D.C. Vote: Obama should veto any bill that weakens District gun control
D.C Vote, which suffered a setback this week when the voting rights bill stalled in Congress, publicly called on President Obama today to state he will veto any legislation that includes provisions to roll back the city's gun control laws.
"We have started swinging back," said Illir Zherka, executive director of D.C. Vote. "We look forward to working with the council, mayor delegate and D.C. residents to convince the president to take that stance."
D.C. Vote, an umbrella organization for dozens of advocacy and non-profit organizations that support District voting rights, initially supported the proposal on Capitol Hill that would have given the city a vote in Congress but also weakened gun laws. But Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D), who initially was open to the gun language in exchange for voting rights, ultimately decided the price was too high to move forward on the legislation this year.
Even though the voting rights bill is likely dead for the year, many congressional observers and city leaders expect the gun lobby to seek to try to attach the amendment to the city budget or other legislation that affects the District. And on the voting rights issue, some city leaders and advocates have criticized Obama for not pushing harder to get a clean bill out of Congress.
Zherka's statement comes in response to a DC Wire entry Thursday that mentioned some city leaders were starting to question the effectiveness of D.C. Vote, which was formed in 1998. Zherka counters D.C. Vote has had a number of successes, including helping the city remove congressionally imposed restrictions on abortion funding, needle exchange programs and medical marijuana.
He also reiterated the organization shares the views of many council members that the ultimate goal should be statehood.
"Don't count us out," Zherka said. "Within the remaining months of the year, we will fight against attacks to our gun laws, improve Home Rule and work to create an opportunity for passage of the DC Voting Rights Act."
April 23, 2010; 5:14 PM ET
Categories: Tim Craig , Voting Rights | Tags: District of Columbia voting rights, Eleanor Holmes Norton
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