I first got involved in the issue of political rights for D. C. residents as a high school Junior in Pennsylvania. As a civics project on constitutional amendments, I travelled to the State Capital in Harrisburg to lobby my state representatives for passage of the 23rd Amendment, granting D. C. participation in the Electoral College and the vote for President. Little did I know that 10 years later, I would move to D. C. and, soon after starting work for the Congressional Research Service at the Library of Congress, would be assigned to work with the House D. C. Committee on a Home Rule Charter that would give D. C. an elected local government for the first time in 100 years.
Following passage of the D. C. Home Rule Charter Act I was hired by
D. C. House Committee Chairman Charles C. Diggs to serve as the Committee's Director of Research. During my 17 years tenure in that position, I wrote a history of the Committee and numerous committee reports on the political, economic and social development of Washington, D. C. from its founding to the present day. I served for 10 years as the Chairman's delegate on the National Capital Planning Commission (NCPC). Meanwhile, my wife and I raised three children in our Capitol Hill neighborhood, where we were active leaders in civic and historic preservation organizations, public school PTA, scouting, neighborhood sports leagues and church activities.
Since retiring from government in 1992, I have been active in a wide variety of civic organizations including the City Museum Project and Washington Historical Society, Oldest Inhabitants of Washington, D. C., and historic preservation projects such as the return of the Shepherd Statue to the front of the D. C. Government (Wilson) Building, the effort to save historic Rhodes Tavern, and advocacy for preserving the height limits that protect our historic buildings and streetscape.
I am running for Delegate now because Eleanor Holmes Norton has accomplished nothing toward advancing the political rights of D. C. residents in her 32 year tenure. It is time for a change! The chances have never been better for passage of a constitutional amendment giving D. C. a vote in the House and passage of a law creating a D. C. Delegate to give us a voice in the Senate. Both these objectives are achievable with bipartisan cooperation and leadership and Administration support. D.C. residents deserve voting representation in the Congress. They are the only Americans who are taxed without their consent, virtually "aliens in their own country," as Frederick Douglass said.