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Posted at 10:50 PM ET, 12/ 4/2010

Keep fighting for voting rights

By Ilir Zherka, Washington

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.

By Ilir Zherka, Washington  | December 4, 2010; 10:50 PM ET
Categories:  D.C., D.C. politics, DC Vote, HotTopic  
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Next: The keys to keeping education reform rolling in D.C.


"We will keep fighting every fight that will bring Washington closer to full democracy." Brave words indeed from the lips of DC Vote, especially since it can now be said with absolute certainty that it has run the DC voting rights movement into the ground and come up not only short, but with nothing, absolutely nothing.

Posted by: Liberty121 | December 5, 2010 12:10 AM | Report abuse

No expanded voting rights for D,C, until its residents put an end to the corrupt, incompetent, and all-around sleazy political system they find so compatible. Litmus test for the first step: Marion Barry no longer holds political office in D.C. Meanwhile, let's rally behind the decision of our Founding Fathers.

Posted by: tbarksdl | December 5, 2010 9:15 AM | Report abuse

Are you kidding me? Let's see, the mosr corrupt city government in the country, you elect a crackhead as mayor, probably one third of your residents are felons and can't vote anyway. During the day, DC is filled with people that don't live there and at night, the hoodrats and drunk yuppies move in. DC can't even wipe it's own butt without federal handouts.

Posted by: madmike272 | December 5, 2010 9:25 AM | Report abuse

Note to WaPo: The link about Wal-Mart on the Letters page leads to this article.

Posted by: DOEJN | December 5, 2010 11:06 AM | Report abuse

Actually so are the letters about the Arboretum and education reform.

Posted by: DOEJN | December 5, 2010 11:08 AM | Report abuse

Ah, what the heck, I wanted to go here and the link did take me here....
As for DC voting rights, how about if DC becomes a city attached to the great state of Maryland, like EVERY OTHER CITY in America. You know, pay state taxes and fight state funding battles and have to elect legislators that have to pander to others?
DC deserves equal voting rights, if it agrees to the equal status that all other cities in America enjoy.

Posted by: daskinner | December 5, 2010 3:59 PM | Report abuse

I guess we can't blame Ilir Zherka for trying to extend her employment for a few years longer. I mean, look at all the things she's accomplished so far! >

Wonder who's bankrolling that lost cause?

Posted by: RealityCheckerInEffect | December 6, 2010 12:07 AM | Report abuse

DC residents are supposedly represented by ALL Senators and Representatives.

So, let DC residents vote for ALL Senators and Representatives.

Or give DC it's federal taxes back.

Simple solution to a simple problem. The federal government removed voting rights when they created teh district (as there were people living here, ya know). So, the US government disenfrachised its own people.

Time to clear that mistake. Let us vote, or give us our taxes back.

Posted by: Greent | December 6, 2010 12:32 PM | Report abuse

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