Bil Browning

Leadership I Can Believe In

Filed By Bil Browning | April 12, 2011 12:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Politics
Tags: direct action group, Leadership to believe in, Planned Parenthood, Vincent Gray

A lot of my grassroots activism stems from leading or participating in direct action zaps and activities. We've talked quite a bit on Bilerico about the different styles of activism - whether it's protesting or working from within - but it's not very often that you see something like this!

D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray and several members of the D.C. Council were arrested Monday at a protest on Capitol Hill, as city officials turned up the volume on their complaints about a vincent-gray-arrested.jpgfederal spending deal that imposes controversial riders on the District.

The spending measure -- agreed to Friday night by President Obama, Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) and House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) -- reimposes a Republican-backed ban on the District spending its own money to provide abortions to low-income women.

Congress has the ability to micromanage the District's affairs and I always see signs and posters about "Taxation Without Representation" here. While we have a representative to Congress, she's classified as a "delegate" and isn't allowed to formally vote. In this case, no federal funds are involved, but Congress is refusing to allow the District to choose how to spend its own money.

There's a clip after the jump showing Gray getting arrested and the response from Delegate Norton. She's obviously spitting mad and swears on camera! Now this is leadership I can believe in!

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Rick Sutton | April 12, 2011 3:25 PM

The "Taxation" thing is on the commonly-used DC license plates. Since the 70s, maybe before.

The Mayor getting arrested--that's rich. And I wonder if he's charged federally or in DC courts. It makes a difference.

That said...the seat of our government needs its own statehood, but if you think THIS Congress is going to grant it, it'll be over Mike Pence's dead body. And Boehner, Cantor, Bachman, et al.
Ugh. What a sorry-assed bunch.

As for "spending its own money," that's never been the case, and may not ever be. A good chunk of land is federal, so no property taxes are paid. Federal subsidies to DC's operating budget are the way of the world. I don't know how you can change that, without a complete reworking of the income/expense ledgers: higher personal taxes, fees from the feds, etc.

Our government costs money to house and staff. It's the driving force in the DC economic engine. One of the world's most-vibrant cities.

Which needs one Congresscritter and Two Senators.

Seems fair to me.

By the by, speaking of DC mayors, what happened to Fehnty? Hubba-hubba.