Meet District Council 20 Executive Director, Andrew D. Washington.
As Executive Director, Mr. Washington, 48, now leads over 8,500 federal, public and private sector union members. Mr. Washington was elected to the Districts most powerful Union on May 3, 2014, and is the youngest Executive Director in the history of District Council 20. District Council 20, AFSCME has become the largest public sector union in the District of Columbia. These members work in various Federal and District Government Agencies. To name a few, The Dept. of Public Works, OSSE DOT, Library of Congress, Department of Agriculture, DOT, DC Public Library, US Department of Justice, Child and Family Services, FAA and the DC Public School System. District Council 20 also represents some independent agencies in the District such as Public Service Commission and Howard University.
Before becoming Executive Director, Mr. Washington served as President of AFSCME Local 1959 and Vice President of DC20 for over 15 years. As local union president, Mr. Washington developed a no nonsense reputation in representing his members as he protected their rights in the workplace. He also was one of the most aggressive local presidents in his council taking on management and city officials anytime there was social and economic injustice. As Vice President of the Council, he was able to sharpen his skills in key areas that helped his rise to the position of Executive Director.
One of these areas was being selected to represent his Council as a member of the District’s Citywide Labor Management Partnership Council (LMPC) where he showed strength and decisive leadership among his labor counterparts quickly earning him their respect. One of his crowning moments was when he organized a massive rally in 2013 that included the participation of at least 99% of his local, which consisted at that time of over 1300 union members, as he took the fight to City Hall when their negotiated Tours of Duty were threatened. As a result of fighting against this action, the City committed, in writing, to never pursue this course of action again.
A native Washingtonian, Andrew was born and raised in Southeast D.C. The oldest of 4 siblings, Andrew attributes his passion to fight to his mother, Ms. Nona C. Washington, a strong black woman that grew up in the D.C. Metropolitan Area. Ms. Washington instilled in Andrew at a very young age that through hard work, treating people with basic dignity and respect and above all else trusting GOD, you will go far in life. Throughout Andrew’s childhood, Ms. Washington worked a unionized job in food service for the D.C. Public School System. Ms. Washington was a single parent during this time and she quickly found out how valuable it was to obtain job security and a good paying job. This was never more evident than when Andrew got accepted into college and needed financial help to attend.
After College, Mr. Washington came back home from North Carolina with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from Johnson C. Smith University and went to work for the District of Columbia Government in 1992. Early in Mr. Washington’s career, he became a Shop Steward for his Local in 1995. Mr Washington quickly earned the respect of his co-workers rising through the ranks to become Chief Shop Steward of his local in 1998. In 1999 Mr. Washington would rise again to become the Youngest President in the history of local 1959, while also being elected as the youngest Vice President of AFSCME District Council 20.
In 2014, with the overwhelming support of his fellow Council Presidents and their delegates, Mr. Washington would take on his greatest challenge yet as the newly elected Executive Director of District Council 20. He would now lead the largest and most powerful Union in the District of Columbia. At Council 20’s Convention Mr. Washington stated “As I am Honored and Humbled to take on this new roll, it would be remissive of me not to mention that we cannot sit back anymore and do nothing as we are under attack like never before and too many people have died to get us to this point in our labor history. I truly believe God has put me here for a reason and I refuse to believe he brought me this far to LEAVE me”.
In 2016 Andrew would add another accomplishment to his crown as he graduated from the Harvard Trade Union Program sponsored through Harvard University Law School. He earned a certification in Labor Studies. He also becomes the 2nd VP to the Washington Metropolitan AFL-CIO Labor Council. In April 2017 he was re-elected to the position of Executive Director for a second term.