The Monthly Voice
|November 2017 - ONE DC Newsletter|
"You, in the face of rubber bullets, concussion grenades, water cannons, you stand ready, not caring what it might do to you, because you are living up to your responsibility. You are a protector not only of water, but also the air and the soil.”
-Dennis Banks, co-founder of the American Indian Movement (AIM)
Resources from the Community, For the Community
By Rebecca Harris, ONE DC member
Raising more than $5,000 for the Black Workers & Wellness Center, Showing Up for Racial Justice DC (SURJ) & ONE DC hosted a teach-in fundraiser on November 13th featuring Congress member Keith Ellison, the first Black Muslim individual ever elected to Congress.
This event represents only one piece of ONE DC’s larger campaign to raise $1.2 million to purchase a building to permanently house the Black Workers & Wellness Center (BWC) in Anacostia. The BWC is a member-led space that builds racial and economic justice through popular education, direct action, and worker-owned alternatives.
“It’s so critical to have this Black Workers Center, because so much of what we experience as oppression is economic,” Ellison said at the teach-in on November 13th. Though it’s critical that we respond to violent acts of racism, he continued, “if you don’t understand that the very root of that [violence] is trying to impose poverty on people, then you’ve missed so much of what racism is really all about.” Ellison noted that the Black-white wealth gap has roots in racist practices ranging from modern developers’ assault on urban Black communities to the Department of Agriculture’s displacement of Black landowning farmers over the course of more than a century.
Congress member Ellison also emphasized the importance of Black landownership, a priority for ONE DC. As Ellison noted, the decline of Black homeownership over the past few decades -- driven by exploitative mortgages and unchecked gentrification -- represents a tremendous blow to Black wealth overall. By buying a building in Anacostia to permanently house the BWC, ONE DC is at once laying a foundation for sustainable organizing and laying claim to a piece of what ONE DC organizer Dominic Moulden has called "the last frontier of working people" in this city.
The teach-in, which took place at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church on Capitol Hill, also featured Dominic Moulden, Resource Organizer for ONE DC; Delvone Michael, Senior Political Strategist for the Working Families Party; Yasmina Mrabet, People’s Platform Organizer for ONE DC, Eugene Puryear, Director of Field Operations for Justice First, and Delonte (Tae) Wilkins, Black Workers Center Organizer for ONE DC.
Keith Ellison’s full remarks can be watched online here.
Support our capital campaign for the Black Workers & Wellness Center today.
From DC to Jerusalem: Fighting Displacement & Colonization
By Sara Swetzoff, via Mondoweiss
Earlier this month, the Washington DC Palestine solidarity community welcomed Jerusalem activist Fayrouz Sharqawi, Advocacy Coordinator at the organization Grassroots Jerusalem. Sharqawi was on a two-week speaking tour including stops in Boston, New York, Chicago, Portland, San Francisco and Los Angeles. In DC, she held events with the Palestine Center, the Middle East Institute, and local advocacy group Organizing Neighborhood Equity ONE DC. The event with ONE DC put Sharqawi in conversation with Brookland Manor tenant leader Cheryl Brunson and community organizer Yasmina Mrabet. This momentous meeting of hearts and minds highlighted the parallel resistance of women fighting to protect their homes and communities in both occupied East Jerusalem and gentrified Washington DC.
Graphics displayed on the event page compared the numbers. One image showed the statistical decline of African American residents in DC: the once-majority Black city has lost nearly a third of its African American population over the past four decades, due to aggressive redevelopment and a corresponding influx of wealthier, predominantly-white new residents. A second graphic shows that over 200,000 Israeli settlers have moved into East Jerusalem since 1967, while tens of thousands of Palestinian locals have been stripped of their residency status or blocked from registering their children as residents.
Andrew Kadi, moderator for the event and an organizer with event sponsor DC for Palestine, explained why local Palestinian activists were so determined to connect Fayrouz Sharqawi with those confronting displacement here in Washington: “Anyone who thinks of Jerusalem–and what the U.S.-funded Israeli military and government are doing there – should also be conscious of policies that produce similar results here in DC,” he said over email. “Palestinians in Jerusalem, similar to long-time black and brown residents of DC, are struggling against racist policing, being stripped of housing, underfunded services, and mass incarceration, all of which results in displacement….We could stop funding Israel’s actions in Jerusalem and use that money to address some of these issues locally.”
Click here to continue reading on Mondoweiss
HUD Budget Cuts May Have Major Repercussions on Public Housing in DC
By Kelly Iradukunda, People's Platform & Admin Organizing Apprentice
In the midst of an affordable housing crisis here in the nation's capital, the Trump administration adds its own recipe to the disaster by cutting HUD's budget of $6.8 billion in funding for affordable housing, which will leave the department with an overall budget 14% smaller than last year's. It is estimated that Washington, D.C. will lose over $34 million annually as a result of the proposed HUD budget cuts.
These HUD budget cuts will pose a particular threat to the District's already underfunded affordable housing system. According to the Washington City Paper, the D.C. Housing Authority (DCHA), which is responsible for providing affordable housing to low-and-moderate income D.C residents, already receives only 83 to 86% of what is required to maintain the city's properties. D.C. is already suffering from increased homelessness and this budget, amongst other things, eliminates the U.S Interagency Council on Homelessness.
Additionally, Trump's cuts will affect the Community Development Block Grant program (CDBG), which funds a variety of community development projects. Budget cuts to this program will affect planned capital improvements to public housing properties owned and operated by the local government. Under Trump's budget cuts, DHCD funding will decrease by over 70%. The proposed budget cuts will also affect Section 811, which benefits disabled people. With the proposed budget cuts, DCHA will receive far less funds than it currently receives and needs, putting roughly 20,000 D.C. public housing residents at risk of displacement.
This is where ONE DC's campaign, Universal Housing: A Public Option for the Social Good, comes in. In an era of constant threats on the poor, it is imperative we protect the health, safety, and welfare of working-class residents, especially people of color, by preserving, maintaining and expanding public housing.
It is absolutely illogical that there are thousands of homeless families in our nation's capital, while a new soccer stadium almost entirely funded by the District's money is being built. Clearly, we cannot depend on the Federal Government to ensure the safety and needs of the working-class. It is time to take control of our local money and redirect D.C resources towards its residents.
Homeless Reform Act Update
By Annie Hirschhorn, ONE DC member
At the D.C. City Council meeting on November 7, the Homeless Services Reform Act received initial approval from the council in an 11-2 vote. If the ‘yes’ vote stands when the council meets again on or around December 5, the bill will become law. Councilmembers David Grosso (At-Large) and Trayon White (Ward 8) were the two ‘no’ votes.
ONE DC, along with over 40 other D.C.-area advocacy groups, have signed a petition created by Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless (WLCH) opposing the HSRA. The bill, supported by Mayor Bowser, does not adequately or accurately address issues facing our city’s homeless, nor does it benefit the city financially, according to the WLCH and other concerned organizations.
A major provision causing opposition to the bill centers on the rapid re-housing model currently implemented in the District. A study conducted by WLCH showed that the rapid re-housing model, originally meant to assist a small subset of people, but currently being used as the main tool for moving D.C. families from shelters into homes, consistently leaves families struggling to make rent after the 12-month rapid re-housing timeline, wherein subsidies are provided, expires. In addition, conditions tend to be extremely poor in the rapid re-housing apartments offered and case managers tasked with supporting families are at times unreliable due to heavy caseloads. All of these factors send families directly back into the cycle of homelessness they are trying to escape, all while over $30 million is being spent on this rapid re-housing “solution.”
- We believe if organizations and constituents continue to voice opposition, our city council members will reconsider their vote on the HSRA bill at the next meeting on or around December 5. Please click here to contact your councilmember and encourage a ‘no’ vote.
- If you represent an organization interested in adding your name to the WLCH petition, please contact Amber Harding at email@example.com.
- Lastly, you can spread the word on your social media networks by sharing this information and using the hashtag #VoteNoHSRABill!
On My Mind/In My Heart: The Voices of Women in Public Housing
Join ONE DC & Empower DC for a powerful, free performance that invites you into the lives of six women as they share stories from their personal lives & experiences as public housing residents in the midst of gentrification in DC. The post-show talk back will feature residents of Congress Heights who are fighting to resist displacement & preserve affordable housing.
Doors for this event open at 6:30 PM. Space is limited. Click here to RSVP
Celebrate 2017 with ONE DC!
Join ONE DC in celebrating the heart and soul of our organization...YOU! Our end-of-year "People's Party" is dedicated to highlighting all the wins, accomplishments, and work that members, donors, supporters, and volunteers accomplished this year in the fight for equity. All ages are welcome. There will be musical performances, free food, speakers, and a special awards ceremony. Long-time members, new supporters, and everyone in between are welcome!
Childcare will be provided. Please let us know if you need transportation.
Click here to RSVP
DC Fair Elections Community Meeting
Wednesday, November 29 - 6:00 - 8:00 PM
Anacostia Public Library, Glover Community Room - 1800 Good Hope Rd SE
Join ONE DC & DC Fair Elections with co-sponsors Ward 8 Democrats, Empower DC, Justice First, DC Women in Politics, & DC for Democracy. Featuring Councilmember Robert C. White Jr, Trayon White Sr, Markus Batchelor, Reverend George Gilbert Jr, Eugene Puryear, Anita Shelton, & Dexter Williams.
Click here to RSVP
The People's Metro Budget Forum
Thursday, November 30 - 7:00 - 8:30 PM
Festival Center, 1640 Columbia Rd NW
Save Our System, a coalition of riders, community organizations and small businesses will be holding a forum and meeting on the 2019 WMATA budget and how an alternative system can better address the needs of riders. Join us on November 30th for an evening of panels, workshops, and collaborative planning for pressuring WMATA in the new year.
Click here to RSVP
DC Labor Chorus' Evening of Favorite and Sacred Songs
Saturday, December 2 - 7:30 PM
Tommy Douglas Conference Center Ballroom - 10000 New Hampshire Ave, Silver Spring, MD 20903
Come celebrate the holidays at a free concert with the DC Labor Chorus as they perform their annual Evening of Favorite and Sacred Songs - with a social justice twist. Be prepared to sing along on some of the selections. Elise Bryant is the director and Steve Jones the main accompanist. There will be free parking available. Donations are gratefully accepted.
Food Justice Conference Planning Meeting
Sunday, December 10 - 1:30 - 3:30 PM
Dorothy Height Benning Road Public Library - 3935 Benning Road NE
Join the Central NorthEast Civic Association (CNECA)'s next combination Food Justice conference planning and Gray Panthers of Metropolitan Washington Membership (GPMW) meeting. Attendees are encouraged to read Food First's World Hunger 10 Myths Fact Sheet ahead of time. Contact Michele or Rick Tingling-Clemmons at 202.388.1111 for more info.
Apply to The Sanctuaries' Artist Activist Training Program
Are you an artist fighting for social justice? The Sanctuaries is training the next generation of artists interested in using the power of their craft to ignite social change through a 15-week collaborative program. This program is open to any DC, Maryland, and Virginia artists. That means singers, musicians, writers, dancers, actors, directors as well as painters, printmakers, ceramicists and sculptors between the ages of 18 and 40.
The Sanctuaries is a community of over 150 local artists working across various artistic mediums for the common goal of building lasting friendships, supporting each other’s personal growth, and collaborating on artistic projects that make a social impact, including working with ONE DC. Applications are due December 15.
For more information or to apply click here.
Become a Transportation Volunteer!
ONE DC is dedicated to making our events as accessible as possible, and making sure members have reliable transportation to and from events is a key part of that! We are looking for more volunteers with vehicles who are able to assist with transporting members and materials to and from events as their schedule allows.
Click here to volunteer
ONE Bit of Good News
2014 - 110 donors
2015 - 203 donors
2016 - 397 donors
2017 - 496 individual donors to-date!