The Catholic University of America

Aug. 22 2008

CUA Freshman to Attend Democratic National Convention
Winning Essay Earns Politics Major Front-Row Seat to History

Cosby and William Washington

While his Catholic University classmates begin their first days of college next week, freshman William Washington will start his education at the Democratic National Convention in Denver.

Washington, who will study politics at CUA, won an essay contest through the Democratic Party of the District of Columbia for high school students in Washington, D.C. His award is a trip to the convention as a page for D.C. Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton. He will run various errands for the representative and attend meetings.

Washington, whose father, Cosby F. Washington Jr., is an officer in CUA's Department of Public Safety, will travel with members of the D.C. City Council when he leaves Saturday, Aug. 23, for Denver.

In his winning essay, titled "D.C. Voting Rights: A Dream Deferred," Washington argues that city residents should have a voting representative in Congress. As the winner, Washington read his essay at the D.C. Democratic State Convention in May.

Although he is disappointed that he will miss the beginning of classes and the chance to meet some of his classmates, he's excited to attend.

"I believe that this convention is history in the making," he says. "It is an excellent and maybe a once-in-a lifetime opportunity."

Before coming to CUA, Washington interned at the Superior Court of the District of Columbia and the Executive Office of the Mayor (in Washington, D.C.), where he developed an interest in politics and public policy.

"One of the positive benefits from working in the mayor's office was that I learned about public policies and laws, public service in the interest of the less fortunate citizens and the D.C. work force," he says.

William's father is entering his final year working toward a bachelor's degree in social work at CUA. Cosby Washington has worked with the department since 2002, following his retirement from the Metropolitan Police Department after more than 30 years.

"My wife and I are very excited and extremely proud that William has been afforded the privilege and honor to represent our great city in lieu of all the negative publicity we have endured over the years about our young people," Cosby says. "We are blessed that God shines his light on our son."

MEDIA: For more information, contact Mary McCarthy in the Office of Public Affairs at 202-319-5600.