LCCR Applauds Senate Governmental Affairs Committee for Supporting Justice for D.C. Residents

Media 10.9,02

October 9, 2002 — Washington, D.C. Wade Henderson, Executive Director of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights (LCCR), the nation’s oldest, largest and most diverse civil rights coalition, issued the following statement today regarding today’s 9-0 vote in the Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs to approve S. 3054, the “No Taxation Without Representation Act of 2002”:

“Today’s unanimous vote by the Governmental Affairs Committee is a major victory in the continuing struggle to ensure that all Americans are able to have a meaningful voice in our democracy. S. 3054, the “No Taxation Without Representation Act of 2002,” sponsored by Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman (D-CT), provides residents of the District of Columbia with full, meaningful, long-overdue representation in both the House and the Senate.

“The LCCR applauds Chairman Lieberman and his colleagues on the committee – Senators Carl Levin, Daniel K. Akaka, Richard J. Durbin, Robert G. Torricelli, Max Cleland, Thomas R. Carper, Jean Carnahan and Mark Dayton – who voted today to uphold one of the most fundamental principles of civil rights on which our system of government is based: the right to vote and to have that vote mean something. The LCCR is also grateful for the tireless efforts of Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) in trying to make this legislation a reality.

“As a coalition committed to civil rights, the LCCR has made the passage of S. 3054 a top priority. The LCCR has long believed that it is fundamentally unfair to have two distinct classes of citizens in our country – one of which enjoys the right to full civic participation and the other which does not. U.S. citizens living in D.C. are currently the only American citizens who must pay federal income taxes without being provided any effective voice in Congress to speak out in their behalf. S. 3054 would end this injustice.

“As Congress is currently considering placing its final stamp of approval on comprehensive legislation to overhaul our nation’s electoral systems and prevent a repeat of the 2000 elections, it is equally important for Congress to ensure that votes, once casted and counted, serve their ultimate purpose of providing citizens with real representation. Because S. 3054 would accomplish this for D.C. residents, we strongly urge Congress to continue working towards its passage.”