Urban Citizen/WOC will engage in one neighborhood organizing project with the community, and another project working on the restoration of the Four Winds American Indian Survival Project.
The WOC project will be to help organize a major “festival” with the Save Our Section 8 Coalition. This festival will bring low-income, elderly, and disabled residents of Section 8 housing together with dozens of community supporters, for a large event meant to publicize their housing crisis, to educate the community about concerns, and to develop and build the momentum needed to compel local solutions. The festival will also be filled with music, good food, and entertainment.
The festival will be organized around Denver’s Section 8 crisis. At the present time a large property owner (Urban Inc.) has decided to sell off over a dozen Section 8 buildings, at prices making the loss of up to 4000 low-income Section 8 units probable. Two of these building are right next to the Campus: Courthouse Square and Parkway #6 (both near Speer and Colfax). These buildings house hundreds of elderly and disabled tenants who are likely to face eviction in the coming years unless a solution is found.
Urban Citizens role will be to help these residents come together, to enjoy a day of food, music and entertainment, to discover their own power and their own solutions, and to build momentum for a city-wide solution to the issue of vanishing Section 8 housing units. We will organize the music for the event, find a way to bring food to the event, arrange chairs and entertainment, and will help educate people about Denver housing issues. There will be a list of things to do or assist in and within the constraints of the “festival” you can choose what area you wish to concentrate on. This event will take place the 3rd or 4th week of April…if we all put in a solid part-time effort it will be smooth going. We have a history of successful events.
The restoration project is subject to available funding. We will finish painting a new bedroom in the Native American Women’s Empowerment Projects house and do some finishing work in the community center. We have been working together with the American Indian community on the project since 1993. Students that have finished their degrees still come and work on the project when the call for help goes out. It will be one of the most satisfying events you will participate in as a group.
All in all we have great confidence in our success this semester. We know you will learn…and have fun doing it.