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Dorothy Douglas



Dorothy DouglasFor over thirty years, Dorothy Douglas has been a heartening voice for the neighbourhoods of
Washington, DC as a volunteer community advocate for improving the quality of life for DC residents.

She has served as a member of, and has held leadership positions in several community and social organizations. Her hallmark accomplishments have been focused on her dedication to community service and education.

Dorothy has always been involved in the community and her devotion to public services developed from
humble beginnings.  She was born the fourth child of nine and raised by her mother who did not receive a formal education; however, she was able to instill in Dorothy the principles of humility and the
importance of obtaining an education to provide a better life.   At age 13, Dorothy began her career as a volunteer worker campaigning for the Joe Lewis foundation and helped ward 6 raise the most funds in DC to be donated to children diagnosed with cerebral palsy.   She attended Payne Elementary School, Hine Junior High School and Eastern and Springarn High Schools.   She received a Bachelors of Science degree from the University of the District of Columbia in Elementary Education. After I graduated from UDC I received recognition from “Who’s who?” for completing 10 years of education and continuing on to higher education. I received this recognition for being the only Ward 8 resident to achieve this honour nationally.  

For the past twelve years, she has been the Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner of wards 7C and 7D
to coordinate and ensure that the residents have availability to resources within the community.  As the ANC commissioner, she supported the Abe Pollin and Linda Parkside Development project and helped to implement the development of affordable housing for seniors and low‐income residents within the Parkside community.

In 1992, Dorothy became the Director of Deanwood Youth Services, Inc., a community outreach aimed
to helping DC youths with summer and after school jobs. To ensure that the budget could cover costs,
Dorothy decided to forgo a salary but rather have those funds allocated to the services.   Then Mayor,
Sharon Pratt‐Kelly and the United Planning Organization recognized her for her contribution to
increasing youth participation and awareness of employment services. Dorothy’s dedication and
commitment to the residents of Ward 7 inspired her to increase unity by organizing the annual
Deanwood Community Day.   On this day, the residents and businesses of Deanwood come together to
network, share, and to raise community awareness.    At this time she was also elected as Deanwood
Civic Association President for her involvement and advocacy in the community.

As a former employee of the DC public school system, Dorothy is committed to improving the quality of
education by strengthening academic achievement to provide students with the necessary resources for success.   In 2008, she was elected as the first black woman as a ward 7 representative for the DC State Board of Education.   Her contribution voted on rules, policies and regulations for education reform to develop programs that would address the growing deficit within the DC Public School System.  

In a joint effort to enhance the current standards of curriculum and to support the transitional
infrastructure from classroom to workplace Dorothy collaborated with the State Board of Education and
Office of the State Superintendent of Education to write the grant for the “Race to the Top and Common Core” Proposal. Race to the Top will provide programs that will adopt and implement workforce development standards and assessments of those standards that prepare students to succeed in college, the workplace and compete in the global economy.

The programs will support ongoing educational initiatives through accurate data collection that
measures students’ growth and successes and informs teachers and principals about how they can
improve classroom instruction. The programs will raise the bar and diminish the acceptable standard
through an established incentive and reward system which recognizes students of excellence. The end
result will increase high school graduation rates, proficiency in English for ESL students and enhanced
disability support services. Dorothy’s commitment to excellence was only solidified August 24, 2010,
with the announcement that the District of Columbia was awarded the grant in the amount 75 million
over four years.    “Common Core” standards will strengthen the current core initiatives in English,
Mathematics, Language Arts, History/Social Studies and Science for all students. Improving the use of
technology, engaging parents and the local community to help our students achieve and collaborating
with outside agencies will help to ensure a successful program.   Dorothy Douglas is a tireless advocate
for students, education and working to bring a high quality of life to DC residents and will bring that
same focus and energy to her work with DC Democratic State Committee.

Dorothy is a native Washingtonian who has been a resident of the District of Columbia all of her life,
living in Wards 5, 6, 7, and 8.  For the past 30 years, she has been a resident of Ward 7 longer than she has been a resident of any other Ward or community in DC.  She is a single mother of three and a proud grandmother of seven.    She is also a former foster parent of four of her great nieces and nephews.  Dorothy faithfully participates in church, is a self made horticulturist, and loves to bake cakes.


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Last modified: Monday, 25 March 2024