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


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