The UPDATE | June 23


Primary Results Provide Preview of Political Priorities for FY24

Children and youth issues took center stage during this week’s primary election. In addition to the incumbents who won their contests last night, Democrats voted to nominate two new candidates to the DC Council: Matthew Frumin in Ward 3 and Zachary Parker in Ward 5, both well known education and youth advocates, as well as Brian Schwalb for Attorney General. Mayor Muriel Bowser and incumbent councilmembers Charles Allen, Anita Bonds, Phil Mendelson, and Brianne Nadeau also won their primaries. At-large Councilmember Robert White and Ward 8 Councilmember Trayon White, both of whom made a bid for Mayor, will continue to serve on the Council. At-large councilmember Elissa Silverman will make her bid for re-election as an independent in the general election.

We congratulate all of the candidates who ran in the primary, and look forward to working with the current and new elected officials after the general election in November delivers the final results. All elected officials will be sworn into office on January 2, 2023. The Council is also expected to announce new committees and committee assignments around this time.

To learn more about where candidates stand on issues that affect children, youth, and families, read the results of candidate questionnaires published by the Washington Post and Axios. Note that these are nonpartisan voter guides, not opinions or endorsements.

Results of June 21, 2022 District of Columbia Democratic Party Primary (as of June 22, 2022)


Mayor Muriel Bowser
Attorney General Brian Schwalb
Council Chair Phil Mendelson
Ward 1 Brianne Nadeau
Ward 3 Matt Frumin
Ward 5 Zachary Parker
Ward 6 Charles Allen
At-Large Anita Bonds


DC Action Welcomes Two New Diane Bernstein Fellows in Child and Youth Advocacy

This summer Darshi Ambani and Mary Katherine West join the DC Action team as Diane Bernstein Fellows in Child and Youth Advocacy. Darshi is working on a variety of data products that are critical to DC Actions advocacy and research. Currently she is building a comprehensive data base of OST providers in the District of Columbia, which will help us with our landscape and service gap analysis. She is also identifying administrative data for DC Action’s data catalog to help us monitor the well being of the District’s children and youth.

Mary Katherine is supporting DC Action’s home visiting work, specifically leading the research for raising compensation for home visitors, preparing materials for our early childhood advocacy work, and contributing to the Home Visiting Council's annual report process.

Darshi is currently a rising senior at American University majoring in psychology and double minoring in sociology and public health. Darshi is part of the university’s Community-Based Research Scholars program, where she has gained experience in action research, data analysis, and volunteering for the DC community. Through this program, they have had the opportunity to educate high school students and college freshmen on using community-based research, and served as co-author, editor, and lead designer of the Community-Based Action Research: College Curriculum. Through her classes at AU, Darshi has become interested in studying health inequalities and social determinants of health, and conducting research on social issues. Outside of school and work, Darshi enjoys doing various forms of art, such as henna, painting, and bullet journaling, as well as exploring DC and going to art museums.

Mary Katherine West graduated from the University of Virginia (UVA) School of Education and Human Development in May, where she majored in Youth and Social Innovations and African American Studies. She will return to UVA in the fall to complete the second year of her Accelerated Masters in Public Policy at the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy. Outside of coursework, Mary Katherine was involved in activities centered around educating and advocating for bodily autonomy through body positivity, LGBTQ+ advocacy, sexual health and assault prevention, and mental health promotion. Through this advocacy, she is committed to combating structural forces of oppression that create barriers for marginalized groups and youth from positive developmental outcomes. In her free time, Mary Katherine enjoys painting, reading, taking her dog for walks, and caring for her pet betta fish.

Please join us in welcoming Darshi and Mary Katherine to the DC Action team!



OST Voices: Amplifying Youth Voices in DC and Around the World

In the latest installment of our OST Voices series, Founder and CEO of the Community Enrichment Project Lauren Grimes discusses the importance of helping young people find their own agency to make change in their communities. “Don’t underestimate the power of our young people,” Grimes writes. “We need to do everything we can to build them up and provide them with resources and tools that they need to be catalysts for change. That's what they want to do, but they need adult allies to get there.”


READ Becoming Abolitionists: Police, Protests, and the Pursuit of Freedom, in which attorney, author, and activist Derecka Purnell discusses the failure of police reform and explores creative ways to understand, respond to, and ultimately reduce the root causes of violence in our culture.

WATCH Juneteenth: Freedom and the Fine Print, one episode in PBS Digital Studios’ Say It Loud, explores the ongoing policies that limit Black people’s freedom, such as voter suppression, mass incarceration, and policing.

LISTEN to academic, activist, and author Rachel Cargle’s TED Talk What does slavery have to do with it?, in which she discusses the continued relevance of slavery today and the actions white people must take to dismantle white supremacy and intentinonally reverse the legacies of slavery.