Thursday, 26 April 2012 16:41
ONE DC Board Member
Co-Coordinator Organizing and Coalition Building
Born and raised in Washington, DC area, I was educated in DC Public Schools. After high school I attended Washington Business School and currently work as an Executive Assistant to the Director of Information Management IT for the Department of Defense. I have worked for over 20 years at the Department of Defense and I am the mother of three wonderful daughters.
I grew up in and around the U Street and Shaw neighborhood. I was displaced from the Shaw area because of poor property management and the increased rent at the apartment complex I was living in. After writing countless letters and meeting with management, there was still no improvement at the complex so I moved out of the neighborhood. I still visit my family and friends in Shaw regularly.
My life experiences were the basis for me becoming an organizer for the Right to Housing and Land campaigns. I have witnessed first hand, how poor property management and gentrification push people out of their neighborhoods and homes.
My volunteer work began in 1999 with Manna CDC (currently ONE DC) and SEA (Shaw Educate for Action). We began researching the vacant property in the Shaw area that could have been used for low-cost-housing for low-income residents. I was part of a group of concerned community members who created Manna CDC’s SEA Program. We were the first grassroots community group to develop a comprehensive list of vacant and abandoned properties in Shaw.
I am an active member of the Right to Housing campaign. Our organizing is focused around ensuring that housing built on two publicly owned parcels of land are truly affordable with households paying no more than 30% percent of their income on rent without the use of a Section 8 voucher. The Right to Housing campaign also includes educating tenants on their rights when owners of subsidized developments decided to ‘opt-out’ of project-based Section 8 affordability programs.
I have a passion for organizing to make sure safe, decent affordable housing is recognized as a human right in the Shaw community and DC, particularly for homeless and low income families.