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WIN Secures Commitments from DC Councilmembers to Raise Wages, Provide Better Healthcare for Workers of Privatized DC Streetcar and Circulator Bus


DC Circulator worker Kewana Battle-Mason Speaking at the Action

On Monday October 23rd, more than 215 faith leaders and workers with Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 689 and Local 1764 filled the sanctuary of Luther Place Memorial Church in downtown DC. WIN leaders and transit workers addressed Councilmember Cheh, Chair of the Transportation Committee, and Councilmember Evans, who is also a WMATA Board Chair. Both Councilmembers made public commitments to intervene to raise the wages and healthcare of the privatized DC Streetcar and DC Circulator bus workers to be on par with WMATA workers, the regional transportation authority. In the past, both councilmembers were influential in getting raises and improved healthcare in the 2015 Circulator bus contract. Specifically, they agreed to investigate and raise issues of privatization in council hearings including the upcoming confirmation hearings for a new Director of the DC Department of Transportation (DDOT). See more pictures of the action.

As a follow up, on October 31st, 30 WIN leaders and ATU workers marched into the DC Streetcar barn demanding to speak with the General Manager of the private company that operates the DC Streetcar. Leaders delivered demands, including that the company give operators, cleaners and mechanics healthcare, fair wages and retirement benefits befitting public employees.


WIN Leaders and ATU members praying at the action

DC Streetcar operators make among the lowest wages of any streetcar operators in the country. The employer provided “health insurance” is horrible. It is “fixed payment indemnity insurance” that for instance only covers $300 maximum per year for doctors visits, or $200/ day for a hospital stay. This leaves low paid DC Streetcar operators, cleaners and mechanics - who are public servants - paying medical bills out of pocket or going without health care.  Check out a VIDEO of part of the action.

Common Ground Expands; Becomes Only Organization in Milwaukee Able to Produce a Large, Diverse and Representative Turnout


Common Ground leaders discuss jobs and criminal justice during internal action at Tabernacle Community Baptist Church

On October 26th​, Common Ground held an internal action at Tabernacle Community Baptist Church on Milwaukee's North side centered on jobs, criminal justice and welcoming Tabernacle into the organization. Over 300 people were in attendance--including excellent African-American turnout and over 100 people from three South side Latino parishes that had affiliated earlier in the year--confirming Common Ground as the only organization in the Milwaukee area that can produce such a large, diverse and representative turnout. Dozens of people committed to a series of trainings and research actions. Sandra Taylor led a great meeting and Mimi Perez, Brianna Nelson and Patrick Davis offered powerful testimonials. Rev. Will Davis rocked the house with an inspirational call to action. Tabernacle's own Rev. Don Darius Butler finished off the evening with a moving presentation of why his church joined Common Ground. 

The action sets the stage for Common Ground's 10-year anniversary and celebration next year on April 29, 2018.


Relational Meetings during the Assembly

Turnaround Tuesday Receives 2017 Henrietta Lacks Memorial Award

On October 7th, Turnaround Tuesday was awarded the 2017 Henrietta Lacks Memorial Award. Turnaround Tuesday is a jobs movement associated with Metro IAF’s Baltimore affiliate, BUILD, training unemployed and returning citizens and placing them into living wage jobs with employers that have committed to hire graduates of Turnaround Tuesday. Each year, the John Hopkins Urban Health Institute (UHI) selects a Baltimore-based community organization working in collaboration with John Hopkins University to promote the health and conditions of local community members. Additional press coverage here.

 

Seventh Annual Henrietta Lacks Memorial Award - Turnaround Tuesday Video HERE

Turnaround Tuesday Receives 2017 Henrietta Lacks Memorial Award

On October 7th, Turnaround Tuesday was awarded the 2017 Henrietta Lacks Memorial Award. Turnaround Tuesday is a jobs movement associated with Metro IAF’s Baltimore affiliate, BUILD, and helps unemployed and returning citizens gain the job readiness training needed to secure a living wage job. Each year, the John Hopkins Urban Health Institute (UHI) selects a Baltimore-based community organization working in collaboration with John Hopkins University to promote the health and conditions of local community members. Additional press coverage here.

Community Purchasing Alliance Welcomes New Regional Director: Jessica Johnson

The Community Purchasing Alliance is an IAF affiliate working to ease the pain of non-profit facilities management across DC, Maryland, and Virginia. This month CPA Co-op would like to highlight a leader from within our organization, our new Regional Director: Jessica Johnson.

WIN Receives Commitments from DC Mayor on Returning Citizen Unemployment, Community Safety


650 leaders packed First Rock Baptist Church to address DC Mayor Bowser on key issues

WIN packed First Rock Baptist Church in Southeast DC with more than 650 faith leaders, returning citizens and workers to address DC Mayor Muriel Bowser around key issues in the city.

Mayor Bowser embraced the vast majority of WIN’s asks. Her commitment to WIN’s campaign to hire 5,000 returning citizens and people from high unemployment areas is an important first step. Next WIN will engage 5-10 CEOs between now and November and work to deepen relationships between returning citizens and WIN’s faith communities. The Mayor also committed to modest but real next steps on community safety, immigrant & Muslim rights, and affordable housing including getting a shovel in the ground on the redevelopment of affordable housing at Parkway Overlook in 2018.

At the action, Rev. Dr. Charlie Parker of Metropolitan Memorial UMC taught that, "God does not give us a victory simply because we are on the right side.  God invites us to be part of a struggle to bring about God's Kingdom." Together, WIN members will continue this important work towards living wage jobs, community safety, Muslim and immigrant rights, affordable housing and more. 

AIM Wins Commitments from MD State Sen. Madaleno to Fight WMATA Privatization, Preserve Worker Pensions


AIM leaders along with Mr. Freddie Brown (far left), who shared stories about the Civil Rights Movement and how to be strategic in campaign with WMATA.

AIM leaders from retirement communities in Montgomery County gathered with the Amalgamated Transit Union members who operate buses out of the Montgomery bus division to stand united against privatization and stand up for the right to retirement security. Mr. Freddie Brown from Asbury Village inspired those in attendance with stories from when he was a driver for Martin Luther King Jr. during key Civil Rights struggles. He encouraged attendees to be strategic in organizing power and picking targets in taking on this campaign with WMATA. Maryland State Senator Richard Madaleno pledged to work with Metro IAF to fight privatization, preserve pensions and expand public transportation in the region and especially in the state of Maryland.  He pledged to pull together key legislators before Labor Day.  

Barbara Kraft: From Union Household to Labor Lawyer, a Fighter for Living Wage Jobs

Barbara Kraft is a member of Washington Interfaith Network’s (WIN) Strategy Team and chair of the Social Action Committee at Temple Sinai. Barbara grew up in the industrial Midwest cities of Cleveland and Detroit in a proud union household.

Victory for Immigrant Drivers in North Carolina

Orange County Justice United in North Carolina won an agreement from District Attorney James Woodall that has the potential to save Latino drivers tens of thousands of dollars a year in court fines and fees.

A year-long issue campaign culminated in a 600 person action on March 28, 2017 where the District Attorney publicly committed to a deferral program for unlicensed yet otherwise safe drivers. The program will assist Latino drivers in Orange and Chatham County who have paid roughly $1.3 million in citations after a change in state policy in 2006 rendered them ineligible to apply for or renew their licenses without a social security number.

More information here:  http://www.ocjusticeunited.org/campaign_victory

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