Letter in Support of the DC Voting Rights Act

November 30, 2006

Dear Representative:

Common Cause urges you to vote for the DC Voting Rights Act when it comes to the House floor next week. The DC Voting Rights Act would give the nearly 600,000 citizens of the District of Columbia voting representation in the House. The bill has bipartisan support and was introduced by Representatives Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) and Tom Davis (R-VA).

The legislation give the District a long overdue voting member of the House of Representatives and also gives an additional seat to Utah, a fast-growing state that was next in line for a seat after the last census. This arrangement ensures that there is no partisan benefit as a result of this legislation.

While Common Cause supports other legislation that provides voting representation for the District, we believe this bill is a fair and politically viable way of correcting an injustice that has existed for over 200 years. Several attempts have been made to provide the District with voting representation in Congress, but all have failed, and there is not currently any other politically realistic approach to the problem. We believe that full representation in the House is an important and substantial step forward.

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 die 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 recognizes that partisan political considerations have always entered into issues that are fundamentally about fairness and justice. This proposal puts those considerations aside by adding two new seats to the House, one for the District and another that will go to Utah, which barely missed gaining another seat after the last census. With the partisan considerations allayed, the issue becomes a simple one: do the more than half million Americans in the District deserve to have a vote in Congress?

Please support the DC Voting Rights Act when it comes to the House floor for a vote in the remaining days of the 109th Congress.


Chellie Pingree


Common Cause

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