The League joined 115 other organizations in urging Congress to respect local decisions made by the people of the District of Columbia and their elected leadership. The letter strongly opposes any legislative vehicle that overrides, limits or otherwise usurps locally elected decision-making by the District of Columbia.
Congress Should Stay Out of the District of Columbia’s Local Affairs
Addressed to bi-partisan House and Senate Leadership:
We, the undersigned organizations, representing millions of Americans from across the country, are concerned about the numerous measures that have been introduced that will unjustly undermine critical local decisions made by the people of the District of Columbia and their elected leadership. These local laws were enacted to address important local concerns, most notably criminal justice reform, reproductive freedom, democracy and equal treatment under the law. Efforts by members of Congress to impose legislative “riders” or pass disapproval resolutions usurp the prerogative of the District of Columbia’s elected mayor and council and the citizens they represent.
We also urge Congress to refrain from taking action that could threaten the District’s Local Budget Autonomy Act. The Act allows the District to spend local tax dollars based on its local budget at the beginning of the new fiscal year. The DC Superior Court has ruled the Act is valid, and the DC Council and mayor are proceeding with the District’s local budget in accordance with the law.
We understand that some in Congress are still seeking to use the legislative process to impose policy riders upon the people of the District. The undersigned organizations advocate on diverse issues and are united in our opposition to the inclusion of any legislative vehicle that overrides, limits or otherwise usurps locally elected decision-making by the District of Columbia.
Already, in just the first month of the new Congress, legislators have promised or introduced measures that takes away the fundamental right to self-governance from the people of Washington, DC.
Congressional interference in these local matters is unfair and intolerable.
Right now, Americans are debating important issues in communities throughout this country. But what is not up for debate is who gets to decide these questions. DC’s locally-elected leadership should decide what is best for the people of the District of Columbia.
The Mayor of the District of Columbia and the DC Council were elected by DC residents to represent their interests. Congress does not impose its views on any other local jurisdiction, and Americans in DC have no vote in the Congress to cast against this egregious and increasingly relentless attack on their local democracy. We expect Congress to be consistent by letting District residents manage their own affairs without interference or meddling.
We urge you to respect local autonomy and oppose any efforts that seek to force Congress’ views upon DC residents.
See full list of signatories in attachment.
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