D.C. Statehood Proponents Take to the Hill
Led by Elinor Hart and Representative Nate Bennett Fleming in the House of Representatives and Josh Burch in the Senate, a group of 60 D.C. Statehood activists visited at least one tenth of the Congressional Offices on the day after taxes were due, D.C. Emancipation Day, to educate Members of Congress about D.C. Statehood. Once there, the group was organized into teams. One of those teams, shown in the photos with Congressmen Hinojosa and Pastor are Hector Rodriguez, Janet Brown (Team Leader), Ann Loikow and Johnny Barnes. The group's goal was to solicit co-sponsors of the D.C. Statehood House Bill, introduced by Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (with 27 current co-sponsors) and Senate Bill, introduced by Senator Tom Carper of Delaware (with 5 current Senate co-sponsors). The Janet Brown Team was delighted to learn that many of the staffers assigned to the House Bill actually reside in Washington, D.C. and are quite familiar with the issues surrounding the Bill. By all accounts, the visits were particularly successful, and the activists were encouraged to build on the efforts and to again undertake future visits. "This is the only way to get this job done, shoe leather, walking the Halls of Congress," said Johnny Barnes. "If nothing more, we debunk any myths about D.C. Statehood and spark attention and interest in our effort," said Barnes. While there are no Republican co-sponsors in either the House or Senate as yet, Barnes concluded, "We are confident that fair minded Republicans will rise above the narrow, special interests of Politics and Party and do what others have done in the past when it came to voting rights, mend the crack in the Liberty Bell." Should you wish to participate in future rounds of visits to the Hill, as each of you should, stay tuned to these pages for announcements. Imagine hundreds, perhaps thousands of District residents, visiting Congressional offices, seeking the right to fully participate in our Government. We would not be denied.