Event Date: 
Wednesday, October 9, 2013 - 7:30pm

DC Vote recognizes Champions of Democracy for their dedication to fulfilling the promise of democracy in the District of Columbia. These honorees represent the very best of American excellence and cherish the United States as a beacon of freedom and democracy for the world around us.

Thank you to Gala co-chairs, Trish Vradenburg and Vinoda Basnayake.

2013 Champions of Democracy was a huge success! Thank you to everyone who helped to make the evening one to remember.

Coverage of the event was featured in The Washingtonian.

Champions – Mary Ann Stein of the Moriah Fund, the veterans of the District of Columbia, and Congressman José E. Serrano inspired the crowd with personal anecdotes and experiences regarding their efforts to protect and advance democracy here at home and aboard.

Other notable attendees included Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton, Mayor Vincent C. Gray, Council Chairman Phil Mendelson, Councilmembers David Grosso and Mary Cheh, and NPR Host Diane Rehm.


2013 Honorees:

Mary Ann Stein

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. 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.


The Veterans of the District of Columbia

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 - 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.



Representative José E. Serrano (D-NY)

Rep. José 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.



Thank you so much to Mistress of Ceremonies Karen Finney, host of Disrupt with Karen Finney on MSNBC.

2013 Sponsors

Guardians - $25,000
  • Jane & Daniel Solomon
Leaders - $10,000
  • Diane & Norman Bernstein
  • Lois & Richard* England
  • Laurie Wingate & Mark Chandler
  • Trish & George Vradenburg
Defenders - $5000
  • Arent Fox, LLP
  • District of Columbia Association of Realtors®
  • Abby Greensfelder
  • Pepco Holdings, Inc.
Advocates - $2,500
  • Patton Boggs, LLP
  • Mary Ann Stein
  • Joe Sternlieb & Linda Singer
Supporters - $1,000
  • Elizabeth Allen & Kendal Tyre
  • William & Sunny Alsup
  • Katherine Bradley
  • Dominique Bravo & Eric Sloan
  • The Campaign Workshop
  • Rosalind C. Cohen
  • Louie & Ralph Dweck
  • Ann Hoffman
  • Kappa Alpha Psi, Washington Alumni Chapter
  • Charles & Jeanette Miller
  • Lorraine Miller
  • Jack & Lovell Olender
  • Joseph M. Perta
  • Kathy & Al Schmidt
  • Marisel & Thomas Wilbur
  • Barry Zigas & Jodie Levin-Epstein
Activists - $500
  • Americans for Peace Now
  • Margot Aronson & Ed Levin
  • The Honorable Muriel Bowser, Councilmember Ward 4
  • DC Appleseed Center for Law & Justice
  • Bert T. & Susan Edwards
  • Sarajane Foster
  • Beth Grupp
  • Aviva Kempner
  • Gail Harmon
  • Marsha Lillie-Blanton & Thomas Blanton
  • NARAL Pro-Choice America
  • New Israel Fund
  • Andra N. Oakes & Edwin E. Huddleson
  • Elaine Reuben
  • Nelson Rimensnyder & Lisa Nickerson
  • Bruce Spiva & Anne Gelpern
  • The Spiva Law Firm, PLLC
  • USAction
  • Ilir Zherka & Linda Kinney

*of blessed memory

The Mayflower Hotel 1127 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20036