Delegate Walter E. Fauntroy met with California legislative leaders here yesterday to plan how to revive the drive for ratification of the proposed constitutional amendment that would give the District full 'voting representation in Congress.'
Fauntroy arrived here yesterday morning, too late to influence the decision by the California Senate against waiving rules that would have permitted a vote on ratification before last night's scheduled adjournment of the legislature.
The belated arrival of the District's nonvoting delegate apparently resulted from a misreading of when the vote would occur and when Fauntroy's appearance here would be most beneficial.
Fauntroy said there would be no more activity in behalf of the ratification drive until after the Sept. 12 primary election in Washington.
Fauntroy said he would "retreat" with members of Self-Determination for D.C., a coalition of organizations that successfully guided the amendment through Congress, and make plans for a similar campaign in the various state legislatures.
Meanwhile, the Delaware House of Representatives defeated a move yesterday to ratify the propoeed amendment. The measure, introduced by Rep. Al O. Plant (D-Wilmington), lost on a 16-to-21 vote with two members not voting and two absent. A motion to table the bill also was defeated.
Earlier in the day, Sen. Herman M. Holloway Sr. (D. Wilmington), introduced similar legislation in the state Senate, but action was deferred.
Holloway said the Senate leadership had told him to hold off action on the bill. "It was said very bluntly that this is a highly sensitive and controversial issue," Holloway said.
One senator, Holloway said, called the amendment a "black and white issue." The population of Washington is about 70 percent black. Holloway, said he thought D* elaware would ultimately ratify the measure after legislators have more time to learn about it.
Fauntroy got off the plane here this morning not knowing that the resolotion had been turned down the night before.
The 22-to-16 vote in the State Senate came at 3 a.m. yesterday, Washington time. It was eight votes [WORD ILLEGIBLE] of the 30 needed to suspend provisions of the California constitution that require a 30-day public notice for a vote on newly introduced legislation.
Fauntroy conferred at the State House with Assemblywoman Maxine Waters D-Los Angeles), the chief sponsor of the resolution, and several aides. Fauntroy reportedly was reluetant to accept their judgment that the ratification drive was over here for the next three or four months.
Fauntroy attempted to explain is belated arrival by saying, "When I learned it was not likely to get the three-fourths majority, I decided it was important to come out and thank the bipartisan supporters who attempted to get ratification in the waning hours of the session."
"I and the people of the District are much encouraged by the euthusiasm and demonstration of the fact that we have to votes to pass it here in Jauary," Fauntroy said.