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Showing posts from 2014

Eric Jonathan Sheptock Day & DC Mayor Muriel Bowser

On November 18th, 2014 the DC Council presented me with a resolution declaring December 31st, 2014 to be Eric Jonathan Sheptock Day in the District of Columbia. During the presentation, people were all smiles as we exchanged pleasantries. However, I used the occasion to address some serious business too by letting mayor-elect Muriel Bowser know that I'd like to work with her to address homelessness -- through the creation of affordable housing and living-wage jobs for the homeless. I also made it clear that we have at least time-and-a-half as many homeless people as we had when city officials "committed" themselves to decreasing homelessness and that we, therefore, have our work cut out for us.

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 impor…

Give 'er HADES: Innundate Muriel Bowser with the Demands of the Poor

Mayor-elect Muriel Bowser's Transition Team Contact Info: www.wearewashingtondc.com or www.wearewashingtondc.org (202) 434-0079 lindsey@wearewashingtondc.org (.com) info@...
I contacted the Bowser transition team today and will reconnect with them tomorrow when the person who will work on homelessness is expected to do their first day on the job. I'll update via this blog and social media.
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As I look at the injustices that are perpetrated upon poor people in this country and around the world, I often ask myself, “Where is the outrage???”. Capitalism is a hurtful system that permeates the world and sears the consciences of politicians, businesspeople and the well-to-do. It makes them callous to the needs of those who beg at their feet and want only to consume their crumbs. Yet most people who hear or read the stories don't make it their business to confront the evil forces of capitalism.
Budapest, Hungary has outlawed homelessness (wi…

Understanding Politics: The 2015-17 Republican lake of Fire

During the October 21st ICH (Inter-agency Council on Homeless) meeting Kristy Greenwalt, the first actual director the body has had in its eight and a half year history, mentioned how nobody owns the system and went on to say that we basically have to learn to build relationships and play nicely in the sandbox. While I love her and her approach, building relationships is not my strong suit. Articulating a strong sense of principle that aggressively compels people to something because it's moral and/or sensible is. Both sets of mannerisms are necessary. I've been type-cast as the “bad cop” or the “pit bull on a short leash” for much of my eight and a half years of advocacy. Being nice hasn't worked well for me in the past.
That said, I knew that there was potential for Kristy and I to build a strong relationship when, during her introductory meetings just prior to assuming her post, she said that she WILL make a decision in the absence of consensus. I'm still holding …

Obama the Failure: We Needed a Benevolent Dictator. You'll Burn in the "Republican lake of Fire"

So the republicans took the senate and kept the house, though they aren't veto-proof. President Obama is in for a lot of headaches during his final two years in office. But he brought in on himself with weak leadership and his non-agenda which consisted largely of reversing Bush-era policies: closing Guantanamo Prison, reversing middle- and upper-class tax cuts, ending war-mongering etc.

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 …

Worker Wednesdays in 2015: MEANLY FORCE DC Mayor to Employ the homeless

Of late I've thought a lot about and said a lot about the need to be mean and forceful in order to get government and others to do what poor people need done in order to afford to live. And while I have talked for my full eight years of homeless advocacy about what able-bodied homeless people need in order to find meaningful employment (with the last five years being well-documented on-line), I recently decided that homeless employment is ALL that I'll focus on. At the October 21st meeting of DC's Inter-agency Council on Homelessness (ICH) I announced that decision and explained that there are many people speaking up for other sub-populations of the homeless community.

I also said that we should get the homeless working before they reach retirement age. That statement actually drew a little laughter, speaking of which, there were several times during that meeting that well-paid people broke out into laughter. Some of the homeless and formerly homeless people were actuall…

Job Discrimination Against the Homeless: Shirley Contracting and DC's First-Source Law

CORRECTION: I continue to gather more facts about the large Shirley Contracting (Clark Construction Group) project near the CCNV Shelter. The project will net Shirley $1.3 billion, not the $2.8 billion I was previously told. That doesn't change my argument that they should be made to do more to hire DC residents, such as establish an employment trailer in Washington, DC as opposed to prospective employees needing to travel all the way to Lorton, VA for an interview. Here are a couple of links about the 2.2 million square-foot project known as "Capitol Crossings": ARTICLE and WEBSITE

It's been said by social justice advocates and activists that, “There are 20 years that don't make a day; and then, there's that day that makes 20 years”. I think I just had my day that makes 20 years on October 3rd, 2014. I attended a hearing at Washington, DC's City Hall (The John A. Wilson Building). It was about the 41% cut to TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families…

I Became Homeless By Helping A Rape Victim

I rarely blog about my personal situation; but, this is one such occasion. In the six years since I began blogging, I've written about how my birth parents fractured my skull when I was eight months old, how I spent five years as an only child in a foster home and how I was adopted by a Polish man and an Italian woman who bore seven children and adopted 30 including myself. One brother has passed away. I've also written about a disagreement that led to me not speaking to my mother from April 1998 until August 2009.
I haven't blogged in the past about a girlfriend who passed away on August 11th, 1994 after we'd been together for four years and who would've celebrated a birthday on September 19th if she were living. I guess you can say that I've had a rough life; but, I'm not one to cower in a corner with my head in my hands or to wallow in pity. That truth about me is the impetus for this post; because, my propensity for moving quickly toward solutions has …

“A riot is the language of the unheard” Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

As I watch events in Ferguson, MO play out in the media, I am reminded of the words of Martin Luther King, Jr., during an interview with Mike Wallace on “60 Minutes” in which he said, “A riot is the language of the unheard. The U.S. Government has failed to hear that the economic plight of the American Negro has worsened over the past few years”.
It's crystal clear to the socially and politically conscious that governments in the U.S. are defending the interests of corporations, not defending or enriching the lives of all American citizens. On the contrary, poor people who want a better life often become capitalist cannon fodder. (Just think for a moment about the Citizens United Supreme Court ruling.)
Once a group is socioeconomically deprived, American governments add insult to injury and compound their suffering. They treat poor people as if their poverty is the result of a character flaw, as opposed to a set of systemic flaws in American governance. They aim to punish people …