D.C. Suffers Setback on Voting Rights

Published June 15, 2009

D.C. officials and activists pushing for voting rights are disappointed after Senate Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) decided last week to delay the vote that would give the city a vote in Congress.

Republicans in the Senate want to repeal D.C.'s gun control laws in order for the voting rights bill to pass. Hoyer, who supports passage of the bill without the GOP ammendment, delayed the vote while he works on a compromise.

Although supporters want to get a vote in Congress as quickly as possible, they feel the move is too dangerous for a city that was once the murder capital of the United States.

D.C. Councilmember Kwame Brown captured the sentiment of many D.C. residents who have been advocating for a vote in Congress for decades now.

“We will not be deterred by the discriminate acts of a few who would hold democracy hostage at the barrel of a gun,” he said in a statement.


“I stand by D.C. Vote, my colleagues and the residents as we continue our march toward progress. I want to thank Congresswoman Norton and Majority Leader Hoyer for their steadfast commitment to seeing this through."

D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton, who has expressed some frustration with President Obama for not being more vocal in his support of a vote for D.C., said, "We will never give up on equal rights for our residents."

 

Written by BET.com Staff

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