Ward 6 Dems - Recap of the HISTORIC hearing on DC Statehood

Fellow Ward 6 Democrats,

We're pleased to share that the September 19 hearing on DC Statehood was a smashing success. There's a fuller report below, but thank you to all the Ward 6 statehood supporters who turned out.

We have a number of upcoming volunteer opportunities related to the fast-approaching Virginia state elections. You still have a few chances to help #FlipVABlue this fall.

This edition of our newsletter also includes the resumption of our Women of Ward 6 stories, with a tribute to Coralie Farlee.

Chuck Burger

President, Ward 6 Democrats

Hundreds #ShowUp4DC

We were blessed with a beautiful day on Thursday, Sept. 19 for the historic hearing on H.R. 51, the Washington DC Admission Act (aka, the statehood bill), and it's a good thing, because so many activists turned out that we filled the hearing room, the overflow hearing room, the SECOND overflow hearing room, the halls of the Rayburn building, and had a large overflow-overflow crowd in the Spirit of Justice park behind the Rayburn building. 

How big was the total crowd? We honestly don’t know, but one of the thee coalition partners, DC Vote, reports that they handed out all 2000 "I Showed Up 4 DC Statehood" stickers they had printed well before the hearing started.

The statehood bill was ably represented by testimony from:

  • Mayor Muriel Bowser
  • Council Chairman Phil Mendelson
  • DC CFO Jeffrey DeWitt
  • Congressional Research Service Legislative Attorney Kenneth Thomas
  • Kerwin Miller, DC resident and veteran

Mr. Miller was supported by additional veterans who are also DC residents, shown here with a 51 star US flag.

If you were unable to attend, you can learn more about the hearing at:

There will be many more steps to take to achieve statehood, but last week, we accomplished a really big one.

Thanks to all the Ward 6 statehood supporters who turned out, and stay tuned for next steps, which will include marking up H.R. 51 and a floor vote in the House. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton, who chaired the hearing, recently reported that H.R. 51 now has 218 co-sponsors in the House, which means we have sufficient votes to pass the bill in the House. 

September 17 VA State Elections GOTV/Postcard Party Recap

A small but mighty group turned out to Red Bear Brewing Company in NoMa Tuesday, Sept. 17 to continue writing Get Out The Vote (GOTV) postcards for Dan Helmer and Sheila Bynum-Coleman.

As a reminder, we are supporting the campaigns of three candidates in the Virginia state elections this fall, as we work to flip both houses of the Virginia state legislature blue.

  • Sheila Bynum-Coleman (HD-66), challenging incumbent Speaker of the House of Delegates Republican Kirk Cox
  • Dan Helmer (HD-40), challenging incumbent House of Delegates majority caucus chairman Republican Tim Hugo
  • Wendy Gooditis (HD-10), Democratic incumbent seeking her first re-election

All three are on the record in support of DC Statehood. They are also united in their support of issues that matter most to Ward 6 Democratic voters: sensible gun safety protections, protecting women's reproductive rights, support for the ERA, and ending extreme partisan gerrymandering.

One of the ways we are supporting these candidates is to write postcards to voters in the relevant Virginia districts reminding them to get to the polls on Tuesday, Nov. 5, and encouraging them to support Bynum-Coleman, Helmer, or Gooditis (as appropriate). 

Volunteer Opportunity: VA State Elections GOTV/Postcard Party - Tuesday, Oct. 1, plus canvassing oppportunity 

Our next postcard writing party will take place Tuesday, Oct. 1, from 6:30-8:30 p.m. This time, we'll be back at Mr. Henry's (601 Pennsylvania Avenue SE). We still have addresses to finish up for both Dan Helmer and Sheila Bynum-Coleman. If we complete those, we'll move on to addresses for Wendy Gooditis.

You can RSVP for the October 1 event at https://www.ward6dems.org/va_state_elections_gotv_postcard_party_tuesday_oct_1 - it's not required, but it does help us know how many supplies to bring. 

Can't make it on the 1st? We will have one FINAL postcard writing party on Tuesday, Oct. 15. That is also the night of the next Democratic debate, and we've been working on setting up a salon conversation with At-Large Council Member (and Ward 6 resident) Elissa Silverman for the 15th, so stay tuned for details. 

BONUS: Canvassing Opportunity with the Arlington Dems, Saturday, Sept. 28

Want to do more to support Dan? The Arlington Democrats are organizing a canvassing trip in his Fairfax district this Saturday, Sept. 28. For more information or to RSVP to participate, visit: https://www.ward6dems.org/canvassing_for_dan_helmer

Volunteer Opportunity: Barracks Row Fall Festival, Saturday, Sept. 28

The Ward 6 Dems are going to have a table at this VERY popular and well-attended Capitol Hill community event on Saturday, Sept. 28, and we're going to need a large group of volunteers (probably 12-15 total) to take maximum advantage. 

We have three two-hour volunteer slots, and we're looking to recruit 3-4 volunteers for each one. 

  • 9:30 - 11:30 am - set up team (festival opens at 11 am)
  • 11:30 am - 1:30 pm
  • 1:30 - 3:30 pm
  • 3:30 - 5:30 pm - clean up team (festival ends at 5 pm)

Mid-day teams responsibilities:

  • Two volunteers will stay in our booth
  • One will serve as our ambassador to the other organizations participating

Booth teams

  • Sign people up for our newsletter (we will have paper and electronic methods available)
  • Share information about the Ward 6 Dems (we will provide talking points)
  • Register people to vote
  • Build and strengthen the bonds of our community
  • Take photos and share on social media


  • Visit other booths 
  • Promote partnership opportunities
  • Gather contact information from the other organizations for our database and future opportunities 
  • Take photos and share on social media

Clean up team responsibilities:

  • Continue to engage with booth visitors through the end of the festival at 5 pm 
  • Take photos and share on social media 
  • Take down tent
  • Box up materials
  • Deliver materials back to Coldwell Banker (605 Pennsylvania Avenue SE)

Can you help? First VP Dorinda White is our point of contact, and you can text her at 202.495.1054 or email her at [email protected]

September Woman of Ward 6: Coralie Farlee


This month's Woman of Ward 6 is Coralie Farlee, a long-time Southwest DC resident whose professional career and voluntary contributions impact the lives of many people in Ward 6 and DC. The Ward 6 Democrats are recognizing and honoring Ward 6 women who have made significant contributions to better our community as a lead-up to the 2020 anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote. 

Farlee co-founded Friends of Southwest DC, a charitable organization that supportsSouthwest youth through scholarships as well as helping to fund projects that benefit the area’s youth and seniors. Since 1998, the organization, originally known as River Park Friends, has made grants totaling more than $260,000, supporting more than 30 local organizations. Recent grants supported college scholarships for four Southwest DC high school students as well as educational trips for Southwest youth.

In 2017, Farlee’s group awarded close to $5,000 to the Amidon-Bowen Elementary School PTA, 401 I St., SW, to buy iPads for early childhood education classrooms. “These iPads are a great learning tool because they encourage independent exploration at differentiated levels in a fun learning environment,” said Principal TaMikka Sykes.

Farlee came to live in DC in 1975 to work as the executive director of a task force to evaluate University Affiliated Programs throughout the United States. The programs trained educators to work with people with developmental disabilities.

Born during the Depression and raised during World War II, she is one of three daughters from a New Jersey farming and small business family. Deciding that a college education would offer a more rewarding future, she left home at 17 and put herself through college and graduate school. She received her Ph.D. in sociology from Rutgers in 1971, focusing on health profession education, organizational change and medical information systems, a field in its infancy at the time.

In 1978, she began working with the Environmental Protection Agency, where she created a new occupational category of toxicology to differentiate it from pharmacology. She also established a template for the evaluation of the implementation of the Toxic Substances Control Act, which was enacted in 1976. She also administered grants and contracts for introducing medical information systems in hospitals and clinics.

Since 2008, Farlee has served as chair of the Alcohol Beverage Control (ABC) Committee for ANC6D. The ABC reviews new applicants for liquor licenses in DC, develops cooperative agreements and encourages adherence to DC alcohol laws. The committee makes recommendations to ANC6D commissioners, who then advise the DC ABC Board.

In addition, she is a member and coordinator for the DC Area of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom; has served as an interviewer for the US Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Oral History Program; and coordinated the DC MPD-OAG Drug Vice Properties Project, which helped reduce the number of DC properties impacted by drug abuse and distribution.

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 100thanniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote.