Grassroots Organizing for Equity

The DC Grassroots Planning Coalition 

The DC Grassroots Planning Coalition (DCGPC) is a citywide network of individuals and organizations who are committed to furthering racial, economic and environmental justice by challenging rampant development which contributes to gentrification and displacement of existing residents. The Coalition supports community-led development which creates uplift, opportunity and ownership for low-income communities of color.

Coalition Principles:
  • The work of the coalition — vis-a-vis the city’s planning policies, development actions, and budgeting decisions — is grounded in and flows from the following core principles. 
  • Racial Justice – District policies and actions must benefit, not harm, residents and communities of color especially the city’s historic majority Black population.
  • Economic / Class Justice – Policies that exacerbate and perpetuate poverty and wealth disparity in the District must be changed. Human needs and human rights must always be prioritized above corporate interests.
  • Stop Displacement – Forced displacement, both commercial and residential, must be prevented. Housing and commercial/retail space that is truly affordable and accessible must be preserved.
  • Environmental Justice – District policies and actions must protect human health and the environment. Low income and communities of color must be protected from the placement

of polluting facilities and other land uses that threaten human health and must share equally in the enjoyment of open/green spaces, clean air, soil and water.

  • Public Resources for Public Needs – Public money, public land, public housing, and public services must not be privatized or used as means of profit for private entities.
  • Equitable Access to Public Services – Low income and communities of color must have full, fair, and affordable access to amenities and services including community facilities and services such as public transportation, quality schools, recreation centers, libraries, emergency responders, senior services, healthy food options, and more.
  • Community Driven – District policies and actions must empower directly-impacted, long term and low-income residents and families, giving greater weight to those DC communities vulnerable to displacement.


The mission of Empower DC is to enhance, improve and promote the self-advocacy of low- and moderate- income DC residents in order to bring about sustained improvements in their quality of life. We accomplish our mission through grassroots organizing and trainings, leadership development, and community education. Empower DC is a citywide, multi-issue, membership-based community organizing project. Empower DC builds campaigns to address key issues that directly-impact our membership. The organization is led by its membership, Board of Directors and staff. Empower DC is a 501(c)3 nonprofit.


Chapter network group located in Washington, DC

SURJ’s values ground our work and have been developed and honed over more than a decade of organizing. We believe we must have an inclusive, openhearted approach to organizing— bringing more and more people into this work rather than creating barriers to participation— while maintaining clear commitments to justice.

Accountability Through Collective Action * Take Risks, Make Mistakes, Learn and Make Amends, and Keep Going * Organize Out of Mutual Interest * Growing is Good *  Center Class


As residents of Ward 3 committed to housing and racial justice, we believe that:

  • People from all walks of life and all income levels should be able to live in Ward 3 if they choose to. That includes people who work here — construction workers, barbers, teaching assistants, home health aides, bus drivers, lab technicians– and those who live on fixed incomes.
  • Substantial public investment is required to produce abundant affordable housing; profit-driven development alone is not enough. 
  • New models of affordable housing can be well-planned and well-designed to achieve racial equity, create vibrant community life, and enhance neighborhood character.

Together we can think big and take bold action to create affordable homes where people can grow and thrive.

WIN Ward 3 Congregations Affordable Housing Work Group

WIN Ward 3 Congregations Affordable Housing Work Group is committed to creating more affordable housing units in Rock Creek West and other high-opportunity areas and to supporting the Mayor and the Council in making this happen. We want to see low and moderate-income residents of color have access to the neighborhood services and social, educational and economic opportunities we enjoy. 

Our Work Group comprises activists from Adas Israel, Temple Sinai, St. Columba’s Episcopal Church, Chevy Chase Presbyterian Church and National United Methodist Church, and includes our clergy and social justice leaders. All our congregations are members of the Washington Interfaith Network, an organization of about 50 congregations and nonprofits across the city who act together to accomplish positive change.  

Questions or for more information: Barbara Kraft, or Jamie Butler,

We believe in the power of shared vision and sustained commitment to create dynamic communities for all people, regardless of income.

NW Opportunity Partners Community Development Corporation