Action is how we implement our values. Here are some examples of actions we've taken.

Meeting With DMPED On 4th & M Effort

September 8, 2022

On Thursday, September 8th, members of the coalition to purchase the lots at 4th & M Street, had a 30-minute meeting with Sarosh Olpadwala, the Director of Real Estate for the DC Government, to discuss the effort. Link to video.

4th & M Chairman Mendelson

Meeting With Chairman Mendelson On 4th & M

August 9, 2022

On Tuesday, August 9th, members of the coalition to purchase the lots at 4th & M Street, had a 20-minute meeting with Chairman Mendelson to discuss the effort. Chairman Mendelson said the meeting cleared up confusion he had from a July Meeting Up With Mendo event, where he was asked about the effort. Mendelson asked if Ward 6 Councilmember, Charles Allen, supported the effort, insinuating that he would not get involved unless the Councilmember was supportive.


PRESS RELEASE: Activists Deliver Petition With Nearly 1,000 Signatures To Mayor

June 29, 2022

On Wednesday, June 29th, activists belonging to the groups SW Action, and Ward 3 Housing Justice, delivered a petition, containing nearly 1,000 signatures to the Mayor Muriel Bowser, calling on her to purchase two lots for sale in Southwest, D.C. and transfer ownership to the Douglass Community Land Trust. 

On June 24th, 2022, while on the Politics Hour radio show with Kojo Nnamdi, the Mayor was asked whether she would support the petition, to which she replied “I’ll certainly review it.” Later that day, a meeting request with the Mayor was made via her website. When the activists delivered the petition on the 29th, they reiterated their call for a meeting with the Mayor. The activists hope that the Mayor and other elected and government officials will act on this unique opportunity for residents to collectively own and steward land in the city.

PRESS RELEASE: SW Action Holds Rally Urging D.C. Government to Designate Land in SW for a Community Land Trust

June 6, 2022

SW Action released a press release on June 6th calling on the DC government to purchase the lots at 425 and 375 M Streets SW and transfer ownership to the Douglass Community Land Trust to allow community ownership and community-led stewardship of the parcels.

Rally For 4th & M - June 3rd, 5-7pm

June 3, 2022

More than 100 people attended the rally on June 3rd calling on the DC Government to purchase the lots and transfer ownership to the Douglass Community Land Trust to allow community ownership and community-led stewardship. Speakers included Coy McKinney, member of SW Action, Kiesha Davis, SW resident and member of Douglass CLT board, Vaughn Perry, President of the Board of the Douglass CLT, and Thelma Jones, SW Action member and SW resident since 1976.

Link to video recap of the event.

Rally For 4th & M - June 3rd, 5-7pm

May 22, 2022

Join us on Friday, June 3rd, 5-7pm at 425 M Street SW as we hold a rally to express how much this space means to us and to keep the pressure on elected and government officials to make this happen!

Press release: DC GOV should purchase lots at 4th & M

May 10, 2022

The lots at 4th & M, 425 and 375, are on the market. They were initially purchased for $10. We are calling on the DC Government to purchase the land and transfer ownership to the Douglass Community Land Trust to allow for community-led and community-owned development. The lots have become a vital gathering space in the neighborhood that provide a place to gather, obtain fresh, locally grown produce for people of all incomes, and support small, predominantly Black and Brown, artists and vendors. To sign the petition, click here.

Letter Regarding Bethel Redevelopment

March 14, 2022

In response to the loss of 10 significantly sized trees on public land, the minimal amount of money paid by the developer, and the lack of transparency involved in all of this, we wrote the letter linked below.

The loss of our tree canopy is not just an environmental issue, but also a racial one as well, since people of color are more likely to be exposed to the heat island effect than Whites. Although the Black population has decreased 20%, due to developments like these that offer minimal amounts of affordable housing, there is still a significant Black population that live in the area that deserve to receive the benefits an established tree canopy provides. If you agree with the concerns listed, please sign on in support. Link to letter.

Letter On Latest Plans To Redevelop Greenleaf Without a Promise For 'Build First'

March 9, 2022

Residents of Greenleaf Gardens were given a resolution that did not include a promise to fulfill the promise of "Build First" in order to prevent displacement during its redevelop. We wrote this letter and sent it to the DC Housing Authority's Board of Commissioners asking that they vote against the resolution and ensure that the promise Build First is fulfilled: Link to letter.

Letter To Councilmembers on Redistricting

September 21, 2021

Members of SW Action wrote a letter to the sub-committee on redistricting detailing their concerns about the redistricting process and requesting that the committee focus on making sure racial equity, among other topics, is central to the process. The chairperson of the committee, Councilmember Silverman, reached out and would like to arrange a meeting with the group. You can read the letter here.

2021 Community Survey Results

September 13, 2021

The community development working group was interested in learning from residents what types of businesses and community organizations they'd like to see in our neighborhood, so they conducted a survey. The group's plan is to use the survey results to inform our outreach to elected officials. You can browse through the results of the survey here.

OP-ED: Auditor's report reveals DCHA continues to neglect lead issues

September 13, 2021

Members of SW Action wrote an op-ed in The Southwester newspaper about the DC Auditor's report detailing a failure to address lead in Greenleaf housing. To read the story, click here.

Community Forum on SW CLT Effort

August 12, 2021

On August 12th, Coy McKinney and Vaughn Perry, presented to a hybrid crowd of people in-person and on Zoom about Community Land Trusts and about the effort to establish one in Southwest. A reporter from the DC Line and Street Sense, attended and wrote an article on the effort. Although it is not a complete recording, you can watch about 25 minutes of the presentation here.

CM Charles Allen Supports CLT Petition

June 3, 2021

On June 3rd, Ward 6 Councilmember, Charles Allen, wrote a letter to the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development asking that a Community Land Trust model be used for the site. Predicting development timelines is notoriously tricky, but CM Allen believes that in about 4 years, the site will be ready for redevelopment. During that time, SW Action will continue to do outreach and come up with a plan that will serve the Southwest community. You can read more about the model and petition here.

SW Mutual Aid Clothes Give-away

April 24, 2021

On Saturday, April 24th from 12-3 PM, SW Action supported the Ward 6 Mutual Aid's Clothing Giveaway at King Greenleaf Recreation Center. In addition to 100 meals donated from World Central Kitchen via Rasa, the special event included a 'treasure' table next to SW Mutual Aid's clothing tables where SW community members took clothes, shoes, jewelry, spa items, and any other miscellaneous treasures that caught their eye! We also shared information about SW Action, the CLT petition, and encouraged those that dropped by to fill out our community development survey.

Expanding the Douglass Community Land Trust Into Southwest

April 10, 2021

SW Action is launching a petition to expand the Douglass Community Land Trust (DCLT) into Southwest at the current fire truck repair station, which will be relocated in the future. SW Action wants to start a SW chapter of the DCLT to guide how the land will be developed. To learn more about CLTs, how they have been proven to create long-term affordable housing, affordable retail space, visit this page.

Press Release: Problems With Cotton Annex Project

March 15, 2021

SW Action released a press release regarding all the problems with the Cotton Annex project, including a clear conflict of interest between Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner, Andy Litsky, and the non-profit group, the SW Community Foundation, who is supposed to be receiving $100,000 from the developer. Read the press release here.

Letter to CM Allen Regarding Comprehensive Plan

March 8, 2021

24 Southwest residents signed on to a letter urging Councilmember Allen to reject the Comprehensive Plan as proposed. The letter asks the Councilmember to include stronger language in the Plan and require more protections and benefits for historically underserved communities. You can read the letter here.

2nd Event On BIDs & Gentrification

February 17, 2021

In this second event, we'll be looking at the history of development, displacement, and homelessness in NOMA (includes Union Market)—juxtaposed with BID-sponsored, million dollar underpass art installations and mural festivals like Pow!Wow! DC.

Comprehensive Plan Testimony

November 12-13, 2020

The DC Council Committee of the Whole held public testimony on the latest draft of the 20-year planning document known as the Comprehensive Plan. Three members of SW Action testified, you can watch their testimony here

Air Quality & Environmental Justice Concerns - Buzzard Point

November 10, 2020

Letter in support of the Buzzard Point Concerned Residents & Friends for Better Air Quality & Environmental Justice's public comments calling for the denial of hte of Vulcan Material Plant’s permit. Link to letter.

Gentrification + BIDs

October 29, 2020

This is the first in a series of events on how Business Improvement Districts in different neighborhoods have paved the way for gentrification. Each event will involve panelists and community activists and solicit ideas for change. Link to video.

CM Allen Presentation 9/17/20

Meeting w/CM Allen On An Equitable + Sustainable SW

September 17, 2020

Members of our group met with our Ward 6 Councilmember, Charles Allen, to ask for support and advice for our ideas, which we think will make SW a more equitable and sustainable place.

Response to DC's Ready2Play Master Plan

September 14, 2020

The DC Department of Parks and Recreation has completed a draft of its 2020 Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan (SCORP), which will be submitted to the National Park Service for compliance with the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) program. You can see the comments we left in response to the draft plan here.

Equitable + Antiracist Housing

Equitable & Antiracist Housing

August 27, 2020

Over the next month, we will be having several meetings with council-members, their staff, and other DC government policymakers to talk about our ideas for implementing antiracist and equitable policies into how housing is produced in the city. You can browse through the presentation on the left side, or via this link.

Photos by: Desiree Halpern

Statement: Interrupting cycles of harm

SW Action’s statement on interrupting cycles of harm, rather than perpetuating them. Read the full statement here.

Extended inclusionary zoning roundtable

July 15, 2020

The Office of Planning is holding a roundtable discussion on their extended inclusionary zoning proposal. The proposal would increase the affordable housing requirement for particular projects from 8% to 20%. Although a step in the right direction, we believe the measure does not go far enough. To read our full statement, click here.

reforming bids

On June 16, 20202, Coy McKinney testified in front of the Committee on Business and Economic Development in hopes of reforming Business Improvement Districts to make them allies in the pursuit of justice and equality. 

You can read more about reforming BIDs here.

rally for racial justice 

Jun. 12, 2020

Organized by SW Action and the SW Faith community, a rally for racial justice in SW was held at the 4th & M intersection.

screening & Discussion: 

southwest remembered

February 16, 2020 

SW Action hosted a showing and discussion of the documentary film, Southwest Remembered.

Comments/Statement on SW Element of DC Comprehensive Plan

We read through the SW element of the comprehensive plan and submitted our concerns and thoughts. You can read our comments here.

You can also read our one-page summary here.

If you would like to read the document yourself, you can do so here

You have until January 10, 2019 to email your comments to, and your ANC 6D representative.

4th & M Street SW Brief

December 23, 2019: Six residents filed their brief to the DC Court of Appeals, requesting the decision of the Zoning Commission to approve the proposed development at 4th and M Street to be vacated. The petitioners rely on case law and planning documents to argue that the development does not fulfill goals of the current Comprehensive Plan or the SW Neighborhood Plan.

Petitioners also argue that the loss of health-promoting and cultural assets due to the SW Farmer's Market and Friday night arts market constitute adverse effects that the Commission failed to consider despite its statutory obligations to do so. Data on gentrification, threats to neighborhood diversity, and the impact of a minimum number of affordable units are discussed at length. Based on new, comparable units in Southwest and surrounding communities, rents are likely to reach well beyond $2,000 for studios and one-bedrooms.

To read the full 50-page brief, click here: 4th & M Brief.

The Southwester: Local Activists Appeal Developments At 4TH & M

The January 2020 issue of The Southwester includes an article about the press conference held on December 16, 2019 regarding the development at 4th & M.

The Southwester: Local Activists Appeal Developments At 4TH & M