loading
  • Link Up for Black August

  • Register for the People's Congress of Resistance

  • Tenants Demand Action at the Wilson Building

Sign up to get the latest updates

Those Truly Resilient in DC

By Kevin Ruano, Kalmanovitz Intiative for Labor & the Working Poor at Georgetown

I don’t know whether I want to work as a community organizer. Whether that be because I possibly discovered, in me, the fool who has determined that if he works at an office, he might as well be making bank, or because of the type of organizing that I experienced and performed at ONE DC, I don’t know either. What I do know is that my work at ONE DC gave me a new perspective on organizing, myself organizing, and myself.

From the first day on the internship, it was clear to me that the work ONE DC does—organizing to establish a more economically and racially equitable city—was absolutely needed. What affirmed my conviction was not only the sight of new luxury developments in the Shaw neighborhood of the historically black university, Howard, and the thought that these buildings had taken the place of homes to black communities and peoples, but the encounter with a young man during our tour of Shaw.

We were standing on the other side of the street on which the Jefferson Marketplace Apartments are located. Claire, an administrative organizer, pointing to the building and showing us a picture of another building was telling us that the building across the street was built where the building on the picture was destroyed. A man walked by, surely seeing the picture in Claire’s hands for he walked back to where we were standing. He stood there silent, just looking at the picture. Claire asked the man whether he recognized the picture. He responded yes and said that the picture was of the residence Kelsey Gardens—home of several families—that used to be across the street and was destroyed and replaced by the new luxury complex.

Not only did the young man confirm that communities had been ousted, he also commended ONE DC and encouraged us to continue organizing as we walked back toward the office.IMG_20150609_134806836.jpg

Mia, a fellow KI Intern, and I were tasked with running outreach. We made flyers, Facebook event pages, drafted emails, and phone banking scripts, and phone banked all in an effort to promote ONE DC events namely the upcoming Juneteenth Press Conference, Resisting State Violence Freedom School, and First Source Jobs Action.

Having many days be from 11am-6pm in the ONE DC office mainly concentrated with making calls was never easy. Dialing numbers, and calling those in ONE DC’s database went from an initial fear that I was going to say the wrong thing, to a feeling that I knew the script, to the final thought that I was merely repeating words, not knowing the issues fully and never truly engaging with community members. For me making calls—no matter how necessary the staff of ONE DC said it was and how much they thanked us for the help—became a reminder to me that I felt more of a community at home rather than at the ONE DC office helping out with outreach. Nevertheless, I remember one phone call with one woman who gave me courage.

I was calling to invite people to the Juneteenth Press Conference where ONE DC was going to release a report on the flawed Marriott Marquis training program and First Source Law—how after 200 million dollars to build the hotel and create a jobs training program to connect DC residents to jobs, only 178 of the more than 700 program graduates were hired. I asked the person on the other side of the line how they felt about the program and low hiring rate. She responded that the program was outrageous; how the program run by Goodwill, the Marriott Marquis partner for the training, enforced a zero tolerance policy that required anyone who missed one class to leave the program; how the program made attendees choose between taking care of their children, their own health and wellbeing and looking for other employment all in the hope that they would end up hired. She told me how she, a previous labor organizer at another hotel, came to the defense of classmate who has to attend a family funeral and hence missed a class, and was dismissed from the class, escorted out by a security guard. She said she never ended hired.

The woman asserted that we had to keep those in power, those corporations receiving subsidies paid by taxpayer money and the government giving out the subsidies, accountable to the community. She was talking about what ONE DC was and is: empowering a community. This community—the community to which I was only merely coming into contact with through phone calls; the one I heard through this woman; the community that I got to see and meet through going with members to meetings with the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development, attending People’s Platform meetings, learning with them about how the state inflicts violence, and demanding with them that First Source be enforced. It was these, the disenfranchised, and robbed by a system of economic and racial oppression that ONE DC worked with.

While I mainly made calls, ONE DC had done and continues to be doing groundbreaking work—work that is aware of injustice, the pain of and value of those who have experienced the destruction of their home, and shortcomings of the law. At ONE DC, I only got a glimpse of those truly resilient in Washington DC. They are not politicians, businessmen or those who are in buildings that appear on the post cards but those in buildings that are threatened everyday by development that is unsympathetic to the feelings and needs of the community whose roots are in DC, who is DC and soon will become who was DC.

I tell you, I don’t know whether I want to organize because stories are best gotten to know and told when I can see your face aka I might never want to see a phone banking script in my life. But that doesn’t change how undoubtedly grateful I am to ONE DC for giving me the opportunity to meet those who are fighting so that they don’t get uprooted; those whose stories need to be told; those that ONE DC is making sure are heard.

Share

Open Positions

#BlackLivesMatter is a network of volunteer-run chapters across the United States and the world that brings new and emerging activists, seasoned leaders of all ages, and multi-issue organizations together to align, coordinate, and lead efforts for cultural, community, social, economic, and policy transformation. Their network structure is comprised of local chapters and a network hub. Currently, the BLM network connects 24 chapters in the United States and 2 international chapters, all of which are aligned with the BLM core values and policy demands. Together these chapters amplify the voices and impact of thousands of BLM chapter members.

Click below for more information about their open positions.

Chapter Coordinator Job Description

National Director Job Description

Share

Movement Making: A Community Report-out & Dialogue

Saturday, August 22nd, come join in "Movement Making: A Community Report-out & Dialogue" focusing on experiences of the US Social Forumm and the Movement for Black Lives convening and what's next. We'll meet 1:30 to 4:30 PM at Plymouth Congregational UCC, 5301 North Capitol Street NE, lower hall, followed by a JAZZ JAM in the sanctuary. Co-sponsored by the Plymouth Board of Social Action and ONE DC. Open to all people committed to liberation, starting at home in the DMV and connecting to the nation and world.

All are welcome. Please join us to learn more about getting involved with organizing in DC!

For more information contact Rev. Art Brown at revasbrownjr@comcast.net or Brigette Rouson at brouson@hotmail.com.

Share

From DC to Cleveland: Building a Movement for Black Lives

m4bl-2.jpg m4bl-3.jpg
m4bl-4.jpg m4bl-5.jpeg

 

When I first learned about the Movement for Black Lives Convening, I was immediately excited. As a mental health clinician, I had been having an internal conversation about the need for Black spaces, a safe space meant for us to heal and just be. This was perfect. Being at the Convening, I got everything I could ask for. I had the opportunity to attend the Emotional Emancipation Circle, a session held by Erika Totten on how to implement and facilitate weekly support groups for Black people for the purposes of processing stress, violence, and aggression related to racism and White supremacy. I also attended a session hosted by the Black Alliance for Just Immigration called Welcome to America: the Black Immigrant Experience of Anti-Black and Anti-Immigrant State Violence in the U.S., which provided a lens on intersectionality and the universality of Black Lives Matter.

It was amazing, being among Black excellence and brilliance, seeing beautiful Black people in all their essence and diversity, and feeling right at home. I came home reinvigorated, with a heightened sense of pride, motivation, inspiration, and a full heart and soul. I went to the M4BL Convening for its healing qualities, but I got so much more out of it. I did not realize how much I would learn and glean from a short weekend.

First, I was reminded to be confident in my strengths and how they contribute to the movement. Each person has their own strengths, resources, and expertise. The movement is not only about what is seen out on the forefront, but about the genius in the background too. Even if you are not on the front lines regularly, you are needed. Secondly, I was encouraged to be confident in the capacity of my own voice. In my advocacy, I have a tendency to be observant and strategic. But, there are times things just need to be said as soon as it comes to mind, and done so unapologetically. Next, I was reminded to be confident in our capacity and adaptability. Our people are strong and resilient, and should never forget that. Though many try to say we are apathetic or "can't get our stuff together," our movement is historical and has been ongoing; we just have to often adjust due to deliberately placed roadblocks. We must never forget that this movement never died, and is just revitalized continuously.

Lastly, we must be confident that we are indeed one family and we have so much love. This weekend only reinforced that. From a passing smile and "how are you doing?" and the short elevator conversations to the deeper discussions about social ills and next steps, I connected with many, because despite being different in many ways, we are all part of the Black experience and understand that all Black lives do matter.

I left the M4BL Convening, with the mission of being intentional, proud, and unapologetic. I look forward to the next year's assembly of Black lives. I want to express extreme gratitude to ONE DC for making my attendance at this convening possible.

Gabrielle Z. Jackson
ONE DC member
Howard University School of Social Work

Share

Third Annual SoulFiesta this Saturday

ONE DC members and supporters are invited to come out to this Saturday's third annual SoulFiesta, a community block party organized by the Norwood Cooperative, Luther Place Memorial Church, N Street Village, and families from Thomson Elementary. Co-organizer Silvia Salazar (and ONE DC member) says, "The goal is to create ongoing fellowship between African Americans and Latinos in DC so that we can move beyond the stereotypes we have of each other and begin to relate to each other using food, art, music and culture."

If you are interested in joining for a tamale making party on Friday as part of the food preparation for the event or for more details, please email Silvia at silv24@gmail.com

soulfiesta_full.jpg

Share

Resisting State Violence Freedom School

What is state violence? How does it affect our lives? How is state violence manifested in our search for living wage, dignified work? What does resistance to state violence look like?

Freedom School will include discussion, group breakouts and exercises, video, art, music, and fellowship with other ONE DC members. Food will be served. We are encouraging everyone who plans to attend the Jobs Action on July 22nd to join us at Freedom School so we have a shared understanding.

RSVP Here

Share

DC Grays 1st Annual East of the River Community Day

community_day.jpg

Share

Member Reflection: Philly Coop Learning Journey Trip

By Art Brown

ONE DC Philly Coop Learning Journey

Photo: Adwoa Masozi

For the past three months, members and staff of ONE DC organized three Cooperative Learning Journey trips visiting Baltimore, Maryland (Red Emma’s, a coop book store), New York City (Build with Prospect Construction Coop; The Working World, The Participatory Budgeting Project; COLORS) and Philadelphia (Childspace West-worker owned child care coop; Mariposa Food Coop). The purpose of these journeys was to prepare a cadre of people/workers who will invest time and commit effort to building a cooperative movement in DC. Also, a DC Worker Coop Coalition has been established and has been meeting since March of this year to initiate and coordinate a cooperative building effort.

As an added bonus to the Philadelphia Cooperative Learning Journey, participants got the opportunity to attend the US Social Forum (USSF). We took part in the Advancing the Solidarity Economy Peoples’ Movement Assembly and met with Peter Frank, Executive Director of the Philadelphia Area Cooperative Alliance (PACA). The PMA addressed such topics as: Participatory Budgeting, The Mapping Process of Current Local and National Networks, Urban Agriculture, Cooperative Infrastructure, Land Banking and Land Use Distribution, Divestment and Reinvestment Ethics, Loan Funds to the Grassroots and Climate Justice Projects.

The discussion with Peter Frank of the Philadelphia Area Cooperative Alliance was to gain insight into its operation and to receive guidance for the recent start-up of the DC Worker’s Cooperative Alliance. Prior to our return to DC, members and staff organizers from ONE DC held a debriefing session as a prelude to the creation of a cooperative economy in DC. The group agreed to meet on July 8th, 6:30pm at Impact Hub DC to map out next steps.

Read more
Share

Juneteenth Press Conference

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

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


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

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

WE DEMAND:

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

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

Can you support us by sharing a tweet?

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

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

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

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

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

Share

More Housing Coop Opportunities!

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

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

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

MEMBERSHIP

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

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