Home Rules

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Phil speaking at the District Home Rule 40th Anniversary celebration.

Happy Hump Day, Mendelson Post readers!  Last night may have seemed like an ordinary Tuesday night at the John A. Wilson Building, but it was home to a special birthday celebration: the 40th anniversary of District home rule!

Members of MPD's Honor Guard present flags before Tuesday night's ceremonies.

Members of MPD’s Honor Guard present flags before Tuesday night’s ceremonies.

That’s right, time really does fly when you’re having fun (and democracy!)  Unfortunately, the battle for full District voting rights, budget autonomy, and statehood continues to this day.  Despite the lack of full representation in our nation’s government, attendees of the celebration took in all the home rule hoopla, looking back on the progress of those before us and all that still needs to be done.

Sterling Tucker, the first Chairman of the Council of the District of Columbia and the MC of the night, speaks at the home rule celebration.

Sterling Tucker, the first Chairman of the Council of the District of Columbia and the MC of the night, speaks at the home rule celebration.

The District of Columbia was granted limited home rule in 1973 when President Nixon signed the DC Home Rule Act, establishing an elected mayor and thirteen member Council for the District.  District voters went to the polls in the fall of 1974 to exercise their democratic rights and elect their first Mayor and Council.

Mayor Gray gives remarks during the District Home Rule 40th anniversary celebration.

Mayor Gray gives remarks during the District Home Rule 40th anniversary celebration.

Phil joined Mayor Gray and current and former members of the District’s elected and appointed Councils as they reminisced about the progress made over the past four decades in advancing District autonomy and the work ahead for full statehood.  A gallery of photographs from the past 100 years were arranged throughout the area, detailing past efforts and victories in the battle for home rule over the century.

Phil speaking at the Home Rule 40th Anniversary celebration as current and former Councilmembers stand in front.

Phil speaking at the Home Rule 40th Anniversary celebration as current and former Councilmembers stand in front.

It is amazing how far the District has come over the years, but Phil and other speakers reminded those in attendance that the fight for local autonomy is still not over.  Hopefully, with the help of District residents, activists, and members of Congress, this blog will be able to report on full statehood for the 51st State of New Columbia!

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Flashback Friday: DC Commission for Women’s Inaugural Policy Conference

Phil, along with Councilmember McDuffie and Mayor Gray at the DC Commission for Women's Inaugural Policy Conference last Saturday.  Photo courtesy of Lateef Mangum.

Phil, along with Councilmember McDuffie and Mayor Gray at the DC Commission for Women’s Inaugural Policy Conference last Saturday. Photo courtesy of Lateef Mangum.

Happy Friday from the Mendelson Post!  We thought we’d treat you to a little Flashback Friday to usher in the weekend.  This week’s flashback takes us to last Saturday, October 18 when Phil had the pleasure of speaking along with Mayor Gray, Councilmember McDuffie, and members of the District of Columbia Commission for Women at their Inaugural Policy Conference, held at the University of the District of Columbia in Forrest Hills.

The DC Commission for Women's Inaugural Policy Conference attracted many people for an empowering day.

The DC Commission for Women’s Inaugural Policy Conference attracted many people for an empowering day.  Photo courtesy of Lateef Mangum. 

The inaugural conference was a success, attracting hundreds of District residents for a full-day event filled with discussions on topics of importance to women in the District of Columbia.

A successful Saturday!

A successful Saturday!

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The One That Got Away

"I swear it was this big!"

“The fish was this big!”

Happy Friday!  Phil had the pleasure this morning of regaling some visitors to his office about his most recent fishing trip and the 40-pound bass he came this close to catching.

Just kidding!  This was just a candid shot from this morning’s award presentation from the Tax Foundation for Phil’s work on reforming the District’s tax policy.  A little more presentable version can be found below.

Phil with members of the Tax Foundation presenting his award for reforming the District's tax policy.  The award is visible on the left.

Phil with members of the Tax Foundation presenting his award for reforming the District’s tax policy. The award is visible on the left.

Have a wonderful weekend!

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Mendo Minute

Phil speaking at the employers forum.

Phil speaking at the employers forum.

Up above is a photo of Phil at the “Hiring People with Criminal Records Makes Sense” employers forum at PNC Bank yesterday morning where he spoke about the District’s efforts to create incentives to hiring returning citizens.

Phil at the Mayoral-Council Joint Press Conference.

Phil at the Mayoral-Council joint press conference.

But wait, that’s not all!  That’s right, this is a Two-Times Thursday Edition of the Mendo Minute.  Later in the day, Phil held a joint press conference with the Mayor and Councilmember Wells regarding proposed emergency firearm legislation in the wake of the Palmer court ruling (finding that the District’s complete ban on carrying of handguns in public is unconstitutional).  Also at the press conference was Police Chief Lanier, Attorney General Nathan, and Deputy Mayor for Public Safety and Justice Paul Quander.

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Capitol Phil

Chairman Mendelson testifies before the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs hearing on S.132, the New Columbia Admissions Act of 2013.

Chairman Mendelson testifies before the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs hearing on S.132, the New Columbia Admissions Act of 2013.  Photo courtesy of Lateef Mangum

Happy Tuesday, Mendelson Post readers!  Monday marked the official end of the Council’s recess and while Council hearings are just now starting up again, Phil, along with Mayor Gray, Congresswoman Norton, and other District residents, took to Capitol Hill yesterday to present the case for DC statehood during a hearing for S.132, the New Columbia Admission Act of 2013.

The bill, introduced by Sen. Carper (D-DE), the Chairman of the Committee, would shrink the federal District of Columbia to an area encompassing the National Mall, federal legislative and executive buildings, the Supreme Court, and military bases, while the rest of the current District would become the 51st state the State of New Columbia.  The hearing by the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs was the first hearing on DC statehood in over two decades.

Phil, Mayor Gray, Representative Norton, and statehood supporters pack the Dirksen Senate Office building to testify on behalf of DC Statehood.

Phil, Mayor Gray, Congresswoman Norton, and statehood supporters pack the Dirksen Senate Office building to testify on behalf of DC Statehood.  Photo courtesy of Lateef Mangum.

Phil spoke on behalf of the DC Council on the first panel along with Mayor Gray and Congresswoman Norton.  The three highlighted in their testimony the injustice of disenfranchisement for the nearly 650,000 residents of the District, whom are denied the right of representation in the national legislature, and the freedom from intrusion in their local affairs from legislative review to budget approval.  No other capital in the free world is denied such representation in their national legislature.

Phil, Mayor Gray, Congresswoman Norton, and supporters in the hearing room of the Dirksen Senate Office Building.

Phil, Mayor Gray, Congresswoman Norton, and supporters in the hearing room of the Dirksen Senate Office Building.  Photo courtesy of Lateef Mangum

Phil’s full testimony can be found on the Council  website.

Congresswoman Norton, Mayor Gray, and Phil at the S.132 hearing.

Congresswoman Norton, Mayor Gray, and Phil at the S.132 hearing.  Photo courtesy of Lateef Mangum.

To find out more information on the DC’s push for statehood, please visit the official website of the Council of the District of Columbia or visit DC Vote, the District’s leading advocacy organization working for District voting rights.

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