On December 5th over 2,000 leaders from DC Youth Power Network (YPN) and Washington Interfaith Network (WIN) representing the racial, ethnic, religious, and geographic diversity of our city gathered in Metropolitan AME Church to demand job creation and affordable housing be top priorities for political and corporate leaders in the coming budget season, including YPN’s priorities around youth jobs and beds for homeless youth.

WIN December 5, 2011 Action Meeting Crowd

Five city Councilmembers; Jack Evans (2), Muriel Bowser (4), Marion Barry (8), Vincent Orange (At-large), and Michael Brown (At-Large), came and pledged their support for WIN’s agenda around affordable housing and jobs. The Washington Post labeled WIN/YPN as the city’s “best organized political counterbalance to business interests.”

WIN December 5, 2011 Action Meeting DC Councilmembers: Michael Brown, Marrion Barry, Jack Evans

Seventeen-year-old YPN leader, Cavelle Vaughn, a Senior at Ballou High School, delivered a key speech at the action about his search for employment. Three hundred forty youth leaders from YPN institutions participated in the action.

WIN December 5, 2011 Action Meeting. Cavelle Vaughn Speaks

Happy Hour Fundraiser Flyer for June 21, 2011
Help us organize for power…by consuming food and drinks! Bring, friends, colleagues, and total strangers!

Happy Hour Fundraiser
Tuesday, June 21st
6:00 pm — 9:00 pm
Maddy’s Bar & Grille
1726 Connecticut Ave, NW

10% of the event proceeds will be donated to support YPN’s youth-focused organizing.

A $5 donation is suggested at the door, which enters you in a raffle for great prizes including: baseball tickets, bar tabs, a private tour of the zoo… and more!

Roosevelt Rises!

June 6, 2011

On Saturday, June 4, 2011 parents, teachers, students, administrators and community supporters of Theodore Roosevelt Senior High School knocked on more than 500 doors and spoke with over 165 families, merchants, and religious leaders during a morning of highly successful community canvassing in the Brightwood Park neighborhood of Northwest DC. The goal of this canvassing effort—organized by S.T.E.P. Up DC, an affiliate of DC Youth Power Network—was to build relationships as part of “Roosevelt Rises!,” a campaign to reestablish the school as a community institution and presence in the neighborhood.

45 members of the Roosevelt community arrived at the school for a training session on community canvassing before teams, attired in bright orange tee-shirts emblazoned with the slogan “Roosevelt Rises!” fanned out in the neighborhood. Teams were made up of Roosevelt staff, students, parents, administrators and PTA members, as well as friends from Critical Exposure, the Washington Interfaith Network, the Latin American Youth Center and the Roosevelt High School Family Community Resource Center. Ward 4 DC State Board of Education representative, Dr. Kamili Anderson, also participated in the event.

Roosevelt students prep for the canvass

Roosevelt students prep for the canvass.

Student leaders at Roosevelt High School, from YPN affiliate S.T.E.P. Up DC, held a 70-person action at their school as part of their Open the Front Door campaign. For the past 10+ years the front door entrance to Roosevelt has been closed for mysterious reasons. As a result, all students must use the back entrance to the school, meaning students must walk through a busy parking lot and past rows of dumpsters to enter the school. This has contributed to students being late for their morning classes and a general feeling of being disrespected.

The student leaders packed a room at Roosevelt with 70 students, teachers, parents, and community supporters and got commitments from the head officials in charge of security at DCPS to get the front door opened within the next 90 days.

Students, teachers, parents, and community supporters worked with head officials in charge of security at DCPS to develop next steps.

Students, teachers, parents, and community supporters worked with head officials in charge of security at DCPS to develop next steps.


70 students, teachers, and parents from Roosevelt High gather to show their support for the Open the Front Door Campaign.

70 students, teachers, and parents from Roosevelt High gather to show their support for the Open the Front Door Campaign.


School officials committed to open the front door in the next 90 days.

Students and supports secured commitments from officials to get the Front Door open within the next 90 days.

250 leaders from DC Youth Power (YPN) and Washington Interfaith Network (WIN) completed training on how to conduct one-on-one relational meetings, our most important and effective tool for creating change. These leaders committed to doing 1,000 relational meetings to identify new leaders for organizing and leadership in their institutions by April 1st.

In 2010 Washington Interfaith Network (WIN) and DC Youth Power Network (YPN) undertook citywide organizing efforts to protect the $1 billion Vote Neighborhoods First investment funding during the FY 2011 DC budget process and challenged DC candidates for Mayor and Council to recommit to the WIN Vote Neighborhoods First Agenda during the 2010 Elections. Specifically, WIN and YPN:

  • Organized a 900-person WIN/YPN DC Votes Jobs and Neighborhoods First Elections Accountability Action on July 26th where Mayoral candidates Adrian Fenty and Vincent Gray and DC Council Chair Candidates Kwame Brown and Vincent Orange pledged to implement WIN’s 2010 Elections Agenda.
  • Distributed 35,000 WIN/YPN nonpartisan voter education brochures to potential DC voters and talked to them about WIN/YPN’s issues on and prior to Primary Election Day.
  • 200 WIN and YPN leaders conducted nonpartisan voter outreach on the streets of all eight Wards during Election Day.
  • Conducted early voting actions with 70 Latino residents—led by YPN’s youth leaders at Latin American Youth Center—and 90 Returning Citizens (aka “ex-offenders”) as a demonstration of the rising power of these constituencies.

After seven months of meetings, organizing, and tireless persistence, DC Youth Power Network (YPN) was able to secure sorely-needed upgrades to the Parkview Recreation Center and Bruce-Monroe Park in NW DC. Ward 1 Councilmember Jim Graham delivered on his promise to provide eight new desktop computers, new art supplies, and a new pool table to Parkview, and restated a commitment to reline and resurface the basketball court this fall.
YPN also celebrated the installation of two basketball courts, a tennis court, green space, and community gardens at the old Bruce Monroe school site on lower Georgia Avenue. YPN is currently in discussions with Councilmember Graham about finding $150,000-$200,000 to run youth-focused programs on site at Bruce-Monroe Park.
On July 14th, youth leaders from YPN and adult leaders from Washington Interfaith Network held a 120-person action at Parkview Rec to thank Councilmember Graham for fulfilling his promises and to celebrate their joint victory. YPN looks forward to continuing our strong and positive working relationship with Councilmember Graham in the months and years to come.

Ward 1 Councilmember Jim Graham at YPN's action at Parkview Recreation Center


Bruce Monroe Park

The newly-renovated Bruce-Monroe Park

On Monday, May 17th 550 youth and adult leaders from Washington Interfaith Network (WIN) and DC Youth Power Network (YPN) hosted a public accountability session at Foundry United Methodist Church with Chairman Vincent Gray and other members of the City Council. The focus of the action was on getting commitments from Chairman Gray and other key Councilmembers to support WIN’s strategy to retrofit thousands of commercial, rental, and government buildings to create a pipeline of living wage green jobs for DC residents. Receiving support for the DC Youth Basketball League—YPN’s proposed strategy for building long-term relationships with youth from across the city—was also a key aspect of the action.

YPN youth leader Kevin Oliver delivered a powerful speech about the difficulties of finding employment in the District and the vital need to invest in activities like the DC Youth Basketball League. Kevin received raucous applause when, turning to Mr. Gray he said, “Mr. Chairman, let me be very, very clear: I-NEED-A-JOB!” Chairman Gray committed to meeting with YPN’s youth leaders within two weeks of the action to discuss strategies for fully funding the DC Youth Basketball League and even committed to coaching one of the League’s teams once it us up and running

On Monday, March 15th 1,000 leaders from Washington Interfaith Network (WIN) and DC Youth Power Network (YPN) joined Mayor Adrian Fenty to unveil a plan to weatherize 2,000—4,000 low income homes in DC annually and to train and employ up to 700 out-of work DC residents over the next 4 years in green weatherization jobs. DC will provide financing for the residential weatherization through the Sustainable Energy Trust Fund (SETF) and the newly created Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Financing program. SETF is a DC energy efficiency grants program funded through a surcharge on DC energy bills and PACE is a loan program that allows property owners to finance energy retrofits through a surcharge on their property tax bill.

WIN will partner with the Laborers International Union (LIUNA) to recruit, train, certify, and place unemployed and underemployed DC residents in the residential weatherization jobs created by SETF & PACE. DC government and WIN will insure that contractors hire DC residents and adhere to strict energy efficiency quality assurance standards for DC-financed weatherization projects.

Mayor Fenty also agreed to fully fund the DC Youth Basketball League (DCYBL) a relationship-building and youth violence prevention program developed by YPN’s youth leaders. DCYBL will be a tightly-run, highly organized school-year and summertime basketball league for 175 DC youth residents between ages 13-22. DCYBL’s purpose is to: build relationships between youth and caring adults and across neighborhoods; mediate feuds through relationships; and to connect participants with social services and jobs. DCYBL’s year-one operating costs is $340,000.

Fenty speaks to crowd at March 2010 Action

Youth leader speaks to crowd at March 2010 Action while Fenty looks uncomfortable in the background.

On Tuesday, January 12th DC Youth Power Network (YPN) and Washington Interfaith Network (WIN) held a public action with Ward 1 Councilmember Jim Graham at All Souls Church in Columbia Heights to get his public commitments on our recreation center and violence prevention agenda. 70 youth and adult leaders packed the house for what was a very productive and engaging session.

Mr. Graham committed to provide Parkview Recreation Center with 10 new desktop computers and LaserJet printer; a new pool table; and new art supplies, board games, and books. Mr. Graham also committed to working with YPN/WIN to reline and resurface the basketball court during the spring, and to secure funding for an additional full-time staff person at Parkview, and will push to include money in the city’s budget for the new year-round youth basketball league YPN’s youth leaders have proposed as a means for relationship-building and violence-prevention.

Lastly, Mr. Graham agreed to keep YPN’s leaders updated on future development plans at the old Bruce-Monroe Elementary School, located at the corner of Georgia Ave and Columbia Rd, NW. A follow-up meeting between Mr. Graham and YPN’s youth leaders has been set for the week of January 25th.

YPN Action Meeting: Youth Leader with Jim Graham (January 2010)
YPN Action Meeting: Youth Leader Discusses Parkview Rec Center Needs (January 2010)
YPN Action Meeting (January 2010)

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