City Desk

DC Vote Responds: Voting Rights Isn’t Dead

Ilir Zherka, executive director of DC Vote, sent out this message to his organization's supporters on Monday afternoon, following The Washington Post's weekend article about how any District voting rights legislative efforts on Capitol Hill are essentially dead. (The Post's headline has a qualifier: "For D.C. voting rights, window appears closed.") Here's Zherka's message:

We have heard it before: "DC voting rights is dead." That is what people said after the House failed to take up a bill in 2006 and after Senators filibustered in 2007. After each of those setbacks, we regrouped and push forward. Not only did we keep the DC Voting Rights Act alive, we also secured more votes for the bill each time we "resurrected" it from the ashes.

Now a Washington Post article argues that, in light of Republican control of the House in the next Congress, the 'window on voting rights has closed' for the next ten years. Defeatist sentiments like these were wrong before and they are wrong now.

If recent elections have taught us anything, it is that such bold blanket predictions of the political future are almost always incorrect. None of us know what lies in store for the next two years, much less the next ten.

DC Vote, working with our allies in Congress and the DC government, will look for new opportunities to advance voting rights. We will not give up just because the fight is getting harder.

But, our fight is about more than voting rights. It is about obtaining full democracy and full citizenship for DC residents.

While DC did not obtain a full vote in the House, we made many other significant advances. For the first time in a long time, this Congress passed DC's budget bills without riders limiting DC's Home Rule authority. That success is a direct result of the collective work of the DC democracy movement.

Yes, we will have a harder time with the next Congress. Some Republicans have promised to roll back the Home Rule gains we have made. Let's continue working together to retain DC's local democracy and advance pro-democracy legislation.

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  • Typical DC BS

    Sure, DC can have a vote in Congress when the local yokel city councilmembers realize that ALL amendments to the US Constitution apply to DC residents, INCLUDING THE SECOND AMENDMENT.

  • Rick Mangus

    Let's see two years of a Democratic President and how many years of a Democratic House and Senate? It's just like 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell', face it people you have been bamboozled by the phonies and liars of the Democratic Party and still most of you suckers think the sun still shines out of their asses, how stupid and pathetic you sheep are!

  • Morgan444

    And I thought the comments section was for reasoned discussion and debate...the previous comments reflect the political recalcitrance and bullying that continues to grip our discourse.

    As for the issue: The United States is the only representative government on the face of the planet to deny the citizens of its capital the right to vote. Every American should be disgusted at our hypocrisy. The only way to ensure that American citizens residing in DC have equal footing with other American citizens is Statehood. Either we are equal citizens, or we're not. Either we walk the walk, or we don't.

  • Rick Mangus

    'Morgan444', typical liberal, all beliefs and comments are all right, just as long as they agree with my narrow view, how pathetic and so typical, BOO HO!

  • Morgan444

    Rick, thank you for proving my point.

  • Typical DC BS

    @Morgan444: Try framing the issue correctly yourself, and arm yourself with facts and know a little bit about United States history. The District of Columbia has a right to vote, just not to your satisfaction. The District of Columbia was given the right to vote for President and Vice President via the 23rd Amendment to the United States Constitution.

    Considering it was only as recently as 1995 thru 2001 that the US Congress had to step in and set up the District of Columbia Financial Control Board to oversee ALL municipal spending and rehabilitate city government because of the complete morons who ran this city then (and now), I doubt very highly that the majority of Congress now looks upon the District of Columbia as capable of acting like a state, since they routinely abuse citizens constitutional rights (i.e. having been spanked by the Supreme Court over it's UNCONSTITUTIONAL gun laws and being sued successfully for denying the right to assemble when our former police chief Ramsay rounded up demonstrators and average citizens unfortunate enough to be in a city park to protest).

    If you want to vote for representatives or senators, move to a US STATE, because DC was set up for the convenience of CONGRESS, not the residents of the District of Columbia.

  • Morgan444

    Typical, how sad that you have to resort to ad hominem attacks. Does it make you feel empowered to insult me? I hope you're getting something out of it...

    Are you a resident of DC? Do you have the same voting rights of other American citizens?

    You are right about one thing: I am not satisfied with my inability to elect representatives who vote in Congress. I also want local control over local issues. Until we have the equality and democracy that is our American birthright, I will not sit back and accept second class citizenship.

  • Rick Mangus

    'Morgan444', you insulted yourself, Comment #3 starting with the word, "And"!