2021 Biennial Convention and
Information you need to know
The 2021 Convention of the Ward 8 Democrats will be called to order at 11 am. You'll hear from each of candidates running for officer positions as well as participate in any organization business.
Voting starts at 12:00 pm and end at 2 pm. Anyone in line by 2 pm will be able to vote. Voting will be conducted both via walk-up or drive-thru with special accommodations for seniors and persons with disabilities.
To read the Rules of the Day and learn about the candidates for officers, DOWNLOAD the Voter's Guide.
Letter from the Convention Co-Chairs
We are excited to welcome you to the 2021 Ward 8 Democrats Biennial Convention! We're gathering Saturday, September 18th from 11am-2pm at Temple of Praise, 700 Southern Avenue SE.
Leadership elections run from noon until 2pm. You can join us for our full meeting or vote and leave! Want to learn more about your candidates? Check out their messages to you in our 2021 Voter and Convention Guide.
On the heels of a monumental election and unprecedented protests in our streets and with an eye toward addressing big challenges with bold solutions, this year’s gathering of Ward 8 Democrats could not be more important.
The Ward 8 Democrats has a long history of shifting the narrative and bringing our neighbors together to show real political force in a landscape that has too often discounted and ignored our voices. The leaders we elect to lead this organization, the platform we pass, and your continued participation will be essential to carrying that legacy forward and we are excited to begin that work today.
We hope to see you at tomorrow's convention and encourage you to join committees, sign up to be a precinct captain, and find other ways to remain engaged. Many of the challenges Ward 8 residents face won’t be easy to overcome, but we have no doubt about the tremendous progress we can achieve together.
Barbara Jones and Markus Batchelor
Co-Chairs | Ward 8 Democrats 2021 Biennial Convention
Re-Watch: Ranked Choice Voting
WATCH: Special Guest: TX Rep. Jarvis Johnson Joins
Texas State Representative Jarvis Johnson (D-Houston) joined our July 2021 public meeting to discuss with President Troy Donte' Prestwood why he, and at least 51 of the 67 Democratic members of the Texas House, fled the state Monday to stop the legislature from voting on what many are calling draconian voting restricting laws. They talked about their efforts to expand voting rights and protections in the state, why he and his colleagues came to Washington, and how the DC Democratic Party can support them in this fight.
Addressing Opioid Abuse in Ward 8: A Discussion
Opioids are destroying the lives of Ward 8 residents and families at an alarming rate. Tragically, in 2020 opioid overdoses outnumbered the number of deaths from homicides 2 to 1. Both statistics are heartbreaking. We're in a full-out battle to save residents from dying on our streets.
The Ward 8 Democrats is co-sponsoring an urgent community conversation on opioids Tuesday, July 13 from 6-9 pm at the Secret Garden in Anacostia. Join us as we discuss what each of us can do right now to help win this war and save lives.
Date: Tues, July 13
Location: Secret Garden
(Check It: 1920 Martin Luther King, Jr. Ave., SE)
Re-Watch: Ward 8 Democrats
During our June 2021 meeting, we discussed the Juneteenth holiday and the ongoing fight for equality in this country with award-winning journalist and cultural critic Jamila Bey.
Then, last year our organization held an LGBTQ community discussion, the only such ward-level Democratic organization to ever do so, where we discussed elevating LGBTQ priorities in Ward 8 and in the District. We decided to do it again. Joining us on our LGBTQ panel are:
Ride with the Ward 8 Democrats to Capital Hill
Re-Watch: Ward 8 Democrats
So you want to serve on a DC Board or Commission? Re-watch our May 2021 public meeting where we discussed how you can become a board member or commissioner on one of the dozens of DC Boards and Commissions. Our guest was Steve Walker, director of the Mayor's Office of Talent and Apppointments (MOTA). We also talked with several Ward 8 residents who currently sit on a DC Board or Commission. Hear what their experiences are like and how you can engaged with them when it comes to Ward 8 issues or concerns.
Re-Watch: Ward 8 Democrats
Ward 8 Democrats Mourns Passing of WTU President Elizabeth Davis
Ward 8 Democrats’ President Troy Donte’ Prestwood issued the following statement on the sudden passing of Washington Teachers Union President Elizabeth Davis:
“The DC education community suffered a tremendous loss with the tragic passing of Washington Teachers Union President Elizabeth Davis. Liz was an amazing and formidable education leader who was fearless in fighting to make the District’s public education system work better for families, students, and teachers.
“Liz’s remarkable four decades of service to students and families of the District can’t be understated. She has taught thousands of students in schools across the District. She was a force at DC Council hearings fighting for funding for teachers and schools, most recently working to ensure every school was safe for teachers and students during the pandemic. She has left an ineffaceable mark on the lives of countless young people, educators, and leaders in our ward and beyond.
“She was a beloved figure in the community. I had the honor of engaging with her on several policy discussions around improving the quality of our schools. And just last year, we served together as Delegates to the 2020 Democratic National Convention.
“Our prayers are with Liz's family, friends, and colleagues at the Washington Teachers Union. We also mourn with the family of the other person who passed. May their memories be a blessing to all who are hurting at this difficult time.”
Honoring the Women of the
The Ward 8 Democrats honors our own “Ward 8” Democratic women who represent the ward in the DC Democratic Party. They are innovators, organizers, doctors, fighters, entrepreneurs, and, yes, bosses. They are leaders among leaders who make “Ward 8” proud.`
:: WATCH VIDEO Honoring DC Democratic Women Elected Officials
Re-Watch our 2021 Women's
DC women's history always passes through Ward 8. Join the Ward 8 Democrats as we celebrate and honor the contributions of women to the DC Democratic Party and to Ward 8.
Special guests included Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, former DC School Board President Linda Moody and her son Duane Moody. We also featured former DC First Lady Cora Masters Barry and former Ward 8 Councilmember Sandy Allen, both of whom received Lifetime Achievement Awards. Tiffany Lancaster and Aiyi’nah Ford will recite spoken word pieces.
You can watch the program here. You don't want to miss it or it will be HER-Story!
WATCH VIDEO: Lifetime Achievement Awards Program
Ward 8 Democrats Lifetime
The Ward 8 Democrats presents its 2021 lifetime achievement awards. The award is the organization’s highest honor and is bestowed on individuals who’ve made an indelible mark on the greater ward 8 community.
We recognized these exceptional honorees for their lifetime of outstanding achievements and contributions as trailblazers, inspirational leaders, and public servants.
The nine award honorees are:
The Ward 8 Democrats Lifetime Achievement Award is the organization’s highest honor. The selection of award recipient is made by the majority of the executive committee to honors individuals or entities who have made outstanding contributions to the
Ward 8 community.
Criteria for the award include:
• Sustained, long term commitment to the Ward 8 Community;
• Significant contributions to advancing the Ward;
• Noteworthy achievements through public service, business, education, research, scholarship, artistic and curatorial work, and/or other meaningful activities in support of the Ward 8 community.
Re-Watch: Citizen 101 Discussion
With the election season officially over, now it’s time to become more active and engaged in the political process. But how?
Join the Ward 8 Democrats for the first of our new discussion series on Citizen 101 - Going from Active on Election Day to Activism 365 Days a Year. The first series will center around the District’s 2021 budget process and how to fight for your priorities.
Our incredible speaker lineup includes elected officials, community leaders, and grassroots activists who will help guide our discussion on everything from successfully advocating for policies and issues to connecting with the decision-makers and influencers among us.
Special Guest Speaker:
Watch it again on Facebook!
Re-Watch: 2020 Virtual Kwanzaa
It's a Ward 8 cultural tradition that's going virtual this year. Re-watch and re-live our 2020 Kwanzaa Celebration.
Kwanzaa is a seven-night holiday that honors African-American and Pan-African culture and traditions and stretches across millions of homes and communities including here in the District. The seven principles translated into English are unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity and faith.
This year's Kwanzaas speakers are:
SPEAKER: Nakia Blacknell, Ward 8 Resident & Community Activist
SPEAKER: Jacque Patterson, At-Large Member-elect, SBOE
Ujima (Collective work and responsibility)
SPEAKER: Rep. Markus Batchelor, Ward 8 Representative, SBOE
Ujamaa (Cooperative economics)
SPEAKER: Lafayette Barnes, Business Owner and Ward 8 Resident
SPEAKER: Toni Harper, President, The Federal City Alumnae Chapter, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
SPEAKER: Shaniyah Robinson, Junior, Ballou High School & Vice President, SGA
SPEAKER: Damien Thurston, Junior, Anacostia High School
SPEAKER: Rev. Wanda Thompson, Ambassador Baptist Church
Re-Watch: What Now: Next steps
Twenty-twenty has turned out to be one hell of a year. From protests to the pandemic and from loud calls for police reforms to the movement for Black lives, it's enough to make your head spin. And with the November General Elections "almost" over, people are rightly asking where do we go from here. Join us for a conversation on "What's Now?! -- a discussion the local DC election, the presidential race, and what it all means for the future of the District and the country.
Our esteemed panel includes:
Ward 8 Democrats