The Office of Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) announced that she will hold a press conference with D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray and leaders of national organizations on Tuesday, May 29, 2012, at 10:00 a.m. in 2456 Rayburn House Office Building to describe the network of 100 organizations whose members will contact members of the House and Senate appropriations committees to protect D.C.'s home-rule rights in the fiscal year 2013 D.C. appropriations bill. Joining the Congresswoman and the Mayor will be NARAL Pro-Choice America President Nancy Keenan, Center for Reproductive Rights Policy Counsel for Federal Legislation Julianna Gonen, and DC Vote Executive Director Ilir Zherka.
The focus of the press conference will be protecting the reproductive rights of women in D.C. because Republicans and the National Right to Life Committee have attacked the city's abortion laws this year, but the coalition includes organizations fighting to protect D.C.'s gun safety, marriage equality, and HIV-AIDS laws, all of which have been threatened by Republicans.
"The coalition of 100 organizations was very effective last year because it was their members, who have voting representation in Congress, in addition to D.C. residents, who were contacting their members of the House and Senate," Norton said. "The members of these organizations understood the outrage when unaccountable members of Congress try to dictate the use of local funds. They also understood that the D.C. riders at hand have important national consequences and that allowing the District to stand alone would ultimately embolden Republican members and special interests to seek ways to reach other Americans with the same far right, retrograde policies."