Oval Office Ally?
||Washington Times (DC)
||Tuesday, January 14, 2003
Is President Bush more sympathetic than his predecessors on
the issue of voting rights for D.C. residents?
It was 202 years ago, where Rhodes Tavern once stood, that
this city's residents first protested the denial of full democracy and voting
rights in Congress. Residents had enjoyed these rights until 1801, when the
final transfer of authority over the District was made to Congress.
Joe Grano, longtime president of the Rhodes Tavern-D.C.
Heritage Society, now tells Inside the Beltway that he's a recipient of a
personal letter from Mr. Bush, in which the president acknowledges receipt of
voting-rights petitions being circulated around Washington.
"He not only acknowledges receipt of the petition, he
wrote a brief letter - it was not a form letter," says Mr. Grano. "So
somebody at the White House is taking this petition seriously. I think in the
post-Trent Lott world, Republicans want to pay some attention to cities.
"By the way," adds Mr. Grano, "the president
has been the only public official that ever wrote to me concerning the
petition, the only one who bothered to take the time, and I think that should
be noticed. [D.C. Delegate (and voting-rights activist)] Eleanor Holmes Norton
didn't write me, [Washington] Mayor Anthony Williams didn't write me ... only
the president of the United States."