ONE DC Monthly Voice May 2018

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

Black Workers & Wellness Center Renovation Updates

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

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




Ty & Shelley laying tile

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

Celebrate Juneteenth in DC

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


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

Visit for more info on all events and to RSVP!


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

Vendors & Partners

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

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


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

Support DC Cooperative Business Ownership & Development Act

By Democracy at Work DC

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

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

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

Learn more about worker co-ops and how you can support this legislation at

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

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

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

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

Who Would Really Benefit from an Amazon HQ2 in DC?

By Nora Charles & Kelly Iradukunda

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

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

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

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

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

Better Wages. Better Tips. Yes on 77!

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

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

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

History of the two-tiered wage system

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

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

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

Get Involved with the Poor People's Campaign!

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

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

Truthful Tuesday Teach-Ins

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

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

Upcoming Events

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

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

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

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

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

Click here to RSVP

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

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

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

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

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

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

Creating the Commons
by Dominic Moulden and Amanda Huron, Shelterforce

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

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

You can find past editions of the Monthly Voice here.
Do you want to be a writer, editor, or designer for the ONE DC Monthly Voice? Email
member.png  donate.png
 4.png  3.png