B.A.D. Day was a success. 25 congressional office visits. One overarching goal: Budget Autonomy for the District.
The whole experience was great. I learned my way around the Canon, Longworth, and Rayburn office buildings quickly. Yet, I found them to be rather dull on in the inside. There needed some art! I’d like to see paintings & murals from around the various congressional districts in the hallways of these massive buildings. Maybe I can introduce a Capitol Hill beautification bill :-)
Some of the offices had USGS maps of their districts, and man some districts are very gerrymandered! I couldn’t believe it that there were districts shaped as horseshoes! I believe the districts should be done strictly by Census data, not by wealth or political affiliation.
The actual office visits were a mixed bag. They broke down party lines for the most part, with the Democrats basically saying that they’d do whatever Norton wanted and Republicans either being completely indifferent or in the case of Dan Burton’s office, being somewhat open to the notion of Statehood.
We went to Hastert’s office later in the day. The site where seven of my friends were arrested last year for redressing their grievances to congress. There was a cop posted nearby and the door was locked. I did snap a picture of the staff member refusing to let us in. We ended up signing the guestbook. The next step is to get people in his district aware of the plight of DC residents and/or confront him before enters his office.
After all the visits, it seemed that Norton had not been promoting the bill as much as she should have. I plan on making some more visits in the next congressional session advocating this bill. Its not statehood, but its a start.
All in all, Friday was one of the most memorable days in my five years here in DC. I even got tons of souvenirs- little congressional business cards! The best one was from Shadow Senator Paul Strauss office, above the bald eagle there is a star with 51 inside. I ended up running out of the business cards I had brought with me on Friday! Something I’ll definitely bring more of next time.