#NoMoreStopandFrisk Canvassing Event 11/8

Stop-and-Frisk Canvassing Orientation on November 8.

What Do We Know About Stop-and-Frisk in DC?

Far too little. Despite being required by law to keep comprehensive data on Stop-and-Frisk, the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) has so far refused to collect and report this data. Of the limited partial data they have released 83% of all Stops-and-Frisks were of Black residents, who make up less than 48% of DC’s total population.

DC residents have years of stories of being stopped, followed, and abused by police who routinely violate their civil rights. And while the MPD has claimed to have ended jump out squads, described as “DC’s scarier version of stop and frisk”—which involve heavily armed teams of undercover officers violently searching and arresting anyone deemed suspicious—these tactics have also continued.
— from SPTDC

Visit Stop Police Terror DCto learn more about the issue, sign a petition, DONATE, and sign up for the canvassing.

A Right to the City exhibit thru 4/20/20

After a half-century of population decline and disinvestment, Washington, DC, today is home to a rapidly growing population, rising rents and home prices, major new development projects, but also deepening inequality. A Right to the City explores more than five decades of neighborhood change in the nation’s capital as well as the rich history of organizing and civic engagement that accompanied it….Read full description at Smithsonian exhibit announcement.

A Right to the City

April 21, 2018 – April 20, 2020
Anacostia Community Museum
1901 Fort Place SE
Washington, DC

acm-right-city
Photo: Susan Raab. Borrowed from Smithsonian announcement

DC Health Hearing 10/26

ON FRIDAY, October 26th at 10 am in room 500, the DC Council Committee on Health will hold hearings on several bills, including the “East End Health Equity Act of 2018” — which could help speed up the process toward a new hospital in Ward 8.

AND FOR BREAST CANCER PREVENTION ADVOCATES: There will also be a hearing at the same time on the “Breast Density Screening and Notification Act of 2018.”

Some background from Health Alliance Network:
On Tuesday, October 16th, the DC Council unanimously passed the “Clarification of Hospital Closure Procedure Emergency Amendment Act of 2018.” This legislation “CLARIFIES” that the Executive Branch of the DC government — through the Mayor vis-a-vis The Department of Health, has the AUTHORITY to deny the immediate closure of Ascension Providence hospital’s obstetrics and emergency departments.

That means that Mayor Bowser has the authority to at least delay this closure [hopefully until June] until a transition plan for the city’s other hospitals to absorb the anticipated 50,000+ users of Providence’s emergency department can be implemented. It would also provide time for the hundreds of professional medical staff and physicians to find other job positions in the region. As an appointee to the Commission on Health Equity by Mayor Bowser, I am stating that this a Health Equity issue, considering the potential health consequences for women and poor and low income communities in Wards 5, 7 & 8. I am confident that the Mayor will make the right decision and consider the health equity issue involved. I am also grateful to Chairman Mendelson and Council members V. Gray, K. McDuffie, R. White, and A. Bonds for leading support for this.
— Ambrose Lane Jr., Chair, Health Alliance Network

for more on the Health Alliance Network, visit them on Facebook or email healthalliancenetworkward7 at gmail(dot)com.

For Ahkeem 10/23

Restorative DC and Advocates for Justice and Education are screening the documentary film For Ahkeem, followed by a facilitated audience dialogue. Hosted by ONE DC’s Black Workers Center.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018
5:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Black Workers Center
2500 MLK Jr. Ave SE
(across from Anacostia Metro Station)

For Ahkeem follows two tumultuous years in the life of St. Louis teen Daje Shelton – two years in which friends die, love blossoms, Michael Brown is murdered, and she finds out she is pregnant. The film discusses topics such as the school-to-prison pipeline, raising a Black child in the US, structural racism, institutional inequality, and how justice is handled in public schools. Content warnings for systematic racism, state violence, and similar themes apply.

This is part of the Dignity in Schools Campaign’s National Week of Action Against School Pushout, where this years theme is “Counselors, Not Cops!” The Dignity in Schools Campaign is a national coalition working to end the school-to-prison pipeline and the current national culture of hyper-criminalization, punishment, and systematic racism

Noise Abatement Testimony, 10/4/18

On October 4, 2018, the DC City Council held a hearing on proposed Noise Abatement legislation: B22-839, the “Amplified Noise Amendment Act of 2018,” and B22-900 the “Amplified Noise Amendment Emergency Amendment Act of 2018.” The Cross-River Dialogue submitted the following testimony.

Testimony

I am here as a long-time resident of the District and a member of the Cross-River (Black-Jewish) Dialogue.

The Cross-River Dialogue is a small group of District residents focusing on improved understanding between Black and Jewish communities and between interests east and west of the Anacostia River. As Jews, we recognize the importance of investigating and honoring “custom of the place” in decision-making, official and unofficial, and we know the horrors that result when our culture is not protected but criminalized. As members of black communities, we’ve known centuries of attempts to ignore, erase, and criminalize our cultures. Together, as the Cross-River Dialogue, we ask the Council to actively work to protect the existing culture of our shared city and to refrain in every instance from criminalizing residents and visitors based on a narrow set of interests.

We applaud amending the “noise disturbance” law to exempt demonstrations, along with “parades and public gatherings.” It is essential that the District protect the rights of those from in- and outside town to express themselves under the First Amendment; this is our city’s special responsibility, of course, as the national capital. It is also essential, however, that the District protect the rights of our own residents and visitors to express themselves.

Those of us who moved here from other parts of the country chose to move into an existing cultural center; while we are free to express our own culture, we are not free to displace those here before us. Those of us who have lived here all our lives deserve respect and protection of our government, even as we make room for newer cultural interests.

We support modifications of this legislation proposed by the artistic community to accommodate needs of different groups, including musicians and those who live and work on some of the louder streets in town. While this legislation can – and should – be tweaked so that it does less damage than as originally proposed, the Cross-River Dialogue asks the City Council to rethink any legislation that privileges the interests of developers and newly zoned residential areas over others in town. Instead of trying to fine musicians, for example, the City Council could ensure that developers and others who profit off new residential zones bear the burden of making those zones habitable, through insulation, sound-proofing or other measures.

Black and Jewish history teaches that treating one group of people as a problem to be solved in appeasing another group has lasting, devastating consequences. We will not survive as a city if we do not create and implement more inclusive visions for growth and change.

-#-

Photo: Salim Adofo
Via Facebook

Charlottesville, DC, and Jewish Responsibility

On August 6, the Anti-Defamation League and the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington issued a joint “Community Advisory” on upcoming protests in the District of Columbia. In response, members of the Cross-River Dialogue submitted this letter to the Forward’s “Scribe” forum. (We did not choose the headline.) It was published on August 10.