Who is Mike Panetta?

Mike Panetta was recently elected to the position of U.S. Representative in the November 7th election in the District of Columbia. The position is often referred to as the "Shadow Representative" and should not be confused with the office of Delegate to Congress, which is currently held by Eleanor Holmes Norton.

Mike has run several high-profile campaigns for DC representation including starting an Olympic team for the District and leading efforts to rebrand RFK Stadium as "Taxation Without Representation Field" Mike pledges to make the DC voting rights issue a national one that is embraced by progressive activists across the country.


This article has been tagged as: Uncategorized, DC, District of Columbia, washington post, Eleanor Holmes Norton, Davis Bill, Shadow Representative, mike panetta, dc statehood, statehood, panetta, House of Reprensentatives, DC Vote, H.R. 328, Ilir Zerka, Tom Davis, voting rights march

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Lack of Interest on Voting Rights

Sunday, March 11th, 2007 at 10:37am

Mary Beth Sheridan at the Post writes an article today about how, although the cause now has momentum, there seems to be a lack of intense in-the-streets interest in the cause.

Movement for Voting Rights Gains Ground, Loses Interest

She lays out a number of reasons why this is the case, from the fact that we have a powerful delegate in the House to how expanded home rule has toned down the sense of subjugation when a few white guys in Congress really did rule over the District. Remember, we didn’t even have an elected mayor or city council, or a delegate in the House until the 70’s. So the struggles for statehood were much more intense that they are now.

The point I liked the best was made by Mike Beard, an activist who was involved in the fight in the 70’s. He said the movement this time is:

“much more politically astute than we were in those days,”

I think that’s true. We have a Delegate who knows Capitol Hill, we have direct lobbying, issue advertising, and grassroots pressure on members. It’s no longer just throwing tea bags in the Potomac (or starting Olympic teams) and expecting change. This time we’re playing the “Washington game”, and it’s showing results.

Let’s show everyone that there is grassroots activist support out there by marching on April 16th. Go to http://www.votingrightsmarch.org to find out more and to RSVP.

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