DC Vote's 2010 Champions of Democracy Awardees
Smith Bagley (posthumously)
Businessman, philanthropist and political activist, Smith devoted most of his life to supporting social justice causes like civil rights, global democracy and international human rights. As the president of the
Arca Foundation, he consistently supported countless progressive, cutting-edge organizations including DC Vote. Smith suffered a severe stroke and passed away peacefully at the age of 74 in January 2010.
Congresswoman Donna Edwards (D-MD) explains, "I most admired Smith because he lived in declaratory sentences-straightforward, honest and open. He taught me to think big and without conventional boundaries.
He taught me to take risks." In DC Vote's final meeting with Smith, he urged us to "fight for statehood - go for the whole thing, Ilir!" In classic fashion, his ideas were both bold and prescient. Just months after this conversation, the DC Vote Board expanded our mission and chose steps to full democracy and statehood as our next campaign.
She could be called the grandmother of DC Vote. From the beginning, Kathy was a steadfast leader and supporter of DC Vote's work. Together, Kathy and her husband Al were plaintiffs in the Alexander vs. Dailey
lawsuit, which set the stage for the founding of DC Vote. In order to introduce DC Vote to the community, Kathy went to nearly 90 ANC and civic association meetings in 1999 and 2000 across DC. With Al as her
faithful chauffeur, she secured unanimous respect and interest in the work of DC Vote.
Among numerous other efforts, Kathy worked with others to lobby the League of Women Voters to make this issue a priority
and became the official liaison between DC Vote and the League. She served on the search committee that hired Ilir Zherka and later, on the Board of Directors. Kathy credits DC Vote with helping her get over
her hatred of public speaking.
An Iraqi-American artist, activist and restaurant owner, Andy infuses Washington, DC with good food, soulful art and progressive inspiration. His four highly successful restaurants combine delicious
experiences with cultural exchanges. Every night of the week his restaurants host conversations and performances on democracy and social justice. In the Washington City Paper's 2010 Readers Poll, Busboys and
Poets beat out the National Mall as the "best place to take an out-of-towner."
Andy's Busboys & Poets restaurants are known as homes for activism and social justice in Washington, DC, including the struggle
for DC democracy. Andy has hosted countless DC Vote meetings and events, created powerful murals on the DC democracy movement and strongly advocated for DC voting rights. In December 2006, he penned a
Washington Post opinion piece asking, "My Vote Counts in Iraq. So Why Not in Washington?"
Past Recipients of DC Vote's Champions of Democracy Awards
- U.S. Congressman John Conyers (D-MI)
- Wade Henderson & Nancy Zirkin, Leadership Conference on Civil Rights
- U.S. Congressman Tom Davis
- The Honorable Hilda Mason & Charles Mason
- Royal Kennedy Rodgers & Johnathan Rodgers
- The Honorable Jack Kemp
- Carol Thompson Cole
- Charles A. Miller
- Joe Sternlieb
- Joslyn Williams
- Sweet Honey In The Rock
- DC City Councilmember Jack Evans
- Catherine Hughes
- The Honorable Walter E. Washington
- Mr. & Mrs. Phil & Jan Fenty
- Jack Olender, Esq.
- U.S. Senator Joseph Lieberman
- U.S. Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton
- Frank H. Rich Sr.
- Clifford Alexander Jr.
- Major General Warren L. Freeman, Commanding General, District of Columbia National Guard, and the District of Columbia National Guard
- Art Schultz III (posthumous award)
- Roger Wilkins