UPDATED: League of Women Voters won't back D.C. voting rights bill
The League of Women Voters, which has championed D.C. voting rights for the past five decades, announced today that it will not support the pending bill to give the District a vote in Congress because it would also weaken the city's gun laws.
In a sign that the opposition to the bill supported by Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) is hardening, both the national and local chapters of the league announced that they will not support the legislation. Mary G. Wilson, president of the League of Women Voters of the United States, and Billie Day, president of the League of Women Voters of the District of Columbia, said in a joint statement that they reached their conclusion "reluctantly and sadly, but firmly."
"As an organization that has supported voting rights for the citizens of the District of Columbia for more than 50 years, the League of Women Voters believes that the destruction of D.C.'s gun safety laws is too high a price to pay for the passage of the D.C. Voting Rights Act," the statement said. "Asking citizens to sacrifice their safety in order to have representation in Congress is unacceptable."
As early as Wednesday or Thursday, the U.S. House of Representatives is scheduled to vote on a measure that would give the District a voting member of Congress. But the bill, which is being crafted, will also probably include a provision that prevents the city from establishing its own gun laws.
Earlier today, Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray (D) also reaffirmed his opposition to the voting rights bill if the gun amendment is attached. D.C. for Democracy, which bills itself as the largest progressive organization in the city, also announced today that it is strongly opposed to the bill pending before Congress.
Update, 6:20 p.m.: Llir Zherka, executive director of DC Vote, counters a diverse coalition that remains supportive of the voting rights bill, even if it includes the gun amendment.
Supporters include the D.C. NAACP, the D.C. Republican Committee, Greater Washington Urban League, Human Rights Campaign, the People for the American Way and the Metropolitan Washington Council of the AFL-CIO.
-- Tim Craig
Washington Post Editors
April 19, 2010; 6:20 PM ET
Categories: City Life , Eleanor Holmes Norton , Tim Craig , Voting Rights | Tags: District of Columbia voting rights, Eleanor Holmes Norton, League of Women Voters, United States House of Representatives, Vincent C. Gray
Save & Share: Previous: Gray: Voting rights bill unacceptable without changes in gun provision
Next: Brown, Alexander back off voting bill support over gun control issue
Posted by: jboogie1 | April 19, 2010 5:13 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: FairfaxIsBlue | April 19, 2010 5:35 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: blankspace | April 19, 2010 6:09 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: cricket35 | April 19, 2010 7:49 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: MCDC1 | April 19, 2010 9:06 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: helloaloah | April 19, 2010 9:53 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: concernedaboutdc | April 20, 2010 6:16 AM | Report abuse
The comments to this entry are closed.