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Have you and your group taken any position on local home rule? Mrs. BIGIO. I am glad you asked me that, Congressman McCulloch. Many years ago I was shocked at the action taken by the group. There were about 30 citizens present and took a vote on home rule. There were no sides representing home rule versus national representation, so that they could get a clear picture of the Nation's Capital and the importance of having it politically free in this democratic Nation of ours. Therefore, I can only state for the record that there was a very small group which were represented at the time, and, therefore, I didn't feel that the feeling, the consensus of opinion of the entire community, was represented truly. And I do know that they are interested in voting for President and Vice President and especially for representation in the House of Representatives, and we hope some day, maybe, you will give us some thought in the Senate, too.
Mr. McCULLOCH. I conclude from your statement that you do not know whether your group is for local home rule or against it. Mrs. BIGIO. We haven't had any
Mr. McCULLOCH. And that is no reflection.
Home rule came up on
the floor a few years back, and without any thought, the group took action, and that is all I can state.
Mr. McCULLOCH. What was the action?
Mr. McCULLOCH. What was the action?
Mrs. BIGIO. That they were in favor of home rule. And home rule as such many people don't understand. But in the past 2 years we have learned to realize the true meaning of home rule and national representation. There are many versions, and it is most conflicting. The CHAIRMAN. Thank you.
That will terminate the oral testimony. The record will be kept open for written statements for a period of 1 week.
At this point in the record I would like to include letters and other informative communications received by the subcommittee. (The correspondence referred to is as follows:)
STATEMENT OF HERBERT BORCHARDT, COMMANDER, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA DEPARTMENT, VETERANS OF FOREIGN WARS OF THE UNITED STATES
Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, my name is Herbert Borchardt. I am commander of the District of Columbia Department of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States, whose members are honored with the distinction of having served overseas in our country's Armed Forces in times of national peril.
In the military service we fought for preservation of our American ideals and institutions of justice and democracy.
Now as civilians, we continue our active support of these principles. We observe our obligation to inspire in the hearts and minds of our fellow citizens— particularly our younger people—a warmer appreciation of our form of government, of the American democratic system.
For example, only recently the Veterans of Foreign Wars climaxed-right here in Washington—a national contest among teenagers. Each State had sent the high school student who had been chosen, through statewide competition, as outstanding in presenting on television a speech entitled, "I Speak for Democracy."
Yes, students from our District of Columbia high schools participated. They too, paid sincere tribute to our proud heritage of true democracy in the United States. It is ironical that their own parents are denied the rights and benefits of democracy.
For citizens of their own hometown are the only Americans who do not have the right to a voice in the selection of the men who will hold the highest offices under our form of government. We contend that this is a condition of neither justice nor democracy. It should be corrected.
So our organization endorses the principles and pleas which have been submitted here by the Citizens Joint Committee on National Representation for the District of Columbia.
STATEMENT OF BERTHA MCNEILL, PRESIDENT OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA AREA BRANCH OF THE WOMEN'S INTERNATIONAL LEAGUE FOR PEACE AND FREEDOM, RE SENATE JOINT RESOLUTION 39
We wish to be recorded as supporting the provisions of Senate Joint Resolution 39. We believe the citizens of the District of Columbia should be able to exercise all of the rights of other American citizens.
Our support of Senate Joint Resolution 39 in no way invalidates our statement in support of home rule for the District of Columbia, which we believe should be voted by the Congress without further delay.
PEOPLE'S CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH,
Hon. EMANUEL CELLER,
Chairman, House Judiciary Subcommittee,
DEAR SIR: Please file the enclosed statement in the record of the hearings on House Joint Resolution 529. We thank you.
Very truly yours,
Re House Joint Resolution 529.
Hon. EMANUEL CELLER,
Mrs. MARGARET P. MCCANE, Chairman, Christian Social Action Committee.
Chairman, House Judiciary Subcommittee,
DEAR SIR: This is to inform you that the Christian Social Action Committee of People's Congregational Church fully endorses and supports the constitutional amendment granting District of Columbia residents national representation.
Native Washingtonians, and those of us who have made this city our home, feel keenly that we have no choice in the matter of national representation. We have borne patiently taxation without representation. Therefore, we urge positive and affirmative action of your committee on the above resolution. Please enter our statement of endorsement as part of the record. Yours truly,
Mrs. MARGARET P. MCCANE,
People's Congregational Church.
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA STATEHOOD COMMITTEE,
Hon. EMANUEL CELLER,
Chairman, the Judiciary Committee,
U.S. House of Representatives, Washington, D.C.
DEAR MR. CELLER: I would appreciate it if the following statement would be made a part of the record in the hearings on House Joint Resolution 529.
I respectfully submit that the territory now known as the District of Columbia is entitled to recognition as a part of the State of Maryland for purposes of national representation. When the Constitution was ratified on June 21, 1788, the District of Columbia was a part of the State of Maryland for all purposes. In 1800 when the National Government moved to Washington, sovereignty over the local government was transferred from Maryland to Congress.
Almost everyone since 1800 has assumed that the transfer of the local government has separated the District of Columbia from the State of Maryland for purposes of National Government as well as for purposes of local government. I disagree. Cession merely nationalized the local government and had no legitimate relationship to the manner in which District of Columbia residents were entitled to exercise their national franchise.
Under this interpretation, Congress should pass a simple resolution recognizing the District of Columbia as a part of the State of Maryland for purposes of national representation.
Therefore, I am opposed to House Joint Resolution 529.
BILL ALBAUGH, Acting Secretary.
STATEMENT OF OSCAR I. DODEK, PRESIDENT, MERCHANTS & MANUFACTURERS AssoCIATION, ON THE BILL TO PROVIDE FOR NATIONAL REPRESENTATION FOR CITIZENS OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
My name is Oscar I. Dodek, and I am president of the Merchants & Manufacturers Association. The association, now 40 years old, represents over 400 of the leading business firms of Washington. The board of governors of my association has unanimously supported the legislation now before you which would give the citizens of Washington the right to vote for the President and Vice President of the United States and which would also give those citizens representation in the Congress. I appear before you today at the direction of my board.
My statement will be very brief because we are in complete agreement with the statement which has been presented by the Citizens' Joint Committee on National Representation for the District of Columbia and we do not want to take the time of this committee today to restate that organization's belief, and policies.
However, the brevity of this statement should not be construed to mean that this organization is not vitally interested in this legislation. We are completely in support of the bill before you today and strongly urge you to favorably report the measure and to support it when it comes before the House. Respectfully submitted.
OSCAR I. DODEK, President.
TESTIMONY OF MORTON GLUCK, CHAIRMAN OF THE HOME RULE COMMITTEE OF ADA ON BEHALF OF WASHINGTON CHAPTER, AMERICANS FOR DEMOCRATIC ACTION, ON CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT TO GRANT NATIONAL VOTING RIGHTS TO THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
1. The Washington Chapter of Americans for Democratic Action has always supported the extension of national representation to the people of the District of Columbia. We do not believe it is necessary to justify, before this committee, an extension of democratic rights to the people of the Nation's Capital.
2. In the past, we have been skeptical of efforts to achieve a national vote. Opponents of local home rule have used this as a means of stalling home rule legislation and their interest in national representation usually terminates abruptly with the bottling up of home rule legislation. We recognize, however, that this present effort is a sincere and meaningful one. We are grateful that the supporters of this constitutional amendment recognize that it is neither a substitute for local home rule, nor should it be used to lessen the effort to achieve home rule.
3. In the area of home rule, the ADA has been willing, although reluctantly, to accept a partial grant. We feel that once the people of Washington have demonstrated their capacity to govern themselves in a responsible manner, it will be relatively easy to perfect home rule through the normal congressional process. The process of amending the Constitution, however, is a slow and cautious one. Gaining approval of the legislatures of three-fourths of the States will be a difficult process. Once we have gained national representation, it will be even more difficult to return to these State legislatures and enlist their support for an additional amendment granting the District its full representation. It is essential therefore that any proposal to change the Constitution should be as near to perfection, as close to our ultimate objectives, as possible.
4. The proposed Senate amendment made no provision for District representation in the Senate. In the early days of our Nation, the Senate was expected to be a senior advisory council to the President, selected by the various State governments. Today the Senate represents the people of the various States; although each house has primacy in certain legislative areas, the two share the national legislative authority between them. To deprive the people of the District of representation in the Senate, regardless of the type of representation they are granted in the House, gives each Washingtonian only a half vote in the Federal legislature.
5. Apparently operating on the same theory as the Senate amendment, House Joint Resolution 529 also makes no provision for District representation in the Senate. House Joint Resolution 529 further limits the representation of the District by reducing its membership in the electoral college. Washington will have a smaller voice in selection of the President than some 15 States with equal or less population; indeed it may have a smaller electoral vote than States less than half its size. The President of the United States represents the whole people of the United States, not its acreage; he should represent them all equally. There is no reason why the District citizen should have only a fractional vote for President.
6. An additional deficiency is that which provides that the District's delegates in Congress shall be limited in powers to those which the Congress shall determine. We would hope that Congress would speedily grant full legislative authority to the District delegates. But we fear our delegates in Congress may be doomed to impotency by the same hostile forces that today are frustrating the achievement of home rule.
7. We believe the people of Washington have been exceedingly patient in this long wait for meaningful citizenship. First on home rule and now on national representation they have demonstrated a willingness to sacrifice essential rights in order to gain an immediate fraction. But now we are in danger of losing the last shred of substance. We do not regard participation in national elections as recreation; we believe a vote has significance only as it results in a significant influence on the course of political events-a meaningful share of political power.
8. The people of Washington are subject to taxes, military service and other obligations of citizenship equally with all other citizens. The course of national politics and foreign policy affects their daily lives as it does the lives of all other Americans. Like all other Americans, we deserve the right to make our voices heard in a political meaningful manner-through voting members in both Houses and through a voice in national elections that will influence the course of such elections to the extent our numbers deserve.
We urge the committee to report out a bill which grants full national reprensentation to the people of the Nation's Capital.
Thank you very much for this opportunity to be heard.
My name is Sadye F. Meltzer. I am secretary of and represent the LamondRiggs Citizens' Association, a citizen group located in the upper northeast section of Washington, with a paid-up active membership of almost 1,200 families. Many months ago our organization voted to support the principle involved in the proposed constitutional amendment to let citizens of the District of Columbia vote for President, Vice President, and delegates to the House of Representatives.
In this juncture of world history, when it is so necessary to prove to the emerging new nations of Asia and Africa that the democratic principle represents the highest aspiration of political man, it is most undemocratic to continue to keep the citizens of the Nation's Capital, who in all other respects carry the same burdens in their relationship to their Government as do non-District citizens in the position of second-class citizens.
May we as citizens hope that the current Congress by passage of the amendment now under consideration, will at long last lay the basis for undoing the century-old injustice under which citizens of the District have lived.
JUNIOR BAR SECTION,
BAR ASSOCIATION OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA,
Washington, D.C., April 7, 1960.
Re: Senate Joint Resolution 39 and House Joint Resolution 29.
Hon. EMANUEL CELLER,
Chairman, House Judiciary Committee,
DEAR MR. CELLER: In view of the fact that the Bar Association of the District of Columbia testified in support of Senate Joint Resolution 39 and your bill, House Joint Resolution 529, the Junior Bar Section of the Bar Association of the District of Columbia felt that any attempt to make additional statements could not help expedite this legislation. However, we do strongly support this legislation and request that our short statement be included in the record.
The young lawyers in the District of Columbia are grateful to you for your assistance in helping us to achieve voting rights.
WALTER FRANKLIN SHEBLE.
STATEMENT OF WALTER F. SHEBLE, CHAIRMAN, JUNIOR BAR SECTION, BAR ASSOCIATION OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
The Junior Bar Section of the Bar Association of the District of Columbia, representing some 875 young attorneys practicing in the Washington metropolitan area, offers its wholehearted support for Senate Joint Resolution 39 and House Joint Resolution 529-national suffrage for the citizens of the District of Columbia.
In our work as young lawyers in the courts and in the community we are conscious that President and Vice President of the United States are particularly important Government officials with reference to the day-to-day functioning of the Washington community. The President appoints the executive government of Washington, D.C., and, directly or indirectly, many of the officers of the local government. In addition, all of the judges of our courts from the lowest to the highest are nominated for office by the President. These decisions have a vital effect on those of us who live and earn our living in the Nation's Capital.
The same argument can be made with reference to the activities of the House of Representatives since the Constitution places in the Congress the power to legislate for and govern the District of Columbia. In this great forum where matters of utmost concern to citizens of the District of Columbia are decided, we feel that delegates from the District of Columbia could be especially helpful to the House by providing particular knowledge and assistance on District problems.
We earnestly request an opportunity to share with our fellow Americans these important privileges and rights of citizenship.
Hon. EMANUEL CELLER,
UTICA, N.Y., April 4, 1960.
House Committee on Judiciary, U.S. Capitol, Washington, D.C.: Regret deeply impossible for me to attend hearing on bills to give voteless District of Columbia citizens a vote in national elections and representation in Congress. As president of the Columbia Historical Society, commander in chief in Military Order of the Loyal Legion, and Washington representative of Sons of Union Veterans of Civil War, I respectfully urge favorable action on any such legislation.
U. S. GRANT III, Major General, USA (Retired).