B.A. political philosophy; ABD (did not write dissertation but did all PhD exams and course work), philosophy; MBA
Extensive published writing on DC, politics, and public policy. Intimate knowledge of DC as a 40+ year resident and realtor.
We do not need Congress to take over DC and administer it, or return its residential neighborhoods to VA and MD, as Republicans advocate, nor do we need Delegate Norton to be promoted to being Senator Norton, as she would like. Instead, I propose that Congress decentralize DC and take power away from our failed political class of multi-term incumbents. Each of DC’s Wards has a bigger population than many local jurisdictions - more residents than Falls Church in Virginia and the same as or more than Takoma Park, Chevy Chase, Silver Spring, or Bethesda in suburban Maryland. Congress should reconstitute DC where more elections happen at the Ward level - for Ward based local school boards, zoning boards, and above all for sheriffs elected by their Ward as if the Ward was a county. (Statehood activists might note that that way if D.C. ever did become a state, it would already have the
infrastructure of county governments real states already have.)
I think Americans nationally are becoming more and more aware of DC, but not for reasons we would like. Our current political class is very bad PR for statehood.
It's hardly unique in that, but since it is the nation's capital, talk radio hosts have begun to speculate that the federal government should take control of the city to make it safe for American citizens who might come to D.C. to lobby their Congressman. (One local Republican candidate for city council is also discussing "rescission," where DC's residential neighborhoods would be returned to neighboring states).
Though crime rates have been on the rise since 2017 - after dropping for decades - they have risen even faster recently, after the city council followed national “progressive” calls to defund the police. Homicides are up 13% over the last year. Robberies are up 27%. Violent crime over all is up 7%.
We have lost 50,000 residents since 2019 and will soon be smaller than the least populous states.
We need local, Ward-based, voter control of schools, public safety, and zoning. The failed incumbents must be stripped of power, which should be returned to voters locally. In particular we need Ward based sheriffs and jails so residents can do something about crime.
We also need all restrictions and lockdowns ended for charter schools, independent schools, and local businesses so our population can work, start careers, and receive an education.
We have not heard such anti-democratic rhetoric from Republicans about the District of Columbia since the early and mid-1990s. Republicans are afraid that D.C. has gotten closer to statehood than ever, and their response is, predictably, to try to take away what democracy the nearly 700,000 D.C. residents have. I have been able to reduce interference with home rule by working with allies in the Senate, even with Republicans controlling the Senate. I will defeat their efforts, and their efforts will only strengthen our case for statehood.
D.C. statehood now has 54% support nationwide, according to a recent detailed poll. We will continue to work with local and national organizations to push for D.C. statehood on all social platforms to show the nation the significant impact of the lack of statehood on D.C.
I will continue to push for the expansion of D.C. Home Rule through my Free and Equal Series, which includes bills to give D.C. the authority to set the date of special elections, control of D.C. courts, control of the National Guard, and grant D.C. legislative autonomy, to name a few.
Masters in Public Administration, Pennsylvania State University, 1970
Director of Research, Committee on the District of Columbia, U. S. House of Representatives, 1975-1992; Historian of D. C. Government and Politics for more than 50 years; Civic activist for D.C. self government, budget and legislative autonomy
I will do all in my power to build support in Congress for granting DC authority over its own budget and judicial system. I will work with Republicans and Democrats because, historically, advances of our political rights and self-government have been achieved only on a bi-partisan basis. If Statehood is not achievable, I believe we should focus on what can be achieved. Thus, I pledge to work for a vote in the House which could be granted through passage of a constitutional amendment and approval by the states. I believe there is sufficient support in the Congress and the country for such an amendment to have a practical chance for success. Voting representation in the House was proposed and supported by President Eisenhower and would end the injustice of D.C. residents paying more federal taxes than a number of states, but having no vote on how they are allocated by the Congress.
I would also advocate for a Senate delegate to give DC residents a voice and a presence in the Senate
I would use my office and all the congressional resources at my disposal as a platform to educate Americans about the unjust situation in which DC residents are the only American citizens who are taxed without their consent. Residents of the territories and Puerto Rico do not pay federal income taxes. By working with sympathetic members of Congress, I could increase awareness that DC residents deserve not to be "treated as aliens in their own country," as Frederick Douglass put it. I would advocate for hearings and legislation to secure voting representation in the U. S. House and a non-voting Delegate to the U. S. Senate.
Until voting representation in Congress is achieved, I would work to exempt D. C. residents from paying federal income tax. Taxation without representation is tyranny indeed!
It is shameful that DC has no prison for men or women, and that as a consequence our incarcerated citizens are sent to prisons hundreds or thousands of miles across the country, with negative consequences for any rehabilitation or successful return to their community upon completion of a sentence. I will strongly advocate for federal support to provide prison housing for men and women in DC so that their families and friends are able to visit frequently and maintain prisoners' community ties.
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