On March 2, DC Vote.org brought a peaceful direct action protest to Senator Harry Reid’s office for the purpose of seeking the Senate’s support against the draconian efforts by the GOP controlled Congress to limit and control DC’s ability to govern. Founded in 1998, DC Vote is a social advocacy organization grounded in helping the District of Columbia receive full democracy and voting rights in Congress. Although, the District has an elected mayor and city council, it must send its budget and all local laws to Congress for approval.
Recently, the Republican controlled congress passed a continuing resolution that would prohibit DC from spending its own money on programs that prevent the spread of AIDS and help low income women obtain safe reproductive health services. In addition, Republicans are trying to permanently limit the District of Columbia’s right to Home Rule authority. So, on Wednesday, during lunch hour from 12 noon to 1:00, approximately 50 persons peacefully, one by one entered the office of Senator Reid to express their personal concerns about the Republican controlled congress’ hold on the District and each left a letter requesting the Senator’s support for the District. Each carried a sign that said “Don’t tread on DC”, standing for the 1775 flag for freedom and values of this country.
The GOP has waged an all- out war against women, starting with all federal funding cuts to Planned Parenthood, cuts to the Women, Infant and Children program (“WIC”) which provides federal monies to the states for women and children up to age 5 for foods, health care and nutritional support to those in need. Now they want to prohibit DC from using its own money to help low income women in need of services. When will it end?
Meanwhile, parts of the District of Columbia face unusually high unemployment. So, instead of fixing the jobs issues, the GOP instead prefers to limit and restrict the rights of the citizens and services for women of the District of Columba. When will the insanity stop? As of this writing a government shutdown was averted for 2 weeks. Perhaps, in that short time, the Republicans will come to their senses on the District of Columbia having a say over their own funds, particularly for low income women. I doubt it but my hope springs eternal.
Washington, DC based Debbie Hines is a trial lawyer and political/legal commentator. She is frequently seen in the media addressing issues on women, race and politics and law. She received a Juris Doctorate from George Washington University Law School and a BA from the University of Pennsylvania. For the Best of LegalSpeaks blogs, click on the link to “Res Ipsa Loquitur” (the thing speaks for itself)