Thursday, March 19, 2015
Saturday, March 14, 2015
DC Mayor Muriel Bowser's Career Academy Idea
I told you in December that we could discuss your vision if you were retained by Mayor Bowser. Though you are no longer with DHS, my promise still holds true. With you now leading DOES, our paths will still cross; as I'm pretty heavy on the homeless employment piece. I believe that the District doesn't really want to enable homeless or low-income people to remain in DC or to find affordable housing. The gov and biz structure is set up to push poor folk out of the city.I also believe that the homeless employment issue is a big can of worms and that anyone who devotes themselves to addressing it will suffer many headaches as they follow its many tentacles into areas like discrimination, workers' rights, job-training issues etc. Nonetheless, I'll keep pushing the ticket until someone in the administration takes on this headache. I'll BE the headache until you commit yourself to taking on the headache of homeless employment. Would you like to meet and discuss homeless employment?????
I arrived at 1:28 for a 1:30 meeting, found that there were about 15 people at the conference table conducting a meeting that I was given the wrong time for and began to wonder if the "bum" steer was intentional. The conversation was about employment issues faced by homeless parents
whose average age range is 18 to 24 years old. Then, at 1:45 Ms. Carroll said, "Let's transition". She told me that I indeed had not been given a bum steer but that I walked in on the tail end of a different meeting
that ran past the scheduled end time. Cynicism reversed.
The 15-ish of us talked from 1:45 to approximately 2:20 about my concerns around homeless employment. The group gave me the lion's share of the time so that I could say what I had to say. In stark contrast to her council hearing mannerisms, Deborah Carroll interrupted me several times to say, "I can answer that". She then proceeded to give me straight, unambiguous and detailed answers. Surprise. Surprise.
At one point I told this room full of DC Government employees, "I like to think backwards; so, I should apply for a job with DC Government". After we all got a really good laugh, I explained that we should start our thinking with the goal of connecting people to both housing and jobs and think backwards to what needs to happen to get us there. We discussed other ideas pertaining to homeless employment which I'll
address in another blog post, this one having already obtained quite the ungodly length. FULL STOP.
Tuesday, February 24, 2015
Fund Homeless Employment Strategies
I sometimes wonder if there is a telepathic connection between Mayor Muriel and myself; as, she is doing almost everything that I was hoping for. I'd told people that, if she didn't meet with the homeless and/or their advocates by April 1st, I would lay into her hard. She's more than satisfied that demand, with me having never articulated it to her. I'll now give her until July 1st to partially implement a plan for homeless families and until October 1st to begin planning around employment for able-bodied homeless people. If she meets both benchmarks, I'll know that either we do have such a connection or she simply reads my blog for advice. Either one is welcome news, though the former opens up more possibilities -- and creates more questions.
Saturday, February 14, 2015
I Love DC Mayor Muriel Bowser('s Plan for Ending Homelessness)
Wednesday, February 11, 2015
DC Mayor Muriel Bowser Might Actually End Homelessness!!!
Thursday, January 15, 2015
DC Government's Attitude Toward the Working Poor
Thursday, November 20, 2014
Eric Jonathan Sheptock Day & DC Mayor Muriel Bowser
I'm not sure what drove the DC Council to pick December 31st as Eric Jonathan Sheptock Day but that date is significant in several ways. It is 46 days before my 46th birthday which falls on 2/15 of 2(0)15. So there is a little numerical symmetry going on there. But more importantly, it is the date by which DC Government's 10-year plan to end homelessness was supposed to have ended homelessness in the city. In June of 2006 the DC Inter-agency Council on Homelessness (ICH) held its first meeting. Five months prior we counted 6,157 homeless people. (I couldn't find info electronically for how many homeless people there were in DC in 2004.) The 10-year plan was scrapped in 2007 due to three years of not meeting benchmarks. (More recently the New Communities affordable housing group gave up on its mission. There's a lot of giving up on the poor going on in DC these days.) We're sure to count nearly 9,000 homeless people in January. The numbers won't be published until May. That said, December 31st, 2014 is symbolic of DC Government's failures toward the poor.
I seek to change that. So, let me say here as I said during the presentation that I DO work with others. I'm not alone in my efforts. However, without sufficient political will to decrease homelessness and poverty in DC, we advocates are just shouting our demands for naught. That's why I've already begun to make inroads into the Bowser administration by publicly declaring my desire to work with her. Hopefully she'll be willing to recognize and learn from the city's failed efforts to decrease homeless and poverty and she'll then invest all of the necessary resources in a successful effort.
In one sense, such a commitment would make it easy for her to develop her legacy early on; as, the effort to end homelessness has tentacles that would take her into areas like affordable housing,living-wage jobs, domestic violence, medical bankruptcy, mental illness, inadequate education, lack of job training, adolescent homosexuality, the shortcomings of foster care and other areas. She could start with a willingness to end homelessness and end up with a plan for the city as a whole.
in another sense, such a commitment would make her job extremely difficult. She'd have to bump heads with the free-market economy in order to demand that homeless people receive living wages and affordable housing -- forcing employers to pay more and landlords to charge less. Ms. Bowser would also need to combat employer discrimination against the homeless. These and other efforts related to decreasing and ending homelessness and poverty would put her at odds with many capitalists.
That said, I'm working on getting a meeting with her. Despite my having noticed patterns in local governance that make me skeptical that we'll ever get adequate supports for the poor of DC (many of whom work and contribute to the life of the city), I'm willing to lay aside any presuppositions and to give Ms. Bowser a chance based on her own merits -- to see her as the "woman apart" which she claims to be. I hope to have the meeting arranged by the end of next week. Let's see what happens.
Thursday, November 13, 2014
Give 'er HADES: Innundate Muriel Bowser with the Demands of the Poor
Labels: 114th congress, Adrian Fenty, AFFORDABLE HOUSING, capitalism, DC, DC Government, Hades, Homeless employment, homeless feeding, living wage, Muriel Bowser, republican, social justice, social services, Vince Gray
Friday, November 7, 2014
Understanding Politics: The 2015-17 Republican lake of Fire
Labels: 114th congress, benevolent dictator, David Catania, DC Government, election 2014, employment, Hades, ICH, Kristy Greenwalt, Lake of Fire, Muriel Bowser, Obama, republican, social justice, social services
Thursday, November 6, 2014
Obama the Failure: We Needed a Benevolent Dictator. You'll Burn in the "Republican lake of Fire"
While the repubs are indeed "the party of 'No'", the latest president and vice president to come from their numbers had an agenda -- right, wrong or indifferent. Outside of reversing Bush-era policies, Obama dreamed that he might eliminate partisan bickering and congressional dysfunction. While I won't discuss what I think are the reasons for his failure in this blog post, it is clear that he failed.
I foresee Obama spending most or all of 2015 whining about the cards he's been dealt and most or all of 2016 putting down a literal American revolution. He'll feel like a devil in a republican Lake of Fire. (There's more truth to that simile than you might realize.) For his failure to be the benevolent dictator that this country needs, I'll love watching him suffer. He should've gone hard much sooner.
As for local DC politics,I've pasted a slightly edited e-mail below. I sent this to hundreds of my contacts yesterday.....
Sunday, October 26, 2014
Worker Wednesdays in 2015: MEANLY FORCE DC Mayor to Employ the homeless
The famously mean David Catania seems to be better-suited for satisfying this goal than Muriel Bowser. I love his mean streak. A sweet mayor won't be able to combat the pervasive business interests that are gentrifying Washington, DC at an ever-increasing rate. It is with this in mind that I plan to type up a plan for connecting homeless singles to employment and presenting that plan to the 14 offices of the mayor and the DC Council beginning in early 2015 or even on Wednesday, November 5th. I'll try to do it at the same time on “Worker Wednesday” each week. I'll announce it on-line. Hopefully many will join me. Though none go with me, I still will prod the mayor.