In 2001, a coalition of leaders from labor, faith, community groups, and student organizations came together to create a new home for workers rights organizing in DC.
That new home was DC Jobs with Justice
Since our founding, DC JWJ has fought for equitable development and good jobs for all. We have stood in opposition to gentrification and the displacement of Black and immigrant community members, and fight every day for people over profit. We approach this work through strategic campaigning and popular education, and unite labor organizations, low-wage workers, community groups, and other constituencies to advocate for policies and corporate practices that win higher wages and build power for families and communities.
The District has changed in those 20 years. Income inequality, wealth disparities, unequal access to basic services, and housing unaffordability are problems everyone in DC must address. The cost of housing, child care, and basic necessities have all gone up, while wages for average workers have not kept up.
So over the last 20 years we’ve fought for our rights. We’ve won a $15 minimum wage and protected workers from wage theft. We’ve won sick day protections for workers across industries, including hourly and tipped workers like restaurant staff. We’ve shown up in solidarity with workers on strike for better conditions from their employers, and held space for community healing with Peace Walks DC.
Our work since 2020 has been even more powerful. Since COVID began we’ve radically centered the needs of communities of color, immigrants, essential workers and other marginalized residents. Together we’ve won millions of dollars in funding for excluded workers, expanded paid sick leave, ensured workers have access to their pre-pandemic positions, and more. We are continuing to fight for better and expanded rent control and an Essential Workers’ Bill of Rights.
Thousands of people have been part of our work since our founding. DC JWJ now counts 65 member organizations, a staff of five full time positions, and a supporter list of more than 11,000 people working in solidarity on our mission. This project and year-long celebration tells the stories of everyone who has been part of our work, and how we can work together in the years ahead for a more just and equitable Washington, DC.