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Youths Protest D.C. Funding Cuts

Peaceoholics co-founder Ron Moten led hundreds of youths in a protest in front of the John A. Wilson Building Wednesday afternoon to bring attention to the D.C. Council's cuts in funding to nonprofits. The council eliminated earmarks when re-working the budget.

Moten wore overalls and bandages covered with fake blood. "They need to know what happens in the community," said Moten, referring to Peaceoholics' work stemming violence among youths.

By Anne Bartlett  |  September 23, 2009; 5:03 PM ET
Categories:  City Finances , Nikita Stewart  
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He should have been arrested. Using children to pimp the city for money is criminal.

Posted by: candycane1 | September 23, 2009 8:19 PM | Report abuse

I don't think anyone should be swayed by the fact that Moten was able to get hundreds of students to protest. I know his program has done some good things but the reality is that he was able to tap into a lot of anger many youths feel across the city as the are left out and forgotten by our political leaders.

The damage that Peaceaholics has done totally outweighs any small amount of good. Remember that Moten is the organization's leader who defiantly said on several occasions that the several girls, who were either sexually assaulted and/or verbally harassed in a sexual and violent manner by one of his staffers, are lying.

He then attacked their character publicly to discredit them while at the same time proclaiming the innocence of a convicted murderer who recently faced cocaine possession charges.

I am all for rehabilitative services for inmates and job readiness programs for released convicts but putting them in schools or rec centers to mentor vulnerable children is just plain wrong.

Place them in the Mayor's office or with a construction crew. It is obvious that Moten has very poor judgment and lacks the professional training to handle such a job. Being an ex gang leader just isn't it enough experience to work with our youth. People who are trained professionals learn about ethics, code of conduct, developmental theories and much more that is absent from Peaceaholics. Our children really can't afford to be shortchanged anymore.

Posted by: letsbereal2 | September 23, 2009 10:50 PM | Report abuse

Thank God DC youth still know how to fight for their rights! I'd rather see them protesting nonviolently in front of the Wilson building than beefing in the streets. My prayers are with them as they work to create a better world for themselves.

Posted by: CoffeeDrinker | September 23, 2009 11:46 PM | Report abuse

Ron Moten is pathetic and I wish he would disappear. According to the Washington City Paper, Ron Moten got into a shouting match with Ward 7 D.C. Councilmember Yvette Alexander. He alleged to have call Ms. Alexander trash. How ghetto and disrespectful can one get?

Posted by: Ward4DC | September 24, 2009 1:18 AM | Report abuse

If they were fighting for their rights, I'd agree but they were fighting for what Moten thinks is his right. Moten has the right like everybody else to get a resume together, put on decent clothes, improve his grammar and go look for a real job. After the harm his organization has caused, he does not deserve one dime of my tax dollars. Working for a living should be the example he sets for children.

Posted by: candycane1 | September 24, 2009 7:43 AM | Report abuse

He's pathetic and that's putting it mildly. He's the most rude, arrogant, disrespectful individual I've ever had the displeasure of seeing. (watch the firetruck deposition). Those kids should have been in SCHOOL!!! thats the problem now. Ron has gotten waaaaay too much of DC's money. In my opinion, the peacoholics is the FIRST group who should have had their funding cut! Giving his group more funding does not curtail violence. period. point. blank. . . it buys him bigger trucks, more jewlry, and hopefully a speech class!

Posted by: boo2 | September 24, 2009 8:14 AM | Report abuse

I thought Ron Moten said he didn't NEED city funding. Now that he isn't getting it, he is crying foul.

Well Mr. Moten, welcome to the real world.

Should you expect for you to go back to your old ways because your free meal ticket has been revoked? MPD Beware.

Posted by: concernedaboutdc | September 24, 2009 10:32 AM | Report abuse

Sounds as though Ron Moten's M.0. is the same as the Mayor's. No wonder they are such good friends. "Birds of the same feathers flock together". I think Mr. Moten's grant money is really hush money.

The Peaceaholics have no business in a place were children spend 85% -90% of their day. Councilmember Alexander should introduce some kind of legislation that would prevent Moten's thuggish group from operating in any of our school buildings.

Insulting the Councilmember is proof of his disrespect for women. His intent to demoralize a child, especially a female, when one of his misfits turn pervert has been incriminated, is even more of a reason for the Peaceaholics to be denied any more of the tax payers dollars.

Parents send their children to school hoping that they are safe. The possibility of having sexual predators in the buildings changes the order of things and definitely places the children in a mode of distrust and fear of adults.

What's next? Rhee and Fenty have proven more times than enough that they are not capable of running the District's Schools. Thugs in the schools; possible cheating on the annual city-wide tests; hiring 900 teachers in the mist of a budget crises; refusing to address racist concerns regarding the Dunbar football team; bashing teachers and never addressing the academic program; and never promoting the school system sends a signal that they themselves are in need of reform.

Posted by: shank2sb | September 24, 2009 11:16 AM | Report abuse

If they give the peacoholics more money I will personally stand in front of the Wilson building counter-protesting - requesting that they put that money to better use!!! It would help to take that money and instead maybe hire some counselors in these schools. What has to happen before it's decided enough is enough? I wish like he!! someone from that organization (mob) even considers doing anything to my daughter... I'll see too it that those involved in allowing this group to even exist, regrets it! (sorry - venting)

Posted by: boo2 | September 24, 2009 11:34 AM | Report abuse

sorry for the continued posts but I found this hilarious (washington city paper)

Outside the Wilson Building, Alexander says Moten & Co. got in her face about the cuts to the fiscal 2010 budget. Alexander says she had a retort: “I said, ‘What are you arguing for? You’ve never had a shortage of any funding.’” She added: “Your well has run dry.”

To that, Moten did not react well: “You’re trash!” Alexander recalls being told at least three times with Moten’s finger in her face.

In an interview, Moten admits to comparing his councilmember to refuse: “She was acting like a piece of trash,” the Ward 7 resident says. “She wasn’t acting like a councilmember.”

In Moten’s telling, it’s Alexander who needs to improve her manners: “She was talking to the people like nobodies. ‘I don’t like people who drop out of school. I don’t like people who stand on corners.’” In fact, he says, “I’m debating whether or not I’m going to press charges against her for grabbing my finger.”

Posted by: boo2 | September 24, 2009 11:58 AM | Report abuse

shanks2b wrote: "Councilmember Alexander should introduce some kind of legislation that would prevent Moten's thuggish group from operating in any of our school buildings."

There is existing legislation that should have already accomplished just that. In the face of recent events, though, one must question whether it may have been sidestepped for political reasons.

Mr. Harrison - the "mentor" recently convicted of sexual assault on a teenager at Spingarn HS - should never have been allowed to work with youth in a DCPS school. There is a statute that requires background checks for persons working with youth; it is called the "Child & Youth Safety & Health Act", and you can find the pertinent provisions in the DC Official Code at Title 4, Sections 1501.01 and thereafter. (Go to the DC Council website; you can access the Code from there.)

Murder/manslaughter are offenses for which an applicant should be barred from work with children or youth. Unfortunately, it appears that the law has been crafted so that convictions do not present an automatic bar, but allow the Mayor (or his designee(s)) to make a determination as to whether the applicant with a criminal history poses a present danger.

Someone within the Mayor's Office, or the Dept. of Human Resources, or DCPS, apparently decided that this individual was OK to mentor teenagers at Spingarn. Perhaps there was pressure applied, to the effect that anyone affiliated with Peaceoholics was to be given a "free pass", no matter what his record and statements revealed. But someone dropped the ball on this one, big time.

Posted by: nan_lynn | September 24, 2009 1:10 PM | Report abuse

More on the Fenty-Moten connection and favoritism for Peaceaholics: A poster identified as "concernedcitizenindc" wrote, in response to a parallel WashPost article on the same issue:

"As a District employee, I can verify that a directive was given by the Mayor's office in 2007 to find a way to give money via a contract to Peaceaholics. Fortunately, our agency could not find a good enough reason to award a sole source contract, but some agencies (such as DYRS) managed to pull it off.

"Yes, Fenty and Ron Moten are close. I don't know the history of their relationship, but Moten has Fenty in a corner now. If Fenty doesn't do what Moten requests, Moten will start screaming to the media. And since we all know that Fenty hates bad media, he'll cave and give Moten whatever he wants. I know because I saw it firsthand."

Very disturbing. A boorish, unscrupulous criminal offender pulling the strings controlling our Chief Executive. Can it get much worse?

Posted by: nan_lynn | September 24, 2009 1:18 PM | Report abuse

Ron Moten just demonstrated why he should be cut from all funding. Look at his behavior. Screaming and hollering? I thought he represented to students a way to handle beefs without being violent and obnoxious. He has also demonstrated how stupid he is. If you're going to call the same people who you need for money "trash" what do you expect to happen? Since his behavior is thugish and inappropriate in a government building, then there shoud be a
police barring against him and if he returns, have him arrested. His behavior has proven that he is no good for children. As a matter of fact, the incident at Spingarn and Moten's behavior is a clear indication that they are a detriment to children and the whole organization should be run out of the city.

Posted by: candycane1 | September 27, 2009 11:23 AM | Report abuse

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