Destiny Watford

Free Your Voice and United Workers in Baltimore
Destiny has been a leader in fighting to prevent the nation's largest waste-to-energy incinerator from being built in her Curtis Bay community in Baltimore. After four years of organizing, the students of Free Your Voice successfully pressured both Baltimore City and Baltimore City Public Schools terminate their energy contract with the company and currently the company's plans are stalled. Destiny won the 2016 Goldman Environmental Prize for her work and continues to push the Maryland Department of the Environment to give control over the proposed incinerator site back to the community, so they can pursue sustainable Fair Development alternatives.

Presentations from Facing Race 2018

Because Black Neighborhoods Matter: Scaling Up Community Control of Land, Energy and Housing

Discriminatory land use, access to housing and lending create the dynamics of displacement in "desirable" areas and abandonment in others and have long been drivers of structural racism. In response, the movement for community control of land, energy and housing has been growing and developing new strategies to get to scale. This workshop will explore organizing strategies to build constituencies and allies. In particular, we will focus on how to turn defensive fights, such as against polluters or banks deploying abusive foreclosures, into proactive longer-term efforts to transform the way we govern the use of land. We will also explore capacity building strategies to prepare communities to set up community land trusts and other governance vehicles, including the kind of approaches that will ensuring ongoing and vibrant leadership development. Finally, we will cover policy interventions that can equitably finance these efforts while putting the brakes on the speculative economy. In particular, we will discuss alternative public revenue sources that aren't driven by property taxes, tax strategies that penalize speculators, and how to advance a policy framework that isn't relentless focused on raising land values and fueling speculation as a result. In the workshop, participants will break out and be given tools to walk through an assessment of their local context to determine which strategies can be adapted to their city.

Speakers: Catherine Albisa, Destiny Watford