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Forward to December 1998 DC VoterBack to League of Women Voters main pageBack to October 1998 DC Voter

The DC Voter
League of Women Voters of the District of Columbia
Vol. 74, No. 3, November 1998

1234 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W., Suite 208, Washington, DC 20006
202/347-3020,  fax: 202/347-2522
Website: http://www.capaccess.org/lwvdc, E-mail: voters1@capaccess.org

President’s Corner
Education: Number One Issue for 1998 D.C. Election
Unit Calendar
November Units: Human Rights: The U.N. Role
Annual Fall Luncheon: Joan Domike Honored for 50 Years of Dedicated Service
Committee Updates

Education Committee
Nominating Committee
Member News

Coffee House: “Shattered Dreams”

Community Meetings/News

D.C. Economic Strategy
Incentive for Housing and Job Creation
Washington Water Futures Project
Blue Plains Facility Plan
NCA Dates to Remember

LWV/The National Capital Area
Washington Water Future Project: Draft Quote
D.C. Congressional Representation: Further Events
Initiative 59: Pros. . .
Initiative 59: ...and Cons
In League . . . Around the Area

President’s Corner

To the surprise of the Massachusetts House property manager who welcomed us to our new location, the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs denied our certificate of occupancy. Without her knowledge, the zoning classification changed. The League plans to appeal this decision and request a variance. Without this certificate, we cannot renew our charitable solicitation license, a condition which impairs our fundraising ability.

The D.C. League is a member of the United Nations Association (UNA/NCA). The new executive director, Sharon McHale, invited me to meet with a few UNA board members to discuss and develop outreach to the Spanish-speaking community. Efforts will be made to place Latin American trade issues and experts on the local agenda, and invitations will be extended to Latino community organizations to cosponsor UNA seminars and programs. Cultural diversity in civic leadership is also a goal of the League.

At the following meetings, I did not represent the League in an official capacity, but used the opportunities to gather information about social issues with which the League is concerned.

Through contacts developed at the annual U.N. NGO Conference, I was invited to attend a Friends of the Earth seminar on split-rate property taxation, where methods of encouraging urban development and discouraging suburban sprawl were discussed. A follow-up forum is being hosted by the Washington Regional Network for Livable Communities (see below). This method of taxation is opposed by the local Tax Revision Commission and some local real estate developers.

I was also invited to the Jubilee 2000 conference sponsored by a coalition of national and international religious and labor organizations to propose the cancellation of the debt burdening the poorest nations. The conference at American University coincided with the annual meetings of the World Bank and the IMF.

1998 marks the 50th anniversary of the U.N. Declaration of Human Rights. Focusing on economic and cultural provisions of the document, the Poor People's Summit took place in Philadelphia for 350 economic human rights and welfare rights activists from across the country to discuss the impact of labor force downsizing and welfare reform. Workshops emphasized the importance of voting and political activism to combat homelessness, hunger, and the lack of health care. — Luci Murphy

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Nov 3 (Tue), D.C. General Election
Nov 4 (Wed) 10:00 a.m., LWVDC Board, LWVUS, 1730 M Street, NW
Nov 9 (Mon) 1:00 p.m., Nominating Committee, LWVDC, 1234 Massachusetts, NW
Nov 10 (Tue) 10:00 a.m., Education Committee, LWVDC office
Nov 10 (Tue) noon, Unit Council/Membership, LWVUS office
Nov 10 (Tue), Deadline DC Voter
Nov 15 (Sun) 2:00 p.m., Open House, LWVDC see listing
Nov 16-19, Units: U.N. Update, see article
Nov 20 (Fri), December Voter Mailing
Nov 23 (Mon) 11:30 a.m., Brown Bag Dialogue: Voting Patterns, LWVUS, 10th Floor, see listing

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Education: Number One Issue for 1998 D.C. Election

By the time you receive this Voter, you should have already received the Voter's Guide for School Board candidates. Education is the number one issue for the 1998 D.C. Election. That's what District of Columbia voters revealed at candidate forums and in their comments to the press during the primary election.

The elected officials who will have the greatest impact on the quality of education in our city are the members of the D.C. Board of Education. Voters, therefore, need to pay very close attention to School Board races.

The Board of Education's authority was significantly reduced in 1996 when the Control Board (D.C. Financial Responsibility and Management Assistance Authority) replaced the Superintendent of Schools with a Chief Executive Officer and appointed an "Emergency Transitional Education Board of Trustees." However, the full power of the elected Board of Education is scheduled to be restored in 2000. School Board candidates who are elected this fall will be serving on the Board when its full powers are restored. The quality of public education in this city will depend to a great extent on the effectiveness of the Board of Education.

If we want our city to have good public schools in the future, we have to do our homework this fall. Our assignment:

  1. Understand the responsibilities and challenges facing the Board of Education — Board members are charged with the critical governance tasks of setting a vision for the schools, ensuring that administrators and teachers have the necessary tools and facilities to fulfill that vision, overseeing the performance of administrators and teachers in carrying out that vision and acting as advocates for public education in the District of Columbia. One School Board member is elected from each of the city's eight wards. Three are elected at-large. Members serve staggered four-year terms.

  2. Using the Voter's Guide, select and vote for the candidates best qualified to meet the Board's responsibilities and challenges.

What is in this guide? This Guide contains the unedited responses to the questionnaires sent to all candidates certified by the Board of Elections and Ethics. Candidates were asked to limit their answers to a total of 300 words for all four questions. When answers exceeded the word limit, the text was cut, and three dots were added at the end to indicate deleted material.

Who may vote? Any voter who registered before October 6 of this year. --- Kathy Schmidt, Education co-chair

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Unit Calendar: November 1998

Chevy Chase, Call for address, Sue Whitman, 202/347-3020, TBA
Northeast Day, Woodridge Library, Rhode Island & 18th, NE,  Nov 19 (Thu) 12:45 p.m.
Northwest Day,
Iona House, 4125 Albemarle St, NW, Jeannette Miller, 202/347-3020, Nov 17 (Tue) 1:00 p.m.
Northwest Eve,
Call for address, Naomi Glass, 202/347-3020, Nov 19 (Thu) 7:30 p.m.
Southwest, Call for address, Gladys Weaver, 202/347-3020, Nov 17 (Tue) 9:45 a.m.
Upper 16th St.,
to be announced
November units focus on the United Nations and Human Rights.

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November Units: Human Rights: The U.N. Role
United Nations Update: The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Fifty Years Young

"Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world..." are the opening words of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted fifty years ago without a negative vote by the fifty-eight members of the United Nations General Assembly. Although not legally binding, the document has inspired more than 60 human rights instruments which together constitute an international standard of human rights. In observation of the Declaration's fiftieth anniversary, our annual U.N. update scheduled for the November Unit Meetings will focus for the first time this year on Human Rights. The Declaration's thirty articles are printed in the enclosed folder provided to the League by World Service Authority, an organization that promotes human rights and world citizenship.

All members are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the Declaration's text, produced by the U.N. Commission on Human Rights under the leadership of Eleanor Roosevelt. Of special interest to citizens of the District is article 21, which identifies "the right to take part in the government of his country, directly or through freely chosen representatives. " It was this right that we cited in choosing Past President Connie Fortune and Jean Fleming to be honored for their contribution to the cause of voting representation for D.C. at the United Nations Association's annual human rights luncheon last December.

The enclosed Fact Sheet should also help inform our Unit discussions. It is based on presentations by experts in the field who spoke at an open Committee meeting in October. The fact sheet reminds us that, even as we celebrate the anniversary, the United States has failed to ratify, in some instances even to sign, some of the human rights treaties that bring the Declaration into effect. In addition to reviewing the enduring importance of the Declaration, our Unit discussions will also provide an overview of two human rights treaties, widely ratified except by the United States, the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women.

United Nations Update, Part II: More treaties in Trouble. Looking ahead, we will continue our U.N. update at Unit Meetings scheduled for April, when we will discuss the failure of the United States to sign the Statue of the International Criminal Court, to ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty or even to pay our arrears to the U.N., now approximately $1.5 billion, thereby threatening our votes in the General Assembly. — Sheila Keeny, Chair, International Relations Committee

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Brown Bag Dialogue, November 23: The Impact of Voting Patterns on D.C. 11:30 a.m.–2:00 p.m., LWVUS, 1730 M Street, NW. Featured speakers include Dr. Ronald Walters, Professor of Political Science, University of Maryland.

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Annual Fall Luncheon: Joan Domike Honored for 50 Years of Dedicated Service

The League of Women Voters of the District of Columbia welcomed new member, Joan Domike into its rank in 1981. But before coming to Washington, Joan had already been involved in league activities in three states: New York, Virginia, and Rhode Island. She had risen to the office of President of the S. Kingstown, Rhode Island Chapter of the League.

During the 1960's, she lived in Argentina and Chile. Even there she carried the message of the League in South America. Back in the states, Joan served as a volunteer at the Headquarters for the League of Women Voters U.S. Later, she became a staff member, and worked there organizing local leagues.

Since joining the League of Women Voters of the District of Columbia, Joan has served in several capacities, including committee membership that focused on a Constitutional Amendment to secure voting rights in D.C. (1981) and another committee that considered statehood for D.C. (1985). Also she has been Vice President for Local Programs, Vice President for Action and most recently she completed a term as Treasurer for the Education Fund.

Joan has attended two national League conventions in Washington, D.C. and one in Minneapolis, where she first joined the League in 1948.

Joan is a graduate of Mt. Holyoke College, earning her B.A. degree in 1947, M.S. degree from the University of Minnesota (in Cancer Biology and Physiology Chemistry) and a law degree from Georgetown Law School.

In a recent interview, Joan credited the League of Women Voters for giving her "value and status in the community." After becoming active in the League of Women Voters, she was appointed to several boards and commissions. Through these experiences she learned more about government. This led her to pursue a law degree. The rest is history.

Betty Friedan's book, The Feminine Mystique had a great impact on Joan, personally, as it did on many progressive-minded women in the 1960's.

When asked about the changes she has witnessed during her membership in the various local leagues and the national League of Women Voters U.S., she ruminated on the perceived problems of attracting younger persons to membership in the League of Women Voters of the District of Columbia. She remembered that when she joined and in the early years, there were many young people in the organization. This is not the case now.

The League of Women Voters of the District of Columbia is privileged to have Joan as an active member. We are proud to acknowledge her 50 year milestone of affiliation with the League of Women Voters. — Betty Nyangoni

Committee Updates

Education Committee

The Education Committee, at the request of the Board, formulated four questions for the candidates for at-large positions on the D.C. Board of Education. After consensus by the Board members, the questions have been submitted to the candidates. Their answers will constitute the Voters Guide 1998. They are:

  1. What policies and procedures would you advocate to make the Board of Education a more responsive and accountable body?
  2. What policies and programs would you advocate to ensure that the District has a high quality school system? How would these guarantee a wide enough range of programs and options to make it possible for all students to graduate prepared for gainful employment, post secondary education and/or training?
  3. What measures do you favor the Board's using to hold the superintendent and his or her staff accountable?
  4. What modifications would you recommend in the master school facilities plan? Which parts do you agree with and which parts would you change?

Members of the committee also called the 104 DCPS elementary schools for enrollment figures and fax numbers. The numbers of students will be the number of copies of the Voters Guide delivered to each school. The fax numbers were used to alert each principal to the outline of the distribution plan for the Voters Guide.

Committee member Gladys Weaver has addressed 4th and 5th grade pupils at Burrville Elementary and 8th grade pupils at Evans Junior High School on registering and voting.

Our November meeting will be Tuesday, the 10th, because Wednesday is Veterans' Day. The committee welcomes newcomers. We meet at 10:00 a.m. at 1234 Massachusetts Avenue. Our topic will be charter schools and related issues. — Kathy Schmidt, Co-Chair

See also School Board article. Next Education Committee Meeting:: November 10, 10:00 a.m., LWVDC office.

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International Relations:

See article, for November unit information.

Nominating Committee

The committee will meet on Monday, November 9 at 1:00 p.m. at the League office. Please call Gladys Weaver, 202/554-3055, for information.

Member News

Welcome to the following new members: Greta G. Elliott and David Schwartzman.
Thanks to the following for donations: Jehu Hunter.

Open House: The League of Women Voters of the District of Columbia cordially invite you to an open house celebrating our new office. Join us for light refreshments to get to know other members: Sunday, November 15, 2-5 p.m. Massachusetts House, 1234 Mass. Avenue, NW Suite 208. Corner of 13th and Mass., between L and M; Metro: McPherson Square or Metro Center. There is plenty of street parking on Sundays. Do not park in the driveway of the building. Bring a friend!

Office Needs: The new D.C. League office has need for a few items, in particular a large area rug and floor lamps. Call the office at 202/347-3020 if you have one of these. The office staff will determine the appropriateness of your item, and we hope you understand if not all gifts are accepted.

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Coffee House: “Shattered Dreams”

Members of the D.C. League of Women Voters, community activists, and Trinity College students gathered for an informal evening at Brookland's Cup of Dreams on Monday, September 21, 1998. Lori Tang, who received the 1997 Mayor's Arts Award for Outstanding Emerging Artist, read poetry from her books. Greta Elliott from the H Street Development Corporation participated as emcee and joined the League that night.

Yolanda Palls, a published poet who immigrated from the Philippines, elucidated the disillusionment and "shattered dreams" suffered by some immigrants. Yolanda's organization, Shared Communities, Inc. advocates on behalf of domestic workers for fair employment practices. The reality of "shattered dreams" was brought home by Eugene Kinlow, Jr., who discussed the plight of Ward 8. He stated that Ward 8 was a place of social, economic and environmental misery, with no sit-down restaurants or cafes, and one grocery store scheduled to close.

Community activists shared their experiences. A former candidate, Bill Lewis, collected petition signatures from registered voters. Kathy Schmidt, Co-Chair of the Education Committee, discussed what the Committee was doing at the elementary, junior and middle school levels to educate students and their parents on the importance of voting.

It was a great Washington evening, and memberships are still coming from attendees. — Diane Rim

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Community Meetings/News

Medicare: Heads Up — Special Meetings! November 14 and Tuesday, December 8

At the outset of October we received detailed information about a special project underway of the United States LWV Education Fund and the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, "A Public Dialogue on Health Care: The Future of Medicare." This was mentioned in the September/October 1998 issue of The National Voter, in connection with the lead article on health care. The LWVEF/KFF project is sponsoring 11 focus groups with key target groups of citizens, which are structured research discussions; over 500 community dialogues, among small groups of about 20; and 10 community meetings, which resemble large public hearings with at least 200 citizens, including the media and policymakers.

A component of the project is the incorporation of community input into the Public Voice Report that LWVEF will present to the National Bipartisan Commission on the Future of Medicare in January 1999.

Through Unit Council (for October, as we go to press) we provided advance information about one of the major community meetings in our region: 9:00 a.m.- 12:00 Noon, November 14, on Oliver Street off Maryland Avenue, University of Baltimore, Langsdale Auditorium. The location is in central Baltimore; carpooling is suggested, but a combination of train and sponsors are LWV of Baltimore City (410/464-1901) local public transportation might be considered. The sponsors are LWV of Baltimore City (410/464-1901) and LWV of Baltimore County (410/464-1902)

LWVDC members are invited to their own meeting on December 8, 10:00 am-noon, Sumner School (Lecture Hall, 17th and M Streets NW) to become more informed and contribute to the process. While we will not have principal policy makers and media, we will have the benefit of participation by the LWVED Assistant Project Manager, Laura Blaisdell, and, we hope, a key Kaiser Foundation representative. We are very lucky! Come to either or both meetings. Contact me with any questions (202/363-8940). — Barbara T. Yeomans, 3rd Vice President, National Programs

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D.C. Economic Strategy

The D.C. Government is sponsoring an "Economic Summit," presenting the results of working groups on the D.C. Strategic Economic Plan at the World Bank's Preston Auditorium (1818 H Street, NW) on November 12, 3:30 - 5:00 p.m. Call 202/535-1970 for more information.

Incentive for Housing and Job Creation

The Washington Regional Network for Livable Communities is sponsoring a program on November 9, 1998, considering incentives for owners of vacant lots and boarded-up buildings to fix up or sell their properties. The guest speaker will be Rick Rybeck, Real Estate Tax Consultant. The program begins at 7:00 p.m. (refreshments, 6:30 p.m.) at 1777 Church Street, NW (between P & Q. 17th and 18th — Metro: Dupont Circle). RSVP to Deborah Katz, WRN Coordinator, 202/667-5445.

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Washington Water Futures Project

At the October 15 meeting of the LWV/NCA Water Task Force, Joy Hecht presented a draft of "Washington Water Futures Project." This document is a product of two years of study by the committee. A quote from the Draft appears on p.5 of this Voter.

At a following meeting (November 9, 1998, 12:00 to 2:00 pm at LWVUS office), representatives from local water authorities will be present to answer questions which have come from this study. At a later meeting, representatives from various local governments will be asked for information on plans for growth management.

Target date for completion of this study and a final draft is late December 1998.

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Blue Plains Facility Plan

The D.C. Water and Sewer Authority is seeking public comment on sections of the Draft Facility Plan for the Blue Plains Wastewater Treatment Plant. Consistent with the Clean Water Act and 40 CFR Part 25, citizens must be provided with information regarding the facilities planning process. Drafts of Chapters 2 through 4 and a summary of Chapter 5 are available for public review at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Library, 901 G Street NW and WASA Headquarters, 5000 Overlook Ave., SW.

One public meeting was scheduled for late October. For further details, call Libby Lawson at 202/645-6296.

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Remember! D.C. General Election November 3, 1998

See background articles on important School Board and Initiative 59 questions.

NCA Dates to Remember

1116/98, 10:00 a.m., NCA Board Meeting, LWVUS, 1730 M Street, NW
11/9/98, noon, Water Resources Task Force, LWVDC, 1234 Mass. Ave. NW
11/20/98, noon, Membership Talkout, LWVUS

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LWV/The National Capital Area

President: Naomi Glass, 202/686-0124, Editor: Gloria Harvey, 301/530-7379.

From the President: NCA Board, Chairs, and Committees are returning from summer activities and relative relaxation to work full-force on their LWV commitments. The Water Resources Committee, under Bob Perry's leadership, is readying background materials for 1999 studies.

The NCA Committee on D.C. Revitalization: Finances and Political Structure, newly named to reflect that the District government now functions under the Revitalization Legislation, is gearing up for NCA meetings in the spring of 1999. The committee would welcome additional representation from NCA's local leagues. Call Chair Elinor Hart (202-387-2966) if you are interested.

The NCA "talkout" on membership will be held on Friday, November 20. In the light of declining LWV membership, locally and throughout the country, this meeting offers an opportunity to exchange ideas of vital importance.

Finally, we look forward to meeting and sharing views with local league presidents at our annual luncheon, (this year, a brunch). Be sure to let your president know if there is something of regional interest you would like discussed. — Naomi Glass

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Washington Water Futures Project: Draft Quote

The League of Women Voters is conducting this study of comparative ways to address the anticipated shortages of potable water for the next 50 years based on the 1995 study produced by the Interstate Commission on the Potomac River Basin (ICPRB). This study predicts shortages by the year 2020 especially during times of low flow in the Potomac River which may result in water shortages, degraded water quality and possible rationing. The ICPRB study was necessary because of the Low Flow Allocation Agreement (LFAA) which stipulates the "every 5th year a review of resources available to meet demands must be performed." The League of Women Voters would like to educate the public in this matter and present possible options for ensuring a constant and high quality water supply for the Washington Area well into the next century. Ultimately, it is our desired hope that our findings will result in policy changes which will continue to ensure a safe and continuous water supply for future generations residing in our area. The geographical areas to be included in this study include the areas serviced currently by the Dalecarlia Water Treatment Plant located on MacArthur Blvd. in Washington, D.C. which obtains water from the Potomac River above Great Falls. The areas served by this facility includes: Washington D.C., Arlington County Virginia and parts of Falls Church. The League members conducting this study are not expert and have instead relied on: Literature searches, personal interviews, government publications, and internet searches as sources of information, data and interpretation. We have also made certain assumptions which will be identified throughout this report.

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D.C. Congressional Representation: Further Events

You know from the October DC Voter that the lawsuit has been filed in the U.S. District Court in the effort to gain D.C. citizens voting representation in Congress. (Submission of the petitions in support of the lawsuit collected at our opening luncheon will be coordinated with a newly formed Coalition for D.C. Representation, with which LWVUS has established contact.)

The line of argumentation which may well be taken in the lawsuit was previewed, in effect, on October 2. The American University, Washington School of Law, conducted an all-day symposium, on the merits of the lawsuit: "Is There a Constitutional Right to Vote and Be Represented? The Case of The District of Columbia." The proceedings are to be published in the December 1998 issue of [he American University Law Review. A set of the following documents provided at the symposium are on file at the office: the suit (Case Number 1:98CV02187), Program Conference Materials and Continuing Education Package (which includes an article by Professor Raskin in the forthcoming issue of the Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review), and a 1988 publication of the national Legal Center for the Public Interest "Statehood for the District of Columbia, Is It Constitutional? Is It Wise? Is It Necessary?" Also included is the April 1998 issue of the American University Law Review which contains "comments" related to D.C. management reform under the act establishing the Control Board.

Keep in mind that the day's proceedings entailed legal debate about constitutional law. Claims to Congressional representation argued on moral and political grounds are something else. The symposium was conducted in formal, academic style. There were too many speakers to list in this article (but all are identified in the handouts on file). They include law professors from various cities (including AU Professor Raskin), Judges, former U.S. Assistant and Deputy Assistant Attorneys General, current and former Senate Legal Counsels and included law from various representatives from voting- rights-related organizations. D.C. Delegate Norton was not able to participate as planned.

The first panel addressed the topic: "The Nature of the American Constitution: Is There a Constitutional Right to Vote and Be Represented?" Representatives on both sides made presentations. This was followed by debate and discussion by other speakers on: "Must Congress End the Disenfranchisement of the District of Columbia?" The luncheon keynote address was given by D.C. Corporation Counsel John Ferren. A second panel, judges in effect, gave responses to the issue specifically debated. The general consensus was that the side speaking for the end of the disenfranchisement won the debate.

Winning this debate does not necessarily prefigure a win by the lawsuit plaintiffs. While some were optimistic, others indicated it would be an up-hill struggle. The issue of representation in the Senate evidently poses the more thorny considerations. Regardless, we will get an education in U.S. constitutional law!

I take this opportunity to add background information about the lawsuit. It is now before a three-judge court and has been assigned to Judge Louis F. Oberdorfer. As I understand matters, the significance of this is, should there be an appeal, it would go straight to the Supreme Court. The plaintiffs, D.C. citizens and the District as a Community, seek a declaratory judgment that D.C. citizens have a right to constitutional representation. There would be pause to allow the Congress to act -- within its current authority (a constitutional amendment not being viewed as necessary). The right has been reserved to ask the court to decree a method of voting if the Congress does not act. The defendants, one executive branch and four legislative, have roles in carrying out duties germane to the case; they are: (a) Secretary of Commerce (William M. Daley), responsible for conducting the decennial census (Article I Section 2 of the Constitution) and for reporting the results to the President for the purpose of apportioning seats in the House of Representatives; (b) Clerk of the House (Robin H. Carle), responsible for certifying to each state the number of House members to which it is entitled, also for assisting the Speaker administering the oath of office to members; (c) House Sergeant-At Arms (Wilson Livingood), responsible for paying the members salaries and controlling entry to floor of the House chamber, (d) Secretary of Senate (Gary Sisco), responsible for paying Senators' salaries and, for each state with an upcoming Senatorial election or with a vacancy, providing the governor and secretary of state a form to certify the election the Senate, and (e) Senate Sergeant-at-Arms and Doorkeeper (Gregory S. Casey), the chief law enforcement officer of the Senate and thus controls entry to the floor of the Senate chamber. —Barbara Yeomans, 3rd Vice President, National Program

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Initiative 59: Pros...

Wayne Turner, Sponsor of Initiative 59, writes:

"Initiative 59 will protect patients with serious, or terminal illness, such as AIDS and cancer, when they are instructed by their physicians to [use] medical marijuana as [a] last resort.

"Cancer patients enduring the severe vomiting from radiation and chemotherapy sometimes find relief in medical marijuana. Glaucoma patients (the leading cause of blindness among Americans) have been successfully treated with marijuana for over 20 years.

"Initiative 59 prohibits non-medical use, requiring the supervision and care of a physician. 59 defends the patients, not abusers....

"The Yes on 59 Campaign is organized entirely by D.C. activists and health care providers, including the Whitman-Walker Clinic. Mayoral candidates Anthony Williams (D), Carol Schwartz (R), and John Gloster (SH) have all declared their support for Initiative 59.

"By voting Yes on 59 on Tuesday, November 3, the voters of the District can free the sick and dying from the threat of prosecution and imprisonment, when they are authorized by their doctors to use marijuana as a medical treatment. It's a compassionate choice."

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...and Cons

Joyce Nalepka, D.C. Coalition to Stop Marijuana Legalization in the Nation's Capital, writes:

"The FDC acts as a safety mechanism, testing medicines for safety and effectiveness. This guards against opportunists who would sell 'snake oil' or 'quack medicines for profit.'

"The effort to legalize marijuana, under the hoax that it is medicine, takes advantage of a very vulnerable population. AIDS patients should not be smoking anything! In fact, NIH warns, 'People with HIV and others whose immune system is impaired should avoid marijuana use.' (Pub #95-4036)

"'Studies done on glaucoma showed so clearly marijuana was not a safe, or effective, drug for this serious eye disease that all studies were halted.'

"Dr. Robert DuPont, first Director, National Institutes on Drug Abuse, says, 'Never in the history of modern medicine has burning leaves been considered medicine. Those in the medical marijuana/legalization movement are putting on white coats and expressing concern about the sick. But people need to see this for what it is: a fraud and a hoax.

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In League... Around the Area

Education: The Virginia League's Education Study Committee has prepared extensive materials on topics including: curricula, bilingual education, at-risk and gifted students, family choice, career education, charter schools (including a brief summary on chartering in D.C.), test scores, and capital improvements.

A copy of this report can be found at the LWVDC office (see October 1998 Arlington League Bulletin).

Housing and Recreation: Arlington (VA) League has formed two new study groups: one on housing issues and one on recreation (arts and parks). D.C. Leaguers with an interest in these topics may wish to contact the Arlington League for more information: 703/522-8196 (http://www.capacess.org/lwv_arl).

The DC Voter is a monthly publication of the League of Women Voters of the District of Columbia. It is available either through membership ($40.00/year) or through direct subscription ($10.00 per year). President, Luci Murphy, Treasurer, Naomi Glass; Editor, Virginia Spatz (email: vspatz@access.digex.net).
LWVDC, 1234 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20005. 202/347-3020. Fax: 202/347-2522.
Website: http://www.capaccess.org/lwvdc   E-mail: voters1@capaccess.org.

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