IMMIGRANT VOTING RIGHTS
Washington DC (July 13, 2004) --- Today Councilmembers introduced the "Equitable Voting Rights Amendment Act of 2004," a bill that will extend full local voting rights to documented permanent residents of the District of Columbia. The bill was co-introduced by Ward 1 Councilmember Jim Graham, Ward 4 Councilmember Adrian Fenty and At-Large Councilmember Harold Brazil, and co-sponsored by Ward 6 Councilmember Sharon Ambrose and Ward 7 Councilmember Kevin Chavous. The Voting Rights for All DC Coalition is actively seeking other co-sponsors. READ MORE
by Darby Hickey and Selina Musuta
....While the federal government has been moving in one direction, DC government has been moving in another. Hoping to give some immigrants a greater voice in local decision-making, the Voting Rights For All DC Coalition has worked to extend voting rights to documented permanent residents in every District of Columbia local election. Legislation was introduced in 2004, but council member and mayoral contender Vincent Orange’s opposition killed it in committee. “Several municipalities throughout the nation have passed similar legislation in recent years, including neighboring Takoma Park, Maryland,” says Mario Cristaldo, general coordinator of the Coalition.... READ MORE
Latino Agencies Network Newsletter
What needs to be done to expand voting rights to all residents? We need to amend in our DC Code the definition of the term “qualified elector” is stated to say that a “qualified elector” is a resident of the District of Columbia, as opposed to a citizen of the United States.
Noncitizens Seek Ballot Box Access
By Audrey Singer
What does the European Union have in common with Takoma Park? Both allow noncitizen voting in local elections. Noncitizens in both places live with the understanding that they are part of their communities and that political participation is important.
Howard, Melanie. "Vote to Extend Voting Rights Seen as Likely to Start a Trend," Washington Times, Nov. 7, 1991, at B3
Stephanie Griffith, Hispanics Seek Wider Clout in D.C. and Va.: Takoma Park Referendum on Voting Eligibility Spurs Immigrants' Interest, The Washington Post, Nov. 7, 1991, at D06.
Jamin B. Raskin, Their Chance to Vote, The Washington Post, Oct. 13, 1991, at C8.
Shaun Sutner, Measures Designed to Enlarge Voter Rolls Stir Debate, The Washington Post, May 21, 1992, at J1.
Takoma Park Asks Whether to Give Noncitizens Say, Baltimore Sun, Oct. 27, 1991, at 5B
Vanessa Williams, "Another Chance to Adjust Lineup on D.C. Council; At-Large Seat at Stake in a City That's Weary of Special Elections," Washington Post, Nov. 27, 1997, at J1