New Columbia Statehood Commission Draft Constitution, 5/6/16
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New Columbia Statehood Commission Draft Constitution, 5/6/16

September 11, 2019


>>MAYOR: GOOD AFTERNOON. I AM MURIEL BOWSER, I AM MAYOR
OF WASHINGTON, D.C., AND I AM CALLING TO ORDER — [ APPLAUSE ]>>MAYOR: I’M CALLING TO ORDER
THIS MEETING OF THE NEW COLUMBIA STATEHOOD COMMISSION. I WOULD LIKE TO RECOGNIZE THE
PRESENCE OF A QUORUM WITH ALL OF OUR MEMBERS PRESENT AND WE’RE
WAITING ON ONE, EXCEPT ONE WHO WILL BE HERE SHORTLY. AS A COCHAIR, I MAY CONVENE THE
MEETING, AND I AM DOING SO WITH SENATOR STRAUSS, WITH SENATOR
BROWN AND WITH REPRESENTATIVE GARCIA. I WOULD LIKE TO ASK THE MEMBERS
TO TAKE A LOOK AT THE MINUTES CIRCULATED FROM THE LAST
MEETING. ARE THERE ANY QUESTIONS,
COMMENTS OR CORRECTIONS ON THOSE MINUTES? HEARING NONE I WILL ENTERTAIN A
MOTION TO APPROVE.>>SO MOVED.>>SECOND.>>MAYOR: IT HAS BEEN MOVED AND
SECONDED. ALL IN FAVOR OF THE MINUTES AS
PRESENTED SAY AYE. ANY OPPOSED? THE AYES HAVE IT. AND THE MINUTES ARE APPROVED. I WOULD LIKE TO ASK THE MEMBERS
TO LOOK AT THE AGENDA BEFORE YOU. ITEM 1, APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES. ITEM 2, THANK AND RECOGNIZE THE
MEMBERS OF THE LEGAL ADVISORY COMMITTEE. ITEM 3, THE PUBLIC COMMENT
PERIOD. ITEM 4, THE NEW COLUMBIA
STATEHOOD COMMISSION AND A VOTE ON — IT IS A VOTING ITEM FOR
THE PUBLIC RELEASE OF THE DRAFT CONSTITUTION. ARE THERE ANY CHANGES TO THE
AGENDA AS PRESENTED? WITHOUT OBJECTION I WOULD LIKE
TO ADD AN ITEM 5 WHICH WOULD ALLOW FOR QUESTIONS ON THE DRAFT
CONSTITUTION. ANY OPPOSITION? LET ME ADD ITEM NUMBER 5,
QUESTIONS. SO LET ME ALSO RECOGNIZE IN OUR
LAST MEETING WE TALKED ABOUT THE WORKING GROUPS THAT WOULD
SUPPORT THE STATE — THE NEW COLUMBIA STATE COMMISSION, AND I
EXPLAINED THEN JUST WHAT THE NEW COLUMBIA STATE COMMISSION IS. IT IS THE COMMISSION THAT WAS
CREATED BY LEGISLATION BY OUR CO CHAIR AND COUNCIL CHAIRMAN PHIL
MENDELSON AND IT IS MADE UP OF THE MAYOR, THE COUNCIL CHAIRMAN
AND THE — AND OUR TWO SENATORS AND REPRESENTATIVES. THE STATEHOOD COMMISSION IS
TASKED WITH PROMOTING STATEHOOD FOR WASHINGTON, D.C. THE STATEHOOD COMMISSION
APPROVED A PLAN TWO MEETINGS AGO FOR HOW WE CAN HAVE A NEW
LEGISLATIVE PROPOSAL TO GO TO THE COUNCIL WHICH WOULD PUT THE
QUESTION OF STATEHOOD ON THE NOVEMBER BALLOT. PART OF THAT PLAN WAS THAT A
LEGAL ADVISORY COMMITTEE WOULD ADVISE THIS COMMISSION AND THAT
LEGAL ADVISORY COMMITTEE WAS ALSO TASKED WITH DRAFTING THE
CONSTITUTION THAT WOULD BE PUT BEFORE THIS COMMISSION AND
ULTIMATELY THE — AND NEXT THE COUNCIL AND ULTIMATELY THE
VOTERS OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA. SOME OF THE MEMBERS COULD NOT BE
HERE TODAY, BUT I WILL RECOGNIZE THEM AT THE END. SO LET ME START WITH JOHN BOOKER
FROM ARENT FOX. WHERE IS JOHN? GIVE HIM A BIG ROUND OF
APPLAUSE. SPENCER OVERTON, A PROFESSOR
FROM GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY. [ APPLAUSE ]>>MAYOR: RICHARD SHORE, OUR
PARTNER AT GILBERT. [ APPLAUSE ]>>MAYOR: EXCUSE ME, THE GEORGE
WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY IS WHERE SPENCER IS FROM AND SHELLY
BRODERICK, THE DEAN AT THE UNIVERSITY OF THE DISTRICT OF
COLUMBIA LAW SCHOOL. [ APPLAUSE ]>>MAYOR: AND COUNCILMEMBER
MARY CHEH FROM THE GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY. [ APPLAUSE ]>>MAYOR: MAY I ALSO RECOGNIZE
PROFESSOR VIETTE DEN WHO COULDN’T BE HERE FROM
GEORGETOWN, FRED COOK FROM HARRIS AND COOK, AND GARY
THOMPSON FROM REED SMITH AND MICHAEL MCKINLEY FROM BANCROFT
SO GIVE THEM A ROUND OF APPLAUSE AS WELL. [ APPLAUSE ]>>MAYOR: I WOULD ALSO LIKE TO
RECOGNIZE MEMBERS OF OUR COLLECTIVE STAFFS WHO HAVE BEEN
SUPPORTING THE LEGAL ADVISORY COMMITTEE AS WELL, AND LET ME
START WITH MY STAFF, BEVERLY PERRY, MY SENIOR ADVISOR. [ APPLAUSE ]>>MAYOR: AND BRIAN MOORE, THE
CHIEF OF STAFF TO CHAIRMAN MENDELSON. GIVE HIM A ROUND OF APPLAUSE.
RAISE YOUR HAND. THERE HE IS. [ APPLAUSE ]>>MAYOR: AND BETTY CAVENDISH,
MY GENERAL COUNSEL. [ APPLAUSE ]>>MAYOR: AND NICHOLAS
NARTOWITCZ, A CAPITAL FELLOW IN BEVERLY PERRY’S OFFICE. GIVE HIM A ROUND OF APPLAUSE. [ APPLAUSE ]>>MAYOR: AND ALSO RHEMA, WHERE
IS SHE? GIVE HER A BIG ROUND OF
APPLAUSE. THERE IS RHEMA. SO AGAIN I WANTED TO THANK
EVERYBODY FOR ALL OF THE HOURS THAT THEY PUT IN. WE ACKNOWLEDGED AT OUR LAST
MEETING THE VERY NECESSARY AGGRESSIVE SCHEDULE THAT WE HAVE
BUT WE ALSO RECOGNIZE THAT WE WANTED TO BE A THOROUGHLY — A
THOROUGH AGGRESSIVE EXERCISE AND THAT’S WHERE WE STAND NOW AND WE
ARE PLEASED TO BE ABLE TO DISCUSS WHAT WE’VE COME UP WITH. LET ME NOW TURN TO THE MEMBERS
FOR OPENING STATEMENT AND THEN I THINK WITHOUT OBJECTION I AM
GOING TO TURN TO THE LEGAL ADVISORY COMMITTEE TO MAKE A
PRESENTATION ON THE DRAFT CONSTITUTION AND THEN WE WILL
HAVE OUR PUBLIC COMMENT PERIOD FOCUSED ON QUESTIONS FOR THE NEW
COLUMBIA — FOR THE ADVISORY COMMITTEE. ANY OBJECTION TO THAT ORDER
CHANGE? OKAY. MR. CHAIRMAN?>>I’M ACTUALLY GOING TO PASS ON
AN OPENING STATEMENT AND TURN TO MY COLLEAGUES HERE.>>MAYOR: MR. SENATOR?>>THANK YOU, MADAM MAYOR. THIS IS AN EXCITING DAY FOR ALL
OF US HERE IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, SOON TO BE THE 51ST
STATE. [ APPLAUSE ]>>MAYOR: I AM SO EXCITED THAT
I AM LITERALLY GETTING CHILLS UP AND DOWN MY SPINE AS WE SIT HERE
NOW. LET ME JUST BEGIN BY THANKING
THE MEMBERS OF THE LEGAL ADVISORY COMMITTEE FOR THEIR
HARD WORK IN PREPARING THIS DRAFT AS THE ONLY LAWYER I
BELIEVE ON THE COMMISSION AND I’M NOT SURE THAT’S AN HONOR
NECESSARILY, BUT I WAS PRIVILEGED TO ATTEND SOME OF
THOSE MEETINGS AND WHILE I TAKE NO PRIDE OF OFF AUTHORSHIP ON
WHAT THEY ARE PRESENTING BUT I TAKE GREAT PRIDE IN THE QUALITY
AND SKILL ON THOSE ATTORNEYS WHO HAVE DONATED THEIR TIME AND
WISDOM AND SKILL AND EFFORT INTO BRINGING FORTH TO US THIS DRAFT
TODAY. IT IS OF COURSE JUST AN OPENING
DRAFT. IT IS A STARTING POINT THAT WILL
ENGAGE THE MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC BUT IT IS EXCITING TO BE
PARTICIPATING IN THE VERY FIRST WHAT I BELIEVE TO BE THE VERY
FIRST CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION HERE IN THE 21ST CENTURY. AND WHILE OUR FOUNDING FATHERS
— [ APPLAUSE ]>>HAD TO WORK WITH QUILL PENS
AND IN 1982 THE STATE OF THE ART STILL CONSISTED LARGELY OF
TYPEWRITERS, I AM EXCITED THAT WE WILL BE TAKING ADVANTAGE OF
ALL OF THE MODERN TECHNOLOGY TO ENGAGE THE PUBLIC IN A WAY THAT
HAS NEVER BEEN BEFORE POSSIBLE. SO I LOOK FORWARD TO THIS EFFORT
AND I BELIEVE WE WOULD BE REMISS IF WE DID NOT AT THIS MOMENT
RECOGNIZE THOSE FROM THE ORIGINAL 1982 CONVENTION THAT
ARE HERE. I SAW SOME OF THEM HERE TODAY,
AND I WOULD ASK AT THIS POINT ANY MEMBER OF THE ORIGINAL 1982
CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION THAT IS HERE WITH US TO PLEASE STAND
AND TO BE RECOGNIZED. AND THANKED. AND HONORED FOR YOUR SERVICE. [ APPLAUSE ] WE SEEK ONLY TO BUILD ON THE
FINE WORK THAT YOU STARTED AND WE APPRECIATE ALL YOU HAVE DONE
AS THE FOUNDING PARENTS OF OUR NEW 51ST STATE. THANK YOU, MADAM MAYOR.>>MAYOR: THANK YOU. SENATOR BROWN?>>THANK YOU, MAYOR. FIRST LET ME THANK KAREN ZOLGART
AND A RACHEL BERNARD WHO ARE ON OUR STAFF AND WORK FOR VERY
LITTLE MONEY AND WORK TIRELESSLY FOR THIS CAUSE. THEY ARE PART OF THE WHOLE
PROJECT AND THEY’VE DONE A GREAT JOB AND I THINK THEY SHOULD BE
RECOGNIZED. [ APPLAUSE ] AND LET ME ALSO SAY SINCE THE
MAYOR STARTED THIS PROCESS WE HAVE BEEN GETTING FEEDBACK FROM
PEOPLE AND I KNOW THIS IS A BIG THING. THE CONSTITUTION ITSELF IS A BIG
THING AND WE’RE GOING TO HAVE TO LOOK AT IT CAREFULLY AND DECIDE
WHAT MAKES THE MOST SENSE FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA BUT
LET’S NOT FORGET WHAT IS AT STAKE HERE. SINCE I STARTED IN THIS POSITION
OUR MOVEMENT HAS BEEN LIKE THE TOWER OF BASKETBALL. SOME PEOPLE WANT AUTONOMY, SOME
PEOPLE WANT A VOTE, SOME PEOPLE WANT RETRO SESSION. THIS IS OUR OPPORTUNITY TO SPEAK
WITH ONE CLEAR LOUD VOICE THAT STATEHOOD IS WHAT MAKES THE
PEOPLE OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA WHOLE. [ APPLAUSE ] STATEHOOD IS THE REMEDY. YOU KNOW, IT NEVER CEASES TO
AMAZE ME THAT YOU CAN GO OVER TO THE JEFFERSON MEMORIAL AND SEE
WE HOLD THESE TRUTHS TO BE SELF-EVIDENT THAT ALL BE CREATED
EQUAL OR GO OVER TO THE SUPREME COURT AND SEE EQUAL JUSTICE
UNDER LAW OR GO TO VISIT PRESIDENT LINCOLN CONCEIVED IN
LIBERTY AND DEDICATED TO THE PROPOSITION THAT ALL ARE CREATED
EQUAL BECAUSE EQUALITY IS A PREREQUISITE OF DEMOCRACY AND IT
IS TIME THAT WE END THIS FOOLISH 215-YEAR ANACRONISM AND IMAGINE
WHAT IT WILL BE LIKE IF WE CAN MARCH UP TO CAPITOL HILL WITH
90%, 80 OR 90% OF THE PEOPLE OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA IN
FAVOR OF STATEHOOD SPEAKING LOUDLY WITH THE SINGLE VOICE SO
THAT IS WHAT WE HAVE TO FOCUS ON. WE HAVE TO MAKE SURE THAT
HAPPENS. WE HAVE TO MAKE SURE THE CITY
COUNCIL STANDS WITH US AND WE HAVE TO MAKE SURE THAT THE CITY
FUNDS THIS EFFORT PROPERLY AND WE HAVE TO MAKE SURE THAT
EVERYBODY IN THIS ROOM IS INVOLVED BECAUSE THIS IS REALLY
A GREAT OPPORTUNITY THAT’S BEEN HANDED TO US. THANK YOU. [ APPLAUSE ]>>MAYOR: THANK YOU. REPRESENTATIVE GARCIA?>>THANK YOU, MADAM CHAIR. THIS IS AN EXCITING TIME. I’M ACTUALLY VERY PLEASED TO SEE
SUCH A LARGE TURN-OUT. THAT GIVES ME A LOT OF HOPE THAT
WE ARE WORKING ON SOMETHING AND GOING IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION
ANYHOW. I’M ALSO EXCITED TO SEE THAT
COUNCILMEMBERS ORANGE AND ANITA BONDS HAVE JOINED US. WE ACTUALLY TALKED ABOUT THIS
LAST NIGHT AT OUR MEETING SO IT IS STATEHOOD EVERYWHERE. THIS IS VERY EXCITING. I WANT TO RECOGNIZE NATE FLEMING
WHO WAS THE FORMER U.S. REPRESENTATIVE. SO VERY EXCITED. [ APPLAUSE ]>>VERY PLEASED I’M ABLE TO BE
AT THE TABLE BRINGING A PERSPECTIVE AND VERY EXCITED
ABOUT THE ENTIRE PROCESS.>>THANK YOU, REPRESENTATIVE. SO WE’RE AT LINCOLN’S COTTAGE, AND WE ALL KNOW WHAT HAPPENED
HERE. THIS IS WHERE PRESIDENT LINCOLN
WROTE THE EMANCIPATION PROCLAMATION. WE CHOSE THIS SITE OBVIOUSLY
BECAUSE OF THE SIGNIFICANCE OF A LINCOLN BEING HERE AND WRITING
THE DOCUMENT THAT FREED PEOPLE ACROSS THE UNITED STATES. BUT IT IS ALSO A FITTING REMIND
ER THAT WE ARE NOT FULLY FREE AND WE DON’T HAVE FULL DEMOCRACY
IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA SO WE THOUGHT THIS WOULD BE THE
PERFECT SETTING TO TALK ABOUT OUR DRAFT CONSTITUTION. SO LET ME TURN TO MISS PERRY AND
IF SHE IS GOING TO BE ASSISTED BY ANY OTHER MEMBERS OF THE
LEGAL ADVISORY COMMITTEE JUST TO WALK THROUGH THE DOCUMENT. I’M GOING TO ASK THE COMMITTEE
FOR A VOTE TO RELEASE IT AND THEN WE WILL RELEASE IT AND THEN
WE WILL TAKE SOME TIME FOR QUESTIONS.>>THANK YOU, MADAM COCHAIR. GOOD AFTERNOON.>>MAYOR: IS YOUR MICROPHONE
ON, BEVERLY?>>IS IT ON?>>MAYOR: THAT’S BETTER.>>THANK YOU. LET ME JUST FIRST OF ALL THANK
THE LEGAL TEAM. THIS HAS BEEN A VERY QUICK
PROCESS. WE STARTED THIS PROCESS AT THE
BEGINNING OF APRIL SO WE HAVE DONE A LOT OF WORK IN A FEW
DAYS. ONE OF THE LAWYERS THAT HAS BEEN
A PART OF THIS PROCESS IS ALSO RICHARD SHORE FROM THE FIRM OF
GILBERTS THAT IS ALSO HERE. WHAT YOU WILL RECEIVE TODAY IS A
BOOKLET LIKE I’M HOLDING IN MY HAND. THIS BOOKLET HAS THREE PARTS. IT HAS THE FIRST PART IS THE
HISTORIC PERSPECTIVE. IT EXPLAINS WHAT IS IN THE
CONSTITUTION AND WHAT IS OUT. IT TAKES US BACK THROUGH THE
1980’S PROCESS. THE SECOND PART IS THE RULES OF
PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT WHICH THE COMMISSION VOTED ON LAST TIME
AND YOU HEARD THOSE RULES BUT IN SUMMARY THOSE ARE SEVEN RULES
THAT PROVIDE THE STABILITY AND THE RULES OF ENGAGEMENT SAYS
WHAT THE PUBLIC PROCESS WILL BE WE WANT TO MAKE SURE THAT EVERY
SINGLE PERSON FEELS THAT THEY ARE A PART OF THIS PROCESS, AND
THAT JUST SO YOU KNOW, BECAUSE WE ARE TRYING TO MEET A CLOCK TO
HAVE THIS ON THE NOVEMBER BALLOT WE DIDN’T HAVE TIME FOR ELECTION
OF DELEGATES SO EVERY SINGLE RESIDENT OF THE DISTRICT OF
COLUMBIA IS, IN FACT, A DELEGATE TO THE CONSTITUTIONAL
CONVENTION. [ APPLAUSE ] EVERY SINGLE PERSON. SO AND THEN THE THIRD THING THAT
IS IN HERE IS THE DRAFT CONSTITUTION WHICH IS A
DISCUSSION DRAFT THAT THIS LEGAL TEAM HAS COME UP WITH AND LET ME
JUST VERY QUICKLY TELL YOU WHAT IS IN THE CONSTITUTION. IT IS VERY TRADITIONAL. IT IS — IT STARTS WITH A
PREAMBLE AND A BILL OF RIGHTS. THE BILL OF RIGHTS IS THE EXACT
SAME BILL OF RIGHTS THAT WAS IN THE, THAT WAS IN THE ’87 AND I
BELIEVE THE SAME ONE WAS IN THE ’82. SO IT IS THE ’87 BILL OF RIGHTS
THAT WE HAVE ADDED TO THIS CONSTITUTION. IT HAS EIGHT ARTICLES, THE FIRST
ARTICLE OF COURSE IS THE LEGISLATIVE BRANCH. THE SECOND ONE IS THE EXECUTIVE
BRANCH. THE THIRD AND THE EXECUTIVE
BRANCH INCLUDES FOR THE ELECTED ATTORNEY GENERAL AND ALSO
ACCOMMODATES THE PROVISIONS FOR CFO. THE THIRD IS THE JUDICIARY. THE FOURTH IS BUDGET AND
FINANCE. THE FIFTH IS BORROWING. THE 6TH IS REFERENDUM AND RECALL
PROCEDURES. THE 7TH IS AMENDING THE
CONSTITUTION. PROCEDURES FOR AMENDING. AND THE 8TH IS TO TRANSFER
POWERS FROM THE GOVERNMENT WE HAVE NOW TO A STATE GOVERNMENT. THOSE ARE THE PROVISIONS OF THE
CONSTITUTION. YOU WILL RECEIVE THIS AS SOON AS
THE COMMISSION HAS AN OPPORTUNITY TO VOTE. WE HAVE COPIES HERE FOR YOU.
THANK YOU. [ APPLAUSE ]>>MADAM COCHAIR, IF THERE IS NO
FURTHER DEBATE OR DISCUSSION I WOULD MOVE FOR CONSIDERATION, A
MOTION TO RELIEF THE CONSTITUTION OF THE STATE OF NEW
COLUMBIA TO THE PEOPLE.>>MAYOR: SO THERE IS A MOTION
ON THE TABLE TO RELEASE THE DOCUMENT INCLUDING A DISCUSSION
OF THE HISTORY OF A CONSTITUTIONS IN D.C., THE
PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT PROCESS AND A DISCUSSION DRAFT CONSTITUTION. IS THERE A DISCUSSION? DISCUSSION? DISCUSSION? ALL IN FAVOR SAY AYE. ANY OPPOSED? THE AYES HAVE IT AND IT IS
UNANIMOUS SO WE ARE NOW RELEASING THE DRAFT
CONSTITUTION. [ APPLAUSE ]>>MAYOR: FOR YOUR REVIEW AND
CONSIDERATION. SO WHO IS PASSING THEM OUT? OKAY. SO THEY ARE COMING AROUND. WE ARE GOING TO GIVE YOU A
SECOND TO GET THOSE TO COME AROUND AND WE WILL TAKE
QUESTIONS ON THE DRAFT.>>HELLO. WHILE THEY ARE PASSING THOSE OUT
I AM GOING TO ASK JOHN AND BESSEY TO JOIN ME AT THE PODIUM. AND BRIAN MOORE. THIS IS OUR FIRST DRAFT SO YOU
ONLY NEED ONE. WE KNOW WE’VE GOT TO MAKE SOME
CHANGES ALREADY, SO –>>AND LET ME JUST REMIND YOU
THAT THE CONSTITUTION IS POSTED ONLINE. THEY TELL ME THAT IT IS ALREADY
LIVE ONLINE. SO YOU CAN, AND WE HAVE A
COMMENT SECTION ON THE WEBSITE. SO MAKE SURE YOU CAN, AND
COMMENTS ON THE WEBSITE WILL BE TREATED THE SAME AS COMMENTS IN
PERSON AT ONE OF THE VARIOUS TOWN HALL MEETINGS.>>MAYOR: SO ARE WE GOING TO
WALK THE MICROPHONE AROUND? OKAY. WE WILL BE ABLE TO WALK THE
MICROPHONE AROUND, AND WE WILL START WITH QUESTIONS I THINK WE
WILL SHOOT TO WRAP UP AT 3:15. OKAY. YES? IF YOU COULD JUST STATE YOUR
NAME AND WHERE YOU LIVE AND YOUR QUESTION ABOUT THE DRAFT.>>YES. MY NAME IS DR. RANDY STEWART AND
I’M WITH THE STATEHOOD GREEN PARTY AS A WRITE-IN CANDIDATE
FOR CITY COUNCILLOR AT LARGE AND MY QUESTION WAS ABOUT WHAT KIND
OF RESOURCES WILL BE ALLOCATED FOR THE PUBLIC TO BE AWARE OF
THIS REGARDING THE VOTE? HOW WILL THAT BE DONE THROUGH
COMMERCIAL TELEVISION PUBLIC, RADIO SO PEOPLE WILL KNOW
BECAUSE IF WE DON’T GET THE NUMBERS THIS GOES DOWN IN
FLAMES.>>WELL, WHAT WE ARE FOCUSED ON,
THIS PROCESS GETS US TO GETTING IT ON THE BALLOT. AND THEN WE WILL LOOK, WE HAVE
OUTLINED A COMMITTEE AS ONE OF THE COMMITTEES THAT IS ABOUT
GRASSROOTS ADVOCACY AS WELL AS NATIONWIDE ADVOCACY, AND WE’RE
CALLING ON ALL OF OUR STATEHOOD PARTNERS TO HELP US WITH THE
PART. ONCE WE GET IT ON THE BALLOT
THROUGH THE COUNCIL UP INTO THE VOTE.>>IF I COULD ADD TO THAT, THE
COMMISSION HAS A BUDGET SO WE DO HAVE THE ABILITY TO PAY FOR
OUTREACH AND IN ADDITION THIS WILL BE ON THE NOVEMBER BALLOT,
AND THE NOVEMBER BALLOT IS A PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION YEAR SO WE
EXPECT THERE WILL BE A HIGH TURN OUT.>>MAYOR: OKAY. QUESTION IN THE BACK.>>HELLO. I’M JULIE, CHAIR OF THE
HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF WASHINGTON. MAYOR BOWSER, YOU WERE ASKED AN
EXCELLENT QUESTION ON KOJO TODAY WHY THE NAME NEW COLUMBIA. 15 STATES HAVE THE NAMES FROM
RIVERS THAT RUN THROUGH THEM OR AROUND THEM. WHAT ABOUT ANACOSTIA OR POTOMAC
AS OUR NAME SOMETHING THAT MEANS MORE TO US THAN THE TERM
COLUMBIA?>>MAYOR: DO ANY OF THE OTHER
COMMISSIONERS WANT AND THEN WE CAN TURN TO THE COMMITTEE THAT I
KNOW HAD A DISCUSSION ABOUT THIS ALSO.>>I WOULD LIKE TO ANSWER THAT
BY SAYING NEW COLUMBIA IS A NAME THAT WAS VOTED ON IN 1982 BY THE
CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION SO IT HAS ALREADY BEEN PICKED BY THE
PEOPLE. NOW, I WOULDN’T — I PERSONALLY
WOULDN’T OBJECT TO PUTTING OTHER NAMES OUT THERE, BUT I THINK
UNTIL WE HAVE A VOTE OF THE PEOPLE OF THE DISTRICT OF
COLUMBIA I WANT AN APPROPRIATE NAME WOULD BE, NEW COLUMBIA HAS
TO TAKE US THERE AT THIS POINT.>>MAYOR: ANY OTHER COMMENTS ON
THAT QUESTION? IT SOUNDS LIKE YOU HEARD WHAT I
SAID. I AM PERSONALLY NOT OPPOSED TO A
DISCUSSION ABOUT THE NAME, AND WE CAN DISCUSS, THE COMMISSION
CAN DISCUSS HOW THAT CAN BE BROUGHT TO THE PUBLIC MORE
GENERALLY, AND IT CAN BE A PART, I THINK THERE ARE A COUPLE OF WE
GET TO HAVE A COUPLE OF BITES AT THAT APPLE.>>MADAM CHAIR, CAN I ASK JOHN
TO SPEAK TO THAT?>>YES. I WOULD JUST SAY THAT THE
COMMITTEE REVIEWED ALL OF THE RECORDS AND DOCUMENTS FROM THE
’82 CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION AND THERE WAS A ROBUST DEBATE
ABOUT THE NAME, THOSE OF YOU WHO WERE THERE I’M SURE RECALL THAT,
AND THE NAMES THAT WERE CONSIDERED WERE ANACOSTIA, NORTH
POTOMAC, SOUTH POTOMAC, CAPITOL WAS ONE OF THE NAMES THAT WAS
DISCUSSED AND IN THE END THERE WAS AN OVERWHELMING VOTE OF
COURSE FOR NEW COLUMBIA, SO I JUST WANTED TO PROVIDE THAT
HISTORIC PERSPECTIVE.>>THANK YOU. [ APPLAUSE ]>>THANK YOU, MADAM MAYOR. MAURICE JACKSON FROM THE
GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY. [LAUGHTER]>>PROFESSOR OF HISTORY AND I’M
ALSO THE CHAIR –>>MAYOR: YOU’VE GOT TO USE
YOUR MIC.>>PROFESSOR OF THE D.C.
AFRICAN-AMERICAN AFFAIRS, ’82 DELEGATE. FIRST THE DOCUMENT DOES
INCORRECTLY STATE THAT THE ’82 CONVENTION WAS NEVER VOTED ON. IT WAS VOTED UPON AND RATIFIED
BY THE PEOPLE OF WASHINGTON. [ APPLAUSE ]>>SECOND, THE QUESTION OF
PROCESS. IT SEEMS TO ME THAT IF WE WANT
DEMOCRACY WE HAVE TO GIVE DEMOCRACY. [ APPLAUSE ]>>NOW, WHILE I UNDERSTAND
LAWYERS, DRAFTING SOMETHING, THE FACT IS THE LAWYERS DON’T DRAFT
THE CONSTITUTION. LAWYERS ADVISE THE DELEGATES WHO
WRITE THE CONSTITUTION, AND SO I THINK THE PROCESS IS A BIT
FLAWED. NOW, THE WASHINGTON POST DOESN’T
OFTEN GET THINGS RIGHT BUT YESTERDAY THEY ACTUALLY DID. A PETITION WOULD BE PRECEDED BY
NOVEMBER REFERENDUM AND IF THE CITY VOTERS FAVOR STATEHOOD AND
THE CONVENTION TO DRAFT AND RATIFY THE CONSTITUTION THE NEW
STATEHOOD WOULD INCLUDE SUCH AND SUCH SO THE PROCESS IS NOT THAT
A LAWYERS WRITE A CONSTITUTION AND THEN THEY GIVE YOU TWO DAYS
TO DISCUSS IT AND TO SAY THAT EVERYBODY IS BECOMING A DELEGATE
IS TO FLAW DEMOCRACY. [ APPLAUSE ]>>SO I THINK I KNOW WE’RE IN A
HURRY AND I COMMEND YOU, MADAM MAYOR AND MY FRIEND FRANKLIN AND
I COMMEND YOU BUT I THINK THAT IF YOU TAKE IT THIS WAY YOU
WOULD CHALLENGE EVERY LEGAL PROCESS POSSIBLE BECAUSE YOU ARE
NOT TAKING IT TO THE PEOPLE. WE ARE NOT DOING IT THE WAY
CONSTITUTIONS ARE DONE. [ APPLAUSE ]>>AND THEN I OUR HURRY TO DO
SOMETHING WE WILL BE FLAWED SO I SUGGEST THAT TWO DAYS IS NOT
ENOUGH.>>MAYOR: TWO DAYS?>>IT SAYS HERE TWO DAYS OF
DISCUSSION ON THE CONSTITUTION. IT SAYS HERE IN THE TIMETABLE.>>MAYOR: NO, WE’RE RELEASING
IT TODAY.>>IT SAYS TWO DAYS OF
DISCUSSION. I’M TELLING YOU WHAT IT SAYS.>>MAYOR: OKAY. I THINK WE GOT YOUR COMMENT. THANK YOU BUT I’M GOING TO MOVE
ON TO THE NEXT PERSON NOW.>>SO I QUESTION THE PROCESS. THANK YOU.>>MAYOR: THANK YOU. YES?>>MADAM MAYOR, WHEN YOU BECOME
GOVERNOR, WHAT WILL BE THE PROCESS OR WITH THE DRAFT HERE
FOR YOUR TAKING OVER THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA NATIONAL
GUARD? I JUST HAVE A MILITARY VETERAN
QUESTION. IS THAT PART — IS THAT PART OF
THE CONSTITUTION?>>MAYOR: HE WANTS TO KNOW,
OKAY, SO FIRST I WANT, AND I APPRECIATE THAT COMMENT BUT I
WANT EVERYBODY TO KNOW THIS IS NOT ABOUT ME. I’M THE MAYOR AND QUITE FRANKLY
A LOT OF PEOPLE DON’T KNOW THIS, BUT I HAVE QUITE A LOT OF THE
POWERS THAT GOVERNORS DO. CERTAINLY MORE THAN ANY MAYOR
THAT I’VE EVER COME ACROSS. SO IF IT IS — IF IT HAPPENS I’M
SITTING IN THIS SEAT WHEN WE BECOME A STATE SO BE IT BUT I
WANT TO MAKE SURE I’M WORKING TOWARDS WHOEVER IS SITTING IN
THIS SEAT WILL HAVE THE FULL POWER OF A STATE AND SO THAT’S
WHAT WE ARE FOCUSED ON. [ APPLAUSE ]>>MAYOR: DOES ANYBODY HAVE AN
ANSWER ABOUT THE NATIONAL GUARD? OKAY. SO LET ME PUT THAT ON –>>THE D.C. NATIONAL GUARD IS — [INAUDIBLE].>>GOT IT.>>MADAM MAYOR, MANY OF THOSE
THINGS WOULD HAVE TO BE ADDRESSED IN THE ADMISSIONS ACT. AND SO THE NATIONAL GUARD IS ONE
OF THOSE THINGS. ONCE WE FINISH THIS PROCESS AND
WE FILE THE PETITION WITH THE PRESIDENT, THERE WILL BE AN
ADMISSIONS ACT THAT WILL SPELL OUT A WHOLE HOST OF POWERS THAT
ARE NOT IN THE CONSTITUTION.>>THANK YOU, MISS PERRY. YES, MISS JENKINS.>>SHE NEEDS THE MICROPHONE, PLEASE.>>I WANT TO COMMEND EVERYONE
FOR STICKING TO STATEHOOD. WE KNOW THIS IS THE ONLY ANSWER
THE ONLY WAY WE GET OUR FULL RIGHTS. WE HAVE TO BE A STATE. I HAVE TWO THINGS I JUST WANT TO
SAY BRIEFLY. ONE IS THAT THE DELEGATES THAT
ARE HERE, THE ORIGINAL INITIATIVE THEY KNOW THAT IT
TOOK THEM TWO YEARS TO GO THROUGH THE WHOLE PROCESS, SO I
WANT PEOPLE TO REALLY CONSIDER THAT IT TOOK A LOT OF TIME FOR
THIS TO HAPPEN AND TO COME TO FRUITION, AND ALSO OUR
ORGANIZATION STAND UP FOR DEMOCRACY READ THE ’82 AND ’87
CONSTITUTION AT THE SHAW LIBRARY RIGHT THERE IN THE LIBRARY AND
WE WERE DOING SOME COMPARISONS AND THE 82 CONSTITUTION WHICH
WAS RATIFIED HAS A MUCH LONGER LIST OF THE BILL OF RIGHTS THAN
THE ’87 SO I WOULD LIKE WHOEVER IS DEALING WITH THAT TO COMPARE
THE TWO AND TO MAKE SURE THIS WE ARE NOT LOSING ANY OF THE RIGHTS
THAT WERE IN THE ’82 CONSTITUTION.>>THANK YOU. YES, SIR, PLEASE STATE YOUR
NAME.>>MY NAME IS PHILLIP BLAIR AND
WELCOME TO WARD 5 AND THE LINCOLN COTTAGE FROM WHICH YOU
CAN STILL SEE THE CAPITOL OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. MY QUESTION IS THIS I WONDER HOW
THE REFERENDUM IS GOING TO BE STRUCTURED. WILL IT BE POSSIBLE FOR ME OR
SOMEBODY ELSE TO VOTE IN FAVOR OF STATEHOOD YET IN FAVOR OF THE
’82 CONSTITUTION RATHER THAN THIS NEW ONE?>>MAYOR: NO.>>WILL THAT BE A POSSIBILITY?>>MAYOR: NO.>>AND IF NOT, HOW IS IT THAT
YOU ARE TELLING ME I WILL PLAY THE ROLE OF A MEMBER OF THE
CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION?>>IF I MAY, THE 1982
CONSTITUTION, IT WAS RATIFIED BY THE PEOPLE AND ATTACHED TO A
BILL. IT WAS FILED IN THE CONGRESS. AS YOU PERHAPS KNOW, EACH
SECTION OF CONGRESS ALL OF THE MEASURES THAT ARE NOT TAKEN UP
THEY EXPIRE. SO THE ’82 –>>[INAUDIBLE].>>UNLESS IT IS ATTACHED TO A
BILL. SO WHEN THE BILL EXPIRES.>>[INAUDIBLE].>>IF I MAY FINISH. SO THE GOVERNMENT IN 1987 TOOK
THE POSITION THAT THAT BILL HAD EXPIRED AND THE COUNCIL PASSED A
NEW CONSTITUTION WHICH WAS NOT RATIFIED BY THE PEOPLE AND SO
THIS PROCESS IS JUST TO UPDATE THAT 1987 CONSTITUTION TO MAKE
IT CONTEMPORANEOUS WITH OUR GOVERNMENT NOW.>>MAYOR: OKAY. THANK YOU. YOU HAVE HAD YOUR CHANCE. YES?>>HELLO. [INAUDIBLE]. I WANT TO CONGRATULATE AND
SUPPORT THIS INITIATIVE THAT HAS BEEN FUTURE FORWARD. WHEN I GOT INVOLVED IN THIS
MOVEMENT MY HAIR WAS BLACK AND NOW IT IS GRAY BUT WE’RE STILL
FIGHTING, OKAY? I WANT TO CONGRATULATE THE NAME
BECAUSE THERE IS A REASON THAT NEW COLUMBIA FITS AND THAT IS
NEW COLUMBIA BORN IN WASHINGTON, D.C., NEW COLUMBIA BORN TO BE
FREE. THANK YOU.>>MAYOR: OKAY.>>I’D LIKE TO ADD THAT HECTOR
RODRIGUEZ’ HAIR HAS NOW — [INAUDIBLE].>>MAYOR: THERE IS A QUESTION
HERE? WHO HAS A QUESTION? THEY ARE REPLACING THE BATTERY. OKAY. RIGHT HERE.>>THE QUESTION I HAVE. [INAUDIBLE].>>THE QUESTION I HAVE IS WHY
ARE WE MODELLING THIS ON THE COLONIAL GOVERNMENT AS OPPOSED
TO BEING A NEW STATE GOVERNMENT AND
THAT SHOWS UP PARTICULARLY
IN THE SIDE OF THE HOUSE OF DELEGATES, THE LACK OF THE
GOVERNOR AND IN THE TRANSITION PROVISION WHICH KEEPS EVERYBODY
IN OFFICE WHO IS IN OFFICE NOW WITH NO NEW ELECTIONS FOR US TO
ELECT A NEW STATE GOVERNMENT IMMEDIATELY AFTER WE HAVE SET UP
AND ONLY ELECTIONS TO ELECT MUCH MORE REPRESENTATIVE HOUSE OF
DELEGATES. THE ’87 CONSTITUTION HAD 25
MEMBERS. 82 CONSTITUTION HAS 40. AND WE NEED MUCH MORE
REPRESENTATIVES THAN WE HAVE NOW IN OUR STRUCTURE FOR STATE.>>MAYOR: OKAY. SO WOULD THE COMMITTEE LIKE TO
TALK ABOUT THE DISCUSSIONS AROUND, AND THEN I’M HAPPY TO
HAVE ANY COMMENTS FROM THE MEMBERS ABOUT A DISCUSSION
AROUND THE SIZE OF THE LEGISLATURE.>>MADAM CHAIR, WHEN WE SET OUT
ON THIS PROCESS, WE WANTED TO, OUR ADVISOR AS I NOTED EARLIER,
PROFESSOR [INAUDIBLE] IS ONE THAT ADVISED US ON THIS EFFORT. AND WHAT HE ADVISED US TO DO IS
TO MAKE SURE THAT WHAT OUR PETITION AND OUR CONSTITUTION OR
VERY COMPACT AND NOT WITH WHOLESALE CHANGES. SO WE DECIDED THAT WE WOULD KEEP
OUR GOVERNMENT IN THE SAME PROPORTION BECAUSE YOU CAN
IMAGINE IF WE SEND A PETITION TO CONGRESS AND WE SHOW MUCH EXPANDED GOVERNMENT THEY MAY
DEEM THAT TO BE A LACK OF RESPONSIBILITY. BUT I THINK THAT IS AN
APPROPRIATE QUESTION AND I THINK WE HAVE TEN PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT
SECTIONS. THIS COMMISSION IS GOING TO
CONSIDER ALL OF THOSE. THE COMMISSION, WE HAD THAT
DISCUSSION WITH THE COMMISSION AND THE COMMISSION TOLD US TO
JUST KEEP THE GOVERNMENT AT THE SAME SIZE BUT I KNOW THIS
COMMISSION IS WILLING TO ENTERTAIN THAT.>>MAYOR: ANY COMMENTS FROM
MEMBERS?>>LET ME JUST SAY THAT RIGHTS
GUARANTEED BY A CONSTITUTION THAT NEVER HAS THE FORCE OF LAW
ARE NOT RIGHTS. THEY ARE MERELY ASPIRATIONAL
HOPES. AND THE 1982 CONSTITUTION
SPELLED OUT MANY AS SEPARATION AL HOPES BUT IT DID NOT GET US
STATEHOOD AND WITHOUT THAT FORMALITY AND RECOGNITION BY
CONGRESS, WHICH CONSTITUTIONALLY STILL REQUIRED TO APPROVE THE
ADMISSION OF ANY STATE NO CONSTITUTION WILL GUARANTEE
RIGHTS. IT WILL MERELY CONTINUE TO
EXPRESS OUR HOPES. AND WHILE I LIKE HOPE I WANTED
TO ENJOY THE SAME RIGHTS AS EVERY OTHER AMERICAN WHILE ONLY
SOME OF MY HAIR IS AS GRAY AS HECTORS, NOT ALL OF IT YET. THE OTHER THING IS THAT WE’RE
NOT NECESSARILY WRITING THIS WITH AN EYE TOWARDS CONGRESS. WE KNOW THERE ARE A LOT OF
THINGS THAT CONGRESS ISN’T GOING TO LIKE ABOUT IT. CONGRESS IMPOSED UPON US A
RESTRICTION THAT SAID WHO FROM WHAT PARTY IS SERVE IN OUR
LEGISLATURE. THAT’S OUT OF THIS DOCUMENT BUT
WE ARE A COLONY AND WE WANT TO STOP BEING A COLONY AND WE WANT
TO MAKE THE TRANSITION FROM COLONIAL RULE TO SOVEREIGN STATE
RULE AS SEAMLESS AND EASY AS POSSIBLE FOR THE INSTITUTIONS OF
OUR GOVERNMENT. WE WANT THE NEW STATE TO
FUNCTION ON DAY ONE AS QUICKLY AS WE CAN AND SO THE MAIN
PURPOSE OF THIS CONSTITUTION IS ONE BIG AMENDMENT AND THAT BIG
AMENDMENT IS NOT NECESSARILY TO ENSHRINE THE HOME RULE
GOVERNMENT THAT HAS TAKEN US THERE BUT TO GET RID OF THE
OBSTACLES OF OUR SELF DETERMINATION, THE CONGRESS OF
THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA AND ONCE WE DO THAT, ONCE WE ARE A
STATE THIS DOCUMENT IS AS AMENDABLE AND CHANGEABLE AS ANY
STATE CONSTITUTION WILL BE. IN FACT, I THINK THE AMENDMENT
PROCESS IS MORE LIBERAL THAN A LOT OF OTHER STATE
CONSTITUTIONS. BUT UNTIL WE GET RID OF CONGRESS
THIS IS AN ACADEMIC DISCUSSION AND I DON’T WANT THIS TO BE AN
ACADEMIC DISCUSSION. I WANT A DEBATE REAL ISSUES AS A
CITIZEN OF A SOVEREIGN STATE. [ APPLAUSE ]>>MAYOR: OKAY. THERE IS A QUESTION RIGHT HERE
IN THE BACK.>>HI. MY NAME IS TRAVIS SWANSON AND I
LIVE IN WARD 7 EAST OF THE RIVER, AND I WOULD LIKE TO JUST
MAKE KNOWN MY STRONG OBJECTION TO THE NAME NEW COLUMBIA. I KNOW WE’VE HEARD MIXED REVIEWS
OUT HERE IN THE AUDIENCE AND MY CONCERN IS MORE SO WE FOR
SEVERAL YEARS IN THE EARLY HISTORY OF THIS COUNTRY HAVE
SUGAR COATED THE HISTORY OF CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS AND WHAT HE
DID AS A PERSON AND MANY CITIES AND JURISDICTIONS ARE STARTING
TO REJECT THAT NOTION NOW AND HAVE STARTED CALLING COLUMBUS
DAY INDIGENOUS PEOPLES SAY AND SO I DON’T THINK WE SHOULD
BESTOW AN HONOR ON CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS. I DO THINK WE SHOULD DO A PUBLIC
REFERENDUM WITH NAMING OPTIONS FOR PEOPLE TO WEIGH IN ON THIS
FOR PEOPLE HERE TO GET THEIR SAY. IT IS MORE THAN JUST A NAME IT
IS AN IDENTITY. WE ARE NEW YORKERS AND
WISCONSINS AND FLORIDIANS AND I THINK THE PEOPLE HERE SHOULD GET
TO WEIGH IN ON THE IDENTITY. A COUPLE OF SUGGESTIONS I WOULD
HAVE JUST TO ONE I WOULD LIKE TO SEE US NAME OUR STATE AFTER A
STRONG PERSON OF COLOR WHO IS RELEVANT IN THE HISTORY OF OUR
NATION. I THINK THE STATE OF SOJOURNER
WOULD BE THE GREAT NAME AND EQUALLY AS GOOD THE COMMONWEALTH
OF DOUGLASS AFTER FREDERICK DOUGLASS WHO RESIDED IN OUR CITY
AND USING THE TERM COMMON WEALTH THERE THE TERM D.C. WOULD STILL
REMAIN RELEVANT SO WE COULD USE THAT. I WANTED TO VOICE MY CONCERN
THAT THE PEOPLE SHOULD BE WEIGHING IN ON THIS.>>I THINK WE’VE MADE IT CLEAR
THAT WE ARE WILLING TO DISCUSS ALL OF THIS BUT I HAVE TO STAND
UP FOR MY ITALIAN GRANDFATHER WHO WOULD TELL YOU THAT MAYBE
THE FOUNDERS OF THIS NEW WORLD BY THE GREATEST ACCOMPLISHMENT
WAS TALKED A WOMAN OUT OF HIS JEWELRY SO HE COULD BUY A BOAT
AND THAT’S NOT AN EASY THING TO DO.>>MAYOR: LINDA, ANOTHER ONE IN
THE BACK?>>THANK YOU. I’M LINDA GREEN AND I LIVE IN
WARD 2. I JUST WANT TO SAY THANK YOU TO
THE MAYOR, TO THE CHAIRMAN AND ALL OF THE COMMISSION MEMBERS
FOR PUTTING THIS FORWARD. I THINK THIS IS A FABULOUS IDEA
AND IT REALLY GIVES US SOMETHING TO REALLY LATCH ON TO AND WORK
FOR. I DON’T SAY TAXATION WITHOUT
REPRESENTATION BUT IT IS MORE THAN A SLOGAN AND IT IS REALLY
GREAT SO THANK YOU SO MUCH.>>MAYOR: THANK YOU. QUESTION HERE, PROFESSOR? THEN BEHIND YOU NEXT AND THEN
LEE.>>DAVID FROM WARD 4, PROFESSOR
EMERITUS FROM HOWARD UNIVERSITY. I AM A D.C. STATEHOOD GREEN
PARTY. NOW, AT THE PREVIOUS STATEHOOD
CONVENTION I HEARD FROM SENATOR STRAUSS THE RATIONALE WHY WE
KEEP THE CURRENT STRUCTURE. IN OTHER WORDS 13 COUNCIL PEOPLE
BECOME LEGISLATORS, AND WHAT I HEARD WAS IT IS WORKING GOOD
NOW. IT WILL WORK GOOD IN THE FUTURE.
IS IT WHAT IS WORKING GOOD FOR WHOM? THAT’S THE QUESTION. WITH RECORD INCOME INEQUALITY
ONE OF THE HIGHEST POVERTY RATES IN THE NATION. IS THAT WORKING WELL? OR VANISHING AFFORDABLE HOUSING
FOR THE MAJORITY OF RESIDENTS. SO I CHALLENGE THAT AND FURTHER
WE ARE SUBMITTING SOMETHING TO SATISFY CONGRESS SO ARE WE
ACTING LIKE THE COLONIAL SUBJECT BEGGING TO BE ADMITTED AT A
STATE OR NOT? ARE WE DEMANDING OUR RIGHTS,
FULL RIGHTS AND THANK YOU. SO THOSE ARE MY COMMENTS.>>THANK YOU. [ APPLAUSE ]>>HI. I AM BO AND I LIVE IN WARD 6. I DON’T REPRESENT ANYBODY AT THE
MOMENT. I WANT TO ADDRESS THE SUBJECT OR
SOME OF THE CONTENT INSTEAD OF THE PROCESS IN THAT WE HAVE
LIMITED OPPORTUNITY TO ADDRESS SUBJECT MATTER AND I THOUGHT
THIS WOULD BE A GOOD CHANCE. THE SECOND ARTICLE IN THE BILL
OF RIGHTS IS VERY CONCERNING I THINK THE RIGHT TO BEAR AND KEEP
ARMS IS A CHALLENGING NOTION WITHIN THIS CITY THAT WE DEAL
WITH ON A CONSTANT BASIS AND THE LANGUAGE THAT IS TAKEN FROM THE
UNITED STATES BILL OF RIGHTS IS UNCLEAR. IT IS PROVEN TO BE UNCLEAR IN
FEDERAL COURT, STATE COURTS ALL OVER THE COUNTRY AND I WOULD ASK
THE LEGAL GROUP AND THE OVERALL COMMISSION TO REEXAMINE WHETHER
OR NOT THAT EXACT LANGUAGE NEEDS TO BE INCLUDED AS WE ARE TALKING
ABOUT GUN SAFETY. [ APPLAUSE ]>>CAN YOU TALK ABOUT THE
RECOMMENDATION TO PUT THE BILL OF RIGHTS FROM ’87 IN THIS
DOCUMENT?>>IT IS A STARTING POINT WE
WANTED TO SHOW A LOT OF RESPECT FOR THOSE WHO WORKED HARD ON THE
’82 AND THE ’87 CONSTITUTIONS BUT THE GENTLEMAN’S POINT IS ONE
THAT WAS RAISED. WE HAD CONCERNS ABOUT IT BUT WE
THOUGHT LET’S NOT START EDITING A BILL OF RIGHTS THAT’S WORKED
WELL FOR THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, FOR A LONG TIME MAYBE THIS
AMENDMENT HASN’T. BUT WE WEREN’T GOING TO START
PICKING AND CHOOSING WHICH AMENDMENTS WE LIKED AND DIDN’T. SO THAT’S WHAT THE PROCESS IS
FOR AND WE’RE GOING TO BE TAKING DOWN ALL OF THE COMMENTS WE HEAR
TODAY AND CONSIDERING AND RESPONDING TO EACH OF THEM AND
IT MAY WELL BE THAT THAT WILL BE ONE OF THE FIRST CHANGES THAT
ARE MADE.>>MAYOR: LEE?>>IS THIS ON? OKAY. GOOD. YES. I’M JAY LEE AKIN A BALLOT STATUS
CANDIDATE FOR AT LARGE WITH THE D.C. STATEHOOD GREEN PARTY. I HOPE ANYBODY WHO IS GREEN
PARTY WILL VOTE FOR ME. I’M VERY CONCERNED TO SEE HOW
THE BROADER PARTICIPATION OF THE PEOPLE HAS BEEN CUT DOWN IN THIS
PROCESS. IN ’82 THEY WERE RECOMMENDING 40
DELEGATES, WHICH IS SIMILAR TO WHAT VERMONT HAS. THEN IN ’87 IT CAME DOWN TO 25
DELEGATES. AND NOW IT IS BACK DOWN TO 13.
AND ONE OF THE THINGS I LIKED ABOUT HAVING MORE DELEGATES WAS,
A, THEY WON’T BE PAID PROBABLY QUITE AS MUCH SO IT DOESN’T
BECOME QUITE SO MUCH A LIFETIME JOB AS SOMETHING WORKING FOR THE
PEOPLE AND SECONDLY IT IS A LITTLE BIT HARDER FOR THE BIG
DEVELOPERS AND THE SPORTS BILLIONAIRES TO GRAB HOLD OF
THESE PEOPLE AND PERSUADE THEM TO DO WHAT THEY WANT RATHER THAN
WHAT THE PEOPLE WANT. SO I REALLY THINK WE NEED TO
LOOK AT THAT NUMBER. I THINK 25 IS A HECK OF A LOT
BETTER THAN 13 AND MAYBE 75,000 IS A LOT BETTER THAN 130,000.>>MAYOR: OKAY. THANK YOU FOR THAT. WE’VE GOTTEN A COUPLE OF
COMMENTS ABOUT THE SIZE OF THE LEGISLATURE. I WANTED TO MAKE SURE WE HAD AN
OPPORTUNITY, WE HAVE THE LIST OF THE MEETINGS, PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT
MEETINGS? I CAN READ THEM INTO THE RECORD.
I’M NOT SURE ARE THEY IN THIS BOOK?>>YES, YES.>>THE LARGE BOOK, THE LETTER
SIZE BOOK THAT WE PASSED OUT THE BACK OF IT HAS A LIST OF ALL
EVER THE MEETINGS.>>MAYOR: IN ’16.>>I’M GOING TO ASK PROFESSOR
OVERTON AND DEAN BRODERICK TO COME UP TO ASSIST US WITH
ANSWERS AS WELL.>>MAYOR: OKAY. SO WE HAVE TO WRAP UP THIS
PORTION OF OUR PROGRAM. I’M SURE PEOPLE WILL STICK
AROUND FOR ANY QUESTIONS AND I THINK YOU WOULD HAVE PICKED UP
AND IF YOU DIDN’T IT WILL BE ON THE WEBSITE THE PAMPHLET THAT
LOOKS LIKE THIS WHICH HAS ALL OF THE MEETING DATES. THE NEXT PUBLIC FORUM I BELIEVE
IS GOING TO BE ON MONDAY, A CITY-WIDE ANCS HAVE BEEN CALLED
TO HAVE A SIMILAR DISCUSSION. AND THEN THERE WILL BE LAID OUT
MEETINGS ACROSS THE CITY IN THE WARDS IN PREPARATION FOR THE
CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION. MEMBERS, IS THERE ANYTHING ELSE
YOU WOULD LIKE TO PUT ON THE RECORD?>>I WOULD LIKE TO ADD THAT WE
ARE GOING TO SUPPLY ALL OF THE LIBRARIES WITH COPIES, AND WE
WILL ALSO HAVE ALL OF THE ISSUES THAT HAVE BEEN RAISED BEFORE THE
COMMISSION ONLINE SO YOU CAN GO ONLINE AND SEE WHETHER OR NOT,
YOU KNOW, YOUR ISSUE IS ALREADY BEFORE THE COMMISSION TO BE
ADDRESSED.>>MAYOR: OKAY. SO WITH THAT IT IS NOW 3:14 AND
WE’RE ADJOURNED. BEFORE EVERYBODY LEAVES, MAY I
JUST ACKNOWLEDGE THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE AND NORA? IS THAT NORA? SHE HAS BEEN OUR HOST HERE AT
THE LINCOLN COTTAGE AND I BELIEVE THAT THE VISITORS CENTER
IS STILL OPEN, NORA FREE UNTIL 4:30. WELL, THAT’S IN AN HOUR AND 15
MINUTES AND THE VISITORS CENTER IS JUST BEHIND US SO I HOPE YOU
WILL TAKE A MINUTE TO WALK THROUGH. THANK YOU, EVERYBODY. THANK YOU.

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