Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Let's help Dorothy and Gary

I'm writing a check.   Will you?
Emergency Relief Fund for Brizill and Imhoff
c/o PNC Bank
800 17th St. NW, Washington, DC 20006

4 June 2012

Dear Neighbors,

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 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 to this fund, today. All contributions of any amount will be gladly accepted and greatly appreciated. We recommend individuals consider a contribution of $100; organizations might 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 donations@dcwatch.com.

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.

Robert Malson, Chair
Emergency Relief Fund for Brizill and Imhoff

Marie Drissel, Treasurer
Emergency Relief Fund for Brizill and Imhoff

Emergency Relief Fund for Brizill and Imhoff Advisory Committee:
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

To learn more about the many contributions of Dorothy and Gary, check out this document highlighting their work and providing testimonials from folks across the District (Word).

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