Letter to the Senate on DC Voting Rights

September 17, 2007

Dear Senator:

We urge you to vote to end the filibuster on S. 1257, the DC House Voting Rights Act. This legislation is a bipartisan effort to end the injustice that has deprived 580,000 Americans living in the District of Columbia of the fundamental right of voting representation in Congress. This legislation deserves full and open debate in the Senate.

The bill has the strong support of a large coalition of organizations from the voting rights and civil rights community. Prominent Republicans, including former HUD Secretary Jack Kemp, former U.S. Representative J.C. Watts, and former Maryland Senate candidate Michael Steele also support the legislation.

Just this morning, Secretary Kemp urged Senators to "Vote the American way. Get on the right side of history." Watt and Steele, in an op-ed last week, said DC's lack of representation in Congress "is a blemish on our democracy and it must come to an end."

Constitutional scholars including Kenneth Starr and Viet Dinh have written and testified in support of the constitutionality of this approach to providing DC citizens with voting representation in Congress.

The Senate now faces a critical test of its commitment to the democratic rights of all Americans. The Senate has been debating issues of war, terrorism and spreading democracy around the world. Now you must look to your own backyard and ensure that the District of Columbia has voting representation in Congress.


Bob Edgar

President and CEO

Common Cause

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