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ONE DC Monthly Voice November 2018

 

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


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

 By BA Cockburn & Maurice Cook

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 


Ignite Talk - Making the Just City

By Mindy Fullilove

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ONE DC Member Appreciation Event - December 8th

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

Click here to RSVP


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

By Samir Meghelli

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

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


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

By Nawal Rajeh

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


The Guatemalan Social Movements

By Clara Lincoln

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


Click here to learn more about NISGUA

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

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

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


Workers Rights Clinic - The Washington Lawyers' Committee 

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

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

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

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


Upcoming Events

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

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

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

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

 


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

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

You can find online editions of the Monthly Voice here.
Do you want to be a writer, editor, or designer for the ONE DC Monthly Voice? Email organizer@onedconline.org
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ONE DC Monthly Voice October 2018

 

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


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

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

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SAMAI.YAH Twin Jude

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

Help us reach our goal by donating today.

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

 


The Right to Stay Put

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

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

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

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

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

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

Continue reading on Shelterforce.org


Circle-Keeper Training for Returning Citizens Hosted at the BWWC

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


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

Values expressed by the circle


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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Stop Police Terror Project-DC Launches #NoMoreStopandFrisk Campaign

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

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

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

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

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

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


Upcoming Events

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


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


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

 

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


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


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


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


D.C. Labor Chorus Annual Concert 

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


ONE Bit of Good News - BWWC Hoodies!

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

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You can find online editions of the Monthly Voice here.
Do you want to be a writer, editor, or designer for the ONE DC Monthly Voice? Email organizer@onedconline.org
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Creative Reconstruction: a Period of Collective Learning, Healing, and Transformation

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Road to Transformation

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

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

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

In Community,

ONE DC Shared Leadership Team

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

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ONE DC Monthly Voice September 2018

 

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


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

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

Click here to RSVP



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


Black Workers & Wellness Center

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

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

Support the Clean Energy DC Act!

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


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

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

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

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

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


DC Palestinian Film & Arts Festival 2018

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

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

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

Click here for full program & tickets


#ItsNotFare - Decriminalize Fare Evasion!

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



The Facts:

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

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

What Can I do?


Occupation Free DC

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



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

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

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

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

Upcoming Events


Rally to Support the Nicholson Street Rent Strike

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


Jobs with Justice Organizing & Leadership Training

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


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



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


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


Mary Church Terrell Documentary Screening

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


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


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


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


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


Book Talk: Barbara Ransby, Making All Black Lives Matter

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


ONE Bit of Good News

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


You can find online editions of the Monthly Voice here.
Do you want to be a writer, editor, or designer for the ONE DC Monthly Voice? Email organizer@onedconline.org
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Defend the Black Vote for One Fair wage

 

One Fair Wage - Initiative 77, which would raise the wage for tipped workers from $3.89/hr to $15/hr PLUS TIPS by 2025, was passed by the majority of DC voters in the June 2018 election. On July 10, the DC Council introduced a bill to repeal One Fair Wage - Initiative 77. Even though 6 out of the 7 wards voted YES for One Fair Wage, the DC Council and Mayor Bowser are siding with big industry capitalists and lobbyists who are actively working right now to overturn the initiative.

To overturn One Fair Wage effectively overturns the peoples' vote. We must show the DC Council that we will not be disrespected! We must tell the DC Council to respect and defend the will of the voters and not repeal Initiative 77.

Come out and join them at the following public events to show our power and testify to the council. Hold them accountable - Let your elected officials know why they must respect the vote and protect 77!

  • Friday, September 14 - Press Conference
  • Monday, September 17 - DC Council Hearing. Click here to RSVP
  • Friday, September 28 - Ward 8 Town Hall Meeting
  • Tuesday, October 2 and 16 - DC Council will vote on 2 separate days to overturn YOUR vote.

Here are the FACTS:

  • Initiative 77 will raise the wage for tipped workers incrementally by $1.50/year over 7 years. So the minimum wage will rise from $3.89 to $15/hr PLUS tips by 2025.
  • DC voters overwhelmingly voted for Initiative 77 by a 56% to 44% margin.
  • Initiative 77 had greatest support among lower-income wards with a higher African-American population. Low to no support came from the wealthiest ward with a higher White population.
  • DC Council and Mayor Bowser are trying to overturn the initiative instead of respecting the democratic process and the will of the people.
  • Wards 7 and 8 had the highest support of Initiative 77, yet even Council members Trayon White and Vincent Gray have decided to ignore their constituents who voted them into office and have signed on to repeal the DC vote.

Sign up for more information and to attend. Sign up to tell your story at public events.
Contact: Latrice
email: StoneBlackDevelopment@gmail.com
Call: 202-360-1177

 

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ONE DC Monthly Voice August 2018

 

"Our overall task is to separate the people from the hated state. They must be made to realize that the interests of the state and the ruling class are one and the same. They must be taught to realize that the present political regime exists only to balance the productive forces within the society in favor of the ruling class. It is at the ruling class and the governing elites, including those of labor, that we must aim our bolts."  -George Jackson


Black August: A Commemoration of Freedom Fighters

For our monthly People's Platform event, ONE DC commemorated Black August, as reflected in People's Platform principle #7, which calls for decriminalization, demilitarization, and prison abolition. We attended in solidarity a prison letter writing night organized by Stop Police Terror Project-DC and HU Resist, an event centered around writing letters to incarcerated people to show our commitment and support to their struggle.

During the event, we had the privilege to hear from Jihad Abdulmumit on a live phone call. Jihad is chairperson of the National Jericho Movement and was a political prisoner for over 20 years, targeted by the state for his activities with the Black Liberation Movement. Jericho is a "movement with the defined goal of gaining recognition of the fact that political prisoners and prisoners of war exist inside of the United States, despite the United States’ government’s continued denial...and winning amnesty and freedom for these political prisoners."

Attendees writing letters to incarcerated people

Jihad Abdulmumit provided an update on the Jericho Movement and the victories they've seen with their strategy to get members of the movement who are incarcerated because of their political views released from prison. As a response to questions posed by those in attendance, Jihad explained the importance of writing letters to incarcerated people. Knowing they have the support of the community is critical to encouraging and sustaining prisoners mentally as they struggle for freedom from state repression.

You can learn more about the National Jericho Movement here.
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.

Support the Nationwide Prison Strike

The Black August People's Platform occurred in the midst of a nationwide prison strike.

Men and women incarcerated in prisons across the nation declare a nationwide strike in response to the riot in Lee Correctional Institution, a maximum security prison in South Carolina. Seven comrades lost their lives during a senseless uprising that could have been avoided had the prison not been so overcrowded from the greed wrought by mass incarceration, and a lack of respect for human life that is embedded in our nation’s penal ideology. These men and women are demanding humane living conditions, access to rehabilitation, sentencing reform and the end of modern day slavery.

Demands:

  1. Immediate improvements to the conditions of prisons and prison policies that recognize the humanity of imprisoned men and women.
  2. An immediate end to prison slavery. All persons imprisoned in any place of detention under United States jurisdiction must be paid the prevailing wage in their state or territory for their labor.
  3. The Prison Litigation Reform Act must be rescinded, allowing imprisoned humans a proper channel to address grievances and violations of their rights.
  4. The Truth in Sentencing Act and the Sentencing Reform Act must be rescinded so that imprisoned humans have a possibility of rehabilitation and parole. No human
    shall be sentenced to Death by Incarceration or serve any sentence without the possibility of parole.
  5. An immediate end to the racial overcharging, over-sentencing, and parole denials of Black and brown humans. Black humans shall no longer be denied parole because the victim of the crime was white, which is a particular problem in southern states.
  6. An immediate end to racist gang enhancement laws targeting Black and brown humans.
  7. No imprisoned human shall be denied access to rehabilitation programs at their place of detention because of their label as a violent offender.
  8. State prisons must be funded specifically to offer more rehabilitation services.
  9. Pell grants must be reinstated in all US states and territories.
  10. The voting rights of all confined citizens serving prison sentences, pretrial detainees, and so-called “ex-felons” must be counted. Representation is demanded. All voices count.

Learn more about you can support the Nationwide Prison Strike by clicking here.


ONE DC is Hiring!

ONE DC is expanding our team to continue the fight for racial and economic equity in the District. The positions are:

Additional information can be found at the links above. To apply, please submit resume and cover letter (including salary expectations) electronically to onedcjob@gmail.com. Additional questions can be directed to our Hiring Committee at onedcjob@gmail.com Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until September 5, 2018. Please also share this with people you know who may be good candidates for the open positions.


ONE DC Shared Leadership Team Holds Annual Retreat

From July 27 to July 29, a group comprised of ONE DC Shared Leadership Team members, staff, and members gathered for our annual Shared Leadership Team retreat. The annual retreat is a time for visioning, reflection and self-critique, strategizing, and team-building.

We're looking forward to sharing with membership in the coming months the reflections and goals set at the retreat, and engaging with membership to build a stronger ONE DC moving into 2019 and beyond.

ONE DC members review reading material at our annual SLT retreat

Summertime Cooperation: Co-op Community Cookout

On August 4, the Black Workers and Wellness Center (BWWC) hosted ONE DC’S first Co-op Community Cookout event of the year. Following up from a successful People’s Platform event in February, Cooperation DC held a summer cookout event in order to engage in popular education about cooperative economics while gathering community and enjoying food with one another. The Black Workers and Wellness Center was a full house that day! We spent our time reviewing the Seven Cooperative Principles and understanding how they work to address shortcomings experienced in the workplace. We explored how Cooperation DC’s work fits into ONE DC’s overall vision for building people-driven power in Ward 8 and throughout the District.

ONE DC members learn about the 7 cooperative principles

As use of the Black Workers and Wellness Center expands through building renovations and new staff organizer positions, we look forward to building on the growing excitement around our co-op work by hosting more events like this in the coming year! Stay tuned for fall updates from our two partner cooperatives: Dulce Hogar Cleaning Cooperative and Co-Familia Child Care Cooperative, and from the Working World Cooperative Organizing Retreat.

7 Cooperative Principles

  1. VOLUNTARY AND OPEN MEMBERSHIP
    Co-operatives are voluntary organizations, whose services and membership are open to all due to having minimal barriers of accessibility.
  2. DEMOCRATIC MEMBER CONTROL
    Co-operatives are democratic organizations controlled by their members, who actively participate in setting their policies and making decisions. Co-operative members have equal voting rights (one member, one vote), and are typically structured in a way that does not resemble traditional business leadership.
  3. MEMBER ECONOMIC PARTICIPATION
    Members contribute equitably to collectively own the money and assets of their co-operative. Members put profit towards any of the following purposes: developing their co-operative; benefiting members based on interaction with the co-operative; and supporting other activities approved by the membership.
  4. AUTONOMY AND INDEPENDENCE
    Co-operatives are autonomous, self-maintaining organizations controlled by their members. Agreements that may be made with other organizations and institutions and any funds they get from outside of the co-operative are processed in a way that keeps democratic control and ownership over the co-operative.
  5. EDUCATION, TRAINING AND INFORMATION
    Co-operatives provide education and training for their members, elected representatives, and worker-owners so they can contribute effectively to the development of their co-operatives. They inform the general public, especially in the communities they occupy, about the nature and benefits of the cooperative movement and other popular and political education topics.
  6. CO-OPERATION AMONG CO-OPERATIVES
    Co-operatives serve their members most effectively and strengthen the Co-operative Movement by working together through local, national, regional and international structures. Co-operatives are conscious about how their decisions may affect other co-ops and are concerned for the well-being of those co-ops.
  7. CONCERN FOR COMMUNITY
    Co-operatives work in the best interest of the communities in which they reside. They are open to providing support and resources for community members in need.

Black Workers & Wellness Center Clean-up Days


Making the Just City Project Continues Participatory Action Research in Shaw

By Raheem Anthon

As part of the Making The Just City project, Team Shaw, DC and Team Orange, NJ have both been finishing up the last of their interviews with key players within each community. Shaw, which is studying late-stage gentrification, has been studying the effects that gentrification (ie. displacement) has had on residents and business owners in Shaw. Orange, NJ  has been focusing on the effects of early stage gentrification (ie. divestment) on their community. Both sets of interviews will be transcribed and analyzed for the purpose of policy work, and also will be archived into the Anacostia Community Museum.

Making The Just City is funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and is led by the Interdisciplinary Research Leadership team: Mindy Fullilove, Dominic Moulden, and Derek Hyra. Each team is paired with two local community organizers: Serita El Amin and Raheem Anthon from Shaw, DC; and Aubrey Murdock and Molly Rose Kaufman from Orange, NJ.

Making the Just City leaders conduct a focus group in Shaw

Making The Just City has been meeting two times a year to discuss what occurrences have happened in each groups’ location. Discussions ranged from building developments and new policies that have helped to reallocate funding away from public housing into the hands of developers, to reports about what type of feedback we are getting from the interviewees. Orange has made trips to DC to see the ongoing displacement that has taken place in the 7th Street corridor and were actually able to speak to some Washingtonians about the oppressive conditions of gentrification. One individual actually approached the group, explaining how she has faced harassment from DC police and developers. The Shaw team also made a trip out to Orange to see the ongoing development divestment of the communities. In Orange, the Shaw team learned how a community feels and looks while still connected to its roots. Through both tours each group was able to gain a deeper understanding of what gentrification looks and feels like in its different stages.

The Shaw team has also been meeting with Marisela Gomez, who is one of the coaches for the RWJF IRL team. She is part of Social Health Concepts and Practice, a community health organization that offers the opportunity for individuals, communities, organizations, and institutions to identify and understand the bridge between the health of the individual and society. Within her class, the Shaw team has taken a look at intersectionality and how that plays a role in power dynamics. The Shaw team has also learned that from interpersonal to institutional to structural oppression is how capitalism continues to use these avenues to oppress and exploit the working class. At the end of this training, RWJF is hoping that the Shaw team has a better understanding of how to discuss racial equity.

IRL Leaders take a learning journey to Portland, OR

Making The Just City is a study on gentrification and its adverse effects on communities. Gentrification leads to multiple problems, such as displacement and mental and physical illnesses. Both teams have been studying gentrification through the ethnographical method which is conducting interviews, doing on the street observation, and other methods used in what would be considered a routine community immersion study. Our aim is to get as much information from the people truly affected by so-called "urban development" to give a channel to those who have had their voices circumvented by politicians, developers, and others who benefit from having these communities voiceless. We also hope this program will highlight the systemic problems that displacement has on poor communities (majority whom are Black and brown) and place this as a local to national outcry calling for EQUITABLE AND ACCESSIBLE HOUSING FOR ALL!!!


D.C. Residents Shut Down White Supremacist Rally

On the anniversary of last year's violent neo-Nazi rally in Charlottesville VA, ONE DC joined forces with ANSWER Coalition and other local organizations to defend Black and Latinx communities in DC against white supremacist and fascist violence in Lafayette Park.

Approximately 15,000 counter protesters in Washington, DC took to the streets to oppose around 40 white nationalists and the broader white supremacist and fascist ideologies. We sent a clear message to neo-Nazis and the Trump administration that DC is not a playground for such hateful people and movements.

Thousands of counter-protestors gather in Lafayette Park. Photo Credit: ANSWER Coaliton

Although WMATA told the public they would not be giving the Unite The Right rally special accommodation, Jason Kessler and his group were still granted a "special" Metro car with police accompaniment. Just as the state 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. Regardless of all the accommodations, few showed up for the Unite The Right rally and ultimately the rally was ended early.


Upcoming Events

ANSWER Coalition Happy Hour Fundraiser
Thursday, August 30 - 6:00 PM to 10:00 PM

Barcode - 1101 17th St NW
Hosted by the ANSWER Coalition
Join the ANSWER Coalition in taking time to relax and enjoy ourselves while also building the movement. We'll be joining together for a happy hour fundraiser, and Barcode will have late-night happy hour specials just for us. Given that this event is taking place during 'Black August' we especially want to honor and remember those who have fought for justice in the past as we contribute toward building a stronger movement today. This event is 21+. Suggested donation of $5 at the door.
Click here to RSVP


Amp Up and Show Up: Demand Mayor Bowser #StopDCGDemo
Friday, August 31 - 12:00 PM to 2:00 PM
John A. Wilson Building - 1350 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Hosted by Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless
Join us to demand Mayor Bowser stop demolition on the DC General campus until all the families have moved out and that she follow the highest standards for health and safety when demolition resumes for the sake of the nearby women at Harriet Tubman shelter and residents of the jail. Despite 1100 individuals, 47 organizations and 8 DC Council members asking Mayor Bowser to delay the demolition until all the families have moved out, Mayor Bowser plans to start up the external demolition of Building 9 again any day now, and has not committed to using any higher standard for the health and safety of DC residents.
Click here to RSVP

Celebrate #BlackLaborDay with the National Black Worker Center Project
Monday, September 3 - All Day
Hosted by the National Black Workers Center Project
This September 3, 2018 the National Black Worker Center Project invites you to join us as we celebrate Black Work. Labor Day, an annual celebration of workers' achievements, originated in the 1800’s during one of our country’s most challenging times for workers: 12-hour work days, poor working conditions, pay so low families couldn’t make ends meet – Wait, that sounds a lot like 2018! Join us in thanking Black Workers who against the odds, keep showing up and never give up! You can join in the celebration by:
-Promoting Black Labor Day through your social media accounts
-Add “Celebrate Black Labor Day #thankaBlackworker” to your email signature line
-Send a “Thank You” to the Black workers you know and those you don’t
-Join the #thankaBlackworker twitter storm on September 3, 2018
Click here to follow National Black Workers Center Project on Twitter


Venezuela's Revolution: The Fight for Socialism & Independence
Saturday, September 8 - 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM
The Real News Network - 231 Holliday St, Baltimore, Maryland 21202
Hosted by the Party for Socialism & Liberation
For more than two decades, Venezuela has been undergoing a period of profound change and transformation known as the Bolivarian Revolution. Under the leadership of Hugo Chavez and now President Nicolas Maduro, the people of Venezuela have fought to preserve their country's independence and build a socialist society where poor and working people have the power. But the revolution is under intense attack from both the U.S. government and the country's own wealthy elites. The corporate media presents the hardships and conflict in Venezuela as a failure of socialism, but this couldn't be further from reality. We'll discuss the truth about the situation in Venezuela. Special guest speaker Eugene Puryear was the 2016 Vice-Presidential candidate of the Party for Socialism and Liberation. He is the host of the radio show By Any Means Necessary and an organizer with Stop Police Terror Project - D.C.
Click here to RSVP


Lunch With Justice: September
Wednesday, September 12 - 12:00 PM to 2:00 PM
Institute for Policy Studies - 1301 Connecticut Ave NW
Hosted by DC Jobs with Justice
Join the DC JWJ community for a lunchtime discussion of issues that matter to the DC Jobs With Justice community with at our monthly Lunch With Justice series.
Click here to RSVP


Empower DC's 15th Anniversary!

Thursday, September 13th - 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM
African American Civil War Museum - 1925 Vermont Ave NW
Hosted by Empower DC
Put on your dancing shoes and join us for a night of great food, cocktails, and music! On September 13th, Empower DC’s members, supporters, funders, Board & staff will gather to celebrate their accomplishments and commemorate our organization’s 15th Anniversary.
Click here to purchase tickets


DC Council: Respect The Vote! Protect 77!
Monday, September 17 - 10:00 AM
John A. Wilson Building - 1350 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Hosted by One Fair Wage DC
Join us in welcoming back DC Council from recess and letting them know DC voters cannot be silenced. DC has spoken. It's time for tipped workers to get a raise! #Protect77 #NoRepeal #DCVotesMatter #OneFairWage #RespectTheVote! If you would like to sign up to testify, please email: candace@rocunited.org
Click here to RSVP


Art Brings Us Home: Street Sense Media Celebrates 15 Years of Impact

Tuesday, September 25 - 6:00 PM
Big Chef - 2002 Fenwick St NE
Hosted by Street Sense Media
Join us 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 purchase tickets


NAARC: Cure the Streets!

By Stuart Anderson

Earlier this month, the ONE DC Black Workers & Wellness Center hosted a meeting of the National Association for the Advancement of Returning Citizens (NAARC). This initiative has its genesis in the Attorney General's office with the reallocation of $350,000. Through the grant process NAARC received a substantial portion of the funds to start a DC version of the Cure Violence programs running in other cities across the country.

The National Association for the Advancement of Returning Citizens (NAARC) recognizes that the U.S. has the highest incarceration rate in the world. NAARC also recognizes that this incarceration rate has had a profound effect on the make-up, health and stability of the American family structure. Our mission is to improve the quality of life of Returning Citizens, their families, and communities by addressing the broad range of social and economic needs through strategic management of public and private partnerships, political advocacy, community relations/organizing and economic empowerment.

NAARC’s vision, through our nonprofit association and coalition building, is to affect the reintegration process in a unique way that empowers returning citizens. The overarching goal is to ensure that returning citizens have a real chance at becoming self-sufficient via collaborative community-based programs/services, political advocacy, community relations/organizing, and economic empowerment.

In Washington, D.C., NAARC: Cure the Streets is based in the Trinidad and Arboretum area in Ward 5 and Congress Heights and Washington Highlands neighborhoods in Ward 8. Our Mission is to be champions of non-violence for communities plagued by violence:

Immediate Goals:
-To build relationships, inform the community about CURE The Streets
-Creating greater access and linkage to existing opportunities, services and programs.
-Developing RAW talent for those who live in communities plagued by violence.

Our Methods:
-Interrupt Violence
-Change Community Norms
-Teach and Treat High Risk People

For more info, contact:
naarcdc@gmail.com 202-904-9961
3117 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave. S.E
Washington, D.C, 20032
http://www.naarcdc.com

Click here to learn more


ONE DC in the News - Washington residents join forces to sidestep rising rents

By Carey L. Biron
originally published in Place, August 21, 2018

With its prime location and rapid development over the past decade, the Columbia Heights neighbourhood commands among the highest rents in the U.S. capital — already one of the most expensive cities for housing in the country.

But resident Linda Leaks pays only about $1,000 a month, half the area's average in Washington, D.C.

She lives in a housing cooperative in which members collectively own the building, pay a low "share price" - of $2,000 to $3,000 - to move into their unit and then pay a small amount each month to cover utilities and management of the building.

Leaks created the Ella Jo Baker cooperative over a decade ago for community activists "who did not have a lot of money".

"When people move in, they are here for a long time," she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation from her flat on a quiet, rowhouse-lined street.

This model - also known as a limited-equity cooperative (LEC) - is an attractive proposition for many in fast-developing Washington, which is experiencing one of the worst shortages in affordable housing in the country, according to the U.S.-based National Low Income Housing Coalition.

The Martin Luther King Jr. Latino Cooperative sits just north of downtown Washington, D.C., August 1, 2018. Thomson Reuters Foundation/Carey L. Biron

The approach is similar to the "mutual aid" housing model in Latin America, housing cooperatives in Europe, and the coops that are redeveloping informal neighbourhoods in Africa and Southeast Asia, said Bea Varnai of urbaMonde, a Geneva-based housing charity.

In the United States, such cooperatives are not unique to Washington: New York City leads the country in total number, and the Urban Homesteading Assistance Board, a nonprofit group, has documented about 166,000 such units across the nation.

Amid this mix, however, Washington hosts the second-highest concentration of limited-equity cooperatives in the country - an achievement made possible by the Tenants Opportunity to Purchase Act (TOPA), a local law enacted in the 1980s, said Dominic Moulden from community development group ONE DC.

The law requires landlords seeking to sell a residential building to first offer the sale to the property's tenants.

"In D.C., coops are a way to keep very low-income people in the city and create very long-term, low-cost housing," Moulden said.

Most of the cooperatives he has helped create were "developed in crisis" to stop residents being driven away from the area by gentrification or eviction.

Click here to continue reading on thisisplace.org


ONE Bit of Good News - A little note from an anonymous donor

Hey ONE DC

I've been an admirer and supporter of your work for a few years now, and plan to continue to be.
Please use this contribution as you see fit - including as part of a matching challenge or whatever else makes the most sense.

Peace!
Anonymous

Click here to make a tax-deductive contribution to ONE DC


You can find online editions of the Monthly Voice here.
Do you want to be a writer, editor, or designer for the ONE DC Monthly Voice? Email organizer@onedconline.org
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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

 july_newsletter_banner.png

 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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