Press release from Zoe:
DC Democracy Activists to Return to Capitol Hill on Anniversary of Arrests in Speaker Hastertâ€™s Office
WASHINGTON, DCâ€”On October 1, the beginning of the fiscal year, the Budget Autonomy for the District Coalition, including the seven activists who were arrested last year in House Speaker J. Dennis Hastertâ€™s (R-Ill.) office, will hold an 8:30 am rally for DC Budget Autonomy and Statehood at the Capitol South Metro Stop. At 11 am, they will visit dozens of Senators and Representatives to advocate for full democracy for DC.
â€œWe are continuing DC’s long history of demanding that Congress stops controlling DCâ€™s budget and adding undemocratic riders to the DC Appropriations Bill. We are going to demand change,â€ Anise Jenkins, a founding member of the Budget Autonomy for the District Coalition (BAD Day) and the president of the Stand Up! for Democracy in DC Coalition, stated.
WHO: BAD Day: DC Statehood Green Party and Stand Up! for Democracy in DC Coalition
Speakers and performers include:
U.S. â€œShadowâ€ Senator Florence Pendleton (D-DC)
U.S. â€œShadowâ€ Representative Ray Browne (D-DC)
Head-Roc and Eurok, DC hip hop artists
Bill Mosley, Stand Up! for Democracy in DC Coalition
Adam Eidinger, Co-Chair of the DC Statehood Green Party
WHAT: Rally for Budget Autonomy and DC Statehood
WHERE: Capitol South Metro Stop (First St. between C & D Sts. SE)
WHEN: 8:30-10:00 am
History of DCâ€™s Lack of Budget Autonomy: Because of a Constitutional anachronism, Congress continues to execute colonial oversight over the Districtâ€™s budget until it is reviewed and passed as part of the federal appropriations process â€“ even though more than 75 percent of the Districtâ€™s budget is raised from local tax funds, about the same as most states. Because Congress does not finish the federal governmentâ€™s work on time, much less the Districtâ€™s, enactment of our budget is usually delayed well into the fiscal year. These unacceptable delays prevent the District from spending new funds on such urgent needs as health care, schools, and public safety.
Moreover, as our budget moves through the appropriations process, members can attach â€œridersâ€ â€“ restrictions that negate the wishes of DCâ€™s voters. Current riders include a ban on needle exchange programs to prevent HIV/AIDS and a prohibition on implementing the initiative to allow marijuana to be used for medical purposes. Finally, Congress forbids the District from using its own money to lobby for congressional voting rights and/or Statehood.
For updated information, please call the Stand Up! For Democracy in DC Coalition Events Hotline at 202-232-2500 x1.
For the last month I’ve been calling Capitol Hill scheduling the appointments with the various congrssmembers on the House Committe on Government Reform. Its been a truly interesting experience. I can’t wait for tomorrow! This will be my first time lobbying and I am excited! We’ve got over 20 meetings tomorrow with staffers and I hope there is a big turnout. We’ll see :-)