the blog of DC Drinking Liberally

May 16, 2007

Picnic Saturday With DC for Democracy


DC for Democracy is having a picnic Saturday, May 19, in Rock Creek Park to raise funds to support their efforts, including presidential primary activities, voting rights, and community projects. Special guests include Jim Dean, chair of Democracy for America (and Howard Dean’s brother); Judy Feder, 2006 House candidate in Virginia’s 10th District; and members of the DC council. Suggested donation is $35 for an individual, $50 for a family.

If you’re looking for a local grassroots group focusing on progressive politics, DC for Democracy is the organization for you — and much of the leadership is made up of DCDL regulars (I’m the IT chair), so you should feel at home.

For more information, see the RSVP page (and if you can’t make it but feel moved to donate anyway, you can do it through ActBlue).

May 14, 2007

DC Voting Rights Bill Hearing Tuesday


The next stage in the DC House Voting Rights Act’s passage through the Congress is a hearing Tuesday. If you’re able to come to the Hill that morning, please do, so we can have a crowd to demonstrate that DC residents care about the issue. Here’s the latest message from DC for Democracy:

As our patron Senator on DC Voting Rights and Chair of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs, Sen. Joe Lieberman has just announced the schedule and witness panels for an important hearing on S. 1257, the DC House Voting Rights Act of 2007, on Tuesday, May 15 at 10:00 AM. All details about the hearing, including the witness list, can be found at http://www.dcvote.org/events/event.cfm?eventID=330.

To demonstrate our overwhelming support for the Senate’s quick response to our demand for full House voting rights, we are calling on all DC For Democracy members who are able to attend the 10:00am hearing, to please do so. We need to make our presence known and pack the room on Tuesday. Please attend the hearing if you are able — and show up early to get a seat! If you cannot make it in person, the hearing will be Web cast live from the Committee’s Web site at http://www.senate.gov/~govt-aff/.

Please RSVP to votingrights{at}dcfordemocracy.org.

Hope to see you all on Tuesday!

Karen Rose
Chair, Voting Rights & Democracy Committee
DC for Democracy

Since my previous post on the subject, two more senators have signed on as cosponsors: Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) and John Kerry (D-MA).

If you’re a Virginia resident, please contact Sen. John Warner, who’s a possibly persuadable Republican member of the relevant committee, and ask him to support the bill, S. 1257. For that matter, wherever you are, if you have senators, ask them for their support. One way to send a message is to use the Free and Equal DC site.

May 4, 2007

Sens. Obama and Clinton Support DC Voting Rights


This week Joe Lieberman introduced S. 1257, the Senate version of the DC voting rights bill (the House version, H.R. 1905, passed last month). So far he’s got seven cosponsors, and it’s good to see that they include two of the Democratic presidential candidates, along with other Democrats from across the political spectrum, and the two senators from Utah (both Republican):

I’m hoping that Lieberman will be able to reach out to more Republicans to increase support and avoid a filibuster. Of course even if the bill passes the Senate it may still be vetoed by the president, but I’m hoping that if enough Republicans go along Bush won’t feel obliged to use one of his rare vetoes to stand in the way of bringing partial democracy to the residents of the nation’s capital.

If you’re one of those Americans who’s fortunate enough to have senators, please contact them and ask them to support S. 1257. You can use Mike Panetta’s Free and Equal DC site to send a message (and DC residents can use it to send messages to their state-dwelling friends).

May 2, 2007

DC for Democracy Gearing Up for Presidential Primary


The local grassroots group DC for Democracy has its monthly meeting tonight. They’re getting ready to kick off their presidential primary efforts, so they’re seeking input. If you’re looking to get involved in a group, this would be a great time to check out DC4D.

There will also be an update on the status of DC voting rights and some information about the upcoming Picnic in the Park fundraiser (mark your calendar for May 19).

Wednesday, May 2, 7pm
Ben’s Chili Bowl, 1213 U St NW (back room)
(across the street from U Street Metro, Green/Yellow Line)

April 12, 2007

Be a Part of History: March for Voting Rights Monday!


Demand the VoteOn Monday, April 16, DC Emancipation Day, Congress returns from recess, and the people of DC will be greeting them with the biggest demonstration ever for DC voting rights. You can be part of it. If you work for the DC government (including the schools), you won’t even have to take time off work, since Emancipation Day is a city holiday. Otherwise, please consider taking part of the day off and showing that you care about having voting representation in Congress, even if you can attend only the rally at 4 o’clock.

DC Vote is the main organizer of the march, which conveniently ended up being the week that the DC Voting Rights Act is expected to be reintroduced in the House. For details see www.votingrightsmarch.org.

I’ll be marching with DC for Democracy and some other folks from DC Drinking Liberally. If you’d like to join us, RSVP. I hope to see you there!

April 4, 2007

DC Special Election Candidates


The District is having a special election for Wards 3, 4, and 7 on May 1. Since I was researching it for tonight’s DC for Democracy meeting (please attend if you’re looking for a local grassroots political group), I thought I’d do one of my traditional posts listing the candidates in ballot order with links to their websites.

For the special election, there is no primary. Candidates from all the parties, along with independents, run on the same ballot, so the number of candidates can be overwhelming. This would seem to give Republicans their best shot at getting a ward seat in DC, but for some reason no Republicans got onto the ballot.

Residents of Ward 3 will vote for one school board member, residents of Ward 4 for school board and council, and Ward 7 for council. Residents of Wards 1, 2, 5, 6, and 8 won’t be voting this time. The deadline for registering to vote in the special election was April 2.

Candidates for the three positions are below. If I’m missing any candidates or links, let me know in the comments.


March 27, 2007

Wednesday Political Events


Those of you who are interested in politics and plan your schedule at the last minute are in luck. The evening of Wednesday, March 28, is chock-full of exciting events:

January 18, 2007

Help Set DC for Democracy’s Agenda for 2007


DC for Democracy is having its annual planning retreat Saturday. If you’re looking for a local grassroots political group to get involved in, consider DCfD (which grew out of DC for Dean and is associated with the national group Democracy for America). If you’re a DCDL Thursday night regular, you’ll see a few familiar faces in the group.

Saturday, January 20
11:30am to 3pm
Cleveland Park Library
3310 Connecticut Ave NW
(at Macomb Street, near the Cleveland Park Metro)

December 19, 2006

DC for Democracy Holiday Party Wednesday


DC for Democracy has its holiday party tomorrow, December 20 (RSVP):

Even though we all got our big gift for the year on Election Day, that’s no reason not to celebrate this holiday season. Join your fellow progressives and toast the new Congress, share cookie recipes, or just chill out with friends. We’ll also be, once again, collecting canned goods and other non-perishable food items to take to the Capital Area Food Bank. For the past two years, members have been incredibly generous and have brought lots of food in to help the homeless — let’s keep that tradition alive in 2006.

Suggested donation $10, or whatever you can give to help support DC for Democracy.

December 20, 2006
From: 07:00 PM until 09:00 PM

Marty’s 527 8th St SE
Contact: dcfordemocracy@gmail.com

Marty’s Restaurant is near the Eastern Market Metro.

November 10, 2006

Voting Rights Confusion


For those of us who live in the national capital and pay federal taxes but have no vote in the Congress that decides how those taxes are spent, this sounds hopeful, doesn’t it?

U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi said yesterday that she hopes to swiftly bring the District a step closer to full voting rights in the House, a measure D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton called a move in the right direction.

But the article goes on to say that although Norton would be able to vote on changes to legislation, “she would not be able to vote on final passage”. Okay, but that’s still something, right? Wrong. Look at the fine print, a few paragraphs down (emphasis added):

From 1993 to early 1995, Norton and delegates from four U.S. territories were allowed to vote on the House floor in most cases. However, if their votes ever provided the margin of victory on a measure, a House member could request a second, binding vote without them. Republicans nixed the limited vote in 1995, after taking control of Congress.

Pelosi’s press secretary, Jennifer Crider, said last night that the proposed rule changes would seek a return to those provisions. However, she said, Pelosi had not yet specifically addressed the issue of the U.S. territories’ voting rights.

So if Norton’s vote ever actually makes a difference, they’ll re-vote without her. In other words, the whole thing is just symbolism. I realize that Norton has been complaining for more than a decade now about losing this meaningless voting power, but that doesn’t mean that restoring it is anything to rejoice about.


DCDL is a blog by Washington, DC-area members of Drinking Liberally. Opinions expressed are the writers’, not those of Drinking Liberally, which provides no funding or other support for this blog.

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