Edward Kennedy was the Senator from Massachusetts for nearly half a century. Although he worked for the people of the commonwealth, his commitment to citizens of D.C. was just as important.
If you want to know how much Ted Kennedy cared about D.C. and its people, just talk to anyone involved in the battle over district voting rights. According to one activist,
"...he felt in his heart that he was a part of this city, and for him, DC rights and statehood was a civil rights issue."
That's Ilir Zherka executive director of D.C. vote. He's says the Senator from Massachusetts was hardly shy in his need to help the citizens of the district secure full voting rights in congress.
Zherka went on to say, "every time I saw him he would say "....Ilir tell me what you need, tell me what you need and I will do it. I will do whatever you need on D.C. voting rights and statehood." He was just that kind of person...very enthusiastic, very effective for the District of Columbia."
D.C. delegate, Eleanor Holmes Norton the leader in the struggle for D.C. representation. She says Kennedy rallied support in the Senate, for the latest version of the voting rights bill as recently as February.
Elliott Francis reports...