Fellow Ward 6 Democrats,
You have until THIS Friday, May 15, to request your e-ballot to vote for the Delegates who will represent us at the Democratic National Convention in August. Details are below. (NOTE: this is NOT the same as requesting an absentee ballot for the June 2 DC primary or the November 3 general election.)
We also have an upcoming virtual salon conversation next Tuesday, May 19, with At-Large Councilmember Robert White. CM White is running for re-election this fall. Details and registration information are below. RSVP right away - space is limited: https://www.ward6dems.org/virtual_salon_with_councilmember_robert_white.
Don't forget to complete your 2020 US Census. Although the official "census day" was April 1, you can and should still complete your census at https://2020census.gov. The consequences of an undercount would be serious for our city and our Ward boundaries, and CM Allen's latest newsletter reports that Ward 6 is only at 53%. We can do better!
Finally, check out our May Woman of Ward 6, Emily Edson Briggs, a journalist who was the first woman to be admitted to the congressional press gallery.
Stay safe, stay well, stay at home, stay happy. Remember to wash your hands, complete your Census information, and sign up for DC Democratic Party Delegate e-ballot to elect Ward 6 Dems to the Democratic Party Convention.
President, Ward 6 Democrats
Vote for District-Level Delegates to the DNC
It's not too late!
The District of Columbia's Democratic Party invites all registered Democrats to participate in the election of District-Level Delegates to the 2020 Democratic National Committee (DNC) Convention. DC's Delegates will be part of the DNC Convention (now re-scheduled for August) that makes decisions about the Democratic Party's presidential nominee and platform.
To vote in this Democratic Party election, you need to request an electronic ballot no later than THIS Friday, May 15, 2020. Once your registration is confirmed, you will be emailed a ballot.
Voting will remain open until Thursday, May 21, 2020.
- Request your District-Level Delegate electronic ballot here.
- Learn about the candidates here.
- Review the full Rules of the Day here.
NOTE: this is NOT the same as requesting an absentee ballot for the June 2 DC primary or the November 3 general election. You need to do BOTH of these things.
Remember, your VOTE is your VOICE.
Virtual Salon with CM Robert White - Tuesday, May 19
Join your Ward 6 Democrats for a Zoom virtual salon with At-Large Councilmember Robert White NEXT Tuesday, May 19, from 7:00 - 9:00 p.m.
Our Salons provide an intimate setting to discuss issues with our guest. Participation is limited to under 20 invitees so RSVP early.
CM White was first elected to the DC City Council in 2016 and is running for 2020 re-election on the Democratic ticket. Councilmember White serves as Chair of the Committee on Facilities and Procurement, and Board Chair, Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments. This is your chance to get to know him better and ask him any questions you have about his service on the Council, his priorities, or his positions on your Ward 6 issues.
For additional information on our guest, visit: https://robertwhiteatlarge.com.
Details and RSVP at https://www.ward6dems.org/virtual_salon_with_councilmember_robert_white.
Questions? Contact Chuck Burger email@example.com or 202.258.5316.
Virtual Get Out The Vote Efforts Continue
Need something to occupy your time/take your mind off things right now? Writing postcards to registered Democrat voters around the country is a great way to actively support Democratic candidates at all levels of state and federal government.
You have several options for GOTV efforts in support of Democratic candidates this fall:
- The Postcard Writing Action Team (PoWAT) in Ward 6's southwest neighborhood has been working with Postcards to Voters for almost two years helping in a wide range of special elections, vote by mail campaigns, and regularly scheduled elections. Postcards to Voters works with the candidates’ campaigns around the country to identify registered Democrats. You supply the postcards and stamps. Once a week, you will receive a call to writing and receive a list of five or ten voters to whom you can address cards with some prepared text options. You decide when to get involved. Lists are only sent when you say you want to participate. If you would like to get involved, email Gabriele Strauch at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Start your own postcard writing group. Visit Postcards to Voters at https://postcardstovoters.org/ to find out how to work with them and get a group going.
- Sister District DC/NoVa also has opportunities to get involved with postcard writing. Find out more at https://sisterdistrict.com/volunteer/washington-dc.
- Swing Left is running a letter-writing campaign called The Big Send. You can find out more about what's involved and sign up to participate at https://votefwd.org/bigsend/swingleft.
Let's flip some more seats blue this fall!
Another good way to use your time while staying at home and physical distancing is to complete your 2020 Census questionnaire.
Why does the Census matter?
- The federal government distributes over $6 billion annually to the District to support vital programs based on census data.
- Census data is used to update Ward and ANC boundaries to reflect population growth and movement across the District.
- District agencies rely on accurate census data for budgeting, planning, and policy decision-making across the city.
- Residents use the census to support community initiatives involving legislation, quality-of-life, and consumer advocacy.
- Businesses use census data to decide where to build offices and stores, creating jobs in our community.
An undercount would have serious consequences for our city, denying us federal funds to which we are entitled that support everything from programs for children to infrastructure improvements.
It take about 5-10 minutes to complete your 2020 Census questionnaire online. Completing the questionnaire online means that Census enumerators - many of whom are our neighbors, doing temporary work - do not have to visit your house to interview you, which keeps us all safe. Complete your questionnaire today at https://my2020census.gov.
May Woman of Ward 6: Emily Edson Briggs (1830-1910)
May’s Woman of Ward 6 is Emily Edson Briggs, who won renown by writing a colorful, irreverent newspaper column in the mid to late 1880s under the pen name Olivia, in which she presented the capital’s political scene as social entertainment.
Briggs was the first, and one of the best known, in a long line of Washington society reporters. She was one of the first women to acquire a national reputation in the field of journalism as a newspaper correspondent in Washington, DC. Nineteenth century women faced major obstacles in their efforts to break into journalism.
Briggs was given access to the halls of Congress during the mid-1800’s, which allowed her to describe the people and events there, becoming the first society reporter as a social commentator.
She was born in Burton, Ohio in 1830; married John Briggs in 1853; and moved to Washington, DC, in 1861, when her husband was hired as an assistant clerk for the U.S. House of Representatives.
She developed a knack for observing and commenting on the political scene. A letter she sent to the Washington Chronicle, using the pen name Olivia, defending the efficiency of women in government employment, caught the eye of the paper’s owner John W. Forney. Her letter expressed her displeasure at the criticism being received by women working at the U.S. Treasury – and defending their right to work for the government if they so chose.
Forney, who owned both the Washington Chronicle and the Philadelphia Press, hired her to write a daily column for both papers.
She won renown by writing a colorful, irreverent newspaper column under the pen name Olivia, in which she presented the capital's political scene as social entertainment. She wrote under her pseudonym for more than 20 years. Her columns were fashioned as letters to the paper. While they touched upon society and fashion, they also contained political and social insights that set her apart from other women journalists of the day.
During the Lincoln administration, Briggs became the first woman to report directly from the White House, and later she was among the first to be admitted to the congressional press gallery.
However, she restricted herself primarily to society news and issues affecting women. As a woman she felt she should not – or could not – compete with men. In a column on Charles Sumner, she said: “This article is not written with the attempt to portray that which makes Charles Sumner the central figure of the American Senate. No woman possesses the gift to explore his mind …”
Although she wrote under her pseudonym of Olivia, she made no attempt to hide her true identity. Leaving the narration of actual events to male correspondents, Briggs said her aim was to “depict the delicate life currents and details.” She composed ‘pen pictures’ of leading political figures, made up lists of those ‘matrimonial eligible’ among Capital bachelors, and covered White House festivities.
Equivocal on woman suffrage, Briggs nevertheless covered suffrage conventions in minute – if not always flattering – detail. Although she was one of the first women offered admittance to the congressional press gallery, she did not make use of the privilege. She felt that, as a woman, she was not really welcome there, and she gained news from her social contacts with political figures.
She covered everything from lavish society dinner to the impending battle for President Andrew Johnson’s impeachment. She described the suffragists who testified before a congressional committee almost 50 years before the 19th Amendment gave women the right to vote in 1920.
Briggs gave up journalism to become a well-known Washington hostess. In her old age, she collected her favorite columns into a book, The Olivia Letters, which was published in 1906, four years before her death.
Valuable as a source of social history, The Olivia Letters contain reprints of columns on personalities involved in the Johnson impeachment trial and gossipy portrayals of other notables. Her writing suffers from typical Victorian failings – gushy sentiment and flowery metaphors. But it is valuable as observations from the first society reporter. The Olivia Letters is available from East City Books, 645 Pennsylvania Avenue SE.
In the latter part of her life, Briggs lived at The Maples, the grand old home at 630 South Carolina Avenue SE, that eventually became Friendship House and, in 2015, a multi-unit residential development.
The Women of Ward 6 Initiative is a non-partisan recognition of Ward 6’s women. In partnership with the National Woman’s Party, Capitol Hill Restoration Society and the Hill Rag, the Ward 6 Dems initiative will culminate this year, which is the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote.