'Equal Voting Rights for DC' Rally
Remarks Made by DC Vote Executive Director Ilir Zherka
For more information contact: James Jones, Communications Director
202.462.6000 x12 office / 202.557.4864 mobile / firstname.lastname@example.org
July 1, 2005
Washington, DC -
Good afternoon fellow DC voting rights supporters.
We are gathered today on Freedom Plaza to demand equal rights for DC residents.
Within days, our nation will celebrate America's Declaration of Independence and the democracy secured by the Revolution that followed.
That celebration will proceed even as Americans in our nation's capital are denied the fundamental right to voting representation in the nation's capital.
And just across the street from where we stand, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe will meet this weekend to discuss the challenges facing the efforts to spread democracy and human dignity worldwide.
Our goal today, therefore, is to educate the world community about DC's plight and spur them to action.
We want to ensure that the world community understands the gross injustice suffered daily in what people like to call, "the capital of the free world."
President Bush this past week said that, "the ideal of liberty is worth defending."
But, we also believe that that ideal should be made real for the people who live within blocks of the White House. We believe that while we try to export democracy, we must also provide democracy, here, at home. Because democracy, like charity, begins at home.
To communicate that message today, we are presenting this political art display, "Under Development: Equal Voting Rights for DC." Because, unfortunately, democracy in Washington, DC, is a construction project that is still under development.
The OSCE can help us change that. Today we call on them to pass a resolution demanding that the U.S. government right this historic wrong by providing equal voting rights for Washingtonians in the Congress.
Our champion leading the fight this weekend, as always, is DC's sole voice in Congress, Eleanor Holmes Norton. By being here today we are supporting her on the outside while she is doing the hard work on the inside. I present to you our hometown champion, Eleanor Holmes Norton.
[Check remarks of Eleanor Holmes Norton]
The DC voting rights movement can claim victory because the international community is addressing the U.S. government's denial of democracy in Washington, DC. It is time for Congress to complete construction of American democracy here in America's capital.
We are also joined by the person who has led virtually a one-man crusade to involve the international community in our fight, Tim Cooper, executive director of Worldrights.
[Check remarks of Tim Cooper]
Now that we have ended our program here, please join us for a rally across the street in front of the JW Marriott. We need to make sure that the OSCE representatives know that we want their support in ending taxation without representation. It's time to bring American democracy to America's capital. It's time to let DC vote.
[Check against delivery]