E-bulletin - Issue V - June 1, 2004
Dear DC Vote Supporters:
May 2004 was an extremely productive month for DC Vote and was outstanding for activity in the DC voting rights movement. This bulletin is a little bit longer than usual, but it's full of important information about current events as well as upcoming DC Vote activities for which we need the help of supporters and volunteers (Click Here to jump to volunteer activities):
Bring Democracy Home - A New DC Vote Educational Video
Help DC Vote Promote Public Awareness of DC's Plight! DC Vote is producing a new public awareness video to promote full democracy for DC's residents. We want to highlight the service that the men and women of Washington, DC, have always given to their country when called upon by Congress to defend our nation's democratic freedoms both here and around the world.
We are looking for photographs of District soldiers and veterans in uniform who have served in the armed forces of United States in the past and present. We will make arrangements to scan the photographs to make digital images so that all photographs will be returned to their owners. We'll also provide copies of the digital images to anyone who shares their photos with DC Vote.
Please contact Kevin Kiger, DC Vote's Communications Director, by phone at 202.462.3319 or by email at email@example.com if you would like to help us out by provideing photographs for project. If you would like to help DC Vote with the production of this video, but don't have any photographs to share, Click Here to Make a Donation for the video's creation.
We will need you to complete a form giving us information about those in the photographs and indicating that DC Vote may use the images to advance our mission of securing full congressional voting representation for DC's residents. Click Here to view the form and to print a copy.
Davis Proposal Update
As we have been reporting since late last year, U.S. Representative Tom Davis (R-Virginia) has been working to perfect a piece of legislation that if passed by Congress would give the District of Columbia a full voting member of the U.S. House of Representatives as if we were a state. Another part of the legislation is expected to temporarily give Utah an additional member of the House of Representatives raising the total number of members in the House temporarily to 437. Following the U.S. Census in 2010, the number of representatives in the House would return to 435. The District of Columbia would retain its representative, and if the distribution of the population dictates it, Utah would also retain an extra representative. Although the bill has not yet been introduced, there has been a great deal of discussion among members of Congress, DC City officials, civic leaders, community leaders and DC democracy groups.
Rep. Davis will be holding a hearing of the U.S. House of Representatives Government Reform Committee to discuss the numerous bills before Congress addressing solutions to DC's disenfranchisement, including his own which we expect to be introduced before the hearing. The hearing is tentatively scheduled for Wednesday, June 23, 2004, in Room 2154 of the Rayburn House Office Building at a time yet to be determined. The time of the hearing will be set on Friday, June 18, 2004, so please check back on our website at Committee on Government Reform Hearing for more information as it becomes available.
DC City Council Passes Resolution Supporting Voting Representation in Congress for DC Residents
On Tuesday, June 1, 2004, the DC City Council passed the Sense of the Council in Support of Voting Rights Advancement in the Congress of the United States Emergency Resolution of 2004. The piece of legislation passed the Council by a vote of 11 - 2 (Councilmembers Jim Graham and Adrian Fenty dissented). The resolution states support in Congress for interim steps toward full congressional voting representation, such as might be granted to the city through legislation like the Davis proposal. Click Here to read the full text of the DC City Council Resolution (PDF file 81 kb).
In a hearing held on Wednesday, May 19, 2004, by the Council's Subcommittee on Public Interest chaired by Phil Mendelson (D - At-Large), DC Vote, numerous other pro-democracy and civic organizations, professional organizations and businesses, as well as concerned individuals testified both in support of the resolution as well as against the resolution. Many groups and individuals expressed their concern that the emergency legislation is ill-timed and seems to contradict an earlier resolution passed by the Council two years ago in support of full congressional voting representation and the Norton/Lieberman No Taxation Without Representation Act. Many groups and individuals testified in favor of the resolution as a way of supporting an interim step toward full voting representation - including two U.S. Senators and local autonomy.
U.S. Senate and House of Representatives Hearings on DC's Budget
On May, 19, 2004, the U.S. Senate Committee on Appropriations Subcommittee on the District of Columbia held a hearing to discuss DC's budget for FY 2005. Many will recall that the Senate Subcommittee, chaired by U.S. Senator Mike DeWine (R-Ohio), was very helpful with the removal of riders from DC's FY2004 budget. We are happy to report that the hearing went very well and the subcommittee is expected to remove several social and political riders from DC's budget including the rider that prohibits DC from spending even local funds to lobby Congress for voting representation.
On June 3, 2004, the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations Subcommittee on the District of Columbia held its hearing to discuss DC's FY2005 budget. Dozens of DC Vote volunteers and supporters were at the hearing wearing their DC Vote t-shirts to show the members of the Subcommittee that DC is watching their moves as they make decisions that affect the health, education, safety, businesses, and every other aspect of life for DC's residents.
DC Mayor Anthony Williams, DC Chief Financial Officer Natwar Gandhi, and DC City Council Chair pro tempore Jack Evans, testified on behalf of the city. Each insisted that Congress take more responsibility for the city and support bringing greater autonomy and democracy to the District's residents. Mayor Williams and Jack Evans specifically requested that the Subcommittee remove harmful and undemocratic social riders as well as the rider prohibiting DC from using locally-raised funds to lobby for full congressional voting rights. Read Mayor Williams' testimony. (PDF file 131 kb)
Following the hearing when questioned by local radio reporter Mark Plotkin, Subcommittee Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-New Jersey), said, "This is a Federal City with unique characteristics and the Founders didn't foresee a day when this city would have two Senators and a Representative."
DC Vote will be developing another online advocacy campaign to let members of Congress like Mr. Frelinghuysen know that DC residents deserve to be treated like other Americans, especially when it comes to the way that they spend their own locally raised tax dollars. Keep visiting our website for information on the advocacy campaign.
Upcoming Volunteer Opportunities and Community Outreach Activities!
We want you! There are a number of community events in June and July 2004 where DC Vote will host informational tables and talk to people about voting rights. If you are interested in helping DC Vote at any of the following events, please contact Kimberly Bassett by phone at 202.462.6926 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org:
- Consumer Health Foundation's 9th Annual Meeting and 1st Community Speakout, Wednesday, June 9, 2004, from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm at the George Washington University's Marvin Center Grand Ballroom - 800 21st Street, NW, 3rd Floor. DC Vote is currently working on a research project funded by CHF to document the effects of disenfranchisement on DC's public health.
- DC's Young Suffragists - Wednesday, June 9, 2004, Turtle Park (Friendship Park), 45th & Van Ness Streets, NW. Come celebrate a year of hard work by DC's Young Suffragists. They'll be reviewing their milestones, offering sign-ups for summer programs, consuming popsicles, singing songs, and collecting ideas for next year. You are encouraged to bring interested friends and family. Please RSVP to email@example.com
- Capital Pride Festival, Sunday, June 13th beginning at 10:00am on Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, between 7th and 3rd Streets and Constitution Avenue, NW. Visit www.capitalpride.org for more information, and look for DC Vote's advertisement on page 76 of the Capital Pride Guide 2004 (Click Here to see a copy of the advertisement - PDF size 126 kb.)
- Let My People Vote: An Interfaith Dialogue on Mobilizing Communities of Faith to Bring Democracy to the People of Washington, DC, Sunday, June 27th from 2:00pm to 5:00 pm at the Foundry United Methodist Church at 1500 16th Street, NW. This event is co-sponsored by DC Vote, the Foundry Democracy Project and the Interfaith Conference of Metropolitan Washington
- Palisades Fourth of July Parade, on Sunday, July 4, 2004 in DC's Palisades neighborhood. (As DC Vote has more information on this event, we will post it on DC Vote's website.)
UPDATE - DC Vote's 2004 Champions of Democracy Awards Reception
DC Vote's 2004 Champions of Democracy Awards Reception is shaping up this year to be another amazing event where we will have the opportunity to celebrate some of DC's greatest civil rights, human rights and community voting rights activists.
We are pleased to announce that the venue for the Awards Reception has been selected. On Wednesday, October 27, 2004, from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm DC Vote's 2004 Champions of Democracy Awards Reception will be held at the new Mandarin Oriental, Washington D.C. at 1330 Maryland Avenue, SW. To learn more about this wonderful addition to DC's southwest waterfront, visit the Mandarin's website at www.mandarinoriental.com.
The 2004 Awards Reception also will feature our Second Annual 'Let Washington Be Heard' Silent Auction.
Visit DC Vote's 2004 Champions of Democracy Awards Reception website for more information. By the end of June 2004 at the evnt website, you will also be able to purchase tickets, buy advertising space in the printed program, and arrange to donate tax-deductible items for the 'Let Washington Be Heard' Silent Auction online.
New Faces, Special Thanks, Other Activities, and Changes at DC Vote
DC Vote is a dynamic organization always looking to add new local and national coalition members; increase the diversity and make-up of our board of directors; and find the best volunteers, interns and community activists:
- Lori Masters, Esq., Partner, Jenner & Block LLP was elected to the DC Vote Board of Directors. She brings a great deal of experience, enthusiasm and leadership to the board, and the staff wants to give her a very warm welcome.
- Cynthia Robbins, a current board member and board co-chair, is now the Managing Director at See Forever Foundation. We send her our congratulations and best wishes in her new position.
- Bruce Spiva, Esq., a current DC Vote board member, treasurer, and co-chair of the 2004 Champions of Democracy Awards Reception has joined the law firm of Tycko, Zavareei & Spiva LLP as a Partner. We send him our congratulations and give him our best wishes as he takes on this new challenge.
- Beth Milimuka will be working for DC Vote over the summer as an intern on our programs and communications. Beth attends Georgetown University as an undergraduate studying Government and Russian. We are very excited to have her with us and hope that many of our volunteers and supporters will have the opportunity to meet her.
- The Greater Washington Commercial Association of REALTORS® ran an article in their Spring 2004 newsletter about how Lack of DC Vote Endangers Enterprise Zone Tax Incentives in the District.
- The Washington, DC Association of REALTORS® held their Second Annual Washington Tea (and Wine) Party on May 12, 2004 at the National Association of REALTORS® semi-annual meeting. The WDCAR has been a great supporter of DC Vote and the movement to bring full congressional voting rights to District residents.
- The Washington Informer, one of DC's greatest community newspapers, helped DC Vote with some pro bono advertising to kick off our Spring 2004 Membership Drive. The Washington Informer can be found in many neighborhood hot spots like Ben's Chili Bowl, and will be running a special homeowenership suppplement in their June 10, 2004 edition. Click Here to see the advertisement that ran in the May 13th and 20th editions of the Washington Informer.
The Modern History of the DC Voting Rights Movement
DC Vote is working on a new project to compile historical materials describing the DC voting rights movement from 1960 to the present. We are collecting materials on the 1961 amendment that first gave DC residents a vote for President and Vice President; the 1978 amendment that would have given the residents of DC voting representation in Congress as if DC were a state; the DC statehood movement; the retrocession or reunion movement; the international legal struggle; the national legal struggle here in DC to bring democracy to the nation's capital; various other possible solutions to DC's plight, pieces of legislation, and historical photographs and materials. If you have any materials that you would like to share with DC Vote for this project, please contact Kevin Kiger at 202.462.3319. The project is expected to be completed by early 2005, and DC Vote will make the materials available on our website and on CD for distribution.
DC Vote is grateful to the Trellis Foundation for their generous grant to support this important project.
DC Vote Tank Tops, T-Shirts, Frisbees, and More...
Summertime in Washington, DC, is the perfect time to show your support for DC Vote by wearing a 'Taxation Without Representation' tank top or t-shirts while throwing around your DC Vote frisbee. These and other merchandise that supports our work and programs can be purchased at our office or by calling 202.462.6990!
My DC Vote
Logon to My DC Vote from the left navigation bar on DC Vote's website and you will be able to manage your contact information, email subscriptions and learn what's new since your last visit. DC Vote has also automated its contribution page, making it easier than ever to donate to DC Vote online. (All online transactions are handled by our secure server).
Signing up on our website is now easier than ever, and one of the keys to our success will be the ability to reach supporters across the country to ask them to help us end taxation without representation. We need all of our members and supporters to log in to "My DC Vote" to tell us where they are currently registered to vote, and, if you are a resident of DC, you can tell us what Ward you are in and, if applicable, in which state you were registered to vote before moving to DC. DC Vote has a secure server and does not share its e-mail list or any information about voting registration.
It takes a great deal of resources to work on all these projects and stay engaged in all these activities. Please help DC Vote by making a donation today.
DC Vote thanks you for your support.