Georgetowners of the Year, 2022 

The naming of Georgetowners of the Year has been a tradition of The Georgetowner newspaper for decades. This year’s group — selected by the editorial board — includes a church and its pastor, an iconic Speaker of the House of Representatives, a respected community leader and a dedicated ringmaster of a longtime flea market.

Nancy Pelosi: Steadfast, Outspoken House Speaker

Nancy Patricia Pelosi has served as Speaker of the House of Representatives since 2019 and previously from 2007 to 2011— and represented California’s 12th congressional district since 1987. A Democrat, Pelosi is the first woman elected Speaker and the first woman to lead a major political party in either chamber of Congress. She was born and raised in Baltimore, the daughter of mayor and congressman Thomas D’Alesandro. She graduated from Trinity College, Washington in 1962 and married Paul Pelosi, who graduated from Georgetown University the next year; they met while both were students. But we know that. We also know that Pelosi “shattered the marble ceiling and leaves a historic leadership legacy,” as NPR remarked. She has been a dominant political figure, not to be trifled with — least of which from someone like Donald Trump. Pelosi may be giving up her top party position, but she retains those powerful roles such as wife, mother and grandmother. In Georgetown, some of us also know her as a neighbor and fellow Holy Trinity parishioner. Her strength, faith, friendship and get-the-job-done spirit will not be forgotten — and will inspire future generations.

For such accomplishments — above and beyond — Nancy Pelosi is a Georgetowner of the Year for 2022.   

250-Year-Old Dumbarton United Methodist Church and Rev. Rachel Cornwell

Rev. Rachel Cornwell, pastor of Dumbarton United Methodist Church, which is 250 years old. Courtesy photo.

On Christmas Eve, Dumbarton United Methodist Church will celebrate its 250 birthday. It is one of the oldest continuously active Methodist churches in the world. The church located at 3133 Dumbarton St. NW has been a part of Georgetown since 1772. “It all started in a cooper’s workshop in Georgetown before the Revolutionary War,” writes Rev. Rachel Cornwell, pastor of Dumbarton UMC. “Our church has so much of D.C. history wrapped into its own stories.”  Coming from Maryland, she returned as pastor to the Georgetown church where she got married 20 years ago. Cornwall calls her congregation “historic, progressive, inclusive, welcoming and justice-seeking.” While the churches of the United Methodist Church across America are divided over same-sex marriages and the ordination of LGBTQ individuals, the Georgetown church continues as “A Reconciling Congregation since 1986.” It is known as the “mother church” for Mt. Zion, Foundry, Capitol Hill and other Methodist churches in the area. 

For such accomplishments — above and beyond — Dumbarton United Methodist Church and Rev. Rachel Cornwell are Georgetowners of the Year for 2022.   

ANC’s Rick Murphy: Chair Extraordinare and All-Around Good Guy

Rick Murphy, outgoing chair of the Georgetown-Burleith-Hillandale Advisory Neighborhood Commission.

A direct, practical, friendly lawyer with a wry sense of humor and sharp mind, Rick Murphy took up the chairmanship of the Georgetown-Burleith-Hillandale Advisory Neighborhood Commission a few years ago. He has wisely guided “D.C’s Best ANC,” headlined in a parody front page of The Georgetowner newspaper, given to him at a farewell lunch last week. Murphy represented his constituents’ concerns well — whether crime, trash or widened sidewalks — and was always available to the press. In fact, he caught a shoplifter three years ago and waited for the police to arrive. But don’t call him a hero, Murphy might say, with his aw-shucks demeanor. Anyone might do that, but he did. Murphy has said one of a commissioner’s main focuses is “maintaining the viability of our current commercial corridor while keeping the balance with the historic nature of the adjoining residential neighborhoods and landmarks.” With a sense of gratitude and relief, Chair Murphy closed the Nov. 29th meeting on a cheery note. Summing up his time as a neighborhood commissioner, he quipped, “It has been a joy, almost every day — and I won’t mention the days when it wasn’t!” 

For such accomplishments — above and beyond — Rick Murphy is a Georgetowner of the Year for 2022.   

Michael Sussman: 50 Years Fleaing for Georgetown

Michael Sussman, founder of the Georgetown Flea Market. Photo by Tony Powell.

Next to Hardy Middle School at 34th Street and Wisconsin Avenue, the Georgetown Flea Market began in 1972. Founder Michael Sussman, who is also a lawyer, gets to the market site usually before 6 a.m., as the vendors come to lay out their wares. He even did so even the morning after his wedding. The friendship and camaraderie between vendors and Sussman may be the reason for the friendly, authentic this-is-for-real atmosphere of the market, which offers antiques, collectibles, art, furniture, rugs, pottery, china, jewelry, silver, stained glass, books, photographs and more. Sussman gladly mentions, “Larry McMurtry, who ran a bookstore in Georgetown, based his novel Cadillac Jack on our market. An excellent book. Recommended reading. Many prominent local, national and international personalities visit the market. The crowd is as diverse as the items for sale!” Indeed, this marché aux puces is not to be missed. It is its own scene, maintaining its worth and bargains for decades. “I am happy that many of the vendors here have made livable serious businesses out of their flea market enterprises,” Sussman said. “Many have come to depend on the market for a good weekly sustainable business. It’s one reason — plus the fun I have — that I’ll keep doing it as long as possible.”

For such accomplishments — above and beyond — Michael Sussman is a Georgetowner of the Year for 2022.   


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