NAACP Urges U.S. Senate to Pass DC Voting Rights Bill Now

Key Civil Rights Legislation has already Passed The US House of Representatives

THE ISSUE:

Despite the fact that they pay federal taxes, serve on juries and defend our Nation in times of war like most other Americans, the residents of the District of Columbia are barred from having voting representation on the floor of the U.S. House or Senate.  This classic example of “taxation without representation” is contrary to everything that this nation is founded on.  This means that more than half a million people, more than 57% of whom are African American (with Caucasians making up just over 30% of the population and 8.5% of the residents claiming Hispanic background), are paying money to and dying for a government in which they have no say.  It also means that the federal government is receiving and spending $4 billion in taxes paid without having to account for it.  In fact, the residents of the District of Columbia pay more federal taxes per capita than all but one other state.

In a key civil rights victory, on April 19, 2007 the US House of Representatives passed, by a bipartisan margin of 241 yeas to 177 nays, H.R. 1905, the District of Columbia House Voting Rights Act.  The NAACP strongly supports the bipartisan H.R. 1905, the District of Columbia House Voting Rights Act introduced by Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC) and Congressman Tom Davis (VA) and others as a good first step toward the goal of full voting representation in Congress for DC residents.  H.R. 1905 would add two voting members to the US House of Representatives – one to represent Washington, DC and one to represent Utah (Utah narrowly lost getting an additional congressional seat after the last US Census in 2000; officials in Utah believe that thousands of missionaries living abroad were unfairly excluded during the Census count, which would have given them an additional seat.)  This bill addresses the Utah concern and provides a “vote neutral” option by adding two additional seats to be represented by a Democrat and a Republican. 

We must urge the US Senate to continue the momentum and pass S. 1257, the District of Columbia House Voting Rights Act of 2007 before it adjourns for the August State Work Period!

THE MESSAGE:

  • Despite the fact that they pay federal taxes, serve on juries and defend our Nation in times of war like most other Americans, the residents of the District of Columbia are barred from having voting representation on the floor of the U.S. House or Senate.  This classic example of “taxation without representation” is contrary to everything that this nation is founded on. 
  • This means that more than half a million people, more than 57% of whom are African American (with Caucasians making up just over 30% of the population and 8.5% of the residents claiming Hispanic background), are paying money to and dying for a government in which they have no say. 
  • In a key civil rights victory, on April 19, 2007 the US House of Representatives passed, by a bipartisan margin of 241 yeas to 177 nays, H.R. 1905, the District of Columbia House Voting Rights Act
  • We must urge the US Senate to continue the momentum and pass S. 1257, one of the NAACP’s key civil rights priorities in the 110th Congress, the District of Columbia House Voting Rights Act of 2007 before it adjourns for the August State Work Period!

THE ACTION WE NEED YOU TO TAKE:

Contact both your Senators and ask them to co-sponsor the District of Columbia House Voting Rights Act (S. 1257).  To contact your Senators, you may:

  • Make a Phone Call:
     Call your Representative in Washington by dialing the Capitol Switchboard and asking to be transferred to his / her office.  The switchboard phone number is (202) 224-3121
  • Send a Fax
    If you would like to send a fax, call your Representative’s office (through the Capitol switchboard) and ask for his or her fax number (you can use either the attached sample letter or the message box, below).
  • Send an E-Mail
    To send an e-mail to your Representative, go to www.house.gov, and click on “Write Your Representative” (on the left hand side, just under “find your Representative).  This will help you identify who your congressman is and how to contact him/her. 
    Unfortunately, not all Members of Congress have e-mail addresses.
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THANK YOU FOR YOUR ATTENTION TO THIS IMPORTANT MATTER!!!
If you have any questions, call Hilary Shelton at the Washington Bureau at (202) 463-2940.

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