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The DC Voter
League of Women Voters of the District of Columbia
Vol. 78, No. 10, November 2002

Making Our Voices Heard — Making Our Votes Count

733 15th Street, N.W., Suite 432, Washington, DC 20005
202/347-3020,  fax: 202/347-2522
Website:, E-mail:

President’s Corner
Election Reform Bill Passed by Senate
November Units News
Education Committee
Healthcare Committee
Member News
Kudos to the Voter Mailers
Progress Toward Voting Rights for the District
International Relations Committee
Highlights of October Board Meeting
Opportunity Knocks
News from National
B&B Homes Needed
What’s on the November 5th Ballot
Calendar: November 2002
Full Voting Representation in Congress for D.C. Citizens


LWVUS President Kay Maxwell was interviewed on CNNF on October 15, on the passage by Congress of the Federal Election Reform Bill. She said the-League is particularly interested in implementation of all elements of the bill. "We are thrilled with the training for poll workers," and "The bill does establish some national standards which puts the onus back on the state to operate federal elections."

D.C. Councilmembers Orange and Schwartz held a hearing on the results of the primary election. The Chairman of the Board of Elections and Ethics (BoEE) and staff were quizzed on the adequacy of the number of poll workers at the precincts, the adequacy of the budget for 2002 and 2003, and status of the voter registration card. I gave testimony on DCLWV impressions and recommendations. We commended the Board on their meeting some challenges, i.e., introducing the new voting machines, hand counting thousands of write-in ballots, reporting the results of the Mayoral race in a timely manner, and addressing the petitions problems of Mayor Williams. Of much concern were barriers for the handicapped to polling places, which is a problem throughout the city. We recommended that a special effort be made now to notify all voters whose polling places have changed, and to prepare ballot clerks to handle the ballots and envelopes in order to retain secrecy. We also emphasized the importance of the special ballot and its comparison to the provisional ballot, which is to make sure no voter is turned away. Another hearing will be held in midNovember to assess the results of the general election.

I spoke to the Organization of Federally Employed Women's Regional Training Program at the Conference Center at the University of Maryland on "Why Women Should Vote." Melpie Jeffries, State President of Maryland LWV, joined me. We gave a history of the League, told how to register to vote in this area, and pointed out the advantages of voting and consequences of not voting. The presentation was well received.

I wish to remind members that the November Units will focus on a vital issue and encourage all members to attend a Unit meeting. The topic will be the status of DC Congressional Voting Rights, plus a description of the current D.C. Budget Process and Financial Status. — E. Patricia Hallman, President

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Fair implementation and federal funds are needed to ensure that the reforms of the bill are more than empty promises. Kay Maxwell, President of LWVUS, said: "Despite the disagreements about some of the key provisions of the bill, everyone recognizes the importance of the federal funding promised by the legislation."

"We hope that the U.S. Congress and the President are not making an empty promise", she added. "Funds must be appropriated -and quickly. Ultimately, voters will lose if the Help America Vote Act is nothing more than a lottery ticket with no prize."

She added: "States must be ready for a significantly expanded role in administering elections - developing state plans, buying new voting machines, and building statewide voter registration lists. State election officials have a much bigger job to do, and they will now have the responsibility to ensure that the election process runs smoothly. We will keep our eyes open and; watch how this bill is being implemented in polling places nationwide."

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Before You Vote
on November 5
visit the League's
On-Line Voter Guide
for candidate and
ballot measure information.

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The November Unit Council Meeting for Unit Chairs will be held Monday, November 11 at 12 noon at the home of Kathy Schmidt, 3601 Connecticut Ave., NW, #418. 237-5550.


Discussion Topic: The status of D.C. Congressional Voting Rights and a description of the current D.C. Budget Process and Financial Status.

Tuesday, November 19

9:45 am, Southwest Unit at the home of Anna Marsh, 1253 Delaware Ave., SW, 554-7719
12:45 pm, Northwest Day Unit at IONA Senior Services, 4125 Albemarle St. NW, Co-chairs June Bashkin 337-0949, Barbara Kemp 362-4529
6:30 pm, In-Town Evening Unit at the Irish Channel Inn (Red Roof Inn), 500 H St. NW (Chinatown), 6:30-7 pm Social, 7 pm Meeting; Chair: Sheila Willet 588-1734 or 347-3020.

Wednesday, November 20

9:45 am, Upper 16th St. Unit at the home of Judith Smith, 7628 17th St. NW, 882-3021

Thursday, November 21

9:45 am, Chevy Chase/Ingleside Unit in the Lounge at 3050 Military Rd, NW. Co-chairs: Ruth Allen 362-8953, Leslie Dunbar 364-6457, Joan Wilson 237-6264
7:30 pm, The Evening Unit at the home of Joan Domike, 4200 Mass. Ave., NW #304, 966-3865

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Currently the Education Committee is revisiting its studies of Charter Schools to learn how those in DC are progressing. The committee will focus in particular on the study by the American Federation of Teachers, published in July 2002, entitled Do Charter Schools Measure Up? The Charter School Experiment After 10 Years.

GROCERY RECEIPT DRIVE FOR SCHOOLS: It is now time to enter the 4th year of our grocery receipt drive that benefits the public schools. This year's chosen school is Eastern High School. Safeway and Giant are sponsors of the project. Following are excerpts from "Bob Levey's Washington" article in The Washington Post of September 30, 2002, with explanation as to how and why: "Every time you shop at Safeway or Giant, the dollars you spend can be credited to the account of this year's lucky-duck school. By the time the Safeway and Giant programs end next spring, the school will be able to buy textbooks, computers, software, band instruments, sports equipment -- whatever it likes.

. . . "This year's lucky-duck school is Eastern Senior High School. . . . As always, I did not choose Eastern. . . . Eastern students did the job, by improving the school's average daily attendance rate more than that of any other D.C. high school between last year and the previous year.

"If you'd like to take part, here's how: Via Giant: Join Giant's A-Plus Bonus Bucks Plan, either online at, or by contacting a customer service representative at any Giant store. Designate Eastern as your 'recipient school'. Eastern's Giant Code number is 00061. Purchases made at Giant between Oct. 6, 2002 and April 5, 2003 will count. Via Safeway, Obtain a Safeway Club at, or via the customer service desk at any Safeway store. Designate Eastern as your 'recipient school'. The Safeway code for Eastern is 2226030. Safeway purchases made between Oct. 1 2002 and May 3, 2003 will count.

. . . "Why aim all this help at one school? (Eastern) Because it will allow that school to buy improvements on a significant scale. Eastern would gain little if it gets two new. computer terminals. It'll gain lots if it gains 25, plus software, printers, and all the trimmings. . . ." — Constance Tate (882-0387) & Gladys Weaver (554-3055)

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As Chair of the DC League's Healthcare Committee, t attended the forum for community response to the Carefirst conversion issue, sponsored by the Office of the Corporation Counsel (OCC). A DC League statement opposing the conversion as it is presently presented has been transmitted to the OCC. A majority of speakers opposed the conversion, many from the point of view that Carefirst Blue Cross/Slue Shield belongs to the people and the city has no right to sell it. [At its regular meeting on September 24, the Healthcare Committee suggested that the city should do more to educate the community as to the facts of the issue.] Speaking at the forum, Stephen B. Lyons, presiding senior Counsel for the OCC, announced the establishment of a public document room at the OCC Library, 441 4th St. NW, Level C. Documents pertaining to the proposed CareFirst conversion will be available there. — Natalie Howard, 882-8762

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Welcome new members: Jeanne D. Carpenter, Mary Jane Fisher, Jane S. Jones, Elmide Meleance, Barbara Seidman, Jane Varner Malhotra.

CONTRIBUTIONS: We gratefully thank and acknowledge contributions from: Frances Gemmill, Inez Wheeler, Diane Wilbur.

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KUDOS TO THE VOTER MAILERS: And to the Postal Service!

It was Friday, September 27, and the WorldBank/IMF protesters were already out and about. It was raining. But that did not stop the mailing crew from getting out the October Voter (some of us actually received it on Saturday). Gathering at the home of Frances Gemmill were: Naomi Berlin, Julia Cuniberti, Reva Diggs, Sheila Keeny, Hope Marindin, Jeanette Miller, Iola Pigott, Mary Rodgers, Lillian Rubin, Joan Wilson (and, of course, me). Sheila Keeny helped deliver the boxes to the bulk mail desk at Friendship Post Office. Three Cheers! — Barbara Luchs (363-0853)

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On October 1, the Council of the District of Columbia passed the District of Columbia Flag Redesign Act of 2002. The Act will change the District flag to display "No Taxation Without Representation" and increase awareness of our struggle for voting rights. A commission with members appointed by both the Council and the Mayor's office is being created to finalize the design details. The commission should complete its work early next year, so that the new flag can be unveiled. The original DC flag design could be restored once District residents are granted equal voting representation in Congress.

On October 9, the Senate Governmental Affairs committee passed the No Taxation Without Representation bill by a vote of 9 to 0. All Democrats showed up to vote yea, while all Republicans boycotted the markup, which included many other bills. According to Senator Lieberman, the boycott was due to Republican angst over a nomination. Mayor Williams, Council Chair Linda Cropp, and Council members Adrian Fenty and Phil Mendelson were present for the markup. This Senate committee will be critical to our efforts hereafter, so it is good to have them on record in support and thinking about voting representation. — Kathy Schmidt (237-5550)

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"Africa and Development:" Our next meeting will be held on Tuesday, November 26, from 6:30 pm to 8 pm at the Sumner School, 1201 17th Street, NW. Invited to speak is A. Edward Elmandorf, a senior economist at the World Bank with expertise on the state of development in Africa.

"UN and US Celebration:" The United Nations Association-National Capital Area held an exciting celebration over three days (October 24-26, 2002). The LWVDC nominated the LWVUS Task Force to restudy the position and continue support for the UN. —Anne Porowski ( 364-0557)& Susan Rao (636-1688), Co-chairs

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In calling the meeting to order, President Hallman announced efforts to reduce the length of Board meeting by limiting discussion to suggested time limits, and by having a timekeeper to remind Board members of the need to move the agenda.

Unit Meetings, October and November. In view of the fact that we have no Unit Council Chair, Naomi Glass will convene the Unit Council and discussion leaders to prepare for the October Units,. which will review our primary elections, review the November general elections as to candidates and ballot issues, and elicit comments from members about our D.C. election process. The November Units will be led by Kathy Schmidt and Elinor Hart on the subject of an update, on the status of DC Congressional Voting Rights, and a description of the DC Budget Process and Financial Status.

Education. Gladys Weaver reported plans by the committee to re-visit their earlier study of DC's charter schools, using evaluation criteria prepared by the American Federation of Teachers. She also urges League members to participate in the benefits offered by Giant and Safeway stores, and this year Eastern High School is this year Eastern High School is the recommended recipient. (See related article.)

Voter Service. Elinor Hart announced that the DC League will co-sponsor with the DC Federation of Civic Associations, Inc. a candidates' forum for at-large and council chair candidates, on Monday October 21, at the Martin Luther King Library. Denise Rolark Barnes will moderate.

National programs. Sheila Keeny called attention to a letter from Kay Maxwell, LWVUS President, to President Bush, restating the League's support for the United Nations to help resolve international disputes, such as Iraq. Regarding Congressional representation, the Board approved a resolution to guide Kathy Schmidt in her participation in DC Vote, as follows: "LWVDC supports comprehensive efforts which will lead eventually to full voting representation in Congress for DC citizens, at the discretion of our sent representative."

Transportation Chair Grace Malakoff reported that the committee plans to evaluate the proposed expansion of the Metrorail system. The Board authorized attendance at the Washington Conference on Livability by agreeing to pay the registration fee of $25.

Healthcare. Chair Natalie Howard shared a letter prepared by the committee and sent by LWVDC stating continuing concerns regarding the Carefirst conversion. The committee is also assessing the impact of the proposed $32 million cuts in health care funding necessitated by the $323 million deficit in DC's FY 2003 budget.

Fund Raising. Linda Softli and Joan Wilson described three ideas for potential fundraisers: 1) A lunch featuring Dr. David Hilficher, author of Urban Injustice. Wilson has reserved January 18, 2003 on Dr. Hilficher's calendar; 2) a tour of the Hillwood museum and garden, and a social gathering with refreshments. Board members felt that the garden would be more inviting in the spring than in November. It is hoped that some 50 participants will invest $30 each; and 3) a gathering at the National Botanical Garden. L. Softli envisions an international evening with a featured speaker and refreshments, possibly in conjunction with Women's History Month (March 2003).

Elinor Hart introduced a resolution urging the restoration of the federal payment to the District of Columbia. The resolution was approved. It is intended to encourage the LWVUS Board to act on the national position supporting the federal payment.

Glass noted that the National Capital Area League will host a reception for the LWVUS Board members when they gather in Washington in late October.

Sheila Willet distributed the monthly membership report. LWVDC membership is now 405. — Frances Gemmilll

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Do you. ewe about our public schools?

Take the advice of Education co-chairs Connie Tate and Gladys Weaver — participate in the "Grocery Receipts" project as described above.

Would you like to be informed as to the status of Healthcare Insurance in our city? Visit the public document room at the OCC Library, 441 4th St. NW, Level C to review documents pertaining to the proposed CareFirst conversion. See the Healthcare Comm. report.

Yes, we assume you support full voting representation in the United States Congress for D.C. citizens. Sharpen your toolkit for persuading your friends and relatives elsewhere to support this cause, by attending a Unit meeting November 19, 20, or 21. If you aren't active in a Unit, choose a convenient one, and be assured of an interesting discussion. You will be welcome at any Unit, listed above, but a call to let them know you're coming will be appreciated.

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LWVUS President Kay Maxwell sent a letter to President Bush do September 27 regarding the role of the UN in U.S. foreign policy as it applies to the war on terrorism and the situation in Iraq. The text follows: 

"Dear Mr. President

The members of the League of Women Voters across the country were deeply shocked by the attacks of September 11, 2001, on the United States. Since the League firmly believes in international cooperation to solve world problems, we strongly support multilateral action to protect against further such attacks against any nation, particularly those that may involve nuclear, chemical or biological weapons. We, therefore, urge you to work with the United Nations to develop clear policy goals and actions designed to protect against these threats.

Over the past year, the grassroots members of the League nationwide have reviewed, updated, and rearmed our long-established position in support of the United Nations. For many decades League members have strongly supported the role of the United Nations in developing, maintaining, and protecting peace around the world.

We believe that the United Nations should be an important component of U.S. foreign policy. We support U. S. policies that strengthen the UN's capacity to solve global problems and believe that the U.S. should work actively and constructively within the UN system, exercising diplomatic leadership in advance of decision-making.

Working with the UN provides the United States with many foreign and domestic policy advantages. First, it ensures a full and exhaustive debate of a range of alternative policies and actions. Second, it builds unity of purpose and resolve by clearly defining the objectives to be fulfilled. Third, it assures the world that the U.S. is not acting solely for its own benefit while reassuring the American people that the U. S. is not acting alone. Fourth, it provides the legitimacy of international law. And fifth, it increases the chances of long-term success through international peacekeeping and nation building efforts.

As was demonstrated when coalition forces ousted Iraq after its invasion of Kuwait, working with the United Nations can enhance achievement of US. foreign policy goals. We urge you to follow that precedent."

LWVDC President Pat Hallman sent a copy of the letter to DC Delegate Eleanor H. Norton as the House of Representatives was debating those issues. Our message concluded "We look forward to the day when the Representative of the District of Columbia has the opportunity to vote on such fife and death issues just like every other member of the House of Representatives."

The Governor of Hawaii issued a proclamation declaring August 2002 District of Columbia Voting Rights month. In a letter to the President of the LWV of Hawaii, President Hallman thanks whoever is responsible for bringing this civil rights issue to the attention of the people of Hawaii, and asks for help from her League when the opportunity arises in Congress to support full voting rights for DC.

The new National Position on the United Nations can be found at Click on Where We Stand then select International Relations. — Sheila Keeny (966-16920) Vice President for National Program

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We've had a special request for bed &. breakfast accommodations December 23rdfor three small families who are visiting a relative at Ingleside apartments on Military Road, NW. The request came through a LWVDC member. The families are expected to be with their relatives at Ingleside most of the time, so the only expectation is bed and a cold breakfast. This is a great fund-raiser for the League and the hostess gets half the income! Call Chris Matthews (269-3890).

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Prepared by the League of Women Voters of the District of Columbia
For candidate information visit Democracy Net (DNet) -- the LWV On-Line Voter Guide on the Internet at website 

The candidates are listed in the order they will appear on the ballot, as determined by lottery at the DC Board of Elections and Ethics. Party Abbreviations: (Dem.) = Democratic; (Rep.) = Republican; (St.G) = Statehood Green; (Ind.) Independent; (Soc.) = Socialist Workers; (Non.) = Non Partisan.

Eleanor Holmes Norton (Dem.) 
Patricia Kidd (Ind.)

Carol Schwartz (Rep.) 
Steve Donkin (StG.) 
Anthony "Tony" Williams (Dem.) 
Tricia Kinch (Ind.) 
Sam Manuel (Soc.)

Linda Cropp (Dem.) 
Debby Hanrahan (StG.)

Michele A. Tingling-Clemmons (StG.) 
Chris Ray (Ind.) 
Ahmad Braxton-Jones (Ind.) 
Kweku Touro (Ind.)
Antonio D. Dominguez (Ind.)
David A. Catania (Rep.) 
Phil Mendelson (Dem.) 
Eugene Kinlow (Ind.)

Edward Chico Troy (StG.) 
Jim Graham (Dem.)

Kathy Patterson (Dem.) 
Eric Rojo (Rep.)

Vincent Orange (Dem.) 
Gail Dixon (StG.) 
Edward Henry Wolterbeek

Jenefer Ellingston (StG.) 
Sharon Ambrose (Dem.)

Joyce Robinson-Paul (StG.) 
Norma M. Sasaki (Rep.) 
Paul Strauss (Dem.)

Ray Browne (Dem.) 
Adam Eidinger (StG.)

Peggy Cooper Cafritz (Non.)

Marshall R. Phillips, Sr.
Benjamin Bonham
Tommy Wells
Sunday Abraham

William Lockridge

"Advisory Referendum on the Establishment of an Office of the District Attorney for the District of Columbia Resolution of 2002". To ask the voters on November 5, 2002, through an advisory referendum, if the Home Rule Act should be amended to establish an Office of the District Attorney for the District of Columbia, headed by a locally elected, independent District Attorney. On the next Mayoral election, following a one-time, initial appointment by the Mayor with approval of the Council, a District Attorney shall be elected to serve a 4-year term, be the chief legal officer for the District of Columbia, and prosecute all local criminal laws and perform any related functions, thereby relieving the federal government of the burden of prosecuting the local criminal laws of the District of Columbia, and have authority over civil enforcement of local law and over any other legal function, as provided by local law.

Shall the voters of the District of Columbia advise the Council to approve or reject this proposal?

YES, to approve
NO, to reject

"Measure 62 - Treatment Instead of Jail for Certain Nonviolent Drug Offenders Initiative of 2002." If passed, Measure 62 will provide substance abuse treatment instead of conviction or imprisonment to eligible, non-violent defendants charged with illegal possession or use of drugs.

Due to redistricting, all ANCSMD positions will be elected. For candidate information visit Democracy Net (DNet) the LWV On-Line Voter Guide on the Internet at website

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          1 10 am NCA Board Meeting* 2
3 4 5 Election Day Vote! 6 10 am LWVDC Board Mtg* 7 8 9
10 11 12 noon Unit Council 12 Dec. DC Voter deadline 13 10 am Education Committee** 14 15 16
17 18 19 9:45 am Southwest
12:45 NW Day
6:30 pm InTown Eve
20 9:45 am Upper 16th St. 21 9:45 am Chevy Chase/Ingleside
7:30 pm Evening Unit
22 NCA Voter Services Round Table*
Dec. DC Voter mailed
24 25 26 6:30-8:00 pm IR Mtg. "Africa and Development" 27 28 Thanksgiving Day 29 30

* Held at LWVUS Office, 1730 M Street, NW, 10th Floor
** Held at LWVDC Office, 733 15th Street, NW, Suite 432

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Political Arena: On October 15,2000, the US Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal of a decision rendered in March by a panel of three federal judges, who had claimed that the courts had no jurisdiction despite saying "None of the parties contests the justice of the plaintiffs' cause_,(and) Defendants do not seriously dispute that plaintiffs lack of representation in the House satisfies the 'injury in fact' requirement. . . Many courts have found a contradiction between the democratic ideals on which this country was founded and the exclusion of District residents from congressional presentation. All, however, have concluded that it is the Constitution and judicial precedent that create the contradiction; nor, is the court blind to the inequity of the situation plaintiffs seek to change. But longstanding judicial precedent, as well as the Constitution's text and history, persuade us that this court lacks authority to grant plaintiffs the relief they seek. If they are to obtain it, they must plead their cause in other venues [Congress]".

Chronology: Although qualified citizens of the District of Columbia had full voting rights for a decade, they were disenfranchised in 1800, when the federal government relocated here. For three years, from 1871 to 1874, D.C. was a territory which might have evolved into statehood. In 1961 the 23rd amendment granted D.C. the right to vote in presidential elections. Since 1970, a non-voting delegate has represented the District in the House of Representatives. (From 1993 to 1995, the delegate was permitted to vote in the Committee of the Whole so long as the vote was not crucial.) The full voting rights amendment of 1978 failed when confirmation by 2/3 of the states was not attained by 1985.

Background: Although the residents of the five nonvoting territories do not pay any federal income tax, District citizens pay at the second highest per capita rate in the nation. They are subject to all laws passed by Congress; they have fought in every war since the Revolution; were the first National Guard Unit to be called after 9/1 l; and serve on juries.

Even locally raised revenue may be spent only after a budget is proposed by the Mayor, passed by the City Council, and approved or amended by Congress. Frequently Congress has imposed riders on D.C. appropriation bills, and a rider denying the District the right to pursue voting rights has been added four times. The citizens of D.C. are the only federal capital residents (of 185 democratic countries) who are disenfranchised in their national legislature.

Recent Developments: Bills proposing no taxation for D.C. residents until they were granted full voting representation in Congress were introduced in both houses of the 107th Congress. In conjunction with these bills, in May 2002 citizens lobbied all 100 Senators, assessing the commitment to each bill; the lobby day provided an opportunity to educate each staff about our current situation. On July 19, the Subcommittee on the D.C. House Committee on Government Reform held the first hearing in 25 years about the lack of voting rights for D.C. Both LWVDC and LWVUS submitted written testimony. On October 9, 2002, the Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs voted out its version of the bill, after stripping it of the taxation provisions it would allow District citizens to vote for two Senators and a Representative. Two years after the automobile license plates with the slogan "Taxation without Representation" were introduced, a movement to redesign the D.C. flag was passed by the D.C. Council. Over the past two years, our shadow Representative Ray Browne has spoken with and received endorsements for full voting rights from the cities of Baltimore, Chicago, Cleveland, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and San Francisco, as well as the states of Alaska, Hawaii, arid Illinois. For 10 weeks in summer 2001, DC residents circulated petitions in support of our cause on the Mall, signed by 10,000 people, most of whom were out of town tourists. District citizen Timothy Cooper, after working for several years with international organizations, presented his case in Geneva to the UN Commission on Human Rights. He argues that the United States is in non-compliance with the UN Declaration on Human Rights.

Coalition: The League of Women Voters of the United States and the League of Women Voters of the District of Columbia join People for the American Way, Common Cause, the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, the United Methodist Church, and other organizations in the Coalition for D.C. Representation in Con Congress, better known as DC VOTE. Its website is


Budget Autonomy: In 1973, the original legislation to create the District of Columbia's local governance structure called for the District's budget to take effect after being passed by the D.C. Council and signed by the Mayor. But William Natcher, a conservative Congressman from Kentucky, insisted that the city budget, like the budgets of all federal agencies, by subjected to the federal Congressional appropriations process.
In 1982, LWVUS adopted a position calling for full home-rule powers for the District. Full home-rule powers include budget autonomy. However, because there was little; if any, action in support of this position, few League members, even those in the District of Columbia were aware of it.

The D.C. Budget appropriations process has traditionally been humiliating and costly for the District and embarrassing for Congress. Social riders to advance the narrow agenda of members of Congress are frequently attached. In many cases, the District has to delay spending locally raised revenue until Congress passes the D.C. Budget.

In 1999, at the conclusion of a two-year study on DC Finances, the League of Women Voters of the National Capital Area (NCA) adopted a position calling for the District to have autonomy in budgeting locally raised revenue and the elimination of the annual Congressional D.C. appropriations budget-approval process.

Recent Developments: There is currently legislation pending in both the House and the Senate that would give the District autonomy over its budget. Unfortunately, there will not be time to pass this legislation during this session. It is however, expected to be introduced during the 108th Congress.

Federal Payment: The fact is and always has been that the cost of providing services to a big city population as well as the federal government exceeds the amount of revenue the District of Columbia has the capacity to raise-capacity limited by both Congressional legislation and the District's unique status as a "stateless" city.

For almost 130 years, the district received compensation directly from Congress. Legislation passed in 1997 brought and end to this revenue stream. Today, the District of Columbia in fact gets less external financial support than any other urban U.S. city.

The National Capital Area League (NCA) in 1999 concluded a two-year study on District of Columbia Finances and adopted a position calling for a permanent federal payment for the District. At the LWVUS Convention in 2000, LWVUS adopted the NDA position through concurrence.

Recent Developments: Two prominent economists from The Brookings Institution have issued a report that presents a compelling case for federal revenue support for the District. The authors of the report are Carol O'Cleireacain, former budget commissioner for New York City, and Alice Rivlin, former director of the U.S. Office of Management and Budget. The General Accounting Office has been working for some months on a report of the District's structural deficit. The report is expected to be issued in February of 2003.
League of Women Voters of the District of Columbia 

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