• D.C. Seeks to Improve Its Comprehensive Plan

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    Published February 10, 2017 at 7:49 pm - No Comments Cross-Posted from Street Sense by Ashley Clarke The D.C. Office of Planning is amending the Comprehensive Plan, a long-standing document that outlines ...

    D.C. Seeks to Improve Its Comprehensive Plan
  • Inauguration Day Blues

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    Published February 1, 2017 at 6:47 pm - No Comments It seems like it’s been years since January 20, 2017. A lot of people, many of them devout moderates, said that we should give Donald Trump a chance ...

    Inauguration Day Blues
  • DCMJ Inauguration Day Protest

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    Published January 23, 2017 at 8:50 pm - No Comments What will the Trump Presidency mean to the District of Columbia? With its status as a federal district, all laws passed by the City Council are subjec ...

    DCMJ Inauguration Day Protest
  • Not Enough Money for Low-Income DC Residents, But Tax Cut for Wealthy Unchanged

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    Published May 31, 2016 at 11:27 am - No Comments Cross-posted from Poverty & Policy Written by Kathryn Baer As you local readers probably know, the DC Council passed a budget for the upcoming fis ...

    Not Enough Money for Low-Income DC Residents, But Tax Cut for Wealthy Unchanged
  • No Shortage of Ideas for Better, More Affordable Child Care

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    Published May 9, 2016 at 10:51 am - No Comments The cost of un-subsidized child care is extraordinarily high, raising sometimes insurmountable barriers to low-income parents who want to work. The co ...

    No Shortage of Ideas for Better, More Affordable Child Care
  • Survival’s Price

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    Published May 2, 2016 at 6:18 pm - No Comments “...Afro-Americans have never had any kind of a chance to recover from the traumatic wounds of slavery…” Michele Wallace, The Culture War withi ...

    Survival’s Price
  • Changing the Rules on Graduation Requirements

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    Published March 31, 2016 at 2:51 pm - No Comments DC "State" Board of Education has proposed changing the rules for District of Columbia Graduates. Rather than taking all the courses required to get t ...

    Changing the Rules on Graduation Requirements
  • Taking Black History Seriously

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    Published February 27, 2016 at 1:34 pm - No Comments If Black history were taken seriously, the myth of Black inferiority, a foundational pillar of white supremacy, would be incapable of justifying itsel ...

    Taking Black History Seriously
  • From Civil Rights to Human Rights, Black Community Control Now!

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    Published February 6, 2016 at 7:45 pm - One Comment A United Nations Working Group preliminary report on human rights violations against Black America advocates Black community control of police. From Civil Rights to Human Rights, Black Community Control Now!

  • Placing DC’s Crime Wave in Context

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    Published January 19, 2016 at 6:41 am - 2 Comments This past summer, much media attention was given to what has been called a “surge” of violent crime in DC. Resident reactions to the violent crime ...

    Placing DC’s Crime Wave in Context
  • DC Council Votes to Lower the Legal Standard for new Family Shelters: “What’s wrong with us?”

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    Published November 11, 2015 at 2:18 pm - 5 Comments Cross-Posted from the Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless Written by Patricia Mullahy Fugere Last week, the DC Council voted 9-4 against requirin ...

    DC Council Votes to Lower the Legal Standard for new Family Shelters: “What’s wrong with us?”
  • Supporting the Movement for Black Lives

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    Published August 29, 2015 at 1:56 pm - No Comments Posted on behalf of Black Lives Matter DMV These next 3 weeks are going to be very busy for the Movement for Black Lives here in DC. We get a lot of a ...

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D.C. Seeks to Improve Its Comprehensive Plan

Cross-Posted from Street Sense
by Ashley Clarke

The D.C. Office of Planning is amending the Comprehensive Plan, a long-standing document that outlines priorities for D.C.’s future growth and change. In a statement from the Office of Planning, Director Eric Shaw encouraged residents to read the Comprehensive Plan and make suggestions for changes.

“‘Planning an Inclusive City’ is the guiding vision for the DC Comprehensive Plan. An inclusive city is one where every member of the community feels welcome wherever they are in the city, and where everyone has a fair and equitable opportunity to live a healthy, successful and fulfilling life,” Edward Geifer, associate director of the Office of Planning, wrote in an email to Street Sense.

A heterogeneous coalition was born out of the Office of Planning’s call to the public.  Community organizations, for-profit and nonprofit developers, faith groups, tenant advocates and other local organizations have formed a loose coalition of interested parties to identify priorities for creating more affordable housing and community support for under-resourced communities in D.C.  The coalition met over several months to reach an agreement on a series of priorities that are listed on their website at www.DCHousingpriorities.org.Comprehensive-Plan-Timeline-717x422

According to the 2016 annual census done by the D.C. Council on Homelessness,  8,350 people experience homelessness on any given night in the city.  Coalition members want to see growth in the city but also want the Office of Planning to know that growth does not mean pushing marginalized people further to the margins.

“It is possible to build new housing, including a good measure of affordable housing, and grow the District’s tax base in a way that makes business sense and advances the public good. The result can be a combination of new housing and amenities for residents and increased revenue for the city so it can continue to enhance quality of life,” said Aakash Thakkar in the a news release. Thakkar is the senior vice president of EYA, a real estate development firm that is part of the coalition.

Coalition  members believe that more affordable housing and targeted support for D.C. communities should be in the Comprehensive Plan.  Philip Stump-Kennedy told Street Sense that Latino Economic Development Center (LEDC) joined the coalition in hopes of using the Office of Planning as a tool for their mission. Stump-Kennedy is the regional tenant organizing manager at LEDC. He said he is tasked with the preservation of affordable housing in D.C, which is one of the priorities the coalition wants addressed. He referred to the lack of affordable housing in D.C. and said it is important that subsidized housing like Section 8 housing is maintained in the District.

Stump-Kennedy also believes rent control is an important part of affordable housing preservation. The rest of the coalition agrees and lists the protection of tenants as a priority. Stump-Kennedy said that the LEDC focuses on organizing tenants, connecting them with attorneys and other tenant associations. Stump-Kennedy said there is strength in numbers and organization.

“We need policies that preserve the affordable housing we already have as the District develops. It’s clear the city needs more units to meet the demand of the people coming here, but we also need strategies to protect tenants who are struggling to stay in the city. Those goals don’t have to be in conflict,” said Rob Wohl, a tenant organizer for the LEDC, in a news release.

The coalition members believe that the development of affordable housing and equitable economics requires the participation of all D.C. communities in order to move toward a solution. A full list of organizations and businesses in support of the D.C. housing priorities can be found on their webpage.

Residents can get involved by signing up for updates at plandc.dc.gov and submitting proposed amendments during the open call period for amendments.

Inauguration Day Blues

Maya Quote

It seems like it’s been years since January 20, 2017. A lot of people, many of them devout moderates, said that we should give Donald Trump a chance. He’s not really going to do the things he says he’s going to do. He’s not a true conservative. He’s just saying those things to get elected. […] . . . → Read More: Inauguration Day Blues

DCMJ Inauguration Day Protest

Ghandi

What will the Trump Presidency mean to the District of Columbia? With its status as a federal district, all laws passed by the City Council are subject to Congressional approval. Legislation like needle exchange programs and gun control have been held up and denied all together by Congress. We can blame the conservative members of […] . . . → Read More: DCMJ Inauguration Day Protest

Black Lives Matter DC Reclaiming Martin Luther King

  . . . → Read More: Black Lives Matter DC Reclaiming Martin Luther King

See Ya, Kaya: ‘Legacy of Progress’?

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Cross-Post from The Fight Back written by Pete Tucker This is the first in a three-part series on Kaya Henderson’s time atop DCPS. After six years as head of D.C. Public Schools, Kaya Henderson is calling it quits Friday. According to the Washington Post, her biggest booster, Henderson is leaving behind a “legacy of progress.” Not everyone agrees. Before ascending […] . . . → Read More: See Ya, Kaya: ‘Legacy of Progress’?