Coalition Letter on DC Voting Rights to Senate Homeland Security Committee

February 9, 2009

Dear Member of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs:

On behalf of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights (LCCR) and undersigned individual organizations, we urge you to support S. 160, the "District of Columbia House Voting Rights Act," ("DC VRA") during committee markup this Wednesday. As Congress considers an economic recovery package and many other proposals that so greatly affect our nation's future, it should assure the citizens of Washington, DC and Utah that Congress is committed to giving them a fair and equal voice.

Washington, DC residents pay federal income taxes, serve on juries, and die in wars to defend American democracy, but they do not have voting representation in the U.S. House of Representatives or the Senate. As we work to promote democracy around the world, we simply cannot afford to leave hundreds of thousands of our own citizens out in the cold.

In addition, since 2001, Utah residents have had their right to vote undermined. Because thousands of state residents living abroad were not counted in the 2000 census, Utah was given only three congressional districts instead of four. As a result, the votes of Utah citizens have been diluted.

The DC VRA will provide Washington, DC residents with their own voting member of the House of Representatives for the first time ever, and give Utah an additional House district through 2012. Because each party would likely gain one additional House seat under the bill, its political impact would be neutral. As you know, in 2007, a bipartisan majority of the Senate supported the legislation.

The DC VRA is well within Congress' broad constitutional powers to govern the District of Columbia. Furthermore, given the principles upon which the American Revolution was fought, we believe that our Founders would never accept the "taxation without representation" of more than 500,000 Americans today.

Please help expand democracy to the residents of DC and Utah by supporting S. 160. Thank you for your consideration. If you have any questions, please contact Rob Randhava, LCCR Counsel, at (202) 466-6058.


American Association for Affirmative Action

American Association of People with Disabilities

American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO)

American Federation of Teachers

American Jewish Committee

Americans for Democratic Action, Inc.

Anacostia Coordinating Council

Anti-Defamation League

Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN)

Asian American Justice Center

Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law

Blacks in Government

Capital Area Food Bank

Center for Responsible Lending

Central Conference of American Rabbis

Children's Defense Fund

Coalition to Stop Gun Violence

Common Cause

DC Action for Children

DC Appleseed

DC Vote


International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers

Japanese American Citizens League

Jewish Council for Public Affairs

Jewish Women International

Laborers' International Union of North America

Latino Economic Development Corporation

Leadership Conference on Civil Rights

League of Women Voters of the United States

Metropolitan Washington Council, AFL-CIO

Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund


NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc.

National Alliance of Postal and Federal Employees

National Association of Human Rights Workers

National Association of Social Workers

National Black Justice Coalition

National Congress of American Indians

National Council of Jewish Women

National Disability Rights Network

National Education Association

National Fair Housing Alliance

National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Action Fund

National Treasury Employees Union

National Urban League

National Women's Law Center


Open Society Policy Center

People For the American Way

Pride At Work

Sasha Bruce Youthwork, Inc.

Southeast Asia Resource Action Center

Union for Reform Judaism

Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations

U.S. Public Interest Research Group

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