ONE Right to Economic Equity
Right to Income is the Black Workers and Wellness Center’s anchor organizing campaign for long-time D.C. residents seeking better labor conditions, living wage work, and cooperative economics. Right to Income works on unwinding practices that have systematically disadvantaged low-wage workers and contribute to their chronic economic insecurity. To this end, every year at the People’s Assembly, ONE DC members participate in the decision-making of the Right to Income’s organizing campaign and political goals. Campaign leaders will be representatives of the Black Workers and Wellness Center’s primary base, which is low-wage, long-time Black D.C. residents.
Right to Income campaign leaders will determine campaign strategy, direct actions, and campaign events meant to secure political and economic victories for low-wage workers. Right to Income campaign leaders also host popular education workshops with BWWC’s primary base to develop and encourage a shared political analysis about low-wage D.C. residents’ enduring economic marginalization. Our citywide People’s Platform puts forward a platform to organize for decent and dignified jobs and promote democratic work environments through worker cooperatives.
Right to Income Campaigns:
As the cost of living goes up each year due to gentrification and employment opportunities dwindle due to the COVID -19 pandemic and changing landscape, Black people are left behind to fail. D.C. had the highest Black unemployment rate in the country during the first three months of the pandemic, reaching a high of 18.2% by the summer. D.C. has a long history of neglecting Black workers, particularly the low-wage and underemployed. Historically, Black workers have had to bear the brunt of discriminatory and exploitative practices in the workplace and have less economic opportunities year after year. In March 2021, the Right to Income Committee decided to launch a Guaranteed Income campaign to address the immediate financial needs of D.C. residents. Guaranteed Income is used interchangeably with Universal Basic Income but Guaranteed Income targets individuals who need the supplemental income the most. Join us every other Thursday at 6:30pm to learn more!
Co-op Education; Learning Circles
Here at ONE DC, we value political education and collective learning. This year, Right to Income members decided to re-launch learning circles with the intent of educating themselves on cooperatives in Black history and in the Black community. So far they have watched educational panels, shared news and research articles and represented on Black co-ops while fostering conversations on the different types of co-ops, cultural significance of “sou-sous” in minority communities, and white-washing of cooperatives in mainstream media. We are looking to grow our circle and hear from community members about the experience with co-ops. We believe that knowledge is power and it will take the collective to make this co-op journey as successful as possible. If you interested in learning more, please contact JoJo at [email protected] or Kelly at [email protected]
Shared Work Campaign
Shared Work is a voluntary program implemented by 26 states and the District of Columbia as an alternative to layoffs when employers are facing a decline in business. Employees remain employed at reduced hours, keep their health and retirement benefits and receive their regular pay as well as a percentage of their weekly benefit amount determined by their participation in the program. Employers are able to keep their full staff, avoid the stress of training new employees and keep their businesses open.
The Shared Work campaign began in June 2020 as a result of the economic impact of COVID-19 on Black workers in D.C. Black communities were hit the hardest by the pandemic with the highest death and unemployment rates in the city. The goal of this campaign is to provide economic relief for Black residents during the pandemic and prevent further damage to their well-being and economic stability.
More information about the Shared Work program can be found HERE
Workforce Participatory Action Research
ONE DC is participating in a research project developed by Movement Matters. The purpose of this project is to assess the changing landscape of labor as we move through so much uncertainty due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Millions of people lost their jobs and main source of income at the beginning of the year and while some were able to keep their job(s) or return to work, others may not have a job to return to. ONE DC will be one of five local organizations participating in this research project and the data collected will provide insight into what economic policies we need to push forward to slow the widening of the racial wealth gap. The research will also provide guidance in our organizing work and campaigns by specifying targets, identifying weak spots and deepening our understanding of the long-term impacts of COVID-19. The project is set to begin mid-year of 2021.
The Right to Income committee meets every other Thursday at 6:30 - 8:00pm EST via Zoom unless stated otherwise. To RSVP for our meetings, visit our events tab page. For questions and information, please contact JoJo at [email protected] or Kelly at [email protected]
ONE DC and NELP just launched our joint story-sharing website project. If you or someone you know is a Black worker with a story to share, please submit your story HERE and we will follow up with you shortly. Thank you!