Veteran’s Day in DC is not only an opportunity to honor those who fought to defend our country, but also to recognize that District military personnel proudly served, fought and died but have always returned home as second-class citizens. Every District veteran that returned home continued to live as an American without a voting member in the national legislature. DC Vote Executive Director Kimberly Perry is proud to join DC Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton as she honors two distinguished DC’s veterans on Veteran’s Day.
Legislation included in the Continuing Resolution advanced by Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton that will allow the District to spend local tax dollars for the entire 2014 fiscal year, along with the implementation of the District’s new local budget law, means DC should never again be caught up in a federal shutdown fight.
Today, DC Vote along with three other organizations delivered a letter to Mayor Vincent C. Gray and each member of the DC Council calling on the government to spend local tax dollars during the shutdown. The District is currently funding many government functions using special local contingency funds that have already been appropriated. Those funds are expected to be exhausted in the coming days and the District has already been forced to fund some programs and not others.
"This is a historic day in DC’s fight for equality and self-determination.Our Mayor and Council have now made it clear that we will not scramble to prepare for a shutdown that would punish the people of DC because partisan battles have paralyzed the federal government. The absurdity of congressional control of DC’s local tax dollars is exactly why the Council and the Mayor backed the budget autonomy referendum that DC voters overwhelmingly approved earlier this year.
At today’s DC Council legislative breakfast, a majority of Councilmembers expressed support to continue DC Government operations in the event of a Federal government shutdown. DC Vote Executive Director Kimberly Perry released this statement:
DC Vote Executive Director Kimberly Perry issued the following statement as part of the press conference featuring DC Veterans' comments on the debate over Syria.
On Monday, September 9th, DC veterans and District leaders will hold a press conference to highlight the fact that because DC residents have no voting representation in Congress, their opinions about going to war in Syria are ignored. DC residents have served in every American war to advance democracy, yet continue to be denied the fundamental right of a vote in their own national legislature. Veterans and members of the armed forces who live in the District — along with their friends, family and loved ones — deserve to be heard when it comes to engaging in armed conflict.
DC Vote Executive Director Kimberly Perry today urged DC statehood and self-determination activists to build on the momentum generated by the enactment of a local budget autonomy referendum that was overwhelmingly supported by DC voters in April.
On Saturday, August 24th, as the nation remembers the 1963 March on Washington, DC residents will gather in the shadow of the Martin Luther King, Jr. memorial to spread the message that the fight for equal political rights is not over in America. District residents raise families, pay full federal taxes, serve in the military and die in wars, yet they do not have voting representation in Congress. Congress also retains the authority to overturn DC’s local laws, effectively silencing the voices of District voters.
“The Senate’s action affirms the growing support in Congress for local budget autonomy for the District of Columbia. We are grateful to President Obama for including specific language granting DC greater budget control in his proposed budget. This is another positive step in our effort to secure greater self-governance.”