Today marks a historic day in the quest toward greater democracy for DC. After District voters showed overwhelming support for the local budget autonomy referendum in April -- with 82 percent vote in favor -- the legislative review period required by Congress has expired. Today, the budget autonomy referendum is law.
Good morning, Chairman Mendelson, Councilmember Orange, and members of the Committee. Thank you for this opportunity to speak out in support of Bill 20-171, the “District of Columbia Statehood Act of 2013.” My name is Kimberly Perry, Executive Director of DC Vote, a national, nonprofit education and advocacy organization dedicated to securing full democracy for residents of the District of Columbia.
DC Vote is activating a powerful coalition of partners who are prepared to engage their broad, nationwide membership in an effort to remove an onerous provision in the draft FY 2014 appropriations bill for the District of Columbia.
Today, DC Vote, along with 52 local and national organizations, urged House and Senate appropriators to refrain from using DC’s appropriations bill to advance their personal policy agenda through the use of “riders” targeting only the District of Columbia. A second letter from five major national advocacy organizations opposing intrusions upon DC home rule was also delivered.
Representative Kerry Bentivolio (R-MI) is planning to trample on the local authority of the District of Columbia by pushing a bill to outlaw red light and speeding enforcement cameras only in DC. Bentivolio has been seeking cosponsors for a bill he has drafted, but not yet introduced that would prohibit the District of Columbia, and only the District of Columbia, from using these automated traffic enforcement systems.
Statement of DC Vote Executive Director Kimberly Perry regarding Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s cosponsorship of the DC statehood bill, S. 132, The New Columbia Admissions Act:
The addition of the Frederick Douglass statue to the U.S. Capitol collection is a great moment for the people of the District of Columbia. Douglass is not only a great leader of the struggle for equal rights for all people, but a great American. It is appropriate that his legacy, and the role of Americans who live in the District of Columbia, will be on display for the entire nation to see.
Flag Day is celebrated on June 14 and commemorates the adoption of America’s familiar stars and stripes. Here in the District, Flag Day feels a little different, because the District has no star on the Star Spangled Banner. The District also has a great, iconic flag, and on this Flag Day people fighting for voting rights and statehood for the District will gather to wave our flag and call for voting representation in Congress.
DC Vote Executive Director Kimberly Perry issued the following statement in response to the filing of a Sense of the Congress resolution dealing with firearm regulation that applies only to the District of Columbia. Representative Phil Gingery's (R-GA) legislation, filed with the House Rules Committee as an amendment to the Defense Department authorization bill, expresses the sense of the Congress that active-duty military personnel should be exempt from DC's gun laws.
DC Vote called on members of the House and the Senate today to oppose any effort to undermine DC home rule through the congressional appropriations process. Year after year, the people of the District and their allies are forced to fight off efforts by Congress to impose policies upon DC that are addressed by locally-elected officials in every other jurisdiction in the country.

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