Matt LaFortune

  • Councilmember Charles Allen: Latest Updates on COVID Restrictions

    Alright, this is (hopefully) the last update from me for 2020. The Council has wrapped up our legislative work for the year and is preparing for the start of a new two-year session in January, which will include two new councilmembers and all of the hope and challenge of a new year. I'm going to try to keep this newsletter a little shorter, and there are a few important items to share. But before we jump in, let me send all the best wishes for this holiday season and New Year from my family to yours. This has been a difficult year for so many - and on so many different fronts. You may be celebrating despite the loss of a friend or family member, or you may be apart from the people that make your holidays complete. No matter how you've been celebrating and remembering this season, please know that I'm thinking about you and that I see hope on the horizon for 2021. It's my wish that these days bring you peace and restores our shared commitment to one another as we build toward a strong recovery from this pandemic. And now, let's jump in. 

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  • published A Special Message from Charles Allen in News 2020-12-18 14:45:25 -0500

    Help Us Win the Senate: Urgent Request from Charles Allen and the Ward 6 Dems

    Georgia is on my mind. And needs to be on yours too!

    On January 5th, the balance of power for the US Senate will be decided by two critical (and very close) Senate run-off elections. We may not have a vote in those elections, but who Georgians select will have an outsized impact on our lives. Supreme Court nominations, reproductive rights, access to healthcare, economic relief, climate change, support for veterans, Black Lives Matter -- all of it and more will be decided in the Senate and by who wins these two seats. And let's not forget DC Statehood.

    Rev. Warnock and John Ossoff are in a battle and they've committed to supporting the District of Columbia. The election will be decided in the next 3 weeks, so we need to show our support today! The Ward 6 Democrats have partnered with the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee to raise funds specifically for these two Senate run-off campaigns. 

    Join me in kicking in a contribution today! Contribute $51 to send a message that DC Statehood is a priority. Or add 51 cents to whatever contribution you can make. But don't sit this out - we need to contribute today and help ensure President-Elect Biden has the Senate he needs to get the job done.

    Thanks!
    Charles Allen

    ---

    The Young Democrats of Ward 6 are sponsoring Ward 6 Dems' efforts to win the two run-off Senate elections in Georgia. Interested in becoming a member? Contact YDW6 Chair Frank Avery at [email protected]


  • Georgia Senate Runoffs - Early Voting Opens in ONE Week

    The Georgia senate runoffs will not only impact the potential Democratic majority in the U.S. Senate, but they have a direct bearing on DC's statehood efforts. Both Democratic challengers in Georgia, Rev. Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff, are officially on the record as supporting statehood. To quote the Warnock campaign: "DC statehood is incredibly important to the Reverend, who recognizes that millions of citizens are disenfranchised and are taxed without representation. Winning a Senate majority, which now runs through Georgia, would ensure that we change that immediately."

    The DC Democratic State Committee is partnering with the DSCC to host biweekly phone banks into Georgia between now and January 5. Sign up for one (or more!) shifts at https://www.mobilize.us/dscc/event/364883/.

    The campaigns also need money, and we are pooling DC donations so we can make a direct connection between their support of us and DC Statehood and our support of them. Donate today at:

    New volunteer opportunities are showing up frequently. The best way to stay informed is to check out the dedicated Georgia runoff elections page on our website - https://www.ward6dems.org/but_wait_there_s_more_georgia_senate_runoffs - or to email 2nd VP Elizabeth Engel to get added to our Ward 6 Dems Volunteers Google group.

    You can also sign up to be notified of volunteer opportunities directly with the campaigns.


  • Young Dems of Ward 6 (YDW6) Launch Recap & Next Steps

    YDW6 hosted its inaugural meeting Thursday, November 19. Eighteen young professionals from across Ward 6 gathered to discuss potential programming and ways to support Get Out The Vote (GOTV) activities. 

    The group laid the groundwork for 2021 programming around local issues like criminal justice and gentrification. The group also looked at prospective programming including salons with local legislators, mentorship programs with local party and elected officials, and hosting an event to learn more about DC’s Advisory Neighborhood Commissions. (Specific programs, including dates for the first events, to come.) 

    YDW6 next meeting will be Thursday, December 17, so mark your calendar.

    Interested in joining or just learning more about YDW6? Contact Frank Avery at [email protected]


  • Ward 6 Dems Join NCBL, Demand Immediate Action on Homelessness

    With the unhoused population of DC experiencing significant vulnerability during the COVID-19 pandemic and with temperatures dropping as we move into the winter months, the officers of the Ward 6 Democrats signed onto a letter organized by the National Conference of Black Lawyers calling on Mayor Bowser and the DC Council to take action. We believe that every member of our community deserves a safe place to call home.

    Solutions urged within the letter include:

    1. Fully implement the Vacant to Virus Reduction Plan
    2. Stop encampment destruction
    3. Provide more rent subsidies
    4. Provide personal property storage
    5. Provide for basic hygienic needs of the unhoused
    6. Provide for basic medical needs

    You can read the full letter here


  • published DC Democratic State Committee Update in News 2020-12-07 10:35:18 -0500

    DC Democratic State Committee Update

    This past week, the DC DSC elected 12 new add-on members, six women and six men. We're pleased to report that Ward 6 Dems' officers Dorinda "Rindi" White (our first vice president) and Matt LaFortune (our GOTV lead) both won. The full list of winners is available at the DC DSC website. Congratulations to all, and especially to Rindi and Matt! 


  • published Happy Holidays in W6D Newsletter 2020-12-07 10:34:02 -0500

    Happy Holidays

    Fellow Ward 6 Democrats,

    A little more than two weeks ago, we launched a new group: Young Dems of  Ward 6 (YDW6), for Democrats in Ward 6 age 36 and under. Thanks to everyone who showed up to share your ideas and energy, and in particular to Frank Avery and Ethan Van Ness, who are organizing this work. We're excited about this new area of focus for us.

    Early voting in the critical runoff elections for Georgia's two Senate seats opens ONE week from today, on Monday, December 14. Electing both Rev. Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff will be vital to enabling the Biden/Harris administration to enact their agenda and begin repairing the damage of four years of Trump. See below to learn how you can help.

    Last year at this time, we held a well-attended and festive Ward 6 Dems holiday party at Mr. Henry’s. Such a happy memory. Although we can't gather in person this year to exchange greetings and celebrate all that we've accomplished together, all our officers wish you and your family a joyful and safe celebration in this season of light and a peaceful and healthy 2021.

    Happy Holidays! 

    Chuck Burger

    President, Ward 6 Democrats

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  • published Ward 6 Dems Demands Action on Homelessness in News 2020-12-01 15:05:05 -0500

    Ward 6 Dems Demands Action on Homelessness

    With the unhoused population of DC experiencing significant vulnerability during the COVID-19 pandemic and with temperatures dropping as we move into the winter months, the Executive Committee of the Ward 6 Democrats agreed to sign onto a letter calling for Mayor Bowser and the DC Council to take action.

    Solutions urged within the letter include:

    1. Implement the Vacant to Virus Reduction Plan
    2. Stop encampment destruction
    3. Provide more rent subsidies
    4. Provide personal property storage
    5. Provide for basic hygienic needs of the unhoused
    6. Provide for basic medical needs

    No human being in Washington, D.C. should be unhoused. Every person deserves a safe place to call home.

    You can read the full letter to the Mayor and Council at this link.


  • published Ward 6 Dems Events 2020-11-20 10:35:04 -0500

  • published THANK YOU! in News 2020-11-09 12:10:54 -0500

    THANK YOU!

    What did the Ward 6 Dems accomplish this election season?

    • Wrote 2000+ postcards to voters in Iowa and Virginia
    • Contributed to the tranche of 10,000+ postcards the DC Democratic State Committee sent to voters in North Carolina
    • Texted 6000+ voters in DC on behalf of Robert White's campaign
    • Volunteered at both Early Vote and Election Day in-person polling places in support of Robert White and other Democratic candidates

    Special thanks to Ward 6 Dems Outreach Director Andria Thomas for setting our strategy and to Ward 6 Dems GOTV Lead Matt LaFortune for handling all the many details of the day-to-day organizing. 


  • Young Dems of Ward 6 Launch - Thursday, November 19

    Are you a young Ward 6 Democrat interested in supporting the party, growing your network, and keeping Democratic momentum going beyond 2020?

    The Ward 6 Dems are launching "Young Dems of Ward 6," an initiative to recruit, connect, and grow opportunities for emerging Democratic leaders in Ward 6. The initiative will develop programming, events, mentorship, and networking opportunities tailored to your interests as a young professional. 

    To kick things off, Ward 6 Dems will host a listening & brainstorming session with interested Ward 6 Young Dems. The goal of the session will be to gather feedback to guide our goals. The session is open to all interested in contributing their thoughts. 

    The kick off virtual meeting will be held Thursday, November 19, at 7:00 pm.  

    RSVP


  • published But Wait! There's More! Georgia Senate Runoffs in News 2020-11-09 12:09:36 -0500

    But Wait! There's More! Georgia Senate Runoffs

    The Georgia senate runoffs will not only impact the potential Democratic majority in the U.S. Senate, but they have a direct bearing on DC's statehood efforts. Both Democratic challengers in Georgia, Rev. Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff, are officially on the record as supporting statehood. To quote the Warnock campaign: "DC statehood is incredibly important to the Reverend, who recognizes that millions of citizens are disenfranchised and are taxed without representation. Winning a Senate majority, which now runs through Georgia, would ensure that we change that immediately."
    1. DONATE: Make a contribution to flip Georgia blue! https://secure.actblue.com/donate/dscc-warnock-ossoff-runoff-nov2020?refcode=DCDems
    2. PHONE BANK: Remember, the DC DSC is doing TWICE weekly phone banks for Georgia, every Wednesday night and every Saturday afternoon. Sign up at https://www.mobilize.us/dscc/event/364883/.
    3. SOCIAL MEDIA BOOST: Follow Rev. Warnock and Jon Ossoff and the GA Dems on all your social media platforms and boost their messages appropriately. If you need training in how to do that, the DNC can help you.

    Control of the Senate, and the ability of the Biden/Harris administration to accomplish all the great stuff they talked about during the campaign, hangs in the balance!


  • published DC Election Results in News 2020-11-09 12:08:36 -0500

    DC Election Results

    Democrat Robert White won his bid for re-election to At-Large member of the DC City Council, while first-timer Christina Henderson (Independent) won the open At-Large seat.

    Democrats also prevailed in all four Ward races, with Vince Gray (Ward 7) and Trayon White (Ward 8) easily winning re-election, Brooke Pinto (Ward 2) securing her first full term, and newcomer Janeese Lewis-George (Ward 4) easily winning her race after defeating incumbent Brandon Todd in this spring's Democratic primary. 

    Our non-voting delegate to the US House of Representatives, Eleanor Holmes Norton, easily won re-election to her 16th term. Dems Paul Strauss (shadow Senator) and first-timer Oye Owolewa (shadow Representative) also both easily won their races. Delegate Holmes Norton serves in Congress, and the trio (plus shadow Senator Michael D. Brown) focuses heavily on promoting DC Statehood.

    Initiative 81, "Decriminalize Nature," also cruised to victory, with more than 75% of voters supporting it. 

    Full results, including the state board of education and ANC races, are available at the DC Board of Elections website


  • Election Results, Georgia Runoffs, and Thank Yous

    Fellow Ward 6 Democrats,

    First of all, hearty congratulations to President-Elect Joseph Robinette Biden, Jr. and Vice President-Elect Kamala Devi Harris. Although DC's vote for the Democratic ticket was never in question, it was good to see so many of our fellow citizens following our lead.

    Congratulations also go to re-elected At-Large DC City Council member, Democrat Robert White, and to newly-elected At-Large DC City Council member, Independent Christina Henderson, and to all the other winners of our local elections, detailed below.

    And THANK YOU to the MANY, MANY Ward 6 Dems volunteers who helped make all those wins possible. Make sure you take some time out to celebrate, because BOTH Senate races in Georgia are going to a runoff, and Virginia has state elections again in 2021, so there will be more opportunities to contribute to Democratic wins right around the corner, particularly for our Ward 6 Young Dems - see details below. 

    Best,

    Chuck Burger

    President, Ward 6 Democrats

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  • Make a Plan to #VoteSafe: In-Person Early Voting Opens TOMORROW, Tuesday, October 27

    If you have not yet received your ballot in the mail, you will need to vote in person, which you can do starting tomorrow, Tuesday, October 27. All the early voting locations are on the BOE website: https://earlyvoting.dcboe.org. Due to the pandemic, any voter in DC can vote at any in-person voting location. The website lists the approximate wait times at each location, so make sure to check before you head out to vote, and remember to wear your mask! 

    If you received your ballot in the mail from the Board of Elections, you can still complete it and turn it in, either by dropping it in your nearest USPS mailbox (it's postage pre-paid, so you don't even need a stamp), or by dropping it in one of the BoE's many secure drop boxes (complete list of locations is at https://dcboe.org/Voters/Where-to-Vote/Mail-Ballot-Drop-Sites). 

    If you decide to use your mailed ballot to vote, remember to register with the BoE's ballot tracker to get updates about the status of your ballot: https://votedc.ballottrax.net/voter/. The messages you'll get look like this:

    Editor's note: I put my own ballot in the Northeast Library secure drop box and registered fro the ballot tracker app on Monday, October 5. I got the notification that my ballot had been received by the BoE on Saturday, October 10, and was accepted for counting on Monday, October 12. Dedicated W6D volunteer Frank Avery reported a similar timeframe for his ballot drop off to "accepted for counting" notice. 


  • Help Elect Democrats INSIDE DC: CM Robert White

    Council member Robert White, the only Democratic At-Large candidate this year, has reached out to the Ward 6 Dems for support. CM White needs volunteers to support him and the entire Democratic ticket at the vote centers for Early Vote and on Election Day. We're not asking you to distribute literature this year, although we will have tables with literature for voters to pick up themselves if they choose. We need volunteers to wear "ASK ME" buttons and answer questions or otherwise assist voters, masked and from a safe distance. 


  • Help Elect Democrats OUTSIDE DC: #FlipTheSenateBlue This Fall AND Support DC Statehood

    In order for President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris (fingers crossed) to be able to enact their agenda and begin undoing the damage of the Trump administration, it is CRITICAL that Dems flip the US Senate blue this November. We have the opportunity to send a strong DC Statehood signal by actively supporting the Democratic candidates who have voiced their public support for making us the 51st state. 

    You can help flip the Senate by donating to any/all of the following Senate candidates through dedicated "51st State" links. 

    Let's make sure their Statehood support matters!


  • published Initiative 81: Decriminalize Nature in News 2020-10-26 10:34:57 -0400

    Initiative 81: Decriminalize Nature

    From the leadership team at at Decriminalize Nature DC:

    If passed, Initiative 81 would designate entheogenic plants and fungi (iboga, ayahuasca, psilocybin, and mescaline-containing cacti) as the lowest law enforcement priority for DC’s Metropolitan Police Department. This change would help ensure that DC residents benefiting from these plant medicines - which can help treat depression, anxiety and addiction - are not subject to arrest or prosecution. These changes would help end another part of the destructive war on drugs while protecting DC residents using natural medicines to heal. Initiative 81 does not change penalties or legalize the sale of entheogens.

    The DC DSC and the Ward 6 Dems support this ballot initiative. Vote YES.


  • DCDSC Statehood Committee Meeting - Tuesday, November 10

    No rest for weary election volunteers! Whatever the outcome in the House and Senate on November 3, experienced DC Statehood activists know work remains to be done. Join the DC DSC for their monthly Statehood Committee meeting on Tuesday, November 10, to strategize for the 117th Congress. Details and RSVP at https://www.mobilize.us/dcdems/event/204310/


  • In Person Early Voting Opens TOMORROW

    Fellow Ward 6 Democrats,

    Although there is still plenty of time to return your absentee ballot (either through the USPS or in one of the convenient secure drop boxes the Board of Elections has placed around town), for those who either must or want to vote in-person, early in-person voting opens tomorrow. If you are going to vote in person, please plan to go early. You can vote at ANY in-person location in DC, and the Board of Elections website lists which sites are open and what the approximate wait time is at each at https://earlyvoting.dcboe.org

    Be sure to vote, and be sure to plan to #VoteSafe. 

    Best,

    Chuck Burger

    President, Ward 6 Democrats

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Matt LaFortune

Matt LaFortune

99.20sc
Senior Consultant, Global Innovation Marketplace at Deloitte