Nearly six months after longtime Executive Director Ilir Zherka announced he would leave DC Vote, his local activist organization, to lead another nonprofit in town, his successor has been appointed.
Kimberly Perry, currently leading a domestic children’s health initiative at the William J. Clinton Foundation, will take over Zherka’s mantle at the helm of DC Vote on April 10.
She does so as the group plows ahead on a number of initiatives to expand the District’s autonomy from the federal government, most prominently an April 23 vote to amend the city charter to unlink D.C.’s budget from the congressional appropriations process.
“As a District resident and long-time supporter for D.C. voting rights, I am thrilled to bring my passion and experience in engaging constituencies to build power and overcome injustices to the movement for full democracy in DC,” Perry said in a statement. “For far too long, our second class status has been a defining feature of the District of Columbia. I am fortunate to enter this fight with the strong foundation built by so many Washingtonians who have been fully engaged for many years.”
“Kim Perry brings a proven record of effectively mobilizing citizens to action to our fight for full democracy for the people of the District of Columbia,” DC Vote Board Chairman Jon Bouker said in an accompanying statement. “Kim’s experience in leading successful national campaigns that have included engaging everyone from individuals and state-level advocates to Congress and the White House makes her well suited to advance DC Vote’s mission.”
The statement announcing Perry’s appointment lauded her accomplishments as the founding director of D.C. Hunger Solutions, which is housed within the Food Research and Action Center.
During her tenure there, she helped institute a free school breakfast program and worked to weed out junk food at D.C. schools. She also coordinated the city’s “10-year strategic plan to end childhood hunger, which continues to serve as the road map for combatting food insecurity and families across all District wards,” according to the release.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.