BasnayakeOver the last several years on the board, Basnayake has engaged in a wide range of initiatives directed at achieving full voting rights for DC residents, and winning greater autonomy for the District's local government. 

With 2015 behind us, let's celebrate the great progress we've made in our fight for democratic equality. From record-setting polling to HBO programming, this year's success is proof that if we band together and stand strong there's nothing we can't do.

It seems our blog last week outlining the statements of the 2016 Presidential candidates as it relates to autonomy and equal voting rights for the citizens of the District of Columbia needs updating when it comes to Dr. Ben Carson.

Earlier today the House of Representatives elected Representative Paul Ryan (R-WI) the next Speaker of the House.

While Ryan doesn’t have any history directly imposing his beliefs on the District like departed Speaker John Boehner did with his DC education voucher program, he does have something of a checkered history supporting our local democracy.

Thank you Chairman Mendelson for giving DC Vote the opportunity to share our thoughts on PR 21-302; ‘Statehood or Else’ Signature Campaign Resolution of 2015. DC Vote is a national organization working to strengthen democracy and secure equality for the 646,000 disenfranchised residents of the District of Columbia. We support statehood for the District of Columbia, and work toward it every day, but believe PR 21-302 falls short of the resources necessary to make the “Statehood or Else” Signature Campaign Resolution of 2015 a success. The Council would be prudent to contemplate several issues as it moves to support such a strategy.

In what may be his final weekly republican address Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) made a plea for support of his DC Opportunity Scholarship Program which the House of Represenatives voted to re-authorize last week.

New Jersey Governor and Republican presidential candidate Chris Christie went on record against D.C. statehood Monday. He stated that democratic equality for DC residents is not an issue he thinks about much, but if he thought about it more he’d oppose it.

Governor Christie’s reasons for opposing statehood were filled with misconceptions about the District of Columbia. 

As Congress struggles to reach a compromise to prevent a government shut-down in December and the Republican party scrambles to find a worthy conservative to be the next Speaker of the House, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee found time to address… the District of Columbia’s public schools.

Earlier this week, I had the pleasure of representing DC Vote at a series of meetings and events of the United Nations General Assembly in New York. Secretary General Ban Ki Moon led the launch of the much anticipated Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which aspire to eradicate poverty and create a just and equitable world.

Image courtesy of Farhad Ahmed JarralIt has been only a week since I flew from Pakistan and landed at Dulles Inte