Sentiment among the 100 governors and mayors of States and cities throughout the United States, now in conference in Washington was today expressed as being solidly in favor of the District’s appeal for suffrage.
Feeling is running high among the conferees, most of whom were not aware of the voteless condition of District residents until they came to Washington to attend the conference.
Action by the governors and mayors in passing resolutions favoring the District suffrage movement and in pledging themselves to urge their constituents to instruct their Congressmen to give the vote to Washington is expected before the termination of the conference tomorrow.
The attitude of the visitors, who came from nearly every State in the Union, was best expressed today by Lieut. Gov. George Stephan of Denver, Colorado.
“The sense of justice and the democratic principles upon which the American nation is founded all demand that the people of the National Capital be given the right to vote,” he said.
Can’t Believe His Ears.
“There is no argument which can be used against the appeal of Washington for suffrage for its citizens. I could hardly believe my ears when I was told that the people of the National Capital of the greatest republic on earth were forbidden to vote.
“To think that the residents of the city of Washington, endeared in the hearts of American people for the past century and as the very heart of American democracy, should be deprived of the right of casting the ballot. It is beyond my understanding.
“Congress should take steps at the right the undemocratic conditions as regards the right to vote, existing in the National Capital.
West to Back Fight.
“I can safely say that the West, where the love of country and of the principles of true democracy are of first concern, will be solidly behind the National Capital in its campaign to win the right to vote.”
“The North, East, and South, I can also safely say, in behalf of the men from those sections of the country attending the conference, will support Washington’s plea, by instructing their Congressmen to permit the vote in the National Capital.
“I predict that when a bill to give suffrage to the District comes up in Congress, the ‘ayes’ will make it unanimous; for Congress is representative of the democratic ideals of the American nation, and Congress will see to it that American principles prevail throughout the whole country.
Should Introduce Bill.
“Washington should be given the right to vote, just as soon as it is possible to put a District suffrage bill through Congress.” said Daniel L. Keister, mayor of Harrisburg, Pa., and one of the conferees meeting at the White House today.
“‘Taxation without representation is tyranny,’ is as much of an Americanism today as it was in the time of Patrick Henry. It strikes me as rather peculiar that the National Capital, which has been justly idealized as the seat of American ideals, should be deprived of a constitutional right.
“Washington, I know, is glad to send her sons to defend the honor of the nation; Washington is glad to give her wealth to aid in upholding the strength of the nation, and Washington, I Know, rightfully resents having her citizens regarded as people without the ability to vote as American citizens.
“By all means, let the residents of the National Capital vote. When their campaign for suffrage comes up in Congress, they will surely find all of the strength and influence of the rest of the nation behind them in their please for their constitutional rights.”
This newspaper article was transcribed from a scan of the original newspaper article on Chronicling America. It is being republished here in order to continue my advocacy for full representation for the American citizens of the District of Columbia.