Former Councilwoman Nadine Winter spent most of her 87 years fighting to better the lives of D.C. residents. Winter impacted the lives of everyone from the poor to politicians. Many of them came out to celebrate her life over the weekend at funeral services and a tribute at the John A. Wilson Building where her body laid in state.
Winter, who died on Aug. 26, was one of the first elected officials to serve on the D.C. Council when the District gained home rule. She served as the council representative for Ward 6 from 1975 to 1991.
“My father knew her very well,” said Council Chairman Kwame Brown. “I was young, but was influenced by her caring attitude and her dedication to making sure that those less fortunate had equal access to quality services and housing.”
Winter founded the Hospitality House Inc., a non-profit dedicated to assisting low-income families, youth, seniors and the homeless. She was also a founding member of the National Welfare Rights Organization and the National Congress of Black Women.
In addition, she served as a delegate for the Democratic National Convention and a member of the National Association of Social Workers and the Self-Determination for D.C. Coalition.
“I am saddened by the loss of Ward 6’s first council member, Nadine Winter, yet thankful for the full life she led working to improve the lives of others,” Tommy Wells, the current council representative for Ward 6, said in a statement.
“Ms. Winter was a lifelong advocate for the homeless and championed healthier living for the poor, especially seniors,” Wells said.
She even used her own health struggles to encourage fellow breast cancer survivors and others to take care of themselves.
“Only a short time ago, Ms. Winter hosted a luncheon focused on what we all can do to help people take control of their own health through regular cancer screenings and eating fresh foods,” Wells said.
Later this month, the council will present a resolution honoring Winter and hang her photo among those of other deceased council leaders.
“Councilmember Winter’s impact on the council and the city are immeasurable,” Brown said. “She helped create and build the first ever-elected legislature of the District of Columbia. She will forever be acknowledged as part of the history of the District’s struggle for self-determination.
“Her legacy is rooted in the lives she touched as an activist, organizer and legislator. She was a champion of the poor and was a model for each of us to follow.”