By: Amanda Menas
Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton attended the monthly ANC 4C meeting on Wednesday evening as part of her “Norton in your Neighborhood” outreach.
The delegate primarily focused on her work in Congress over the last year, reinforcing her hopes that Democrats will win the majority of seats in both houses come November. One issue at the top of her personal agenda was statehood for the District of Columbia.
“Most of the House Democrats have been with us on statehood,” said Norton. Republican members of Congress supported giving statehood to territories, including the republican delegate from Puerto Rico. However, the delegate has not signed on to D.C. statehood. Norton mentioned the major difference was in the lack of federal income taxes territories are paying.
She also highlighted a previous partnership with Representative Tom Davis, who was advocating for an additional vote in the House of Representatives for Utah. He would have agreed to advocate for a vote for DC. However, the partnership ended when a rider was attached to the bill by the National Rifle Association.
Norton noted the riders added to her proposed bills were at “record numbers.” A specific rider introduced by Senator Marco Rubio of Florida proposed the elimination of all of D.C.’s gun laws.
“It’s my number one priority to keep that one going,” Norton said about stopping the bill from going forward. She referred to the riders and the lack of representation for residents as abuse.
Regarding the story published by The Washington Post in August releasing details about a secret plan for shutting down the metro in emergency situations, Norton said she was not opposed to the plan. “We do not have, in this country, secret plans,” she said.
Community members were able to ask questions, specifically regarding gaining control of the court system, and the impact of child arrivals and Immigration and Customs Enforcement regulations. She responded by saying all immigrant children in D.C. are with their guardians. But the agency hasn’t briefed her on the additional effects.
Norton continues to take positive steps with resolutions passed by District residents — including the legalization of marijuana in different states (with both CBD and THC), local budget autonomy, the Death with Dignity Act, Tuition Access Grants, and a pay raise for federal employees.
After Delegate Norton spoke at the ANC 4C meeting, the commissioners at the meeting also took steps to approve new local businesses and housing developments. They also heard from the community, councilmember representatives, and mayoral representatives.