295 Days to Go

Fellow Ward 6 Democrats,

Happy 2020! 

This is going to be a big year for the local and national Democratic party. 

On the national level, we'll be choosing the candidate who will represent the party and run against Donald Trump. There are four more scheduled Democratic debates (tomorrow night, Tuesday, Jan. 14, then three more in February - the 7th, the 19th and the 25th). 

We have a US House majority to defend and an opportunity to flip the US Senate blue.

In DC, Wards 2, 4, 7, and 8 will be voting for their city council member, and two at-large seats will also be up, currently held by Democrat Robert White and retiring Independent David Grosso. We'll also be voting for our House Delegate, our shadow Representative, and one of our shadow Senators. 

The DC Democratic State Committee will be hosting our state convention on Saturday, April 18. Planning is already underway, and we'll be looking for delegates to attend representing Ward 6. 

In short, there will be many opportunities to get involved on the local and national levels, and we'll do our best to keep you informed about all of them in the weeks and months to come.

Chuck Burger

President, Ward 6 Democrats

DC DSC Statehood Planning Meeting - Tuesday, Jan. 14

The next meeting of the DC Democratic State Committee's Statehood subcommittee will take place Tuesday, Jan. 14, from 6:30-8:00 p.m. at 1776 K Street NW, in the 7th floor conference room. The focus of the meeting will be planning our 2020 statehood efforts. All statehood allies are invited to attend.

Indivisible Waterfront 2020 Kick-Off Meeting - Sunday, Jan. 26

Indivisible Waterfront has won some tremendous victories in the past two years. In 2018, IW's time, energy, and money contributed significantly to flipping three seats in the US House of Representatives, won by Abigail Spanberger, Elaine Luria, and Jenifer Wexton. In 2019, IW's focus on three Virginia House of Delegates races helped defeat one Republican and re-elect two Democratic incumbents who had flipped their districts in 2017.  

The challenges for 2020 are even bigger and more urgent, and it’s time to come together to plan for the next ten critical months.

Guest speaker Marisa Kanof, a national field organizer for Swing Left, will provide an insider's view of Swing Left's Super State Strategy, and we'll talk about how Indivisible Waterfront can play a role.

Bring your ideas, your curiosity, and a friend who’s been asking: “What can I do?” 

Questions? Contact Barbara Friedman at [email protected]

Save the Date: #DemDebate8 - Friday, Feb. 7

The Ward 6 Democrats will be partnering with the DC DSC to host a debate watch party for the 8th Democratic debate Friday, Feb. 7 at Busboys & Poets (450 K Street NW). Details to follow.

Save the Date: H Street/NoMa Civic Association - Tuesday, Feb. 11

The H Street/NoMa Civic Association (HNCA) January meeting is cancelled. The next meeting will be Tuesday, Feb. 11, 7:00-8:00 p.m., at 2 M Street NE in the Club Room. The concierge in the lobby will direct you when you enter the building. 

Women of Ward 6: Alva Vanderbilt Belmont 

January’s Woman of Ward 6 is Alva Vanderbilt Belmont, a prominent multi-millionaire American socialite and a major figure in the American women’s suffrage movement. She was one of the founders of the National Woman’s Party (NWP) and helped gain support for the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote. The Belmont-Paul Women’s Equality National Monument in Ward 6 is named for Belmont and Alice Paul, another key figure in the fight for women’s voting rights.
The Ward 6 Democrats are recognizing and honoring Ward 6 women who have made significant contributions to better our community for the 2020 anniversary of the 19th Amendment.
Belmont was an important strategist and officer for the suffrage movement. She organized the first picketing for women’s voting rights ever to take place before the White House in 1917. When the National Woman’s Party headquarters in the old brick Capitol was seized to construct the Supreme Court building, Belmont bought a large brick historic home now known as the Belmont-Paul Women’s Equality National Monument, located close the U.S. Capitol, and donated it for use as NWP headquarters. 
Born in Mobile, AL, in 1853, Alva Smith agreed to marry William K. Vanderbilt, grandson of railroad tycoon Cornelius Vanderbilt, during a party at the storied Greenbrier in West Virginia in 1874. William was an eligible young nouveau riche bachelor, but Belmont had a family name respected by society. Her father was unable to regain the family’s wealth and social position in the South after the Civil War. By marring Vanderbilt, she revived her family’s social position and financial status.
While married to Vanderbilt, she built grand houses with architect Richard Morris Hunt and once threw a costumed ball in 1883 for 1,200 people that cost a staggering $3 million. When the elite New Yorkers wouldn’t sell the Vanderbilts a box at the Academy of Music, she helped found the Metropolitan Opera.
In March 1895, she shocked society by divorcing Vanderbilt, who had long been unfaithful, at a time when divorce was rare among the elite. She received a large financial settlement said to be in excess of $10 million, in addition to several estates, including Marble House, the Vanderbilt summer mansion in Newport, RI.  She remarried in 1896 to Oliver Belmont, heir to August Belmont, for whom the Belmont Stakes is named. After Oliver Belmont’s death in 1908, she took on the women’s voting rights cause and became an outspoken suffragist.
She spent her latter years campaigning wholeheartedly for women’s suffrage and bucking the status quo by advocating for voting rights for black women, who were often neglected by the movement.
She was a woman very different from her time and class, according to novelist Therese Anne Fowler, author of A Well-Behaved Woman, a novel about Alva Belmont, one who defied convention at every turn. Fowler’s historical novel, which was published in 2018, is available in local bookstores and online. The book is currently in development as a possible TV series.
About the initiative: The Women of Ward 6 Initiative is a non-partisan recognition of Ward 6’s women. The initiative, in partnership with the National Woman’s Party, Capitol Hill Restoration Society and the Hill Rag will culminate in 2020 in the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote.