Despite DC’s economic boom and DC’s recovery from the recession, studies show that Black unemployment in DC remains stubbornly high at 19.5%. In high unemployment zones of the District, like many neighborhoods east of the river and among youth and returning citizens, the rates can be even higher. In addition to high unemployment, the wages of DC’s lowest income workers have been stagnant or falling. WIN and Metro IAF organizers in DC are aggressively organizing to make unemployment, wages and benefits central issues in the District over the coming years.
WIN’s strategy around affordable housing involves building institutional bases of faith leaders & tenants capable of long term campaigns, pressing for increases in subsidy for affordable housing, vigorous research of underutilized public and non-profit land, and challenging developers to maximize affordable housing when they request city subsidy.
In 2017 WIN leaders, organized research actions to identify public land with a goal of securing commitments for another 3,000+ units of affordable housing on public land during the next administration.
Community Safety/ Gun Violence
In our series of house meetings community safety arose as a key issue of interest. WIN is supporting the Metro IAF Campaign “Do Not Stand Idly By (DNSIB)”.
Additionally, WI is currently engaged in a series of listening sessions in wards 7 and 8 to identify key neighborhoods and issues to address in the coming years.
Transit and privatization (Streetcar and Circulator)
In DC, both Circulator Bus and Streetcar are privatized creating a race to the bottom for wages and benefits for these workers. After a successful campaign in
2016 with ATU Local 1764 which led to a new 3-year contract for Circulator workers that increased wages, tripled employer contributions to worker 401(k)
plans, and included ensured drivers don’t have to operate buses that do not meet safety standards; WIN & ATU have kept organizing with DC’s privatized transit workers.
In 2017, WIN continued organizing with workers at the Circulator and expanded to working with Street Car workers demanding:
- DC Government bring the Circulator in-house in FY19 and ensure government healthcare and retirement benefits for the 200 operators and mechanics.
- Multinational contractor RDMT & DC Government ensure the 30+ Streetcar workers get wages, healthcare and retirement befitting public employees.
In the current political climate, our immigrant communities are under a great threat whether they are undocumented families facing deportation, TPS residents
concerned about their status being renewed, or DREAMers uncertain of their future as students and workers.
In 2017, WIN organized a series of listening sessions in immigrant communities around DC and began meeting with locally based CEO’s to develop relationships and begin to present our agenda in the coming years.