Democrats Endorse Voting Measure

By Robert E. Pierre
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, February 4, 2007

The District's effort to win a full seat in the House of Representatives won unanimous support yesterday from the Democratic National Committee.

It was the first step in a national lobbying campaign that will ask each of the presidential candidates to embrace the idea and will include grass-roots efforts in such early-voting states as Iowa and New Hampshire. The goal is to persuade members of the Democratic-controlled Congress to pass legislation by summer.

"We're very excited," said the DNC resolution's author, Donna Brazile, who ran Al Gore's 2000 presidential campaign. "This is the beginning of a 50-state campaign."

For decades, the District has fought for a voting seat in Congress. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.), can vote only in committees and on amendments to legislation. But legislation introduced last month would add a full seat in Congress for the heavily Democratic District and one for Utah, which is solidly Republican.

Passage is far from certain. Republicans are divided on the issue, and the measure would need 60 votes in the Senate to avoid a filibuster. Democrats, who have concerns of their own, hold a one-vote majority. Brazile remained optimistic about gaining traction.

Local activists and elected leaders, including D.C. Mayor Adrian M. Fenty (D), are also ramping up their efforts. On two days of lobbying and protest, one Feb. 15 and another in April, D.C. residents will take their message to Capitol Hill.

© 2007 The Washington Post Company