DC Vote to Travel to Key States to Defeat Gun Amendment
Supporters to Ramp Up Efforts in Target Congressional Districts
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June 12, 2009
Washington, DC - In the wake of a months-long battle to remove an amendment to the DC Voting Rights Act (H.R.157/S.160) that would gut the District's gun control laws, DC Vote is bringing their fight to the states.
"We're going to send a clear message to members of Congress," said Ilir Zherka, DC Vote Executive Director, "you mess with the District and we're coming after you. We will not allow you to stand in the way of our basic civil right to voting representation in Congress and full local democracy."
DC Vote will partner with members of its coalition and local supporters to travel to key states, place ads in local media and rally supporters around the cause. First stop on the group's agenda: Mississippi.
"Representative Childers has gone too far in his attempts to write DC gun laws," said Zherka. "We think his constituents need to know how he is spending his time. His constituents elected him to act as their voice in Congress. But what he, and other pro-gun politicians are doing, is expending their energy to write DC's laws. We're going to states like Mississippi to tell constituents that their member of Congress is standing in the way of DC's right to democracy."
Rep. Travis Childers (D-MS) introduced a bill last fall that virtually eliminated DC's gun control laws. The bill passed the House but was never introduced in the Senate. In the current Congress, Childers has been a key proponent of a similar gun amendment to the DC Voting Rights Act. Zherka noted that DC Vote has traveled to Mississippi before and looks forward to working with allies in the state.
"The people I met in Mississippi understood that DC voting rights is a crucial civil rights issue," he added. "They are willing to stand up and say that 'DC deserves the same right to make their own laws that we currently enjoy.'"
Zherka expects that DC Vote and supporters will be on the ground in Mississippi sometime soon. He adds that the organization will also host some events and activities in the District in the coming weeks.
"There will definitely be opportunities for DC residents to get involved even if they can't make the trip to Mississippi," he emphasized. "We're putting members of Congress on notice and will need all the help we can get here and in the states."