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ONE DC MONTHLY VOICE MARCH 2019

 

"I have a great belief in the fact that whenever there is chaos, it creates wonderful thinking. I consider chaos a gift." -Septima Poinsette Clark


Building Our Base

At ONE DC, our vision of community organizing is cooking up! Its hearty base derives from Ella Baker’s approach to organizing. Ella Baker understood that for far too long, those who were directly affected by the issues (poverty, homelessness, racism, displacement) were rarely integrated into their own liberation struggle.

In her praxis as an organizer, Ella Baker practiced participatory democracy. This concept meant that people within movements for social change, those directly affected by the issues, make the decisions related to the campaign or movement; minimize hierarchy within their organization to maximize shared power and equity of voice; and utilize direct action as an effective means to compel decision-makers to implement demands made by the community. ONE DC infuses this concept of organizing and leadership development within our community organizing model as we build our base of long-time DC residents.

Building a base can be chaotic and takes many turns and dips. Organizing and educating the base is exciting, but a slow cooking type of work. Gumbo comes to mind when we realize all the gifts and skills members bring to the organizing dinner table. ONE DC's role is to blend all this talent into a delicious menu of social and political change organizing in DC. Here are some of our ingredients:

1. Leadership Education Action & Power (LEAP)

A people’s vision at ONE DC consists of a membership education program called Leadership Education Action and Power (LEAP). LEAP facilitators use popular education methods to deconstruct the US economy and social issues. Members teach members. With the global understanding of the problems faced by members, members effectively organize their communities and offer comprehensive solutions to decision-makers.

A foundational tenet of ONE DC's vision is that we are organizing for a new system. Because ONE DC is a learning organization, we seek to identify the root causes of injustice and not to simply reform the system. We examine the interconnection of issues like capitalism, white supremacy, patriarchy, as well as the need for personal and community healing and wellness.

Throwback! Created at a LEAP workshop in 2009

To build power, we must also consistently work to develop our skills as organizers. Over the past several years, our members and staff have participated in the Center for Third World Organizing's (CTWO) Community Action Trainings. Through these trainings, ONE DC members, as well as other local organizers, activists, and tenants studied different types of organizational structures; the power of symbols and framing a narrative to convey a message; campaign frameworks and strategy; and methods of nonviolent action.

GET INVOLVED: The first LEAP session will take place on Saturday, April 27 starting at 11AM. To learn more, contact Claire at ccook@onedconline.org or call 202-232-2915.

2. Grassroots Fundraising

In 2014, the Resource Development Committee of ONE DC began focusing on our grassroots fundraising strategy after attending a session of the Grassroots Institute for Fundraising Training (GIFT). We developed a long-term grassroots fundraising strategy with the goal of having a greater percentage of our funding come from our strong base of long-time supporters, so as to be less dependent on foundational support.

Resource Development Committee retreat in 2017

The base of our funding is a combination of small and major donations from individual community members, and grants won through the efforts of our committed grant-writing team made up of members, interns, and staff.  We believe that how an organization approaches fundraising is political, and we strive to create a fundraising structure in line with our principles of shared leadership. Click here to view our 5-year Grassroots Fundraising Strategy Report.

GET INVOLVED: The next workshop in our 2019 Resource Development training series is scheduled to take place Wednesday, April 17 from 6:00-8:00 PM at the Black Workers and Wellness Center. To learn more, contact Nawal at nrajeh@onedconline.org or call 202-232-2915.

3. Coalition Building

ONE DC is a homegrown, locally focused organization, but we embody a far-reaching perspective. We continually develop relationships with individuals and organizations who share our mission, vision, and values not only in Washington, D.C., but around the U.S. and the world. Our Black Workers & Wellness Center is D.C. is affiliated with the National Black Worker Center Project, which supports and incubates Black worker centers that build power with Black workers to advance their rights and improve the quality of jobs in key employment sectors. For the last five years, ONE DC members and staff have attended the National Black Workers Center Convening to expand our vision in coordination with other BWCs.

GET INVOLVED: Join the ONE DC Learning Circle on Sunday, April 14 at 3:00 PM for a special discussion with SLT member Jessica Gordon Nembhard, author of "Collective Courage: A History of African American Cooperative Economic Thought and Practice" Click here to RSVP

From left: Maurice, Nawal, Kelly, Luci (kneeling) and ba at the 2018 National Black Workers Center Convening

 


Emancipation Day Freedom School - 400 Years of Inequality


Emancipation Day Freedom School
Tuesday April 16 - 3:00 - 9:00 PM
THEARC - 1901 Mississippi Ave NE
Hosted by ONE DC & We Act Radio
Join us to commemorate 400 years of inequality and 400 years of resistance. An interactive political education workshop will be held, followed by a screening of the new documentary film What Happened 2 Chocolate City
3:00- 3:45- The history of Emancipation Day
3:45- 4:00- Meditation
4:15- 6:00- Breakout sessions
6:30-8:30 -Film Screening of "What Happened 2 Chocolate City?" followed by a Q/A with director Mignotae Kebede.
Click here to RSVP

Also: join Free DC in marching for freedom and equal citizenship rights at the 2019 DC Emancipation Day Parade on Saturday, April 13.


What Does Racial Equity Mean for D.C.?


Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie's proposed legislation - 'RACIAL EQUITY ACHIEVES RESULTS ACT' - will have its first hearing on Thursday, April 25th. Attend one of two upcoming prep sessions before the hearing to help shape this bill into something that can meaningfully address racial inequity in DC! At the prep sessions, we will learn about the proposed legislation, discuss its strengths and weaknesses, and develop testimony and talking points for the April 25th hearing.

Prep Session 1
Monday, April 15 - 6:30 - 8:30 PM
UPO - Petey Greene Center
2907 Martin Luther King Jr Ave. SE

Prep Session 2
Thursday, April 18 - 6:30 - 8:30pm

Benning Library
3935 Benning Rd. NE

ATTEND & TESTIFY at the City Council Hearing!
Thursday, April 25 - 10:00 AM
John A. Wilson Building
1350 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Room 120

Click here for more information
If you're interested in testifying on behalf of ONE DC, please contact Patrick Gregoire at pgregoire@onedconline.org!


Upcoming Events

ONE DC Open Mic Night and Happy Hour Fundraiser
Thursday, April 4 - 5:00 - 9:00 PM
Madam's Organ Blues Bar - 2461 18th Street NW
Come out to support ONE DC's work at a fun and lively night at Madam's Organ! $1 from any drink or food item will go toward ONE DC! Listen to live music while helping us create and preserve racial and economic equity in DC. Want to perform? Click here.
Click here to RSVP


East End Hospital Community Meeting
Thursday, April 4 - 6:00 - 8:00 PM
Black Workers & Wellness Center  - 2500 MLK Jr Ave SE
Hosted by DC Jobs with Justice
DC Jobs with Justice is bringing together leaders to talk about the important health access issues arising from the planned hospital on the St. Elizabeths Campus. The deal is currently being hammered out by the Mayor and Universal Health Services behind closed doors and with a $300 million commitment from the DC Council which also waived the public input process called Certificate of Need. In addition, UHS will only commit to limited services in the new East End Hospital and has a history of working in bad faith with union members at it's current DC hospitals.
To RSVP, contact Ina: antolina@dcjwj.org


Stand with the Irving Street Rent Strikers

Friday, April 5 - 6:00 PM
Columbia Heights Civic Plaza (Between 14th St and Park Rd)
Hosted by LEDC
Tenants at 1454 Irving St NW have lived in slum conditions for years and after increasing pressure from the landlord to evict them, the tenants are fighting back by launching a rent strike. Join the rent strikers on April 5th and show them the community supports their fight for housing justice.
Click here to RSVP


True Reformers: Celebrating Justice Heroes Past & Present

Tuesday April 9 - 4:00 - 8:00 PM
Public Welfare Foundation - 1200 U Street NW
Hosted by Public Welfare Foundation
Join us on Tuesday, April 9th as we gather as a community to talk about how we – together – can catalyze a transformative approach to justice that is community-led, restorative, and racially just. The event will include speakers and performances, and food and beverages will be served.
Click here to RSVP

DC Cooperative Stakeholders Group Meeting
Tuesday, April 23 - 6:00 - 7:30 PM
DC Library Southeast - 403 7th St SE
Hosted by DC Cooperative Stakeholders
We invite you to join our growing effort to further build upon the DC area's cooperative ecosystem.
Click here to RSVP


Assata Shakur Study Group

2nd and 4th Wednesday of the Month, 7-9 PM 
Black Workers & Wellness Center - 2500 MLK Ave SE
Hosted by Pan-African Community Action
Click here for more information


Workers Rights Clinics

Friday, April 5th - 12:00 PM - 3:30 PM
Friday, April 12th - 12:00 PM - 3:30 PM
Black Workers & Wellness Center - 2500 MLK Ave SE
Hosted by Washington Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs & ONE DC 
Contact 202-319-1000 or clinic@washlaw.org to set up an appointment


Community Announcements

Community Mediation DC (CMDC) is looking for new board members. We need your ideas, passion, and commitment to lead CMDC forward! This includes advancing a thoughtful, proactive fundraising strategy, strengthening engagement with community partners, and further aligning our values and operations. This is an opportunity to be a part of an exciting local organization and help shape its vision and goals.
Click here to apply

ONE Bit of Good News - Cofamilia Enrolled in Childcare Courses

This spring, 16 people from the Cofamilia Childcare Cooperative enrolled in courses at Montgomery College, which will help qualify them for childcare development licenses. The 16 students are a mix of worker-owners and several newer recruits that are starting to learn about the benefits of joining a worker cooperative. Cofamilia is planning a special celebration for July, when the course will be complete and the worker-owners will be one step closer to opening their childcare business.

We are seeking fluent Spanish speakers to support Cofamilia in the ongoing organizing of their coop. For more info, email ccook@onedconline.org.


You can find online editions of the Monthly Voice 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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ONE DC MONTHLY VOICE FEBRUARY 2019

 

"For a colonized people the most essential value, because the most concrete, is first and foremost the land: the land will bring them bread, and above all, dignity." -Frantz Fanon


ONE DC & the Global Land Movement

Sharecroppers in Eutaw, Alabama, 1930s

ONE DC recognizes that because all basic necessities of human life come from the land, community control of the land is an essential element of liberation. Displacement and dispossession from the land are perhaps the most powerful tools of colonialism because they strip us of our self-sufficiency. We become dependent on capitalist structures to provide our food, water, and housing as commodities, forgetting that as human beings on a plentiful Earth, we all have an inherent and equal right to these necessities, regardless of our ability to pay. Without control of the land, we may survive (when our survival is useful or convenient for those in power) but we can never ensure that our survival will continue. We cannot guarantee access to healthy food and safe, decent housing for our families and communities; and we cannot protect our water, soil, and air from pollution that poisons our bodies.

In DC, we live our daily lives on land with a long history of contestation, environmental inequality, and racial injustice. Our city exists on land stolen from its original residents, the Nanotchtank people, and developed using the exploited labor of enslaved African people by European colonists. People of color in the District have been relegated to less desirable land, and dispossessed of their land as soon as it has become profitable for those with more power. Systemic housing discrimination and mass displacement guised as "urban renewal" efforts have led to the disenfranchisement of Black residents throughout the 20th century. At the same time, many white residents were able to benefit from this inequality to build intergenerational wealth, creating a dramatic wealth disparity between white and Black families in DC.

Overlooking development in Anacostia

In the ongoing struggle to defend our homes, DC residents must contest with the joint powers of corporate greed and government corruption. It is common practice in DC for government officials to provide enormous subsidies to real estate developers in return for campaign contributions. Instead of funding affordable housing, transportation, education, or community-led, equitable development, hundreds of millions of dollars of city funds are given away to developers each year by way of tax breaks and land deals. In these so-called "sweetheart deals," corporations have received public land worth millions of dollars for only $1. Meanwhile, D.C.'s housing costs continue to skyrocket, and the rate of homelessness remains one of the highest in the U.S. Now, as the housing crisis reaches a critical point, political resistance in the District is stronger than ever as working class people and people of color are uniting and organizing for land, equity, and justice. 

Congress Heights

At Congress  Heights, tenants are still going strong in their fight for community control over housing and for safe, dignified housing conditions. After a fire broke out on the property in November 2018, the tenants have been temporarily relocated to other buildings in the area, and maintain their legal standing as tenants of their Congress Heights apartments as they wage the fight for quality, long-term, and meaningfully affordable housing in their neighborhood. The two ongoing lawsuits against Geoff Griffis and City Partners regarding their improper ownership and evasion of tenants' TOPA rights have been fought in the courts over the past year. The property also  remains under the control of a court appointed receiver due to past negligence of the property.

Congress Heights tenants hold a meeting at the BWWC

 

Kelsey Gardens

In the way that development and humanitarian aid are often used to mask imperialist intervention abroad, the rhetoric surrounding mixed-income development obscures a sinister process of displacement. At the very core of the politics of mixed-income development is the undermining of communities of the working poor, particularly when these communities are also Black. Gentrification exposes already marginalized communities to increased policing and surveillance. As new, wealthier, whiter residents move into communities, long-term tenants find themselves subject to racialized stereotypes of criminality, often resulting in dangerous and violent encounters with the police.

Kelsey Gardens tenants prior to the demolition

In addition, once residents move into shiny, new developments, building management implement a draconian slate of rules enforced through constant surveillance of private behavior and space. This is coupled with an aesthetic and cultural transformation of neighborhood and community space, which compounds feelings of unfamiliarity, loss, and discomfort. As this discomfort mounts and long-term residents choose to leave, rather than be subjected to continued indignities, the traditional networks of mutual support, which working class and poor people rely on to survive the perpetual onslaught of  capitalism, start to fall apart.

Kelsey Gardens, one of the first properties where ONE DC organized, is a clear example of the negative impact of mixed-income development on working class and Black communities in DC. After a long struggle against the developers who sought to transform their housing into luxury apartments, in 2006, the residents of Kelsey Gardens, led by their tenant association, won the right to return to the new building after construction was completed. The residents would live in subsidized apartments within the building, which would be shared by new arrivals to Shaw who could afford to pay market-rate rent.

When the residents returned to the building after being displaced for six years, however, they realized that the communal feel of the old Kelsey Gardens had been erased with the construction of the new property, Jefferson at Marketplace. In the new building, subsidized tenants found that they were subject to a different set of rules than the market-rate tenants, including restrictions on access to amenities, surveillance and criticism of their guests, and verbal harassment from management.

In addition, residents have reported previously undisclosed fees for basic services, coldness from market-rate residents, and interference with the tenant associations right to organize on the property. In one extreme case, a resident was even evicted for smoking cigarettes in her apartment, a practice she had maintained for most of her adult life. These forms of harassment and invasion of privacy and comfort have caused many of the original residents, who fought hard for the right to return, to leave the new building and Shaw entirely.

Despite the injustice they faced at the hands of building management, the current and former residents of Kelsey Gardens continue to fight, and want their experiences to serve as a counterbalance to the dominant discourse on mixed-income development. Over the course of the last few months, former Kelsey Garden residents have been working with ONE DC member Martha Davis and Virginia Commonwealth University Professor Kathryn Howell to share and record their experiences living in new mixed-income developments.

Former Kelsey Garden tenants sharing their stories in 2018

The results of these interviews will be compiled into a policy document that will be used to educate lawmakers and combat the mythology of mix-income developments. In addition, the interviews will be turned into a popular education tool to discuss the relationship between mixed-income development and the displacement of working class and working poor communities of color in DC. This, in turn, will be used to collectively educate buildings experiencing similar redevelopment attempts and give them tools to identify, articulate, and organize against mixed-income development and in favor of their right to the city. We look forward to the results of this project and the implementation of its associated written resources.

Richman Apartments

In November 2017, Mrs. Jourgette Reid-Sillah, (aka. Ms. J.), a ONE DC member, along with a few of her neighbors voted to create a Tenants Association at the Richman Apartments in Southeast DC. The Richman Apartment residents, noticing the increase in expensive housing developments popping up in their community, wanted to take action and get organized.

Ms. J and other tenant-leaders began meeting monthly in their laundry room, and encouraged fellow residents to get involved. ONE DC enthusiastically supported Ms. J. and her neighbors’ organizing efforts. ONE DC staff and members helped knock on doors, conducted outreach, and offered technical assistance on how to create a Tenants Association.

Ms. J. saw the Tenants Association as an important group that could help build community and stay abreast of development plans. But even as residents recognized its value, not everyone was willing to contribute the necessary labor. "Everyone thinks that a coalition is a good idea," Ms. J. says, “the challenge is making people understand that they must help carry the water.”

Their hard work has paid off. They have named their association the Because We Care Coalition, Richman Apartments Tenants Association. Through a process of debate and discussion, the tenants created their by-laws and are now focusing on electing a board and registering their Tenants Association with the DC Government.

Ms. J. is excited about the future victories they will win for their complex and neighborhood. She, like Fannie Lou Hamer, believes, “If you don’t speak out ain’t nobody gonna speak for you.” Over time, even more community leaders have become dedicated to building power in their community, and the association is continually seeking to recruit tenants who care. They are focused on organizing and setting goals for the future.

ONE DC is only one component of a growing international movement - we partner with and take inspiration from organizations all over the world who share our vision. Methods of achieving community control of land and housing differ from place to place, as different communities exist in unique historical contexts, with different needs and cultural values.

From Justice for Grenfell in London...

The official enquiry into the Grenfell Tower atrocity is currently adjourned indefinitely. Justice delayed is justice denied. But some of the root causes are well known to the working class communities around Grenfell, across the Atlantic and throughout the world. Neoliberalism considers the lives of the poor unimportant.  Housing has become just another commodity to be traded.  The people and agencies who should have been ensuring the safety of people at Grenfell were more interested in making money out of them, or pursuing their political careers.

But it goes deeper. UK council tenants, like US public housing tenants, have been stigmatized for decades.  The Grenfell fire spread because of the flammable material fitted to prettify a council housing tower block.  There are some very rich people living near Grenfell. They didn’t want to look at “ugly” housing, or think about the people who lived there. Grenfell has become a symbol of our failing housing policy and divided cities.  But there is hope. It’s also become a totem for campaigns demanding decent, safe, secure and truly affordable homes for all. Winning that is the real way to get Justice for Grenfell. -Glyn Robbins, author of There's No Place: The American Housing Crisis and what it means for the UK

...to the MST (Landless Workers' Movement) in Brazil:

Agrarian reform may seem like an old problem, but it is vitally important for a new vision of modernity. It means tearing down three fences, as the MST puts it—fences around land, capital, and knowledge. As part of a larger effort to democratize access to resources, agrarian reform and food sovereignty can encompass everything from providing credit for settlers in land reform areas so that they can practice agroecological methods, to establishing good public schools and universities in every region. It might start with diversified local economies supported through farmers markets, but it also envisions universal health services, access to the internet, public transport, movie theaters, and more in every town. (Source)


...to Abahlali baseMjondolo (Shack Dwellers' Movement) in South Africa:

The state makes promises. The state breaks its promises. People respond. We were promised a piece of land. That land was sold to a businessman. Anger welled up. We brought traffic to a standstill for hours, demanding answers from the authorities. Most popular protest in South Africa uses road blockades as a tactic. What is significant is that although there were so many protests around the country, we were able to sustain that protest and turn it into a movement.What made that possible is that the state was prepared to lie and put lies ahead of the truth and put profit ahead of human needs. Because they were prepared to continue lying, I think that act really enabled us to put sustaining plans in place to resist. We did not only organise our locality. Neighbouring communities also got involved. They said, ‘we identify your demands with our demands. We can amplify our voices if we all unite’. So, this unity was organic. This movement grew from anger to the table, not from the table to anger. Ours is a politics of the poor – a homemade politics that everyone can understand and find a home in. (Source)

And in 2018, ONE DC joined Homes for All, a national campaign launched by Right to the City Alliance that aims to protect, defend, and expand housing that is truly affordable and dignified for low-income and very low-income communities by engaging those most directly impacted by this crisis through local and national organizing, winning strong local policies that protect renters and homeowners, supporting efforts at building models for truly affordable community-controlled housing and shifting the national debate on housing. We believe that housing is a human right not a commodity. 

To get involved, contact Patrick Gregoire at pgregoire@onedconline.org or 202-232-2915.


SAVE THE DATE: ONE DC Annual Membership Meeting

The Annual Membership Meeting is a space for members to guide the vision of ONE DC. The agenda will include:
-Elections for an open seat on the ONE DC Shared Leadership Team
-Overview of our 2018 wins and goals for 2019
-Community learning exercises on shared leadership
-Financial updates

The ONE DC Annual Membership Meeting is an opportunity to meet and build relationships with other members. The program will also include music, spoken word, videos, and political education. Free food will be provided. Childcare will be provided and transportation is available upon request.

Click here to RSVP

About 2019 Shared Leadership Team Elections

ONE DC is governed by a 9-person Shared Leadership Team (SLT) made up of appointed and elected board members and ONE DC staff. At the 2019 Annual Membership Meeting, we will hold an election for one (1) of two open elected position. We will hold the election for the other open position in 2020 in order to create staggered terms. All are welcome to attend, but only members who paid membership dues in 2018 are eligible to vote in the election.

According to our by-laws, requirements for being elected to the Shared Leadership Team are:
-Be a resident of the District of Columbia,
-Be at least 18 years of age,
-Be a ONE DC member for at least 6 months and current in the payment of membership dues,
-Complete ONE DC leadership and capacity training, and
-Demonstrate commitment to ONE DC’s values, work and mission as demonstrated through an interview process with the Shared Leadership Team.

We strongly encourage members interested in running for the SLT to attend one of our pre-election orientations to learn more about the roles, responsibilities, and expectations of being a SLT member. If you are interested, please contact us at organizer@onedconline.org for orientation details.

2019 Membership Drive

Membership dues support the organizing campaigns of ONE DC, membership event, & member-leader development. As we grow more powerful, it becomes more and more important to be funded by our base. Click here to pay your 2019 membership dues.


Upcoming Events

Worker Cooperatives 101
Wednesday, February 27th - 6:30 PM
West End Library - WEE Conference Room - 2301 L Street NW
Hosted by Democracy at Work DC
Click here to RSVP


Bring Human Rights Home - DC Human Rights City Alliance

Saturday, March 2nd, 10 AM - 12 PM
Black Workers and Wellness Center - 2500 MLK Ave SE
RSVP: 202-544-0324

Defend Public Housing! Empower DC Quarterly Membership Mtg
Saturday, March 2nd, 2 PM - 4 PM
Christ United Methodist Church - 900 4th Street SW
Hosted by Empower DC
Click here to RSVP


The Exiled Palestinians: Voices from Stateless Women

Monday, March 4, 2019 at 7:30 PM – 9 PM
Westmoreland Congregational UCC - 1 Westmoreland Circle Dr., Bethesda
Hosted by North America Nabka Tour
Click here to RSVP


Film Premiere & Panel: Cubanas, Mujeres, en Revolución

Thursday March 7, 2019 - 6:30 PM – 9:00 PM
True Refomer Building - 1200 U Street NW
Hosted by Thought in Action
Click here to RSVP


We Were There! A Celebration of Women’s History - International Women’s Day
Friday, March 8, 2019 - 3:00 pm
AFL-CIO President's Room - 815 16th Street NW
Hosted by the Labor Heritage Foundation
Click here for more information


Harriet Tubman Day - “Celebrate to Educate”

Friday March 8, 2019 - 6:00 Light Reception / 7:00 Program
Charles Sumner School Museum Archives - 1201 17th Street NW
Hosted by the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Historical Park
Click here to RSVP


Assata Shakur Study Group

2nd and 4th Wednesday of the Month, 7-9 PM 
Black Workers and Wellness Center - 2500 MLK Ave SE
Hosted by Pan-African Community Action
Click here for more information


Workers Rights Clinics

Friday, March 1 - 12:00 PM - 3:30 PM
Friday, March 15 - 12:00 PM - 3:30 PM
Black Workers & Wellness Center - 2500 MLK Ave SE
Hosted by Washington Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs & ONE DC 
Contact 202-319-1000 or clinic@washlaw.org to set up an appointment


ONE Bit of Good News - Matching Gift from the Share Fund

In January, the Share Fund generously pledged to support ONE DC by matching all donations made towards the renovation of the Black Workers & Wellness center until April 16 (Emancipation Day) up to $100,000! That means for every dollar our members donate, ONE DC will receive double that amount! The full-scale, state-of-the-art renovation of the building is set to begin late Summer 2019, with the design of Emotive Architecture, a local Black-owned architecture firm. If you would like to contribute to the effort, please click here to donate to the Black Workers & Wellness Center!

Future Black Workers & Wellness Center Facade

 


You can find online editions of the Monthly Voice 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 Home Stretch

The ONE DC Black Workers & Wellness Center (BWWC) has been an evolving project for over five years, and we cannot thank you enough for your support in making this dream a reality. After years of grassroots fundraising from 963 donors to purchase the former United Black Fund, Inc. building, followed by clean-up by hard-working ONE DC members, the BWWC was opened to the public in early 2018. Over the last year, the BWWC has been operating as a vital community organizing center - a space for political education, the promotion of sustainable employment and worker-owned alternatives, and building power for racial and economic justice. In 2018, some of the projects developing out of the BWWC included: 

  • Cooperation DC, a project of ONE DC that works with residents to expand employment opportunities in low-income communities of color by developing worker-owned cooperative businesses and other alternatives to the capitalist system. 
  • Code on the Block, a coding program conducted by members for DC Ward 8 residents which aims to increase dignified and sustainable employment opportunities for Black DC residents
  • Worker Justice Clinics, where low-wage workers can receive free legal advice on employment matters from the Washington Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs Workers Rights.
  • Black Workers Center Chorus, a group of 25+ members who perform movement songs at community actions, meetings, and events
  • Partnership with Laborer’s International Union of North America, LIUNA is one of the most progressive and diverse unions of construction workers. ONE DC works with LIUNA to offer job intakes in demolition and construction work and build collective power through the BWWC.

ONE DC members at a Learning Circle in the BWWC

 

BYP100's Black Joy Experience performs at 2018 Membership Appreciation

We are excited to update you on our upcoming full-scale renovation of the building, which we are undertaking with the help of Emotive Architecture, a local Black-owned architecture firm. As of February 2019, we have raised $1,025,000 of the $1,500,000 needed for the renovation. As we enter these final months of fundraising before the renovation begins, your support is more important than ever. The Share Fund has generously offered to match all money donated until April 16 (Emancipation Day) up to $100,000! That means for every dollar you donate, ONE DC will receive double that amount!

Please click here to donate to the Black Workers & Wellness Center now!

We will begin renovations in late summer 2019, with a focus on accessibility, climate consciousness, and inclusion. To do this, some of our expenses will include:

  • New elevator to provide access for all to basement and second floor - $100,000
  • Create accessible front and rear entrances with new ramps - $40,000
  • New front facade to create inviting and open entrance with large glass doors and patio - $100,000
  • New sprinkler system to maximize safety - $100,000
  • Maximize open meeting space for up to 175 people by relocating stairwells - $35,000
  • Excavate basement floor & renovate basement as usable cooperative incubator and wellness space - $130,000
  • Efficient new heating-cooling-ventilation system for clean air & comfortable environment - $200,000

Future Black Workers & Wellness Center facade

We have come so far already, and we are entering the final push before renovations begin this summer to secure the $1.5 million needed for these exciting updates. As a reminder, The Share Fund will match your donation if you donate now until April 16th!

Click here to support the renovation of the Black Workers & Wellness Center.

You can also mail your gift to ONE DC at PO Box 26049, Washington, DC 20001. Again, thank you for your continued support of ONE DC. We are deeply grateful for your generosity.

In Solidarity,

Kelly Iradukunda, Claire Cook, & Nawal Rajeh

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ONE DC Monthly Voice January 2019

 

"Privatization is a neoliberal and imperialist plan. Health can’t be privatized because it is a fundamental human right, nor can education, water, electricity and other public services. They can’t be surrendered to private capital that denies the people from their rights.”
-Hugo Chávez


400 Years of Inequality

2019 will be the 400th Anniversary of the arrival of the first Africans to be sold into bondage in North America: in 1619 at Jamestown.  400 Years of Inequality is a nation-wide coalition of organizations and individuals dedicated to dismantling structural inequality and building strong, healthy communities. We are calling on families, organizations, neighborhoods and cities to observe the anniversary by telling their stories of oppression and resistance. We must link arms in radical equality.

Inequality is a threat to our health and democracy. Nearly 400 years of division have created an apartheid society: we need a new social infrastructure to carry us through the challenges of climate change, decaying physical infrastructure, rapidly evolving jobs, underperforming schools, uneven access to health care and lack of affordable housing. Communities and organizations across the country are already observing the call, and addressing these inequalities in bold and impactful ways.

In 2019, ONE DC will join in organizing, observing, and building around the theme of 400 Years of Inequality. Save the dates:

  • Emancipation Day Celebration - Tuesday, April 16
  • Juneteenth Festival - Saturday, June 15
  • Juneteenth Community Learning event - Wednesday, June 19
  • Black August - Date TBD
  • October closing event - Date TBD

To join the 400 Years of Inequality planning committee, email Kelly at kiradukunda@onedconline.org


SAVE THE DATE: ONE DC Annual Membership Meeting

The Annual Membership Meeting is a space for members to guide the vision of ONE DC. The agenda will include:
-Elections for two open seats on the ONE DC Shared Leadership Team
-Overview of our 2018 wins and goals for 2019
-Community learning exercises on shared leadership
-Financial updates

The ONE DC Annual Membership Meeting is an opportunity to meet and build relationships with other members. The program will also include music, spoken word, videos, and political education. Free food will be provided. Childcare will be provided and transportation is available upon request.

Click here to RSVP

About 2019 Shared Leadership Team Elections

ONE DC is governed by a 9-person Shared Leadership Team (SLT) made up of appointed and elected board members and ONE DC staff. At the 2019 Annual Membership Meeting, we will hold an election for two open elected positions. All are welcome to attend, but only members who paid dues in 2018 are eligible to vote in the election.

According to our by-laws, requirements for being elected to the Shared Leadership Team are:
-Be a resident of the District of Columbia,
-Be at least 18 years of age,
-Be a ONE DC member for at least 6 months and current in the payment of membership dues,
-Complete ONE DC leadership and capacity training, and
-Demonstrate commitment to ONE DC’s values, work and mission as demonstrated through an interview process with the Shared Leadership Team.

We strongly encourage members interested in running for the SLT to attend one of our pre-election orientations to learn more about the roles, responsibilities, and expectations of being a SLT member. If you are interested, please visit onedconline.org/annualmeeting for more information and contact us at organizer@onedconline.org for orientation details.

2019 Membership Drive

Membership dues support the organizing campaigns of ONE DC, membership event, & member-leader development. As we grow more powerful, it becomes more and more important to be funded by our base. Click here to pay your 2019 membership dues.


ONE DC Learning Circle

ONE DC's Learning Circle is a space for ONE DC members to come together to learn about the legacy of progressive action that we are carrying forward. By engaging with text, media, and storytelling, we learn from one another and our predecessors about guiding principles and ideals of racial equity, cooperative economics, and community building.

The Learning Circle is currently reading Collective Courage: A History of African American Cooperative Economic Thought and Practice by longtime ONE DC member and SLT co-chair Jessica Gordon Nembhard. Copies of Collective Courage are available for sale and borrowing.

No pre-reading is required to attend - all are welcome!

Gatherings of the Learning Circle are the first Wednesday of each month, from 6-8pm at the Black Workers and Wellness Center. Contact Gabrielle Newell (gnewell14@gmail.com) for more information. The next learning circle will be Wednesday, February 6.

Click here to RSVP


Black Workers & Wellness Center: A Community-Controlled Space

The BWWC served as a volunteer check-in & warming station at the 2019 MLK Jr. Peace Walk & Parade

Rental Space
The ONE DC Black Workers & Wellness Center is a resident-led space that creates and maintains racial and economic justice through popular education, direct action, and the creation of worker-owned alternatives. We strive to transform and subvert the capitalist system which exploits and under-employs, through its emphasis on dignified and sustainable work. The BWWC also provides community space that is available for use by grassroots community organizations and for events that align with ONE DC’s mission, vision, and values. In 2018, ONE DC members and partner organizations used the BWWC for organizing trainings, tenant association meetings, restorative circles, film screenings, political education sessions, special events, and more.
Click here to learn more about reserving space at the BWWC

BWWC Stewards
ONE DC is calling on our membership to take leadership in the routine maintenance and stewardship of the property. With the support of ONE DC organizing staff, the responsibilities of the BWWC Stewards will include:
-Scheduling regular volunteer clean-up days
-Monitoring inventory and helping order supplies
-Reporting maintenance issues to staff
-Learning how to open and close the building for partner events & meetings
If you are interested in learning more about becoming a BWWC Steward, send an email to bwc@onedconline.org.

Interested in supporting the BWWC in other ways? We are currently looking for donations of folding chairs and folding tables to increase our seating capacity at events.

Later this year, we will begin a full-scale renovation to transform the space into a more accessible, environmentally-conscious, and inclusive organizing center. Click here to donate to the BWWC Capital Campaign


For Akheem Film Screening: Ending the School-to-Prison Pipeline


On October 23rd, ONE DC and Restorative DC collaborated to host a screening of the documentary feature film For Ahkeem at ONE DC's Black Workers & Wellness Center. For Ahkeem follows two years in the life of St. Louis teen Daje Shelton, - two years in which friends die, love blossoms, Michael Brown is murdered, and she finds out she is pregnant. The film discussed topics such as the school-to-prison pipeline, raising a Black child in the US, structural racism, institutional inequality, and how justice is handled in public schools.

The audience of the screening was mostly local high schoolers; they are probably the most important viewers of the film. After the film, a few members of the audience stayed for a discussion led by Maria Blaeuer of Advocates for Justice and Education and Jordan Brown, a student at Georgetown University. Both women have a deep interest in restorative justice practices and equitable justice in public schools. The discussion touched on how privilege and oppression played into the film, Black motherhood, and what responsibility, if any, the filmmakers had in changing the thoughts or actions of the film's subjects.

This event was part of the Dignity in Schools Campaign's National Week of Action Against School Pushout, where this year's theme was "Counselors, Not Cops!" The Dignity in Schools Campaign is a national coalition working to end the school-to-prison pipeline and the current national culture of hyper-criminalization, punishment, and systematic racism.


Coalition Wins

Clean Energy DC!

In December 2019, after years of relentless community pressure by the DC Climate Coalition, the DC Council passed the Clean Energy DC Act:

  • The District will be powered by 100% renewable energy by 2032. This puts DC on the fastest timeline to 100% renewable electricity among states in the country, faster even than California!
  • The bill creates groundbreaking efficiency standards for existing buildings. Buildings account for 74% of the District’s greenhouse gas emissions.
  • This landmark legislation takes aim at emissions from electricity and natural gas use. It scales up the existing Sustainable Energy Trust Fund (SETF) utility fee, which will raise tens of millions of dollars to finance renewable energy and energy efficiency projects and provide assistance to low-income DC residents.
  • The Clean Energy DC Act will fund local programs to assist low-income residents as the city transitions to more sustainable clean energy systems, and create a clean energy workforce development program.
  • Finally, the Act begins to tackle transportation, the #1 driver of climate pollution nationwide. It does so by adjusting the vehicle excise tax to incentivize clean cars and make owning dirty vehicles more expensive. The Mayor is now authorized to put a price on transportation fuels with a DC carbon fee if Virginia and Maryland commit to the same, and to join DC to emerging regional efforts like the Transportation Climate Initiative.

The DC Climate Coalition will continue to push for progressive environmental policies in DC. If you are interested in serving as a ONE DC representative on the DC Climate Coalition, please email Claire at ccook@onedconline.org.


End Pay to Play Politics
!

In early December, the DC Pay to Play Coalition organized to pass sweeping campaign finance reform in the District of Columbia including a new pay to play law. The DC Council passed the Campaign Finance Reform Amendment Act of 2018 (B22-0107) unanimously on December 4th. Mayor Bowser did not veto the bill, but did not sign it either, which means it will become law after an obligatory 30 day Congressional review period. The legislation will:

  • Restrict major government contractors from making campaign contributions to those responsible for issuing the contracts, addressing ongoing concerns about “pay to play” politics
  • Ensure the independence form political interference of the campaign finance enforcement agency
  • Enhance the disclosure requirements for money in District elections and require that “independent” expenditures be truly independent of candidates
  • Mandate training of all candidates and campaign treasurers of the campaign finance and ethics laws

Congratulations to everyone in the DC Pay to Play coalition! Jews United for Justice, DC for Democracy, Campaign Legal Center, ONE DC, Empower DC, People For the American Way, the Ward 3 Democrats, DC NOW, Franciscan Action Network, the Brennan Center for Justice and DC for Reasonable Development.

Decriminalize Fare Evasion!

In January 2019, the “Fare Evasion Decriminalization Amendment Act of 2018 was successfully passed. This bill makes evading fare on WMATA buses and trains a civil offense punishable by a fine, rather than a crime that can result in arrest, jail time, and/or a fine of up to $300.The zero-tolerance criminal enforcement of low-level offenses like fare evasion by Metro Transit Police has a negative impact on all District residents. It has proven especially harmful to young people and to poor Black and brown residents who rely on public transit the most and who are disproportionately targeted by police enforcement.

After the DC Council voted to pass the bill in late 2018, Mayor Bowser vetoed the bill. With her veto, the Mayor put in jeopardy this important criminal justice reform that will prevent hundreds of Black DC residents from unwarranted arrests, jail-time, and criminal records for failure to pay a $2 fare (91% of fare evasion enforcement has targeted Black riders). Thanks to broad community support, the Council voted 11-2 to override the Mayor's veto, protecting the bill.


Local Job Postings

Fair Budget Coalition Advocacy Manager
Since its founding in 1994, the Fair Budget Coalition (FBC) has brought together community members directly affected by poverty, human and legal services providers, advocates, faith organizations, and concerned District residents to advocate for a District budget and public policies that meaningfully address poverty and human needs. FBC leverages the collective power of its sixty plus member organizations to accomplish this work, including by helping them increase the civic engagement of those they serve and by creating processes and structures to ensure that those directly affected by poverty are at the forefront of crafting solutions. FBC’s vision is of a just and inclusive D.C. that supports strong and stable communities, allows low-income residents to live in dignity, and makes it possible for all residents to achieve economic security. Fair Budget Coalition (FBC) is seeking a motivated and enthusiastic individual to join our team as the Advocacy Manager. Reporting directly to the Fair Budget’s Executive Director, Advocacy Manager is responsible for implementing the organization’s advocacy/policy strategy and overseeing community engagement.
Click here for more information

Working Families Organizer
Working Families is a progressive political organization that fights for an economy that works for all of us and a democracy in which every voice matters. We believe that our children's life chances must not be determined at birth and that America must be a nation that allows all its people to thrive. We fight to elect strong progressive advocates and advance legislation that will reduce inequality and improve the quality of life for people living in Black, Brown, undocumented, and White lower-income and working-class communities. We are an anchor group in the new Birth to Three for All DC Coalition (B3DC), which is organizing across the District for policies and city funding that support infants, young children, and their families so they can thrive and that also work to end the inequities confronting poor children from before birth. This position’s primary focus will be on organizing grassroots engagement for this campaign, but it will also support Working Families’ other organizing efforts.
Click here for more information


D.C. Area Black Lives Matter at School Week of Action


From February 4-8, teachers across the D.C. area will implement Black Lives Matter at School Week of Action curriculum in their classrooms. In the evening, there will be events for educators, students, stakeholders, and community members to actively engage in the movement. Educators, schools, organizations, and community members are invited to learn more and sign up to participate in the week of action.
Click here to check out the events


Upcoming Events

ONE DC Happy Hour Fundraiser at Madam's Organ
Thursday, February 7 - 5:00 PM to 9:00pm
Madam's Organ - 2461 18th St NW
Come out to support ONE DC's work at a fun and lively night at Madam's Organ. $1 from every drink or food item sold during the happy hour benefits ONE DC.
Click here to RSVP

DRUG$ the Price We Pay Film Screening
Sunday, February 17 - 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM
THEARC: Town Hall Education Arts Recreation Campus - 1901 Mississippi Ave SE
The MOST important film of 2019! Are you or a loved one dependent upon prescription drugs? Did you know that prior to 1997 drugs could not be marketed directly to consumers via ads? Did you know with pills that sell for as much as $1k with a production cost of $1 makes the Drug industry the most profitable industry in America by far? #dosomething Join us as we expose how #BigPharma decides who lives or dies.
Click here to RSVP


ONE Bit of Good News - ONE DC member Dewayne Brown makes recovery from gunshot wound

Dewayne Brown is a fifth generation Washington, longtime ONE DC member, and served on the Shared Leadership Team for 8 years. Dewayne was a leader in the Right to Income and Marriott Jobs Training Program campaign. NBC Washington recently covered Dewayne's story of recovery. Click here to view

Dewayne at a Respect DC rally in 2011.

A Special Note About ONE DC Organizer Nawal

In early January, Nawal's apartment building caught on fire while she was inside. Nawal jumped out of her bedroom window to escape and is recovering from an injury she sustained - she is healing well and in good spirits. We know that Nawal will have many needs in the coming days and as members of her community we want to show her our support! We have started a GoFundMe page to collect donations to aid in Nawal's healing and future emotional, spiritual and material needs.

Everyone who knows Nawal knows how kind-hearted she is and this is a chance for us to show how special she is to us. Please give anything you can to support!


You can find online editions of the Monthly Voice 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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Making the Just City Video

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8 special ONE DC moments from 2018

Thank you for making 2018 an exciting and transformative year for ONE DC:

1. A special Emancipation Day ceremony at our newly purchased building for the Black Workers & Wellness Center (BWWC).
 
2. ONE DC members help get the BWWC space ready for use
 
3. 100,000+ signatures dropped at the HUD office to reject rent hikes
 
4. Cooperation DC day held at the BWWC in August
 
5. ONE DC members attended a training in Oakland hosted by the National Black Worker Center Project
 
6. Our 1st Annual Juneteenth Festival in Anacostia
 
7. Community artwork goes up at the Black Workers & Wellness Center
 
8. The idea of the Creative Reconstruction emerges at the Shared Leadership retreat
 
 

These are only a few of the incredible moments that made up 2018. Please make a tax-deductible donation today to help us continue our work in 2019 and beyond! Click here to donate.

You can also mail a check to PO Box 26049 (check must be dated 12/31/2018).

Happy New Year!

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ONE DC Monthly Voice November 2018

 

"If we know, then we must fight for your life as though it were our own - which it is - and render impassable with our bodies the corridor to the gas chamber. For, if they come for you in the morning, they will be coming for us that night."
-James Baldwin


What are we doing to build power?
National Black Worker Center Project Convening - Raleigh, NC

 By BA Cockburn & Maurice Cook

November 14, 2018 in Raleigh North Carolina, the NBWCP held its annual convening with representatives from seven worker centers from across the country: Baltimore, Bay Area, LA, New Orleans, North Carolina, Chicago, and DC. The convening centered around connecting to the other centers, telling our collective story, and building power. “It’s not just about the local struggle but how we build a broader and more powerful movement.”

It was an insightful two days, where discussions and workshops included an overview of black economic history insights, the dangers of a single story, story telling, working while Black videos, and the benefits and challenges to being a part of the national network. Steven Pitts, NBWCP’s Board Chair, and Tanya Wallace Gobern, NBWCP’s Executive Director, welcomed the group and set the tone for the convening – “What are we doing to build power? We are the embodiment of survival and winning. There is power in our union, there is power in the entire working class. Our north star is the national movement to change the world to build power as a collective.”

This was not the usual gathering. Tanya had a very unique and meaningful introduction process. She randomly invited 8 to 10 attendees at a time to sit in a semi-circle at the front of the room. She asked each person to say their name and to tell the story of an ancestor’s work experience or moment of pride - to share who your people are, which says something about who you are. For one, it was a dad who always paid his unions dues so when they went on strike, the family had food. For another, it was an enslaved great grandmother who held on to her baby during a forced march at the end of the civil war; holding on meant that her child survived to grow up free and inspire a new generation.

To think about how we got to this moment in time and to remind ourselves of some key collective moments in the black economic history, we participated in a gallery walk. We walked around the room contemplating posters that depicted historical scenes such as Black Wall Street, Tulsa riots, and others. We talked about systems built in racism, public resources used to exploit people of color, strategy of wealth extraction, and cyclical issues and practices. The group brought up the need to remember positive key moments in history as a source of inspiration such as the 1892 New Orleans general strike, where the workers held strong against racism and gained most of their original demands. The group agreed that we need to celebrate ways that workers have overcome oppression. We want to remember that there has been a lot of pushback to force change throughout our history.

To frame the discussion around Black economic history, we watched Robert Reich’s video, The Big Picture.” Robert Reich is an economist and his video depicts his views about the policies driving the U.S. economic wealth gap from the 1940’s to today. It’s his view of how we got into this mess. NBWCP challenged the group to see what was missing from the Black worker’s point of view. The video’s perspective was from a white male. Black people were left out. The role of racism in the economy was left out. Anything that predated the 1940’s was left out.

So, how do we tell the Black economic story? What is the black workers’ story?  And, we need to be mindful of the danger of a single story. From the group, a theme came out of action and struggle, over and over again. Those in power tell one story but it’s not the only story. It’s just as important to tell the other story. By limiting the other story, we put people into boxed without realizing that we do. By being left out of the story, we are indoctrinated with antiblackness and it is hard to build solidarity. Black people are more than one story. Stereotypes develop when there is only one story. Repeating the myths robs people of their dignity. We need radical agitation – don’t run away from those difficult conversations. Stereotypes are tools of power. People buy in and internalize the stereotypes. We need to create new stories that are positive. To build a national movement of black workers, a wide variety of stories will help people connect to the movement. We have to win the hearts and minds of the masses to build our power.

So from the convening, a question rose: In 10 years from now, what is the impact that the BWWC will have on Washington DC? What is our big, audacious goal beyond supporting the economic survival of our people? How are we radically inspiring workers to imagine a world where we are in Power?

 


Ignite Talk - Making the Just City

By Mindy Fullilove

In 2016, Dominic Moulden, Derek Hyra and I launched our IRL project, “Making the Just City: An Examination of Organizing for Equity and Health in Shaw and Orange, NJ,” a neighborhood-level study of gentrification.

For years, we have each been aware of the gentrification of specific neighborhoods in key American cities: Harlem and Bedford-Stuyvesant in New York, Shaw in Washington DC, Downtown in Los Angeles, and Five Points in Denver.  In some cities, like Hoboken, NJ, it had been going on long enough that we have seen its slow but inexorable transformation from a factory city to a bedroom community housing financiers who work on Wall Street. In other places gentrification was just beginning and we wondered what might be done to prevent the seemingly inevitable displacement of people and the annihilation of local culture. It was this neighborhood-level view of gentrification that inspired our study.

Soon after we started, however, a slew of reports emerged that made it clear that not only was the process of gentrification was affecting cities everywhere: Boston, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Durham, Charlotte, Atlanta, Miami, New Orleans, Chicago, Oklahoma City, Minneapolis, Houston, San Francisco, Oakland, Seattle, and Portland.  In fact, the National Low-Income Housing Coalition 2017 report noted that there was no state in which a person working fulltime at minimum wage could afford a two-bedroom apartment at the fair market rate.

Barry Farm, SE Encampment in Houston, TX
In 2017, a graph from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development showed the vast gap in available, affordable and adequate for people making less than 110% of area median income, with the gap widening at the lowest income levels.  What are people doing?  One solution is pay more of one’s income in rent. Between 2001 and 2015, the percent of low-income households shelling out half or more of their gross earnings towards rent rose from 34 percent to 43 percent. With such high housing cost burdens, millions of low-income people are struggling to provide their families with essentials such as food, medicine, heat and educational resources.  Though many criticize the method HUD uses for its point in time estimates of people who are homeless, the agency’s data suggests in 2017 there were 600,000 homeless people, including many young children.

We realized that what we were thinking of as a “neighborhood problem” was, in fact, a national housing crisis, which would require a national solution. At the level of national housing policy, we are in a difficult situation.  As noted in the Atlantic in 2017,Federal housing policy transfers lots of money to rich homeowners, a bit less to middle-class homeowners, and practically nothing to poor renters. Half of all poor American families who rent spend more than 50 percent of their income on housing costs. In May, rental income as a share of GDP hit an all-time high.

Meanwhile, in 2015, the federal government spent $71 billion on the MID, and households earning more than $100,000 receive almost 90 percent of the benefits. Since the value of the deduction rises as the cost of one’s mortgage increases, the policy essentially pays upper-middle-class and rich households to buy larger and more expensive homes. At the same time, because national housing policy’s benefits don’t accumulate as much to renters, it makes it harder for poor renters to join the class of homeowners.

At the same time, we know that we are caught in the legacy of McCarthy-era efforts of the real estate lobby to ensure that housing is created only by the “free market,” thus protecting us from the “Communist” influence of public funding for housing.  That rhetoric continues to this day, preventing the building of new public housing, and undermining the care of existing public housing stock. Like most scholars, we expected the data to challenge one or more of our hypotheses.  Instead, the data have shown us that gentrification is not a neighborhood problem, it is a symptom of the growing national housing crisis.  The implications for health are dire. 

ONE DC Member Appreciation Event - December 8th

The member appreciation Event is our annual end-of-year event to celebrate the wins, actions, and accomplishments of our members, donors, supporters, and volunteers. This year we will celebrate the member appreciation event on Saturday, December 8 from 3pm-6pm at the Thurgood Marshall Academy ( 2427 Martin Luther King, Jr Ave SE). It will be followed by a community after party featuring some of the most talented local artists at the Black Workers & Wellness Center from 6pm- 9pm (2500 Martin Luther King, Jr Ave SE).

Click here to RSVP


A Right to City: The Past & The Future of Urban Equity

By Samir Meghelli

On October 26th, the Smithsonian Anacostia Community Museum hosted a one-day symposium, “A Right to the City: The Past & Future of Urban Equity,” that brought together scholars and organizers from around the country, including ONE DC’s Dominic Moulden and Rosemary Ndubuizu. The symposium featured panel conversations about such topics as “From Urban Renewal to Gentrification: Planning, Housing, & Neighborhood Change,” “Neighborhood Power: Organizing in the Aftermath of Civil Rights,” and “Facing the Future: Working Toward Equity in Our Cities.” The keynote conversation featured Dr. Scott Kurashige, author of “The Fifty-Year Rebellion: How the U.S. Political Crisis Began in Detroit” and co-author (with Grace Lee Boggs) of “The Next American Revolution: Sustainable Activism for the Twenty-First Century.”

The Smithsonian Anacostia Community Museum hosted the symposium in conjunction with its recently opened “A Right to the City” exhibition, which features ONE DC’s work and will be open until April 21, 2020. The museum is also home to the archives of ONE DC—which documents the work and activities of the organization dating from when it was Manna CDC–and those archives are being made available to the public for research and study.


ONE DC Creative Reconstruction: A Period of Collective Learning, Healing and Transformation - Update

By Nawal Rajeh

ONE DC's Shared Leadership Team is continuing our Creative Reconstruction work with energy, gratitude, and support. We have heard from many members and partner organizations about the importance and need for all of us involved in this work to take time to reflect and look inward. During the past few months, we have done internal political education in racialized capitalism and in participatory democracy. We have also engaged in healing and wellness activities to help us take inventory of our own wellness as individuals, and as group. As we move forward, we are working with a Coordinating Team to plan a set of trainings for 2019, to make a road map of both where we've been and where we are going, and creating a plan for opening up this process to more of our membership. There will be an update about our current Creative Reconstruction work at our Annual Membership Meeting on December 8, 2018.


The Guatemalan Social Movements

By Clara Lincoln

We sat on Fausto Sánchez’s front porch, my French comrade and I, listening to Fausto update us on his recent meetings and his concerns about safety.  In turn, we told him about the situation of the four political prisoners we had just visited in prison. We sat on plastic chairs on his concrete balcony as his daughter played in the hammock in front of us and ate rambotanes—also known as liche-- a red, hairy fruit with a sweet core that looks a little like an eyeball. Fausto’s eyes dart between us, the road, his daughter, and back to the road. His house overlooks the main road leading into a cluster of 35 indigenous Maya Mam communities in western Guatemala. He’s in a perfect position to see everyone who comes in and out of the communities. As we talk, he involuntarily turns his head and looks through the holes in his fence whenever a car or motorcycle passes.


Click here to learn more about NISGUA

Fausto is a community leader in the municipality of San Pablo in the western department of San Marcos, Guatemala. For nine years, he has been involved in the struggle to protect this territory against a proposed hydroelectric dam where the three rivers that run through the communities converge. The company who wants to build the dam has not conducted the legally required community consultations of the indigenous people who would be affected by the project. In the US, I usually think of the word “territory” as possessive—not necessarily a liberatory perspective on land. But here, it means something like the land that gives life to a people. And it’s constantly under threat.

I had the opportunity to serve transnational movements for liberation as a human rights accompanier with NISGUA,  the Network in Solidarity with the People of Guatemala. As a DC native, I couldn’t help but relate my experiences there to the struggles I’ve been a part of here. Displacement is pervasive in this global moment—  from communities of color in DC to poor people fleeing their countries and facing violence at the border. The patterns are similar in rural Guatemala and urban US. Poor people who have their roots and communities in a geographical space are run off—by the military, by police brutality, or by rising rents—and the economic elites act like the land was theirs all along.

The owners of mega projects in Guatemala, huge-scale extractive industries like mines and electricity-producing dams, are usually Canadian, US or European transnational corporations. These corporations  use a variety of strategies to to repress the human rights defenders trying to protect their land.  Convention 169 of the International Labor Organization, which Guatemala has ratified, states that indigenous people have the right to free, prior and informed consent about megaprojects that affect their land. Officially this also applies to Afrolatinx groups, who in Guatemala largely identify and are seen as indigenous. However, these rights are rarely protected. There are many documented cases in which the military and private police forcefully displaced people from their homes, sometimes using sexual violence and other tactics historically used in Guatemala’s internal armed conflict (or “dirty war”). And activists are criminalized and even murdered for their involvement in struggles to protect their rights.


Workers Rights Clinic - The Washington Lawyers' Committee 

The Washington Lawyers' Committee offers free legal advice on Employment matters for law-wage workers. They offer clinics in different locations of the district and on different times to accommodate different schedules. 

Wednesday Clinic in Shaw (NW)
Every Wednesday evening, 6:00pm to 9:00pm
Sign-up between 5:00pm-7:00pm, first come, first serve
Bread for the City NW
1525 7th St NW, Washington, DC 20001

Friday Clinic in SE
1st and 3rd Friday of the month, 12:30pm to 3:30pm, By appointment only
Call 202-319-1000 x138 to make an appointment
ONE DC Black Workers & Wellness Center
2500 Martin Luther King Jr Ave, SE Washington, DC 20032

Saturday Clinic in SE
Last Saturday of each month, 10:00am to 1:00pm
sign-up between 9:45am-11:00am, first come, first serve
Bread for the City SE
1540 Good Hope Rd, SE Washington, DC 20020


Upcoming Events

National Reentry Network Fundraiser 
Thursday, December 6 - 6:00pm to 9:00pm

Josephine Butler Parks Center 2437 15th Street NW
The National Reentry Network for Returning Citizens, Third Annual Fundraiser and Awards Celebration will recognize unflagging leadership an advocacy from members of our community. 
Click here for more Information

ONE DC Happy Hour Fundraiser at Madam's Organ
Thursday, December 13 - 5:00pm to 9:00pm

Madam's Organ 12461 18th St NW
Come out to support ONE DC's work at a fun and lively night at Madam's Organ
$1 from every drink or food item sold during the happy hour benefits ONE DC.
Click here to RSVP and for more information

 


ONE Bit of Good News - Luci Murphy ONE DC member
ONE DC member and Director of our Black Workers and Wellness Center Chorus, Luci Murphy, was awarded the Culture Award by DC Jobs with Justice, this November at their annual I'll Be There Awards. Luci is a native of D.C. where she is a vocalist and a long time community activist. 

Luci has been performing since her childhood in the 1950s. To reach the members of our diverse human family, she sings in ten languages: English, Spanish, French, Creole, Portuguese, Zulu, Arabic, Hebrew, Cherokee, and ki-Swahili. She draws on the folkloric traditions and musical idioms of all these cultures, as well as her own roots in Spirituals, Blues and Jazz. (excerpt from DCjwj) Luci is pictured above with Elizabeth Falcon, Executive Director of DC Jobs with Justice.

You can find online editions of the Monthly Voice 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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ONE DC Monthly Voice October 2018

 

"We have to consciously study how to be tender with each other until it becomes a habit because what was native has been stolen from us, the love of Black women for each other."
-Audre Lorde


Community Celebration & Fundraiser at the ONE DC Black Workers & Wellness Center

On Saturday, October 20, Resource Generation sponsored a community celebration and fundraiser as a kick-off event to raise $300,000 for renovations to the ONE DC Black Workers & Wellness Center. The event lasted from 5:00 to 11:00 PM, with a program featuring performances by the Black Workers Chorus, SAMAI.YAH, Twin Jude, BYP100's The Black Joy Experience, Pontiannà Ivàn, Yon Cové, and Ras Lidj & Deep Band. Food was catered by Oohs & Aahs.

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SAMAI.YAH Twin Jude

At the event, we received word that Live to Give Foundation will grant a matching donation for up to $100,000 raised through the end of the year. With another $25,000 pledge and $8,000 in donations received through the course of the event, we are on our way to meeting our goal of $300,000!

Help us reach our goal by donating today.

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New temporary banner at the BWWC Community artwork welcomes members to the space

 


The Right to Stay Put

By Dominic Moulden, Gregory D. Squires, and Aristotle Theresa

When anything goes wrong in a city, policymakers all too often want to move Black people around, asserted Mindy Fullilove, a clinical psychiatrist at the New School, to an audience at a 2015 conference on equitable development in Washington, D.C.

This has certainly been the formula in the District, going back at least to the redevelopment (what we would today call gentrification and serial displacement) of the Georgetown neighborhood in the 1940s, Foggy Bottom in the 1950s, several Capitol Hill and other Northwest D.C. neighborhoods in the 1970s and 1980s, and today in areas ranging from Shaw to H Street NE and even Anacostia. The proposed conversion of Barry Farm to a mixed-income development, resulting in a loss of 400 affordable housing units despite protests from many residents, is just the latest in a long line of initiatives presumably aimed at revitalizing distressed neighborhoods.

But as Chester Hartman, a prominent urban planner and the first executive director of the Poverty & Race Research Action Council, has often asserted, families have the right to stay put. They have the right to remain in the neighborhoods where their families have resided for decades, if not generations, with access to good schools, safe streets, healthy food, and other public services and private amenities that newcomers to these communities anticipate.

This does not deny the realities of racial segregation, poverty, and uneven development that have long plagued neighborhoods in the District and every other major city in the United States. The costs are real. Residents of lower-income communities, and particularly those with high concentrations of nonwhite populations, have shorter life expectancies and reduced access to good schools; they also are exposed to higher crime rates. This is not by accident. In a 2012 national housing discrimination study, the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Urban Institute found that white families were told about and shown more homes than African Americans or Latinos, increasing the home search cost for minorities. Steering and exclusionary zoning laws continue to segregate neighborhoods by race and class.

There is new wine in these old bottles. Alleged discrimination on the part of AirbnbFacebook and other social media—with some homeseekers losing out because of stereotyped ethnic associations with their names and the sound of their voices—has been added to the panoply of traditional discriminatory housing practices.

Continue reading on Shelterforce.org


Circle-Keeper Training for Returning Citizens Hosted at the BWWC

By Myra Woods
The National Reentry Network for Returning Citizens is holding a series of five training sessions to prepare the participants, many of whom are returned citizens, to become Circle-Keepers. The instruction is taking place at the ONE DC Black Workers & Wellness Center. We took advantage of the open space to create our relationship development circles, and explore a deeper understanding of traditionally indigenous tools and ceremonies for communicating. Our goals include assisting Returning Citizens in rebuilding their family and community relationships. We also intend to assist those participants in giving voice and offering respectful listening to every member of the Circle.


Circles begins with an expression of the values that participants bring to the circle. Some of the values expressed by our circle include respect, time, honesty, non-violence, self-awareness, integrity, strength, commitment, equality, and self-enlightenment. We have all agreed to adopt these values every time our circle comes together in support of Returning Citizens.

Values expressed by the circle


Each training session builds on the previous class. The traditions of Circle Keeping are discussed. Circle Keeping practices, building trust, identification of trauma, planning for Reintegration Support Circles and support circle processes are included in the learning plan. There are opportunities for practice, role play and sharing feedback.

The National Reentry Network for Returning Citizens is thrilled to be able to conduct these classes in a space that has a long history of safety and building power with Black residents of the District of Columbia.


Grassroots DC Media Collective Moves into the Black Workers & Wellness Center

By Liane Scott
In October, the Grassroots DC Media Collective moved it’s headquarters into ONE DC’s Black Workers & Wellness Center. The Media Collective is a project of the nonprofit Grassroots DC and is an adult education and training program that combines the acquisition of marketable skills with political education, connecting progressive activists and advocacy groups with individuals who are directly impacted by the policies these organizations are working to change.

The Grassroots DC Media Collective provides production services to local nonprofits, advocacy and activist organizations. In the last year, we’ve produced two documentaries and more than two dozen short videos in support of issues such as police brutality, affordable housing, gun violence and street harassment.

Having relocated to the BWWC from We Act Radio, where we were welcomed but short on space, we plan to expand our classes and media production services. For more information about the work of the Media Collective you can visit our website at GrassrootsDC.org, our Youtube Channel, or contact Liane@grassrootsdc.org.

Miheema and John Goodine, two Grassroots DC Media Collective Members already at work at the BWWC.

ONE DC Members Learn Grassroots Organizing Skills at Center for Third World Organizing Training

By Patrick Gregoire
On October 5 through 7, 2018 over 15 ONE DC members, as well as other local organizers, activists, and tenants participated in the Center for Third Organizing's (CTWO) Community Action Training.

Over the course of two and a half days, we went over the five different types of community change organizations (service-based, advocacy, community economic development, electoral, and direct action/organizing) and their relationships to altering the power structure.

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We learned about messaging and the importance of framing a narrative. We learned about the power of symbols and messaging. Popular brands are instantly recognizable, elicit specific emotions, and transmit specific messages. This is due to the deliberate efforts that go into crafting the stories about them. We learned how choice of words, perspective, and framing and crafting narratives can impact voiceless and disenfranchised communities.

To that matter, we learned what questions to ask ourselves when crafting our messaging as community organizers. What forms of communication work best? What is the current landscape surrounding an issue that we hold important? What audience are we trying to reach? What is our audience’s relationship to this issue? How do they engage with it? How do we get the message out? What are markers of success? These questions are important because they allow us to not only tailor our messages to our audience, but also better ensures that they receive our messages and that those messages stir folks to action.

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We learned how to make a power map and from there, formulate a campaign. We learned which entities to consider (Decision Makers, Organized Opposition, Allies and Potential Allies, Unorganized Constituencies,etc) and what factors to look out for. This framework is vitally important for organizers to get a better sense of the influencers of a given target. Ultimately, it helps us leverage our relationships and networks to determine who needs to be influenced, whom we can actually influence, and exactly who can influence these targets.

Lastly, we were given a list of 198 methods of nonviolent action; tactics that are crucial for the groundwork of any direct action campaign. These are the tools necessary in order to drive, elevate, grow, and ultimately realize our campaigns and get our demands met legitimately.


Stop Police Terror Project-DC Launches #NoMoreStopandFrisk Campaign

It’s important we continue to highlight the inherently racist nature of law enforcement as we observe an increase in the widely discredited “stop-and-frisk” tactics here in DC. This thinly veiled practice of racial profiling entails police stopping and illegally searching people at random on the “suspicion” they have or may commit some crime. Unsurprisingly, these tactics are often aimed at Black and Brown people.

Stop-and-Frisk does not keep people safe and is rapidly becoming the most discredited policing practice in the United States. Exclusively targeting Black and Brown people, it leads to racially-biased harassment and violent intimidation and does not keep people safe. Stop-and-Frisk has become code for a mass dragnet of racially-biased harassment aimed at using intimidation as a “crime fighting” tool.

Court opinions and activism in cities like Chicago, Minneapolis, New York, Philadelphia and others have pushed city governments to declare parts of stop-and-frisk unconstitutional, not to mention its clear racial bias and extremely low effectiveness.

If you want to help Stop Police Terror Project-DC fight against stop-and-frisk in DC, there are a few things you can do:

  • Fill out our online petition declaring this harmful practice should come to an end.
  • Join us on Thursday, November 8 for a canvassing orientation, where you can learn more about our campaign and sign up for specific canvassing shifts in different areas of the city to build support for the effort to end stop-and-frisk in DC. To RSVP, please email info@sptdc.com.
  • Donate to and support our campaign by giving to our PayPal.
  • Show social media support around our campaign by using the hashtag #NoMoreStopandFrisk.

Please visit www.sptdc.com/nomorestopandfrisk to learn more about our campaign.


Upcoming Events

Workers Rights Clinic
Friday, November 2 - 12:00 to 3:30 PM, By appointment only
ONE DC Black Workers & Wellness Center - 2500 MLK Jr Ave SE
Hosted by the Washington Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs
Free legal advice on employment matters for low-wage workers, including unpaid wages/overtime, discrimination, sexual harassment, illegal termination, and more.
Contact 202-319-1000 or clinic@washlaw.org to set up an appointment.


D.C. History Conference
November 1 - November 4
University of the District of Columbia - 4200 Connecticut Avenue NW
The annual D.C. History Conference, formerly known as the Annual Conference on D.C. History, is a collaboration between the Historical Society of Washington, D.C., George Washington University, DC Public Library, and DC Office of Public Records. Since 1973, the mission of the conference has been to provide a friendly and rigorous forum for discussing and promoting original research about the history of the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. The 2018 conference explores themes related to “Mobility, Migration, and Movement,” including the creation of Metro, the impact of migration to the region, and the bicentennial of the birth of Frederick Douglass, a man for whom mobility meant an escape to freedom.The conference will explore the complex meanings of mobility, migration, and movement in a city that has witnessed the Great Migration of African Americans and has the second-largest community of El Salvadoran residents in the United States.
Click here for more info & to register


Beloved Community Incubator: Fundraiser & Crowdfunding Launch
Monday, November 5 - 6:00 to 8:00 PM
Fathom Creative - 1333 14th St NW Washington, DC
Hosted by Beloved Community Incubator
Beloved Community Incubator is a newly incorporated non-profit incubator for cooperatives and social enterprise in Washington, DC. Join us for a special event to launch our fall fundraising campaign by raising $10,000 to support our 2019 programs, which include: Launching our first cooperative, Dulce Hogar Cleaning Cooperative, city-wide; Providing subsidized administrative and customer service support to all of our cooperatives; Providing a trained cooperative developer and leadership coach to train and support worker-owners; Engaging in a listening campaign to discern our second project; Obtaining a feasibility study to ensure the project's success; Convening a second team of worker-owners and beginning training; Providing stipends for worker-owners to participate in training, offsetting childcare, transportation costs, and any lost wages. We are committed to a more equitable economy in Washington, DC.
Click here to RSVP

 

DC JWJ’s Lunch With Justice: What's Next? The federal landscape post-elections
Wednesday, November 14 - 12:00 to 2:00 PM
Institute for Policy Studies - 1301 Connecticut Ave NW
Hosted by DC Jobs with Justice
At our next Lunch with Justice, the 2018 midterms will be behind us. A lot may have changed on the federal level... or not. Whatever the outcome, it will affect how we do our work here in our communities.What will the federal landscape look like post elections on November 6th? What should we be prepared for? Let's talk about it! DCJWJ invites you to our monthly Lunch With Justice November 14th from 12pm-2pm! Bring your lunch and lets chat!
Click here to RSVP


Book Talk: Barbara Ransby, Making All Black Lives Matter
Monday, November 19 - 6:30 PM to 8:00 PM
Busboys and Poets - 14th St & V
Join activist and writer Barbara Ransby to discuss her new book, Making All Black Lives Matter, a historical analysis of the Black Lives Matter Movement. The purpose of the book is to stimulate discussion about the Black Freedom Movement, Black feminist influences in it, and the best ways to build coalition and movements for social justice and a new society. 
Click here for more information


Concert Featuring Watoto Choir from Kampala, Uganda
Wednesday, November 21 - 5:00 to 6:45 PM
Congress Heights Campus - 421 Alabama Ave SE
Hosted by Brighter Day Ministries


Summit on Peace with Iran
Saturday, December 1 - 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM
First Congregational UCC - 945 G St NW
Hosted by CODEPINK
The purpose of the Iran Summit is to highlight the Trump administration’s hawkish policies on Iran that could lead us into another war, and examine how to reverse course. We will also have Iranian art, calligraphy, music, photo booth and other cultural activities. The Summit comes at a time where tensions between U.S and Iran are escalating. The reimposition of sanctions following the US withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal is causing tremendous hardship for the Iranian people. The Trump administration’s Muslim travel ban is making it difficult for Iranians to travel to the United States, separating thousands of families.
Click here for more information


D.C. Labor Chorus Annual Concert 

Saturday, December 1 - 7:30 PM
Tommy Douglas Conference Center - 10000 New Hampshire Ave, Silver Spring, MD  
The D.C. Labor Chorus will be celebrating their 20th Anniversary Concert on December 1st at the Tommy Douglas Conference Center in Silver Spring, MD in honor of the founder Elyse Bryant.
Click here for more info


ONE Bit of Good News - BWWC Hoodies!

By popular demand, Black Workers Center hoodie sweatshirts have been ordered! Come by the office to pick yours up for $30. They'll also be for sale at our Member Appreciation event on December 8!

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You can find online editions of the Monthly Voice 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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Creative Reconstruction: a Period of Collective Learning, Healing, and Transformation

“We have to transform ourselves in order to transform the world” - Grace Lee Boggs

At our annual retreat this past July– members, staff, volunteers, and Shared Leadership team members sat under the shade of a large oak tree reflecting on the last years’ work and the many years before. 2018 marks the 12th year of ONE DC’s organizing efforts for racial and economic equity in Washington. As with every annual retreat, we reflected about the state of our organization. As we did so, a recurring question arose from the group. What would it look like for ONE DC to turn our work inward for a time of deep learning and reflection?

We heard feedback from our members during our shared leadership listening sessions in the Spring, and took these conversation into account while wrestling with questions about prioritizing the direction of our work for the coming year. At the end of our discussions, dialogues, and through a process of consensus building, it became clear that there was energy in the room to take on this internal work of reflection and transformation.

We see this as a time set aside to actively practice, shape, and reshape our organization- to do collective healing, and learning with ourselves and our membership.  

We are living in especially toxic times- pressing up against the systems of oppression that destroy our universal rights to housing, income and wellness. And yet, how do we live, work, and organize in this space and not replicate the systems of oppression in our relationships with ourselves and others? How do we, as an organization, uphold our values in all the spaces we traverse? The answer, we believe, is in intentional practice.

Intentional Practices are those that we choose to do in order to transform the way we show up in the world. Through new practices we increase choice and alignment with our values. …Organizationally we want to ask similar questions: What practices do we need to be in as a staff and organization? What practices do we want to support in our member base to align with our vision and political commitments? ("The Transformative Power of Practice" by Ng’ethe Maina and Staci Haines)

What does it mean for ONE DC to take on this period of internal reflection, practice, and transformation?

At our retreat– members, staff and SLT members defined the major areas of internal work and growth that they saw as priorities for the end of 2018. We are now organizing ourselves, with a Coordinating Committee to take on this challenging work of growth. During the next several months, we plan to make a full plan of orientations, re-orientations, and a 2019 training schedule for our full membership. We want to tackle issues like gender equity, power, and popular education. We will be re-examining staff roles, treatment and expectations. We have also created a Healing and Wellness committee that will be working diligently to create a code of responsibility, processes for ONE DC to deal with conflicts, and ways to help upkeep the internal health of our organization at all levels.

For the next three months, this means that ONE DC will not be engaging in new organizing work or campaigns. We will be paring down our level of coalition work, panels, and outside engagements. This opens up opportunities for members to join us in envisioning what it means for us as a community to do this work and what it will mean for our external work in the future.

The Road to Transformation

"In order to see where we are going, we not only must remember where we have been, but we must understand where we have been." -Ella Jo Baker

Members of ONE DC will be an integral part of our growth. We invite you to reach out to us directly if you feel called to take on parts of this journey with us. And we invite you to engage in opportunities to practice, learn, and grow as part of this community in the months and year ahead! Those involved in campaigns and other active members will be receiving calls and emails about trainings and workshops that we hope you will choose to participate in.

We are looking forward to what this intentional time will do and mean for our community. And we look to our movement ancestors before us who knew deeply that the “work” is both in how we treat each other, how we organize ourselves, and how we fight for justice around us. We draw inspiration from them and from all of you, who have been showing great support for this time ahead. We hope to continue our radical imaginations for what is possible, and to deepen our connections to one another during this time.

In Community,

ONE DC Shared Leadership Team

“in community, our potential is truly realized. what we have to offer to each other is not merely critique, anger, commentary, ownership and false power. we have the capacity to hold each other, serve each other, heal each other, create for and with each other, forgive each other, and liberate ourselves and each other. these are not new thoughts, this is what beloved community means. it is what we all long for, and what we all need.so in this context i ask you to ask yourself – who are you in relationship with, and how can you go deeper, be more present, and offer more of your whole self?” -Adrienne Marie Brown, author of Emergent Strategy

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ONE DC Monthly Voice September 2018

 

"We need a revolution of the mind. We need a revolution of the heart. We need a revolution of the spirit. The power of the people is stronger than any weapon. A people's revolution can't be stopped. We need to be weapons of mass construction. Weapons of mass love. It's not enough just to change the system, we need to change ourselves" -Assata Shakur


Community Celebration & Fundraiser at the ONE DC Black Workers & Wellness Center

We invite you to join us with your family and friends on Saturday, October 20th between 5:00 PM and 11:00 PM for a community celebration at ONE DC’s Black Workers and Wellness Center, located at 2500 Martin Luther King Jr Ave SE. While enjoying a night of free music, food, and fun, take the opportunity to explore our space and hear from ONE DC members and organizer about how the BWWC supports ONE DC in its goal of creating and maintaining racial and economic equity throughout DC. Sponsored by Resource Generation - DC.

Click here to RSVP



Click here to donate the Black Workers & Wellness Center Capital Campaign.


Black Workers & Wellness Center

In ONE DC’s 2014 People’s Progress Report, we published a “time capsule for 2019,” a list of visionary goals we aimed to achieve by 2019. One of those goals has become a reality – the opening of the ONE DC Black Workers & Wellness Center in our own community-controlled space at 2500 Martin Luther King Jr Ave SE. The ONE DC Black Workers and Wellness Center (BWWC) is a resident-led space that creates and maintains racial and economic justice through popular education, direct action, and the creation of worker-owned alternatives. Here are a few updates from 2018:

  • Begun hosting bi-monthly workers rights clinics with the Washington Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights & Urban Affairs
  • Hosted events and provided meeting space for several partner organizations working for racial and economic equity in DC, such as Family & Friends of Incarcerated People, DC Paid Family Leave Coalition, DC Jobs with Justice, and Grassroots DC
  • Fundraised $725,000 out of the $2,000,000 needed to renovate the building into a state-of-the-art community center

Support the Clean Energy DC Act!

Have you noticed, amidst all this political intensity, how Planet Earth is also shouting out to be heard? Endless rain in DC. Arctic lakes bubbling with escaping methane. Temperature record after record. Fortunately, Earth has YOU on her team. You believe that climate change is real. You know that we must immediately change our ways. You are willing to fight for a clean energy economy that is healthy, respectful, and good.


Tuesday's hearing is a huge milestone in over two years of rallying for strong clean energy and climate action in DC. We need you there to show overwhelming community support for members of the Committee on Transportation and the Environment. Any Councilmembers dragging their feet will understand that delay on the Clean Energy DC Act is unacceptable.

National press recently declared Clean Energy DC as the "strongest climate bill in the country." For one, it would require 100% clean electricity in DC by 2032. The bill also includes groundbreaking energy efficiency standards for existing buildings, which are the largest source of local pollution, as well as new funding for the Green Bank and Sustainable Energy Utility.

What: Clean Energy DC Act Hearing at DC Council
When: Tuesday, October 9th 11:00am - 2:00pm
Where: John A. Wilson Building, 1350 Pennsylvania NW
Why: To show up in force for the Clean Energy DC Act and encourage DC Council to pass this bill!
RSVP: RSVP today! or RSVP on Facebook

We encourage you to submit written testimony in support of the Clean Energy DC Act to the committee staff, Ms. Benjamin, at abenjamin@dccouncil.us. Written testimony will be accepted until October 23rd.

Can't make it? Send a letter to Councilmember McDuffie TODAY and urge him to support the Clean Energy DC Act - his support is crucial to passing this bill!


DC Palestinian Film & Arts Festival 2018

ONE DC is proud to serve as a community partner for the 8th Annual DC Palestinian Film & Arts Festival! From October 2-7, DCPFAF 2018 features 13 films, three hands-on tatreez and painting workshops, Spotlight Artist Saleh Bakri, and stand-up comedy with Mona Aburmishan!  Several events have sold out but there are still free events open to the public:

The Palestine Pop Up
Friday, October 5, 2018
6:00 PM 9:00 PM
1615 M Street Northwest
Featuring Watan, Tatreez & Tea, Levantinian, and Threads of Palestine

STAND-UP COMEDY // Mona Aburmishan
Sunday, October 7, 2018
6:00 PM 7:00 PM
The Kennedy Center (map)
Closing out the 8th annual DCPFAF on the Kennedy Center's Millennium Stage with stand-up comedian Mona Aburmishan. Show is free and open to the public.

Click here for full program & tickets


#ItsNotFare - Decriminalize Fare Evasion!

Currently, fare-evasion in the District is considered a crime that can result in arrest, up to 10 days in jail, and a fine of up to $300. The Fare Evasion Decriminalization Act of 2017 (Bill 22-408) would make fare evasion a civil offense punishable by a fine of no more than $100. Bill 22-408 recognizes that no one should have to face arrest of jail time for not affording a fare. The punishment does not fit the offense, and enforcement of such laws disproportionately impacts poor communities and communities of color.



The Facts:

  • Fare evasion stops and arrests target District residents. Fare evasion is not a crime in Virginia, and WMATA’s own reports show that most enforcement takes place in the District.
  • Fare evasion enforcement is racist. recent report by the Washington Lawyers’ Committee For Civil Rights and Urban Affairs found that fare evasion in DC is enforced almost exclusively against black riders, and studies of other jurisdictions (such as New YorkPortland and Minneapolis) reveal that people of color are stopped more often than their white counterparts on suspicion of fare evasion and are arrested and cited at much higher rates when they’ve been identified as evading a fare.
  • Fare evasion arrests harm those who rely on metro the most. One in five District residents live in poverty, and many rely on metro transit as their primary mode of transportation. Because metro fares are distance based, these residents also have the highest cost burden because they must travel long distances to get to jobs, schools, doctors, and other services they rely upon. By continuing to criminalize fare evasion, we are saddling the most economically insecure with the threat of jail time and unreasonable fines. Someone who cannot pay a Metro fare certainly cannot pay a $300 fine.
  • Fare evasion arrests are costly. A simple citation or misdemeanor arrest can affect a person’s livelihood, can lead to parole being revoked for a returning citizen, and can affect a person’s immigration status. In addition to the human cost, arresting and jailing people for fare evasion diverts critical D.C. resources from addressing serious crimes, and ultimately harms public safety efforts. Taxpayer funds would be better spent investing in underserved communities in the District.
  • Fare evasion arrests are not an effective means of deterring fare evasion or of preventing other crimes. The belief that penalizing low-level crimes will prevent worse crimes, known as broken-windows policing, is a failed and discredited approach that led to the mass incarceration epidemic in this country.
  • Fare evasion stops have resulted in excessive use of force against riders by police. There have been multiple news stories in recent years of Metro transit officers using excessive force on riders they stopped on suspicion of fare evasion. Interactions like this are not only dangerous, they harm community trust in law enforcement. There is also no independent civilian oversight of Metro Transit Police when riders have complaints about officer misconduct, harassment, or discrimination.
  • Fare evasion arrests do not make money for Metro. WMATA makes the claim that it is losing $20 million annually from fare evasion, but it has been unable to back this up with evidence. The fact is that we don’t know how much fare evasion costs, but we do know that WMATA’s ridership has decreased over the past few years, and that has been attributed to service cuts, crashes, general unreliability, and the rise of ride-sharing companies like Lyft and Uber. WMATA should not make fare evasion the scapegoat for its shortcomings.
  • D.C. would not be the first jurisdiction to decriminalize fare evasion. The District would be joining several other jurisdictions that have already decriminalized fare evasion.

A parking ticket does not result in potential jail time, and failure to pay Metro fare should not either. It’s time to change our broken system.

What Can I do?


Occupation Free DC

For years, top officials at DC’s Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) have participated in trainings with Israeli military and police, institutions which enforce an illegal military occupation over the Palestinian people. As DC residents, we should oppose all police trainings that use military occupation and state violence as a model.



Take these steps to invest in our community and clear a path for real safety in Washington, DC:

  1. Sign this petition demanding that the DC Council and Police Chief Newsham cease local participation in training exercises with discriminatory trainers, like Israel’s police and military, which violate DC's Human Rights Act.

  2. Watch and share this video to learn more and spread the word about our local campaign to achieve real safety by investing in our community, instead of in violent and biased policing.

  3. Attend Occupation Free DC Organizing Meeting. Wednesday, October 10, 7-9pm. Email info@occupationfreedc.org for location

Upcoming Events


Rally to Support the Nicholson Street Rent Strike

Friday, October 12 - 6:00 to 8:00 PM
1320 Nicholson St NW
Hosted by LEDC
The residents of 1320 Nicholson St NW have lived in terrible conditions for years: the building’s roof Leaks, ceilings are caving in, there’s mold in the walls, and many of the apartments are infested with bedbugs. The landlord has promised to make repairs but never followed through. Now tenants are ready to fight back. They’ve informed the landlord and the management company that unless repairs are made by October 1, they’re going to launch a rent strike. Tenants understand that the landlord’s neglect isn’t an accident; it’s a strategy to make money. Like many slumlords, the owner is trying to use the bad conditions to push residents out of their rent-controlled apartments so he can bring in new tenants who will pay much higher rents. Tenants have seen the same thing happen throughout the neighborhood and the city, and affordable apartment buildings are emptied and flipped into luxury condos. But they won’t allow themselves to be pushed out of Brightwood, a neighborhood that’s been their home for decades. Tenants at 1320 Nicholson are preparing to strike a blow against displacement, but they need the community’s support. Join them and show your solidarity on Friday, October 12!
Click here to RSVP


Jobs with Justice Organizing & Leadership Training

October 12 - October 14
Washington, DC - Location TBA
Hosted by DC Jobs with Justice
This three-day training is for community leaders, organizers, youth groups, unions, parent groups, faith leaders and parishioners, and advocates and activists that are not a part of an organization. The training will focus on strengthening relationships, building power, agitation, and accountability. Learn more about the training program. The fee for the training is $250.00 for the entire training per individual - scholarships are available for those individuals or organizations with financial need. For more information please contact Sequnely Gray at sequnley@dcjwj.org or 202-674-2847.
Click here to register


Days of Actions vs Wells Fargo
Friday, October 12 - Saturday, October 27
DMV - Locations TBA
Hosted by Climate First
Starting on Friday, October 12th, and continuing until Saturday, October 27th, we and our allies will run—for the 19th consecutive month in a row—"Days of Actions" against Wells Fargo bank for its funding of the Keystone XL pipeline and other fossil fuel projects. Join us for peaceful direct actions at Wells Fargo branches in Washington, DC, and possibly a soon-to-be-determined location in Virginia.
Click here for more info and to RSVP



DC ReInvest Fall Kickoff Meeting
Saturday, October 13 - 12:00 to 3:00 PM
50 F St NW (near Union Station) 8th floor
Hosted by DC ReInvest Coalition
As the campaign continues to push DC to divest from banks that invest in private prisons, racist lending practices, and fossil fuel pipelines, we now have the opportunity to push forward a concrete vision for reinvestment. DC Council is deciding whether or not to establish a public bank based on their ongoing study. It's up to us to push forward a progressive and just vision of what we do want our taxpayer money to be invested in, right here in DC. We'll also continue to build momentum for victory on the bill that would both divest DC from Wells Fargo and increase banks' accountability to low-income communities in the District! All organizations that are part of / have been part of DCReInvest AND anyone who's interested in getting involved. LUNCH will be provided!
Click here to RSVP


Cops and Queers: The History of the Police and the LGBTQ+ Community in DC
Thursday, October 18 - 6:30 to 9:00 PM
Thurgood Marshall Center - 1816 12th St NW
Hosted by Rainbow History Project
On October 18th, Rayceen Pendarvis will moderate an historical discussion with Earline Budd, Craig Howell, Mindy Daniels, Dee Curry, and Brett Parson on the intersection between the LGBTQ+ community and the Metropolitan Police Department of Washington, DC. Tickets are free and not required for admission, but please RSVP so that we can have an accurate head count.
Click here to RSVP


Mary Church Terrell Documentary Screening

Thursday, October 18 - 6:00 to 8:00 PM
Howard University Founders Library, Browsing Room - 500 Howard Place NW
Hosted by DC Preservation League
Learn about the life of Mary Church Terrell. Free and open to the public.
Click here to RSVP


A Place to Call Home - Author Talk with Ernesto Castañeda
Friday, October 19 - 6:30 to 8:00 PM
The Potter's House - 1658 Columbia Rd NW
In A Place to Call Home, Ernesto Castañeda offers a uniquely comparative portrait of immigrant expectations and experiences. Drawing on fourteen years of ethnographic observation and hundreds of interviews with documented and undocumented immigrants and their children, Castañeda sets out to determine how different locations can aid or disrupt the process of immigrant integration. Focusing on New York City, Paris, and Barcelona—immigration hubs in their respective countries—he compares the experiences of both Latino and North African migrants, and finds that subjective understandings, local contexts, national and regional history, and religious institutions are all factors that profoundly impact the personal journey to belonging.
Click here to RSVP


National Day of Protest Against Police Terror
Monday, October 22 - 6:30 to 8:00 PM
Gallery Place - Chinatown Metro Station
Hosted by Stop Police Terror Project-DC
Since 1996, October 22nd has been marked as a national day of protest against police brutality. As the September 6th murder of Botham Jean by a Dallas police officer has reminded us, the scourge of police terror ‒ and the racist criminalization, harassment, and mass incarceration that go along with it ‒ is as acute, unjust, and outrageous as ever. Join us on the evening of Monday, October 22, 2018, as we march and rally to condemn racist police terror, remember those who have been lost, and vow to continue the fight to put an end to racist police terror, harassment, and mass incarceration.
Click here to RSVP


DECOLONIZE: A Knowledge & Skill Share Un-Conference
Saturday, October 27 and Sunday, October 28th
George Mason University - 4400 University Dr, Fairfax, VA
Hosted by La Raza for Liberation
This unique two-day event is a radical space for people of color who are ready to listen, learn, teach, engage, and build. Our goal is bring together activists across human, animal, and environmental justice movements to better understand each other, challenge each other, and create new projects together.
Please RSVP by ordering a free ticket at eventbrite.com/e/decolonize-a-knowledge-skill-share-un-conference-tickets-49744112981 Contact info@larazaforliberation.org for more information.


D.C. History Conference
November 1 - November 4
University of the District of Columbia - 4200 Connecticut Avenue NW
The annual D.C. History Conference, formerly known as the Annual Conference on D.C. History, is a collaboration between the Historical Society of Washington, D.C., George Washington University, DC Public Library, and DC Office of Public Records. Since 1973, the mission of the conference has been to provide a friendly and rigorous forum for discussing and promoting original research about the history of the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. The 2018 conference explores themes related to “Mobility, Migration, and Movement,” including the creation of Metro, the impact of migration to the region, and the bicentennial of the birth of Frederick Douglass, a man for whom mobility meant an escape to freedom.The conference will explore the complex meanings of mobility, migration, and movement in a city that has witnessed the Great Migration of African Americans and has the second-largest community of El Salvadoran residents in the United States.
Click here for more info & to register


Book Talk: Barbara Ransby, Making All Black Lives Matter

Monday, November 19 - 6:30 PM to 8:00 PM
Busboys and Poets - 14th St & V
Join activist and writer Barbara Ransby to discuss her new book, Making All Black Lives Matter, a historical analysis of the Black Lives Matter Movement. The purpose of the book is to stimulate discussion about the Black Freedom Movement, Black feminist influences in it, and the best ways to build coalition and movements for social justice and a new society. 
Click here for more information


ONE Bit of Good News

Congratulations to ONE DC organizer Nawal Rajeh for being named a Baltimore Community Mediation Center's Peacemaker of the Year! Nawal is founder of the Peace Camp, a summer program in Baltimore utilizing arts, games and literacy to teach conflict resolution skills for youth. It is a project of By Peaceful Means. You can learn more abut the Peace Camp and By Peaceful Means here.


You can find online editions of the Monthly Voice 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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