Each year, the DC Jobs With Justice coalition comes together to celebrate its work and recognize its leaders. This year’s awards were held on November 15, and JWJ recently posted an album of photos from the event, which honored the AFSCME Council 20 AMR campaign (right), the DC Water Campaign, HU Resist, Metro DSA’s community campaigns and singer Luci Murphy, as well as a Special Award to the Office of the Attorney General. See below for details on each of the campaign.
Labor: AFSCME Council 20 AMR: The EMS professionals at American Medical Response (AMR) ambulance service in Washington, D.C., recently ratified their first contract after organizing with EMS Workers United/AFSCME District Council 20 last year. They were successful in ratifying the contract after being slapped with insurance premium increases and stalled by AMR leadership. Their work ensures that all workers who transport and serve seniors, those in health emergencies, and community members are given the respect they deserve.
Faith: DC Water Campaign (photo at right): This coalition of congregations worked with community and labor leaders to raise the issue of astronomically high water bills that threaten the financial stability of DC’s most vital institutions, including many predominantly Black churches. The group won a $7 million reprieve in the DC budget, and are continuing to fight for a long-term solution that fairly shares the cost of DC’s water policies.
Student: HU Resist: Many first learned of HU Resist when they occupied the administration building following the scandalous fraud and mismanagement of their student aid funds. However, HU Resist had been active long before: challenging Howard University’s developments that make Shaw less affordable to the longterm Black community, speaking out against wage theft at Howard’s construction sites, providing food and needed supplies to people experiencing homelessness, protesting substandard housing conditions and practices on Howard’s campus, and much more.
Community: Metro DSA’s community campaigns: The Metro DC Democratic Socialists of America have grown and launched a number of important community campaigns over the last few years using the volunteer labor of hundreds of engaged residents in Washington, DC, Maryland and Virginia. These campaigns and actions include: Stomp Out Slumlords campaign to keep District residents in their homes; direct action against racist and dangerous immigration policies of ICE at the Fairfax ICE detention center and where ICE leaders live and recreate; wage theft canvasing with DC Jobs With Justice.
Culture: Luci Murphy: Lucy Murphy has a voice and a presence known to all DC activists! She is a tireless fighter - and singer – for movements across the District and around the world.
Special Award: Office of the Attorney General: Over the last year, the Office of the Attorney General under the direction of Director Karl Racine has taken numerous actions to ensure the welfare of the residents and workers in the District of Columbia. This includes: protecting workers by suing businesses with a pattern of wage theft, including Power Design, Inc. on behalf of over 500 workers; supporting renters and tenant organizations by suing slumlord Sanford Capitol and forcing the company to leave DC; preserving DC’s housing stock by suing companies illegally utilizing housing as permanent short-term rentals; clarifying the union protections for District workers after the Janus v. AFSCME decision and more.