loading
  • Tenants attend Homes for All conference in Atlanta

  • What's Going on at Congress Heights?

  • Emancipation Day Celebration at the BWC

Sign up to get the latest updates

ONE DC Monthly Voice - March 2018



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


International Conversations: The Global Housing Crisis

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

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

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

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

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


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

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


Hands Off Action in Greenbrier, West Virginia

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

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


Todos Somos Venezuela! We Are All Venezuela!

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

vz1.jpg
Since 2009, Venezuela has built over 2 million homes to house working class people

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

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

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

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

vz4.jpg
Making new connections: Booker Ngesa of the Social Democratic Party of Kenya (SDP) receives a BWC tee

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

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

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

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

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

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


People's Platform Updates

March People's Platform - Cooperation DC


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

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

How can you support the Co-Familia Childcare Cooperative?

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

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

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


Divest DC from Wells Fargo, Reinvest in Our Communities

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

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

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

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

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

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


Upcoming Events

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Build the Movement - Job Postings, Apprenticeships, & Trainings

MLOV Seeks Bilingual Labor Justice Organizer!

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

WILL Empower Apprenticeship Program

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Congress Heights Updates

By Justice First

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

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

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

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


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


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

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


Share

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Share

ONE DC Monthly Voice - February 2018

february2018.png
"Nobody is free until everybody is free."
-Fannie Lou Hamer


Congress Heights Updates

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

tenants.jpg

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Black Workers & Wellness Center Renovation Updates

We are making progress! This past month, we:

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

Stay tuned for:

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

BWC_Fundraising_Goals_jan_2018.jpegClick here to donate


Save the Date - ONE DC Annual Membership Meeting

Annual_Member_Meeting_2018_flyer.png
Click here to RSVP

We are pleased to invite you to the ONE DC 2018 Annual Membership Meeting on Saturday, March 24th from 2 to 5 PM. The Annual Membership Meeting is a space for members to guide the vision of ONE DC. The agenda will include: Elections for an open seat on the ONE DC Shared Leadership Team, overview of our 2017 wins & outcomes; community learning exercises on Shared Leadership; financial updates; and exciting campaign developments from the People's Platform, Brookland Manor, Congress Heights, the Black Workers Center, and more.

About 2018 Shared Leadership Team Elections

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

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

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

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

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

2018 Call to Membership

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

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

Click here for more information or to RSVP


Community Discussion: Development & Gentrification in Shaw

ofa_flyer.jpg

Click here to RSVP


Upcoming Events

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

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

#SupportPalestineInDC2018
Sunday, March 4 - 12:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Meet at the White House
Hosted by Al-Awda & the ANSWER Coalition
palestine2.jpg
Click here to RSVP

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

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


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

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

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

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

IMG_20170927_204313_343.jpg


New Tax Legislation - Who Really Benefits?

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

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

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

taxes.jpg
Source: Who Pays?, ITEP

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

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

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

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

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

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


ONE Bit of Good News - The Library is Open!

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

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

Share

Tell Mayor Bowser: Take Action for Congress Heights!

CLICK HERE to Tell Mayor Bowser to Take Action for Housing Justice at Congress Heights!

“What we are fighting for is our right to live in safe and affordable housing.”

-Ruth Barnwell, President, Alabama Ave/13th Street Tenant Coalition

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Sponsored by

Share

Judge Mott Orders $50,000 to Congress Heights Receiver

On Friday, February 16th, DC Superior Courtroom 518 was packed with Congress Heights supporters. Judge Mott authorized a $50,000 payment to the receiver for the Congress Heights properties. The $50,000 is to be paid to the receiver in the short-term in order to address some of the immediate issues on the property, but will not address long-term solutions to the conditions issues at Congress Heights.

Additional funds will be asked for once ownership issues regarding the recent, possibly illegal properties transfer, are clarified. Judge Mott also made clear that it was essential that the tenants be able to live in safe, habitable conditions, until they are able to exercise their rights regarding the broader redevelopment. Tenants at Congress Heights continue to fight to exercise their TOPA rights in order to build 200 units of quality, affordable housing over the Congress Heights metro.

feb_16.jpg

Tenants have been unwavering in this fight, and have deeply appreciated the solidarity demonstrated by the broader community last Saturday in the pouring rain, and yesterday in the courthouse. In the coming days, the Alabama Ave/13th Street Tenant Coalition and their attorneys will release a major update to the public, including a call for continued action in the fight to preserve and expand affordable housing at Congress Heights.

Yasmina Mrabet, Housing Organizer

Share

Making the Just City Update

MPC is the lead organization for a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF)
Interdisciplinary Research Leaders (IRL)
grant. MPC director Derek Hyra partners with Dominic Moulden, a resource organizer with ONE DC, and Dr. Mindy Fullilove of the New School on a project centered on understanding the relationships among gentrification, health disparities, and the affordable housing crisis.
 
Recently, the team submitted an article "A Method for Making the Just City" to Housing Policy Debate. The paper advances a “community science” approach to investigating gentrification, involving a systematic knowledge-creation process through intimate community participation. On January 19, the team presented their situation analysis methodology to a group of RWJF’s IRL grantees. Look out for further updates on this innovative, community-based research project.

Share

ONE DC Featured on Loud & Clear with Brian Becker: The fight against slumlords in the nation's capital: Congress Heights tenants fight back

Listen to "The fight against slumlords in the nation's capital: Congress Heights tenants fight back" on Spreaker.

In cities nationwide, longtime working-class city residents face higher rents and increased pressure from landlords and developers. The nation’s capitol is no exception, and two groups are taking the fight to a developer’s own house this weekend, with a march up a main DC street in upper Northwest. The hosts talk about the details of the march and the broader picture of gentrification in DC. Yasmina Mrabet, a housing organizer with ONE DC, a leading organization in the group that put together Saturday’s march, and Will Merrifield, an attorney with the Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless who is representing the tenants of Congress Heights, join the show.

Click here to listen to the interview with Loud & Clear's Brian Becker.

Share

People's Platform: Call to Action for Congress Heights

Below is an update from our friends at Justice First. As part of our People's Platform call to action this month, ONE DC and Justice First are calling for continued action and solidarity with the tenants of Congress Heights! Join tenants and their supporters to pack the courtroom at their upcoming receivership hearing! RSVP here.

 
Justice First  
 

Dear Friend,

IMG_3244.JPG

This past Saturday, February 10th, 120 people defied rainy conditions to march on the home of Geoff Griffis, in solidarity with the tenants in Congress Heights he hopes to displace (check out a video report here). The march follows what appears to be an illegal transfer of the properties at issue and renewed attempts by Mr. Griffis to distance himself from the terrible treatment of the residents currently living on the site he wants to turn into luxury condos and offices.

This protest was crucial because Griffis, his business partner Ben Soto, and Sanford Capital have been engaged in a multi-year process designed to prevent tenants from exercising their right to purchase the buildings. Despite his current claims Griffis has been involved since the very beginning and only disappeared from the public eye when the slum conditions at the property became known.

The three business partners are peddling a whole range of untruths about what they plan to do at the property in a list ditch effort to push their plan through. Indicative of who they really are, as the rain poured down on the heads of demonstrators Saturday, some tenants were dealing with leaking ceilings that could not be fixed, why? Well the apparently illegal sale perpetrated between Sanford and Griffis has blocked payment to the court ordered receiver who is conducting the repairs.

IMG_3243.JPG

They have all the money in the world, and have even hired a slick new PR firm and have politicians in their pockets. So this march was designed to a send a message that not only will the Congress Heights tenants not back down but that we aren’t afraid to make public the real culprits behind the criminal living conditions and displacement plans at Congress Heights.

The struggle for justice at Congress Heights continues this week on February 16th at noon in Room 518 of DC Superior Court. That is the date for a crucial hearing where Sanford Capital will be forced to explain how the sale they engaged in was not illegal. We need to pack that courtroom with as many people as we can and make it clear that D.C. residents do not, and will not condone slums, displacement and unbridled gentrification..

In Solidarity,

Justice First



Justice First · 5614 Connecticut Ave NW, #149, Washington, DC 20015, United States
This email was sent to ymrabet@onedconline.org. To stop receiving emails, click here.
You can also keep up with Justice First on Facebook.

Created with NationBuilder, the essential toolkit for leaders.

 

Share

Griffis Promotes Imaginary Luxury Development at Congress Heights

Despite engaging in numerous and potentially illegal tactics to circumvent the TOPA rights of existing tenants at Congress Heights, and despite violating an existing court order, Geoff Griffis, through his company "City Partners LLC," is touting an imaginary development proposal to build luxury apartments over top the Congress Heights metro. Previously, Sanford Capital also promoted luxury redevelopment plans at Congress Heights, and have since shut down their website due to their ongoing legal issues as the most notorious slumlords in Washington, DC. Their slumlord activities have been widely reported, including by the City Paper and the Washington Post.

In order for Geoff Griffis's company, "City Partners LLC," to move forward with his luxury redevelopment that would price out and displace current residents at Congress Heights, he would need the following:

  1. For the existing tenants to leave the property without exercising their TOPA rights, which the Alabama Ave/13th Street Tenant Coalition have made clear they will not do, as evidenced by the fact that they have led and continue to lead this fight for the last five years.
  2. To have legal control over the properties, which is currently being challenged by the Attorney General's office, and under review by the tenants legal team, which includes Arnold & Porter and the Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless.
  3. To have control over the long-vacant building at 3200 13th St SE, which is under the control of the District government and also tied up in litigation.
  4. To have control over the WMATA parcel of land, for which Griffis currently does not have.

Strangely, Griffis continues with what Ruth Barnwell, president of the Alabama Ave/13th Street Tenant Coalition recently referred to as an "obsession" with gaining control over this valuable land over top the Congress Heights metro, by forcing existing residents out. The tactics remain the same: forced displacement through slum conditions. As we previously reported, the recent and possibly illegal land transfer from slumlord Sanford Capital to Geoff Griffis not only circumvents tenant TOPA rights, but also forces tenants to continue living in slum conditions by interfering with a court-ordered receivership.

Tenants have been clear that despite Griffis's attempts to force them into agreeing to buyouts or forced relocations, that they will continue to fight to exercise their TOPA rights in order to move forward with their plan to work with premier non-profit developer NHT (National Housing Trust) to build 200 units of high quality, affordable housing in the midst of an affordable housing crisis in the nation's capital.

Earlier this afternoon, on the WPFW 89.3 FM show "Taking Action," hosted by Empower DC's Parisa Norouzi, featuring Congress Heights tenant Robert Green, we gave an overview and update of the ongoing tenant-led struggle at Congress Heights. Click here to listen.

Join us this Saturday, February 10th, as we take the fight for affordable housing directly to slumlord Geoff Griffis's doorstep, and stand in solidarity with the tenants of Congress Heights. RSVP here.

Congress_Heights_March_Against_Slumlords.jpg

To learn more about the tenant-led struggle at Congress Heights, including a full history, visit the Justice First website at www.justicefirst.org.

For the latest Congress Heights updates on the ONE DC website, check out www.onedconline.org/congress_heights.

Yasmina Mrabet, Housing Organizer

Share

Griffis Hires Seven Oaks Media Group Amid Displacement Deal at Congress Heights

Following a recent and possibly illegal land transfer from slumlord Sanford Capital to their business partner Geoff Griffis, Griffis hired Seven Oaks Media Group. As you can see from their website, linked here, Seven Oaks specializes in crisis communication and media placement. Clearly, Geoff Griffis is attempting to wage a campaign in the media to obscure the facts, which are these:

1. Geoff Griffis’s latest move has forced tenants to remain in slum conditions at Congress Heights properties by interfering with a court-appointed receivership, which facilitates Griffis's continued attempts to displace tenants.

2. Geoff Griffis’s latest move has interfered with a court order instructing Sanford Capital to negotiate exclusively with Congress Heights tenants by selling their properties to NHT (National Housing Trust), in order to prevent displacement and build 200 units of affordable housing.

mr_green_speech.jpg

Click here to hear directly from Congress Heights tenant leader Robert Green, as he provides an overview of Griffis's dealings.

Stand in solidarity with Mr. Green and the Congress Heights Tenants Association:

MARCH AGAINST SLUMLORD GEOFF GRIFFIS

Saturday, February 10

12 Noon

Meet at Cleveland Park metro station

(RSVP)

To learn more about the tenant-led struggle at Congress Heights, including a full history, visit the Justice First website at www.justicefirst.org.

For the latest Congress Heights updates on the ONE DC website, check out www.onedconline.org/congress_heights.

 

Yasmina Mrabet, Housing Organizer

Share