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What Does Development Look like in a Culture of Health?

By Haley Cureton, Interdisciplinary Research Leaders Minneapolis

On June 7-8th, I visited ONE DC to learn about Making the Just City, a research project on gentrification and displacement in Washington, DC and Orange, NJ, led by Dominic Moulden, Mindy Fullilove and Derek Hyra with support from Interdisciplinary Research Leaders (IRL).


A story I heard from a ONE DC member especially struck me on my visit. It was about a family member pressured to move out of her home by developers. She described the overwhelming number of phone calls, notes on the door, and uninvited developers who came knocking and made offers to buy the property claiming that they were giving her a “great offer.” She said the process continued with building intensity. The story struck me because first-- how is that legal? And second-- it took me out of my mind and into my heart very quickly to show me that the issue of gentrification is not abstract, it is immediate, pervasive and deeply personal. The mission of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is to build a culture of health in the US—and the ONE DC member’s story made me think, what does development look like in a culture of health? Definitely not that.

In a culture of health, people have a right to the city where they live. A home is a place to lay down roots, a safe place that is free of outside pressure to move or sell or relocate before a family is ready for any reason. In a culture of health, residents and neighborhoods benefit from development rather than being displaced by it.


The research findings from Making the Just City will be useful to cities around the US dealing with a crisis of affordable housing and questioning how to slow development and address gentrification. Additionally, so will the model of HOW this research project is being co-led by researchers, organizers and community members. It reminds me of a core teaching in eastern philosophy: actions are examples as much as they are actions. Making the Just City is a research project, and it is also an example of the power of research partnerships in addressing shared concerns about the wellbeing of our communities.

Thank you for having me, ONE DC! Peace from IRL in Minneapolis.


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Homes for All Assembly Report-back

By Brook Hill

Between July 18th and 22nd, ONE DC members Keisha Harden, Janice Underwood, and myself attended the Homes for All Assembly convened by the Right to the City Alliance in Atlanta. The assembly brought housing justice organizers together from across the country to discuss housing challenges, share solutions, and plan how to react to those challenges nationally and regionally. The assembly was also an opportunity to introduce attendees to and invite comment on a training tool that includes a blueprint for building a grassroots group and an articulation of shared values. The ONE DC delegation was able to establish ties with groups working in nearby cities like Baltimore, Philadelphia, and Newark, and to strengthen ties with folks from D.C. that we were already familiar with.


The first full day of the conference was spent discussing the current state of our housing work and collectively planning what we would need to do over the course of the next decade to achieve our goals. Despite the fact that the group included people from east, west, north and south, many of the problems they faced were surprisingly familiar. Low-income communities of color face displacement fueled by commercial and residential real estate development not only in cities that have been earning reputations as expensive places to live like DC, New York and the Bay Area, but also in places like Lincoln, Nebraska; Albuquerque, New Mexico; and Nashville, Tennessee.

The solutions they are seeking to implement are familiar too; just cause eviction, right to counsel, tenant opportunity to purchase, and rent control. Even though these tenant protections have not solved all of the problems facing tenants in cities where they exist – such as the District of Columbia – tenants’ rights would be a lot more elusive without them. It was inspiring to hear about serious campaigns to pursue them in so many places. If tenant protections become common outside of DC it will be easier to push for even stronger protections in DC. Folks were serious about what it would take to accomplish these things, as much of the plan for the next ten years included spending a lot of time door knocking, making phone calls, recruiting members, building coalitions and raising funding. 

The second day of the conference was about what it would take operationally to achieve the plans that were laid out the day before. Appropriately the day began with a direct action because after we do the work of bringing people together, disrupting the status quo with protest is important to bring about change. However, the rest of the day was spent discussing the less glamorous work of building a group that can fight for housing justice in a meaningful way. To that end, the Right to the City Alliance introduced the Homes for All Handbook, movement DNA. It is a pamphlet with a dozen or so pages that lays out the shared values of the Homes for All Coalition along with step by step instructions on how to build a group. The techniques reminded me of what I had learned as an organizer at ACORN and New York Communities for Change and they were packaged in an inviting and digestible fashion. The Homes for All Handbook has the potential to be an invaluable tool for new organizers and tenant leaders.

On the third day, everybody attended a training session. The one I decided to attend was about development without displacement and community control. We participated in an exercise where we imagined that we were planning our ideal community and the facilitators would approach us and try to offer us things that would ‘improve’ our communities – we’d have to think about the consequences and reject or accept the offers. It was a great exercise. After that, we heard about how one Bay Area community group teamed up with a community development corporation to successfully fight for an alternative vision of development in their community.

ONE DC members Janice Underwood, LaKeisha Harden, & Brook Hill

All in all, the conference was a great experience. We were able to deepen our ties with other DC organizers, networks with other organizers in the region, do some reflection on our work in recent years and begin planning the future. The other ONE DC members and I left Atlanta inspired and anxious to continue building at home. 


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ONE DC Monthly Voice July 2018

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 Settle your quarrels, come together, understand the reality of our situation, understand that fascism is already here, that people are dying who could be saved, that generations more will die or live poor butchered half-lives if you fail to act. Do what must be done, discover your humanity and your love of Revolution. Pass on the torch. Join us, give your life for the people. -George Jackson


Organizing for Our Right to Housing: July People's Platform

The cost of housing has reached frightening levels in the nation's capital. At our July People's Platform, we emphasized the importance of knowing your tenant rights and how to exercise collective power to protect our communities. Three tenant leaders joined us and shared their ongoing fight and wins to preserve affordable housing where they live. The event was held at the ONE DC Black Workers Center, located in Anacostia, with the goal of identifying more tenant leaders living East of the River who want to organize in their building.

ONE DC members talk about the first steps to forming a tenant association

During the panel, we heard from three tenant-leaders who have been organizing at their property to protect their right to affordable, safe, and decent housing:

The Hodge on 7th

Ms. Deborah Brown is a tenant leader from the Hodge on 7th, a 55 and older building in Shaw. Residents at the Hodge are dealing with poor property management, safety issues, and property management turnover. They are organizing a tenant association and taking steps to have their demands met by the building owners.

Barry Farm

Ms. Paulette Matthews has been living at Barry Farm for almost 22 years and has been fighting, along with other tenants and Empower DC, against the demolition of the public housing property, which would mean the displacement of hundreds of Black families. Barry Farms residents demand redevelopment without displacement and the preservation of truly affordable public housing that meets the needs for large families in Washington, D.C.

Congress Heights

Mr. Robert Green is a resident at Congress Heights, where residents have been organizing against slum conditions for over five years. Recently, they have achieved several major victories! 1) Sanford Capital, the slumlord responsible for creating uninhabitable conditions at the property where Mr. Green lives, has been banned from doing business in the District for the next seven years by Attorney General Karl Racine's office after the CH tenants brought Sanford's shady business practices to light. 2) On Friday, July 13, D.C. Superior Court Judge Mott ordered CityPartners to pay $900,000 in repairs to rehabilitate the property. CityPartners (owned by Geoff Griffis) took control of the property from Sanford Capital in a potentially illegitimate transfer in December 2017, which the tenants and the city continue to fight in court. For more info about the ongoing struggle at Congress Heights, visit JusticeFirst.org.

All of the stories shared by Ms. Brown, Ms. Matthews, and Mr. Green had common themes: the critical need for tenants to organize themselves; the importance of knowing your tenant rights and how to exercise collective power; and that the struggle must go beyond our individual needs toward building tenant solidarity not only in our own building, but across properties, the city, and the world!

The People’s Platform is a movement of low-income and working class DC residents of color and people who share our values and vision. We seek to organize, educate, fight for and win truly affordable housing, sustaining work, and wellness for all in DC. Our monthly People's Platform general body is a space where we work towards our goals by prioritizing political education and leadership development in our work.

Our August People's Platform will commemorate Black August by exploring the intersection of mass incarceration and gentrification. We will meet on August 23 at 6:00 PM at the ONE DC Black Workers & Wellness Center, located at 2500 Martin Luther King Jr Ave SE. Click here for more info and to RSVP


Join us for Co-op Day this Saturday!

Cooperation DC, a project of the ONE DC Black Workers and Wellness Center, is celebrating its new home in Anacostia. To bring awareness to our work, we are inviting you to a cookout this Saturday, August 4th from 4pm-7pm. Stop by the ONE DC Black Workers and Wellness Center (2500 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave, SE) to enjoy food, learn about the benefits of worker cooperatives in Ward 8 and throughout the District, and brainstorm how Cooperation DC can uplift workers in Southeast. We would like to strategize with everyone that comes through about your vision for future dignified workplaces.

Click here to RSVP


What is a worker cooperative?
A worker cooperative is a business that is owned and governed by its employees. Instead of being run solely for profit, a worker cooperative operates with shared leadership at its core. It measures its success in the well-being of its members, its sustainability as a business, and its contribution to the communities and environments in which it operates.

Why worker cooperatives?
- Better wages, better benefits
- Higher quality jobs
- Worker control over jobs and work environment
- Increased job security
- Prioritization of human, community, and environmental needs over product/profit


ONE DC Shared Leadership Team Updates

We are excited to report that at our May Shared Leadership Team meeting, we voted to approve an updated set of by-laws for ONE DC. To read and review the new by-laws, click here.

A few important changes:

  • Added an additional elected position to the Board of Directors. Now, three (3) of the nine (9) Board positions will be elected by the membership at the Annual Membership Meeting and the remaining six will be appointed.
  • Redefined our committee structure to reflect current non-profit law.
  • Created two co-chair officer positions rather than a president and vice president.
  • Senior staff can now be formally appointed as voting members to the Board of Directors.
  • Lowered the regional membership dues from $50 to $30 for members living outside of Washington, D.C.

We are now exploring how to incorporate training on our by-laws and organizational structure into the ONE DC member orientation process. If you have questions, please reach out to ONE DC Admin Organizer Claire Cook at ccook@onedconline.org.

The Board of Directors also appointed officers at the May Shared Leadership Team meeting. Officers are appointed on an annual basis following the Annual Membership Meeting:

  • Co-Chair: Nicole Newman  & Jessica Gordon-Nembhard
  • Treasurer: Rosemary Ndubuizu
  • Secretary: Gwendolyn Johnson

The ONE DC Shared Leadership Team meets on a monthly basis. All our meetings are open to the public and we invite ONE DC members especially to attend to learn more about our governance structure. For more info on meeting dates and location, email organizer@onedconline.org.


What Does Development Look like in a Culture of Health?

By Haley Cureton, Interdisciplinary Research Leaders Minneapolis

On June 7-8th, I visited ONE DC to learn about Making the Just City, a research project on gentrification and displacement in Washington, DC and Orange, NJ, led by Dominic Moulden, Mindy Fullilove and Derek Hyra with support from Interdisciplinary Research Leaders (IRL).


A story I heard from a ONE DC member especially struck me on my visit. It was about a family member pressured to move out of her home by developers. She described the overwhelming number of phone calls, notes on the door, and uninvited developers who came knocking and made offers to buy the property claiming that they were giving her a “great offer.” She said the process continued with building intensity. The story struck me because first-- how is that legal? And second-- it took me out of my mind and into my heart very quickly to show me that the issue of gentrification is not abstract, it is immediate, pervasive and deeply personal. The mission of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is to build a culture of health in the US—and the ONE DC member’s story made me think, what does development look like in a culture of health? Definitely not that.

In a culture of health, people have a right to the city where they live. A home is a place to lay down roots, a safe place that is free of outside pressure to move or sell or relocate before a family is ready for any reason. In a culture of health, residents and neighborhoods benefit from development rather than being displaced by it.


The research findings from Making the Just City will be useful to cities around the US dealing with a crisis of affordable housing and questioning how to slow development and address gentrification. Additionally, so will the model of HOW this research project is being co-led by researchers, organizers and community members. It reminds me of a core teaching in eastern philosophy: actions are examples as much as they are actions. Making the Just City is a research project, and it is also an example of the power of research partnerships in addressing shared concerns about the wellbeing of our communities.

Thank you for having me, ONE DC! Peace from IRL in Minneapolis.


Homes for All Assembly Report-back

By Brook Hill

Between July 18th and 22nd, ONE DC members Keisha Harden, Janice Underwood, and myself attended the Homes for All Assembly convened by the Right to the City Alliance in Atlanta. The assembly brought housing justice organizers together from across the country to discuss housing challenges, share solutions, and plan how to react to those challenges nationally and regionally. The assembly was also an opportunity to introduce attendees to and invite comment on a training tool that includes a blueprint for building a grassroots group and an articulation of shared values. The ONE DC delegation was able to establish ties with groups working in nearby cities like Baltimore, Philadelphia, and Newark, and to strengthen ties with folks from D.C. that we were already familiar with.


The first full day of the conference was spent discussing the current state of our housing work and collectively planning what we would need to do over the course of the next decade to achieve our goals. Despite the fact that the group included people from east, west, north and south, many of the problems they faced were surprisingly familiar. Low-income communities of color face displacement fueled by commercial and residential real estate development not only in cities that have been earning reputations as expensive places to live like DC, New York and the Bay Area, but also in places like Lincoln, Nebraska; Albuquerque, New Mexico; and Nashville, Tennessee.

The solutions they are seeking to implement are familiar too; just cause eviction, right to counsel, tenant opportunity to purchase, and rent control. Even though these tenant protections have not solved all of the problems facing tenants in cities where they exist – such as the District of Columbia – tenants’ rights would be a lot more elusive without them. It was inspiring to hear about serious campaigns to pursue them in so many places. If tenant protections become common outside of DC it will be easier to push for even stronger protections in DC. Folks were serious about what it would take to accomplish these things, as much of the plan for the next ten years included spending a lot of time door knocking, making phone calls, recruiting members, building coalitions and raising funding. 

The second day of the conference was about what it would take operationally to achieve the plans that were laid out the day before. Appropriately the day began with a direct action because after we do the work of bringing people together, disrupting the status quo with protest is important to bring about change. However, the rest of the day was spent discussing the less glamorous work of building a group that can fight for housing justice in a meaningful way. To that end, the Right to the City Alliance introduced the Homes for All Handbook, movement DNA. It is a pamphlet with a dozen or so pages that lays out the shared values of the Homes for All Coalition along with step by step instructions on how to build a group. The techniques reminded me of what I had learned as an organizer at ACORN and New York Communities for Change and they were packaged in an inviting and digestible fashion. The Homes for All Handbook has the potential to be an invaluable tool for new organizers and tenant leaders.

On the third day, everybody attended a training session. The one I decided to attend was about development without displacement and community control. We participated in an exercise where we imagined that we were planning our ideal community and the facilitators would approach us and try to offer us things that would ‘improve’ our communities – we’d have to think about the consequences and reject or accept the offers. It was a great exercise. After that, we heard about how one Bay Area community group teamed up with a community development corporation to successfully fight for an alternative vision of development in their community.

ONE DC members Janice Underwood, LaKeisha Harden, & Brook Hill

All in all, the conference was a great experience. We were able to deepen our ties with other DC organizers, networks with other organizers in the region, do some reflection on our work in recent years and begin planning the future. The other ONE DC members and I left Atlanta inspired and anxious to continue building at home. 


Happy Hour Fundraiser on August 9th!

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. You can also support by purchasing ONE DC t-shirts, posters, and tote bags; enter to win a raffle; and connect with fellow ONE DC members & supporters.

Click here to RSVP


Mass Action August 12: NO Nazis, NO KKK in D.C.

ONE DC is joining forces with ANSWER Coalition and other local organizations to defend Black and Latinx communities in DC against white supremacist and fascist violence. Just as the government facilitates the violent destruction of public housing and displacement of working class DC residents, so too we see our public resources used to protect the KKK and other hate groups gathering in DC. Join us on August 12 to say NO! White supremacy is not welcome here! Click here to RSVP


Initiating organizations include: ANSWER Coalition, Party for Socialism and Liberation, Justice First, Link-UP, Justice Center en El Barrio NYC, ONE DC, Internationalist Students Front-George Washington University, GW Queer Radicals, Philadelphia Liberation Center, GW Progressive Student Union, GW Young Democratic Socialists of America, Students for Justice in Palestine at GWU.

Click here to sign on to show your support!


Upcoming Events

Black August Kick-off
Wednesday, August 1 - 6:00 PM
The Potter's House - 1658 Columbia Rd NW
Hosted  by Aging People in Prison Human Rights Campaign, DC Letters to Prison, & The Potter's House
We're kicking off August with a special letter writing night! As attention focuses on the U.S. border, we recognize that this nation is founded on shattering families: the separation of enslaved African children from their parents, the forced enrollment of indigenous children in Residential Schools, and the separation of migrant families today are only a few examples. On August 1, we'll spend the night urging decision makers to release mothers whose incarceration has separated them from their children for too long. Black August began in the 1970s as a month-long commemoration of the Black freedom struggle, including martyrs to state violence and political prisoners. Activities often include writing and visiting prisoners, political education, and other acts of solidarity.
Click here to RSVP

The Ask Rayceen Show: Poetry Slam
Wednesday, August 1 - 6:00 PM
HRC - 1640 Rhode Island Ave NW
Hosted by The Ask Rayceen Show: First Wednesdays, March through November
Annual #AskRayceen Poetry Slam. Audience favorite receives $100, sponsored by DCHomos. Authors’ Corner with #OutWrite2018 participants. Listening Lounge: Live music by Roz White, Burlesque by Private Tails, Guest DJ for the evening: DJ Rosie (Rosie Hicks), Announcer: Anthony Oakes, Host: Rayceen Pendarvis. There will also be interviews with special guests, Shameless Plugs, vendors, exhibitors, and more.
Click here to RSVP

 

Night Out for Safety & Liberation DC 2018
Tuesday, August 7 - 5:00 to 9:00 PM

Maroon House - 1005 Rhode Island Ave NE
Hosted by DC Movement For Black Lives Steering Committee
Join us for the Night Out for Safety and Liberation 2018, an annual event where we redefine and re-imagine what public safety means for our DC community. Too often, conversations about public safety revolve around policing and punishment. But safety is about more than that—it’s about having a living wage, healthy food, healthcare, affordable housing, education, and more.
Click here to RSVP


Empower DC Membership Cook-out
Saturday, August 11 - 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM

1254 Pleasant St SE
Hosted by DC Grassroots Planning Coalition & Empower DC
Food * Fellowship * Music Get updates on our work:
- DC Comprehensive Plan
- Public Housing
- Crummell School
- Equitable Development
Meet and build with DC residents who share your values! Join or renew your membership. Meet Empower DC's new staff!
Click here to RSVP


Art Brings Us Home: Street Sense Media Celebrates 15 Years of Impact
Tuesday, September 25 - 6:00 PM

Big Chief - 2002 Fenwick St NE
Hosted by Street Sense Media
Join us on September 25th at Big Chief in Ivy City to celebrate 15 years of Street Sense Media! Our talented artists will present a multimedia gallery that shares their stories through photography, illustration, interactive art, poetry and writing, theater, film, and audio production. Attending guests will have the opportunity to meet the artists and purchase displayed pieces which will be on sale for donation to support the artists and grow our media center where the work is created. All support for this event will advance engagement and education between our vendor-artists and the public.
Click here to RSVP


Uprooting Racism in the Food System One-day Workshop with Soul Fire Farm
Friday, November 16 - 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM

St. George's Episcopal Church - 160 U St NW
Hosted by Common Good City Farm
The workshop is intended for folks working in food justice, food access, sustainability, and agriculture to discuss how we can collaborate to achieve greater equity in our local food systems and our own organizations.
Click here to RSVP


Lack of Subsidy not the Crux of Housing Affordability Challenges

By Gregory D. Squires

Roger K. Lewis is simply wrong when he asserts “The crux of housing affordability problems is a lack of money for necessary subsidies.” (“A lawsuit won’t begin to solve the lack of affordable housing in D.C.” Washington Post, June 22, 2018) Rather, as the lawsuit he refers to filed on behalf of several African American residents against DC government asserts, the problem has long been and continues to be development policies geared to attracting new middle class white residents to neighborhoods long inhabited by African Americans and other people of color, enriching newcomers while displacing long term residents. This was true during the post-World War II urban renewal years when Lewis rightly notes housing subsidies were more readily available. It remains the case with contemporary “revitalization” initiatives like efforts to displace DC's Barry Farm residents. Whether the racial effects are due to intentional racism or disparate impact, it is time to recognize that the uneven development of the nation’s metropolitan areas is not just a budgetary matter. And it is time for the long disenfranchised to have a seat at the table so that affordable housing becomes a right for all rather than a privilege for the well connected.


ONE Bit of Good News - BWC Hosts Children's Studio School "Anacostia Reimagined" Art Exhibit

By IBe' Crawley

The Children's Studio School (CSS), founded 41 years ago by Marcia McDonell, exhibited the Children of Mine Youth Center's summer culminating exhibit 'Anacostia Reimagined' at the ONE DC Black Workers & Wellness Center on July 26, 2018. In the children's summer experience of multi-dimensional studios, 39 children ages 4 to 14 engaged in architecture, engineering, construction, and city planning.

The children participated in identifying and defining the future businesses and buildings for their community. IBe' Crawley of IBe' Arts created the curriculum and coordinated the four studios at the Children of Mine Youth Center for CSS. The arts educators -- Uptown Shane, Courtney Dowe, and Roderick Turner -- engaged the children in discussions, visualization, and creation of an Anacostia that reflects the children's love and families.


A special thanks is extended to ONE DC for hosting the 'Anacostia Reimagined' presentation. In addition to being a visually beautiful representation of buildings, maps, and drawings, the storytelling and singing demonstrated the verbal and writing skills the children developed in this summer experience. The parents and community members filled ONE DC to capacity with love and pride for their children contribution to the Anacostia resource mapping the organization is currently engaged in. Click here to watch video from the exhibit.

You can find past 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 June 2018

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"In a system that prioritizes profit over people, I’m not Beth. I’m a dollar sign walking down the street.”
-Beth Myers-Edward, Baltimore native & lifetime renter (from Shelterforce)


Over 100,000 Voices Demand Congress to Reject Cruel Rent Hikes


Tenants and organizers outside the U.S. Capitol

This morning at 11:00 AM, representatives from ONE DC, Bread for the City, and the Poor People's Campaign delivered a petition with over 100,000 signatures to House Financial Service Committee Chair Jeb Hensarling to demand the protection of housing rights for low-income renters across the United States.

After cutting taxes for corporations and the wealthiest people and in the middle of an historic national housing crisis, Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Ben Carson and President Donald Trump have asked Congress to pass legislation to raise rents for all residents of public and subsidized housing and triple rents for the lowest-income residents.

This cruel proposal has sparked outrage from people across the country and in the District, where the proposal would mean a rent hike of $900 per year for the poorest families, and would put seniors and families with young children to risk of homelessness in the nation’s capital.

Local and national groups including Right to the City, an organization of which ONE DC is an organizational member, have collected over 100,000 signatures from people demanding Congress refuse to pass any proposal to raise rents and instead make the investments necessary in HUD to provide housing assistance to everyone.

Keisha, Janice, & Angie - Members of the Shaw Housing Education Team

“The housing crisis has reached emergency levels. More than half of all Americans spend over 30 percent of their income on rent and utilities, including me and my family,” said Paulette Matthews, a resident at Barry Farm Public Housing. “Now Ben Carson and Trump want Congress to help them make it worse. I’m proud to stand with people all over the country in telling Congress to remember who they work for and reject this cruel proposal."

The petition delivered was sponsored by Americans for Tax Fairness, CarsonWatch, Center for American Progress Action Fund, CPD Action, Daily Kos, MHAction, Partnership for Working Families, People’s Action, Progress America, and Right to the City Alliance. Click here to add your name to the petition.

People's Platform organizer Kelly holding the 100,000 signatures demanding a stop to rising costs for low-income renters

Shaken, Not Deterred

By Jourgette Reid-Sillah, Richman Apartments

Almost eight years ago, my family moved to Richman Apartments in Southeast D.C. At the time there was an empty lot across the street where I was told town homes and apartments were going to be built. Keeping in mind as to things that were happening in other parts of the city, I thought having an organized tenants association may be a good idea for Richman Apartments.


The lot is no longer empty. We have town homes and apartments directly across from our forty-one affordable units. New homeowners are settling in. These town homes were sold before they were built. Young families from various backgrounds have introduced themselves and state, “I love my neighborhood.”

Our apartments are well-managed and we have no problems of a major scale that I’m aware with our management company, WC Smith. Our association would be a community building group. Everyone says they think it would be a good idea. The challenge is changing hearts and minds and getting people to step up and understand we have nothing to fear.

I, with the help of ONE DC, (thank you Kelly) have started organizing to get the tenants to elect a board to officially establish our tenant association. Unfortunately, we didn’t have a quorum to vote at our last meeting. Meanwhile, another town home is built. And another new neighbor moves into their home.

Congress Heights is changing rapidly. Starting with the St. Elizabeth’s Project to the restoration of many historic homes along Alabama Ave. Change is here, Richman Apartments.  Will You Be Ready?


Why D.C. Government Favors Luxury Condos Over Affordable Housing in Congress Heights

By Justice First


On Wednesday, June 27th at 10:00AM, Congress Heights tenants and their lawyers will be back in court demanding an end to slum conditions, deceitful deals, gentrification and displacement. Join Justice First and the Alabama Ave/13th Street Tenant Coalition in packing the courtroom! Address: 500 Indiana Ave NW, #518  Click here to RSVP

A major falsehood is being perpetrated by public and private sector supporters of the redevelopment project at Congress Heights: that the reason the District government refuses to use its powers to help a non-profit developer build 200 units of affordable housing there has nothing to do with the direct ties District government leaders have to a development group that wants to build luxury condos and offices in the same space. This lie is pushed despite the clear, deep political, financial, and personal relationships that facilitate exactly this sort of cozy relationship between public and private actors.

The actions of the District reflect that though since the beginning of the development process, the government has claimed it has little to no power to act, it has in fact helped facilitate the private business deal. A combination of continuing old practices and specific contemporary action have directly led to the current impasse, in which a massive affordable housing development is being held up by luxury condo investors.

The District’s actions to facilitate displacement and gentrification at the site start at the very beginning. The Office of Planning (often referred to as “OP”) has to certify that a project meets certain requirements to be presented to the Zoning Commission (often referred to as the “ZC”) for approval. Justice First has argued for years that the process by which the OP proceeds is highly problematic. Frequently, including in this case, it is very clear from the start that developers actually do not meet the requirements. In fact, most applications presented to the ZC take the approach of seeing what requirements they can get away with ignoring without getting caught. Often, the requirements that ‘fall through the cracks,’ as we’d be led to believe, have to do with providing affordable housing options.

In this particular case, often repeated around the District, it was very clear the development team’s proposal did not meet the statutory requirements for affordable housing – something the commission acknowledged right away when Justice First pointed it out at a ZC hearing. This reveals a larger issue: Why does OP not use its authority more broadly? The OP seems to take the position that if a proposal comes within the ballpark of these rules, the ZC can figure out the rest. This means, among other things, that many projects move forward with far less affordable housing than they are supposed to facilitate. The zoning experts on the OP and ZC know what the regulations are, but leave it to community members to point out shortfalls.

So just the process of getting to the ZC is weighted heavily toward developers and facilitates their attempts to do end runs around the actual zoning rules. This is a longtime process at OP and one that makes the Bowser administration, by allowing it to continue, complicit in this structural aspect of gentrification.

Next is the Zoning Commission itself. After a 2014 court case in which the D.C. Court of Appeals took the ZC to task, Washington Business Journal noted “The Zoning Commission has never rejected a PUD application before, and it does have a tendency to adopt applicants’ draft orders nearly word-for-word.” The court's own words in that case directly pertain to a central issue in the Congress Heights dispute: “Although we have not independently verified the precise calculation, we have no reason to doubt the … claim, which the developer does not dispute, that the commission’s order is an approximately 99.9% verbatim adoption of the developer’s proposed order...The commission even adopted almost all of the grammatical and typographical errors in the developer’s proposed order.”

The mayor, of course, appoints the majority of ZC members. If the ZC is pliable and amenable to the needs of developers to the extent that it is actually ridiculed for it in court, it seems fairly clear that the mayors who appoint ZC members must share a great deal of the blame. This is another example of legacy practices making the D.C. government complicit in displacement and gentrification.

More germane to this project has been the saga of 3200 13th St. SE. The building, which sits empty, sits on the same footprint as the other properties even though it is independently owned by the District. The first ask of tenants was that the District government, which has significant legal leverage due to unpaid loans, take control of the property and use their public ownership to help the tenants leverage non-profit developers to create significant affordable housing.

The District, despite admitting its ability to do so in a D.C. Council hearing, refused to do so. Then, after Congress Heights tenants were able to find a non-profit developer and set the stage for a large affordable housing development, tenants and their allies resurrected this demand.

Not only was the District unresponsive; it then secretly took control of the building. Once that move was brought into the open it seemed like the way was clear for tenants to not only exercise their rights to purchase their own buildings, but, with a little help from the District, for the way to be paved for 200 units of affordable housing.

In a public meeting with tenant leaders and Ward 8 Councilmember Trayon White, the director of the District of Columbia Housing and Community Development Agency (DHCD) made it clear that while they have the power to work to promote the broader affordable housing proposal, that they prefered to place the property on the open market for anyone (read: Geoff Griffis & friends) to buy.

The District has the opportunity in this building to create a rare 100 percent affordable housing development - but through inertia; a government structured to facilitate displacement, slums and gentrification; and outright unwillingness to work with anyone other than a luxury condo development group, the District is instead blocking the way.

The real question is whether a web of business people and politicians so intimately connected and dependent upon each other can credibly be seen as not trading on those relationships to obtain the outcome they desire, at the expense of all other possibilities.

Click here to read the full Justice First report and click here to RSVP to pack the courtroom for Congress Heights this Wednesday at 10:00 AM.


We Demand Community Control Over Our Land!

All across the city, the DC government is turning our public land, properties, and resources over to capitalist developers. Take action this week to demand valuable public resources be used to meet our basic needs as people, rather than for profit!

Crummell for Community, Not Condos!
Wednesday, June 27 at 10:00 AM
(same hearing as Parcel 42 below)
1350 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Room 123
For over 40 years, Ivy City has fought for Crummell to be restored for public use. Join Empower DC & Friends of Crummell School at DC Council to demand a recreational center, park, & play space -- not condos -- at Crummell School.
Click here to RSVP & for more info


Parcel 42 - Stop DC government from subsidizing luxury apartments!
Wednesday, June 27 at 10:00 AM (same hearing as Crummell School above)
1350 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Room 123
Parcel 42 is a prominent parcel of publicly owned land. ONE DC has organized for the past 10 years to have P42 developed into low-income housing. Its redevelopment should benefit the longtime residents of Shaw and those most at risk of losing their housing. We demand:
1) 100% of units low cost at 0% to 50% of Area Median Income (AMI) in Shaw
2) $7.8 million or more set aside to ensure affordablity
3) Parcel 42 is a demonstrated site for homelessness prevention
4) 100% of units are permanently low cost for 100 years
For more info, email ONE DC at organizer@onedconline.org or call 202-232-2915.


Save McMillan Park!

Wednesday, June 27 at 6:00 PM
Watha T. Daniel/Shaw Library - 1630 7th St NW
Join with other Save McMillan Park supporters to appeal the recent terrible planning decisions made by the city that may, if we don't fight, result in the privatization and demolition of our McMillan Park, located at 1st and North Capitol Streets, NW. Gather this Wednesday to sign appeal petitions and discuss our legal tactics.
For more info and to RSVP: Save McMillan Action Coalition & DC for Reasonable Development, Contact: Chris, 202.810.2768, smac.dc@gmail.com


Injustice at Wayne Place SE

By Rasheed Van Putten

It was late October 2017 when the former owner of my building told me that he wanted to sell the building. I immediately expressed interest, and requested that he send the proper paperwork, an Offer of Sale, as required by the Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act (TOPA). Verbally the building owner would agree to send this document, but in deed his true intentions were clear.

The building owner's failure to provide an opportunity for the tenants to purchase the building was apparent and highlighted on February 17, 2018 when he appeared at my doorstep unannounced with a waiver that he wanted me to sign immediately. Of course I refused and took the waiver to ONE DC and Office of the Tenant Advocate. I was advised during free counsels by both organizations not to sign the waiver. After some discussion, both organizations were able to clearly identify that the TOPA process was not yet in motion.

113 Wayne Place SE

We soon found out that the building went up for sale in October 2017. An illegal sale of the building had occurred. I was advised to file a formal complaint with the Office of Housing and Community Development (OHCD). After confirming OHCD's mailing address and email address, I used certified mail and email to file my complaint. I received an auto-reply stating someone would follow up with me within 24 hours.

After three days I decided to visit OHCD in-person. I was told that neither of my complaints were received even though we agreed that I had the proper mailing information. The OHCD employee that I spoke to agreed that my TOPA rights were violated, but tried to convince me that the sale of the building was not illegal. She advised me against forming a tenant association and assured me that it was best to file a lawsuit to receive compensation. 

Collaboration between local government and housing developers is no secret to most concerned citizens and has even been reported on by news media. This is a conspiracy against the working class Black people in DC, especially those in poverty.

We, the tenants, need ownership of the building at 113 Wayne Place SE to protect ourselves by assuming our God-given right to exercise self-determination. To control of our own affairs is the only way we will build a stronger community. Please support this effort to be an example of economic democracy.

Housing is a human right, so please heed this call for community control over housing and land in Washington, DC and other gentrifying cities!


Juneteenth: Very Extremely Mine & Here to Stay

By Angie Whitehurst
A poem presented at Juneteenth Festival, Saturday, June 16, 2018

Extreme unbelievably Justify that!
Give it to me;
Juneteenth! Whatttt!
One day of unfreed freedom.
The physical chains that screamed to be undone.
The chains of psycho trauma, a mindset of fear and nowhere to run!
And yes, we did,
the freedom fighters stealth and bravery through Tubman’s underground railroad and solo flights through rivers, creeks, on foot secreting in the dark of any time of moonrise white, under cover of sunset waiting to be invisibly black.

:Extreme:

to fight a war based on old king cotton and, who deserved the biggest share.
The big fat rosy white lipped lie,
One of the longest tallest tales ever told.
It was greed and cheap labor without a cash payroll.

Extreme:
to have the chains dropped to face the era of reconstruction dumped in honor of a gentle man’s quarrel settled as if no harm to humanity was done a'tall.
A civil war not at all. Just a domestic dispute between two sides ; Brother North and Brother South, how wastefully shallow!
The old white crow covered itself in pitch dark ashes.
He and the ole Jim Crow , used the laws of economics and cheap labor. They came out on top and won.
And then, the innovations of the mind, a more perfect substitute nee technology.

Extreme, now we been freed… of chains, but not servitude and the struggle trickles on!
Extreme
To celebrate a day off still enslaved

Extreme, we have to remember and observe those days!
Extreme! I think not… we cannot let it go until we are truly free and get it right!
Extreme, I love you for you give me the gumption to stand up and fight!
Jump up and down y’all
It’s Juneteenth
Don’t you hear the old black peoples call
“To steal away and be free?”
It makes sense to me!
extreme is not to grab the freedom and not be free.
Now ain’t that extreme!


Upcoming Events

Public Meeting: Public Bank for the District
Wednesday, June 27 - 6:00 PM
George Washington University Marvin Center - 800 21st St NW, Room 310
The District government hired a consultant several months ago to study what a Public Bank of Washington, DC could look like -- but the Bowser administration has done almost nothing to publicize it to the folks who could benefit from a public bank the most. Let's invest in our community through a Public Bank, instead of Wells Fargo. D.C. currently does its banking with Wells Fargo, which has been hit with record fines for consumer fraud, racially discriminatory mortgage lending, and racially discriminatory hiring practices. The District's bank of record invests heavily in the payday lending industry, for-profit prisons and immigration detention centers, and pipelines like Keystone XL, Dakota Access, and the Potomac Pipeline, which threatens DC's drinking water. The consultant conducting the feasibility study for a Public Bank for DC is required to seek input from community organizations, and it matters who's in the room -- Please join us for the next public meeting on Wednesday, June 27!
Click here to RSVP

Family Separation Protest at the White House
Saturday, June 30 - 11:00 AM
Lafayette Square
On June 30, we're going to the White House to tell Donald Trump and his administration to stop separating kids from their parents! Families belong together, and we need to end this -- now. Every day, this administration is cruelly separating children from their families. They have proven that whether it's at the border or in detention, we can't trust them to care for children.
Click here to RSVP


Politics & Pizza Happy Hour
Saturday, June 30 - 4:00 to 6:00 PM
Justice Center - 617 Florida Ave NW
Hosted by the Party for Socialism & Liberation
Immediately after the June 30 Rally for Immigrant Families, join the PSL for a happy hour to discuss the fight for immigrant rights and LGBTQ liberation. Overwhelming opposition to immigrant family separation, and the positive response to political contingents in LGBTQ Pride events around the country, are showing the people's resistance to Trump's ongoing campaigns of anti-immigrant and anti-LGBTQ bigotry, racism and sexism. The Trump administration is attacking LGBTQ people and immigrants, rolling back protections that have been won in decades of struggle.How can we fight for an equitable, socialist society in the United States and around the world? Come discuss these issues and others at this special Pride month "Politics and Pizza" happy hour following the #FamiliesBelongTogether Rally for Immigrant Families.
Click here to RSVP


The Ask Rayceen Show, July 11: #AskRayceen Squares
Wednesday, July 11 - 6:00 to 9:30 PM
HRC - 1640 Rhode Island Ave NW
Hosted by The Ask Rayceen Show
Game Show Event: #AskRayceen Squares featuring special celebrity guests. (Local nonprofit groups compete for a cash prize). Listening Lounge: Live music by Nia Simmons. Burlesque by Uma Hurtman. Guest DJ for the evening: DJ MIM. Announcer: Anthony Oakes. Host: Rayceen Pendarvis. There will also be interviews with special guests, Shameless Plugs, vendors, exhibitors, and more. Free catered food, sponsored by AHF Pharmacy, is available for early arrivals, while supplies last.
Click here to RSVP


Recovery Cafe
Saturday, July 14 - 7:00 to 10:00 PM
The Potter's House - 1658 Columbia Rd NW
Join us for the Recovery Café Open Mic! All DMV recovery communities, musicians, artists, supporters, families, friends are invited! This event is open to all. In partnership with The Potter's House of Washington, DC, Recovery Café has a vibrant and much loved history. Let's reignite the hope that anyone going through recovery of any type, has a place to come and express themselves as they find their way. You will be supported at this open mic.
Click here to RSVP

Working for Transformation without Recreating the Past: An Intensive for Change Agents
Sunday, July 15 - 9:30 AM to 5:00 PM
Sponsored by Capital NVC in Winchester, VA
Are you committed to working for change and longing for an inspiring vision for the world?
Have you often wondered why so many social change organizations are full of conflict?
Do you wish to grow your capacity to connect with people across differences?
Are you drawn to combining love, courage, and truth in your work for change?
Click here to register


Confront Corruption at the White House
Wednesday, July 18 - 8:00 PM

Lafayette Park - Pennsylvania Ave NW & 16th Street Northwest
Vigil at the White House to confront corruption and demand democracy. Bring candles, signs, and your friends. We will be joined by a host of speakers working to hold the Trump administration accountable and create a democracy that works for everyone. Once the sun goes down there will also be a candlelit vigil photo op that will be shared widely as part of a national media push.
Click here to RSVP


The Youth Climate March
Saturday, July 21 - 10:30 AM
National Mall (monuments) - 1964 Independence Ave SW
Hosted by Zero Hour

We’re gearing up for the youth march in July! Join us as we build on this movement, share our stories and advocate for a better future with sustainable solutions to our lawmakers. Now is not the time to back down. Click here for the July 19th Lobby Day.
Click here to RSVP


ONE DC in the Media


ONE Bit of Good News - Black Workers Center Chorus Members Awarded John Handcox Scholarship to Attend the Great Labor Arts Exchange

ONE DC Black Workers Center Chorus members Agyeiwaah Anan, Nana Malaya, Al McCray, Veronica Proctor, and Angie Whitehurst were awarded the John Handcox scholarship to attend the Great Labor Arts Exchange June 21-23, 2018 at the Tommy Douglas Center in Silver Spring, MD. The Great Labor Arts Exchange is a national conference of activist musicians and singers who use their art to support labor and community campaigns.

In the early days of the conference, John Handcox and Pete Seeger attended and shared their music and stories. John Handcox, for whom the scholarship is named, "was a Great Depression-era tenant farmer and union advocate from Arkansas renowned for his politically charged songs and poetry. Handcox is noted for playing a "vital role in bettering the lives of sharecroppers and energizing labor union organizers and members." Despite his brief career, many of his songs were so popular that they became standard folk songs themselves, and continue to be sung today."

The Black Workers Center Chorus also performed their songs at the culminating march and rally of the Poor People's Campaign in Washington, DC on Saturday, June 23.


You can find past 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 May 2018


"Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe."
-Frederick Douglas, 24th Anniversary of the Emancipation (1886)


Black Workers & Wellness Center Renovation Updates

We're continuing to fundraise for the next $1 million needed for state-of-the-art upgrades to the Black Workers & Wellness Center! In the meantime, our goal has been to prepare the space for meetings, events, and use it as an organizing workspace for ONE DC and our partner organizations. Thanks to the many volunteers who contributed their time and energy, we have some exciting updates!
  • Main floor area given a shellac coating
  • Carpet laid in first floor office space
  • Tile laid in first floor walkway
  • First floor bathroom, entryways, and back entrance cleaned
  • Stairway to second floor sanded
  • Received preliminary floor plans from Emotive Architecture

Special thanks to Thomas aka "Ty", Shelley, Martha, Claire, Will, Reva, Luke, Stephen, Adam, & Amy for helping out during Memorial Day weekend! We will be meeting with Emotive Architecture again later this month to finalize a design plan. If you are interested in joining the Space Planning Committee or Renovations Crew, let us know by emailing organizer@onedconline.org.


Before

During

After!

Ty & Shelley laying tile

With the help of a special donor, our goal in June is to raise $350,000 for the Black Workers & Wellness Center. Click here to donate to the renovation fundraising campaign!


Celebrate Juneteenth in DC

ONE DC and Juneteenth on Georgia are excited to announce Juneteenth in DC 2018 events celebrating Black liberation and justice! Juneteenth is an annual celebration to commemorate the emancipation of enslaved Black people in Texas on June 19, 1865. This is a time for us to reflect on our collective history of fighting for emancipation and equity, to celebrate and rejoice in our triumphs, and to recommit with passion and discipline to the struggle for liberation.

Events

  • Juneteenth Festivals - Saturday, June 16th, 12 - 8 PM - TWO festivals in TWO locations featuring live music, speakers, local artists & vendors, live art, & more!
    • Northwest - Bruce Monroe Park, 3012 Georgia Ave NW (Sponsored by Juneteenth on Georgia) Click here to RSVP
    • Southeast - ONE DC Black Workers & Wellness Center & Adjacent Lot - 2500 MLK Jr Ave SE (Co-sponsored by Bethlehem Baptist Church) Click here to RSVP
  • Faith & Liberation - starting Sunday, June 17th and continuing throughout the week - faith-based institutions commemorating Juneteenth through sermons, evenings of prayer & community conversations throughout the week Click here to sign up for more info
  • Buy Black Day - Monday, June 18th -  highlighting local Black-owned businesses to shop at & Black-led organizations to support. Click here to sign up for more info
  • Black Workers & Wellness Center Open House - Monday, June 18th - ONE DC Black Workers & Wellness Center - 2500 MLK Jr Ave SE learn more about the programs & projects at the BWC to build racial & economic justice through popular education, promotion of sustainable employment, & the incubation of economic alternatives. Click here to RSVP
  • Juneteenth - Tuesday, June 19th - African American Civil War Museum - 1925 Vermont Ave NW - Community learning event featuring history of Juneteenth talk with historian C.R. Gibbs & conversations on community safety, reparations, and current state of the fight for liberation in DC. Co-sponsored with Stop Police Terror Project-DC, SURJ-DC, & DC Foodways. Click here to RSVP

Visit juneteenthdc.org for more info on all events and to RSVP!

Sponsorships

We are currently looking for sponsors! Click here to donate as a sponsor or send a check to ONE DC, PO Box 26049, Washington, DC 20001. Sponsorship gratitude packages include commemorative Juneteenth posters and t-shirts, books authored by ONE DC members & supporters, and special perks at our Juneteenth events.

Vendors & Partners

We invite community partners, grassroots organizations, local businesses, artists & craftspeople, food vendors, and others to join us on Saturday, June 16th for our all-day Juneteenth Festivals taking place in Bruce Monroe Park & Anacostia (outdoor locations). Vendors will be provided a table to do outreach to hundreds of local community members and/or sell items.

Click here for more information and to sign up as a vendor or tabling partner.

Volunteer

We are looking for volunteers to help with fundraising, outreach, communications, vendor/partner coordination, and general logistics and planning. We will also need volunteers the day of the events. Click here to sign up to volunteer.


Support DC Cooperative Business Ownership & Development Act

By Democracy at Work DC

Worker cooperatives are a way to reorganize our workplaces in a truly democratic fashion, where decision-making power and wealth are shared equally. Worker co-ops are employee owned and operated. Workers participate in the profits, oversight, and often management of the organization using democratic practices. Workers own the majority of the equity in the business, and control the voting shares.

Democracy at Work DC is dedicated to promoting worker cooperatives and democratic workplaces. We envision a future where workers at every level of their offices, stores and factories have equal say in the direction of their enterprise and its impact within their community.

Democracy at Work DC is working with ONE DC and other community organizations on legislation—the DC Cooperative Business Ownership and Development Act—to encourage the development of worker cooperatives in the District of Columbia through:
     -Tax incentives for employee-owned businesses
     -Loan guarantees for start-ups and existing businesses wanting to convert to worker co-ops
     -Public procurement policies that benefit employee-owned businesses
     -Education and technical assistance to help worker co-ops succeed

Learn more about worker co-ops and how you can support this legislation at democracyatworkdc.com/legislation.


Recent HUD proposal is another attempt to shrink federal subsidies to low-income families

By Kelly Iradukunda
The proposal made by HUD Secretary Ben Carson earlier this month to raise the rent for low-income families receiving federal housing subsidies is another attempt by the Trump administration to shrink federal subsidies for the neediest families in the country.

These proposals would triple the rent for certain families. The question that everyone is asking themselves is, considering the market rate prices and considering what the minimum wage, how are these families going to afford rent? Particularly, here in D.C., research conducted by ONE DC members found that a person working for a minimum wage would need to have FOUR full-time jobs to be able to afford a 1 bedroom apartment at market rate rent. According to the Washington Post, Carson's dangerous proposal will put almost 1 million children at risk of homelessness if it gets approved by the Congress.

We are in the middle of a housing crisis. It is unthinkable that the Trump administration’s response to the crisis is to raise rent for the poorest families in the country. No one should have to choose between rent and food for their children. These proposals will lead to an increase in homelessness and make it harder for low-income families to achieve financial stability. We are calling the Congress to refuse this proposal and stand up for low-income families.


Who Would Really Benefit from an Amazon HQ2 in DC?

By Nora Charles & Kelly Iradukunda

On the evening of May 22, around 150 people from across D.C., Maryland, and Virginia attended a town hall in Columbia Heights to voice their concerns about the impact that having Amazon headquartered in D.C. would have on our communities. The DMV is a top choice for Amazon’s “HQ2,” or second headquarters. The company, run by Jeff Bezos, has a net worth that is about 50 times the District’s annual budget. Although DC government, as well as the state governments of Maryland and Virginia, have signed non-disclosure agreements that hide what they are offering Amazon to draw it to the area, we do know millions of dollars and public land are being offered up. As Stop Police Terror Project-DC organizer Eugene Puryear said at the town hall, "if the city is hiding it from us, we know it can't be good."

Amazon's plan to build its second headquarters in DC would bring more harm than good to long-time DC residents. We have seen it in the past -- technology-oriented companies bring a rise in the cost of living, resulting in displacement of long-time working class DC residents. Another disconcerting detail is that the incentives that Mayor Bowser is putting on the line to entice Amazon's HQ2 to the District remain unknown to the public. During her second budget engagement forum, a small group of people disrupted her speech with signs that said “ Fund Communities Not Amazon.” They were shouting “Money for Schools!” “Money for Housing!” “What are the incentives Mayor Bowser?” and “Why did you sign a non-disclosure agreement with Amazon?”

Essentially, our D.C. tax dollars will subsidize a company that is already worth $700 billion dollars and pays as little in taxes as it can get away with. The secret deal D.C. is dying to make is doubly scandalous because the District is currently working with a budget that has exacerbated the affordable housing crisis, displacing families and leaving people homeless. The company’s move would only offer high income jobs and not enough of them to cover the costs of increased rent that would come with the move. It is clear that D.C. can not afford to host Amazon and that making the DMV a tech hub will make it even more uninhabitable to low-income residents and those who have been here for generations.

If you are interested in continuing this fight, you are in luck! Organizers have put together a “toolkit” to help residents of the communities that would be affected by this potential move to host house parties to educate their friends and neighbors about the issue and share stories and concerns. Organizers are also hosting a training on June 2nd for people who want to learn direct action tactics.

Click here to take action on Amazon HQ2 or visit #ObviouslyNotDC to learn more


Better Wages. Better Tips. Yes on 77!

One Fair Wage DC is a campaign for better wages and better tips. It calls for employers to pay their workers the full minimum wage PLUS TIPS. The campaign is led by women and people of color who live and work in the District of Columbia as tipped professionals in the restaurant
industry. Ballot initiative 77 will incrementally increase the tipped minimum wage, $1.50 per year, until it reaches $15 per hour in 2025. We believe restaurant professionals deserve professional wages plus tips.

Under the current law, employers can pay tipped workers just $3.33 per hour in DC, as long as tips cover the difference between the regular minimum wage of $12.50 and their lower wage. Contrary to industry claims that most tipped servers earn high incomes, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that the median wage for tipped restaurant workers in Washington, DC was just $11.81 per hour, including tips​, in 2016.

Tipped workers are disproportionately people of color in DC​ and women feel the impact of the tipped minimum wage most acutely - female tipped workers are twice as likely to live in poverty​ as male tipped workers in DC.

History of the two-tiered wage system

Tipping took hold as a practice in the US after Emancipation. Employers demanded the right to hire recently freed slaves and not pay them a wage requiring them to live off tips. The practice grew in the restaurant and railroad industries. Railroad workers came together and formed the first black union: Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters. Restaurant workers never did. Only .001% of restaurant workers in the US are unionized.

The National Restaurant Association (also known as "The Other NRA") is the 10th largest lobbying group in Congress and has historically fought increases in the minimum wage, paid sick time, family leave, fair scheduling legislation, health care, and other worker-friendly
legislation. Today, 70% of tipped workers in the US are women and the majority are people of color. This system that grew out of slavery and racial oppression continues to  disproportionately affect these already-mistreated groups.

We ask residents of DC to vote YES on Initiative 77 on June 19, 2018. Learn more about the One Fair Wage campaign, initiative 77, and get all the facts at www.OneFairWageDC.org​ and sign up to volunteer with the One Fair Wage campaign!  


Get Involved with the Poor People's Campaign!

Mass Meeting in Washington, DC
Sunday, June 3 - 6:00 PM - RSVP

Rally at the US Capitol
Monday, June 4 - 2:00 PM - RSVP
Monday, June 11 - 2:00 PM - RSVP

Truthful Tuesday Teach-Ins

Tuesday, June 5 - 7:30 PM - RSVP
Tuesday, June 12 - 7:30 PM - RSVP
Tuesday, June 19 - 7:30 PM - RSVP

Rally to Fight Poverty Not the Poor
Saturday, June 23 - 10:00 AM - RSVP
In the face of systemic racism, systemic poverty, ecological devastation, war economy/militarism, and distorted moral narrative of religious nationalism— We must engage in mass nonviolent moral direct action. We must have mass voter registration and mobilization. And we must engage in mass power building in poor and low wealth communities declaring We Won't Be Silent Anymore!!!!! Join us as we show our elected leaders we will no longer allow attention violence to keep poor and disenfranchised people down.


Upcoming Events

One Big Home Film Screening
Saturday, June 2 - 3:00 PM
National Gallery of Art - 6th & Constitution Ave NW
Gentrification comes in many forms. On the tiny island of Martha’s Vineyard, where presidents and celebrities vacation, trophy homes threaten to destroy the island’s unique character. Twelve years in the making, One Big Home follows one carpenter’s journey to understand the trend toward giant houses. When he feels complicit in wrecking the place he calls home, he takes off his tool belt and picks up a camera. Bumping up against angry homeowners and builders who look the other way, he works with his community and attempts to pass a new bylaw to limit house size.
Click here for more info

Poor People's Campaign Rally
Monday, June 4 - 2:00 PM
U.S. Capitol Building
Click here for more info


A Bill is Coming! Celebrate the Introduction of a DC Carbon Price Proposal
Tuesday, June 5 - 12:00 PM
John A. Wilson Building - 1350 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Hosted by the Put a Price On it DC Coalition
A bill is coming! We're excited for the upcoming introduction of a carbon fee bill. Join us on Tuesday, June 5th at noon on the front steps of the Wilson Building to mark the unveiling of the carbon price proposal from Councilmember Mary Cheh. We’ll share our thoughts on where her proposal hits the mark, where it falls short, and what comes next on the path to actual bill introduction. We invite everyone to commemorate this huge milestone, made possible by all of YOUR committed advocacy. You’ll hear all about the bill, the movement behind it, and what we need to do to win.
Click here to RSVP


The War on Neighborhoods - Author Talk
Tuesday, June 5 - 6:30 PM to 8:00 PM

The Potter's House - 1658 Columbia Rd NW
Hosted by ONE DC and The Potter's House
Join ONE DC for a talk with authors of The War on Neighborhoods. The book makes the case for a revolutionary reformation of our public-safety model that focuses on shoring up neighborhood institutions and addressing the effects of trauma and poverty. The authors ultimately call for a profound transformation in how we think about investing in urban communities—away from the perverse misinvestment of policing and incarceration and toward a model that invests in human and community development.

Click here to RSVP


Ask Rayceen Comedy Showcase
Wednesday, June 6 - 6:00 to 9:00 PM
HRC - 1640 Rhode Island Ave NW
Hosted by The Ask Rayceen Show
Comedy Showcase with standup comedy, improv, and more. Featuring The Improv Imps, Anthony Oakes, Curt Mariah, and other special guests. Listening Lounge: Live music by Cecily. Burlesque by GiGi Holliday. Guest DJ for the evening: DJ Suspence. Announcer: Anthony Oakes. Host: Rayceen Pendarvis There will also be interviews with special guests, Shameless Plugs, vendors, exhibitors, and more. Free catered food, sponsored by AHF Pharmacy, is available for early arrivals, while supplies last.
Click here to RSVP


Monthly Meeting: DC Grassroots Planning Coalition
Saturday, June 9 - 1:30 to 4:00 PM
Union Temple Baptist Church - 1225 W St SE
Hosted by the DC Grassroots Planning Coalition
JOIN THE MOVEMENT: DC Grassroots Planning Coalition.Over 350 residents from all Wards have joined us over the last year to build a movement against displacement, gentrification and developer greed. Join us to learn about the Comprehensive Plan and get up-to-date on our efforts to strengthen the Plan and hold developers accountable (a mark-up on the Framework of the Comp Plan may be coming up soon!). Learn about the development process and how to engage at your ANC, the Zoning Commission and other places where development decisions are made. Learn how to fight gentrification in your community!
Click here to RSVP


We Demand Justice: Iftar As An Act of Resistance
Tuesday, June 12 - 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Freedom Plaza - 14th St and Pennsylvania Ave NW
Hosted by Justice for Muslims Collective, March for Racial Justice, API Resistance, Collective Action for Safe Spaces, and Empower DC
Join in to demand justice for Muslims who are victims of state repression domestically and abroad. In an environment where the Muslim Ban is still in effect, TPS has been revoked for many communities, and undocumented community members are being deported and murdered, our communities continue to be criminalized and attacked. With an escalation of war at home and abroad, we will highlight the local, national, and global connections. The day will also be used to stand in solidarity with the National Day of Action on June 17th, 2018 to demand the end of the abuse and detainment of Black, African Muslim prisoners at the Krome, Glades and West Texas Detention Centers.
Click here to RSVP


The End of Policing: Discussion with Alex Vitale
Thursday, June 21 - 6:30 PM to 8 PM
The Potter's House - 1658 Columbia Rd NW
Hosted by Stop Police Terror Project DC, Verso Books, and The Potter's House
Come for a night with author, activist, and sociologist Alex Vitale as he discusses his new book The End of Policing. This book attempts to spark public discussion by revealing the tainted origins of modern policing as a tool of social control. It shows how the expansion of police authority is inconsistent with community empowerment, social justice--even public safety. Alex S. Vitale is Professor of Sociology and coordinator of the Policing and Social Justice Project at Brooklyn College. He has spent the last 25 years writing about policing and consults both police departments and human rights organizations internationally.
Click here to RSVP


Prison Letter Writing Potluck
Friday, June 22 - 6:00 PM to 900 PM
Secret Garden/Check It Enterprises - 1920 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave SE
Hosted by Stop Police Terror Project DC and Black Lives Matter DC
Join Stop Police Terror Project-DC for our 2nd Prison Letter Writing and Potluck! The evening will be a time to be in community with one another while we write letters to our incarcerated neighbors. Materials will be provided, but you are welcome to bring your own (no stickers, crayons, or glitter --white envelopes only). Names of incarcerated individuals will be provided, along with a set of instructions to help guide your letter writing. Guest speaker will be Debra Rowe, Executive Director of Returning Citizens United.
Click here to RSVP


ONE Bit of Good News - ONE DC featured in the media

Creating the Commons
by Dominic Moulden and Amanda Huron, Shelterforce

At the Anacostia Community Museum, a History of Neighborhood Organizing and Activism
by Allison Keyes, Washington City Paper

A New Show About Neighborhoods Facing Gentrification Offers a Cautionary Tale
by Allison Keyes, Smithsonian.com


You can find past 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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Juneteenth in DC 2018


ONE DC and Juneteenth on Georgia are excited to announce our Juneteenth in DC 2018 events celebrating Black liberation and justice! Juneteenth is an annual celebration to commemorate the emancipation of enslaved Black people in Texas on June 19, 1865. This is a time for us to reflect on our collective history of fighting for emancipation and equity, to celebrate and be joyful about our triumphs, and to recommit with passion and discipline to the current struggle for liberation.

Events

  • Saturday, June 16th - Juneteenth Jubilee Festivals featuring live music, speakers, local artists & vendors, live art, & more!
  • Sunday, June 17th - Faith & Liberation with faith-based institutions commemorating Juneteenth through sermons, evenings of prayer & community conversations throughout the week
  • Monday, June 18th - Buy Black Day highlighting local Black-owned businesses to shop at & Black-led organizations to support
  • Monday, June 18th - Black Workers & Wellness Center Open House - learn more about the programs & projects at the BWC to build racial & economic justice through popular education, promotion of sustainable employment, & the incubation of economic alternatives.
  • Tuesday, June 19th - Juneteenth Community Learning event featuring history of Juneteenth talk with historian C.R. Gibbs & conversations on community safety, reparations, and current state of the fight for liberation in DC. Co-sponsored with Stop Police Terror Project-DC, SURJ-DC, & DC Foodways.

Visit juneteenthdc.org for more info on events and to RSVP!
If you have a Juneteenth event you would like us to highlight, email juneteenth@onedconline.org

Sponsorships

We are currently looking for sponsors! By becoming a sponsor, you not only guarantee the success of Juneteenth in DC 2018 and future Juneteenth events, but you bring the ONE DC Black Workers & Wellness Center closer to our goal of transforming our newly purchased building into a state-of-the-art member-led community & wellness space. Click here to donate as a sponsor or send a check to ONE DC, PO Box 26049, Washington, DC 20001. Sponsorship gratitude packages include commemorative Juneteenth posters and t-shirts, books authored by ONE DC members & supporters, and special perks at our Juneteenth events.

Vendors & Partners

We invite community partners, grassroots organizations, local businesses, artists & craftspeople, food vendors, and others to join us on Saturday, June 16th for our all-day Juneteenth Jubilee Festivals taking place in Anacostia and Bruce Monroe Park (outdoor locations). Vendors will be able to table, do outreach to hundreds of local community members, and sell items.

Click here for more information and to sign up as a vendor or tabling partner.

Volunteer

We are looking for volunteers to help with fundraising, outreach, communications, vendor/partner coordination, and general logistics and planning. We will also need volunteers the day of the events. Click here to sign up to volunteer.

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ONE DC Monthly Voice - April 2018


"If you are to free yourselves you must break the chains of oppression yourselves. Only then can we express our dignity, only when we have liberated ourselves can we co-operate with other groups. Any acceptance of humiliation, indignity or insult is acceptance of inferiority."
-Winnie Madikizela-Mandela (1976)

"We, as a people, came to have land that were fought for by our ancestors." 
-Francia Marquez (2018)


Celebrating the Commons - Emancipation Day 2018

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Drummers from MOMIE's TLC introduced the program

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Native Washingtonians participate in ritual burning of the settlement sheet

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ONE DC members pose outside the building after the banner drop!

Click here to view more photos from the event

Black Workers & Wellness Center Updates
In recent weeks, the BWC has begun to take shape for its meeting and training functions this summer. On a shoestring budget and with volunteer help, some basic improvements and planning are underway:

  • Interior walls have been repaired and waterproofing done to stabilize the building
  • One main floor wall was demolished to begin the opening up of the floor plan for larger meeting use
  • Interior mold has been eliminated, and all carpeting removed (by fantastic volunteers) to move toward having an allergen-free environment, with our dumpster subsidized by Capital Construction Group
  • Exciting first steps taken with our architects at Emotive Architecture: we have measured building plans for the first time and held our first community space planning discussion with our two architects, and expect their initial report soon
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Click here to donate to the renovation fundraising campaign!


"They don't even treat dogs this badly"

By Dominic Moulden
"They don't even treat dogs this badly." This is the statement Congress Heights resident and leader Robert Green made when the tenants, the Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless, the Washington Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs and ONE DC discussed Congress Heights tenants' struggle at the UDC Housing Law conference several years ago.

I traveled all the way to East London only to hear the same story from Beverly Robinson, a Maroon Jamaician immigrant housing leader and organizer who is the ONLY person living in a 172-unit Aylesbury Estates Council Housing apartment located on the scenic 8th floor with spectacular views that the monied class scheduled for demolition. Beverly actually owns her unit but the Council Estates Board voted to sell the entire Aylesbury Estates development, which has displaced thousands of families.

Beverly showing contaminated water from her unit
View from the 8th floor showing the ongoing demolition

Five decades after Fair Housing Act, segregation continues

By Wade Henderson & Gregory D. Squires - originally published April 12, 2018 in The Baltimore Sun

Many Americans undoubtedly recognize Norman Rockwell’s 1967 painting, “New Kids in the Neighborhood.” It shows three white and two black children checking each other out as movers unload the black family’s possessions into their new suburban home. The kids’ faces reflect curiosity, along with a sense of optimism about the future of race relations. Yet lurking behind the drapes of the house next door is the concerned face of a man who does not appear to appreciate the changes taking place in his suburban neighborhood. But change was indeed coming.

A year later on April 11 — after Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. had been assassinated — President Lyndon Johnson signed the federal Fair Housing Act of 1968 into law, prohibiting discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin and religion.

Over the past 50 years, hundreds of thousands of complaints and lawsuits have been filed to enforce the Fair Housing Act. The federal Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the Department of Justice and private plaintiffs have used the Fair Housing Act to nullify restrictive covenants based on race and religion, confront discriminatory refusals by lenders and insurers, challenge racial steering by real estate professionals, put an end to predatory lending practices, address the discriminatory neglect of foreclosed properties in communities of color and more. After being broadened in the 1970s and 1980s — to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex, family status and disability — the law has been invoked to protect the housing rights of women who have been subjected to sexual harassment and domestic violence, to challenge “adults only” housing restrictions, and to ensure the production of millions of units of accessible housing for people with disabilities.

Click here to continue reading on baltimoresun.com


Elections for the People

By Ericka Taylor, DC Fair Elections Coalition
After a multi-year campaign, on March 13, 2018, the Fair Elections Act of 2017, designed to empower small donors and democratize the city’s electoral system, officially became law. The legislation establishes a voluntary public-financing system that will match small donations, allowing candidates to focus on meeting with their constituents instead of having to dial for dollars from developers, wealthy donors, and big corporations. Thanks to a 5:1 matching system, someone who can only afford to give $25 is making, with the match, a $150 donation. This means that working families and people of color will not only be better able to participate in the political system as donors, but they’ll face fewer financial barriers to running for office.


With the passage of fair elections, we can begin correcting the current imbalance among DC donors, who are in no way representative of the city’s population. Historically, these donors have been wealthier, whiter, and more male than the city as a whole, which gives candidates a skewed view of local priorities. The fact that only a quarter of the city’s adults make more than $100,000 a year, but 61% of mayoral donors and 59% of council donors do, indicates a problem with our democracy. The fact that 62% of mayoral donors and 67% of council donors are white, but white people only make up 37% of the population, shows that we’re not reaching our democratic ideals. Fair elections, which candidates can begin using in 2020, should upend those statistics.

Although the mayor signed the legislation after the council approved it with a unanimous vote, the path to victory was far from short and easy. An earlier effort failed several years ago, and the Fair Elections Coalition began working on the campaign in 2015, when passage was far from a certainty. Furthermore, the mayor publicly articulated disinterest in signing the legislation multiple times. The diligent work of coalition members to show grassroots support made a significant difference.

In addition to ONE DC, DC for Democracy, Fair Budget Coalition, DC Working Families, Demos, DC Sierra Club, Public Citizen, and US PIRG, dozens of other organizations pitched in, helping gather over 5,000 petitions from residents in every ward. Coalition members also delivered to the mayor a letter of support signed by more than 80 community leaders across the city. With the mayor including the initial funding for the law in the city’s next budget, the city is well on its way to right-sizing our democracy. You can find more about the legislation and how it works here.


Workers of the World and Oppressed Peoples, Unite! May Day 2018

Click here to RSVP


Make Your Voice Heard! Upcoming Candidate Forums

2018 TENAC (D.C. Tenants' Advocacy Coalition) Candidates Forum
Wednesday, May 2 - 6:45 to 9:00 PM
Sumner School - 1201 17th Street NW
We Fight for Affordable Housing, Tenants' Rights and Rent Control

Sanctuary DC 2018 Candidate Forum
Saturday, May 5 - 1:00 to 4:00 PM
All Souls Church - 1500 Harvard Street NW
Join us for an interactive conversation with candidates running for DC Mayor and City Council to discuss issues affecting our immigrant communities. Volunteer Opportunity! MLOV is looking for volunteers to help out with stage set-up, escorts, bilingual volunteers for sign-in & tabling, candidate greeters, food set-up, & clean-up. For more info, click here and to sign up click here.
Click here to RSVP

Returning Citizens Candidate Forum
Saturday, May 5 - 9:00 to 10:30 AM
Randall Memorial United Methodist Church - 1002 46th St NE
Sponsored by: American Civil Liberties Union of DC, Criminal Justice and Mercy Ministries, Baltimore-Washington Conference United Methodist Church Family and Friends of Incarcerated People, Interfaith Action for Human Rights, Justice First, Living Faith Baptist Church, National Association for the Advancement of Returning Citizens, ReThink Justice DC, Returning Citizens United, and The Wire.
All candidates have been invited and will discuss: Support for returning citizens; incarceration to Incorporation Entrepreneurship Program; The Reentry Portal; Voter registration; The Mayor’s Office of Returning Citizens Affairs; Current operations of the DC Department of Corrections; Plans for a new jail; NEAR Act; Parole Commission.

I Rent, I Vote: Tenant Town Hall and Candidate Forum
Saturday, May 12 - 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM
All Souls Church Unitarian - 1500 Harvard St NW
Co-hosted by Fair Budget Coalition, Latino Economic Development Center, Bread for the City & CNHED
The primary election is coming up on Tuesday, June 19. Be an informed voter find out where the council candidates stand on tenants' rights and affordable housing. Come hear from the candidates yourself! Confirmed Candidates: Council Chair: Ed Lazere for DC Council Chair, Phil Mendelson. At-large: Jeremiah Lowery, Anita Bonds, Marcus Goodwin For DC Council At-Large Democrat. Ward 1: Brianne Nadeau, Kent Boese, Lori Parker, Sheika Reid
Click here to RSVP


Students and Teachers join Climate Advocates to Rally for Strong, Progressive Carbon Rebate Policy

Dozens of students, teachers, and climate and justice advocates joined together for a rally on April 13 to urge the D.C. Council to introduce a strong, progressive carbon fee-and-rebate policy soon. On the steps of the Wilson Building, middle school students and teachers stood alongside members of the “Put A Price On It, D.C.” coalition — which consists of 70 local organizations and businesses — to speak out in favor of the proposed policy.

About 30 students and about 50 additional D.C. residents rallied together, surrounded by giant clocks and signs noting that “the time is now” for strong climate action. Four seventh-graders from the Washington Latin Great Debaters Policy debate team and local community activists gave inspiring speeches calling on D.C. lawmakers to introduce and pass a policy to put a fee on fossil fuel pollution and rebate a large share of the revenue to D.C. residents. Students speaking out in favor of the carbon price today represented middle schools and universities across the District.

Watch Facebook Live video here


Upcoming Events

Blue Cliff Monastery's Annual PoC Retreat
Wednesday, May 2 - Sunday, May 6
Co-hosted by BCM Monastics and Baltimore & Beyond Mindfulness Community
This retreat is open to anyone who self-identifies as a Person of Color, whether new or more experienced in the practice of mindfulness and meditation. During this retreat, we will focus on cultivating compassion as well as resilience by the mindfulness practices of walking/eating/sitting meditation, connecting with our ancestors, learning the skills of deep listening and loving speech, and allowing ourselves the chance to deeply rest. Vegan meals will be offered as part of the retreat. Two retreat options are available: Five Day-May 2-6 or Weekend-May 4-6.
Click here for more info & to register

Impact Now! Economic Equity: Addressing the Growing Wealth Divide
Thursday May 3 - 6:00 PM to 8:30 PM
Silver Spring Civic Building, 1 Veterans Plaza, Silver Spring, MD
Hosted by IMPACT Silver Spring
Across the nation, worker cooperatives are gaining recognition as a promising tool for generating income and building capital in communities of color―and thus an important strategy for addressing racial disparities in income and wealth. Local government support for worker ownership is rapidly expanding in cities across the country. At this year’s IMPACT Now!, we will explore some of the root causes of economic inequality and discuss worker ownership as a promising economic model for addressing the growing wealth gap in Montgomery County. Following keynote remarks from our featured speaker, Marjorie Kelly, we will hear from several local cooperatives.
Click here to RSVP

There is a Field: Solidarity through Art
Thursday, May 3 - 7:30 PM to 10:00 PM
Georgetown University - 3700 O St NW, Intercultural Center, Room 103
Co-hosted by Georgetown Students for Justice in Palestine, Jewish Voice for Peace & Georgetown Black Student Alliance
This co-hosted production aims to inspire Black solidarity with Palestine through theater.  “There Is A Field,” written by Jen Marlowe, tells the story of a 17-year old Palestinian boy (and a friend of Jen’s), Aseel Asleh, who was killed by Israeli police. Through Nardeen’s struggle to cope with the murder of her brother, the play offers an intimate view into the daily racism and violence faced by Palestinian citizens of Israel, and contributes to the vital conversation around the systematic devaluation of Black and Brown lives in the United States. With the solidarities and political convictions the play inspires, we’ll plug people in to social justice campaigns in DC to put an end to the injustices the play exposes.
Click here to RSVP

Louder Than a Bomb - DMV Finals
Sunday, May 6 - 5:00 to 7:00 PM
The Kennedy Center Family Theater - 2700 F St NW
Hosted by Split This Rock
As one of the premier youth spoken word festivals in the nation, Louder Than a Bomb – DMV (LTAB-DMV) is a team-centered poetry festival that purposefully assembles students together across lines of race, religion, ethnicity, gender, geography, sexuality, socio-economic status, and political ideology to listen to, to learn from, and to bond with one another. Split This Rock hosts this regional version of Young Chicago Authors’ nationally celebrated festival each year. The event is designed to offer youth safe space to tell their stories, build community across lines of difference, and speak out on social issues. Youth participate in open mics, workshops, and a tournament of slam competitions crowning one school’s team as champion.
Click here to RSVP

Chocolate City Author Book Talk with ONE DC
Friday, May 11 - 11:30 to 1:00 PM
Petworth Library - 4200 Kansas Ave NW
Monumental in scope and vividly detailed, Chocolate City tells the tumultuous, four-century story of race and democracy in our nation's capital. Emblematic of the ongoing tensions between America's expansive democratic promises and its enduring racial realities, Washington often has served as a national battleground for contentious issues, including slavery, segregation, civil rights, the drug war, and gentrification. But D.C. is more than just a seat of government, and authors Chris Myers Asch and George Derek Musgrove also highlight the city's rich history of local activism as Washingtonians of all races have struggled to make their voices heard in an undemocratic city where residents lack full political rights.
Click here to RSVP

Nonviolent Moral Fusion Direct Action at the Capitol
Monday, May 14 - 2:00 to 5:00 PM
US Capitol Building - First St & Maryland Ave NE
Hosted by Poor People's Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival
A season of nonviolent moral fusion direct action to transform the nation’s political, economic, and moral structures begins May 14 in the US Capitol. Join us as we show our elected leaders we will no longer allow attention violence to keep poor and disenfranchised people down.
Click here to RSVP

ONE DC Walking Tour
Tuesday, May 15 - 5:45 to 7:45 PM
Meet at ONE DC Office - 614 S St NW
Hosted by ONE DC
Long-time DC residents and organizers with ONE DC will show you the physical side of gentrification in the Shaw neighborhood and discuss its effects on the community, along with stories of how ONE DC organizes with residents to stand up for community-led, equitable development. Participants will have the opportunity to raise and discuss questions together, as well as tie learned experience to the Shaw story and context. Suggested sliding scale donation: $10 to $25.
Click here to RSVP

NDCC 2018 National Conference--Developing Conscious Momentum in Under-Invested Communities
Wednesday, May 30 - Friday, June 1
Temple Oheb Shalom - 7310 Park Heights Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21208
Hosted By Network for Developing Conscious Communities (NDCC)
This conference was created in a spirit of connectivity to bring together communities and those who are interested in equitable community development, culture, health, justice, economic development and other topics.  Presenters include community development practitioners, business leaders, academics, spiritual thought leaders, and others committed to the success of Black and dis-invested communities.
Click here for more info & to register


ONE Bit of Good News - ONE DC featured in "Right to the City" Exhibit at Anacostia Community Museum

By Angie Whitehurst

A Right to the City is a timely exhibition and comes at a pivotal moment for the nation's capital as our neighborhoods experience rapid and profound transformations. Developed under the direction of chief curator Dr. Samir Meghelli, the exhibition highlights the stories of six Washington neighborhoods and the unsung heroes that have shaped them. Using our renowned community documentation methods including recording nearly two hundred new oral histories and cutting-edge museum design, this exhibition transports visitors into moments that made our city's history. A Right to the City gives us an opportunity to reflect upon the evolution of our beloved D.C. and leaves us with important questions about its future. -from Anacostia Community Museum

On Friday, April 20, the Anacostia Community Museum held the opening night of the Right to the City exhibit. The exhibit is awesome because it shows the grassroots, as we the real people, and not just the symbolically famous. Topper Carew's photographs realistically captures the soulful emotions of everyday life, the painful struggles, the unity of standing together under duress, the joy of simple pleasures of just being together, and the inequity of urban designated zip codes called poverty, homelessness, and ethnically contained "ghettos." This is a silent theme left for the visitor to see, hear, and feel throughout the sensitively, beautifully designed exhibit.


My favorite exhibit is the wall with nostalgic flyers and poster from the years before the now 21st Century. It was a walk through memory lane. Flyers from ONE DC events and campaigns mixed with community event and campaign flyers of the late Marion Barry, Hilda Mason, Josephine Butler, and many others. ONE DC's Dominic Moulden is featured in a video speaking on organizing in the Shaw neighborhood. We will be planning a special ONE DC member visit to the exhibit. Stay tuned for more details!


 

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ONE DC Monthly Voice - March 2018



"All of us, I am certain, are united by more important things than those which superficially divide us. We are united, for instance, by a common detestation of colonialism in whatever form it appears. We are united by a common detestation of racialism. And we are united by a common determination to preserve and stabilise peace in the world."
-President Sukarno (1901-1970, Indonesia)


International Conversations: The Global Housing Crisis

by Joe Hoover, ONE DC (International) Member & author, Reconstructing Human Rights
This is Part 1 in a series about Resource Organizer Dominic Moulden's visit to London in March 2018

For a number of years I have been trying to bring Dominic to London. This year I was finally able to do it. In March, Dominic visited London to do some teaching with me at Queen Mary University of London where I work. Our original plan was for Dominic to speak with students in two of my classes about his experience as a community organiser and the work of ONE DC, and to be part of a public lecture on justice in the global city. Even the most carefully arranged plans go awry, however, as Dominic’s visit coincided with the largest-ever strike of University faculty in the United Kingdom, which meant that there would be no classes to teach or lectures to attend while the strike was on. While I was briefly worried that the trip would be a bust, it turned out there were plenty of opportunities for learning, teaching, and making connections.

With classes cancelled and the picket-line assembled across the entrance to the university, Dominic and I met up with Glyn Robbins (another international ONE DC member) and some of my students at the Boundary Estate in East London. Glyn was guiding us on a walking tour of the history of council housing in London (what is called public housing the US). The tour was a “teach out” activity organised as part of the strike, providing students a chance to learn about social housing in London, and meet Dominic and Glyn outside of the classroom. Glyn is a great guide and the tour prompted a number of conversations about the global housing crisis, gentrification, inequality in our cities, and what we might do to create better and more just cities.

Glyn Robbins leading the tour in foreground. Joe Hoover in background against the wall

The following day, with the strike still on, we organised another “teach out” - moving the planned lecture from Queen Mary’s campus to the Ocean Tenants and Residents Association Hall across the street. The discussion we had was about the many injustices that we find in contemporary cities, with the lack of affordable and decent housing a key issue - which was fitting given that the event was hosted on one of London’s largest social housing estates. The speakers included Dominic, Glyn, and Dr. Adam Elliot-Cooper, of Kings College London. And while the audience was small due to the strike and last-minute change of venue, a lively and informative discussion followed.


An unexpected benefit of the strike was that there was more time for conversations than there would normally be, when we are usually rushing through the day’s many tasks. I know Dominic was able to meet with a number of scholars, activists, and communities as part of his visit, while also seeing many diverse parts of London. As just one example, near the end of his time in London, Dominic joined me on protest march organised by the National Union of Students and the University and College Union in opposition to the marketisation of higher education. Marching through central London, we met a colleague who was starting work on a project on the relationship between art and gentrification and for several blocks had a great conversation, which resulted in Dominic making a new and wholly unexpected connection. After the march, Dominic and I went to Brixton to visit the Black Cultural Archives, which is the UK’s only national heritage centre dedicated to preserving and celebrating the history of African and Caribbean people in Britain. Along the way we were able to trace the changing fortunes of Brixton through the redevelopment of the many market streets in the area.

Even as things did not go as planned on Dominic’s visit to London, I think the visit was a great success. And there is even more reason to ensure he comes back to London again.


Hands Off Action in Greenbrier, West Virginia

ONE DC members Kelly Iradukunda, Jourgette Reid-Sillah, and Angie Whitehurst trekked with SPACEs DC to White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, in January for a nonviolent protest march at the renowned historic Greenbriar resort, which was hosting President Trump and Republican leadership. Individuals and representatives from organizations across the country participated. In unison, we marched for minimum wage increases and against healthcare cuts to Medicaid, Medicare, SNAPC, WIC and other human service budget cuts. Everyone was in strong vocal support for DREAMers and immigrant rights.

Thanks to LaDon Love and Julian Blair from SPACEs, (Safe Places for the Advancement of Community and Equity) for asking us to participate.


Todos Somos Venezuela! We Are All Venezuela!

From March 5 to March 7, 2018, 245 international delegates from across five continents gathered in Caracas, Venezuela for the Todos Somos Venezuela (We Are All Venezuela) Forum. ONE DC attended, represented by Claire Cook, Administrative Organizer. Below is the text of the Caracas Declaration that was adopted at the convening to express solidarity with the Venezuelan people.


We, citizens from distinct countries, social movements and organisations, political parties, women, youths, workers, creators and intellectuals, peasants, and religious leaders, gathered here in Caracas on the 5, 6 and 7th March 2018, reaffirm our solidarity and militant support of the Venezuelan people, the Bolivarian Revolution and its popular government, which is headed by Nicolas Maduro Moros.

We energetically reject the grave escalation of aggressions against Venezuela’s democracy and sovereignty by the war-like government of Donald Trump, global corporate powers, and the American imperialist military-industrial apparatus, which looks to overthrow the legitimate government of Venezuela, destroy the project of Bolivarian democracy and expropriate the natural resources of the Venezuelan nation.

We denounce that this operation against Venezuela forms part of a global strategy of neo-colonialization in Latin America and the Caribbean which seeks to impose a new era of servitude and looting through the resurrection of the shameful Monroe Doctrine, a plan which has already begun in numerous countries across the continent.

We reject the threat of Donald Trump of a potential military intervention in Venezuela and we alert that such declarations by him are not mere charlatanism. The military option against the Bolivarian Revolution forms part of the strategic and geopolitical doctrine of the US for the 21st Century. The world must know that a military aggression against Venezuela would provoke a crisis in the region of historic dimensions and uncountable and unpredictable human, economic, and ecological impact.

We warn imperialism and their elites lackeys that play this game: the peoples of Latin America, the Caribbean and the world will never allow that Venezuela be touched by the ambitions of the American military boot! If, in their crazy obsession, the hawks of Washington dare attack Venezuela, the homeland of Simon Bolívar, as it was more than 200 years ago, will again be the tomb of an empire.

We denounce the blatant pressure of US imperialism on the region’s governments to involve them in political, diplomatic, and even military operations against the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. With these actions, they seek to destroy regional integration and bring about the de-facto abolition of the principle of the founding charter of the Community of Latin America and Caribbean States which declares the region as a zone of peace.

We reject the shameful and historical opposed attitude of governments in the region that have caved in to Washington’s politics through the creation of illegal and spurious organisms such as the so-called Group of Lima. The shameful regional elites who today lead the plundering of their peoples, hand over their sovereignty to the transnational corporations, and increase poverty, inequality and violate human rights, lack any moral and political authority to question Venezuelan democracy.

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Since 2009, Venezuela has built over 2 million homes to house working class people

We reject the unilateral and illegal sanctions of the US Government and the European Union against the Venezuelan people, which seek to destroy its economy and break their democratic will. Blockades and sanctions are crimes against humanity carried out by the international capitalist system, and are severely hurting the Venezuelan people by sabotaging their productive, commercial and financial processes, preventing access to food, medicines and essential goods.

We reject the perverse U.S. sabotage of the process of dialogue developed in the Dominican Republic and reiterate that only the absolute respect for the sovereignty of Venezuela, non-interference in their internal affairs, sincere dialogue and electoral processes based on Venezuelan legislation can define the path to recover the political coexistence between Venezuelans.

In this regards, we welcome the call for presidential, regional legislators and councilor elections for May 20, a result of a political agreement with a sector of the Venezuelan opposition. In these absolutely constitutional and legitimate elections, the Venezuelan people in a transparent and sovereign way will decide the course of their homeland.

We alert the peoples of the world to the counterproductive intentions of international governments and organizations that are directly involved in the war against Venezuela to not recognize the results of the elections on May 20, and accelerate attacks after what – no doubt – will be a real democratic expression of the Venezuelan people.

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Making new connections: Booker Ngesa of the Social Democratic Party of Kenya (SDP) receives a BWC tee

We welcome and support the declaration of the presidential summit of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of our America ALBA-TCP that categorically rejects the exclusion of Venezuela from the next Summit of the Americas, to be held in the city of Lima, Peru. Similarly, we support all diplomatic and political actions that governments, countries and peoples take to defend plurality and political diversity in the continent and to safeguard the sovereignty and self-determination of peoples.

We recognize the heroic resistance of the people of Venezuela when confronted by the ravages of economic aggression, the financial blockade and all the forms of sabotage that Venezuela is suffering from, and support the economic, financial, political and diplomatic strategy that the Bolivarian Government and President Nicolas Maduro are carrying out to overcome the problems and construct the humanist model of Bolivarian socialism.

We are committed to continue the battle for the truth, peace and the sovereignty of Venezuela, to expand the ties of friendship, solidarity and revolutionary commitment to the Venezuelan people. The peoples of the world, the consciousness of all those who struggle for the just cause of mankind, accompanies at this time and always the Bolivarian revolution, its leadership and its people.

We are convinced that Venezuela will be able to – through dialogue, respect for the Constitution, and the indefatigable democratic will of his people – overcome the problems that besets it, and that the Bolivarian revolution will remain a beacon of hope for the peoples of the world who search for a worthy and just destination for humanity.

In commemoration of the fifth anniversary of the physical passing of Commander Hugo Chávez, historical leader of the Venezuelan people, from Caracas we say to the world: Venezuela is not alone, we are all with her!

We are all Venezuela!
We will win!
Caracas, March 7 2018


People's Platform Updates

March People's Platform - Cooperation DC


At our March People's Platform event, we focused on principle #2, decent, dignified, and sustainable work or occupation for anyone who wants it, by highlighting our Cooperation DC work. Cooperation DC is a project of ONE DC. Our mission is to expand dignified employment opportunities in low-income communities of color through the development of worker cooperatives, businesses owned and managed democratically by their employees.

Participants engaged in a community learning exercise to explore democratic decision-making practices within worker cooperatives. The exercise was followed by a panel featuring Ines Chavez from Co-Familia, a worker-owned childcare cooperative located in NW DC and Felipe Barroso, a ONE DC member who works at the Democracy Collaborative.

How can you support the Co-Familia Childcare Cooperative?

1. Scouting for potential childcare business locations in the NW area
2. Provide childcare for the worker-owners at their meetings
3. Public speaking training for the worker-owners
For more info and to offer your support, please contact Silvia Salazar at silv24@gmail.com.

April People's Platform - Where's the Bill? Climate Day of Action!
Friday, April 13 - 12:30 to 3:00 PM
John A. Wilson Building - 1350 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Suite 506
Hosted by the Put a Price On It DC Coalition

Calling all students, professors, and D.C. residents who care about the future of our city! We’re bringing EVERYONE together to descend on the D.C. Council Building just before Earth Week to urge our Councilmembers to support and pass a carbon fee-and-rebate policy. On April 13, we’ll kick off an action-packed day with a rally at 1:00 pm outside the Wilson Building led by students and professors from across D.C. Then at 2:00 pm we’ll head inside to lobby for the proposed carbon rebate bill. We'll meet our legislators face to face to showcase the students urging the D.C. Council to protect their futures. Everyone who cares about the future of the city is invited to join and support the students as we work together to pass a carbon fee-and-rebate this year. We need your help to ensure we have a great turn out! It's time to rally together and show the Council that the time is NOW to introduce a carbon fee-and-rebate bill, for our climate and our future. Wear yellow!
Click here to RSVP


Divest DC from Wells Fargo, Reinvest in Our Communities

D.C. ReInvest is a diverse coalition of DC-based grassroots groups working to divest taxpayer funds from Wells Fargo, and reinvest in our communities. We are answering the call of local indigenous leaders and local organizers to ensure DC's resources are used to promote racial and economic justice, not perpetuate historical inequities. We urge the passage of “Sense of the Council Urging Reassessment of the Relationship with Wells Fargo Resolution of 2017,” as well as the “Strengthening Community Development Amendment Act of 2017.”

In recent years, Wells Fargo has discriminated against communities of color, illegally opened unauthorized accounts and insurance policies, invested in destructive pipelines such as the Dakota Access and Potomac Pipeline, and supported the private prison industry. Wells Fargo’s record is disgraceful, and though other major financial institutions are flawed, Wells Fargo stands out amongst its peers for its discriminatory and shameful practices. D.C. Council should immediately take all steps necessary to begin divesting from Wells Fargo and expand partnerships with local banks and other qualified financial institutions. Meanwhile, D.C. should expeditiously pursue solutions such as a public bank and stronger requirements for banks to adhere to socially and environmentally responsible practices.

We've gathered nearly 1,000 petitions, have more than a dozen organizations signed on in support, and have built support from a broad array of Councilmembers for divestment from Wells Fargo. Find out how you can get involved below!

DC Reinvest Lobby Training
Tuesday, April 3 - 6:00 to 8:00 PM
1730 M St NW, Suite 1115
Do you want to join us to lobby the Council to divest from Wells Fargo, which has a long and shameful history of racially discriminatory lending, ripping off customers, and investing in fossil fuel pipelines and for-profit prisons? Join us on Tuesday, April 3rd to learn more about the ins and outs of how to advocate to your Councilmember, as well as the campaign to divest DC from Wells Fargo and reinvest in our community.
Click here to RSVP

DC Reinvest Lobby Day
Monday, April 9 - 2:00 to 5:00 PM
John A. Wilson Building - 1350 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Join us for meetings with Council Member staff to encourage DC to cut ties with Wells Fargo!
Click here to RSVP

Pack the Room and Rally to Divest DC from Wells Fargo!
Wednesday, April 18 - 8:30 to 11:30 AM
John A. Wilson Building - 1350 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Show up to pack the room at the DC Council’s CFO Oversight Hearing. On April 18th, the DC Chief Financial Officer will be called to testify before the Finance Committee on the work they’ve done over the past year, including around the feasibility of a #BankExit. We will first rally outside the Wilson Building to hear from community leaders on why they support divestment, and why they fight for the city to invest in its own community. Then, we’ll head inside to pack the room and each testify demanding the CFO and Council support the Wells Fargo divestment resolution! Help us pack the room, gather a crowd outside, and convince our elected officials that divesting from Wells Fargo and reinvesting in our communities is the right move for DC!
Click here to RSVP


Upcoming Events

Women's Liberation: The Roots of Oppression, International Solidarity, and the Ongoing Struggle
Saturday, March 31 - 4:00 PM
Justice Center - 617 Florida Ave NW
Hosted by the Party for Socialism & Liberation

Join the PSL for a series of short talks on women's liberation, including the root of women's oppression in class society, women in revolution around the world, and the women's liberation struggle today. We will also have a community networking hour, featuring local thrift fashion vendor Skeletons in my Closet.
Click here to RSVP

Carving Out the Commons - Book Launch with Author Amanda Huron
Wednesday, April 4 - 4:00 to 5:00 PM
Katzen Arts Center at American University - 4400 Massachusetts Ave NW
Hosted by American University Metropolitan Policy Center
The Metropolitan Policy Center is pleased to host Amanda Huron as she leads a discussion on her book Carving Out the Commons: Tenant Organizing & Housing Cooperatives in Washington, D.C. Professor Huron is an assistant professor of interdisciplinary social sciences at the University of the District of Columbia, where her research focuses on housing, gentrification, the decommodification of land, and the history of Washington, D.C. In Carving out the Commons: Tenant Organizing and Housing Cooperatives in Washington, D.C., she theorizes the urban commons through examining the experiences of limited-equity co-ops in the fast-gentrifying city of Washington, D.C.
Click here to RSVP

Visions Through Art, Action & Alchemy
Thursday, April 5 - 6:00 to 8:00 PM
The Potter's House - 1658 Columbia Rd NW
Co-hosted by Braxton Institute Dialogues on Resisting and Thriving
In this dynamic, participatory conversation, we’ll deeply explore the ways in which creatives are expressing their politics and creating collective healing through the vehicles of art, media, and ritual. We’ll examine the rich history of art activism, resistance, and survival, in communities of color, and how these legacies are shaped in the heightened time of 2018. This conversation, the fourth in a series of Braxton Institute Dialogues on Resisting and Thriving, will be led by three artists: Nicole Oxendine (RiverShe Collective Arts), J. Valoris (the xigga.Projeck) and Richael Faithful (folk healing artist).
Click here to RSVP

Secular Social Justice Conference 2018
Saturday, April 7 - 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM
All Souls Church - 1500 Harvard St NW
Hosted by the American Humanist Association
The Secular Social Justice Conference was developed to emphasize the connection between secular humanist values and social justice activism. This conference is a platform for activists of color to lead workshops and discussions that address the ravaging effects of systemic racism, sexism, heterosexism, transantagonism, and white supremacy.
Click here to register

Stand with Workers Town Hall
Tuesday, April 10 - 6:30 to 8:00 PM
Westminster Presbyterian Church - 400 I St SW
Hosted by DC Jobs with Justice
Across DC, luxury apartments are going up, the restaurant industry is booming, and new stores are opening. And yet, many of the workers in those industries and others are still not paid what they are owed. Wage theft – including not getting overtime, sick days, the DC minimum wage, working off the clock, and misclassification – are still too common in some of DC’s hottest industries. It’s time for DC government to do more.
Click here to RSVP

Pack the Hearing! {Wear RED!} Justice for Terrence!
Wednesday, April 11 - 7:00 AM Rally // 9:00 AM Hearing
MPD Building - 801 Shepherd St NW
MPD's internal Use of Force Review Board recommended termination for Brian Trainer in December based on its investigation into Trainer's killing of Terrence Sterling. This hearing is Trainer's opportunity to dispute that recommendation, and the hearing tribunal could potentially issue a lesser penalty for Trainer than termination. Community members are being asked to show up and wear red to indicate that they support Trainer being taken off of the force, out of the city's streets, and off of the city's payroll. Let’s make sure that Terrence’s murderer and MPD know that we are there for JUSTICE.
Click here to RSVP

In the Spirit of Dr. King—Fight the War Machine!

Saturday, April 14 - 12:00 to 5:00 PM
Gather at the White House for a Rally and March
Followed by a teach-in at George Washington University
Initial sponsors (list in formation): ANSWER Coalition; Justice First; Family and Friends of Incarcerated People; CODEPINK; Popular Resistance; Partnership for Civil Justice Fund; Imam Mahdi Bray, National Director of the American Muslim Alliance; Stop Police Terror Project DC; Virginia Defenders for Freedom, Justice & Equality; Internationalist Students Front at George Washington University; Returning Citizens United, ONE DC
Join us on Saturday, April 14 for a rally, march and teach-in against war, militarism and empire. These actions are timed to coincide with the anti-war Spring Actions 2018.
Click here to RSVP

NJNP Pride Season 2018 Kickoff
Sunday, April 15 - 4:00 to 6:00 PM
Hosted by No Justice, No Pride
It's time. Join No Justice No Pride for our 2018 pride season kick off and let's work together to make Pride something to actually be proud of. There can be no pride for some, without liberation for all. This will be a chance to get updated on everything that has happened behind the scenes with pride, and where we're at as we look towards 2018 pride weekend. We'll also be breaking up in to committees and working groups as we move forward planning for June. Make sure you get plugged in. You won't want to miss this year's activities. **This is police and media free space. ASL interpretation will be provided.
Click here to RSVP

Celebrate the Commons - Emancipation Day 2018
Monday, April 16 - TIME TBA
ONE DC Black Workers Center - 2500 MLK Jr Ave SE
Join us on Emancipation Day as we 'celebrate the commons!' Event will include: History of Emancipation Day as told by ONE DC members; Carving out the Commons: Tenant Organizing and Housing Cooperatives in Washington, D.C. author talk with Amanda Huron; Volunteer clean-up day at the newly purchased Black Workers Center building in Anacostia; Community cook-out. Email ONE DC at organizer@onedconline.org to join the planning committee.
Additional details to be announced.
Click here to RSVP

5th Annual Parren J. Mitchell Symposium
Race & Wealth Inequality - Examining Shades of Opportunity
Wednesday, April 18 - 10:00 AM to 4:30 PM
Colony Ballroom, Stamp Student Union • University of Maryland, College Park
Hosted by the Critical Race Initiative
Click here to RSVP

Ward 1 Candidate Forum
Thursday, April 19 - 6:00 to 9:00 PM
St Stephen Church - 1525 Newton St NW
Co-Hosted by AARP DC, The Washington Teachers' Union, Democrats for Education Reform, Ward 1 Democrats, Ward 1 Grassroots Planning Coalition, Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless, Pleasant Plains Civic Association, Empower DC, Many Languages One Voice, NEAR Act Ward 1 Coalition, DC for Reasonable Development, North Columbia Heights Civic Association, Meridian Hill Neighborhood Association, & ONE DC
The forum will focus on senior issues, public safety, and education and feature the Ward 1 and Chairperson Candidates.

DC Expungement Day
Friday, April 20 - 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM
DOES - 4058 Minnesota Ave NE
Hosted by Law Students in Court
Do you have a criminal record? Find out how to seal it! Free expungement screenings.
Click here to register


Build the Movement - Job Postings, Apprenticeships, & Trainings

MLOV Seeks Bilingual Labor Justice Organizer!

  • Many Languages One Voice (MLOV) seeks to hire a motivated and charismatic Community Organizer. The MLOV “Worker Justice” Community Organizer will steer our campaign for securing rights at work by directly organizing with immigrant worker members of MLOV’s Committee for Labor Solidarity and Worker Power members. This individual will work under the supervision of the Executive Director of MLOV and with the members of the Committee for Labor Solidarity and Worker Power. MLOV is seeking an individual with experience in recruitment, base building, campaign management, and leadership development of immigrant community members who speak languages other than English. MLOV values a positive work ethic, open communication, attention to detail, and self-driven motivation. The Worker Justice Community Organizer will strategically collaborate with the other organizers at MLOV on organizational-wide initiatives, as well as the members of Coalitions that MLOV participates in to advance labor and immigrant justice. Application date has been extended. Click here to read more & apply.

WILL Empower Apprenticeship Program

  • WILL Empower is a bold and ambitious new initiative to identify, nurture, train, and convene a new generation of women labor leaders. It reaches women both in traditional unions and other worker-based organizations. It is designed to complement rather than replicate existing movement leadership development and training programs.
  • Apply for the inaugural Apprenticeship Program, a new program designed to identify and recruit activists who are passionate about economic justice. If selected, paid apprentices will be placed with a union or worker organization for three to twelve months.
  • The WILL Empower Apprenticeship Program seeks to address a clear need for early career training and on-ramps to jobs with economic justice organizations. Apprentices may work in a variety of capacities, including organizing, research, communications, politics, mobilization, and policy. They will meet as a cohort for a formal orientation and each will benefit from ongoing mentorship, with mentors both within and outside of the host organization.
  • Click here to learn more. If you are a ONE DC member interested in this program, please reach out to us at organizer@onedcoline.org!

Facilitation for Movement Training, April 26 - 27, Washington, DC

  • In this current moment when more people are being energized by our movements for social change, there are more organizations, projects, ideas and movements that are calling on the expertise of facilitators to help support their vision. Facilitation for Movement Training intends to provide a space for advance training for facilitators and space holders who are involved with the following type of work: Strategy planning, coalition, movement and network building, program and project specific facilitation, organizational culture, conflict resolution and organizational development.
    Join us for this 2 day training with our incredibly skilled and knowledgable movement trainers, Inca Mohamed and Makani Themba. Facilitation for Movement training is $500 per participant. This training is for Black and People of Color only. Any questions? Contact paris@blackfeministfuture.org.
    Click here to learn more about the trainers, what is included in the participant fee, and to register for the training. Deadline is April 2nd.

Say NO to Subsidizing Amazon! Say YES to a Fair Budget!

By DC Fair Budget Coalition
Join us in urging Mayor Bowser and the DC Council to issue a a public statement affirming their refusal to provide any local subsidies to Amazon to entice them to locate their second headquarters here in the District.

We share a belief that the District’s resources should address the social, racial, and economic inequalities that plague our region, rather than enrich corporate profit. Over the past few decades, the District’s economic development policies have led to a massive increase in the cost of living. As a result, many low-income residents of color have been displaced from the District, or are struggling every day to survive here. We fear that an Amazon headquarters will only exacerbate our affordable housing and transit crises, speeding up gentrification and displacement until DC is effectively only home to the rich.

We will not abide by the bidding war that Amazon has created. Jurisdictions across the country are offering “blank checks” to this company, setting a terrible precedent for private companies across the country. What will stop Google or any other company from following suit and opening up a bidding war with cities and states to drain their coffers? How will we keep these corporate giants from profiting off of public land and money at the expense of the people who live and work here?

We will not accept our tax money being used to enrich the wealthiest man and company in history. Instead, we urge you to fund initiatives that will address the District’s long-standing social, racial and economic inequality. Specifically, the District must prioritize housing security, economic justice, food access, healthcare, and community safety.

We urge you join local leaders from New York, Indianapolis, and Austin and issue a public statement affirming your refusal to provide massive subsidies to the tech giant.

  1. Click here to read the full letter & sign the petition as an individual.
  2. Click here to sign as an organization.
  3. You can learn more about the Fair Budget Coalition & Metro DC DSA's  "No subsidies for Amazon" campaign at www.obviouslynotdc.com 

Congress Heights Updates

By Justice First

We wanted to update you on last Friday’s court hearing regarding conditions at the Congress Heights properties. Geoff Griffis’ attorney is again slowing down the process by arguing that the repairs the receiver suggested are not necessary and that it’s best to just partner with Griffis and his company City Partners.

Tenants’ counsel stated that wasn’t an option and that they will continue to fight to exercise their rights under TOPA in order to build 200 units of affordable housing.

Slumlord Sanford Capital was again delinquent in making payments to the court for much needed repairs at the property. Judge Mott ordered $25 thousand in delinquent payments to be made by end of the business day on Tuesday. The excuse that Sanford’s attorney gave is that Carter Nowell could not make the payments because he’s in Dubai. Needless to say, Judge Mott stated that the lawyer can send his client an email -- the $25 thousand is still due on Tuesday.

As you can see then, It’s important that we keep up the pressure and continue to fight. Thank you to all those who stood in solidarity with Congress Heights last week. More direct updates about future actions will be forthcoming.


ONE Bit of Good News - 2006-2016 People's Progress Report, "10th Anniversary Dreambook" Released


Click here to view & download the report
. We also have copies at the office to share with members, donors, & supporters.

Credits:
Creative Consultant: Almah LaVon Rice: almah.alchemy@gmail.com, 352-562-6221
Graphic Designer: Esmeralda Huerta: esmer.huerta@gmail.com, 956-577-5793


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Human Rights Violations in DC, how can we confront them?

By David Schwartzman
Chair, Political Policy and Action Committee
DC Statehood Green Party
Member of ONE DC, Empower DC, Fair Budget Coalition
dschwartzman@gmail.com, 202-829-9063

“If you can convince the lowest white man that he’s better than the best colored man, he won’t notice you’re picking his pocket. Hell, give him somebody to look down on, and he’ll even empty his pockets for you.” -Lyndon B. Johnson

"People who dismiss the unemployed and dependent as "parasites" fail to understand economics and parasitism.A successful parasite is one that is not recognized by its host, one that can make the host  work for it without appearing as a burden. Such is the ruling class in a capitalist society." -Jason Read, Professor of Philosophy, University of Southern Maine

The most serious human right violations in our DC community are:

  1. Homelessness and the big lack of affordable housing which forces many residents, especially low-income, to pay a high fraction of their income for housing thereby neglecting other essential needs of individuals and families, such as medicine and nutritious foods. (HUD criteria: housing is unaffordable if a household pays more than 30% of their income for rent or mortgage).
  2. Child poverty

Note: DC became the nation’s first Human Rights City in 2008, recognized officially by District government; go to http://afsc.org/resource/report-state-human-rights-dc for assessment reports of DC’s status.

ONE DC is on the frontlines fighting for affordable housing. Here is a proposal regarding eliminating child poverty. No child poverty in DC, let’s make this possible asap!
 
TANF income enhancement, a multi-year goal
Proposed goal: Make DC government increase the TANF income benefit over the next three fiscal years, reaching 100% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) by no later than FY 2021.

Why?
The poverty level of Income support for TANF is the main cause of child poverty in DC. The high level of child poverty in DC, especially in Wards 7 and 8, has a lasting negative impact on children and their families, indeed the whole DC community. Therefore, boosting the TANF income benefit should be a high priority for all concerned about human rights violations in our Human Rights City (footnotes 1 and 2).
 
The scheduled increase in the TANF income benefit in FY 2019 to 36% of the FPL, an increase from the present benefit of 30% FPL (footnote 3): this increase is already budgeted according to Kate Coventry, DCFPI.

Note: the income benefit as a percentage of the FPL in Maryland is now 38.1%, New York 46.4% with New Hampshire having the highest in the nation, 60.0% (footnote 4).

Most TANF recipients in New Hampshire are white. In New Hampshire the monthly income benefit for a family of three is $1,021, in DC it is now $508. Why should Black children receive one half the income benefit that white children in New Hampshire get?

The DC TANF income benefit has declined 21.5% since 1996 (corrected for inflation). The present TANF income benefit plus Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefit is 56.4% of the FPL. Assuming the SNAP benefit stays constant, with the scheduled TANF income increase for FY 2019 the combined benefit will go to roughly 60% FPL. In New York the combined benefit is now 74% FPL, for New Hampshire it is 77%. (Source: footnote 4).

Of course boosting income security is necessary but not sufficient, complementary funding is imperative for universal child care, adult literacy, mental health and substance abuse, and of course job opportunities at living wages. Note that even with TANF income benefit at the FPL plus the SNAP benefit the overall income level would be significantly below the family income necessary to reach self-sufficiency in DC, roughly two to three times the FPL, given the high cost of living.

Reaching the FPL by FY 2021 will require a well-thought out strategy. ONE DC and its allies will have to confront head on the long-standing prejudice regarding TANF recipients which has served to divide the working/middle class community thereby serving the interests of the neoliberal agenda (trickle-down solutions, “education is the only answer to poverty” etc.) which has long dominated the policies of DC elected government.

Appendix
Estimate of funding required to bring TANF income benefit up to the Federal Poverty Level (FPL):
According to DCFPI (footnote 3) if the scheduled increase is funded in FY 2019 the DC monthly benefit for a family of 3 will be $644 corresponding to 36% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL). Therefore this family of 3 would get $1,789/month at the Federal Poverty Level (644/0.36 = 1,789).   Assuming a total of 40,000 recipients (the 2011 level), and that all families correspond to 3 members (this is an approximation), there would be 13,300 families, each receiving an income benefit at the FPL, totaling $23.8 million/month or $286 million per year.  In FY 2015 the budget for income support was $70 million. With these assumptions, the increment in funding to reach the FPL will be approximately $216 million, not taking into account the change in the cost of living as well as potential decrease in the number of TANF recipients by FY 2021, pending the performance of complementary programs and economic conditions. This estimate is rather modest given the size of the DC budget, and if implemented would have a major impact towards reducing child poverty.

Footnotes
(1) http://datacenter.kidscount.org/data/tables/43-children-in-poverty-100-percent-poverty?loc=1&loct=2#detailed/2/2-52/true/870,573,869,36,868/any/321,322; https://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/news/housing-complex/blog/20835238/poverty-in-dc-is-getting-worseeast-of-the-anacostia-river-study-finds.
(2) https://www.dcfpi.org/all/when-every-dollar-counts-child-poverty-has-lasting-negative-effects-but-even-small-income-boosts-can-help/; Greg Duncan and Katherine Magnuson “The Long Reach of Early Childhood Poverty”, Pathways, Winter 2011.
(3) https://www.dcfpi.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/TANF-Toolkit-FY-2018-Approved.pdf.
(4) https://www.cbpp.org/research/family-income-support/tanf-cash-benefits-have-fallen-by-more-than-20-percent-in-most-states.

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ONE DC Monthly Voice - February 2018

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"Nobody is free until everybody is free."
-Fannie Lou Hamer


Congress Heights Updates

1. Judge Mott authorizes $50,000 payment to the receiver for the Congress Heights properties.
On February 16th, DC Superior Courtroom 518 was packed with Congress Heights supporters. Judge Mott authorized a $50,000 payment to be paid to the receiver to address some of the immediate issues on the property. Additional funds will be asked for once ownership issues regarding the recent, possibly illegal properties transfer, are clarified. Judge Mott also made clear that it was essential that the tenants be able to live in safe, habitable conditions, until they are able to exercise their rights regarding the broader redevelopment. Tenants at Congress Heights continue to fight to exercise their TOPA rights in order to build 200 units of quality, affordable housing over the Congress Heights metro. Stay tuned for updates about the next receivership hearing on March 21.

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Pictured: Ruth Barnwell, President of Alabama Ave/13th Street Tenant Coalition,
and Dorothy Davis, tenant leader from Brookland Manor following the
February 16 receivership hearing at DC Superior Court.

2. Click here to participate in the "One Click Action" for Congress Heights, sponsored by the Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless!

“What we are fighting for is our right to live in safe and affordable housing.”
-Ruth Barnwell, President, Alabama Ave/13th Street Tenant Coalition

The Alabama Ave/13th Street Tenant Coalition is the tenant association consisting of the residents of the buildings above the Congress Heights Metro Station in Southeast Washington, DC (1309, 1331 and 1333 Alabama Avenue SE Washington, DC, as well as 3210 13th Street SE Washington DC). The tenants have been living with conditions that threaten their health and safety as a result of the pattern of neglect that took hold as soon as Geoff Griffis (of CityPartners), and Sanford Capital, began working toward the redevelopment of the properties into luxury apartments and retail.

Over the past several years, as they personally endured abhorrent conditions and treatment, the tenants’ steadfastness unmasked a horrific pattern at Sanford buildings and impacted the conversation around affordable housing in the District. DC residents who are recipients of housing subsidies often struggle to find reputable landlords who will rent to them, and many have no choice but to live in Sanford Capital buildings. This means that Sanford Capital profits handsomely from taxpayer-funded subsidies and the affordable housing crisis.

The tenants’ struggle has led to public outcry, lawsuits filed by the Office of the Attorney General of the District of Columbia, horror expressed by city officials at speeches, public hearings, and roundtables, and extensive media coverage. The Congress Heights properties have been subject to a receivership since September 2017, and Sanford Capital was ordered to ‘negotiate exclusively’ with the tenants regarding the terms of sale for a period of 60 days, starting on November 9, 2017. On December 27, 2017, Sanford Capital quietly transferred the properties above the Congress Heights Metro station to its own development partner for the proposed Congress Heights project: Geoff Griffis/CityPartners.  Griffis is now attempting to move forward the luxury redevelopment that has already caused great harm, and doesn’t reflect the wishes or participation of the residents who currently live on that land.

The Congress Heights Tenants’ Goal: Inclusive and equitable development at Congress Heights

The Coalition seeks to exercise rights under the Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act, and partner with its chosen non-profit developer, National Housing Trust-Enterprise Preservation Corp., in order to redevelop this land in line with the vision and goals of the people who live there, and build nearly 200 truly affordable units above the Congress Heights Metro station.

The key to any redevelopment at the site is an abandoned building that is currently under the control of the DC Department of Housing and Community Development. We are in solidarity with Alabama Ave/13th Street Tenant Coalition as they ask Mayor Bowser and the District of Columbia government to work with the community by transferring 3200 13th Street SE to the Coalition and its representatives in order to achieve a win in the struggle against displacement and for safe, dignified, affordable housing.

3. Save the Date for the next People's Platform Event!
This month: Cooperation DC! Learn about how DC residents are organizing economic alternatives by developing worker-owned cooperative businesses. We will also hear lessons learned from the cooperative movement in Baltimore. Free food, music, & vendors!
Thursday, March 22 - 5:30 PM to 8:30 PM - Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company - 641 D St NW.
Click here to RSVP


Black Workers & Wellness Center Renovation Updates

We are making progress! This past month, we:

  • Hired a property management company, Delwin Realty, to help us with routine management & maintenance of the property
  • Worked with our project manager, long-time member & supporter Martha Davis, to apply for licenses & certificate of occupancy
  • Made progress in applying for grants to fund the renovations
  • Hired an architect, Emotive Architecture, to begin the measuring & planning stages of renovating the building, with direction from ONE DC members.

Stay tuned for:

  • A survey to gain input from the ONE DC community about the design of the BWC.
  • Info on volunteer clean-up & painting days
  • The pace of renovation depends on ongoing fundraising! If you would like to help plan or host a house party, fundraiser, or social to help raise money, please contact Dominic at dmoulden@onedconline.org

BWC_Fundraising_Goals_jan_2018.jpegClick here to donate


Save the Date - ONE DC Annual Membership Meeting

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Click here to RSVP

We are pleased to invite you to the ONE DC 2018 Annual Membership Meeting on Saturday, March 24th from 2 to 5 PM. 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 2017 wins & outcomes; community learning exercises on Shared Leadership; financial updates; and exciting campaign developments from the People's Platform, Brookland Manor, Congress Heights, the Black Workers Center, and more.

About 2018 Shared Leadership Team Elections

ONE DC is governed by a Shared Leadership Team (SLT) made up of appointed and elected board members, other designated ONE DC member-leaders, and ONE DC staff. At the 2018 Annual Membership Meeting, we will hold an election for one (1) open elected position. You can nominate yourself or another person by sending an email to organizer@onedconline.org and we will take nominations from the floor on March 24th.

The qualifications for being appointed or elected to the Shared Leadership Team are:

  1. Be a resident of the District of Columbia,
  2. Be at least 18 years of age,
  3. Be a ONE DC member for at least 6 months and current in the payment of membership dues,
  4. Complete ONE DC leadership and capacity training, and
  5. Demonstrate commitment to ONE DC’s values, work and mission as demonstrated through an interview process with the Shared Leadership Team.

Click here for more information about the roles and responsibilities of being on the ONE DC Shared Leadership Team. If you are interested in learning more, please contact SLT member Nicole Newman at nicole.a.newmn@gmail.com or SLT Member Charles Turner at charlesrickturner@outlook.com or 202.427.5844.

The ONE DC Annual Membership Meeting is open to the public and all are welcome and encouraged to attend. However, only members whose names appear on the membership list will be eligible to vote in the election and on other matters put before the members for a vote. If you are unsure of your membership status, please contact Claire at ccook@onedconline.org or 202-232-2915.

2018 Call to Membership

Membership dues are used to build a people's movement funded by the people. They are used to fund membership activities & the ongoing campaigns & projects of ONE DC. Our goal for 2018 is for 300 people to pay their membership dues this year and bring our total membership up to 750!
Click here to pay your dues for 2018.

If you would like to join the planning committee or help with phone banking, outreach, or other volunteer roles for the Annual Meeting, please email organizer@onedconline.org.

Click here for more information or to RSVP


Community Discussion: Development & Gentrification in Shaw

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Click here to RSVP


Upcoming Events

Pack the Oversight Hearing: MPD
Thursday, March 1 - 9:30 AM to 6:00 PM
John A. Wilson Building - 1350 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Hosted by Keep DC 4 Me, Stop Police Terror Project DC, & Black Lives Matter DC
We want to bring a strong presence to the Metropolitan Police Department oversight hearing to make it clear that there is forceful and mounting opposition to racist, militarized policing in DC or anywhere. RSVP below if you can make it, and please wear black to the hearing to show your support and solidarity!
Click here to RSVP

Palestine and the Struggle for Liberation Community Forum
Saturday, March 3 - 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Justice Center - 617 Florida Ave NW
Hosted by the Party for Socialism & Liberation (PSL)
For over a century, the Palestinian people have been struggling against colonial rulers for independence and self determination. The racist and zionist American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) will be launching its national convention in Washington, D.C., on Sunday, March 4. In response, Palestinian activists have called for a day of protest. This forum, the day before the protest, will explore the history of the Palestinian liberation struggle, from 1948 up until now, as well as up-to-date information on the National Rally to Support Palestine & Protest AIPAC (#SupportPalestineInDC2018). PLUS: meet DC advocates for mental health awareness, BTF Clothiers
Click here to RSVP

#SupportPalestineInDC2018
Sunday, March 4 - 12:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Meet at the White House
Hosted by Al-Awda & the ANSWER Coalition
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Knocking on Labor's Door- Author Talk with Lane Windham
Tuesday, March 6 - 6:30 PM to 8:00 PM
The Potter's House - 1658 Columbia Rd NW
Lane Windham will discuss her new book, Knocking on Labor's Door: Union Organizing in the 1970s and the Roots of a New Economic Divide. Windham's book reveals an unseen wave of union organizing attempts in this pivotal decade, driven by women, people of color, young workers and Southerners. Exploring union organizing in shipbuilding, textiles, retail, and service, Windham overturns widely held myths about labor’s decline, showing instead how employers united to manipulate weak labor law and quash worker organizing. Knocking on Labor's Door dramatically refashions the narrative of working-class struggle during a crucial decade and shakes up current debates about labor's future. Windham's story inspires both hope and indignation, and will become a must-read in labor, civil rights, and women’s history.
Click here to RSVP

Comp Plan: Pre-Hearing Workshop
Saturday, March 10 - 1:30 PM to 4:00 PM
Union Temple Baptist Church - 1225 W St SE
Hosted by DC Grassroots Planning Coalition, Empower DC, & Metro DC DSA
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Join the DC Grassroots Planning Coalition to learn more about the Comprehensive Plan and prepare to pack the DC Council Hearing Room on March 20th. The DC Grassroots Planning Coalition is dedicated to not only stopping this attempt to gut the Comprehensive Plan, but building grassroots capacity to fight gentrification and displacement through participating in the Zoning process, strengthening ANCs and Civic Associations, and reforming of the city's planning and zoning agencies.
Click here to RSVP


Project Retail - Fighting to Decriminalize Fare Evasion on Metro and Buses

Have you ever not had enough money to get to work? Have you ever been stopped or harassed by transit police for not paying for a metro or bus trip? Share your story, and help Project Retail support efforts to decriminalize what they call "fare evasion."

The city should not support the criminalization of poverty, and should not allow transit police to harass and give criminal penalties in order to restrict freedom of movement on the basis of race, age, or economic status.

Contact Kristi Matthews at k.matthews0827@gmail.com to share your story.

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New Tax Legislation - Who Really Benefits?

By David Schwartzman
Chair, Political Policy and Action Committee
DC Statehood Green Party
Member of ONE DC, Empower DC, Fair Budget Coalition
dschwartzman@gmail.com, 202-829-9063

Who benefits most from the new federal tax legislation? And how could we use this to increase our revenue stream for low-income residents, meeting unmet needs?

This chart shows the overall tax burdens of DC residents, with all the DC taxes included (sales/excise, property and DC income taxes):

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Source: Who Pays?, ITEP

Note: these tax burdens change slightly with the 2014 Tax legislation (“triggers”) now fully in place: For example, the lowest 20% pay 4.8% of their family income, the top 1% pay 6.3% and the middle 20% pay 10.1%.

Thus DC millionaires continue to pay a lower percentage of their income in DC taxes than all but the poorest residents. The average income of the top 1% is now over $3 million per year. The highest burden falls on low-income and working class families.

The top 4% of DC's taxpayers with incomes above $347,000 will get the biggest tax cut in 2019, while those making over $135,000 will get 78% of the total. The top 1%, averaging over $3 million/year and will get an average tax cut of $81,240, while the poorest averaging $13,700/year will get a $120 tax cut. 

So how much new revenue could be gained for low-income programs in DC’s budget?

In 2019, DC can and should get at very least the equivalent of this tax cut for the wealthy back as revenue by hiking, if necessary, the DC income tax rate for the wealthy. In 2015, according to the IRS, the taxable income of DC millionaires (adjusted gross income) was $5.39 billion. For those making $200,000 and more, the total taxable income was $12.8 billion. Thus, an average 2% hike in their DC income tax payment in 2019 would generate more than $250 million/year.

Sources: ITEP’s up-to-date analysis of the impact of the GOP tax legislation on all the states, plus DC: https://itep.org/finalgop-trumpbill/, Taxable income in 2015: http://www.irs.gov/uac/SOI-Tax-Stats-Historic-Table-2; open DC, MD, VA on the map.


ONE Bit of Good News - The Library is Open!

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We have some great news! ONE DC’s library is open so come by and borrow a book! We have books on community organizing, resistance movements, history, Black liberation, and much more. Click here to check out our listing of books.

If you’d like to check out and read one of these books, you can arrange a time to come by the office by calling 202-232-2915 or sending an email to organizer@onedconline.org.
We are also actively seeking book donations relevant to our organizing work. For an (incomplete) list of books we'd like to add to our library, please check out our Wish List or send us your recommendations!

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