Wednesday, August 18, 2010

How Much Does Peaceoholics Get?

Peaceoholics is making quite a bit of news lately.  Yesterday, The Washington Post dubbed the organization's co-founder and current board member, Ron Moten, a "chief strategist" for the Fenty campaign.  TBD notes that the Fenty Administration characterizes Moten's as just a hard working volunteer, but has not requested a correction.  Moten suggests the former title is accurate and earned.  "If I was a professor and I looked at the work I was doing, I would say I was a strategist," he said. "So, I'm a strategist."

Given Moten's growing active role in the campaign, a frequent issue is how much funding Peaceoholics has received from the city, particularly after the latest disclosure that the organization was seeking another $400,000 for unknown services rendered. Numbers vary from article to article.  Here is what I've found:

CityStat, the District's procurement database, provides a list of direct payments from city agencies to Peacoholics. It approaches $3 million. This does not account for significant payments to Peacoholics through the court system, which is technically federal, as well as other grants and a housing project discussed below.

That's consistent with what a Congress Heights blogger obtained through a FOIA request, which she posted online. The documents show that Peacoholics received $1.3 million from the Department of Youth Rehabilitative Services in FY 2008-2009, $4.5 million from the Housing Production Trust Fund in FY 2007-2009, $300,000 from the Public Safety and Justice budget in FY 2007-2008, and $50,000 from the Department of Human Services in FY 2008.

The number is actually much higher.

Peacoholics' Executive Director Maia Shanklin Roberts stated at a recent community meeting that the organization received $3.48 million in city, federal, and private funds between 2008-09 alone.

There may be more money flowing indirectly to the organization.  The Examiner reported that Peaceoholics also receives cash indirectly from DYRS.  It gets funding through the East of the River Police Community Partnership, which received a two-year DYRS contract valued at about $3 million in 2009. How much Peaceoholics gets from that source is unclear.  Moten has close ties to the Rev. Donald Isaac, who heads East of River.

One Washington Post article noted that that Peacoholics received over $8 million in the past four years, including $4.4 million to build a group home, $3.6 million in city contracts, and $500,000 from the Justice Grants Administration.  Another estimated $10 million.

Where does the money go?  According to a 2007 Form 990 (the most recent available online), Peaceoholics paid out over $1 million to "consultants" in a single year.  Its founders each collected $100,000 salaries.  And the organization distributed approximately $64,000 as what Moten calls "stipends" and his co-founder Jauhar Abraham says are "donations."  While speaking at length about the organization, Roberts did not use the term "stipends," but made references to “direct funds to youth," "direct support" provided to youth and their families, and use of "flex funds" to provide youths with necessities, such as clothes and shoes, as part of its DYRS-funded activities. (There were allegations that youth who attended the Ward 8 Straw Poll with Moten received $100 payments to participate, which Moten vehemently denies.).  To be certain, the organization is involved in many legitimate projects and activities, some of which are discussed here.  It would be very interesting to know, however, where, precisely, the millions in taxpayer money went.

And it is nearly all taxpayer money…. according to Moten’s form, just $34,000 of Peaceoholics funding in 2006 came from individual contributions and fundraising while $2.1 million came from government grants. Abraham’s form indicates $68,000 from individual contributions and nearly $2.3 million received in government grants.



FOR WHAT??!!! They need to be audited and the mayor arrested. I get so angry on this topic. Why won't the post print this information? No accountability. 3 million??

IMGoph said...
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