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Examiner Coverage of our OSCE Maritime Lobbying Effort
|| 7/3/2005 || 10:05 pm || Comments Off on Examiner Coverage of our OSCE Maritime Lobbying Effort || ||

After meeting the reporter on Friday, he didn’t seem too informed about the DC voting rights issue and his article for the Examiner shows this. However, the Examiner is the only media outlet who covered our DC Democracy Naval lobbying effort.

Fulfilling the democratic promise
Activists of District’s equal representation rally for OSCE resolution

BY NICK HOOVER
Special to The Examiner
Published: Sunday, July 3, 2005 9:22 PM EDT

The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe has monitored elections from the Balkans to the former Soviet republics, and now they’ve come to Washington partially to consider a resolution that urges the United States to give District residents equal voting rights in Congress.

Although Eleanor Holmes Norton, D, represents Washington on the floor of the House of Representatives, the District hasn’t had voting representation in more than 200 years.

“Getting international support would be phenomenal for our voting rights,” said Wanda Lockridge, chairperson of the D.C. Democratic State Committee.

The 55-nation group, which aims to maintain human rights and political security “from Vancouver to Vladivostok,” will vote Tuesday on the resolution, which drew overwhelming support in committee.

Hoping for a ‘yes’ vote

On Friday, activists and civic leaders rallied outside the J.W. Marriott Hotel, where the organization was meeting, in hopes of influencing a yes vote.

Norton wrote the OSCE resolution and also spoke at the rally, referring to “long-suffering Washington” and telling protesters that “the eyes of the world will finally be focused on you, not official Washington” when the vote comes to the table on Tuesday morning.

“As Americans are celebrating the Declaration of Independence, we are asking people to remember that [the democratic] promise has not been fulfilled for Washingtonians,” said Ilir Zherka, executive director of voting rights advocacy group DC Vote.

Recent notice in Congress

The capital’s lack of voting representation has also gotten some recent notice in Congress. A bipartisan bill written by Rep. Tom Davis, R.-Va., would add two more representatives to the House, one from the District and another from Utah.

But Sen. Paul Strauss, D-D.C., the elected but non-voting shadow senator for the District who is also unable to speak on the floor, said one representative isn’t enough.

“We need equal rights,” Strauss said. “Without two senators, we can’t represent the District in a meaningful way.”

Strauss and supporters continued their activism Saturday, setting sail in a boat decked out with banners reading “OSCE: HELP FREE DC” to follow delegates and staff from the international organization as they toured the Potomac River.

nhoover@dcexaminer.com

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Post Title: Examiner Coverage of our OSCE Maritime Lobbying Effort
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