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A FAIRER AMERICA FOR DC RESIDENTS

DC Vote Voice

A Historic Leap Forward for Democracy Dear Friend:

I have been thrilled - but not surprised - by the outpouring of support for our recent budget freedom victory. Over the past few months, the coordinated energy of DC Vote, DC residents and our elected officials has produced historic progress in our fight for self-determination. On January 1, 2014, the budget autonomy law that grew out of a referendum supported by 83 percent of the District voters became effective. DC budget freedom is now a reality. The DC Council is already moving forward with the Fiscal Year 2015 budget process under our new law. Together, we proved to the nation that DC residents will fight aggressively to secure equality. We want to be treated the same as our fellow Americans in the 50 states, but Congress still holds a key to our freedom. Even our gains to control our local budget could be overturned. I am confident that DC residents are ready to step up, be vocal and fight back should anyone come forward to try and overturn the expressed will of the voters on this matter. Part of my confidence comes from our Champions of Democracy, who show their willingness to push the envelope for what is right and take risks to seek democracy in DC and beyond. The other part comes from our friends across the country and internationally. DC Vote has witnessed new support for DC equality from Americans in all 50 states. More than 5,000 people from beyond DC joined our fight for equality. And, volunteers from California, Virginia and Illinois appeared on DC equality billboards that greeted visitors at prominent airports including Dulles and Reagan National. Our network is growing every day. Soon, visitors to DC will see another new message about our cause. DC Vote has produced spots for taxicab video screens that highlights our second-class status. These are just a few exciting developments you can learn more about in this newsletter. Your support is more crucial now than it ever has been before. I look forward to making history with you; let’s keep moving forward together in 2014.

Kimberly Perry Executive Director

DC Vote Voice Winter 2014


The Voting Rights Movement Goes National DC Vote partnered with The Campaign Workshop and rolled out the first installment of a new national advertising campaign. Three DC Vote supporters from California, Illinois and Virginia were recruited to appear in print and video ads aimed at educating critical opinion leaders about the injustice facing DC residents. We secured online ads and billboards at prominent airports featuring photos and videos of the supporters taken in their home states, and explaining in their words, why they support equality for District residents.

DC Democracy On the Road Starting this year, passengers in DC cabs will be greeted with brief public service announcements (PSAs) about DC’s lack of representation. Messages from notables such as legendary civil rights leader Julian Bond and DC Vote Executive Director Kimberly Perry will explain the District’s disenfranchisement, and ask viewers to join our cause. The PSA’s will reach residents of DC, Maryland and Virginia and tourists who are not aware of our second class status. Our partners, the DC Taxi Cab Commission, report over 20 million annual riders who will be exposed to our messaging. We are adding new faces to the PSA campaign and hope to increase supporter engagement with this new partnership.

On October 1, 2013 the federal government shut down. In the past this would also force our local government to shut down. However, instead of accepting this injustice, residents and leaders asked our mayor to take a stand. Thanks to the quick thinking and dedication of At-Large Councilmember David Grosso, Mayor Vince Gray and the entire DC Council, the District crafted a plan to stay open in the face of the shutdown by declaring all DC employees essential and operating out of the District’s reserve funds. This refusal to close not only gave us the opportunity to highlight the District’s second class status to an international audience, it also gave DC the chance to prove it is a thriving city fully capable of operating despite the dysfunction of Congress. Due to the savvy work of Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton, the agreement to end the shutdown and the subsequent budget deal included language freeing DC from any future shutdown in FY 2014. With DC free to spend its local tax dollars through the end of the fiscal year, we can now focus on implementing the DC Budget Autonomy Law now in effect. This will ensure that DC residents no longer fear a local shutdown at the hands of the Federal government.

DC Vote Voice Winter 2014


Champions of Democracy 2013 On Wednesday, October 9, in the face of a federal shutdown, leaders from the District’s business, political and academic communities gathered at the Mayflower Hotel to celebrate DC Vote’s 2013 Champions of Democracy. Our honorees’ extraordinary achievements and leadership exemplified this year’s theme, Forward Together. •

Mary Ann Stein is an international philanthropist and president of Moriah Fund, a private foundation seeking to promote human rights and democracy, and to empower those who are disenfranchised.

Rep. Jose Serrano (D-NY) proudly displays his unwavering advocacy for full democracy for the citizens of the District of Columbia. The former Chairman and current Ranking Member of the House Committee on Appropriations Financial Services and General Government Subcommittee, Rep. Serrano is a tireless defender of DC’s right to spend its own local tax dollars without congressional oversight.

In December 2012, a group of veterans from the District of Columbia passionately advocated for Congress to approve a provision that would require the armed services to display the DC flag and the flags of the territories whenever the flags of the 50 states are displayed.

The 3 Star Ball DC Vote is proud to add an exciting new event to its annual fundraising line up: The 3 Star Ball: Party with a Purpose. The Ball is DC Vote’s spring fundraiser, which aims to engage young professionals looking for ways to support the cause for voting representation and full equality for the District, while partying with DC’s hippest guests and celebs. If you have any questions about the event, or want to get involved, you can contact Catherine Cavander CCavander@dcvote.org.

Next Steps on the Hill On January 6th, Delegate Norton introduced the District of Columbia Paperwork Reduction Act. This bill would remove the required 30-day congressional review of DC’s local laws. At DC Vote, we believe the pathway to full equality includes incremental gains such as budget autonomy (check!), legislative autonomy, voting rights and representation and ultimately statehood. This bill is a logical next step for DC, and we invite you to work with us and Delegate Norton to get it passed. In 2014 we are continuing our support of the New Columbia Admissions Act. The bill was introduced in the Senate just over a year ago by Senator Tom Carper (D-DE), and while it has been steadily gaining support, there has yet to be a hearing on the bill. We plan to work diligently with the DC statehood coalition on this bill and ensure it moves forward during this session of Congress.

DC Vote Voice Winter 2014


New Faces, New Places We have relocated to a new office and you can now find us at 1100 H Street NW, Suite M-100. We hope you’ll drop by our great new offices and say hello. We’ve also welcomed several new staff members: Tavia Benjamin, Executive Assistant. Tavia comes to us with a background in poverty and racial equity policy issues and is a graduate of the University of North Carolina, where she studied Anthropology and Global Studies. Originally from North Carolina, Tavia currently resides in Columbia Heights. Rafael Ramos-Meyer, Outreach Assistant. Rafael previously worked on environmental policy and is a graduate of Tufts University where he majored in Italian Studies. He is a native Washingtonian and is excited to give back to the city that raised him. Alayna Buckner, Grant Writer. Alayna has a deep knowledge of the region’s private funding community, as well as a proven record in securing national and federal funding. She is a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals and American Grant Writers Association. She is also a proud Stanford University graduate and lives in the District of Columbia. In addition, we welcome a slate of new DC Vote Board officers for 2014. Chair: Ed Krauze, Washington DC Association of Realtors®; Vice Chair: Laurie Wingate, Raise DC; Secretary: Abby Greensfelder, Halfyard Productions; Treasurer: Vinoda Basnayake, Patton Boggs LLP. And new board members Chuck Alexander, Burness Communications and Dannia Hakki, MoKi Media. DC Vote staff and Board gave a heartfelt thank you to outgoing Board members, Curtis Etherly, Donald Sherman and Joe Perta. We are grateful for their incredible service and contributions to DC Vote and the voting rights movement. We also thank Jon Bouker, Arent Fox, for his service as Board Chair from 2012-2013. We’re so pleased that Mr. Bouker will remain on the Board through his second term.

DC Vote Staff Kimberly Perry - Executive Director James Jones - Communications Director Michael Bolton - Communications Associate Catherine Cavander - Development Associate Tavia Benjamin - Administration Assistant Rafael Ramos-Meyer - Outreach Assistant

Upcoming Events Spring Equality Happy Hour – March. Building on the success of last year’s budget freedom happy hours, we are thrilled to bring a new line-up of Equality Happy Hours. Our January happy hour at Meridian Pint was a huge success. Thanks to everyone who came out. Be sure to join us again! DC Equality Lobby Day – Friday, April 4th. DC Vote will take to the Hill and lobby members of Congress in order to educate them about DC’s lack of representation and to increase support for Delegate Norton’s District of Columbia Paperwork Reduction Act and the New Columbia Admission Act. DC Emancipation Day Parade – Wednesday, April 16th U Street Funk Parade – Saturday, May 3rd 3 Star Ball – Thursday, May 22nd DC Pride Parade and Festival – June 7th – 8th Palisades July 4th Parade – July 4th If you’re interested in attending or volunteering with us at any of these events, feel free to email rsvp@dcvote.org to sign up!

Join DC Vote or Renew your Membership Today In recent months, nearly 5,000 new supporters have joined our cause, but we need more. If you haven’t joined us already, please do so today. We need every voice, near and far, to advocate for equality for the District. Go to DCVote.org/Join to become a member.

Photos by: Travis Vaugh, Michael Little and DC Vote

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Thank you to all of our volunteers, supporters and donors who consistently spread the message for equality far and wide. We added nearly 5,000 new supporters to our cause in 2013. And, together we can keep the momentum going. DC Vote is a 501 (c)(3) educational and advocacy organization whose mission is dedicated to securing full voting representation in Congress and full democracy for the residents of the District of Columbia

Copyright © 2014 DC Vote

DC Vote Winter 2014 Newsletter  

A look at what DC Vote accomplished in 2013, and what we plan to accomplish in 2014