WIN Annual Reports June 2018 Midyear Report - Page 21

LINDA DAVENPORT - NATIONAL UMC DECEMBER 16, 1949 - APRIL 16, 2017 The first time I met Linda Davenport was at a Starbucks downtown for a 1-1 relational meeting. She told me she had a satisfying and successful career in finance and development of housing and community spaces all around the country. That day she looked me in the eye and said “I have spent my career at 10,000 feet. Now I want to get on the on the ground.” Linda wasted no time getting into the mix through her church Metropolitan Memorial UMC and going directly to Congress Heights in ward 8. She built relationships with Mrs. Rufaro Jenkins, M rs. Cynthia Eaglin both former tenants of Parkway Overlook Apartments. Parkway Overlook was multiple blocks of abandoned apartment buildings. It had been closed by HUD in 2008 and all the families had to leave. The team’s job? To resurrect it. Get the city, someone, anyone to take responsibility to rehab it and re-open it so 200+ families could have needed affordable housing. Not everyone has the mettle to organize like Linda. At 10,000 feet, you never have to get close enough to risk vulnerability or the pain of loss. When another senior passes away, not getting to return to the place they once called home. At 10,000 feet, you might not have to confront the contradictions of politicians who say one thing and do the other. You don’t have to look people in the eye when this means another delay to their housing. At 10,000 feet, sometimes you can stay comfortable. But Linda didn’t. On the ground, she wore out her shoes and broke a sweat like everyone else knocking on doors and getting people out to vote. She demonstrated the integrity and consistency required to bridge the divides of West of the Park and East of the River. In countless meetings with the housing authority, Mayors past and present, or whatever suit from an agency she was a fierce question asker and always helped get to the heart of the matter. She stood eye to eye and shoulder to shoulder in solidarity. When losses came, with grit the Parkway Overlook team turned their anger into action and showed up again and again - not taking no for an answer - even if they had to elbow their way to a seat at the table. Linda was also a wonderful board member to have. There are not too many people who respond to the need to raise money with a hooray. Linda, you mean a lot to us at WIN and in this community. You impacted us with your tenacity, courage, and love. We are grateful to have stood shoulder to shoulder with you. “Well done, good and faithful servant”. - Jennifer Knox, Lead Organizer 2018 MIDYEAR REPORT 21