Common Cause Supports H.R. 5388, DC Fair and Equal House Voting Rights Act

May 17, 2006

Dear Representative:

Common Cause strongly urges you to vote for H.R. 5388, DC Fair and Equal House Voting Rights Act, which will be marked up by the Government Reform Committee on Thursday.

The DC Voting Rights Act will give the citizens of the District of Columbia voting representation in the House. The bill was introduced by Representative Tom Davis (R-VA) and Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) and has both Republican and Democratic cosponsors.

We believe this bill is a fair and politically viable way of correcting an injustice that has existed for over 200 years. The committee has an opportunity to make history by bringing more than a half million Americans fully into our democracy, where they belong.

The citizens of the District of Columbia deserve the same right that all other Americans have to be represented in Congress. DC residents pay federal income taxes, serve on juries, and fight in wars to defend American democracy. DC citizens are currently serving in the armed forces in Iraq, fighting for new democratic rights for Iraqis that they do not enjoy themselves.

The DC Voting Rights Act is supported by the DC City Council and the Mayor. Outside of DC, most Americans express surprise that this injustice still exists and believe that DC residents deserve voting representation in Congress.

H.R. 5388 is a unique approach to a problem that has remained unresolved for most of our nation's history. The compromise forged by Representative Davis and Delegate Norton recognizes that partisan political considerations have always entered into issues that are fundamentally about fairness and justice.

Please vote for H.R. 5388, the DC Voting Rights Act, and give the more than half million Americans in the District a vote in the House.


Chellie Pingree, President

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