D.C. voting rights on hold for now
Although the prognosis was positive a few months ago when Obama took office and the Democrats swept Congress, it looks like the quest for D.C. voting rights has been derailed once again.
Caught between a rock (the Ensign amendment that was tacked onto the bill and would have undermined the District’s gun control regulations) and a hard place (the ongoing slight to democracy that is D.C.’s lack of representation), Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton has decided to kill the D.C. House Voting Rights Act for now, according to City Desk.
In a statement to legislators and voting rights advocates, Norton said:
[T]he Majority Leader and I met on Friday afternoon to discuss our bill, a draft of a compromise gun amendment from his office, and other options for moving the voting rights bill to the House floor now.
We sent a memo summarizing the content of the meeting with the Majority Leader and of the compromise amendment and shared the memo before a conference call on Sunday with the bill’s major advocates whom we could reach, including the DC vote coalition. The conference call discussed in detail all of the options available to us at this time, none of which would result in the elimination of the Ensign amendment, as well as the split in opinion in the city about attaching a bill that carries a danger to public safety and elimination of the city’s authority over gun legislation. All agreed that there were good reasons to wait for now. Please understand that we are holding the bill for now, not giving up on voting rights.
Photo from Flickr user ellievanhoutte, used under a Creative Commons license.