SPONSORED POST: Champions of Democracy Awards Gala celebrates DC Voting Rights Advocates.
By Emily Newhook
DC still doesn’t have a vote in Congress, but the folks at DC Vote and the honorees at their annual 2013 Champions of Democracy Awards Gala are working to change that. The national educational and nonprofit organization — dedicated to securing full voting representation in Congress and full democracy for the more than half a million residents of the District of Columbia — will host the event at the Mayflower Hotel on Wednesday, October 9. Awards are presented to individuals and organizations dedicated to fulfilling the promise of democracy here at home and abroad. Mistress of Ceremonies Karen Finney of MSNBC’s Disrupt with Karen Finney will join DC Vote Executive Director Kimberly Perry in recognizing the 2013 honorees, whose backgrounds range from nonprofit to armed forces to Capitol Hill. Co-chairs Trish Vradenburg and Vinoda Basnayake will also be on-hand at the ceremony. Here’s what you need to know about this year’s winners:
Mary Ann Stein, international philanthropist and president of Moriah Fund: Ms. Stein began her career fighting for civil rights as an organizer in South Carolina in the 1960’s. Her experiences during that period have helped to shape the values and priorities of the Moriah Fund, a private foundation seeking to promote human rights and democracy, and to empower those who are disenfranchised.
Rep. Jose E. Serrano (D-NY): Rep. Serrano is an unwavering advocate for full democracy for the people 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 residents’ rights to spend their local tax dollars as they see fit.
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 D.C. flag — conspicuously absent from previous armed service ceremonies, graduations or funerals — and the flags of the territories whenever the flags of the 50 states are displayed.
Check out images from the 2012 fete bell. Tickets ($175) are going fast: get yours via the DC Vote website.