Event Date: 
Wednesday, October 14, 2009 - 1:00am

Annually, DC Vote recognizes Champions of Democracy for their dedication to fulfilling the promise of democracy for the Americans who call Washington, DC home. These men and women cherish the United States as a beacon of freedom and democracy. Through their actions and words, they defend our freedoms and promote our ideals.

Join DC Vote and fellow supporters of democracy for this outstanding annual fundraiser. This year's event, emceed by Andrea Roane of WUSA9, promises to be one of the biggest in our organization's history. This fall we are proud to honor some outstanding individuals and organizations for their unfailing commitment to democracy and our community. In 2009 we honored:

U.S. Congressman John Conyers (D-MI)

Representative John Conyers, Jr., a Detroit Democrat, entered the House of Representatives in 1964. Mr. Conyers is the second most senior member in the House of Representatives. After serving as Chairman of the House Committee on Government Operations (since renamed Government Reform) from 1989 until 1994, Congressman Conyers was elected by his congressional colleagues as Chairman of the pivotal House Committee on the Judiciary. In addition to its oversight of the Department of Justice (including the FBI) and the Federal Courts, the Judiciary Committee has jurisdiction over copyright, civil rights, consumer protection and constitutional issues. In that capacity, Representative Conyers has introduced and endorsed legislation to advance civil liberties, ensure equal protection and access to the voting booth, and combat violence against women. Congressman Conyers is also one of the 13 founding members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) and is considered the Dean of that group. The CBC was founded in 1969 to strengthen African-American law makers' ability to address the legislative concerns of Black and minority citizens.

Wade Henderson

The president and CEO of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights (LCCR), Mr. Henderson is well known for his expertise on a wide range of civil rights, civil liberties and human rights issues. He has championed the cause of DC voting rights and works principally in the areas of civil rights enforcement, voting rights and public education reform for people of color, women, persons with disabilities and the poor. Under his leadership the LCCR has become one of the nation’s most effective defenders of federal affirmative action policy and one of the strongest advocates for passage of the Hate Crimes Prevention Act.

Nancy Zirkin

As the lead lobbyist for the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights (LCCR), Nancy has worked tirelessly to pass DC voting rights legislation. Nancy worked at several public interest organizations, including Common Cause and the Women's Equity Action League, but she really made her mark at American Association of University Women (AAUW) where she became Director of Public Policy and Government Relations. She distinguished herself there by rising to chief lobbyist and managing the coordination of the Equal Rights Amendment, Women's Vote Project, and Civil Rights Restoration Act of 1988.

Akridge Real Estate

Akridge remains a key partner of DC Vote and our mission. Their work in the community of Washington, DC reflects their deep commitment to the District and its people.

Program highlight: video by Stephen Colbert of the Colbert Report, a DC Vote exclusive! Click here for the most recent interview with Colbert about DC voting rights.

Click here to learn more about our Champions of Democracy host, Andrea Roane. A member of the WUSA9 team since 1981, Andrea's commitment to community service has been recognized with numerous awards.

2009 Champions of Democracy Sponsors

  • Laurie Wingate & Marc Chandler
  • Richard and Lois England
  • Johnathan Rodgers & Royal Kennedy Rodgers
  • Lawrence & Lillian Solomon Fund
  • Trish & George Vradenburg
  • Akridge
  • Anonymous
  • Diane & Norman Bernstein
  • The Coca Cola Company
  • Louie & Ralph Dweck
  • Jenner & Block, LLP
  • Pepco
  • Elizabeth A. Allen & Kendal H. Tyre
  • Arent Fox
  • CareFirst
  • Marque Chambliss & Sheryll Cashin
  • Cassidy & Pinkard Colliers
  • Rena Pokempner Gordon & Michael Gordon
  • Jack H. Olender & Associates P.C.
  • The Meltzer Group
  • Quadrangle Development Corporation
  • Andy Shallal
  • Bruce Spiva & Anna Gelpern
  • Spiva & Hartnett LLP
  • Joe Sternlieb
  • United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 400
  • University of District of Columbia David A. Clarke School of Law
  • Verizon Washington, DC
  • William B. Alsup III
  • The Barnett Group, LLC / Judith Barnett, President
  • CityLivingSource.com
  • Dantes Partners
  • Liz & Dick Dubin
  • East Banc, Inc.
  • Julian Epstein, LMG
  • Flowers on 14th
  • Forest City Washington
  • Kingdon Gould III & Kristin Gould
  • GRC Direct
  • Hastings Restoration
  • Jackson & Campbell, P.C.
  • Marie & Wendell Johns
  • John Klenert
  • Stuart Kurlander
  • Palm Facility Services
  • Joe Perta
  • PNC Bank
  • Sarah Pokempner & Jerry Levine
  • Kathy & Al Schmidt
  • Donald K. Sherman
  • Kathy Swayze & Impact Communications, Inc.
  • The Warrenton Group
  • Washington Life magazine
  • Western Development Corporation
  • Tom & Carol Wheeler
  • Elizabeth Wiener & Lloyd Leonard
  • Thomas Wilbur
  • Barry Zigas & Jodie Levin-Epstein
  • Harold & Nancy Zirkin
  • Answer Title
  • Ed & Margot Aronson Levin
  • The Bernstein Companies
  • Thomas Blanton & Marsha Lillie-Blanton
  • Jeff Blum, USAction
  • Dominique Bravo & Eric Sloan
  • The Campaign Workshop
  • Care2.com
  • Center for Responsible Lending
  • Classic Concierge
  • Edwin & Sara Davis
  • DC Appleseed Center
  • Donald R. Dinan, Esq.
  • Daniel & Toby Edelman
  • Debbie J. Goldman
  • Mary Beth & Rob Gosselink
  • Healthy Buildings
  • James Hill & Carol Galaty
  • Holland & Knight
  • Kappa Alpha Psi
  • Aviva Kempner
  • Ellen Kirsh
  • Abigail Levine & Matt Golden, Zoe & Emma Levine
  • Samuel & Shelvie McCoy
  • Ruthanne & Robert Miller
  • Marc H. Morial
  • Pascale-Emmanuelle Nouama
  • Larry & Cinthia Ottinger
  • People For the American Way
  • Specialties, Inc./Joel Kaplan
  • Karen Paul Stern
  • Vornado/Charles E. Smith Commercial Realty
  • Gerry Widdicombe
  • David Wilmot
2009 Silent Auction Donors
  • Akridge
  • Arucola Osteria
  • Capitol Restaurant Concepts
  • Capitol Steps
  • Dance Place
  • Dominique Dawes LLC
  • Johnson's Florist's & Garden
  • Loews Lake Las Vegas Resort
  • Marrakesh Restaurant
  • The National Portrait Gallery
  • Periwinkle
  • Tom Toles, the Washington Post
  • Washington Gas
  • Wintergreen Resort
  • Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company