Monday, January 25, 2010


The Committee to Save Franklin Shelter will host a


The citizens of Washington, DC have more than a few reasons to want Mayor Fenty to be FORCIBLY removed from office early. His litany of offenses includes:

1 -- the fact that he is a flip-flop who pretended to care for the poor and homeless and has now been bought and paid for by the developers.

2 -- the fact that he ran on a platform of transparency and accountability and now heads a government that is plagued with scandals and is extremely secretive.

(The amount of money lost during his term due to scandals exceeds the amount of money that has been cut from social services within the same time frame. The government could afford to care for the poor if we could get these scandals under control.)

3 -- his many broken promises which include:

the promise to keep Franklin School Shelter open as a shelter,
the promise to open a new shelter half the size of Franklin in downtown,
the promise to create more affordable housing (especiaaly on Parcel 42)

4 -- The closing of 2 Income Maintenance Administration (IMA) offices, which has resulted in people waiting in line for days to get food stamps and other forms of assistance:

5 -- how he balances the budget on the backs of the poor

6 -- his anti-union stance

7 -- his unwillingness to continue the daycare voucher program for working mothers

8 -- his over-regulation of the cabdriver industry

9 -- cronyism

10 -- giving away public property to greedy developers for close to nothing

(for example giving away 16 acres of public property for $1/year for 99 years, to a developer of course)

I'm sure that the many citizens of DC have many more reasons.
This is just a small sample.

FURTHERMORE, removing Mr. Fenty from office early would empower the citizens of the city by showing them that "IT CAN BE DONE". No mayor has ever been successfully recalled in this city. People often think that we must allow the incumbent to finish his/her term and that we must accept whatever they choose to do until their term is up. It is high time that we, the citizens of DC, took a stand and sent a strong message to this mayor and all future mayors of this city. A successful recall would show Fenty and all future mayors that:


It is to this end that a meeting to organize the recall of Mr. Fenty has been arranged.

The purpose of the meeting will be to enlist the help of people who will canvass the city collecting signatures from those who want Fenty out of office.

We hope to sign up at least 200 people.

The meeting will be held:

Sunday, January 31st, 2010
From 1 to 3 pm
At the martin Luther king, Jr. Memorial Library (901 G street)
In Room A-5

We must get at least 42,000 signatures by May 17th for the recall to take effect.
(We hope to get a lot more than that and probably will.)
The recall was filed in December 2009 and we have until May 17th to gather the signatures.
Getting the required number of petition signatures would force a referendum during which he could be voted out of office.
Other rules pertaining to procedure will be discussed at the meeting.

"Be the change you want to see in the world"

Note: Click on the 3rd line of my signature to see all of my personal info in one place.
Unlike Mayor Fenty, my life is an open book.

Eric Jonathan Sheptock "The Blogger"
(240) 305-5255 -- personal info website -- My Progressive Parish -- My Progressive Diocese -- Slide show of Franklin School (inside and out) -- VIDEO: "They Don't Really care About Us" -- By: Michael Jackson
MAYOR FENTY has a headache and his headache has a name -- ERIC JONATHAN SHEPTOCK.

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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Our Work Is Changing

In Washington, DC homeless advocates tend to align their activities with the annual budgetary cycle. They know that the mayor began to formulate the budget for Fiscal Year 2011 in January 2010 and that there will be budget hearings from February to May. For these several months, advocates for the poor and homeless will do their best to have a sufficient amount of tax revenue put into the budget for the specific populations that they serve. As budgets are cut in the middle of the present fiscal year, many of the same people will return to City Hall to demand that those budget cuts be restored and that the social safety net be preserved. This has been the method to the madness for quite some time. However, that is beginning to change.

The safety net is becoming a thing of the past. As indicated in a previous article of mine, DC Government tried to cut the budget for homeless services by 30% a few months ago. But, when Catholic Charities threatened to cease its shelter operations in Washington, DC altogether, the mayor scrambled to restore $11 million of the $16 million budget cut and avert a tragedy right before hypothermia season, as the city Could've been sued for failing to shelter the homeless during hypothermia. However, this is only a reprieve, as the fight is expected to heat up in the spring.

There is a lingering fear that the city will spend more than 5-months worth of its homeless services budget during the 5 months of hypothermia and then decrease the number of homeless services in the spring, due to budget shortfalls. This will result in a large number of homeless people losing their shelter beds. People are already preparing psychologically for a different kind of fight -- a fight against the all-out, unfettered elimination of social services.

A January 19th Washington Post article explained that "Service centers that process welfare and other aid applications in the District are understaffed and overwhelmed with needy residents, forcing some to essentially camp out for days to try to get assistance". Mayor Adrian Fenty closed 2 Income Maintenance Administration service centers last year, in an effort to save just under $1 million. This has resulted in as many as 350 people per day showing up at one of the remaining service centers which only has the capacity to serve 150 people per day. As many as 100 people get turned away at the end of the work day without being served, after waiting in line for as many as 8 hours. This is taking place in the capital of the wealthiest nation in the world.

While these and other situations are worsening, right-to-housing advocates are planning housing takeovers in our nation's capital. Those who have led successful housing takeovers in other cities are preparing to come to DC to teach their tactics to the locals. Still others are circulating a petition to "recall" (oust, get rid of) Mayor Fenty who has broken his campaign promises to most segments of the city's population -- including the promise to create affordable housing. (While that won't effectively change the system, it will empower the residents by proving that they can actually pull it off. There has never been a successful recall of a DC mayor.)

Finally, an ever-increasing number of people are getting involved in social justice initiatives. Highschools and colleges in the DC Metro Area are requiring students to learn about homelessness and other social justice issues. My fellow homeless advocates and I regularly speak to student groups and have begun to organize students around the issue of homelessness and housing, thus increasing our support base.

While it is not yet clear as to when and how all of these concerns and efforts will gel together, they inevitably will. It's just a matter of time. But this much is certain, that our work is changing. The homeless and the poor are seeing the rug pulled out from under them and are on the verge of going into "survival mode". Those who are involved in the national movement are preparing to descend on the city. And the number of young, local activists is increasing.

There seems to be a general malaise across the city. It would seem that all of the ingredients for a revolution are there and are just waiting to be stirred. We, as a city, have begun to shift away from begging for social service funding and toward realizing that our government is not going to save us and that we must organize and demand change. There is a general movement from being reactive to being proactive. therein our work is changing.

Eric Jonathan Sheptock
425 2nd St., NW
Washington, DC 20001-2003
(240) 305-5255

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