Text of Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton's Address to the Democratic National Convention
FDCH E-Media, Inc.
Thursday, July 29, 2004; 7:51 PM
The following is a transcript of the remarks by Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D.C.) to the Democratic National Convention at the FleetCenter in Boston, Mass.
NORTON: My fellow Americans, there are 39 Americans at this great convention who appear no different from other delegates, but they are different.
Some, like me, were born in the nation's capital. My great grandfather was a runaway slave who came to Washington in the 1850s.
Others move to the District of Columbia every day for a different reason: because they want to live in the beautiful, livable capital of our nation.
But be forewarned, fellow Americans, you will lose your voting representation in Congress and many citizenship rights if you decide to live in the capital of the free world.
In the America of your nation's capital, we cannot spend our own local funds until Congress says so. And our local laws can be nullified against our democratic will.
NORTON: Of course, Uncle Sam counts on us to pay taxes every year. And our country can count on D.C. residents to fight and die in the nation's wars, as we always have, since the first American died for freedom near here at Lexington.
The people of the nation's capital, in their quest for equal rights, know who to count on to right this wrong.
We can count on the party of Martin Luther King Jr. and Fannie Lou Hamer to be the party of equal rights and voting rights.
We can count on John Kerry and John Edwards to lead the fight for equal voting representation in our Congress for the people of the District of Columbia.
One day, the nation's capital will have equal rights to democratic self-government as the 51st state.
NORTON: Until then, right now, no American should be paying taxes without representation.
Tonight, right now, no Americans serving in Iraq should be denied voting representation in the Congress that sent them there.
So tonight, for the men and women from the District of Columbia serving in our armed forces, for the 39 D.C. delegates here and for the 600,000 Americans back home in D.C., tonight, we begin a journey to ensure that equal rights means everybody by electing John Kerry president of the United States of America.
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