Next week, Holla Back DC! and Stop Street Harassment will team up to stage D.C.'s first city-wide safety audit. The audit, which coincides with the First Annual International Anti-Street Harassment Day, is targeted at making city streets safer for "women and LGBTQ folks."
So on March 20 and 23, 80 volunteers will canvas two neighborhoods in each District ward by both day and night to determine whether "women and LGBTQ folks can navigate the public spaces of D.C. freely without fear." In a two-hour study, District locales will be rated on a constellation of factors: the gender breakdown of residents out-and-about; the presence of graffiti, trash, or offensive advertisements, and their effect on perceived safety; the accessibility of public services, from pedestrian signals to pay phones; the safety of nearby bus and Metro stops; any incidents of harassment observed on the walk or recorded in the past; the auditors' comfort level with local businesses, community organizations, and the area's police presence; and interviews with local residents using public space.
Volunteers are encouraged to sign up to audit their own neighborhoods; organizers are specifically seeking volunteers from Wards 7 and 8.