Norton Supports DCVote's Call for Voting Rights in State of the Union Address
January 20, 2010
WASHINGTON, DC - The Office of Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) today released the Congresswoman's letter to President Obama supporting DCVote's call for the President to indicate his support for the D.C. Voting Rights Act in his State of the Union speech next Wednesday. Norton will join DCVote today at 1:30 p.m. at Union Station for a press conference announcing plans to deliver 41,000 petitions demanding the House vote for D.C. residents as the country marks the anniversary of Obama's first year in office. Norton said President Obama has taken bold steps that have saved the country from another Great Depression, produced 3.5 million jobs with his stimulus package, rescued the failing auto industry, and already brought back $165 billion from banks to the taxpayers. In her letter to the president, Norton wrote, "Residents who have struggled for centuries for their voting rights are especially keen this year to achieve their rights. The stars are surely aligned. For the first time in more than a decade, we have a Democratic House, Senate, and president, and the bill has more than the 60 votes it needs in the Senate, which has already passed the bill.
The letter is below.
January 20, 2010
The White House
Washington, DC 20515
Dear Mr. President,
Thank you for your strong and consistent support of the D.C. House Voting Rights Act, which you voted for as a member of the Senate. The bill is now in our congressional "court," and we are working closely with our leadership in the Senate and the House to get the bill passed in both houses early this year. However, I write now to support initiatives undertaken by residents, led by DCVote, and D.C. organizations, who have asked you to reaffirm your support for their voting rights at this critical moment for the bill.
The residents of the nation's capital, who have struggled for centuries for their voting rights, are especially keen this year to achieve their rights. The stars are surely aligned. For the first time in more than a decade, we have a Democratic House, Senate, and president, and the bill has more than 60 votes in the Senate, which has already passed the bill. Passage has been delayed in the House because of continuous efforts to remove an amendment that would eliminate the city's gun laws, and we are currently working our way through this setback. However, residents, led by DCVote, and D.C. organizations, including the D.C. State Democratic Party, have written you to ask that you mention D.C. voting rights in next Wednesday's State of the Union address. Residents do not doubt that you stand with us for full democracy for the citizens who live in the nation's capital. However, the State of the Union address offers an important opportunity for you to let the nation know that you intend for the high ideals on which you ran to become reality. Residents were so confident of your commitment to D.C. voting rights that they gave you a remarkable 92 percent of the vote in the 2008 presidential election. We believe that the vote in the House for citizens who pay taxes and have fought in all the nation's wars ranks high among your personal values. D.C. residents retain their strong admiration and support for you because they have seen you up close in this city pressing for the things you value most. I strongly support the request of our citizens that you mention the congressional vote for D.C. residents in your first State of the Union address.
Eleanor Holmes Norton