Keep fighting for voting rights
Ben Pershing’s Nov. 28 article, “For D.C. voting rights, window appears closed,” offered an overly pessimistic view of Washington’s future.
If recent elections have taught us anything, it is that such bold, blanket predictions regarding the political future are almost always incorrect. None of us knows what lies in store for the next two years, much less the next 10.
“D.C. voting rights is dead” — that is what was said after the House failed to take up a bill in 2006 and after senators filibustered in 2007. After each of those setbacks, we regrouped and pushed forward. Each time the bill was “resurrected” from the ashes, it had more votes in support than it had before.
But we must also remember this fight is about more than voting rights. Equally important is defending and expanding home rule to give D.C. residents the full democracy all other Americans enjoy. While the District has not yet obtained a full vote in the House, it has made many other significant advances.
Congress finally passed the District’s budget without riders limiting home rule. The District was able to implement long-delayed public health programs, serving its constituents as needed like every other local jurisdiction in the nation. This success is a direct result of the collective work of the D.C. democracy movement.
We must defend this progress in the next Congress. In June, a Post editorial stated that “fighting for voting rights is hard. That isn’t reason to give up.” DC Vote, along with our partners in Congress and the D.C. government, will not give up. We will keep fighting every fight that will bring Washington closer to full democracy.
The writer is executive director of DC Vote.
Ilir Zherka, Washington
| December 4, 2010; 10:50 PM ET
Categories: D.C., D.C. politics, DC Vote, HotTopic
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