Volunteer Opportunity: DC Statehood - DEADLINE Saturday, September 5

Have you written to Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) in support of DC statehood yet? DC Vote extended their deadline, so there's still time!

Senator Murkowski was recently quoted as being open to supporting S. 631, the Senate version of the Washington DC Admission Act, but she needs to hear directly from DC residents. Landing even ONE Republican supporter would be a HUGE step in securing our full rights of citizenship. 

DC Vote is organizing a letter-writing campaign to demonstrate to Senator Murkowski that the 700,000+ residents of DC are serious: We want statehood, and we want it now.

What do you need to do?

  1. Hand-write or type a letter to Senator Murkowski explaining why you are for DC Statehood.
  2. Mail to DC Vote: 1111 14th Street NW, #1000, Washington, DC 20005. Or email your letter as a PDF to [email protected].
  3. Encourage your friends and neighbors to participate.

Talking points you can use, from Neighbors United for DC Statehood.

Formatting and content tips for writing to a Senator from the American Library Association. 

NARFE: All Civil Servants and Citizens Deserve the Right to Self-Government


DC Federation of Democratic Women Event, "Let's Get In Good Trouble" - TONIGHT, Monday, August 31

The DC Federation of Democratic Women are hosting a conversation with best-selling author Brenda Jones, "Let's Get In Good Trouble," a celebration of the centennial of the 19th Amendment and a celebration of change-makers, past, present, and future. The event starts with the a virtual happy hour at 6:45 p.m. The conversation with Ms. Jones will run from 7:00-8:00 p.m., followed by 30 minutes of Q&A. RSVP here. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.  


Get Ready To Vote, DC

First, have you checked your voter registration status yet? It takes seconds, so please do it now if you haven't already: https://www.dcboe.org/Voters/Register-To-Vote/Check-Voter-Registration-Status.

The reason this is so critical is that Board of Elections is going to automatically mail absentee ballots to EVERY registered DC voter at the beginning of October. You will have multiple options for returning your absentee ballot:

Make a plan to vote safely this fall. 

What else can you do?

While we will all be getting mail ballots - and we should all plan to return them as early as possible or pop them into one of the secure BoE drop boxes to reduce the load on the US Postal Service - DC is going to have polling places open, and the Board of Elections needs poll workers. Many of our most dedicated and experienced poll workers are our senior neighbors, and it's not safe for them to work the polls during the pandemic. If you're in a lower-risk demographic category, please consider signing up to help on November 3. Information and application are available at: https://www.dcboe.org/Poll-Workers/Apply-to-be-an-Election-Day-Worker.


DNC Virtual Watch Party with Special Guest Harry Jaffe: TOMORROW Tuesday, August 18

Tomorrow night, Tuesday, August 18, starting at 8:30 p.m., the DC Democratic State Committee and the Ward 6 Dems will be co-hosting a virtual watch party for the second night of the Democratic National Convention. We'll be joined by Harry Jaffe, local journalist and award-winning author of Dream City, who will provide expert commentary tied to local DC issues like the statehood movement. 

Details and RSVP at https://www.mobilize.us/dcdemsward6/event/295797/

The DC DSC is hosting events EACH of the four nights, including a drive-in watch party for the final night of the convention, Thursday, August 20, at Park Up DC at RFK Stadium. Details and RSVP for the Park Up event is at https://www.universe.com/events/dc-democratic-party-democratic-national-convention-watch-party-park-up-tickets-YD2TQM. Tickets are free, but you do need use the access code to "unlock" the tickets: [email protected] - the party will be in Lot 8A.


Get Out The Vote Event: TOMORROW, Tuesday, August 18

Our next GOTV virtual Zoom meeting will be TOMORROW, Tuesday, August 18, starting at 7:00 p.m. Our GOTV team (Andria Thomas and Matt LaFortune) has selected the two Senate races we'll be supporting: Theresa Greenfield, who is challenging Senator Joni Ernst in Iowa, and Jaime Harrison, who is challenging Senator Lindsey Graham in South Carolina. Per the Cook Political Report, the Greenfield race is now officially a toss up and winning it will be critical to the Democrats taking the Senate this fall. The Harrison race is a bit more of a long-shot, but we're hopeful we can help move that seat into the Dem column, too. As with all of our chosen candidates, Ms. Greenfield and Mr. Harrison publicly support DC Statehood. No Donation Without Representation! 

Tomorrow night, we'll be focusing on the Greenfield Senate race, and we'll focus on the Harrison Senate race in September. Details and RSVP for the Greenfield virtual event are at https://www.mobilize.us/dcdemsward6/event/293212/.

We're also still working to support the re-election campaigns of Rep. Elaine Luria (VA-02) and Rep. Abigail Spanberger (VA-07), both of whom were elected with our help in 2018. Both first-term representatives, who also publicly support DC Statehood, are in tough re-election fights, so we have the opportunity to have a major impact on them retaining their seats so the Democrats can protect - or even possibly expand - their House majority this fall. These are some of the postcards we've already completed for them.

GOTV postcards to Virginia voters

Need addresses? Email Matt LaFortune at [email protected] We still have addresses for Spanberger to be claimed, and we have a new batch for Greenfield ready to distribute. 

Need postcards?

Already completed some postcards? Hang onto them for now - Matt will be in touch about collecting them to mail on the dates the campaigns request.

Need a little help keeping your postcard writing energy up? Network NoVA, a local Virginia grass roots activist organization, is hosting weekly postcard power lunches, Fridays at noon. They feature music, messaging ideas, weekly special guests, and prizes. Register to join them here.


Back to School Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic - TODAY, Monday, August 17 at 11:00 a.m.

We apologize for the short notice, but we just got information that local public policy nonprofit The Brookings Institute is holding a FREE webinar on issues related to the ongoing pandemic and schools TODAY, Monday, August 17, starting at 11:00 a.m.

Register at: https://www.brookings.edu/events/back-to-school-amid-the-covid-19-pandemic-balancing-students-right-to-education-against-public-health/

Session description:

As the spread of the coronavirus persists throughout the U.S., educators, parents, and students have received inconsistent and sometimes conflicting information about plans for continuing education for the upcoming school year. Pressure from the federal government to reopen schools for in-person learning amid the continuing pandemic has sparked conflict as it potentially threatens the physical health of students, teachers and staff, in addition to undermining public health efforts. Do students' rights to public education require in-person instruction? How does remote instruction compare against live instruction and what are the expected impacts on student equity? How long can public health mandates trump students' (and parents') needs? How are school districts approaching reopening for the fall and beyond, and how are they attempting to balance these conflicting priorities?

 On August 17,  the Brown Center on Education Policy at Brookings will host a webinar examining the implications of reopening schools for both in-person and online instruction. As local government officials and school districts prepare for the upcoming school year, speakers will discuss federal and state-level responses of support in education amidst the coronavirus pandemic.

Viewers may submit questions for speakers by emailing [email protected] or on Twitter - be sure to tag @BrookingsEdu and use the hashtag #COVIDReopening.

Panelists:

  • Moderator: Michael Hansen, Senior Fellow, Herman and George R. Brown Chair and Director, Brown Center on Education Policy, The Brookings Institution
  • Robin Lake, Director, Center on Reinventing Public Education
  • Kimberly J. Robinson, Elizabeth D. and Richard A. Merrill Professor of Law, University of Virginia School of Law
  • Aaron C. Spence, Superintendent, Virginia Beach City Public Schools

Get Ready To Vote, DC

The DC Board of Elections is going to automatically mail an absentee ballot to every registered voter in DC this fall. In preparation for that, they recently sent a mailer to check addresses that many citizens found a bit confusing.

  • If you received your BoE mailer and the information on it was correct, you do not need to do anything. 
  • If you received your BoE mailer and there was incorrect information - the person it was addressed to no longer lives there, you'd prefer your ballot be sent somewhere else - DO NOT detach the two pieces. Write the corrected information where indicated, fold the card so that information you wrote is on the inside and the BOE return address is on the outside, tab-tape the cards together at the bottom, and drop it in any mailbox.
  • If you did NOT receive your BoE mailer, immediately visit https://www.dcboe.org/Voters/Register-To-Vote/Check-Voter-Registration-Status to check your registration status and, as necessary, update it per the directions on that webpage: download, complete, and mail back the Voter Registration Application

What else can you do?

While we will all be getting mail ballots - and we should all plan to return them as early as possible to reduce the load on the US Postal Service - DC is going to have polling places open, and the Board of Elections will need poll workers. Many of our most dedicated and experienced poll workers are our senior neighbors, and it's not safe for them to work the polls during the pandemic. If you're in a lower-risk demographic category, please consider volunteering to help on November 3. Information and application are available at: https://www.dcboe.org/Poll-Workers/Apply-to-be-an-Election-Day-Worker.

Don't delay! Your vote is your voice - make sure YOUR voice is heard. 


#GetCountedDC

It take about 5-10 minutes to complete your 2020 Census questionnaire online. Donald Trump is trying to dramatically shorten the time frame for the door-to-door visits by Census enumerators, so it's particularly important that we all complete our questionnaires online ASAP at https://my2020census.gov

Why does the Census matter?

  1. The federal government distributes over $6 billion annually to the District to support vital programs based on census data.
  2. Census data is used to update Ward and ANC boundaries to reflect population growth and movement across the District.
  3. District agencies rely on accurate census data for budgeting, planning, and policy decision-making across the city.
  4. Residents use the census to support community initiatives involving legislation, quality-of-life, and consumer advocacy.
  5. 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. 


Celebrate Women

This is the week to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, which granted women the right to vote. It became an official part of the Constitution on August 18, 1920, when Tennessee became the 36th state to ratify it.

The 19th*, a nonprofit, nonpartisan newsroom reporting on the intersection of gender, politics and policy, launched on August 9. The name says it all. The asterisk shows the work left to be done. Only 23.7 percent of Congress is female; only 7.4 percent of state legislators are women of color. The Poynter Institute school of journalism recently published a story about The 19th*, or you can check out their website at: https://19thnews.org

USA Today recognized “Women of the Century” in their Friday, August 14, issue. The project recognizes the accomplishments of American women to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment. Women imagined and created; they protested and fought; and ultimately, they transformed our country. USA Today picked a national list of 100 influential women and recognized more than 500 additional women state-by-state, including the District of Columbia and inhabited U.S. territories. DC’s list of influential women includes Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Sonia Sotomayor. Read about Women of the Century at: https://www.usatoday.com/womenofthecentury/

The Ward 6 Dems' "Women of Ward 6" feature returns in September, when we'll be focusing on beloved local singer and songwriter Roberta Flack.


2020 Elections Update & Next GOTV Event - Tuesday, August 18

Our GOTV team (Andria Thomas and Matt LaFortune) has selected one of the two Senate races we'll be supporting: Theresa Greenfield, who is challenging Senator Joni Ernst in Iowa. Per the Cook Political Report, this now officially a toss up race and winning it will be critical to the Democrats taking the Senate this fall. As with all of our chosen candidates, Ms. Greenfield publicly supports DC Statehood. No Donation Without Representation! 

Our next GOTV virtual Zoom meeting will be Tuesday, August 18, starting at 7:00 p.m. We'll focus on the Greenfield Senate race that night. (It's also night two of the virtual DNC, so we're working on something special to celebrate.) Details and RSVP at https://www.mobilize.us/dcdemsward6/event/293212/.

In the meantime, we're still writing postcards to support the re-election campaigns of Rep. Elaine Luria (VA-02) and Rep. Abigail Spanberger (VA-07), both of whom were elected with our help in 2018. Both first-term representatives, who also publicly support DC Statehood, are in tough re-election fights, so we have the opportunity to have a major impact on them retaining their seats so the Democrats can protect - or even possibly expand - their House majority this fall. 

Need addresses? Email Matt LaFortune at [email protected]

Need postcards?

Already completed some postcards? Hang onto them for now - Matt will be in touch about collecting them to mail on the dates the campaigns request.

Need a little inspiration? Ward 6 Dems Secretary Joel Sarfati shared this picture of his daughter and granddaughters writing postcards to voters, which is a great activity to do with your kids to teach them about civic engagement.