Today, Ward 6 Councilmember Charles Allen introduced the Youth Voting Amendment Act of 2018 to lower the voting age in the District of Columbia to 16.
“At the age of 16, our society already gives young people greater legal responsibility. They can drive a car. They can work. Some are raising a family or helping their family make ends meet. They pay taxes. Ironically, they pay fees to get a license plate that reads ‘Taxation Without Representation.’ I think its time to change that,” said Councilmember Allen.
Last weekend, the District of Columbia played host to more than 800,000 visitors for the March for Our Lives. Jordi, Cora, Everett, and I joined the Rally for DC Lives at Folger Park first, and then marched with neighbors down to Pennsylvania Avenue for the national event. It was both devastating and uplifting to hear from so many young people affected by gun violence and their calls to action.
With the March for Our Lives expected to draw close to 500,000 visitors on Saturday, I wanted to share as much information as possible about the event, including expected closures and ways to participate if you’d like.
This Saturday, Washington, DC will once again play host as hundreds of thousands of people come to our home city to use their voices in the March for Our Lives. Many DC residents are planning to attend the March and add their voices to the students who have seized the movement pushing for ways to end gun violence. Before we head to the national March, join hundreds of your DC neighbors at the Rally for DC Lives and hear from DC youth on the ways gun violence has affected their lives.
Councilmember Allen to hold public hearing on three gun bills and two resolutions on Thursday, March 22
Students and youth are encouraged to testify on how to reduce gun violence in our community.
Councilmember Charles Allen (Ward 6), Chair of the Committee on the Judiciary and Public Safety, invites the public to sign-up to testify at a public hearing next Thursday, March 22 beginning at 11 am.
What: Public hearing on three bills and two resolutions before the Committee on the Judiciary and Public Safety
Where: Room 500 of the John A. Wilson Building, 1350 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
When: Thursday, March 22 at 11 am
How to sign-up to testify: Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (202) 724-7808. Those who cannot attend but wish to testify can submit written testimony to the above email address.
Last week, I was very fortunate to find myself watching the legendary Dolly Parton donate her 100 millionth book from her Imagination Library to the Library of Congress. The Imagination Library is our partner with the DC Public Library to administer the Books From Birth program, which was created as part of the first piece of legislation I introduced after taking office. The work happening today in the District to close the "word gap" by getting more than 400,000 books into the hands of children under the age of five, including enrolling 83% of eligible kids who live in lower-literacy areas of the city, will have more widespread benefits than we'll ever truly see.
Councilmember Charles Allen (Ward 6) made the following statement calling for DCPS Chancellor Antwan Wilson to step aside:
One year ago this week, more than 1,000 neighbors gathered together at the Atlas Performing Arts Center and nearby H Street Country Club to start organizing to protect District laws and values, saying "Hands Off DC." We were tired of Congress interfering with our local laws and concerned what the new President would mean for District residents. And while we've celebrated some successes, there's still a lot more work to do. For example, look at the recent proposal to eliminate the DCTAG program that provides critical college funding for DC students -- all without a say from the people who live here. So mark down DC Vote's annual lobby day on April 16 if you want to tell Congress, "Hands Off DC."
Let's jump right in, and start by talking about the serious challenges facing our public schools.
One year ago, the DC community rallied together to push back on interference in our locally passed laws and attacks on our District values. After years of dealing with Congress restricting our ability to pass and implement our own laws and facing a new presidential administration intent on rolling back important legal protections, residents finally said, "Hands Off DC," and organized together to take action.
Today, the DC Council unanimously passed the Fair Elections Act, creating a program where candidates for public office can opt into a publicly-funded model that puts greater focus on small-dollar contributions from DC residents and strengthens their voice in DC elections. The bill was co-introduced by Councilmember Charles Allen (Ward 6), Chair of the Committee on the Judiciary and Public Safety and has been a major priority of his since he was first elected to the Council.