Last week, DC Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton hosted a press conference on Capitol Hill in defense of her city. Speaking out against several policy riders that have been passed or threatened by conservatives in Congress, Delegate Norton, DC Mayor Vincent Gray, DC Vote, and members of the civil rights community, including People For the American Way and African American Ministers in Action, voiced their support for autonomy and the right to self-government for the people of the District of Columbia.
PFAW and AAMIA just got their first glimpse of the FY12 DC appropriations bill. While some issues were spared, other riders are in.
The bill that funds the District includes a provision restricting the city from spending federally appropriated and locally collected funds on abortion services, except in cases where the mother’s life is in danger or the pregnancy was a result of rape or incest.
It also includes $60 million for a federally funded, private-school voucher program, a key priority for Boehner.
Delegate Norton warns that we’re not out of the woods on any issue.
The introduction of the bill is only the first step in a long appropriations process, and action by the new national coalition is essential as the bill goes to committee and to the floor.
We are currently waiting for news from the first of the committee meetings.
PFAW President Michael B. Keegan recently noted:
Rather than address the many complex issues facing our nation, House Republicans are choosing to threaten women’s constitutional rights by attacking choice and preventive care, and they are taking every chance they get to force their social priorities on the people of Washington, DC.
And while there is no doubt that educational opportunities and standards must be improved across the country, allocating money to private schools at the expense of public school students is not the way to succeed. Public dollars must continue to fund public services.
PFAW and AAMIA continue to believe that enough is enough – the people of DC deserve a voice. We hope that voice will be heard loud and clear on June 25 at the White House Rally for DC Democracy, organized by our friends at DC Vote.
Date: Saturday, June 25, 2011
Location: Lafayette Square Park, 16th Street & H Street NW (in front of the White House)
Time: 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM
As you may know, there have been dozens of civil disobedience arrests this year of citizens who stood up for the District’s right to self-govern. Neither PFAW nor AAMIA are organizing a civil disobedience action for June 25. If you need assistance, you may contact DC Vote directly.
For more information, please click here.