At our February meeting (Saturday, Feb. 2), your Ward 6 Democrats officers approved our committee structure for 2019. We’ll have five committees, each with its own coordinator, focused on:
Outreach: our website, this newsletter, our social media accounts (coordinator: Anita Cafiero)
Events: Ward 6 Matters panels, Ward 6 Democrats salons, happy hours (coordinator: Ethan VanNess)
Fundraising (coordinator: Marci Hilt, our treasurer)
GOTV/Voter Education: DC voter registration and education, working with outside groups like Indivisible and Swing Left on races outside DC (coordinator: Andria Thomas)
Organizational Capacity: governance, working with the other seven wards’ Democratic party organizations, working with the DC Democratic State Committee (coordinator: Chuck Burger, our president)
We will also have a special ad hoc committee to plan for the 2019-2020 celebration of the centennial of women’s suffrage (see our call for volunteers for that group below).
We’re excited about this new structure, which we think will help us accomplish our mission more effectively, better organize our activities, and provide more clear and compelling opportunities to volunteer.
We are ACTIVELY seeking volunteers to help *organize* and support the Get Out The Vote efforts below. If you can serve as the LEAD for one of the below, we really want to hear from you! We can loop you into strategy discussions, connect you to other volunteers, provide resources and guidance, and more.
Postcard-writing parties for voter mobilization
Coordinate with grassroots groups on joint activities
- Indivisible, Swing Left, Flippable, etc.
- Activities include canvassing / phone banking / texting in after June, for 2019 elections
Voter registration and education
- DC residents, including new residents
- Youth, especially in high schools
- (Potentially) Election reform, such as mail-in ballot legislation in DC
DC Statehood: voting representation and democratic equality for DC
- Advocate at Lobby Days (House and Senate), DNC meetings, and other opportunities with Members of Congress and state delegations
- Advocate directly through outreach to people in specific states (eg, Virginia for Sen. Warner who is NOT a supporter, etc.)
- Educate DC residents, through social media, articles / letters to the editor, and more. (Note: *most* residents are not aware of how lack of statehood affects residents practically.)
Are you ready to take the plunge and help advocate for DC Statehood in 2019?
Wednesday, Feb. 27 (note the new date) is the statehood movement’s annual lobbying day on Capitol Hill. There are morning and afternoon shifts available, and training and meals are provided.
Never lobbied before? Don’t worry – experienced leaders of the statehood movement will be with you to guide the way. Experienced citizen lobbyist? That’s great, too. Either way, the movement needs you. Sign up to participate at https://www.facebook.com/events/1937302779700951/.
In 2019, the Ward 6 Dems will begin hosting a series of informal, topical conversations in a “salon” format – 15-20 attendees, hosted in volunteers’ houses, on a particular topic or issue, potentially with one or more invited special guests.
Please take our two question poll at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/WYZYZS5 to let us know what topics you’re interested in and which guest participants you’d like us to invite.
The Democratic National Committee will be holding their winter 2019 meeting here in DC at the Marriott Marquis (901 Massachusetts Avenue NW) Thursday, Feb. 14 – Saturday, Feb. 16.
The Ward 6 Dems have posted a PDF of the tentative schedule of public events on our website, under the Events Calendar, at https://www.ward6dems.org/calendar.
- Thursday, Feb. 14, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.
- Friday, Feb. 15, 7 a.m. – 6 p.m.
- Saturday, Feb. 16, 7 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Thursday will be mostly devoted to council and caucus meetings. Many of the committees meet on Friday, and there’s a general session from 1 – 4 p.m. and then a welcome reception from 6 – 8 p.m. Saturday kicks off with a Black History Month breakfast, followed by the regional caucuses in the morning, and another general session from 12 – 3 p.m.
The DC Democratic State Committee website indicates that they’ll be offering online registration soon at https://dcdemocraticparty.org.
On Friday, January 4, our non-voting delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton introduced H.R. 51, the Washington DC Admission Act, as the second bill of the 116thCongress. The bill was introduced with the enthusiastic support and participation of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and with a RECORD 151 original co-sponsors.
How can you help?
Wednesday, Feb. 13, is the statehood movement’s annual lobbying day on Capitol Hill. There are morning and afternoon shifts available, and training and meals will be provided. Never lobbied before? Don’t worry – experienced leaders of the statehood movement will be with you to guide the way. Experienced citizen lobbyist? That’s great, too. Either way, the movement needs you.
Sign up to participate at https://www.facebook.com/events/1937302779700951/.
You’re probably already familiar with our Ward 6 Matters panel discussions. Our inaugural event took place in November and addressed the topic of public space, and we’ll have information about our first panel of 2019 shortly.
We’re also planning to launch a series of informal, topical conversations in a “salon” format – 15-20 attendees, hosted in volunteers’ houses, on a particular topic or issue, potentially with an invited special guest.
But we need your help. Please take our two question poll at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/WYZYZS5 to let us know what topics you’re interested in and which guest participants you’d like us to invite.
After all our postcard-writing and canvassing efforts this past fall, did you think GOTV was done?
Virginia will hold state-wide elections again in 2019. As a reminder, in the last statewide elections in 2017, there was an ENORMOUS blue wave that almost flipped both houses of the legislature. In 2019, we’ll have a bunch of seats of freshmen Democratic state delegates and senators to defend, and we’ll be trying to flip at least two more seats in the House and three more seats in the Senate blue. Andria Thomas, our GOTV lead (and Ward 6 state party committee member and coordinator for Indivisible Capitol Hill – she’s a busy lady), will be coordinating our efforts. To be part of our 2019 Virginia state elections GOTV team, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are saddened to inform you that our own Marge Francese has passed away in December. Affectionately known to many as "Marge in Charge," she was a force in DC local politics, government, and especially Ward 6.
After an early retirement from New York Telephone she journeyed to DC to join her daughter Jean to work on the Clinton/Gore campaign. She caught the bug for politics and kept going.
She made her mark in District races working for John Ray, Charlene Drew Jarvis, and Ward 6 Councilmember Sharon Ambrose, who she then joined as her Chief of Staff for two memorable terms.
This was an important time for the city and our Ward. The city was changing rapidly, and it was a time to take action. Ambrose's great team tackled everything from a physically and demographically changing Ward 6 to laying the groundwork to bring about Nats Park and rebuild the Waterfront.
We had an advantage as we had "Marge in Charge." We remember those who she helped, how we were inspired by her dedication, felt her kindness to help others, paid heed to her advice, and followed her leadership to tackle the hard work ahead.
She will be warmly remembered and sorely missed.
Happy New Year!
Your officers recently met to plan for 2019, and we have some exciting events on tap for you this year:
- Quarterly Ward 6 Matters panel discussions (in collaboration with the Hill Rag)
- Ward 6 Democrats Salons (NEW event)
- Events related to the celebration of the centennial of women’s suffrage (in collaboration with the National Woman’s Party and the Belmont-Paul Women’s Equality National Monument)
- Periodic Ward 6 Dems happy hours (in collaboration with Mr. Henry’s)
- Get Out the Vote (GOTV) efforts for the 2019 Virginia state elections (in collaboration with DC’s local Indivisible groups and Swing Left)
- Providing regular updates on the DC Statehoood movement and sharing actions you can take to help DC become the 51ststate
We’ll need your support for these efforts to be successful.
Volunteers: We’ll continue to list at least one volunteer activity in each issue of this newsletter, but particularly as we get into election season this summer, we often have “rush” volunteer requests that are shared via a Google group. Not sure if you’re subscribed? Email Elizabeth Engel, our volunteer coordinator, at email@example.com, and she’ll get you signed up if you’re not already a member.
Donations: We do not charge a membership fee, and we’re entirely volunteer run, but efforts like producing this newsletter, hosting our website, writing postcards to voters in Virginia, providing noshes at our happy hours, and advertising the Ward 6 Matters panels require funds. Monthly donations – even small ones of $5 or $10 a month – are the most helpful for us, because we can then plan expenditures knowing how much money we have coming in. Please donate today at https://secure.actblue.com/contribute/page/wardsixdems to help us achieve our mission of encouraging political activity among Democrats in Ward 6, improving the quality of life in our community, and building the party in 2019 and beyond.
Whether you’re able to volunteer, donate, or just participate in our events in 2019, we hope to see you soon.
President, Ward 6 Democrats
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