D.C. Residents Lobbying For Voting Rights | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

: News

Filed Under:

D.C. Residents Lobbying For Voting Rights

Play associated audio

By Patrick Madden

It’s Emancipation Day in the District. The holiday celebrates the day, nearly 150 years ago, when President Abraham Lincoln signed a bill freeing more than 3,000 slaves in D.C.

Today some residents are using the holiday to rally support for voting rights. This morning more than 100 D.C. residents gathered in the bowels of the U.S. Capitol.

Their mission: fan out across the Capitol Hill and lobby members of congress ahead of next week’s expected House vote on D.C. voting rights. Elyer Zherka, with the group D.C. Vote, says the timing is perfect.

"This is a holiday celebrating the emancipation of slaves, but guess what: D.C. residents aren’t fully emancipated, and we are here asking for full emancipation and full democracy and we are demanding the vote today" says Zherka.

There are obstacles ahead. It looks like an amendment eliminating many of the city’s local gun control laws will be attached to the bill. D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton says the effort must go forward.

"This is the closest we’ve ever been – that’s why we can’t walk away from the table now," says Norton.

Norton says the District can work on restoring it's gun laws later, when residents have voting rights. She also says the bill needs to move quickly through Congress. The Democracts could lose seats in the mid-term elections, which would hurt the effort.

And Norton says their deal with Utah, which would also gain a seat, runs out soon.

NPR

The Perfect Family Book List

For the holidays, critic Alan Cheuse is making up a list of books to give to each of his family members. Only the best of 2014 for them. Here's his picks.
NPR

Guyanese Christmas Gives A Whole New Meaning To Slow Food

Two classic Christmas dishes beloved by the people of Guyana are pepperpot and garlic pork. To get the flavors just right, you have to cook them and let them sit out for weeks.
NPR

With New Congress, Will Obama Work Differently?

The GOP-led Congress President Obama will have to deal with for the last two years of his presidency is a stark contrast to the Democratic-led one he came in with. Does that mean Obama will change his approach to dealing with Capitol Hill?
NPR

2014 Hashtags: #BringBackOurGirls Made Nigerian Schoolgirls All Of 'Ours'

As part of a series on hashtag activism in 2014, Audie Cornish speaks with Obiageli Ezekwesili of the Open Society Foundation. Ezekwesili was one of the early promoters of the hashtag #bringbackourgirls, about schoolgirls kidnapped in Nigeria in April.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.