D.C. Councilman Marion Barry issued a missive of tweets this morning imploring fellow Democrats to “open their eyes” and work toward D.C. voting rights.
The former mayor even mused whether the District needs to be “gentrified” in order to achieve that goal.
“Yes, I am a Democrat. Always have been. But it’s time for Democrats to support the 600K disenfranchised US CITIZENS in DC. It is time!!” Barry tweeted. “It is time for the Congressional Black Caucus, Latino Caucus, the NAACP, ACLU to open their eyes and see the inequality in their front yard. It is time 4 the Nation to see the hypocrisy of “democracy” that we’ve been subjected to in DC.Taxation w/o representation is NOT DEMOCRATIC.”
“Why should any American & member of Congress think that we deserve less rights even if we live in DC? It is political. But it is WRONG!” he continued. “DC has faithfully supported the Democratic party for generations. But we would like the Democratic to show a bit of reciprocity. STAND UP!”
“It is time 4 Congress 2 face the fact that we need to become a state. We aren’t the horse & buggy town of visitors that existed then.”
He even suggested that bringing in a certain commonwealth would balance out concerns about statehood to the heavily Democratic district.
“To avoid partisan politics, bring in the REPUBLICAN Puerto Rico. States come in twos, one rep. one dem. SOMETHING needs to be done,” Barry tweeted.
“Let’s be honest: Does DC have to be ‘gentrified’ to get voting rights? Is that what we are wating for? Democracy has no color, right? Again, if you want to talk about voter suppression, let’s talk about voter suppression. It’s right here in front of you. & you say NOTHING.”
He said that democracy in the Middle East “doesn’t mean a damn thing to me compared to sharing democracy at home w/all other Americans.”
“My final question to DNC is, we got your back, had your back for many yrs, but do you have our’s? It is time to practice what is preached.”
D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D) was up on the DNC stage last night when congressional women took the stage, but that afternoon decried the fact that for the first time in two decades there was no spot on the speakers’ list dedicated to D.C. voting rights.
“Failing to give the District of Columbia a voice at the convention this year, in particular, is a bitter pill to swallow,” Norton said. “Since Republicans took control of the House of Representatives, they have put unprecedented energy into withdrawing our rights as a local jurisdiction, leading to civil disobedience in the streets of Washington.”
The DNC platform, however, did endorse D.C. statehood, including full congressional rights and budget autonomy.
“We come to these conventions not only to nominate a president,” Norton said. “We speak in order to reach our most valuable allies from the 50 states, whose assistance is essential if we are to obtain our rights. The convention has been the party’s most important amplification to voice our long struggle.”