FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                     Contact: Brendan Williams-Kief

October 18, 2022                                                                  bwk@georgetownpa.com 202-905-6284

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                      Contact: Brendan Williams-Kief

October 18, 2022                                                                    bwk@georgetownpa.com 202-905-6284

 

 ElectED DC Launches to Build Political Power in Communities East of the Anacostia River, 

Releases Key Findings from Inaugural Survey of Wards 7 and 8 Priorities and Aspirations

 Community conversations planned for months ahead premised on survey’s findings

 Washington, DC – ElectED DC, a new 501c(4) non-profit organization solely dedicated to empowering students, residents, and communities east of the Anacostia River officially launched today.  Its mission is to engage community members East of the River to build political power, increase representation of historically marginalized communities at all levels, and advocate for the policy conditions that will enable every DC student to thrive. 

ElectED DC founder and board chair Rev. Kendrick E. Curry, Ph.D. called the launch a turning point in the long history of activism and community advocacy for the east end of the District of Columbia. 

“There is an urgent need to prioritize life-sustaining solutions to the deadly environmental conditions in our community,” Curry said. “We are dedicated to supporting leaders who are passionate about the dignity and prosperity of Wards 7 and 8. From increasing equitable access to quality schools that meet the needs of all learners, to ensuring residents have comprehensive, high-quality healthcare services right here in their communities, this organization intends to provide a vehicle for the powerful voices within our communities to advocate for social justice in all its domains.”

Alongside its organizational launch, ElectED announced the release of its inaugural Survey of Wards 7 and 8, a landmark study of the aspirations, priorities and needs of communities East of the River.  The survey, conducted by Public Policy Polling, gathered responses from 586 registered voters in Wards 7 and 8.  Major findings included:

  • Widespread dissatisfaction: 60% of respondents say they are generally dissatisfied with the current state of affairs east of the River, compared to 20% who reported feeling satisfied and 20% who said they were not sure. 

  • East of the River is getting shortchanged: 54% of respondents also reported that they somewhat or strongly disagree with the statement that the District is doing what is needed for communities east of the river to thrive compared to what it is doing for those west of the river. 

  • Strong desire for more high-quality schools: 55% of respondents strongly or somewhat believe there are NOT enough high-quality schools in Wards 7 and 8. 

  • Crime and safety top overall issue: Neighborhood crime and safety was the top priority among respondents (44%), followed by housing costs and rising prices (19%), and voting rights (16%). 

  • HOWEVER–Nearly 3 in 4 believe they can change their community for the better: At the same time, respondents overwhelmingly feel that they play a role in shaping their community, with 74% saying they somewhat or strongly agreed that they can. 

  • AND–Majority trusts leaders in local government: A majority of respondents, 50%, reported that they somewhat or strongly trust their leaders in city government. 

 

On the heels of this survey, ElectED DC will host a series of community conversations in Wards 7 and 8 to discuss the findings and build connection and dialogue between members of the community and leaders.  

“We believe that leaders must have a deep understanding and connection to the community context experienced by residents and families in our neighborhoods,” Curry added. “In partnership with local and national organizations, we will identify, train, and support community leaders so that they have the resources and knowledge to become civic change agents in their communities. Our goal is to build a pipeline of leaders from and around Wards 7 & 8 who are equipped with the tools, resources, and support they need to advocate for their communities and put student needs first.”

 

ElectED DC’s work will be premised on 5 core values:

  • Students are our first priority.

Student satisfaction, achievement in school, and success in life is our first priority. 

  • Quality public education is a right.

Families have a fundamental right to choose the high-quality school that meets their unique needs. 

  • Justice matters.

Grassroots advocacy is key to eliminating the systemic racial and socio-economic barriers that prevent families from thriving.

  • Leadership is paramount.

Identifying, developing, electing and supporting leaders who seek the greater good for students and families is at the core of our work.

  • Community is vital. 

Elevating community members’ voices and building their agency is essential for thriving schools and flourishing communities.

Reporters wishing to speak with ElectED founder and board chair Rev. Kendrick E. Curry, PhD., learn more about the organization, or receive a copy of the Survey of Wards 7 and 8, may contact Brendan Williams-Kief at 202-905-6284 or by email at bwk@georgetownpa.com.  

 

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