Upcoming Events and Actions
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Twitter: @EmpowerDCTweets by @EmpowerDC
Join our campaign to save DC public schools and protect public education. read more
Empower DC is helping lead the fight against the demolition of public housing in DC. read more
As the DC government plans to close down community public schools to convert them into charters or condos, parents are fighting back. read more
Empower DC is organizing public housing residents in Barry Farm and Greenleaf Gardens to fight against the Choice/New Communities gentrification projects which will reduce the public housing stock. read more
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Contact Schyla Pondexter-Moore (202-234-9119 x.101, firstname.lastname@example.org) with questions
After two previous hearings and the submission of several hundred pages of documents, the DC Zoning Commission is set to rule on the future of Barry Farm. Barry Farm Tenants & Allies Association (BFTAA) calls on Empower DC members and supporters to turn out and stand with them to tell the DC Zoning Commission to Reject the Developers' Planned Unit Development (PUD) application!
Barry Farm and Wade Road Apartments, totaling 444-units on coveted land near the Anacostia Metro, is the latest community to be disrupted and displaced, and residents' rights put at-risk because of planned development. The developers' Planned Unit Development (PUD) application must be rejected because it inadequately addresses critical questions about affordability and the well-being of residents, and would cause an immediate net-loss of desperately needed affordable housing in the District at a time when we are experiencing a housing crisis among low-income and homeless families.
Click here for more detals about the PUD and to read Barry Farm residents' demands.
Click here to go the the DC Zoning Commission website to view the documents submitted by BFTAA and our expert witnesses, as well as those by the developer.
Empower DC hosts a one-hour radio show on WPFW 89.3, Taking Action, every Tuesday at 1:00 pm to talk about critical issues facing DC's low-income communities of color. We bring in DC residents -- the real experts -- to talk about the challenges our communities face and solutions designed to uplift our people. If you have a suggestion for a show, a question, or a comment, email email@example.com.
July 22, 2014: Schyla Pondexter-Moore, Empower DC's Public Housing Organizer, talks with Detrice Belt and Chris Otten. Detrice is the President of the Barry Farm Tenant and Allies Association (BFTAA) and an 18 year resident of Barry Farm. She talks about her journey toward becoming a community leader and her experiences confronting city councilmembers, DCHA, and the DC Zoning Commision. Later in the show she is joined by Chris Otten of DC for Reasonable Development who has worked with Detrice and other residents of Barry Farm to challenge the complicated and opaque zoning and planning process.
Detrice and other Barry Farm residents will be back at the Zoning Commision on Monday, July 28 at 6:30 pm to hear whether or not the commission approves the developer's PUD. Read more here and join us that evening at 441 4th Street, NW, Suite 200-S.
Are you passionate about organizing community power? Do you support Empower DC’s work, and want to lend your hand to grow, sustain and steward the organization? Please nominate yourself or someone you know for the Board of Directors!
To be eligible the nominee must:
Empower DC is very interested in recruiting Board members who are residents of traditional public housing or those who have children/grandchildren in traditional DCPS public schools.
The Nominations Committee will review all nominations and meet with candidates to review the requirements of the position. A roster of candidates will be sent out to our members in preparation for the vote. All nominations must be received by July 15, 2014.
To nominate someone – including yourself – fill out the nominations form and return it to Empower DC, 1419 V Street, NW Washington, DC 20009; by email to firstname.lastname@example.org; or by fax to (202) 234-6655. Direct all questions to email@example.com or (202) 234-9119 x105.
Monday, June 2, 2014; 7:00 pm
In front of McKinley High School
151 T Street, NE
Questions or for more info contact Daniel (202-234-9119 x104, firstname.lastname@example.org)
Black and Latino parents are increasingly being pushed out of their children's schools by administrators and others who don't want parents to express their opinions. Join us for a press conference and candlelight vigil to highlight the death of democracy for communities of color in our schools. If you have a story about being pushed out of your child's school that you would like to share at the press conference, please contact Daniel.
Click here for bilingual (English/Spanish) fliers to put up in your neighborhood.
Advisory Neighborhood Commissioners (ANCs) are the most local form of elected government in DC -- and they can have a big impact on what happens in your neighborhood. Come to Empower DC's next Empowerment Circle to learn more about ANCs, including how to start the process of running for the November election. Our guests will include Gottlieb Simon of the Office of Advisory Neighborhood Commissions; Kathy Fairley, Special Assistant, DC Board of Elections and Ethics; Eboni-Rose Thompson, ANC7F02; Pho Palmer, ANC8C07; Nancy MacWood, ANC3C09; and Renee Bowser, ANC4D02.
Before the training, make sure you know what your ANC is by looking it up here.
Saturday, June 7, 2014: 2:30 -4:30 pm
Benning Road Library
3935 Benning Road, NE
Questions or to RSVP for childcare, contact Jennifer (202-234-9119, email@example.com)
Download fliers to put up in your neighborhood.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, February 15, 2014
CONTACT: Daniel del Pielago, Empower DC (202) 234-9119 x 104 (office), 202-276-4475 (cell)
In Federal Court, Black Parents Refute DC’s Justification for Closing 15 Neighborhood Public Schools
WASHINGTON, D.C. – In the federal court case challenging the constitutionality of the January 2013 decision by Mayor Vincent Gray and D.C. Public Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson to close fifteen public schools in Black neighborhoods, plaintiffs filed papers Monday showing that the claimed justification for closing the schools was false. Plaintiffs Shannon Smith and Marlece Turner’s children’s schools were among the schools defendants closed. The plaintiffs are members of Empower DC, a citywide community organization promoting the self-advocacy of low and moderate-income DC residents that has led organizing efforts to block school closures.
Plaintiffs’ opposition to summary judgment argues that on the week 60th Anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education,”[ t]he vision of high-quality and integrated public schools articulated in the Brown… landmark decision has been steadily and intentionally replaced in the District of Columbia by a divided system in which certain, mostly White, affluent students West of Rock Creek Park enjoy the benefit of serious investments in their traditional public schools, while mostly Black students East of the Park witness their public schools being closed and increasingly and intentionally replaced by publicly funded but privately operated charter schools”.
Update: Death by a Thousand Cuts: Racism, School Closures, and Public School Sabotage, a report by the Journey 4 Justice Alliance, has just been released publicly. It's a damning look at the devastation caused by the planned growth of charter schools and the concurrent closure of neighborhood public schools in communities of color across the country. Download and read -- we'd love to hear your comments.
Also today, Journey 4 Justice filed three complaints under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act,
May 17 marks the 60th anniversary of the Supreme Court's decision in the historic Brown v. Board of Education case that legally ended segregation in public schools. However, the struggle continues as public schools across the country are being closed in communities of color and our neighborhoods are losing access to free public schools that children can attend as a matter of right. Join Empower DC and our national partners for a series of events to commemorate Brown v. Board of Education and continue the fight for high-quality education for all our children.
For more information about these events, contact Daniel at 202-234-9119 x.104 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rally at the Supreme Court, then March to DOJ
End at Department of Justice, 950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Local Day of Action
Saturday, May 17, 2014; 11:30 am - 2:00 pm
Sousa Middle School
3650 Ely Place, SE
Local day of action that includes a community forum and workshops. Topics include school closures, the school-to-prison pipeline, and the privatization of education. Co-sponsored with DCJWJ, MLOV, Our DC, Teaching for Change, WTU, and The Council of School Officers.
And listen to the most recent edition of Empower DC's radio show, Taking Action, to hear local parent activists Marlece Turner and Shannon Smith talk about how school closures have affected their families and the ongoing fight for high-quality neighborhood public schools.
We need to demand that DC invest in public housing and stop pushing people out of DC or into homelessness! We demand that the city:
The city now has fewer thatn 8,000 units of public housing, down from 20,000 -- and a homeless crisis. In its budget, DC allocates money for housing police, but none for the actual housing, relying solely on drastically dwindling federal HUD funds. And when the Mayor and Councilmembers talk about investing $100 million in affordable housing, they don't mean housing for our city's most vulnerable residents. They mean "workforce housing" for those earning $60,000.
Is this the city you want to live in?
Join us for a rally and testify at the DCHA budget hearing:
Wednesday, April 30
Wilson Building, 1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
For more information or to find out how you can get involved, contact Schyla (202-234-9119, email@example.com).
Empower DC works to preserve and protect affordable housing, ensure the creation of more affordable housing, and heighten tenants’ knowledge of their housing rights. We do this through developing the leadership and collective power of tenants directly impacted by the need for affordable housing
In 2012, our focus is working with residents of Public Housing to ensure they are informed about their rights and are able to collectively...
Empower DC’s Public Education Campaign is campaign is building an organized and empowered group of parents and community members concerned about DC Public Schools, who through collective action are becoming a political force and holding officials accountable to their needs. The campaign is currently focused on informing the public about potential school closures and organizing residents to demand investment in, not closure of, DC Public Schools...
Empower DC is assisting the historic Ivy City community with re-establishing a strong and sustainable Civic Association, and developing neighborhood leadership and strategic campaigns around several issues including the restoration of the Alexander Crummell School for use as a workforce development and community center..