Event Date: 
Wednesday, October 17, 2007 - 1:45am

Each year, DC Vote recognizes Champions of Democracy for their dedication to fulfilling the promise of democracy for residents of Washington, DC. These men and women represent the very best of American excellence.

Champions of Democracy exercise their liberties to speak out about the injustice of living under a system where the governed do not have a vote in the election of those who govern. They understand that being disenfranchised affects all aspects of civic and community life.

DC Vote's 2007 Champions of Democracy

U.S. Congressman Tom Davis (R-VA)

A longtime champion of DC voting rights, Congressman Tom Davis is the original sponsor of the DC House Voting Rights Act of 2007. Working with Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton, DC Vote and the DC voting rights coalition, he has been instrumental in pushing the bill through the House of Representatives and continues to do so now in the Senate.

Congressman Davis was born in Minot, North Dakota and moved with his family to Fairfax County at an early age. He went on to Amherst College, graduating with honors in Political Science, and subsequently earned his law degree from the University of Virginia. Prior to his election to Congress, Tom was the chief elected official in Fairfax County. During Tom’s tenure as Chairman of the Board of Supervisors, Fairfax County was recognized as the nation’s best financially managed county.

The congressman’s list of legislative accomplishments began almost as soon as he took office, when he was given control of the Government Reform Committee’s Subcommittee on the District of Columbia. During his first year in Congress, he authored and co-sponsored several important bills that were enacted into law, including the D.C. Financial Control Board Act. Tom quickly earned a reputation among his constituents, colleagues and the media as a strong advocate of federal employees and contractors and an expert in federal procurement policy.

Rep. Davis’ legislative accomplishments were recognized in January 2003, when he was elected to chair the House Government Reform Committee for the 108th Congress. Under his leadership, the Committee conducted oversight on and investigated matters related to the effective administration of government programs of great public interest.

The congressman used his unique position to introduce legislation that would help end taxation without representation. Recognizing both the needs of the District of Columbia and Utah, Rep. Davis worked with Del. Norton to author this historic piece of legislation, granting DC its first voting representative in the House in exchange for an additional seat for the Utah delegation.

For his spirited advocacy on behalf of Americans living in the nation’s capital, DC Vote is proud to honor Congressman Davis.

The Honorable Hilda Mason & Charles Mason

Hilda and Charles Mason are known throughout the city for their ceaseless support for progressive issues, including human and civil rights, socio-economic opportunity, quality education, affordable and accessible housing, public transportation, and health care, and statehood for the District of Columbia.

They met through their involvement in civil rights activism and in their subsequent decades together worked tirelessly to fulfill the aspirations of the movement. Founding members of the DC Statehood Party, both Charles and Hilda have spent over three decades advocating for full home rule and voting representation.

After nearly eight years on the Board of Education, Hilda spent 22 years serving as an at-large member on the City Council. Charles, who received his law degree at the age of 60, was known for his brilliant mind and his commitment to social justice, equal opportunity, a public school of law for the District of Columbia, issue analysis and political strategy, and considerable generosity. Instrumental in the establishment and accreditation of the University of the District of Columbia’s David A. Clarke School of Law, he passed away in 2006.

The Masons had a unique partnership nurtured by love, social conscience, and dedication to public service. For their decades of service in support of voting rights for District residents, DC Vote is proud to honor Hilda and Charles Mason as Champions of Democracy.

Royal Kennedy Rodgers & Johnathan Rodgers

Royal Kennedy Rodgers has supported DC Vote from its beginning. As a volunteer, she worked diligently to ensure that students learned about DC voting rights and the important role that voting plays in America’s democracy. Much of her work can be seen in DC Vote’s Lesson Plan for Teachers, which was launched in 2006.

Johnathan Rodgers is president and CEO of TV One, the entertainment and lifestyle cable television network targeting adult African-American viewers. Through TV One, Johnathan has educated millions of Americans about Congress’ denial of voting representation for DC residents by airing public service announcements produced by DC Vote. These important messages continue to raise awareness across the country during this time of historic progress for DC voting rights.

For their devotion and steadfast support of DC voting rights, DC Vote is proud to honor Royal Kennedy Rodgers and Johnathan Rodgers.

Event Chair
  • Stefan C. Nicholas
  • Akridge
  • Comcast
Host Committee
  • Richard & Lois England (Co-Chairs)
  • Elizabeth A. Allen & Kendal H. Tyre
  • Joshua B. Bernstein
  • Marque Chambliss
    & Sheryll Cashin
  • Louie & Ralph Dweck
  • Joe & Lynne Horning
  • Vernon E. Jordan, Jr.
  • Aviva Kempner
  • John Klenert
  • Richard H. Levy
  • Lorelie S. Masters
  • Samuel & Shelvie McCoy
  • Carolyn Nicholas
  • Joseph M. Perta
  • Sarah Pokempner
    & Jerry Levine
  • Cynthia Robbins
  • Andy Shallal
  • Jane & Daniel Solomon
  • Bruce V. Spiva & Anna Gelpern
  • Joe Sternlieb
  • George & Trish Vradenburg
  • Thomas Wilbur
Host Businesses & Unions
  • Jenner & Block
  • Forest City Washington
  • City Living Source
  • The Meltzer Group
  • Spiva & Hartnett LLP
  • Think Local First
  • United Food & Commercial
    Workers – Local 400
  • Washington Informer
  • AARP District of Columbia
  • Busboys and Poets
  • Care2
  • DCist.com
  • Margie & Mickey Elsberg
  • Curtis L. Etherly, Jr.
  • Fidelity & Trust Bank
  • Gretchen Gardner
    & Joshua Pokempner
  • Terry Golden
  • Rena & Michael Gordon
  • Eric S. Koenig & Amy Schwartz
  • Lovell & Jack Olender
  • PNC Bank
  • Stacey D. & Jarvis C. Stewart
  • Kathy Swayze,
    Impact Communications
  • U.S. Trust, Bank of America Private Wealth Management
  • Verizon
  • Washington Teachers' Union
  • Elizabeth Wiener & Lloyd Leonard
  • William B. Alsup III
  • Max Brown
  • Kenton Campbell
  • EastBanc
  • Ed Davis
  • DC Chamber of Commerce
  • Democratic National Committee
  • Robert A. Duff, Diamond Dream Foundation
  • David & Resa Eppler
  • Foster & Associates
  • Sarajane Foster
  • Flowers on Fourteenth
  • The Law Office of
    Edwin E. Huddleson
  • Eric Kessler
  • Gail Laster & Donald Verrilli
  • Levendis Law Group, PLLC
  • Debra Fried Levin & Josh Levin
  • The Marshall-Brennan Constitutional
    Literacy Project at American University
    Washington College of Law
  • John Mason,
    Intrepid Real Estate
  • Charles A. Miller
  • Monica Miller
  • National League of Cities
  • John J. Nelligan
  • Jonathan Novak
  • OceanPro Industries
  • Larry Ottinger
    & Cinthia Schuman
  • David Rubenstein
  • Lee Rubenstein
  • Kathy & Al Schmidt
  • Ann & Elliot Segal
  • Southwest Airlines
  • Chapman Todd
    & Willa Day Morris
  • University of the District of Columbia David A. Clarke School of Law
  • Vornado/Charles E. Smith
  • Laurel Wingate & Brian Cox
  • Barry Zigas
    & Jodie Levin-Epstein
  • Nancy & Harold Zirkin
  • Ben's Chili Bowl
  • Thomas Blanton
    & Marsha Lillie-Blanton
  • Caroline Brown & Rob Malley
  • Jeff Blum
  • Al Cacozza
  • Harriette Clark Chambliss
  • Charlotte & Peter Ehrenhaft
  • Rebecca Fishman
  • Fiske & Harvey, PLLC
  • Lisa Fuentes & Thomas Cohen
  • Carol Galaty & Gil Hill
  • John Gomperts
  • Leander Gray
  • Dr. Sebastian Heath
  • June Hechinger
  • Wade Henderson
  • Ann Hoffman
  • Ed Levin
    & Margot Aronson Levin
  • Patrick McGettigan
  • Daniel Mach
  • Medialink
  • Metropolitan Washington Council, AFL-CIO
  • Ruthanne & Robert Miller
  • Lloyd M. Mitchell
  • Maria Olivas
  • People For the American Way
  • Thorn Pozen
  • Elaine Reuben
  • Mark David Richards
  • Mark Schaefer
  • Alan Schwartz & Debra Yogodzinski
  • Jeffrey H. Schwartz
  • David Stern
  • Hilda Warner
  • Washington (DC) Alumni Chapter,
    Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.
  • Barbara T. Yeomans
  • Percy S. Young III
'Let Washington Be Heard' Silent Auction Donors
  • Accapella Restaurant, New York
  • The Honorable Yvette Alexander
  • American City Diner
  • Arucola Osteria Restaurant
  • Avalon Theatre
  • The Honorable Marion Barry
  • Boundless Yoga
  • The Honorable Muriel Bowser
  • The Honorable Kwame Brown
  • Catch Can
  • Chrome Inc
  • Circle Yoga, LLC & Budding Yogis
  • Dance Place
  • Robert A. Duff
  • EMC Beauty Clinic
  • Folgers Shakespeare Library
  • Frame of Mine
  • Friends of the National Zoo
  • Full of Beans
  • Fun & Games
  • Gold's Gym
  • The Honorable Jim Graham
  • The Honorable Vincent Gray
  • The Grooming Lounge
  • Johnson's Florist & Garden Center
  • Aviva Kempner
  • Kimpton Hotel
  • Kingsbury Chocolate
  • La Tomate Restaurant
  • Madam's Organ Restaurant and Blues Bar
  • Marrakesh Restaurant
  • Marty's Restaurant
  • Lorie Masters
  • RJ Matson, Cartoonist
  • Sam & Shelvie McCoy
  • Memorabilia Magic
  • The Honorable Eleanor Holmes Norton
  • Odyssey Cruises
  • Oval Room Restaurant
  • Pacific Auction Company
  • Parthenon Restaurant
  • Periwinkle
  • Politics and Prose
  • Profish
  • Kathryn Ray
  • Rota Portrait Design
  • Al Schmidt
  • Shakespeare Theatre Company
  • Signature Theatre
  • Somafit
  • Southwest Airlines
  • Richard Steacy/Avalon Resort
  • The Studio Theatre
  • Tabard Inn Restaurant
  • The Honorable Harry Thomas Jr.
  • Tony and Joe's Restaurant
  • Warehouse Theater
  • Warner Theatre
  • The Honorable Tommy Wells
  • Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company
  • Write for You
  • Zola Restaurant
Musical Entertainment
  • Burnett Thompson Music