WIN 2013 Victories
I. ENDING HOMELESSNESS
There are over 3,000 homeless youth a woefully inadequate amount of beds and services. WIN – lead by our members Sasha Bruce, Covenant House, and the Latin American Youth Center is engaging a team of homeless and formerly homeless youth, service providers, congregation based allies, and working with the policy team of DC Alliance for Youth Advocates on a campaign to invest in a Plan to Address Youth Homelessness through investment in an expansion of street outreach, emergency beds, longer-term homes, supportive services, family reunification, coordinated intake and service provision.
Progress in 2013 – expansion in funding and a bill to end homelessness:
WIN contributed to the following results:
- $2.5 million expansion of funding/ restoration of cuts for homeless youth.
- Expansion from 5 to 12 emergency beds available for unaccompanied minors, which will serve an estimated 200 additional youth.
- Public launch and promotion of a strategic plan to end youth homelessness in Washington, DC.
WIN played a key role in the coalitions by, among other things:
- In alliance with DCAYA leading the efforts around youth homelessness in both the policy asks and the organizing residents to make their voices heard around this important priority.
- Organizing 1,000+ different residents to call and email the DC councilmembers in a 24 hour period – reportedly the largest such effort in DC history. As well as organizing phone banks and email blasts to keep constituents informed about council actions throughout the budget process.
II. BUILDING AFFORDABLE HOUSING
WIN made progress on development of and secured funding for some of the pipeline of 600+ units of affordable homes such as:
- Working in conjunction with tenants fighting to renovate their building and preserve it as affordable in the Brightwood neighborhood of Ward 4.
- 100+ units largely on member congregation land at Emory UMC in Ward 4.
- 80 units of affordable senior housing in the Truxton Circle/ Shaw Neighborhood in Ward 5.
- 100+ units permanent supportive housing and affordable housing on North Capitol Street in Ward 6, where WIN did the initial organizing for the land.
- Affordable homeownership with the first of 64 Nehemiah homes Eden Place at Beulah Crossing in Ward 7.
- 30+ units of apartments to revitalize in the Deanwood Community in Ward 7.
- 184 units at the Parkway Overlook apartments in Ward 8.
III. COMMUNITY COOPERATIVE
Building off of the success of the community energy purchase where we worked with 103 congregations, charter schools, affordable housing developments, and non-profits by organizing a collective purchase of energy that saved participants between $600-$28,500 a year. We have worked in the first half of the year to develop an analysis of the purchasing power of our member institutions in terms of trash hauling, energy, office supplies, cleaning and landscaping services, etc. We have a first draft analysis that we are beginning to present to leaders to get ideas for next steps.
IV. JOBS : A CITY WHERE ALL HAVE LIVING WAGE WORK
The EPA mandate that DC prevent storm water from entering the Chesapeake Bay will ensure that $2.6 billion+ is and will be spent over the next decade. This presents an opportunity to advocate for a path of storm water abatement that creates blue-collar jobs such as: the installation of green roofs, permeable surfaces for parking lots, roads, and sidewalks, as well as installation of rain barrels and gardens. WIN is organizing along with our allies the Laborers International Union Local 657 to support policies that create and train DC residents for these jobs. If we WIN we will see:
1,000-1,200 DC residents complete apprenticeship or gain equivalent work experience (3-4 years on the job on DC Water related construction projects) and 500-600 of those concentrated in high unemployment communities East of the River. This is in contrast to the status quo scenario of only 11% local hiring that would produce only 250-300 3-4 year career opportunities for residents citywide.
-$350 million in direct payroll for DC residents as opposed to $90 million in direct payroll for DC residents under the status quo hiring rate. Additional $1.6 billion in potential payroll over the next three decades from residents who use DC Water project work as a springboard to a construction career.
PEPCO Under-Grounding –
Building off of the base of community support we are building and off of the policy knowledge we are gaining from the DC Water campaign we are working to apply the community benefits to the Pepco under-grounding of power-lines, a $900 million dollar project, and the Sustainable Energy Utility.
: WIN has made progress through:
- Working with Councilmembers on drafting community benefits legislation that was introduced in June by 10 councilmembers.
- Organizing ward level resident participation that represented 1/3-of the total turnout citywide at all of the DC Water Town Hall combined and testifying at the DC Water rate increase hearing.
- Meeting and negotiating with DC Water General Manager and DC Water Board Chair the City Administrator where they agreed to and began a $20 million local hiring pilot to increase the hiring of residents on upcoming DC Water jobs.
- Working with Councilmembers in their oversight capacity to question DC Water Board nominees about their willingness to work to create a pipeline for residents to get trained and work on DC Water projects.
- Training 1,000+ residents on the upcoming green stormwater infrastructure upgrades, the raising of water bills, and the opportunities to create jobs and clean the environment if DC residents are at the table,
- Holding a 800+ person action calling on DC Water to create a pipeline to the jobs that will be created for DC residents – especially in Wards 7 and 8 and to use a mix of gray and green infrastructure to protect the environment.
- Commissioned a study by Good Jobs First on the impact of water bill rates going up and the need for the creation of local jobs to ensure that the Clean Rivers Project is not a net economic loss for low income residents in DC.
- Testimonies in support of local hiring in the PEPCO Under-Grounding at hearings, meetings with DC Councilmembers and with PEPCO administration, and working with councilmembers to ensure that it becomes law.