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c/o PNC Bank
800 17th St. NW Washington, DC 20006
4 June 2012 Dear … There are people among us who are engaged in the hard and critical work of building community. They advocate public policy that empowers citizens. They tackle, directly, debilitating socio-economic conditions. They teach the disenfranchised and disillusioned how to battle government neglect and abuse. And, most important, they inspire us to cross real or imagined boundaries so that we may know, trust and appreciate each other as neighbors. These individuals do not seek reward, award or remuneration. Creating a better quality of life for everyone—their neighbors-- is their greatest satisfaction. Dorothy Brizill and Gary Imhoff are such people. They exemplify the best in civic leadership. For the past thirty years, they have dedicated themselves—time, energy, talents and money—to improving communities throughout the District of Columbia. It doesn’t matter where you live, you or your neighbors surely have benefited from their tireless work. “Dorothy Brizill and Gary Imhoff are as essential to the District of Columbia as air,” The Washington Post Columnist Colbert I. King said recently. “Government accountability and vigorous oversight of public service would virtually evaporate without them.” Robert Brannum, president emeritus of the D.C. Federation of Civic Associations, noted that, “Through [Dorothy’s and Gary’s] selfless service, citizens of the District have been informed about what has been happening beyond the headlines and official government press releases.” This time, Dorothy and Gary need our help. Last month, a two-alarm fire engulfed their Columbia Heights home, totally destroying everything -computers, clothing, books, art, and precious memorabilia. Equally devastating, Gary and Dorothy lost files, records and photographs detailing thirty years of history and public policy debate in the District. Adding to this pain and injury, their insurance company has refused, thus far, to honor their claim. In the spirit of neighbors helping neighbors, a group of us met to consider how we could aid Dorothy and Gary in this time of loss and grief. They have contributed so much-- enriching our lives and our city. Given their dire situation, we decided to establish an emergency relief fund. Please make a donation of whatever you can afford to this fund today. All contributions of any amount will be gladly accepted and greatly appreciated. We recommend individuals consider a contribution of $100 and organizations donate $500 or more. Please write your check, now,to: Emergency Relief Fund for Brizill and Imhoff. c/o PNC Bank, 800 17th St. NW Washington, DC 20006 Attn: Maggie
Non-cash contributions also are being accepted. Should you wish to donate a pre-paid gift card, computer, camera, any furniture, household items or clothing, you may call 202.234.6982 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org We know you agree with broadcast reporter and anchor Bruce Johnson who said he has always been “inspired” by Dorothy and Gary’s “love of our great city and hard work to keep it safe and working for all citizens. “ The proof of Dorothy and Gary’s dedication is in their record of achievement: When residents were concerned about the safety of the city’s drinking water, they made available a secret WASA database that detailed lead level readings for every home in the District. They advocated for community policing. They fought for more support for small businesses along neighborhood commercial corridors. After trying unsuccessfully for several years to encourage elected officials to establish a government web site, Dorothy and Gary founded DCWatch.com. Begun in 1995, it was the first citywide web site to publish D.C. government information, providing copies of legislation and other documents. In other words, Dorothy Brizill and Gary Imhoff have been on the scene for nearly every important struggle and development in this city. “How they have been able to keep at it without the bi-weekly pay checks that most of us count on makes them near saints in my book,” said Johnson. Sometimes, even saints need help. It’s our turn to support Dorothy and Gary. Please don’t delay; make a generous donation to the Emergency Relief Fund for Brizill and Imhoff c/o PNC Bank, 800 17th St. NW Washington, DC 20006 Attn: Maggie. This money will help Dorothy and Gary purchase items critical to getting back on their feet and reestablishing their lives. We think you’ll agree with us, their recovery is as important to the District of Columbia as it is to them. Sincerely,
Emergency Relief Fund for Brizill and Imhoff Advisory Committee
Robert Malson, chair
Marie Drissel, treasurer jonetta rose barras; Robert Brannum, president emeritus of the D.C. Federation of Civic Associations; Ron Drake, attorney; Hebert Harris, Jr., chairman of the DC Consumer Utility Board; Ann Loikow; Nathan Saunders, president of the Washington Teachers’ Union; Joslyn Williams, president of the Metropolitan Washington Council AFL-CIO; and Yolanda Woodlee
DOROTHY BRIZILL AND GARY IMHOFF HAVE A HISTORY OF ACHIEVEMENT Over the past thirty years, Dorothy Brizill and Gary Imhoff have played an important role in the civic life of the District of Columbia. This is only a partial listing of their achievements They were instrumental during the 1980s in the fight to rescue Columbia Heights from urban blight, drug gangs and rampant crime. They help found the Columbia Heights Neighborhood Coalition; it was later expanded beyond the14th Street corridor to represent all of Columbia Heights. They started the CHNC newsletter, which was distributed door-to-door in the community, and spurred city agencies such as DCRA, DPW, and public housing to improve the community.
During the construction of Metro's Green Line, working with Columbia Heights resident Beverly Wheeler, they led the neighborhood effort that persuaded Metro not to use the same trench construction method that had previously devastated the Shaw neighborhood. That move saved more than 160 homes from being destroyed during the construction of the subway through Columbia Heights and Petworth.
They pressed for the redevelopment of more than twenty acres of city-owned land on 14th Street and Columbia Heights that had remained vacant and abandoned since the 1968 riot. Working with their neighbors, their efforts eventually resulted in the economic revitalization of Columbia Heights and the 14th Street corridor.
In 1995, after trying unsuccessfully for several years to encourage the DC government to establish its own web site, they founded DCWatch.com as a website focused on District government and public policy issues. They have consistently monitored waste, fraud, corruption, and malfeasance in DC government, and advocated open and transparent government, through their web site and E-mail discussion forum, email@example.com. They have also monitored compliance with the District's freedom of information, open meetings, contracting, and conflict of interest laws."
They have regularly monitored compliance with the District's ethics, conflict-of-interest, election, and campaign finance laws. In 2002, they challenged Mayor Anthony A. Williams' reelection petitions, which led the Board of Elections and Ethics and the DC Court of Appeals to reject those petitions because thousands of the signatures were fraudulent.
In 2004, they led a citywide effort that challenged irregularities in initiative petitions that were circulated by a group trying to establish a slots gambling casino in DC, and were successful in getting the Board of Elections and the DC Court of Appeals to reject the petitions because of those irregularities. In 2006, they sued the Board of Elections and Ethics for approving another initiative that would have established a slots gambling casino in DC, in violation of federal law, and prevailed in the DC Court of Appeals.
TESTIMONIALS FROM DISTRICT RESIDENTS AND LEADERS ABOUT DOROTHY BRIZILL AND GARY IMHOFF
Dorothy Brizill and Gary Imhoff are as essential to the District of Columbia as air. Government accountability and vigorous oversight of public service would virtually evaporate without them. A few years ago at a D.C. Appleseed dinner, I publicly acknowledged their critical role in city life: "Please don't die", I begged then. Please don't allow their voices to be silenced, I beg now…. Colbert I. King, columnist
The Washington Post
I have known Dorothy and Gary for many years and have always been inspired by their love of our great city and hard work to keep it safe and working for all citizens. How they have been able to keep at it as everyday working journalists without the bi-weekly pay checks that most of us count on makes them near saints in my book. I'm reaching into my shrinking bank account in these tough economic times to help my friends through this very difficult period. I'm asking you to do likewise. Thanks in advance. Bruce Johnson, reporter-anchor Dorothy and Gary have been points of light for good government in the District for many years. Through their selfless service, citizens of the District have been informed about what has been happening beyond the headlines and official government press releases. Together, Dorothy and Gary have shaken many trees of government secrecy to expose truth through the leaves. The citizens of the District of Columbia got the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Robert Vinson Brannum, president emeritus, D.C. Federation of Civic Associations I have known Dorothy and Gary now since roughly 2002. My initial experience with them was on opposite sides during Mayor Anthony A. Williams’s reign; then, I was both Deputy Mayor and Counsel to the Mayor’s re-election campaign. Since that time, they have consistently demonstrated to me and the citizens of the District their deep concern for having good and open government. Knowing them both over time I have constantly been reminded of their work and selfless dedication for doing the right thing and holding public officials accountable. The problem is that here in the District we do not have enough people like Dorothy and Gary. Doug Patton, former Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development for the District of Columbia Dorothy Brizill and Gary Imhoff are true manifestations of activists and public servants. D.C. Watch is a steadfast and invaluable source of reliable information for teachers, parents, and public education advocates. Their unwavering commitment to government transparency and empowering neighborhoods and communities throughout the city embodies what civic engagement means. Nathan Saunders, president, Washington Teachers’ Union Dorothy Brizill and Gary Imhoff are an extraordinary pair of individuals who, through their expertise in establishing and operating DCWatch, have taken the lead in focusing on waste, fraud, corruption, and malfeasance in DC Government and have provided the moral and ethical leadership needed to ferret it out. Robert A. Malson, president, District of Columbia Hospital Association
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