2016 Program: Housing
Effective policies and strategies to prevent the displacement of neighborhoods of color and promote equitable development will be shared from a range of cities across the country. Within the context of the current urban housing crisis, the global accumulation of capital, rapid gentrification, the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing Rule, a growing #HousingJustice movement, and a long history of housing discrimination by race, voices from the frontlines will tell community stories, share local strategies, and cross-dialogue with participants from other cities in small groups. Presenters will discuss current national policy campaigns and reforms within federal agencies to support equitable development in our neighborhoods, and invite others to connect advocacy efforts across communities. The National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development launched the #OurNeighborhoods campaign this year, in alliance with Right to the City, to connect neighborhoods in hot markets that are at risk of displacement to implement more policies focused on affordable housing for working class residents and thriving local small business districts, both of which are critical for our families. From historic Chinatowns in the shadows of skyscraping Downtowns, to the destruction of public housing to make way for luxury condominiums, we hope to link struggles across communities of color, share best practices, and elevate the discussion nationally. We have been traveling the country meeting with allies, building consensus and momentum around what’s working on the ground and what’s needed in DC, and we welcome you to collaborate.
VOTE has been a leader on criminal justice policy issues, particularly as the core of their membership comes from a jailhouse lawyer approach to identifying problems, openly challenging injustices, and crafting alternatives. Along with sister organizations also fighting to Ban the Box, we successfully broke new ground with a petition that forced President Obama to issue an executive order in 2015. VOTE has been a national leader in challenging the same rationale for exclusion from public housing, and in 2016 won a new policy in New Orleans that is a starting point for others. Our 2016 legislation and litigation voting rights campaign is being fought in Louisiana: the most incarcerated state in the world, and home to the most violent and storied forms of race-based voter disenfranchisement.
In the 21st century, oppressors need not talk about race because they have convictions to label who is in the "Us" or "Them." Yet these convictions are created through race-based policing in schools and communities, and structural racism throughout the decision-making process of the system. This session is not to tell us what we already know. It is for activists and strategists who want to integrate race and convictions in a way that works- and in a way that does not exclude roughly 50 million white Americans (and their families) who also suffer the impacts of a conviction.