National education and advocacy organization DC Vote will host its first annual Three Star Ball: Party With A Purpose next Thursday, May 22 on the National Association of Realtors rooftop. The event is in the name of Taxation Without Representation, a fight for voting rights in the District.
The evening will honor Nancy Bagley, editor in chief of Washington Life and president of the Arca Foundation, and the DC Brau Brewing Company. The ball’s host committee includes José Andrés, Vinoda Basnayake, Dannia Hakki, Donald Sherman, Sarah Aburdeneh and Edward Smith.
FishbowlDC sat down with DC Vote Executive Director Kimberly Perry for a Q&A in advance of next week’s event. Check it out, after the jump. And for tickets, click here.
FishbowlDC: What is the biggest hurdle in securing voting rights for the District?
Kimberly Perry: The biggest hurdle in securing full democratic equality for DC is Congress. Congress has the authority to pass legislation and grant DC equality, but it has not done so, to date. We need citizens from all across America to call, visit and email their members of Congress and urge them to support full equality for their fellow citizens that live in the nation’s capital.
FBDC: How has the media underserved the District in securing these rights?
KP: The media could be helpful in the quest for equal rights for DC by reporting on and featuring stories on the negative impacts of DC’s lack of representation. Lives have been lost in the city, and imminent needs have been ignored due to congressional interference in the District’s budget and laws governed by Congress. If these stories were documented more, it would help to hold members of Congress accountable for inaction in changing the law.
FBDC: How about unincorporated organized US territories. Should they also receive voting rights?
KP: Absolutely. They are Americans and deserve the same equal rights.
FBDC: What keeps you dedicated to this cause?
KP: I strongly believe EVERY citizen deserves the right to participate in our democracy. I do not want to see another generation of young people grow up without a voice…without a vote.
FBDC: How can state residents support this cause?
KP: They can join the movement today at DCVote.org. They can register to vote, donate to help advance our cause, and they can visit members of Congress on Capitol Hill to urge support.