WASHINGTON – The District of Columbia's aspirations for full congressional representation got a boost Tuesday, after delegates of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe unanimously supported a declaration backing that idea.
"We're generating sufficient international heat," human rights activist Timothy Cooper said after the vote. Cooper helped put the voting rights issue on the agenda of the OSCE meeting in Washington.
Although D.C. voters are mentioned in just one paragraph out of 45 pages of recommendations and rebukes aimed at various countries, advocates dential vote.
Cooper said he will try to bring the issue before the OSCE's gathering of the world's foreign ministers in Slovenia in December. He said he also plans to push Congress to hold the same sort of hearings on the issue that it would if a foreign country were being censured.
Norton, meanwhile, said the Republican lawmakers in the U.S. delegation to the OSCE meeting -- who joined the unanimous vote -- cannot now turn around and vote against a congressional voice for the district.
"They have no alternative unless they're content with the hypocrisy of showing one face to the world and another at home," she said. "They have one alternative: to approve equal voting rights."