The Monthly Voice
|October 2017 - ONE DC Newsletter|
"America is more our country than it is the whites -- we have enriched it with our blood and tears...Will they drive us from our property and homes, which we have earned with our blood?"
-David Walker's Appeal (1829)
Community Control of the Corner - A Capital Campaign for the Black Workers & Wellness Center
Now an appeal from ONE DC Resource Organizer Dominic Moulden:
We have arrived at a critical moment where mass displacement is taking place at Barry Farms, Congress Heights, and Brookland Manor. As some of you know, I grew up hanging out in east Baltimore. Even my first home in Perkins Public Housing is scheduled to be torn down - 668 units of really affordable housing. As I said during at a recent talk for the 50th commemoration of Tally's Corner, corners are sacred spaces! Your organization, ONE DC, is ready to take community control of the corner at MLK Ave SE and Howard Road. Why? To buy, renovate, and sustain a Black Workers and Wellness Center in Anacostia. There is no tomorrow. Now is the time to dig deep and give abundantly to ONE DC. This is my appeal to you today. We will celebrate ONE DC taking back land with the community. Thank you!
- Attend ONE DC Teach-In Ft. Congressman Keith Ellison on Monday, November 13th at 6:30 PM. Click here for more info & to RSVP
- Plan a house party, happy hour, or community social to raise funds from your personal network. Email Peter at firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.
- Create a fundraiser on Facebook for ONE DC.
- Check out the fundraising toolkit for more info about ONE DC's vision for the Black Workers & Wellness Center, the capital fundraising campaign, and how you can support this movement for a community-controlled space in Anacostia.
DC Residents Are Fighting a Slumlord to Regain Control of Their Neighborhood
By Jason Fernandes, Talk Poverty
For the past four years, tenants in the five-building complex above the Congress Heights metro station have dealt with horrific conditions: cockroaches, rats, bedbugs, persistent flooding, roofs caving in. One resident told The Washington Post that “feces backed into her bathtub more than a dozen times – including once while bathing her 1-year-old.”
Ruth Barnwell, a 73-year-old resident and president of the Congress Heights tenants association, said that she told her landlord about raw sewage in the basement in July 2015, but they didn’t do anything about it until the following October. Barnwell has been living in Congress Heights for 34 years, but she says that they didn’t start having these issues until 2013.
“That’s when we found out the building was going to be turned into high-rises,” she says.
In 2013, two years after acquiring four of the five Congress Heights buildings, Sanford Capital and City Partners submitted a plan to the Zoning Commission to demolish the apartment complex and install 446,000 square feet of luxury offices and condos in its place. The tenants allege that Sanford—which has already racked up more than 200 housing code violations in its 19 apartment buildings across the city—has been intentionally letting the conditions degrade so that residents will be forced to move out to make way for the new development.
Robert Green, a 68-year-old resident who lives on a fixed income, says that the company has gone as far as soliciting damage. One day, as he was walking out of his apartment building, an electrician who was walking into the building stopped him. “You still live here?” The man asked. Green said yes.
“They paid me to go downstairs and mess up some wires,” he told Green. (Sanford Capital did not respond to requests for comment.)
If Sanford’s plan is to drive residents out of Congress Heights, it’s working: Since 2013, the number of occupied units of affordable housing has dropped from 49 to 13.
The Zoning Commission approved Sanford’s development plan in 2015, but the company can’t act on it yet. The plan requires control of all five of the Congress Heights buildings; Sanford currently owns four. In January, the D.C. Department of Housing and Community Development repossessed the fifth and final piece of the Congress Heights puzzle: the vacant building at 3200 13th St SE. But the remaining residents, who would be forced to move, aren’t letting it go without a fight.
On September 6, the Congress Heights tenants association delivered a letter to Mayor Bowser’s office with a simple request: Instead of letting Sanford buy the vacant building in a public auction, let the current residents exercise their Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act (TOPA) rights to have their chosen nonprofit developer build 200 units of affordable housing on the land.
Click here to continue reading on talkpoverty.org
"A Right to the City": Reflections on the History and Legacy of Neighborhood Organizing
Saturday, November 4th - 1:30 PM - 3:00 PM
New York Avenue Presbyterian Church - 1313 New York Avenue NW
The Smithsonian's Anacostia Community Museum will be marking its 50th anniversary with the forthcoming “A Right to the City” exhibition that builds on the institution's decades-long tradition of community documentation to explore the history of neighborhood organizing in Washington, DC. With a focus on a diverse range of neighborhoods across the city, the exhibition tells the story of how ordinary Washingtonians have helped shape and reshape their neighborhoods in extraordinary ways. This panel brings the curatorial team into conversation with two key DC organizers to reflect on the rich history and legacy of the city’s organizing tradition. Featuring: Samir Meghelli, Ph.D., Curator, Smithsonian Anacostia Community Museum; Hilary Malson, Research Assistant, Smithsonian Anacostia Community Museum; Ph.D. Candidate in Urban Planning, UCLA; Marie Nahikian, Housing & Community Organizer; founder and first Executive Director of the Adams Morgan Organization (AMO); Dominic Moulden, Resource Organizer, ONE DC.
The Russian Revolution: 100 Years and Still Shaking the World
Sunday, November 5th - 2:00 - 5:00 PM
Thurgood Marshall Center - 1816 12th St NW
The Russian Revolution ‘shook the world’ in 1917. It was the first time a socialist revolution had taken and held power, putting the workers in power, seizing private property and society’s productive capacity. That revolution became the nemesis of imperialism, while it inspired national liberation movements around the world. As the Soviet Union emerged to be the second-largest economy, it became a valid counterweight to claims of capitalism’s superiority. The event will featured Gloria La Riva, Brian Becker, & Anthony Monteiro and will serve as the book launch for the Party for Socialism & Liberation's Storming the Gates: How the Russian Revolution Changed the World.
Click here to RSVP
Solar Focus Job Fair
Tuesday, November 7 - 9:00 AM - 1:00 PM
MDV-SEIA and GRID Alternatives Mid-Atlantic are hosting the second annual Solar Focus Job Fair on November 7th at the DC Downtown Hotel during the 2017 Solar Focus Conference. Connect face-to-face with employers from solar and energy-efficiency related companies and organizations who are actively seeking candidates for open positions.
Click here for more info
The Trans-Atlantic Housing Crisis Book Event
Thursday, November 9 - 6:30 PM - 8 PM
Busboys and Poets Takoma - 235 Carroll St NW
Join Busboys and Poets Books as they welcome author Glyn Robbins, a housing worker and campaigner from London, to discuss his new book There's No Place: The American Housing Crisis and What It Means for the UK. There's No Place tells the story of resistance and struggle at local level through the voices of those fighting to save their homes during the Atlantic housing crisis. Each chapter covers a different aspect of the trans-Atlantic housing crisis based on detailed field research and interviews in Boston, New York, Chicago, Seattle, San Francisco, New Orleans, Atlanta, and Washington, DC.
Click here to RSVP
Women’s Salon on Environmental Justice and Community Organizing
Monday, November 13 - 5:30 PM
We Act Radio - 1918 Martin Luther King Jr Ave SE
For Chesapeake Climate Action Network's next intersectional Environmental Justice Salon, join us for the first in a series of three trainings facilitated by the Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless. The series will focus on unpacking the ways in which power is used to control and shape various aspects of society, often creating unwanted, detrimental outcomes in communities. By breaking power down and reviewing its sources, how it is expressed, and how it is used, participants will develop an understanding of how they can work with others in their community to regain control over community resources and dismantle the systems that harm them. Attendees will pull from personal experiences, current and past events, and the tools provided by the presenters to clearly break down each power dynamic and discuss them in the context of current organizing and advocacy efforts led by community members, struggles in which participants can stand in solidarity and upon which they can build their own engagement and advocacy efforts.
Click here to RSVP
Finally Got The News! Author Talk with Brad Duncan
Tuesday, November 14 - 6:30 - 8:00 PM
The Potter's House - 1658 Columbia Rd NW
Collector and author Brad Duncan will be joining us to talk about archiving and collecting radical history, as well presenting a wide sampling of original rare printed items from the 70s for guests to explore and engage with. Come learn about how radicals in the 1970s used printed media to address issues that are still with us today.
Click here to RSVP
Save Our System
We know our public transit system can be better, fairer and more reliable. That is why Save Our System, a coalition powered by riders, community based organizations, grassroots, congregations, small businesses, workers, unions and others who have had enough with WMATA's neglect for their riding public, is fighting for:
- Prioritizing of worker and rider safety
- Increased notice on metro maintenance
- Extended system and hours of operation
- $2 Flat fare and free transfers between bus and rail
Interested in joining the campaign for a Metro that works for you? Come out to a general meeting on November 30 to learn more. Contact Claire at email@example.com 202.232.2915 to help ONE DC stay involved with this coalition.
Put a Price On It!
In the face of recent megastorms and other extreme climate events, an historic effort to address carbon pollution in DC gained new momentum on Wednesday, October 25 as Councilmembers Robert White, David Grosso, & Charles Allen spoke in favor of the bill at the Wilson Building. Advocates for the proposed “Climate & Community Reinvestment Act of D.C.” say the campaign has new momentum heading into the fall and expect a bill to be introduced no later than December with the majority support of the Council.
Judith Howell, SEIU 32BJ member and security officer in D.C., stated: "Fossil fuel pollution and haphazard development affects the citizens in each and every ward of our city. It is time for those who profit from fossil fuels to pay for the damage to our environment. But we must also ensure the policy would not put the burden on working families. We urge the Council and the Mayor to pass a strong climate rebate bill quickly, for the health and prosperity of our working-class families."
Contact Claire at firstname.lastname@example.org 202.232.2915 to help ONE DC stay involved with this coalition.
Stop Police Terror Project DC
After passing the DC Council unanimously in 2016, and being fully-funded in 2017, the NEAR Act is now in its next phase: implementation. Despite being fully-funded, most of the provisions in the NEAR Act have not been implemented. As such, the NEAR Act remains largely unfulfilled as promised in 2016. In order for the NEAR Act to reach its full potential, it is going to require us as DC residents to make sure our elected officials fully and faithfully implement all of the comprehensive approaches in the NEAR Act. To do so, we want to create a corps of “NEAR Act Ambassadors” to show up to DC Council hearings, community events, ANC meetings, and candidate fundraisers and campaign events. In doing so, we have an opportunity to hold DC Council to their word and to begin the process of protecting the most vulnerable neighborhoods in our city from further violence with a better approach.
The Stop Police Terror Project will be running a number of trainings in November for each Ward to provide interested individuals the skills and knowledge they need to be NEAR Act Ambassadors, to let our elected officials know that the NEAR Act is still alive in our minds as a priority for our city. Through these trainings, you will gain the knowledge and skills to mobilize your local neighborhoods/networks to show up to these events prepared to pressure our elected officials towards full implementation of the NEAR Act.
We encourage you to attend the event for your Ward if possible, as there will be some Ward-specific information covered. BUT, everyone is welcome at any of the trainings, so please come to the one that works best for you even if it isn't your home Ward. Click here to find out what ward you live in.
- Wards 7 & 8 - Wednesday, November 8th
- Wards 1 & 4 - Thursday, November 9th
- Wards 2 & 3 - Tuesday, November 14th
- Wards 5 & 6 - Thursday, November 16th
Share Your Vision of Liberation - Submit to MelaNation Today!
MelaNation is an art magazine created by BYP100 that aims to be a creative space for Black folks in the DC metro area to explore what liberation could look like in our communities. Click here for past MelaNation issues,
The next issue of MelaNation is looking for all types of creative submissions (paintings, short stories, photography, comics, poems, ect.) from Black artists and writers in the DMV area. The theme of this issue is family history and experience. MelaNation welcomes all interpretations of the theme. Click here for more information and to submit!
ONE Bit of Good News - New Organizational Member!
The mission of the DC Peace and Economic Justice Program is to bring together people from throughout the DC area to work to build a community at peace where social and economic justice prevail. We are delighted to join forces with ONE DC because of their proven commitment to peace and economic justice in the District of Columbia.
Click here to have your community organization, student group, faith-based institution, union, or other group become an organizational member of ONE DC.