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D.C. Political Roundup: Williams Takes Helm of Ward 8 Democrats

James Wright | 10/23/2013, 3 p.m.
Natalie Williams is the new president of the Ward 8 Democrats.

Natalie Williams, the advisory neighborhood commissioner for 8A07, presided over her first meeting as president of the Ward 8 Democrats on Saturday, Oct. 19 at the D.C. Department of Housing and Community Development office in Southeast.

Williams took the oath of office, with 60 people in attendance, along with the rest of her leadership team. D.C. Council member Marion Barry administered the oath and offered the leaders some advice.

"The election is over," said Barry, 77, referring to tension between Williams and some of the officers. "You have the responsibility to pull yourselves together at the officer level. You are doing this for the benefit of Ward 8."

The organization's other officers are first vice president Barbara Jones, second vice president Trayon White, Theresa Kelly as recording secretary, Deloris Walker as recording secretary and Darryl Ross as treasurer.

Williams, 43, presented her plan for the organization for the next two years. She wants to increase the membership base, better publicize the organization's activities and become a force in the life of the ward.

D.C. Council member Anita Bonds (D-At Large) spoke on behalf of the D.C. Democratic State Committee, of which she is chairman and D.C. Council member Muriel Bowser (D-Ward 4), a candidate for mayor in 2014, talked about issues in the city.

Williams said that the general body meetings will continue to take place on the third Saturday of each month but there will be a system of rotation in the ward regarding venues. She said that the executive meetings will be held on the second Wednesday of each month at the Washington View Apartment's Community Room.

Evans Celebrates 60th Birthday

D.C. Council member and 2014 mayoral candidate Jack Evans celebrated his 60th birthday on Oct. 16 at The Park at Fourteenth nightclub in Northwest with dozens of supporters.

The birthday celebration doubled as a fundraiser as Evans chatted amicably with the guests who snacked on hors d'oeuvres and talked politics. Bill Jarvis, a resident of Ward 4, presented Evans to the crowd.

"There is no better person to take on the job of mayor of the District of Columbia," said Jarvis, 53.

Evans thanked the owner of The Park, Marc Barnes, for hosting the event.

"Marc has been a longtime friend of mine," he said.

Evans said that his campaign for mayor is about the future of the city.

"Twenty-two years ago, when I first got on the council, the city was on the verge of bankruptcy," he said, "but through a lot of hard work, we turned things around."

He pointed out that when he first became a council member, the area that The Park is located had a reputation of being a den of drug dealers and prostitutes and that’s changed considerably.

Evans said that he wants District residents to have good paying jobs and for longtime residents to stay in the city.

"I want every District resident to be prosperous and live a healthy life," he said.

GOP Dinner Re-Scheduled for Oct. 30

The D.C. Republican Party recently announced changes to its annual Lincoln-Douglass Dinner event.

The dinner will take place on Wednesday, Oct. 30 at the Hyatt Regency Washington in Northwest and the keynote speaker will be Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) instead of Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.).

The senators could not attend the dinner on Tuesday, Oct. 22, the original date because of the 10-day recess that the U.S. Senate took after the federal government shutdown crisis, D.C. Republican Party Executive Director Robert Turner II said.

Turner said that Paul will host a special event for reception ticket holders at a later date.