Norton Resolution for International Support for DC Voting Rights Guaranteed a Hearing at International Forum
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June 30, 2005
Washington, DC - The Office of Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) today announced that she will have a key role as a member of a U.S. congressional delegation meeting here, to get international support for congressional voting rights for the residents of the District of Columbia. Norton has been named one of 12 members of Congress to the 55 nation Parliamentary Assembly of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) which is holding its annual meeting in the District, July 1 - 5, 2005. As a result, Norton has introduced and gotten both foreign and U.S. co-sponsors of a resolution supporting congressional voting rights for D.C. residents with OSCE also calling on Congress to support our rights. The OSCE staff believes the Norton amendment will come up on Saturday, July 2 or Sunday, July 3, although the timing is not guaranteed or clear.
Tomorrow (Friday) Norton also will join DC Vote and other voting rights organizations at the "Equal Voting Rights for DC Rally," Friday, July 1, at 12:00 noon on Freedom Plaza, located at 14th Street & Pennsylvania Avenue, NW. "It's very important that these parliamentarians from Europe and North America not only hear from me on the inside, but see and hear from the people I am speaking for on the outside." This is the first time the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly has met in the United States, and the symbolic importance of the meeting during the nation's Independence Day celebration has not been lost on D.C.
Norton said that securing international backing for congressional voting rights can be "highly instrumental in getting political support in Congress, particularly today when spreading democracy is a declared national priority." She will be attending OSCE meetings over the weekend to try to assure passage of the D.C. voting rights resolution. However, the Congresswoman urged residents to attend tomorrow's rally in big numbers to show the international community that the District "wants and needs their support." Norton said, "This rally is a unique opportunity for D.C. residents to show support for D.C. voting rights to people around the world and around the country, and as a result, to increase pressure on the House and Senate to do the right thing. More than 300 international leaders can become messengers for D.C. voting rights around the world if we show we are serious about obtaining our rights on Friday. I applaud D.C. Vote, Tim Cooper and Worldrights, who have provided extraordinary leadership in seeking international support for D.C. voting rights, and the coalition of organizations for their leadership on the Friday rally for international support."
Contact: Doxie A. McCoy