DC statehood hero Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton definitely did NOT take the holidays off. She has been hard at work lining up original co-sponsors of H.R. 51, the Washington DC Admission Act, for the 117th Congress that was just sworn in yesterday, Sunday, January 3. As of the first day of the new Congress, Del. Holmes Norton had already secured a RECORD 202 co-sponsors, a mere 16 members away from being able to pass the bill entirely with co-sponsors.
The DC DSC's Statehood Committee reports that most additional statehood actions are, for the moment, waiting on the results of tomorrow's Georgia Senate runoff elections. However, even if Democrats Rev. Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff win both seats, we will still need to work on Senators Sinema (AZ), Kelly (AZ), King (ME), Manchin (WV), and Padilla (just appointed from CA). Membership in the Democratic party is not an automatic statehood vote, so we have to keep up the pressure. Statehood activists will also keep working on Republican Senators Murkowski (AK) and Romney (UT), who seem to be the least hostile to the cause.
Want more? The next DC DSC Statehood Committee meeting, which is open to all, takes place Wednesday, January 13. RSVP at https://www.mobilize.us/dcdems/event/367791/.
The DC DSC also has their monthly general body meeting THIS week, Thursday, January 7. Topics will include plans for the Biden/Harris inauguration and hosting a panel on ranked choice voting. RSVP at https://www.mobilize.us/dcdems/event/367455/.
It's been a little while since our website has been re-done, and it's looking a little dusty. We need two types of volunteers to help us refresh it, one immediate and one later this spring/early summer.
- Immediate: we are looking for a few (2-3) people with significant experience in web design, web usability, IA, and/or UX to help us and our designer envision what the refreshed site will look like and how it will function. Familiarity with NationBuilder and/or Mobilize a plus.
- Summer: we will need a bunch of volunteers (10 or more) to help test our new site when it's ready to roll. No particular skill set required for this volunteer job, just some time. We'll give you one or two simple tasks to accomplish on the new site, and you'll let us know how it went.
Can you help? Email Elizabeth Engel at [email protected].
Per the Washington Post, Mayor Muriel Bowser is asking city residents to avoid the downtown area and stay at home this Tuesday, January 5, and Wednesday, January 6. Trump supporters plan to come to DC ostensibly to protest the ceremonial acknowledgement in Congress of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris's electoral win. But many of them appear to mostly be spoiling for an actual, physical fight, so our mayor has asked us all to cooperate in not giving them opportunities, even via counter-protesting. "[Bowser] urged residents 'not to engage with demonstrators who come to our city seeking confrontation'..." Full story here.
Yes, Virginia loves elections so much, they have them every year. This year, governor, lieutenant governor, and attorney general races are on the ballot, in addition to all the seats in the Virginia House of Delegates and various municipal races. As a reminder, Governor Ralph Northam is prohibited from running again. So far, four Democrats and at least two Republicans have announced for the gubernatorial race alone. As usual, we will NOT be getting officially involved in the Democratic primary. However, once Virginia voters have selected their Democratic candidates on June 8, we will work to elect their choices up and down the ballot. Of course, we will resume our highly successful GOTV postcards to voters, and, as the summer progresses and we achieve sufficient levels of vaccination in the DMV region, we'll be looking for volunteers to cross the river to canvass. More information to follow.
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.
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.
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].
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.
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].
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:
- Fully implement the Vacant to Virus Reduction Plan
- Stop encampment destruction
- Provide more rent subsidies
- Provide personal property storage
- Provide for basic hygienic needs of the unhoused
- Provide for basic medical needs
You can read the full letter here.
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!