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Media Advisory July 15, 1998
Eleanor Holmes Norton blocks citizens from testifying on proposed convention center despite GAO report confirming their concerns
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Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) continued to block citizens from testifying in congressional hearings on the highly controversial Mt. Vernon plan for a new convention center today despite confirmation in a new GAO report that citizens' repeated warnings about cost overruns and phony budgets are justified.
The GAO report states that the total cost of the proposed convention center is $846 million not the $650 million stated by officials of the Washington Convention Center Authority and the D.C. Financial Control Board.
The report confirms budget estimates by citizens' groups like the Committee of 100 on the Federal City, which have warned authorities that the controversial center could cost well over $ l billion and be obsolete soon after it opens.
A hearing in the D.C. Subcommittee of the House Government Reform and Oversight Committee takes place today at 11 am in Rayburn HOB 2154.
Two dozen Shaw and D.C. residents staged a protest in Nortons office yesterday, charging that she is blocking their access to democracy by not allowing even one citizens' group to take part in the hearing. Industry representatives who have been pushing the project will be allowed to speak.
Eleanor works for the Board of Trade, the protesters chanted in her office. She hasnt done enough for the citizens of D.C., said David Van Williams, a candidate for D.C. Shadow Representative.
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