Michael Bindner's DC Blog

In this blog, I discuss DC politics and other issues of import to local government. I have posted several essays from my book, Musings from the Christian Left, on blog entreies dated June 2004.

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Location: Alexandria, Virginia, United States

Friday, September 08, 2006

Call for a People's Constitutional Convention (Geocities Rescue)

Proposed Goal: To recommend to the Council of the District of Columbia a proposed New Columbia Constitution and Home Rule Act Amendments to be submitted to District of Columbia voters. Even if the Council proposes and submits a different constitution, the goal of resolving the problem of two New Columbia Constitutions will be achieved. This action will advance statehood by removing a major obstacle, a single ratified constitution acceptable to the Congress. If state structures are put in place for the current District Government, the cause is even further advanced, especially if Congress resists and elevates the issue.

Proposed Membership: Six members from each ward and 3 at-large (51 total), to be elected by an open caucus of District voters among nominees drawn from StandUp! other Team Democracy members, the DC Statehood Green Party, the DC Republican Party, the ANC Assembly and ANC Commissioners, and the Democratic State Committee Statehood Caucus, the State Committee as a whole and ward level Democratic Committees. Candidates must certify that they support statehood for New Columbia to be put forward for nomination. Outreach: StandUp! members will visit the DC Statehood Green Party, the DC Republicans, the ANC Assembly and the Democratic State Committee Statehood Caucus. ANC Commissioners and members of the Democratic State Committee will be notified by mail two months prior to the first convention session (the Board of Elections and Ethics should have this list). DSC members will be asked to notify their ward committees.

Proposed Convention Organization: The convention will draft its own procedures. However, we will recommend that it break into committees to consider the various articles: The Bill of Rights, the House of Delegates, the Governor, the Judiciary, Finances and the National Capital Service area, Amendments, General Provisions. The various committees will be empowered to call witnesses, especially the House of Delegates Committee. The House of Delegates Committee will consider especially the size of the House and the number of Delegates from each ward. The committees will present their recommendations to the full convention, which will vote on their recommendations and approve final constitutional language, amendments to the Home Rule Charter and the text of the referenda (see attached sample).

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