- Social justice candidate forum, August 24: Eleven organizations (listed below) are sponsoring this forum for City Council Chairman and At-large seats. The event begins promptly at 6:30 pm, is scheduled to end at 8:30 pm and is being held at the True Reformer Building (1200 U St NW, Marsh Conference Room). The forum is free and open to the public. Audience members will have the opportunity to ask questions. Childcare and accommodations, including sign language interpretation, provided upon request by August 18 to Kristi Matthews, 328-1262 or via email.
Sponsoring organizations are: DC Jobs Council, DC Jobs with Justice, Defeat Poverty DC, District Alliance for Safe Housing, Empower DC, Fair Budget Coalition, Latino Economic Development Corporation, Jews United for Justice, Metropolitan Washington Council AFL-CIO, Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless, and Wider Opportunities for Women.
- Volunteers needed to monitor polls for accessibility issues on September 14: University Legal Services (ULS) is working under the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) to ensure that individuals with disabilities have access to the polls and can cast their votes independently and confidently. Monitoring the precincts should only take 10-15 minutes of your time. If you are interested in helping ULS this year, contact Cristina Meneses at 547-0198 (area code 202, don't ask why I am doing it this way) or via email.
- What a few (and only a few) candidates have to say about defeating poverty: Defeat Poverty DC is interested in how candidates would eradicate poverty in DC if elected. The collaboration asked candidates questions and the answers submitted so far are online.
Note the candidates who have responded are highlighted in red. For those who have not yet read the responses, they are paltry. Pathetic (in number). Pitiful. Pathomaniacal. Pediculous. Piacular. (Ok, I've run out of words starting with "p.")
In all seriousness, does the small number of responses indicate that candidates don't care about poor people? Or does it mean they aren't interested in eradicating poverty in DC? In either case, the response rate does not bode well for poor folks, young and old alike. Want to call the candidates out on not telling us how they would defeat poverty? Refer to this (somewhat dated) list of candidates for email and other contact information.
- Defeat Poverty DC on candidate Vince Gray's jobs plan: While the coalition of more than 100 organizations and 3,000 residents gave Gray a thumbs up for the effort, agreeing with him that "there is no more important issue than connecting DC residents to jobs", the Gray plan has left the collaboration with "many questions", according to Defeat Poverty DC campaign director Michael Edwards.
Defeat Poverty DC considers "Making Work Possible" the first and most important step in addressing our city’s historic poverty rate. Part and parcel of this concept is reducing the barriers to employment such as adult literacy, child care, and transportation barriers. According to Edwards, Defeat Poverty DC is left wondering about the resources that will be dedicated to workforce development, how First Source will be enforced, Gray's plan to improve literacy and skills training, the ways other issues (such as substance abuse and limited work history) will be addressed, and the ultimate impact of the plan on residents.