Do you believe that the people should have a say in how money is spent in DC? Are you tired of walls or hurdles? Are you interested in gaining control over how land is used in your community? Are you tired of
joining actions that you have no voice in creating?
Less talk, do more. Join People Power Action!
Through our shared knowledge from collective struggles, community involvement, and an understanding of systemic power dynamics, People Power Action seeks to build a movement of community-based leadership rooted in trust, unity, and accountability of ourselves and others. We aim to address the way in which resources and investments are used to intentionally divide communities and restructure neighborhood spaces without true community input, by focusing on and reinstating community control over land.
- Relationships: Engaging with one another in order to build trust and deepen interactions with the community.
- Accountability: Holding oneself, others, and institutions responsible for their actions, including their words, inactions, and influences.
- Involvement: To be actively engaged, in person and mind, and to participate within the fight of the oppressed, whether or not you are being directly impacted.
- Movement: People working together on community actions to build power in unity and effect change.
- Trust: Creating togetherness to yield respect by being reliable leaders that can be held accountable to communities.
- Connection: Linking communities as a way to build collective power in harmony, so they can confront systems of oppression.
- Purpose: Bringing people together in a form of empowerment to fight injustices, through the trust and unity of the community.
- Unity: The shared strength of individuals working together with the purpose of confronting discrimination and demanding respect.
History of People Power Action
In 2016, a report called the Community Listening Project was released in DC, stemming from feedback from over 600 DC residents about issues they’ve had getting services to combat poverty, poor housing, and other struggles. Two community members who worked on the report – Nkechi Feaster and Tineshea Woodson – used the feedback to start a community-led group that came to be called People Power Action (PPA). After much outreach and connections with people in housing programs and shelters, PPA grew from a small collection of 3 people to a group with over 50 members. Since March 2017, PPA members have diligently studied power and gentrification, taught hundreds of people about displacement through interactive trainings, and have ultimately chosen to focus on land use as a root cause of housing instability and homelessness. PPA is housed at the Legal Clinic and gets administrative and organizational support from this organization.
Attend a Meeting
Due to COVID-19, People Power Action has shifted to hosting meetings by phone on the last Tuesday of the month. To learn more, contact Kristi Matthews, Grassroots Advocacy Coordinator at 202-328-1262 or Kristi@legalclinic.org.
Participate in a People Power Action Training
Gentrification Simulation: This one-part training takes you through the political process of a low-income community being displaced and removed from their housing. It allows participants to play the roles of relevant actors throughout the process, including government officials, private developers, business owners, nonprofits, and residents. The simulation provides a better understanding of the process of advocacy, teaching participants how to politic their way through a housing crisis and how to express their voices in government.
Power Analysis Training: This three-part power analysis training helps people better understand the role that money/power plays in the community. It shows who’s in control and what’s going on in the community, shedding light on the system’s misuse of control by the people who hold power.
These trainings are geared towards a range of groups, including students (high school, college, graduate/law), nonprofit and for profit staff, board members, religious organizations, and other community entities. To learn more and to schedule a training, contact Kristi Matthews, Grassroots Advocacy Coordinator at 202-328-1262 or Kristi@legalclinic.org.
In the Words of People Power Action Members
“I have been a part of People Power Action for 1 year. I joined because this is an organization that helps homeless people fight against inhumane living in shelters and on the streets. Because we were to transform the ideas that the government and the people have about the homeless. We are fighting against the injustice over racism, poverty, trauma, addiction, and criminalization. People should support PPA and WLCH because they understand the demands of social justice of the homeless. I also want to say that PPA and WLCH are very organized, they are very focused on planning and working with communities. Ms. Kristi and Caitlin are very friendly and encourages us to be active. – Maria Gonzáles
“I have been a member of People Power Action for two years now. I was first introduced to the Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless when I needed help with my testimony for housing because, at the time I had been homeless for 8 years. I learned the PPA program was working on issues in and around my community that I was concerned about and that I want to give back to. The work that PPA has done and continues to do is vital in community support and engagement. WLCH has a world of help to offer individuals who need pro bono help and can’t afford a lawyer. They are eager to fight for you and help give you the tools to have a positive outcome.” – Michael Wilkerson
“I joined People Power Action a few years ago. I will be attending the third annual Christmas Party this year. I continue to participate in PPA because it is facilitated by a legal body. People should support PPA because its a body of well intentioned American citizens willing to confront systematic racism that has been created by American Industrial complex. People Power Action works on actions from small to major.” – People Power Action member
“I have been apart of PPA for 3 years and joined to help people fight for housing. I continue to come to PPA in order to help people. People should support PPA and WLCH because they are here to help. PPA is here to help with what’s going on in D.C.” – People Power Action member