During the 1990s, the District of Columbia was the epicenter of the U.S.  HIV/AIDS epidemic. By the middle of the decade, public health experts and District officials were pushing bold action to reverse the explosion of new HIV/AIDS infections in D.C. 

The DC Voting rights community is mourning the loss of civil and human rights icon, Julian Bond. He died on Saturday at the age of 75.

Bond fought tirelessly his entire career for the eradication of injustice and inequality for African Americans and for all people living under discrimination.

By Betzaida Nolasco, 2015 Karel Fellow

DC Vote recently took on a new strategy to build support for equality across the nation. Executive Director Kimberly Perry traveled to Wisconsin and Illinois this summer where she met with the numerous state-level advocacy organizations, universities, foundations, labor and civic organizers. 

Last week the Senate Appropriations Committee passed the FY 2016 Financial Services and General Government Appropriations bill. Included in this legislation is the District of Columbia’s locally-raised tax dollars. This spending bill is also the vehicle certain members of Congress use to introduce “riders” that would impose their fringe ideals on District residents.

It’s June in DC, which can mean only one thing: House Appropriators have launched the annual assault on DC Home Rule better known as the FY 2016 Appropriations Bill.

As it currently stands here are the anti-DC riders and what exactly they mean:

Sec. 809 (b) 

Last week we saw a welcomed victory in the fight for DC local budget control.  This win for the District has been complicated and threatened by opposing legal arguments aimed at weakening popular support for the law. This strategy to sow confusion makes discussion about our budget law inaccessible to most supporters of DC Equality. 

To start, it is best to read the actual court order:

On April 23, 2013, DC residents raised their voices and demanded control of their local tax dollars. 83% of DC voters supported Referendum 8, which gave DC control of its own local tax dollars, freeing it from Congressional delays.

Yesterday, 20 members of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee proudly declared that the will of major donors and interest groups trump basic democracy.