When the Fenty administration closed 23 DC schools last year, housing advocates warned that the public property would wind up in private developer’s hands. A year later — despite promises that he would not sell any of the schools – Fenty has solicited proposals from private developers to develop 11 of the schools into luxury condos. Meanwhile, the District government is spending almost $150 million a year in rent for government offices. “The surplusing of public land is part of a larger attempt to privatize public resources and services,” says Parisa Norouzi, co-director of Empower DC and founder of the People’s Property Campaign. Norouzi says that current DC law has no process to consider using public property for other government or public uses. Housing advocates are supporting legislation — Bill 18-76, introduced by Councilmember Harry Thomas Jr. – to bring transparency, community input and community planning to the process.rnrn“The fate of public sector workers is tied to the fate of public property,” adds Alya Mbamba of the Metropolitan Washington AFL-CIO. “This piece of legislation is key to holding the line on privatization in the city.” The Metro Washington Council is joining Empower DC and DC Jobs with Justice on Tuesday, July 7th at 9:30A for a lobby day supporting the legislation, which is expected to be marked up before the summer recess. Meet at 9:30A at the Wilson Building, 1350 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Room 103 or click here to email your Council member. For more information contact Ruth Castel-Branco at 202.974.8281 or Rcastel@dclabor.org