Fellow Ward 6 Democrats,
This is a tough time, with many of us adjusting to new routines while also worrying about the health and safety of ourselves, our friends and family, and our community. Because of that, we'll be publishing much less frequently than usual - probably no more than once a month - but we did want to alert you to some community resources and some upcoming political events to keep in mind.
If you don't normally subscribe to our Councilmember Charles Allen's newsletter, you might want to. He's providing weekly, comprehensive updates about the city's response to the coronavirus pandemic and the resources that are available for you and your family. Details are at http://www.charlesallenward6.com.
Do your kids - or someone you know - need meals? DCPS has multiple sites in each ward, including six sites in Ward Six, where they are providing free meals to ANYONE under the age of 18. View the full list of sites.
One of the great things about our community is that it *is* a community, which means many of us are looking for ways to support local small business through this difficult economic time. The Hill Rag is maintaining an updated list of which of our local restaurants remain open for carry out and/or delivery.
All Ward Six Dems in-person events have been canceled, of course, but we are working on lining up a series of salon conversations, which lend themselves well to a virtual environment, for the coming months. We're investigating a number of topics, but if there are particular topics you'd like to discuss or speakers you'd like to hear from, let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we'll see what we can do.
Stay safe, stay well, stay at home, and remember to wash your hands.
President, Ward 6 Democrats
Request Your Absentee Ballot Today
What's the best way to ensure you can vote while keeping yourself and your neighbors safe? Vote absentee/by mail!
DC has no excuse absentee/mail voting, which means that anyone registered to vote in the District of Columbia can vote by absentee ballot in any election in which they are eligible to vote.
You can register to get your mailed ballot in a variety of ways. All the details and options are available at: https://dcboe.org/Request-Your-Ballot-by-Mail. You can register to vote absentee/by mail for only the June 2 primary election, for the June primary and the November general elections this year, or permanently.
Although you can submit your request up until seven days before the election for which you want a mail ballot (which would be Tuesday, May 26 for the June primary), the DC Board fo Elections is going to be processing a LOT of mail ballot requests, so don't wait, and remind your local family and friends to request absentee/mail ballots as well.
Note: The DC Board of Elections will be providing pre-paid postage on your absentee ballot as well as a self-adhesive envelope to seal and return the ballot.
Remember, your VOTE is your VOICE.
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.
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.
Postcards to Voters
Looking for a productive activity to keep yourself and/or your kids busy that can also help create political change?
As many of you are aware, the Ward Six Dems hosted a number of highly successful parties last fall where we wrote Get Out The Vote (GOTV) postcards to voters in Virginia.
Those efforts are ongoing across the country, supporting campaigns in upcoming primary elections and encouraging voters in various places to apply to vote by mail.
We're working on creating a simple "train the trainer" model for writing postcards and hosting virtual postcard writing events, but in the meantime, we encourage those who are already familiar with the process - or who feel confident in your ability to figure it out as you go - to visit https://postcardstovoters.org and get started writing some postcards today.
State Convention & DNC Delegates
As you may recall from our email in mid-March, the DC Democratic State Party Convention, which was scheduled for Saturday, April 18, has been postponed. One of the key activities of the convention was to have been electing the delegates who will represent DC at the Democratic National Convention this summer. The DNC has now also been postponed, until mid-August. As you can imagine, the situation is very much in flux.
We will still be voting for delegates, and the DC Democratic State Committee is working on figuring out how we can do that in a way that's efficient, secure, and accessible, and that keeps everyone safe. Several of the officers of the Ward Six Dems are part of those discussions, and as soon as we have more information, we will share it with you.
April Women of Ward 6: The Furies Collective House
April’s Women of Ward 6 is the Furies Collective house, a row house at 219 11th Street SE. This house is directly connected with the early expression of the character, role and ideology of the lesbian community as a social and political community in the 1970s. The house became the operational center of The Furies, a lesbian feminist separatist collective, which between 1971 and 1973 led the debate over lesbians’ place in society.
The DC Historic Preservation Review Board designated the house a historic landmark in 2016.
219 11th Street SE
The Ward 6 Democrats are recognizing and honoring Ward 6 women who have made significant contributions to our community for the 2020 anniversary of the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote.
The Furies house became the first lesbian-related location designated as a DC historic landmark. The lesbian separatist Furies Collective was based in this house between the fall of 1971 and the summer of 1973.
The building was the operational center of the 12-woman collective of writers and artists and the birthplace of the early feminist publication The Furies. The 12 women in the collective published a lesbian feminist edition of motive magazine, a youth magazine of the United Methodist Church, as well as the tabloid-size newspaper called The Furies. The Furies newspaper addressed major questions of women’s identity and women’s relationships with other women, with men and with society at large. Together, The Furies and motive set the issues and agenda of lesbian and feminist discussion for many years to come.
In a 2015 book, The Gay Revolution, author Lillian Faderman said the group’s name was a reference to “the tree Greek goddesses with blood-red eyes and snakes for hair,” who took vengeance on mother-murdering Orestes by driving him crazy. In the first issue, Ginny Berson wrote: “We call our paper The Furies because are also angry. We are angry because we are oppressed by male supremacy. We have been fucked over all our lives by a system which is based on the domination of men over women … We are working to change this system, which has kept us separate and powerless for so long.”
The 12 women didn’t just work as a collective, they also cohabited, along with three children, in three separate spaces, one of which was the 11th Street row house.
The collective’s publication “inspired thousands of lesbian feminists to form their own collectives in cities, farms, forests and mountains all over America and in Europe, too,” according to Faderman.
When Robert Pohl and his wife moved into the house at 219 11th Street SE, Pohl did a Google search to find out if there was anything special about the house. He immediately found information from a local LGBT organization that named his new home as the operational center and main residence for a small lesbian feminist collective. He continued researching the house and the history search made him transition from his career as a computer programmer to a tour guide, historian and writer.
The Furies Collective House became an historic landmark in 2016.
About the Initiative: The Women of Ward 6 Initiative is a non-partisan recognition of Ward 6’s women. The initiative, in partnership with the National Woman’s Party, Capitol Hill Restoration Society and the Hill Rag, will culminate in the 2020 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote.