM
Crispus Attucks Park - 23 U St NW
DC, let’s exchange resources to build resistance! Join the DC Time Bank and local changemakers for a day in the park at the second Movement Makers Fair. The Movement Makers Fair will be a place to share and develop skills for resistance, self-determination, inspiration, and healing. Stay tuned for the full schedule of skillshares such as grassroots fundraising, digital security, urban farming, timebanking, and yoga. We’ve seen that movements are built on people power, reconciliation, and love for one’s community.
Click here to RSVP


Juneteenth: Fighting for Black Liberation Then & Now
Saturday, June 3rd - 4:30 PM
Justice Center - 617 Florida Ave NW
Featuring a panel of Organizers: Eugene Puryear, Author of "Shackled and Chained: Mass Incarceration in Capitalist America"; Yasmina Mrabet, ONE DC Organizer with Brookland Manor Tenants; Sean Blackmon, Organizer with Stop Police Terror Project DC. Juneteenth commemorates the announcement of General Order Number 3, read by Union General Gordon Granger in Union-occupied Galveston Island, Texas, on June 19, 1865, declaring the total emancipation of all the slaves—two and a half years after the original declaration by Abraham Lincoln. The 250,000 slaves in Texas at the time, shocked by the delayed news, rejoiced and left the plantations en masse. The Party for Socialism and Liberation will honor Juneteenth anniversary by holding this special panel discussion. Join this forum to get involved in the fight against racism! Plus: Update on plans for the People’s Congress of Resistance, a new fighting Congress from the ground up of resisters and all the communities under attack convening Sept. 16-17 at Howard University.
Click here to RSVP

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Click here for more info on GLAE 2017


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.

Building Tactics for a Successful Campaign
Wednesday, June 6th - 5:30 - 8:30 PM
AFL-CIO Gompers Room - 815 16th St NW
Do you need to put pressure on someone who can give you what you want? Is your organization up against a CEO or corporation that is putting profit OVER people? Are you tired of rallying and are you looking for new fun tactics you can do?Taking action is the lifeblood of good organizing. This training will help you and your members build skills on how to take action toward campaign victories. We encourage groups of people who are working together to attend, so that they can strategize about their campaign in a small group setting. This training is hosted by DC Jobs With Justice, ATU Local 689, DC Democratic Socialists of America, Metro Washington Council, AFL-CIO, and the Washington Teachers Union.

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RSVP for the training here


ONE Bit of Good News

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Derek Hyra (associate professor in the Department of Public Administration and Policy at American University and author of Race, Class, and Politics in the Cappuccino City) and Dominic Moulden (ONE DC Resource Organizer) speaking at DC Ideas Fest
about the innovative Making the Just City project that brings together researchers and community organizers in neighborhoods facing displacement in DC to understand and produce community-level responses, such as affordable housing and strong social networks, to reduce health disparities.
Click here to view presentation slides


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

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Outrageous Report Claims Mid-City Not Gentrifying

Mid-City Financial, the developer that owns the Brookland Manor property in Northeast Washington, D.C. has hired RCLCO Real Estate Advisors, a consulting company that is becoming the "go-to" for developers looking to justify the tearing down of affordable housing in order to build luxury apartments and condos. RCLCO has written an outrageous report, submitted to the D.C. Zoning Commission, claiming that Mid-City will not be gentrifying if it goes through with its redevelopment plan at Brookland Manor, because gentrification in Ward 5 is "an established trend." On its face, this is a preposterous claim.

While the report in its entirety is nonsensical, there are two particularly egregious quotes that are telling of Mid-City's intentions at Brookland Manor in particular, and in Ward 5 in general:

1. RCLCO used a quote in their report from a Slate article to justify Mid-City's redevelopment plan for Brookland Manor. The quote reads: "When you have enough construction, you get filtering rather than gentrification. Lower-income people move into dwellings that used to house rich people but that aren't shiny and new any more and don't have the most up-to-date fashions. When you don't have enough construction, you get rich people moving into poor people's houses and installing granite countertops." This is a shocking statement as we witness brand new luxury developments in D.C. pushing working class Black people into sub-prime markets run by slumlords, like we've seen with Sanford Capital at properties like Congress Heights.

2. RCLCO used a second quote in their report by "liberal economist" Paul Krugman to justify Mid-City's redevelopment plan for Brookland Manor. The quote reads: "Rising demand for urban living by the elite could be met largely by increasing supply. There's still room to build, even in New York, especially upward. Yet while there is something of a building boom in the city, it's far smaller than the soaring prices warrant, mainly because land use restrictions are in the way." This shocking quote very clearly states who Mid-City is building for. They boldly and blatantly state that the supply of housing they offer is to meet the demand for "urban living by the elite."

Consulting companies like RCLCO are acting as facilitators of predatory redevelopments that seek to profit at the expense of working class communities of color.

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Mid-City Financial plans to eliminate all 4 and 5 bedroom units, and most 3 bedroom units,
effectively displacing hundreds of working class black families from Brookland Manor.

Recently, Mid-City has pushed the narrative through media outlets that if they were able to build higher density at Brookland Manor, there would have been an appropriate amount of affordable housing. However, even in Mid-City's original plans which would have quadrupled density (as opposed to current plans which propose to triple density), they never planned to replace the 535 units of affordable housing currently on the property, and they always planned to eliminate family-sized units.

Segregation and inequality are the obvious manifestations of arguments like the recent one pushed by the Editorial Board at the Washington Post. Privately-owned land and private money does not abdicate a private company’s responsibility to the public. Previous investigative reports by the Washington Post expose public problems perpetuated by Mid-City Financial, including the loss of family housing at Brookland Manor. Mid-City's eviction campaign has also been documented by groups like the Neighborhood Legal Services Program (NLSP). At ONE DC, we believe we have a communal responsibility to ensure equitable development without displacement. Additionally, there are rules in place that require plans like those of private company Mid-City at Brookland Manor to gain PUD approval through the government zoning process. This process is designed to ensure that plans like Mid-City’s protect the health, safety, and welfare of the community. Clearly, a plan that eliminates affordable housing while tripling density on the 20 acre site, and one that eliminates family housing in the midst of an affordable housing crisis, does not promote the health, safety, and welfare of the community, and therefore should not be approved by the D.C. Zoning Commission. This is the legal standard that Mid-City must be judged by.

Tenants at Brookland Manor propose that Mid-City be allowed to redevelop and triple density only if they include the 535 units of affordable housing that currently exist on site at their existing subsidy levels and bedroom sizes. Furthermore, tenants ask for the right to access employment opportunities through the rebuilding of their own community, which they have a fundamental right to be a part of. Working class residents of color who are affected by the affordable housing crisis have a right to seek to preserve affordable housing at every turn, whether it be through private redevelopment plans that require zoning approval, or through the preservation and expansion of high quality, high functioning public housing. The government to this point has completely failed in that respect.

The Brookland Manor/Brentwood Village Residents Association has repeatedly offered to partner with Mid-City and with Ward 5 Council member Kenyan McDuffie to access money through the Housing Production Trust Fund in order to finance a true one-for-one replacement of existing affordable units at the redeveloped property. To this point, neither Mid-City nor Kenyan McDuffie has taken the Residents Association up on their offer to work together to preserve the existing affordable housing at Brookland Manor as a part of redevelopment plans moving forward. What is happening at Brookland Manor illustrates why Washington, D.C. is in the midst of an affordable housing crisis that is only getting worse. Sadly, city government officials like Kenyan McDuffie continue to refuse to act in the interests of their constituents, and instead work to increase the profit margins of private companies like Mid-City.

Brookland Manor tenants continue to lead a fight to preserve affordable, family-accessible units at Brookland Manor, and it is critical that we continue to keep up widespread public pressure on a system that puts the interests of profiteers before those of the people, and one that continues to develop by way of displacement. We expect the D.C. Zoning Commission to finally make a decision on Monday, May 22, as to whether Mid-City can move forward with its planned displacement of working class Black residents from Brookland Manor to make way for a redevelopment that will build over 1,750 luxury apartments. On that day, once again, we will come out in big numbers to demonstrate our continued solidarity with tenant-led struggles to save affordable housing and family housing in the District of Columbia, and to demonstrate our continued commitment to working class black communities under attack by private developers and city officials who do their bidding.

Please join us on May 22nd. We will rally outside of 441 4th St NW at 5:00PM, and then move into the building starting at 6:00PM to pack the zoning hearing, which will begin at 6:30PM.

RSVP here: Final Action Rally! Support Brookland Manor!

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ONE DC Monthly Voice - April 2017

La shukran ala wajib // No need to thank me because it is a duty

-Arabic expression shared by ONE DC Member Sara Swetzoff

Just because you can't do what everyone else does, doesn't mean your life stops

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This month we celebrate the leadership of a ONE DC member, Angie Whitehurst. A survivor of a rare form of cerebral malaria, Angie reminds us that we each have unique talents that we can mobilize to serve our community. As a leader in ONE DC's Black Workers Center Chorus, member of the Administrative committee, and a long-time DC resident, Angie is an example of grace-filled resilience and hope.

While working in international development abroad, Angie contracted a rare form of malaria. Her recovery required her to cut down her work hours and slow her lifestyle. She then supplemented her work with volunteering and organizing. In Angie’s words, "just because you can't do what everyone else does, doesn't mean your life stops. Doesn't mean your brain stops."

When Angie was a young woman living with her family in NW DC, her family’s neighborhood was claimed by eminent domain. On the day President Kennedy was assassinated in 1963, she and her neighbors moved out of their homes. They built a new home in Petworth. Years later, when plans were forming to build the Metro in Petworth and demolish the homes in the space, Angie and her family organized to ensure their homes were preserved and they were included in the changes in Petworth.

Angie sees the same thing happening at Brookland Manor: development that is neither inclusive nor just. "I call it loopholes. The government doesn't say you have to move, but when people buy buildings just for speculation, flipping, without your participation... it's ethically and morally wrong."

That’s why Angie is a member and leader with ONE DC. She embodies resilience, and she raises all of our spirits with her songs and her stories.

Become a member of ONE DC and volunteer your energy, spirit, and leadership.  


We Don't Do Pacification Work. We Do Liberation Work.

And when you do the liberation work, you need to be funded by your base. ONE DC is raising $1.3 million to purchase & renovate a building to permanently house the first Black Workers Center in the District of Columbia. A community-controlled space is critical to building power through 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.

With a Black Workers Center space, ONE DC will be able to house equipment for time banking programs, host national and international visitors who want to learn about organizing in DC, and build a political movement to fight for control over housing, land, and labor.

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On April 22, a group of ONE DC members, local artists, activists, organizers, & community members, and hip-hop artist Talib Kweli convened at the Black Workers Center space in Anacostia to discuss grassroots organizing in DC. Watch the video here

With Tax Day behind us, please consider donating all or part of your refund toward our campaign! And don't forget to share on Facebook & Twitter!


Carry the Water: Represent ONE DC in Coalition Building and Outreach Efforts

Help ONE DC be a stronger coalition partner! Check out the below campaigns. If any interest you, you can become more involved by committing to attend coalition meetings, volunteer (and recruit other ONE DC members to volunteer) with campaign committees, and sharing updates with our larger membership. We will schedule a leader development orientation with anyone interested so you can learn more about what it means to represent ONE DC and build strong organizational partnerships.

Coalition Building

DC ReInvest
In solidarity with Standing Rock, we demand D.C. sever its ties with Wells Fargo and other banks funding the Dakota Access Pipeline. We seek to send a message to
the fossil fuel and finance industries: that there is a price to pay for investing in dirty infrastructure and human rights violations. We further demand that D.C. reinvest in justice and self-determination for our communities. D.C. must invest in efforts to end police brutality, pursue a just energy transition, protect communities under threat, and empower our communities. We will work with coalition partners and allies around the DMV area to shape our vision for D.C.’s future and bring our demands to the Mayor and City Council.
Click here to learn more

Put A Price On It D.C. - Carbon Rebate Coalition
The "Put a Price on It D.C." campaign was born from the shared understanding that only a rising price on pollution can be strong enough to close the gap. So, the coalition set out to pass the first progressive carbon fee in the nation, and fulfill D.C.’s goals of inclusive prosperity in a walkable, livable, sustainable city. On Friday, April 28th at 9:30am the coalition is planning a literature drop at all of the council members offices. RSVP to Jeremiah Lowery at jeremiah@chesapeakeclimate.org if you can make it!
Click here to learn more

Save Our System Coalition: FIX IT, FUND IT, MAKE IT FAIR
Thursday April 27th - 2:00 - 4:00 PM
815 16th St NW - President's Room, 1st Floor
*All meeting participants will need an ID to enter building.
WMATA services are a vital economic lifeline for residents of DMV region, especially the most public transit dependent populations of low-income workers, persons with disabilities, senior citizens, and students.
Click here to learn more

DC Fair Elections
Make D.C. elected officials more accountable to D.C. residents. Give candidates a way to fund their campaigns by motivating supporters in the communities they serve, rather than high-dollar donors looking for a sweetheart deal in return. Provide a bullhorn to ensure the voices of everyday citizens are continually heard in the Wilson Building. Increase the range of choices by giving grassroots-oriented candidates a means to get their message out.
Click here to learn more

Outreach


New Communities for Children Community Fair
Saturday, May 6th - 1:00 - 4:00 PM
614 S St NW - Back Parking Lot at ONE DC
We need: 2-4 members/supporters to table for ONE DC (distribute flyers, sign up interested people, spread the word!)

Resourcing Our Resistance, Nurturing Our Connections: A DC TimeBank Movement Makers Fair
Saturday May 6th -  12:00 - 3:30 PM

Crispus Attucks Park - 23 U St NW
DC, let’s exchange resources to build resistance! Join the DC Time Bank and local changemakers for a day in the park at the second Movement Makers Fair. The Movement Makers Fair will be a place to share and develop skills for resistance, self-determination, inspiration, and healing. Stay tuned for the full schedule of skillshares such as grassroots fundraising, digital security, urban farming, timebanking, and yoga. We’ve seen that movements are built on people power, reconciliation, and love for one’s community.
Click here to RSVP
We need 2-3 members/supporters to table for ONE DC (distribute flyers, sign up interested people, spread the word)
If you want to plan your own skill share or help with the event, email Caitlin at dctimebank@gmail.com.

Other Roles
Phone Banking Coordinators
Learn how to & take the lead:
-Create & split lists in our Nation Builder database
-Draft phone banking scripts
-Contact the phone banking team as needed
-Distribute lists to team, follow up, & help with data entry
Resource Development
-write grant proposals & reports
-plan small fundraisers
Member Development
-conduct 1-on-1s with new members & supporters to get them orientated to ONE DC

If you want to help "carry the water" and build leadership with ONE DC, email Claire at ccook@onedconline.org or call 202.232.2915.

ONE DC Week of Action!

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People's Platform General Body Meeting
Thursday, April 27 - 6:00 PM
Petworth Library - 4200 Kansas Ave NW, Basement
April's meeting will center on People's Platform Principle #3: the right to health and wellness for people and the earth. We believe in a system designed to meet our human needs, not to exploit and profit. We will be joined by Empower DC, learn about the systemic issues facing our environment, and prepare for the People's Climate March on April 29th!
#WhyWeMarch: Check out this spoken word poem on environmental justice by Kenya Newsome and Nesha Ruther of Split This Rock 2015 DC Youth Slam
Click here to RSVP

People's Climate March: ONE DC Delegation
Saturday, April 29 - 11:00 AM
Meet Up at 4th St NW & Constitution Ave NW
We invite ALL members & supporters to join ONE DC for the People's Climate March under the banner of the People's Platform. We believe in the right to health and wellness for humans and the earth. We believe in a system designed to meet our human needs, not to exploit and profit. As we organize for racial & economy equity in DC, we demand housing justice, worker justice, and environmental justice! We join the People's Climate March to let the people's voices be heard loud and clear. Now more than ever we must stand together and fight against harmful climate policies! Wear your ONE DC t-shirt if you have one!
Click here to RSVP
Click here to share and invite friends on Facebook


DC On Strike!
Monday, May 1 - 12:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Lamont Park - Mount Pleasant
We invite you to rally with MLOV and members in a collective demonstration and celebration of unity in Mount Pleasant, after which we will march to the White House to join the regional rally. Let’s collectively demand the kind of city that we want as our home - we will not let the federal government define DC!
Click here to RSVP

May Day
Monday, May 1 - 12:00 - 3:00 PM
Malcolm X Park - 16th St NW
We march: To demand political power for working class; To smash, racism, sexism, and fascism; To stop mass deportations; To end mass incarceration; To oppose imperialist war; To defend the earth and its resources; To fight for health care, education, and living wages for all.
Click here to RSVP

**Please note the ONE DC office will be closed on May 1st for May Day**


Political Education - Thinker, Fighter Mumia Abu Jamal: 'A Life of Revolutionary Purpose'

April 24th was the 63rd birthday of Mumia Abu-Jamal, perhaps the most well known of the political prisoners currently being held in the United States. His lifetime of struggle, beginning with his membership in the Black Panther Party, has been an inspiration for generations of activists, and his case has been taken up by those seeking social justice across the world. But Mumia is far from the only political prisoner being held in US prisons today. On this episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker is joined by Ramona Africa, minister of communication for the MOVE organization, by activist and scholar Dr. Anthony Monteiro and by Noelle Hanrahan of Prison Radio.
Click here to listen & learn


Keep Up the Pressure! Pack the Hearing for Brookland Manor

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We had a great turn-out at the hearing last night! The room was packed with residents and supporters for Brookland Manor.
Last night the Commission did not make a ruling. Instead, it pressed Mid-City Financial for answers on how multi-generational families will be housed in the redevelopment, with respect to seniors who wish to remain with their grandchildren and families who would end up broken up, as well as how families can qualify for 3 and 4 BR townhomes (available for homeownership). Chair of the Zoning Commission Anthony Hood also raised concerns about families with individuals with disabilities who should remain together.

This would not have happened without the leadership and resilience of Brookland Manor tenants and ONE DC members, and the widespread community support they have organized and inspired. It is critical that we continue to keep up public pressure on a system that puts the interests of profiteers before those of the people, and one that continues to develop by way of displacement. We expect the DC Zoning Commission to finally make a decision on Monday, May 22, and on that day, once again, we will come out in big numbers to demonstrate our continued solidarity with tenant-led struggles to save affordable and family housing in the District of Columbia, and our commitment to working class black communities under attack by private developers and city officials.

Click here to RSVP for the rally & hearing on May 22nd


Upcoming Events

 

Empower DC: FY 2018 DC Council Budget Hearing for the DC Housing Authority
Thursday, May 4th - Starting at 11:00 AM

Wilson Building - 1350 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Room 120
Barry Farm residents have been fighting for years now to preserve their homes and community. This year we are asking the city council to fund "redevelopment in place" for those who want to stay on the property so that they won't be moved around the city risking their ability to return once the redevelopment is complete.
Register to give testimony or come help pack the room and support those giving testimony! To register contact Oscar Montiel at 202-724-8198 or email omontiel@dccouncil.us
If you need help registering, developing your testimony, or with transportation please contact Daniel del Pielago at 202-234-9119 ext. 104 or daniel@empowerdc.org

Grassroots Workshop on the Comprehensive Plan
Saturday, May 6th - 12:00 - 4:00 PM
Christ United Methodist Church - 900 4th Street SW
Join Empower DC and a broad coalition as we create amendments for DC's Comprehensive Plan. DC's Comprehensive Plan plays a major role in how our city develops. As the city moves to amend the plan this year, we need to be paying attention to what it says about our communities! Join us to learn more, and help shape/push for the inclusion of language that uplifts racial justice and protects communities from the harmful effects of gentrification and displacement! Don’t let developers and their friends control this process!
Click here to RSVP

Think Outside Festival - May 13th
Think Outside with Dance Place and Washington Parks & People in this full day of free outdoor events. Bring the whole family to Marvin Gaye Park & Riverside Center for music, dance and more!
More info at Washington Parks & People

Service to Justice Conference - May 11-14th
Service to Justice (S2J) is a collective of Washington, DC social service organizations, impacted community members, and supportive institutions who recognize that the social service industry perpetuates the current arrangement of power that maintains systemic poverty and structural racism.
Click here to register


Community Announcements

The Defending the Dream Fund - Deadline: May 3rd
In response to these challenging times, the Hill-Snowdon Foundation, in partnership with the General Service Foundation, launched the Defending the Dream Fund. The Defending the Dream Fund will make grants of up to $10,000 to support community organizing.
Click here for more info

Center for Third World Organizing (CTWO) - Community Action Training
Washington, DC – May 19-21
Starting in 1995, our Community Action Trainings (CAT) have provided entry-level organizer training to staff and members of community based organizations, worker center organizations, and other NPOs, as well as individuals through field work, role plays, and discussions. During this high intensity three day training, CAT participants debate approaches to social change, learn how to door-knock and/or other forms of contact work as a tool for recruiting and mobilizing constituents, participate in campaign development and actions, grassroots fundraising techniques, and learn to appreciate the legacy of organizing in communities of color and its relevance in today’s fight for social justice.
Click here for more info & to register

Co-op 101: Introduction to Cooperatives
KDC is offering a FREE Series of online recorded workshops in 2017. Everyone and anyone interested in learning more about co-ops and co-op development is welcome to attend! All interested clients who are not yet incorporated and/or otherwise operating on a cooperative basis will be asked to attend these workshops as a preliminary step to gaining assistance from a member of our team.
RSVP: lori@kdc.coop a minimum of 2 weeks prior to the event or find the event on their Facebook page.


ONE Bit of Good News

Thanks to numerous sponsors, ticket buyers, and individual contributions, we raised over $12,000 at the Pike St. fundraiser! Can you help us reach our goal of $15,000 by making a one-time donation or starting a sustaining donation today?

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Thank you to our sponsors!
Barbra Kavanaugh
Bernard Demczuk
Black Zapatista
Brett Williams
Carl Stokes
Derek Hyra
Edward Jones
Julia Brennan
Kenneth Sebastian Leon
Kirk Gaddy
Live to Give Foundation
Louis Perwien
Maryann Moulden Ferguson
Melissa Jones
Sara Swetzoff
Shelley Jeanne Marcus
Somerset Development Co., LLC

 


 

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

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ONE DC Week of Action!

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Zoning Decision Rally for Brookland Manor! Fight Displacement!

ONE DC tenant members and residents at Brookland Manor request your support on Monday, April 24, 2017 at a 5:00 PM rally followed by a public Zoning Commission meeting at 6:30 PM. Click here to RSVP

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The Zoning Commission is expected to publicly discuss and announce their decision as to whether or not to continue to allow Mid-City Financial to move forward with their plan to eliminate affordable housing in the midst of an affordable housing crisis, and to cut out desperately needed family sized units at Brookland Manor in Northeast Washington, D.C. Mid-City's plan is particularly egregious when one considers the fact that they are calling to cut family housing and affordable housing while simultaneously tripling density.

It is CRUCIAL that the public show up to demonstrate opposition to a plan that would displace families from the city, keep them warehoused in shelters, or forgotten in the streets. Working class Black communities are under attack across the city by wealthy developers, and the politicians who do their bidding. It is IMPERATIVE that the public hold the Zoning Commission accountable and stand in solidarity with the tenants of Brookland Manor who have led and continue to lead this struggle to preserve their right to the city.

The location is 441 4th St NW and the closest metro station is Judiciary Sq (red line).

RSVP on our website and please share and invite friends, family, and neighbors on Facebook.

Here are three other things you can do to support the movement for our human right to housing:

1. Sign up to phone bank for the upcoming rally by emailing Claire at ccook@onedconline.org
2. Support ONE DC's fundraising goals by becoming a sustaining donor

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Background on Brookland Manor

Currently, Brookland Manor houses 535 affordable units, including 3, 4 and 5 bedroom units that accommodate families. Mid-City’s redevelopment plan proposes to eliminate all 4 and 5 bedroom units, and most 3 bedroom units. It also proposes to reduce the overall number of affordable units from 535 to 373 while restricting 200 of those units to seniors only (aged 62 and older). Mid-City plans to simultaneously triple density by building over 1,750 units of luxury apartments at Brookland Manor.

Latest Updates on Brookland Manor Zoning Hearings

Mid City’s plan to redevelop Brookland Manor must be approved by the DC Zoning Commission. Zoning Commission approval occurs in multiple stages.
At the first stage zoning hearing on Brookland Manor back in 2016, representatives of Mid-City suggested that due to “natural attrition,” some tenants would leave Brookland Manor, and that their absence from the property would help to justify Mid-City’s plans to build luxury apartments in place of deeply affordable housing. Rather than “natural attrition,” what residents at Brookland Manor have been subjected to is a calculated and planned displacement campaign. Mid-City has 1) divided and evicted dozens of families; 2) erected fences that physically divide the community and hinder freedom of movement 3) hired armed security guards to patrol the property and serve tenants with notices of infraction for breaking “community rules,” which include transgressions such as having a plant in the hallway, standing on the grass, and standing outside.

However, Mid-City’s plan to intimidate and harass tenants has not worked. In fact, their heavy handed tactics have galvanized the both the tenants at Brookland Manor and the surrounding community.

At the most recent Zoning Commission hearing, which took place over two days (February 23, 2017 and March 16, 2017), Mid-City’s attorney attempted to use loopholes in order to avoid discussion on the key issues of their plan with respect to affordable housing and displacement, and instead attempted to focus the meeting on the color of the bricks and the kind of shrubs that would be planted as part of their planned redevelopment. The Tenants goal was to ensure that the Zoning Commission recognize that Mid-City’s redevelopment plan denies Brookland Manor residents their right to live in the redeveloped property and that Mid-City has engaged in an extensive campaign of planned displacement (A video of the hearing can be found HERE).

Throughout the night, resident stories of how private security targeted them by serving arbitrary infractions for leaning on fences or waiting for the bus with their children clearly troubled members of the Zoning Commission. Residents explained how when they began to organize to protect their community Mid-City’s private, armed security harassed and threatened local organizers with arrest. Organizers also recounted stories of being barred from attending meetings organized by Mid-City, despite the fact that the Residents Association requested their presence. It was clear to many in attendance that Mid-City’s actions demonstrate that they desire nothing more than sweep the Brookland Manor residents out of the community.

At the close of the hearing, the Chairman of the Zoning Commission put out a call for a “trust meeting” between Mid-City Financial and the Brookland Manor residents. Ms. Minnie Elliott, president of the Brookland Manor/Brentwood Village Residents Association reiterated that Brookland Manor residents have always been willing to work with Mid-City Financial, and that in fact, Mid-City Financial has refused to work with the community to accomplish their extremely reasonable and viable demands. To be clear, the tenants do not oppose the overall redevelopment project. However for the tenants, any such redevelopment must include:

  1. The Preservation of the 535 units of affordable housing that currently exist on site at the current bedroom sizes and current subsidy levels;
  2. The right of tenants to remain on the property during the process of redevelopment (redevelopment in phases to prevent any displacement) i.e.: build first;
  3. The right for tenants to access employment opportunities through the rebuilding of their own community, which they have a fundamental right to be a part of.

In conclusion when discussing Mid City’s current proposal, ONE DC organizer Delonte Wilkins summed their plan perfectly, “If you consider us human, then there’s no question. Displacement is not acceptable. This development has no legitimacy.”

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Celebrate Emancipation Day and Support ONE DC's 10th Anniversary Fundraising with a Special Performance of Pike St

Celebrate Emancipation Day and Support ONE DC's 10th Anniversary Fundraising with a Special Performance of Pike St. at the Woolly Mammoth Theater Company, 641 D St NW on Friday, April 14th.

Schedule

6:45 PM -- Pre-Show Reception with ONE DC Woolly Mammoth Rehearsal Hall. Light refreshments provided
8:00 PM -- Pike St. Performance
From the one-woman dynamo who brought the Obie Award-winning No Child… to Woolly in 2008 comes a rich slice of Puerto Rican immigrant life that “glows with humor” (New York Times). If you’ve ever seen Nilaja Sun’s virtuosic performance style, you’ll want to experience it again…and if you haven’t, you must not miss the chance to be transported to Pike St.

On the Lower East Side, a mother works hard to keep the electricity flowing for her daughter’s respirator while a hurricane looms nearby. As she prepares for disaster, a vibrant host of characters—a decorated war veteran, her ne’er-do-well father, her octogenarian downstairs neighbor—bring new meaning to the phrase “it takes a village.” (85 minutes)

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9:30 PM -- Community Conversation
Led by Woolly and ONE DC, join us for a post-show conversation with your fellow audience members about the vital questions raised by Pike St., the personal resonances, and larger societal implications.

Tickets

Purchase your $50 tickets below to support ONE DC's 10th Anniversary goal of raising over $1 million for the ONE DC Black Workers Center and to support #Another10Years of organizing for our human rights to housing, income, & wellness in DC.

A limited number of $25, $15, and $10 (pay-what-you-can) and free tickets are available. You can buy reduced tickets by clicking here. To request free tickets, please fill out the form here: www.onedconline.org/pikest_free or call 202-232-2915 or email organizer@onedconline.org for more details.

Sponsorships

  • Carry the Water - $100 - 1 Ticket to Pike St, ONE DC 10th Anniversary T-Shirt or Black Workers Center T-Shirt, Listing in program & on website
  • Fight for Justice - $500 - 4 tickets to Pike St, ONE DC 10th Anniversary T-Shirt and Black Workers Center T-Shirt, Listing in program & on website
  • Organize for Equity - $1,000 - 6 tickets to Pike St, ONE DC 10th Anniversary and Black Workers Center T-Shirt, copy of Collective Courage by Jessica Gordon Nembhard, Listing in program & on website
  • Path to Liberation - $5,000 - 10 tickets to Pike St, ONE DC 10th Anniversary and Black Workers Center T-Shirt, copy of Collective Courage by Jessica Gordon Nembhard, Listing in program & on website, Special Feature in upcoming ONE DC newsletter

Click here to become a sponsor

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ONE DC Monthly Voice - March 2017

"Mid-City is destroying families. We can all remember what happened to little Relisha at DC General. We are feeling like throw-away people. You’re throwing us away like we’re trash, like if you don’t see us, that’s the best thing in the world. I really feel that they’re trying to destroy families." -Yvonne Johnson, Brookland Manor resident


"Forewarned is Forearmed" - In the Face of Displacement, We Must Educate Ourselves

jourgette.JPGReflections from an Interview with Ms. Jourgette Reid-Sillah

"We get very comfortable in our lives, and it sometimes takes a tragedy to wake us up," Ms. Jourgette – a survivor of breast cancer and soon-to-be graduate of the University of DC – explains why she is striving to form a tenants association.  She is not waiting for the tragedy of displacement.

"I need to know what's happening. I want to be prepared. I need my community to be prepared," Ms. Jourgette expressed. In Congress Heights, she has heard rumors that the rent in the new developments is well above the current rates in her neighborhood. What will happen to her neighbors who have lived in her building for over 40 years?

Ms. Jourgette recognizes that the displacement happening at Brookland Manor, at Barry Farms, and in too many communities in DC is spreading to Congress Heights. And in response to this displacement, we must educate ourselves. As her mother used to say, "forewarned is forearmed." That's why Ms. Jourgette became a member of ONE DC: she sees the changes coming and is preparing her community to fight for their homes.

ONE DC stands on the principle that there is power in political education. We must understand the city policies, the laws, and the tools available to us, in order to ensure they work for us. For Ms. Jourgette, forming a tenants association in her apartment building in Congress Heights is an important step towards educating her community and preventing the tragedy of displacement.

In Ms. Jourgette's words: "It’s my duty to at least say that whatever happens, l did not let my community not be aware, and not be ready.”

Click here to RSVP for the next People's Platform Meeting Thursday, March 30



Brookland Manor Update

Two urgent housing actions to support the tenant-led struggle at Brookland Manor will take place on April 13th (daytime) and April 24th (evening). Public support for these two actions is critical to continue the momentum and win the fight. A full update on the status of Brookland Manor, with additional details regarding the above-referenced actions will be coming next week. Stay tuned!

If you want to support either of these actions, email Yasmina at ymrabet@onedconline.org


Celebrate Emancipation Day and Support ONE DC's 10th Anniversary Fundraising with a Special Performance of Pike St.    


Friday, April 14th -- Woolly Mammoth Theater Company, 641 D St NW

Schedule

6:45 PM -- Pre-Show Reception with ONE DC Woolly Mammoth Rehearsal Hall. Light refreshments provided
8:00 PM -- Pike St. Performance
From the one-woman dynamo who brought the Obie Award-winning No Child… to Woolly in 2008 comes a rich slice of Puerto Rican immigrant life that “glows with humor” (New York Times). If you’ve ever seen Nilaja Sun’s virtuosic performance style, you’ll want to experience it again…and if you haven’t, you must not miss the chance to be transported to Pike St.

On the Lower East Side, a mother works hard to keep the electricity flowing for her daughter’s respirator while a hurricane looms nearby. As she prepares for disaster, a vibrant host of characters—a decorated war veteran, her ne’er-do-well father, her octogenarian downstairs neighbor—bring new meaning to the phrase “it takes a village.” (85 minutes)

pike_st.jpg

9:30 PM -- Community Conversation
Led by Woolly and ONE DC, join us for a post-show conversation with fellow audience members about the vital questions raised by Pike St., the personal resonances, and larger societal implications.

Click here to purchase your $50 tickets! Proceeds benefit ONE DC!

A limited number of $25, pay-what-you-can, and free tickets are available. Please call 202-232-2915 or email organizer@onedconline.org for more details.

Please consider sponsoring this event:

  • Carry the Water - $100 - 1 Ticket to Pike St, ONE DC 10th Anniversary T-Shirt or Black Workers Center T-Shirt, Listing in program & on website
  • Fight for Justice - $500 - 4 tickets to Pike St, ONE DC 10th Anniversary T-Shirt and Black Workers Center T-Shirt, Listing in program & on website
  • Organize for Equity - $1,000 - 6 tickets to Pike St, ONE DC 10th Anniversary and Black Workers Center T-Shirt, copy of Collective Courage by Jessica Gordon Nembhard, Listing in program & on website
  • Path to Liberation - $5,000 - 10 tickets to Pike St, ONE DC 10th Anniversary and Black Workers Center T-Shirt, copy of Collective Courage by Jessica Gordon Nembhard, Listing in program & on website, Special Feature in upcoming ONE DC newsletter

Click here to become a sponsor


ONE DC Black Workers Center

At our March meeting, we had members write down ideas for projects they would like to see run through the BWC. By the end of our session we came up with three unique action steps:
1) Open mics: In addition to organizing open mic events, this committee will work to secure funding for a sound system, food, and transportation for events.
2) Political education: This committee will work on assembling literature and talking points connecting the BWC to issues facing individuals at work and in the district.
3) Outreach: This committee will focus on creating a mobile "know your rights training" as well as conducting outreach and dispersing literature.
To join, email bwc@onedconline.org

Brunch with a Purpose
Sunday, April 9 - 1:00 - 3:00 PM
Black Workers Center at the United Black Fund - 2500 Martin Luther King Jr Ave SE
Are you a software developer? Are you interested in mentoring beginners? Are you ready to invest your skills to ensure greater equity in your field? If so, please join us for a fundraiser brunch.
To RSVP, email email bwc@onedconline.org

Monthly Black Workers Center Meeting w/ Cooperation DC - Coops 101

Thursday, April 20th - 6:00 PM
Black Workers Center - 2500 Martin Luther King Jr Ave SE
Cooperation DC invites you to the Black Workers Center to learn about worker cooperatives, the emerging East of the River Childcare Cooperative, and to share your own coop ideas. Cooperation DC’s mission is to expand dignified employment opportunities in low-income communities of color through the development of worker cooperatives, businesses owned and managed democratically by their employees. Food and childcare will be provided at the workshop. For more info, email Cooperation DC coordinator Nia Nyamweya at nnyamweya@onedconline.org.
Click here to RSVP

Black Workers Center Chorus
The BWC Chorus will not rehearse next Tuesday, April 4. Alternative rehearsals will take place at Franklin Square on Sundays at 11AM. For more details and to join the chorus, contact Luci Murphy at 202-234-8840.


We Demand Full Funding for the NEAR Act

The NEAR Act stands for the Neighborhood Engagement Achieves Results Act of 2016. The law, which passed the D.C. Council unanimously, was the product of a District-wide conversation around policing and public safety. The NEAR Act sought to establish a framework to ensure residents safety while also addressing police abuses.

The Act aims to reset the conversation on policing to recognize that public safety can’t be produced through mass incarceration or racial profiling. It lays out the frameworks for establishing community-led violence prevention efforts. These programs have extraordinarily good results. Cities as diverse as Chicago, New York, Baltimore, and Richmond, CA, have seen between 40% and 70% reductions in shootings, sometimes in just one year. They work by empowering respected community members to act as conflict mediators, combining that with particularly tailored access to social programs to help people change their circumstances.

Click here to sign the petition

As Stop Police Terror Project DC continues the campaign to fully fund the NEAR Act, there are some important events in the upcoming days, and one important request we have for you. This Saturday April 1st there will be a mass rally demanding, among other things, that Mayor Bowser fully fund the NEAR Act. It will gather at 1pm at Congress Heights Metro and march to the 7th District Police Station.

Saturday April 8th at 12 Noon, the Stop Police Terror Project-DC will be having a General Body Meeting. This will be an opportunity to get updated on the campaign to Fully Fund the NEAR Act and how to get further involved. Also, we will be discussing some other important criminal justice issues in the District of Columbia and our plans concerning them. This event will take place at 617 Florida Ave. NW.


May Day!

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Click here to RSVP for May Day 2017

May Day Planning Meeting
Friday, March 31st - 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM
New Community Church - 614 S St NW
The International Workers of the World (IWW) & ONE DC are inviting labor and community groups to participate in an international day of action for worker solidarity. We intend to celebrate our past victories as well as find strength to continue the struggle for ending war, racism, while bringing justice to working families everywhere. We look to showcase local and international struggles for economic and social justice by taking our collective voices to the streets and marching through Washington, DC. 
Committees:

1) Logistics: Preparing space at Malcolm X Park and coordinating the march including speakers for the march, tabling, permits, and organizing multilingual spaces.
2) Media / Press / Outreach: Messaging and sharing of information associated with May Day.
3) Arts: Producing signs, banners, puppets, flags, and other visuals for the march.

Click here to register for a committee

DC On Strike!
On the morning of May 1, MLOV invites all DC movement organizations with an active campaign to hold an action with the words “DC ON STRIKE” visible along with their main demand. We envision May 1st being a day where local demands to protect communities under attack can coalesce and multiply the campaign’s visibility. At noon, we invite you to rally with MLOV and our members in a collective demonstration and celebration of unity in Mount Pleasant, after which we will march to the White House to join the regional strike.
Click here to RSVP and for more info


Upcoming Events & Actions

DC Fair Elections Campaign Launch
Saturday, April 1 - 10:30 AM - 12:30 PM
Douglass Hall, Metropolitan AME Church - 1518 M St NW
Many DC residents feel big donors and developers have a greater voice in DC politics than we do, the DC Fair Elections Coalition is working to change that. But we need your help - Join us Saturday, April 1 to hear about how the DC Fair Elections Campaign can put more power back into the hands of everyday District residents and native Washingtonians and be part of passing the bill this year!
Click here to RSVP

Ghosts Of Seattle Past - Author Talk with Jaimee Garbacik
Thursday, April 20 - 7:00 - 8:30 PM

The Potter's House - 1658 Columbia Rd NW
Join us in welcoming author & activist Jaimee Garbacik on Thursday, April 20 at 7pm. Jaimee will present her newest work Ghosts of Seattle Past: An Anthology of Lost Seattle Places, a collection of interviews, essays, comix and art commemorating places in Seattle lost to development, gentrification, and neglect.Jaimee will be joined by artist Josh Powell, and the pair will show how the project grew from a community-sourced atlas of memories into a time capsule of a changing city. They will present Josh’s beautiful, hand-drawn maps, as well as stories of lost Seattle places, and then open the floor to attendees to share memories of places they have lost in their own city, and to pin them on a digital map of Washington D.C. Come join the discussion!
Click here to RSVP

People's Climate March

Saturday, April 29 - Washington DC

On Saturday, April 29th in Washington DC, we will come together for one massive march to bring our demands to the streets. We will march for our families. We will march for our air, our water, and our land. We will march for clean energy jobs and climate justice. We will march for our communities and the people we love. And we will be louder and stronger than ever before.
Click here to RSVP

Service to Justice Conference
Thursday, May 11th through Sunday, May 14th
Service to Justice (S2J) is a collective of Washington, DC social service organizations, impacted community members, and supportive institutions who recognize that the social service industry perpetuates the current arrangement of power that maintains systemic poverty and structural racism.
Click here to register


ONE DC Political Education Calendar

IWW Organizer Training: "Building the Committee"
Saturday, April 22 - 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM and Sunday, April 23 - 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM 
ONE DC Home Office - 614 S St NW
Please join the IWW for two days of organizing training at the end of April. The 'Organizer Training 101: Building & Maintaining The Committee' is one of the most comprehensive trainings of its kind aimed towards rank and file workers, union members, and worker organizers. The training is a great opportunity to inspire workers and provide the the basic tools needed to organize so we can live and practice the idea of "every worker a leader." Simply put, the training is about giving workers the confidence they need to begin organizing with their fellow workers. The IWW are asking people to register by April 10th, 2017 to insure that they can provide sufficient training materials, breakfast & lunch for everyone. Registration is FREE but a suggested donation of $10 is appreciated. Please plan to attend the entire two days of training! All workers are welcome.
Click here to register


Community Announcements

ONE DC has on-going need for volunteers in the following areas:

  • childcare at meetings & events
  • providing transportation for other members to/from meetings & events
  • interpretation/translation (most urgent: ASL, Spanish, Amharic)

Click here to sign up for any of these volunteer roles

Center for Third World Organizing - The Movement Activist Apprenticeship Program

Established in 1985, MAAP brings activists together for eight weeks to learn the art and science of organizing through in-the-field training and skill development with a labor or community organization. MAAP interns receive a weekly stipend, housing and local transportation during their field placement. MAAP is for people of color at least 18 years old, with an interest in pursuing a career as a community or labor organizer. The deadline for this application is May 20th, 2017. To apply for this year’s MAAP cycle, please click HERE. For questions contact Avery Bizzell, Program Coordinator by email avery@ctwo.org or by phone at (646) 926.1287

Girls Rock! DC - We Rock! Camp
Girls Rock! DC is excited to announce that applications for their 3rd annual We Rock! Camp are now open! The camp is for women, trans, and gender non-conforming adults age 19 and up. At the camp you'll have the opportunity to learn an instrument, form a band or DJ crew, collaborate to write an original musical expression, and perform for a live audience all in one weekend. No musical experience necessary to be a camper at We Rock! Camp. The deadline for applications is Friday, April 7th. If you're interested in attending or volunteering please click HERE.


ONE Bit of Good News

Thank you to The Keep for choosing ONE DC as beneficiary from the DC Blues+Fusion Global House Party & Racial Justice Fundraiser!
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Do you want to be a writer, editor, or designer for the ONE DC Monthly Voice? Email organizer@onedconline.org

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Mid-City Financial Attempts to Hide Numbers on Brookland Manor

Mid-City Financial, the corporation responsible for pushing forth a redevelopment plan that has resulted in mass evictions and displacement of working class Black residents from the Brookland Manor community in Northeast DC, attempted to hide numbers from the DC Zoning Commission to cover up their plan to eliminate over 360 units of affordable family-accessible housing in the midst of a housing crisis in Washington, D.C. If the redevelopment goes through as planned, Mid-City will build over 1,750 units of mostly luxury apartments, reducing overall affordable units from 535 units currently on the property to a mere 373 units, while also restricting 200 out of the 373 units for seniors only, aged 62 and older. In addition to slashing affordability and restricting eligibility of existing residents to live in the affordable units, the redevelopment will eliminate all 4 and 5 bedroom family sized units, and most 3 bedroom units, rendering the property almost completely void of large families.

At the first part of the second stage zoning hearing on February 23, 2017 (second part to take place this Thursday, March 16, 2017), Mid-City Financial executives and attorneys refused to discuss the displacement of existing residents at Brookland Manor. Mid-City has repeatedly claimed that “qualified tenants” and tenants “in good standing” will be eligible to return to the property after the redevelopment. However, they refuse to define the criterion of a “qualified tenant”. Will Merrifield, Brookland Manor's/Brentwood Village Residents Association attorney, analyzes Mid-City’s numbers in his testimony, which you can read here. Watch his cross-examination of Mid-City, which starts at 1 hour 20 minutes and 52 seconds, and you will see how they attempt to hide the numbers by refusing to talk about them: http://view.earthchannel.com/PlayerController.aspx?PGD=dczoning&iID=4324.

Mid-City is attempting to mislead the DC Zoning Commission, Ward 5 residents and the wider public, and most egregiously, Brookland Manor tenants. In their feeble attempt to “prove” to the DC Zoning Commission that tenants “support” their plan to eliminate family housing, Mid-City submitted this letter to the zoning record. Ironically, the letter details the conditions of a tenant living in a one-bedroom with four children – a family that will be at imminent risk of displacement as a part of the new redevelopment. This is just one of many underhanded ways that Mid-City is attempting to sell a project that they cannot defend – a project that will push working class Black families into the streets and out of the city. While Mid-City’s attorneys discussed shrubs and the color of building bricks, they tried to use procedural loopholes to avoid a discussion on displacement. The good news is that Mid-City is so transparent in their cover up that their plan has backfired and shifted momentum to the side of tenants. We are in a position to win this fight and we need the whole community to stand behind us. It may not be quick, but with sustained community support, we can win the fight against developers that displace in Washington, D.C. Development without displacement is what Brookland Manor tenants demand.

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Meanwhile, Ward 5 Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie, while tweeting about the need for family units, remains silent on Brookland Manor. It was only after repeated requests by his constituents at the property did he agree to a 30 minute meeting with tenants earlier last month. McDuffie has not reached out to tenants since then regarding the redevelopment, and to-date has in no way committed to help save affordable family housing at Brookland Manor. Last week, reports showed McDuffie introducing a bill to encourage the production of family units through the use of the Housing Production Trust Fund in the future. Not only do we have no idea if the bill will pass or be implemented, but it is also perplexing that McDuffie is willing to introduce bills but seemingly unwilling to take concrete action by standing with Brookland Manor families and signing onto their tenant resolutions. To reiterate, the tenant resolutions oppose Mid-City’s redevelopment plan that would eliminate large bedrooms, and hundreds of units of affordable housing for families in the midst of a city-wide housing crisis. If Councilman McDuffie is serious about protecting families, he should demonstrate it by supporting families in his own backyard at Brookland Manor. Again, McDuffie acknowledges that the city needs family units, so why isn’t he supporting Brookland Manor tenants who are fighting to preserve family units? Tell McDuffie to ACT – Stand with Brookland Manor, and support development WITHOUT displacement.

Here are ways you can help Brookland Manor tenants in the fight against violent displacement:

1. Show up to pack the hearing room this Thursday, March 16, 6:30pm, part two of the second stage of the Brookland Manor zoning hearing (441 4th St. NW Suite 200). RSVP here: http://www.onedconline.org/events.

2. Submit written testimony or sign up to give oral testimony at the zoning hearing this Thursday, March 16 in support of Brookland Manor tenant demands. Email Yasmina Mrabet at ymrabet@onedconline.org if you can support Brookland Manor tenants with a testimony.

3. Call or email Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie at 202-724-8028 or kmcduffie@dccouncil.us and ask him to stand with his constituents at Brookland Manor who are fighting to protect their homes and families. He can support them by opposing Mid-City’s redevelopment plan until or unless it preserves 535 units of affordable housing, at the same bedroom size and subsidy levels currently at the property. McDuffie can also help by signing onto the Brookland Manor tenant resolutions, and opposing any and all redevelopment plans that propose the elimination of family sized units and affordable housing.

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