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Letter to the Senate in Support of the DC House Voting Rights Act

February 24, 2009

Dear Senator:


On behalf of the National Education Association (NEA) 3.2 million members, we urge your support for the District of Columbia House Voting Rights Act of 2009 (S. 160) scheduled for floor consideration this week.  This important civil rights bill would extend full voting representation in the House of Representatives to the District of Columbia. 

Our nation was founded on the belief that every American should have a voice in governing this country.  However, for nearly 600,000 residents of the District of Columbia, this belief is not a reality.  Washington, D.C. residents pay federal income taxes and serve in the military, but do not have full-voting representation in the U.S. Congress.  NEA strongly supports the bipartisan approach to expanding democratic rights to all under- and unrepresented American citizens embodied in this legislation.  We believe S. 160 is an extension of the Voting Rights Act and should be acted on immediately. 

S. 160 pairs voting representation in the House of Representatives for citizens living in the District of Columbia with an additional seat for a state with large population growth, most likely Utah, thereby expanding the size of the House to 437 members.  The bill does not extend any rights or privileges for DC to the Senate, and is strictly concerned with how the House proposes to organize itself. 

NEA believes it is time to extend full House representation to residents of the District of Columbia.  It is time to help end 208 years of taxation without representation for the citizens of our nation’s capital.

Again, we urge your support for this important legislation.

Sincerely,

Diane Shust
Director of Government Relations

Randall Moody
Manager of Federal Advocacy