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Covering Washington politics. From our vantage point. One day a time.



Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Amid Budget Protest DC Mayor Talks of Arrest

41 members of the DC council, including Mayor Vincent Gray, were arrested yesterday outside the Dirksen Senate office building when they protested the President's budget deal which would leave DC with little control over the use of its own taxpayer funds.


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The Mayor explains his position on sticking up for the District's residents.



Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) both praised and thanked D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray, members of the D.C. Council, and D.C. residents for rallying against attachments to Friday’s full-year continuing resolution (CR) agreement by the Obama administration, Senate Democrats and House Republicans, and for the arrests led by the Mayor and Council members.

She said DC Vote particularly deserved the gratitude of every D.C. resident for its leadership in organizing the rally in just a couple of days, after learning that the city had been singled out in the CR for a prohibition on spending its own local funds for abortions for low-income women and for a new voucher program. Norton, who is still trying to get the riders removed and will go to the Rules Committee again tomorrow, decided not to attend Monday’s rally so that members of Congress could see that it was entirely a “people’s rally”, not an action that had or needed her leadership. She said that it was critical for Congress to see the faces of D.C. residents, and not her, when Congress invades the city’s self-governing rights.

Ever since Congress convened in January, Norton has been protesting multiple anti-home-rule actions by the Congress. However, she said that the rally and arrests were particularly important now because the CR shows that the city is on its own, and has only the protection from loss of home-rule that citizens can provide. The CR invited and deserved today’s strong reaction from residents, she said that, the continued presence of local elected leaders and residents just showing up, even with less dramatic responses, will be necessary in the coming months.” She warned that without a continuing reaction from local officials and city residents, more riders and other invasions of home rule will come quickly. However, Norton said, yesterday’s large turnout and arrests showed the House, Senate, and the Administration that local residents were acting out of deep and personal outrage and that citizens have a new resolve to fight back.

 In the video below Holmes let her thoughts be known and offers a recommendation for Congress.




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