Tuesday, April 20, 2010

DC Voting Rights

I just received this from my sister who has lived in DC for the past 40+ years.......Please sign this petition and allow the citizens of DC to determine their own destiny and participate in the political system...........no matter how dysfunctional it is............thanks..........Scott

Dear folks,
Whether you are a DC citizen or not, please sign this petition. You can call for statehood, and/or you can call for protecting the citizens of DC, especially the people you know, like me. And it you want to contact your Congressman regarding this issue all the better.
The message that I would like to convey is that the "voting rights" bill is not the right remedy, since it does not provide full equity with the rest of the United States (no representation in the Senate), keeps Congress in full control of any District affairs it wishes to take over, and can be taken away the moment that the Congressional majority shifts. It is a dastardly act to force the people of the District of Columbia to choose between maintaining their right to local control in exchange for a vote in Congress, which could very well be unconstitutional anyway. Therefore, this whole effort should simply be abandoned.
Thank you for anything you can do about this issue.
All the best, Anne
----- Original Message -----
From: A. Loikow
Sent: 4/19/2010 2:34:16 PM
Subject: Support Legislative Autonomy (and statehood as the only way for the people of D.C. to get their rights!)

The D.C. Voting Rights Act which the House of Representatives may vote on this week is the Senate's bill. It ties giving the District a voting representative in the House with giving Utah another representative and contains the Ensign amendment taking away the D.C. Council's right to regulate firearms in the District of Columbia. As there is a strong likelihood of a constitutional challenge to giving our nonvoting delegate a vote in the House, D.C. residents most likely will get nothing from the bill if it passes but a lawsuit and a loss of the right to regulate firearms that we now have. Instead of really increasing our democratic rights, Utah will get an additional vote (the Republican trade off put in the bill when introduced years ago), which it should get on its own through redistricting due to the 2010 Census.

Delegate Norton wants a vote no matter what. Since we are a colony and Congress can take away our rights to home rule and to legislate locally on anything, she says we should support this bill because Congress can pass a separate gun law at any time. That is true, but that is no reason to support a bill that takes away our existing rights and gives us very little in return. Delegate Norton should realize that Congress could take away tomorrow any vote it gave our delegate today. The only way to permanently get our full democratic rights, including full representation in our national legislature, is STATEHOOD.

Unfortunately, the "voting rights" advocates have sufficiently muddied the issue and confused many people, including the President and many in Congress, so they think that this partial one vote in the House is progress. We have had 210 years of incremental back and forth in getting and losing our democratic rights. The only solution is full statehood. We should demand and accept nothing less.

We need to tell Congress strongly and loudly that we want full statehood for D.C., not a colonial mishmash than can be revoked or changed at any time. Demand that the bill be killed and that a bill for full statehood for D.C. be introduced and passed. Only then will the people of the District reclaim the rights they lost in over two centuries ago.

Here are the phone numbers:

President Obama - 202-456-1111
D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton - 202-225-8050
House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers (D-MI) - 202-225-5126
Majority Leader, Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD) 202-225-4131 (P.G. County)
Speaker of House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) 202-225-4965
Assistant to the Speaker, Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) 202-225-5341 (Montgomery Ct)

Please call ASAP and please sign Council Member Cheh's online petition (and add a comment supporting statehood!).

Thank you for speaking up for the democratic rights of 600,000 American citizens!

Ann Loikow

From: Cheh, Mary (COUNCIL)
Sent: Monday, April 19, 2010 11:41 AM
To: Zvenyach, Vladlen David (Council)
Subject: Support Legislative Autonomy
As you may know, the DC Voting Rights Act is scheduled to be voted on by the US House of Representatives. I have started a petition opposing the bill, if it forces us to accept the inclusion of a NRA-backed provision depriving the District of the ability to enact reasonable gun-control legislation. To learn more, and to sign the petition, please visit my website (www.marycheh.com) or go directly to the petition at this link (http://www.marycheh.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=132:support-legislative-autonomy).
Mary M. Cheh
Councilmember for Ward 3
Council of the District of Columbia
1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Suite 108
Washington, DC 20004
Tel: (202) 724-8062

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