The Ward 4 Democrats held their January membership meeting on Tuesday evening at the Washington Ethical Society. The meeting was quick and efficient, as Present Candace Tiana Nelson kept the agenda flowing. This meeting was preparation for the busy months ahead as the organization positions itself for the upcoming Democratic primaries in June.
After making a few organizational announcements, Ms. Nelson opened the floor to discussion. As has been the case in many community meetings over the past few months, the topic of rising water bills came to the fore. Audience members took turns batting questions and answers about DC WASA around for several minutes. This is obviously a topic that is not going away any time soon.
News from Councilmember-At-Large Robert White’s Office
Next, the audience greeted Ms. Breanna Bledsoe, the legislative counsel for Councilmember-At-Large Robert White. She was on hand to deliver a brief progress report on the Councilmember’s first year in office and to highlight his legislative goals for the year. The initiatives that his office are focusing on are:
- Education for all ages
- Developing Employment Opportunities
- Working Toward an Affordable City for All
- Easing the Road Home for Returning Citizens
You can read the entire report online here.
The Commission on Fathers, Men, and Boys
The main speaker for the evening was Mr. Tony Dugger, Executive Director of the city’s Commission on Fathers, Mens and Boys. This commission was created by DC Council legislation in 2014 and consists of twelve volunteer commissioners who advocate on behalf of at-risk fathers and their families to multiple city and federal agencies and the private sector. The mission of this organization is to advise the Mayor, the Council, and the public on issues and needs of fathers, men, and boys in the District of Columbia.
Mr. Dugger shared interesting statistics and anecdotes about the state of Fatherhood in the city and highlighted several initiatives that have had a successful launch during the commissions’ early history. One of these initiatives is the Books and Barbershops program where early childhood literacy is encouraged by placing children’s books in local barbershops where boys can have ready access to books and men who are willing and capable of reading to them.
Overall, this was a productive and informative meeting and a good starting point for the busy primary season. In the coming months, President Nelson will host a variety of conversations with Democratic candidates who are running for positions throughout the city and blog about them on the Ward 4 Democrats website.