is a city-wide grassroots organization committed to building the power of low-income communities of color to create long lasting, positive change in our communities. We currently have active community organizing campaigns to save and improve public housing
, to ensure all children have access to high-quality neighborhood public schools, and to support the residents of Ivy City
as they improve their neighborhood.
is a membership-based organization, and our members
lead our campaigns, serve on our Board of Directors
, and help set the organization’s priorities.
A selected list of our major victories since 2003.
- Won $21 million increase for DC’s Child Care Subsidy Program (June 2005).
- Won passage of a bill mandating a community hearing before public property is sold or given away (December 2009).
- Won approval of law outlining community input process into DC’s Master Facilities Plan (May 2010).
- Supported the revitalization and re-launch of the Ivy City Civic Association (2012).
- Won injunction blocking establishment of a polluting tour bus parking lot in Ivy City (December 2012).
- Won $11 million increase for childcare (May 2013).
- Won $10 million to support the transformation of Ivy City’s abandoned Alexander Crummell School into a community center (Spring 2014).
- Formed the Barry Farm Tenants and Allies Association (BFTAA) to assist Barry Farm (Ward 8) residents with advocating for improvements to their community.
- Stopped the DC Department of Parks and Recreation from shuttering the community’s only recreation center and leaving the community without services for a year before the opening of a new one.
- Won “party status” at the DC Zoning Commission and supported resident involvement in zoning hearings.
- Mobilized over 100 public housing and homeless residents to engage in budget advocacy, including over 40 who testified at the City Council for the first time.
- Won the first ever local budget investment in repair and maintenance of public housing – just under $1 million for fiscal year 2016, and $15 million in the Mayor’s budget for fiscal year 2017.
It is important to note the victories that don’t appear on this list. A mother who testifies for the first time in front of City Council against the closure of her child’s school. A public housing resident who cross-examines city officials and developers in front of the DC Zoning Commission, exposing their disregard for her family and community. At Empower DC, we regularly see these victories.