Greetings To My Constituents !
KICKING OFF WHERE YOU CAN SEE WHAT ELEANOR HAS ACHIEVED
Politicians usually kick-off by promising what they will do. We thought this time why not showcase what we have done. That’s why we decided to kick-off here at Capitol Riverfront, developed from three years of begging for appropriations to clean up what was called the most valuable unused land on the East Coast to passage of the Southeast Federal Center Public-Private Development Act P.L. 106-407, and finally to negotiations to build the new Department of Transportation, and a competition to build a new community. We thought it would be good to kick-off as Capitol Riverfront is being rapidly built to see a neighborhood as it rises from the dust, bringing people, jobs, and revenue to our city. We thank Deborah Ratner, Tom Harraberry and Alex Nyhan of Forest City and Mike Stevens, of the Capitol Riverfront BID, the real builders and makers and shakers of Capitol Riverfront, for bringing an old brown field on the river alive with jobs, people in condos, apartments and homes, entertainment and nightlife, and the fabulous Yards Park.
The people of the District of Columbia have given me the joy of working to renew neighborhoods like Capitol Riverfront, and NOMA, and the transformation that the Department of Homeland Security complex is bringing to Ward 8. Helping to bring into the 21st century parts of the city that my great grandfather first knew when he arrived here as a runaway slave from a Virginia plantation has been the chance of a lifetime.
Today I announce that I am running to represent my home town again, not only to finish the work of physical transformation. I run most especially to complete the political transformation, to free D.C.’s budget and to make the District of Columbia the 51st state of the United States.
Today at Capitol Riverfront, you are seeing what we have done without a vote. I ask you to send me back to Congress to get your vote. In October you saw us fight to extract the D.C. budget so that the city would not have to return for another shutdown fight in January. We succeeded in that tough fight but it was not nearly enough. I ask you to send me back to Congress to permanently free D.C.’s budget from Congress with complete and total budget autonomy.
To be sure, we’re going to keep bringing back from Congress with what you can see, like Capitol Riverfront and the Coast Guard building we opened in August, the first federal agency east of the Anacostia, and the new bus station at Union Station, and the Frederick Douglass statute, the city’s first statute in the Capitol that stands along with statutes from the 50 states. But I also ask you to send me back to Congress to get what you cannot see, but what you deserve – your full rights as American citizens who pay taxes and serve your country in the military. The same Congress that passed our bill for Capitol Riverfront must also pass our bills for budget autonomy and statehood. Virtually the entire Senate Democratic leadership, including Majority Leader Harry Reid, have signed on as sponsors of our statehood bill. I want to go back and get the rest of the Senate and the House too.
What we have done has always required and has always gotten your support. Budget autonomy and statehood will need your support and a lot of action by our citizens. Today I ask for your support so that I can help DC get the rest of what we need from Congress. That support always begins by getting on the ballot. None of what we have done or expect to do will matter if we do not turn in 2,000 valid names to the Board of Elections by January 2nd. November and December are tough months to circulate petitions but, as we saw in 2012, it can be done. The petition process puts my fate in the hands of the people, in your hands, where it belongs. I ask you today to ask your friends and neighbors to sign our petitions. I don’t deserve to go back to Congress if I can’t get enough signatures to get on the ballot.
I want to return to Congress to get all that our residents deserve. After 212 years of struggle, the residents of the nation’s capital deserve to be counted as full and equal American citizens. You deserve the fighter I have tried my best to be ready, willing and just can’t wait to face them down in another term in the House of Representatives.