2019 DC Statehood Champion Honorees


The DC Statehood Congressional Delegation continues the tradition of honoring organizations and individuals that have helped move us closer to DC Statehood. Please join Representative Franklin Garcia, Senator Paul Strauss, and Senator Michael Brown as they honor these distinguish organizations and individuals on Saturday, December 14th, 2019:

ANNE ANDERSON – We would like to honor Anne Anderson, a trustee on the board of the League of Women Voters of Washington, DC. Ms. Anderson has been a committed statehood activist for decades and has done a great deal to spread awareness of the DC statehood movement and to educate others across the country about the importance of statehood and to make it known that District residents need the support of citizens across the country to achieve the rights other Americans take for granted. We thank Ms. Anderson and the League of Women Voters for decades of service.

ANITA BONDS – The next honoree has a truly impressive and lengthy record of public service. At-large councilmember Anita Bonds has provided the people of the District of Columbia with decades of public service, and as Chair of the Council’s Committee on Housing & Neighborhood Revitalization, she has fought to expand tenants’ rights, increase opportunities for homeownership, preserve and increase the District’s affordable housing stock, and put an end the displacement of longtime Washingtonians. We are proud to work side by side to make DC statehood a reality. Tonight we acknowledge her accomplishments and decades of public service by presenting her with this well-deserved award.

JAMES S. BUBAR – Moving on, next to be honored is long time statehood advocate James Bubar. James is co-chair of the DC Democratic Party’s Statehood Committee. James has served in a variety of elected offices and has been engaged in countless civic activities in support of DC statehood over the years and we would like to express our gratitude for his efforts by presenting him with this award.

MARIA CRISTINA CABALLERO – For nearly 30 years, Dialogue on Diversity has demonstrated its dedication to the advancement of the social and political status of women and in particular to promotion of their economic effectiveness through skilled entrepreneurship. In the nearly three decades since founding the organization, Ms. Caballero’s devotion to the empowerment of women of diverse cultural and national traditions has impacted countless lives both in the District of Columbia and across the world. We honor her tonight to celebrate her truly remarkable achievements.

ELPIDIA GARCIA – is the mother of Representative Garcia.  She is the official Chef of the DC Statehood Holiday Party, and has provided her services for many years.  She was awarded the office DC Statehood apron by Senator Brown a few years ago, and we are pleased to include her in the list of honorees this year. 

PAMELA GOMEZ – An Advocacy and Public Policy Expert, Pamela helps nonprofits, associations and international organizations identify and advance policy agendas that benefit their organizations and their communities.  She is serving as a role model and couch for young professionals in the region, and is involved in local politics.

TAMYRA HARRISON – Our next honoree is living proof that the fight for DC statehood extends beyond the District’s borders and that the right to representation in our nation’s congress is one that should be enjoyed by all Americans. Tamyra Harrison is the founder and director of Iowans for DC Statehood, an organization committed to ensuring full democracy for the District of Columbia that will guarantee to its residents full Congressional voting representation, budget autonomy, and all of the rights that the people of the 50 United States enjoy. Tamyra has been a fierce advocate for DC statehood and she is committed to bringing national attention to the fact that over 700,000 Americans living in the nation’s capital have no voting representation in the Congress. Tonight we honor Tamyra for all of her efforts and her commitment to making Washington, DC the 51st state.

CHUCK HICKS –Chuck Hicks is the founder and director of the DC Black History Celebration Committee which celebrates black history year-round. He is a community activist focusing on issues that directly affect the community. Hicks serves on several Martin Luther King, Jr. committees providing guidance, leadership and support. Hicks continues his work as a member of the DC Democratic State Committee and is a dedicated member of two organizations that advocate for statehood for the District of Columbia – Stand Up! for Democracy in DC (Free DC) and DC for Democracy. Tonight we thank Mr. Hicks for his cultural contributions and his dedication to the statehood movement.

MUSTAFA KOROMA – Mustafa has been supportive of DC Statehood efforts for some time.  You can find Mustafa at events throughout the city, in all Wards.  He has volunteer countless hours to the cause of DC Statehood, and has also volunteered with a number of campaigns.   

DORIS NOUEL MARTINEZ –Doris has devoted countless hours, visiting, with Representative Garcia, the international community and beyond.  Doris is a seasoned diplomat that arrived in Washington DC a few years ago.  An attorney, born in the Dominican Republic, Doris is currently an Officer in the Dominican Embassy in Washington DC.     

PHIL MENDELSON – Next we would like to honorPhil Mendelson, the Chairman of the DC Council and a member of the New Columbia Statehood Commission. Chairman Mendelson has been a devoted public servant for more than 20 years while serving on the DC Council and has been serving the people of the District of Columbia for even longer. We would like to honor Chairman Mendelson this evening for his innumerable achievements, his commitment to the District’s more than 700,000 citizens, and his efforts to make the Washington, DC the 51st state.

GABRIELA MOSI – Up next, we would like to honor Gabriela Mosi. Through her work with the DC Latino Caucus, Gabriela has done a great deal to empower Latinos in the District and she has proven to be a passionate advocate for DC statehood. For these reasons we honor her tonight.

MAXINE A. NIGHTINGALE-STARLING – Unfortunately, our next honoree is no longer with us, but we wish to honor her achievements and her dedication to public service. Commissioner Nightingale worked tirelessly to serve her community in Ward 7 and the District of Columbia at large. Known for her social flair, creative spark and no non-sense demeanor, Commissioner Nightingale was a passionate advocate for the disabled, elderly and military families, having served her country honorably in the United States Air Force. Tonight we honor the memory of this military veteran and devoted public servant, thank you.

ELEANOR HOLMES NORTON – The next honoree truly requires no introduction, although she will of course get one anyway. We are honored to acknowledge the career and accomplishments of Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton this evening. Now in her fifteenth term as Congresswoman, representing the more than 700,000 disenfranchised residents of the District of Columbia, Ms. Norton has fiercely and tirelessly fought to establish Washington, DC as the 51st state and give a voice to District residents. As you know, this was an historic year for DC statehood, as the first hearing in decades was held before the Oversight & Reform Committee, and HR 51, the Washington, DC Admission Act now has the required 218 voting co-sponsors to advance in the House of Representatives. Again, we would like to thank Rep. Norton for her tireless efforts and devotion to making statehood a reality.

JOYCE ROBINSON PAUL – Our next honoree is Joyce Robinson Paul, a long-time community organizer and passionate statehood advocate. As an officer of the DC Statehood Green Party, Ms. Robinson Paul has demonstrated her passion for public service and she is committed to values that uplift those most vulnerable and protect the gains made by the working class. Tonight we honor her passion and commitment to making DC statehood a reality.

MARK PLOTKIN – The next honoree is one that unfortunately is no longer with us but is greatly missed. Mark Plotkin was a longtime political analyst, talk show host, and perpetual advocate of DC statehood, not to mention local legend. He spoke loudly and passionately when advocating for DC statehood. Mark was known to be direct and to the point, rarely one to mince words. He helped return Washington’s historic city hall, the John A. Wilson Building to municipal control in the 1990s, and later spearheaded a campaign to get the slogan “Taxation Without Representation” emblazoned on District license plates. Mark was one of kind and an invaluable ally in the fight for DC statehood. He will be missed.

MARIA SANCHEZ – Maria Sanchez, who is co-hosts the radio show “Shadow Politics” along-side Senator Brown. Shadow Politics is a grass roots talk show giving a voice to the voiceless. We thank Maria tonight for helping to give DC statehood national attention and for educating listeners on the subject. The 700,000+ residents of the District need a voice, and we thank her for all of her efforts.


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