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Republicans Block D.C. Vote Again

September 19, 2007

Once again Republicans have blocked efforts to deliver representative vote to the people of Washington, DC  The latest snub was on a motion to consider a bill giving voting rights to the DC

Yes, you read that correctly, they didn’t vote down the actual vote – they essentially refused to discuss the matter before the full Senate.  Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), a co-sponsor of the bill had this to say to the Washington Post:

"When has the U.S. Senate been afraid to debate a constitutional issue as important as this one?"

I usually find everything about Mr. Hatch’s politics disagreeable, but this time he’s absolutely right.  It is simple cowardice for the Senate to refuse to take up this debate.  Over half a million American citizens live in within the limits of the District of Columbia and have no congressional voting rights.  This issue should resonate within the African-American community, which has had to struggle to gain the right to vote. 

Why should this be especially resonant with us, because Washington, DC or Chocolate City (as I affectionately call it) despite the gentrification it is experiencing is still predominantly B-L-A-C-K!  Which means the black majority of a half a million American Citizens live in the only jurisdiction in the United States where Americans fulfill all
the
responsibilities of citizenship but are denied equal rights. Our fellow brothers and sisters
living in Washington, DC, have no voting representation in Congress: no
vote in the U.S. Senate and no vote in the U.S. House of
Representatives.

The Washington Post report further states that this struggle for voting rights in DC, being over 30 years old now, had gone "further than any other DC vote measure."

What’s worse – 2 Democrats, Robert C. Byrd (W.VA.) who was absent and Max Baucus (Mont.) who flatly stood against the measure for reasons of his states self-interest.

Truly the only one who is going to help us – is us!

 

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