Building power from fight to fight
Former Executive Director, DC Jobs With Justice
“The beginnings of the coalition were really in the community and labor and faith solidarity that got built around the efforts of parking workers to organize. At a certain point we started to actually convene fights and take on fights that maybe no one alone would have had the capacity for. We started to build out the playbook for how you have a grassroots direct action fight to pass legislation that I think has been strengthened why we’ve been able to win progressive victory after progressive victory on the Council over the last 20 years. And we never stopped doing work that we think of as solidarity work. We never stopped supporting union fights, supporting community-led fights but I think over the years we got much more strategic to support policy fights in really innovative ways and the coalition just kept growing. An organization like DC Jobs with Justice, that’s a multi issue coalition, that builds long-term relationships, not just a coalition for one fight, but a coalition that’s permanent is incredibly important because it builds movement power and movement infrastructure over the long haul. When I think about DC Jobs with Justice’s impact it’s not just the wins, it’s the strength of relationships that we have in DC across labor, faith, community, and even student organizations that allows us to actually build power from fight to fight and be able to rise the meet the constant challenges we’re going to face.”
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During the spring and summer of 2004, DC JWJ organized community support for parking workers in downtown office buildings seeking to form a union with UNITE HERE Local 27.