The Monthly Voice
|September 2017 - ONE DC Newsletter|
“The most confident politician is the united people.”
-Jang Jinsook, New People’s Party of South Korea at the People's Congress of Resistance
In Remembrance - Sylvia Robinson
We hold the spirit and life of Sylvia Robinson in the light. Sylvia was a native Washingtonian, a community leader, and an outstanding supporter of DC residents. She created and led the Emergence Community Arts Collective in Pleasant Plains, was an original Board of Instigator for the Diverse City Fund, and a ONE DC member. Sylvia passed on September 18th. Sylvia's homegoing celebration of life will be held Friday, September 29 starting at 10AM at People’s Congregational UCC, 4704 13th St NW. More info can be found here.
Power to the People: Reflections from the People's Congress of Resistance, September 16-17, 2017
By Caitlin Cocilova and Kristi Matthews
"I was generally inspired by the People's Congress of Resistance...I also got choked up when marching from Howard University to the White House almost to the point of tears because of the energy I felt from the other marchers!" - Michael Wilkerson, People Power Action member
"The People's Congress was a powerful learning experience that we believe will move this country forward.” - Donya Williams and Juanita Williams, People Power Action members.
On September 16 and 17, we had the opportunity to attend the inaugural People’s Congress of Resistance event at the Blackburn Center at Howard University. Over the course of the weekend, 727 people from 38 states and 160 towns and cities from across the US and as far as South Korea joined together in true solidarity to create connections, learn from each other, and discuss strategies and tactics for fighting against harmful imperialist and capitalist motives that keep wealth and power in the hands of a few elites. Upon entering the main ballroom where the conference was held, the energy was palpable. Saturday began with powerful, motivating opening speeches, which included talks by ONE DC leadership and members Yasmina Mrabet, Dominic Moulden, and Eugene Puryear.
Click here to watch coverage of the People's Congress: "Empire Files: Voices from the Anti-Trump Resistance"
People then attended sessions on independent media and community control over the news, how to support immigrants and undocumented people in the era of mass deportations, freeing political prisoners and exposing the global nature of the U.S.’s overbearing prison system, incorporating revolutionary ideals into everyday organizing efforts, and organizing in rural areas. In between sessions, attendees mingled with people from other areas, sharing ideas, knowledge, and contact information to further develop relationships and build a base for a unified people’s movement. Day 1 concluded with a series of large group sessions on domestic and foreign policy, specifically highlighting the lives lost at the hands of police officers and governments, as well as the current resistance efforts by people in Venezuela and South Korea.
Day 2 began with an introduction into the processes behind the People’s Congress, specifically regarding the action steps needed to ensure the People’s Congress will be a sustainable, long-term decision-making body. During the following breakout sessions, Brookland Manor tenants and People Power Action members - some of whom are also members of ONE DC - led a panel on housing as a human right and the influence of local politics and money on the DC housing market, which has led to vast displacement and increased homelessness. The beauty of this conference was that even though there were particular presenters discussing issues in their local regions, it was evident that many parallel fights existed across cities, states, and even countries. During the housing panel, for example, groups from East Harlem in New York City raised almost identical displacement struggles. Such similarities resounded across sessions, reiterating the importance of convenings like the People’s Congress, so fights can be connected, resources shared, and people supported in whatever ways possible.
Sunday afternoon consisted of collectively voting on resolutions introduced to the People’s Congress, indicating what specific issues would become the first subjects of the Congress’s on-the-ground energies. Passed resolutions ranged from anti-war efforts with withdrawing U.S. troops from Afghanistan to fixing the contaminated water in Norfolk Prison to focusing on the significant impact of police brutality, the prison system, housing, and transit on disabled people. Groups shared ways in which others could sign onto petitions, spread information, and support each other’s work from near and far. The sessions concluded with several impassioned speeches and a march through the streets of DC to the White House, bringing our message to the epicenter.
The resounding message from this conference is clear: The people united will never be defeated. So long as we recognize the purposefully divisive tactics used by people in traditional positions of power to keep various groups and issue areas separated, we will be able to band together as one unified force to create a society for the many. We must stand in solidarity with people across the country and the globe - from DC to California, Mexico to Venezuela, Palestine to South Korea. The conference was only the beginning. Though more convenings are on the horizon, the work must continue on the ground in our own respective communities. Like Assata Shakur said, “It is our duty to fight for our freedom. It is our duty to win.” Together, in resistance, we will.
Mayor Bowser, Turn Over 3200 to Congress Heights Residents!
An action led by Congress Heights tenants at City Hall earlier this month on September 6 was the kick-off of a public campaign to fight for the vacant building at 3200 13th St SE. The demand is for the transfer of the 3200 building to the tenants association at Congress Heights through their chosen nonprofit developer, so that long-time residents can remain in their community, and move forward with a plan to build 200 units of affordable housing over top of the Congress Heights metro. The alternative, so far supported by Mayor Bowser and local government, is the displacement of tenants in favor of a plan led by slumlord Sanford Capital to build luxury apartments.
Click here to read an article from the Washington City Paper that exposes money interests and connections between Mayor Bowser and predatory developers that are attempting to displace long-time DC residents from their community to make way for luxury apartments. Tenants have been fighting against all odds to exercise their TOPA rights to work with their chosen non-profit developer, NHT. The only thing standing in the way is Mayor Bowser and DHCD, who refuse to turn over the vacant building at 3200 13th St SE
Congress Heights Tenants request your continued solidarity in the fight for 3200, which is absolutely crucial to winning this fight for affordable housing in a city where displacement and gentrification is rampant. Please respond to this email with your availability for next steps in the organizing campaign for Congress Heights:
- Direct actions/possible civil disobedience in support of the city turning over 3200 13th St SE to the Congress Heights tenants association through their chosen non-profit developer
- Outreach/canvassing support in Ward 8 to raise awareness about the fight for the vacant building at 3200 13th St SE
- Organize residents across the District to call in to the Mayor’s office to increase public pressure for turning over 3200 13th St SE
Tenants at Congress Heights have been through over 3 years of hell in order to fight to exercise their TOPA rights. It is critical that we as a community stand with them as they fight to WIN.
Learn more at a community forum Wednesday, October 11th at 6:00 PM at the Malcolm X Rec Center. Click here to RSVP
Vision for Liberation: A Community-Controlled Organizing Space in Southeast DC
It's official. We've signed a contract to purchase the United Black Fund building at 2500 MLK Jr Ave SE to permanently house the ONE DC Black Workers Center! Now the clock is ticking and we need to reach our goal of raising $2 million. Here's how you can help:
- Make a donation today or send a check to PO Box 26049, Washington, DC 20001.
- Host a house party or happy hour fundraiser to raise money from friends, family, & neighbors. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.
- Connect us with people or organizations in your networks who can support our capital campaign.
Contact Resource Organizer Dominic Moulden at email@example.com or 202.232.2915 for more information.
Join ONE DC and The Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company for "Organizing for Equity: A Panel Discussion," following a 3:00 PM performance of The Arsonists, a play about the challenges of liberal politics on Saturday, October 7th. The story of The Arsonists has shared themes with the initiatives we fight for today. The panel will feature Yasmina Mrabet, Dominic Moulden, Brett Williams, and Minnie Elliott for a conversation on racial and economic inequities in DC and how we're building community power to fight for systemic change. Use code ONEDC for $25 tickets to The Arsonists! Click here to purchase a ticket.
Click here for more info and to reserve your spot at the 5:00 PM panel.
Pack The Room: WMATA Board Meeting
Thursday, September 28 - 9:30 AM - 12:00 PM
Washington Area Metropolitan Transit Authority - 600 5th St NW
With the next WMATA budget season looming, riders are worried that the system will keep getting worse. Join us at WMATA's August Board Meeting to demand that the WMATA Board holds a public meeting for community dialogue on the next budget at a time that is most convenient for riders. The WMATA Board meetings once a month and while they do allow for public testimony, the meetings are not accessible since they take place on Thursday mornings while many riders are at work.
Click here to RSVP
Unlikely Allies: Inclusive Development
Thursday, September 28 - 6:30 PM– 8:30 PM
Impact Hub DC - 419 7th Street NW, 3rd Floor
Hear from advocates and organizations working to ensure inclusive development in the nation’s capital. There will be refreshments, resources from community organizations working on this issue, networking opportunities, and a hands-on activity to think through next steps and possible solutions.
Click here to RSVP
March for Racial Justice
Saturday, September 30 - 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Our mission is to harness the national unrest and dissatisfaction with racial injustice into a national mobilization that strengthens local and nationwide efforts for racial equity and justice. We are mobilizing a coalition of organizations, groups and individuals to stand together for racial justice on September 30 in Washington, DC. We invite you to stand with us. Our vision is simple: to create a just and equitable future for communities of color, so that we may all thrive together.
Click here to RSVP & for more info
Arts x Action Night
Sunday, October 1 - 6:00 PM - 10:00 PM
Columbia Heights 'Green'
Bringing together local artists and social justice organizations for a night of connection, community, and entertainment.
Click here to RSVP
Support Paid Family Leave! Testify & Pack the Hearing
Tuesday, October 10 - 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
We must keep the Universal Paid Leave Act law from being replaced by a watered-down version that leaves out DC’s most struggling families. Big industry lobbyists are gunning for the replacement, but we have the people power to push back and win –– again.
Click here for more info
ONE DC Member Orientation
Tuesday, October 10 - 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM
New Community Church, 614 S St NW
We welcome all supporters of ONE DC, whether long-time members or new volunteers, to join us for our Member Orientation. We are excited that you are engaging with ONE DC’s work, whether it be through the Right to Housing struggles, the People's Platform, the Black Workers Center, or one of our committees. Your talents and time are essential to making ONE DC a powerful organization. Member Orientation is designed to allow you to identify exactly what activities you want to devote your time and energy to, engage with staff and member-leaders, and join other members to keep the work strong and growing.
Click here to RSVP & for more info
DC Palestinian Film & Arts Festival
Click here for tickets and more info
Indict the System!
ONE Bit of Good News - Co-Sponsoring DC Premiere of The North Pole
See the new comedy that hits on all of today’s biggest issues: Gentrification. Global Warming. Gluten Free Donuts.
THE NORTH POLE: Washington, DC Premiere and Talkback
Busboys and Poets 5th & K - 1025 5th St NW
Sunday, October 8 - 6:30 PM
Screening & Talkback with Josh Healey (writer/producer), Reyna Amaya (lead actress), and more.