: 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.

WAMU 88.5

Remains In Jamestown Linked To Early Colonial Leaders

Scientists from the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History and The Jamestown Rediscovery Foundation say they've identified four men buried in the earliest English church in America.
WAMU 88.5

The Democracy Of The Diner

Whether the decor is faux '50s silver and neon or authentic greasy spoon, diners are classic Americana, down to the familiar menu items. Rich, poor, black, white--all rub shoulders in the vinyl booths and at formica counters. We explore the enduring appeal and nostalgia of the diner.

WAMU 88.5

D.C. Council Member David Grosso

D.C. Council Member and Chair of the Committee on Education David Grosso joins us to discuss local public policy issues, including the challenges facing D.C. Public Schools.

NPR

Researchers Warn Against 'Autonomous Weapons' Arms Race

Already, researcher Stuart Russell says, sentry robots in South Korea "can spot and track a human being for a distance of 2 miles — and can very accurately kill that person."

Leave a Comment

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