D.C. voting rights: Time for Norton to go
By Douglass Sloan
At first glance at Eleanor Holmes Norton’s July 25 Local Opinions piece, “D.C. voting rights: Where we’ve been, where we’re going,” I thought Ms. Norton was reciting events during her tenure because she was getting ready to retire. Of course, that was wishful thinking. She is in complete reelection mode.
The principal purpose of Ms. Norton’s position as a nonvoting delegate in the U.S. House of Representatives is to secure voting representation in Congress for the citizens of the District of Columbia. Sadly, during the past 20 years that Ms. Norton has been in office, 600,000 Washingtonians continue to be disenfranchised.
Ms. Norton spent the last 17 years pursuing the single congressional seat as the preferred option for governance in the District. The most recent bill passed the Senate, but was effectively killed by a gun amendment that would have repealed most of the District’s gun-control laws.
We are still the only city in the United States where its citizens are without a vote in Congress, yet we continue to be subjected to violations of two core principles of our republican form of government: taxation in the absence of representation and being governed without our consent.
Now, Ms. Norton says that if reelected she will introduce a number of bills to obtain voting representation, including one on statehood. Left unsaid is the record compiled by Ms. Norton during her tenure: She has failed to produce voting rights, and we are in the same place we were in when Ms. Norton was first elected to office back in 1990.
Ms. Norton’s column gave the impression that she does not accept any of the blame for not delivering on voting rights. Recently 241 D.C. public school teachers were fired for poor performance after a year. Ms. Norton has been on the job for 20 years and has not delivered. It’s time for D.C. voters to emulate our schools chancellor, Michelle A. Rhee, and hold Ms. Norton accountable for her failures.
The writer is running for the city’s delegate seat in the House of Representatives.
| August 16, 2010; 2:28 PM ET
Categories: D.C., D.C. politics, DC Vote, HotTopic
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