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February 2022

Independence activist

Tributes to Scottish independence campaigner and drugs expert Rowdy Yates

TRIBUTE was paid to a drug rehabilitation expert and Yes activist who died of Covid at the age of 71.

Rowdy Yates MBE has drawn on his own experience of heroin addiction to become a respected voice in treatment and recovery over a career spanning over 50 years.

After overcoming drugs in the 1970s, he co-founded the Lifeline Project and became an Honorary Senior Fellow at the University of Stirling’s Faculty of Social Sciences.

The grandfather was also executive director of EWODOR (European Working Group on Drugs Oriented Research) and honorary vice-president of EFTC (European Federation of Therapeutic Communities).

Living near Trinity Gask in Perthshire, he was also an active campaigner for Scottish independence.

Yates earned his childhood nickname through his rambunctious behavior and the popularity of the TV show Rawhide, whose popular character Rowdy (played by Clint Eastwood) shared his surname. He used the nickname throughout his life and died surrounded by his family at Ninewells Hospital in Dundee on Valentine’s Day.

His wife Kathleen, who is supported by sons Sam, Christy and Calum, shared how he spoke on Facetime with his granddaughters from the hospital, managing to joke around with them. The five daughters – Faith, Hope, Grace, Serena and Zoe – helped keep him active in his later life.

The couple met in Manchester, where the Lifeline project was based. “He always shot from the hip,” she says. “He was a very direct person. He just wanted to do his best and the best he could for people whose lives were affected by addiction.

A founding board member of Phoenix Scotland, Yates left Lifeline in 1993 to become director of the Scottish Drugs Training Project (SDTP) at the University of Stirling. It closed in 2001, after which he became a faculty member specializing in addictions teaching and research. He authored over 40 papers on theory and practice and continued to publish after his retirement in 2016 until his death.

A passionate musician, he recorded songs to raise funds for the EFTC and brought his expertise beyond borders. Members of the Addiction Federation and the World Federation of Therapeutic Communities are among those who paid tribute to him.

Yates received an MBE for drug prevention services in 1994. He regularly questioned the effectiveness of drug policies and championed a user-centred health and treatment approach. And he has spoken out against some politicians’ reactions to calls for a new direction, telling the Herald in 2012: “Every time a politician mentions anything about drug law reform, they get instantly the white feather as a conscientious objector to war. drug. It becomes an annoyance. This is not a serious political debate.

His determination to do well continued in the hospital where, prior to his transfer to intensive care, the behavior of another patient caught his attention. The man was disrespecting the nurses, Kathleen explains, and Rowdy told him to “stop treating the nurses like that, stop treating this place like a hotel and show some respect.”

“As Rowdy was moved,” Kathleen says, “the nurse in charge gave him a big hug and said ‘thank you so much for saying that, because we can’t tell’. That’s just the way he was; even though he was very sick, he couldn’t stay without trying to help.

“He was passionate about good addiction services for addicts because everyone deserves a chance to turn their life around.”

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Home rule

Commission members learn about the self-governance process

The Princeton Home Rule Charter Commission hosted a civics lesson session with City Attorney David Overcash who outlined each section of a home rule charter to members.

The commission was due to discuss the first three sections of a draft charter at its meeting on Wednesday, February 16, but postponed discussions until the next meeting due to Overcash’s detailed presentation. Commissioners also received the 2010 copy of a Texas Municipal League handbook to provide them with useful data throughout the process.

Overcash said his role is primarily advisory to the commission and he will advise them and answer any questions along the way, but he does not have the final say on what happens in the draft charter that will be presented to voters. He added that the city charter will always be subject to any state or federal law in the event of a conflict between them and a provision of the charter.

Any provision to the contrary would also be inapplicable, leaving the charter without bite on certain articles. Charters also provide a very general structure for city government, but generally become cumbersome if there are too many powers listed, Overcash said.

“Most charters, almost all of them, are written very broadly, giving as much discretion as they can to councils so that they can exercise the most local self-government powers,” Overcash said. “It’s rather than wielding as much power as the Texas Legislature allows, which is the general approach to law we’re taking right now.”

For the full story, see the February 24 issue of the Princeton Herald.

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Sovereignty

The Congress assesses the application of the European Charter of Local Self-Government in the Czech Republic

A delegation from the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe, composed of rapporteurs Viorel Furdui (Republic of Moldova, ILDG) and Jani Kokko (Finland, SOC/G/PD), will carry out a follow-up visit to Prague, Brno , Jilhava and Velký Beranov from 2 to 4 March 2022 to assess the implementation of the European Charter of Local Self-Government in the Czech Republic since the previous monitoring report adopted by the Congress in 2012.

The rapporteurs will exchange views on the latest developments in the field of local and regional self-government in the Czech Republic with Vít Rakušan, Minister of the Interior, Ivan Bartoš, Minister for Regional Development, as well as with representatives of the Ministry of Finance, the Constitutional Court and the Public Defender of Rights.

In Parliament, the delegation will meet Miloš Vystrčil, President of the Senate and Markéta Pekarovà Adamovà, President of the Chamber of Deputies.

Meetings will also be held with the Mayor of Prague and representatives of the municipalities of Jihlava and Velký Beranov, as well as with the Governor of the Central Bohemian Regional Council. The Congress delegation will also meet members of the Czech national delegation to the Congress as well as the presidents of the Association of Regions of the Czech Republic and the Union of Towns and Municipalities of the Czech Republic.

The Czech Republic ratified the European Charter of Local Self-Government in 1999. Countries that have ratified the Charter are bound by its provisions. The Charter requires the implementation of a minimum set of rights which form the essential basis of local self-government in Europe. The Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe ensures that these principles are respected in the 47 member states of the Council of Europe.

Contact

Stéphanie POIREL, Secretary of the Monitoring Committee
Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe
Telephone: +33 (0)3 90 21 51 84
Email: [email protected]

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Home rule

Homelessness and the abrogation of autonomy in the nation’s capital

David W. Marshall

Washington, DC is unique in many ways. With the distinction of being the nation’s capital, it functions as both a city and a state. In terms of population, the District of Columbia is larger than the states of Wyoming and Vermont. It has a budget larger than 12 states, pays more federal taxes than 21 states, pays more federal taxes per capita than any state, has a gross domestic product larger than 17 states, has a rating of triple-A bond and is currently running a budget surplus rather than a deficit.

But it’s a city, not a state. Therefore, it is the only city in America where Congress directly oversees the city’s budget and laws through constitutional authority. For years, Congress operated as the only legislative body where the city’s residents had no elected representation. A limited form of self-government was granted when Congress passed the Home Rule Act of 1973, signed into law by then-President Richard Nixon. It allowed DC residents the right to elect their own mayor, council, and nonvoting member of Congress. Washington DC is the only jurisdiction that does not have the power to appoint its own judges. While DC voters don’t have a federal representative on the ballot, the outcome of the 2022 midterm elections could have significant implications for the city’s autonomy, not to mention its quest for federal status. ‘State.

As House Republicans point to the growing number of homicides and homelessness in the capital, as well as the mayor’s COVID-19 policies, some within the ranks of the GOP have expressed a desire to take greater control of the city. Currently, some members of the House would go so far as to see the Home Rule Act of 1973 eliminated if the Republicans succeed in taking control of Congress. Rep. Andrew S. Clyde (R-Ga.), a member of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, which oversees DC affairs, is drafting legislation to return sole control of the city to Congress by repealing the law. Washington DC is a city no different from other urban communities that are experiencing similar increases in crime and homelessness; Republicans who use this to justify reducing DC’s self-government know this.

We see high-cost cities like Los Angeles, Seattle, and San Francisco grappling with this same humanitarian nightmare — it’s not just a DC problem. The political motivations of the GOPs are clear, with DC being a strongly Democratic city, but politically, how will Republicans at the federal level address the growing growth of homelessness and its root causes? The affordable housing shortage is a national crisis that should be addressed as such by federal officials of both political parties. There is no reasonable way to solve the complex homelessness crisis across America without adequately addressing housing shortages and poverty.

Bernie Sanders recently delivered a speech in the Senate suggesting a “unanimous resolution commending the billionaire class” for amassing more wealth during the pandemic even as remaining American citizens have suffered economic losses. This position is not new for him. By now, some people may have fallen deaf to his message, but the senator’s consistent point is not just about economic disparities, but a divide in humanity. His speech illustrates a growing gap in humanity towards others.

There is a gap between how much we care about the less fortunate and how much we don’t, as a society. For many people, homelessness is only a problem because it’s visible and makes them feel uncomfortable – and we know how much being “uncomfortable” can be triggering for some – as they are forced to face this “horror” every day. We have a viable option in Build Back Better (BBB) ​​legislation that includes historic investments in affordable housing.

It represents a critical step in addressing the multi-partisan issue surrounding homeless encampments that we see nationwide. Given that a bill is in place to address the root causes, how can someone in good conscience say they are sincerely concerned about chronic homelessness and yet reject the BBB? Yes, it’s a heavy toll, but not compared to years of doing nothing, spending millions on temporary repairs, having no safe streets or parks, and adopting bad policies out of desperation, not to mention the human toll and suffering.

There are other underlying causes of homelessness that proponents of “law and order” need to consider. Many people who commit criminal offenses do so to survive, but many also have underlying mental health and addiction issues. It is difficult for the chronically homeless to maintain stable housing due to these addictions or mental health issues. In many jurisdictions, the growing rate of homelessness is rapidly outpacing the addiction and mental health services available. And let’s not forget how the human gap is widening due to vested interests and campaign funding from donors who want to ease the requirements for affordable housing. Many real estate developers prefer to build more profitable and more expensive housing, thereby increasing their supply while reducing affordable housing options. In many cases, developers receive grants (tax incentives) with the promise of providing public benefits such as jobs, affordable housing and green space. Unfortunately, the community does not always receive the promised benefits.

The national problem of homelessness requires coordinated efforts from local lawmakers on the front lines and those crafting effective federal policies in Washington. A homeless person is unlikely to vote in November, but their fate depends on the outcome. We should keep that in mind when we all vote this year. Unfortunately, the future of DC residents also hinges on the results of home races nationwide.

David W. Marshall is the founder of the faith-based organization TRB: The Reconciled Body and the author of the book God Bless Our Divided America. He can be contacted at www.davidwmarshallauthor.com.

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Sovereignty

The John Dickinson Forum: Teaching the Virtues of Self-Government | News

“Some educators approach civics in terms of activism and protests,” notes Professor Mark David Hall, “but protest by itself is not useful in civics.” As Hall notes, “Before students can participate in self-government, they must have knowledge of the basic principles of the American constitutional order.”

The John Dickinson Forum at George Fox University provides students with this crucial foundation of civic knowledge.

The university’s Herbert Hoover professor of politics, Hall, founded the Dickinson Forum five years ago “to encourage discussion and debate” about “America’s founding principles and current events related to those principles”. . A scholar of American political thought and early American Christianity, Hall has authored or co-edited twelve books, including the most recent, “Did America Have a Christian Founding?”

A partner program of the Jack Miller Center, the Forum offers a variety of activities for students, including lectures, book and current affairs discussions, and debates. It has partnered with various institutions in the Pacific Northwest, making its programs available to students at other colleges and universities and to the general public.

The Forum is named after John Dickinson, an important but overlooked American founder. Dickinson was instrumental in writing pro-liberty pamphlets before American independence, was a delegate to the 1787 Constitutional Convention, and was “one of the most thoughtful defenders of liberty in the founding era” . At one time, Delaware’s largest slave owner, Dickinson, influenced by his Quaker upbringing, finally freed his slaves.

The Forum contributes to civic education by bringing in speakers each year to discuss the American founding principles. According to Hall, some speakers also lecture on individuals and movements of later generations that focused on these principles, such as Abraham Lincoln, whose political acumen was heavily influenced by the Declaration of Independence. For example, historian Wilfred M. McClay recently spoke about the role of the Constitution in contemporary civics.

Speakers scheduled for the spring 2022 semester will include Paul Miller of Georgetown University, Jason Ross of Liberty University, Kevin RC Gutzman of Western Connecticut State University, and tentatively Ian Rowe of the Woodson Center/1776 Unites.

Hall says students who attend the Forum don’t get a simply triumphant account of America. After the 2020 murder of George Floyd, he and an African-American colleague held a book group on the issue of race and the United States. Discussions focused on documents from the 1619 Project and its critics, as well as articles arguing for and against reparations. Hall and his colleagues have worked to promote “ideas rather than protests,” he says, and they “have worked to include students from all sides” of the current debate. He notes that this particular reading group was so popular that a new group had to be created to accommodate any interested students.

Student reading groups are an important part of the Forum’s programming. Groups of about ten students meet each semester to discuss readings on freedom, equality, and human flourishing in America and around the world. Reading articles from The Economist and other leading periodicals, students debate controversial topics such as the justice of Harvard’s affirmative action policies. Group members are also invited to attend dinners with the speakers that the Forum brings to campus each semester.

Hall believes that one of the main threats to civic education is the magnification of political discourse. He points to the efforts being made in Florida public schools as an encouraging sign that states are beginning to take civics more seriously.

An accomplished student of early American Christianity, Hall also emphasizes the important connection between maintaining a “moral commitment to freedom” and religion, an increasingly overlooked aspect of civic education today. He points to a famous syllogism proposed by James Hudson of the Library of Congress on the relationship between religion and morality: virtue and morality are necessary for free republican government; religion is necessary for virtue and morality; therefore, religion is necessary for republican government.

Hall acknowledges that our circumstances have changed significantly since the founding, when disputes were primarily between competing denominations of Christianity; today, different religions compete for respect in the public square. Nevertheless, he cites the teaching of George Washington that a society is unlikely to function well without a shared morality supported by religious instruction. Although he admits that Washington suggested that certain individuals could be moral without being religious, this realization is highly unlikely for society as a whole.

Promoting the virtues of self-governance, as well as the importance of morality and religion, the John Dickinson Forum seeks to strengthen the foundations of American politics.

Mike Sabo is the editor of RealClear’s American Civics Portal.

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Self government

The John Dickinson Forum: Teaching the Virtues of Self-Government |

“Some educators approach civics in terms of activism and protests,” notes Professor Mark David Hall, “but protest by itself is not useful in civics.” As Hall notes, “Before students can participate in self-government, they must have knowledge of the basic principles of the American constitutional order.”

the John Dickinson forum at George Fox University provides students with this crucial foundation of civic knowledge.

The university’s Herbert Hoover professor of politics, Hall, founded the Dickinson Forum five years ago “to encourage discussion and debate” about “America’s founding principles and current events related to those principles”. . A scholar of American political thought and early American Christianity, Hall has authored or co-edited twelve books, including the most recent, “Does America have a Christian foundation?

A partner program of the Jack Miller Center, the Forum offers a variety of activities for students, including lectures, book and current affairs discussions, and debates. It has partnered with various institutions in the Pacific Northwest, making its programs available to students at other colleges and universities and to the general public.

The Forum is named after John Dickinson, an important but overlooked American founder. Dickinson played a critical role writing pro-liberty pamphlets before American independence, was a delegate to the Constitutional Convention of 1787, and was “one of the most thoughtful defenders of liberty in the founding era”. At one time, Delaware’s largest slave owner, Dickinson, influenced by his Quaker upbringing, finally freed his slaves.

The Forum contributes to civic education by bringing in speakers each year to discuss the American founding principles. According to Hall, some speakers also lecture on individuals and movements of later generations that focused on these principles, such as Abraham Lincoln, whose political acumen was heavily influenced by the Declaration of Independence. For example, historian Wilfred M. McClay recently spoke on the role of the Constitution in contemporary civic education.

Speakers scheduled for the spring 2022 semester will include Paul Miller of Georgetown University, Jason Ross of Liberty University, Kevin RC Gutzman of Western Connecticut State University, and tentatively Ian Rowe of the Woodson Center/1776 Unites.

Hall says students who attend the Forum don’t get a simply triumphant account of America. After the 2020 murder of George Floyd, he and an African-American colleague held a book group on the issue of race and the United States. Discussions focused on documents from the 1619 Project and its critics, as well as articles arguing for and against reparations. Hall and his colleagues have worked to promote “ideas rather than protests,” he says, and they “have worked to include students from all sides” of the current debate. He notes that this particular reading group was so popular that a new group had to be created to accommodate any interested students.

Student reading groups are an important part of the Forum’s programming. Groups of about ten students meet each semester to discuss readings on freedom, equality, and human flourishing in America and around the world. Reading articles from The Economist and other leading periodicals, students debate controversial topics such as the justice of Harvard’s affirmative action policies. Group members are also invited to attend dinners with the speakers that the Forum brings to campus each semester.

Hall believes that one of the main threats to civic education is the magnification of political discourse. He points to the efforts being made in Florida public schools as an encouraging sign that states are beginning to take civics more seriously.

An accomplished student of early American Christianity, Hall also emphasizes the important connection between maintaining a “moral commitment to freedom” and religion, an increasingly overlooked aspect of civic education today. He points to a famous syllogism proposed by James Hudson of the Library of Congress on the relationship between religion and morality: virtue and morality are necessary for free republican government; religion is necessary for virtue and morality; therefore, religion is necessary for republican government.

Hall acknowledges that our circumstances have changed significantly since the founding, when disputes were primarily between competing denominations of Christianity; today, different religions compete for respect in the public square. Nevertheless, he cites the teaching of George Washington that a society is unlikely to function well without a shared morality supported by religious instruction. Although he admits that Washington suggested that certain individuals could be moral without being religious, this realization is highly unlikely for society as a whole.

Promoting the virtues of self-governance, as well as the importance of morality and religion, the John Dickinson Forum seeks to strengthen the foundations of American politics.

Mike Sabo is the editor of RealClear’s American Civics Portal.

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Home rule

Republicans seek to strip the District of Columbia of autonomy

Georgia Republican Rep. Andrew Clyde, a member of the House Oversight Committee, leads a GOP contingent seeking to repeal the District of Columbia Home Rule Act.

Clyde and others have criticized Mayor Muriel Bowser’s administration, saying crime, homelessness and open drug use are out of control in the nation’s capital.

GOP lawmakers also cited Mayor Bowser’s indoor vaccination mandate, which she has since rescinded.

“While I’m glad our intention to repeal the DC Autonomy Act has been heard loud and clear, the issues facing our nation’s capital extend far beyond medical tyranny,” said Rep. Clyde.

“Make no mistake, this was not an empty threat; legislation comes to restore the constitutional duty of Congress’s Article I, Section 8 “to exercise exclusive law in all cases, upon this district” and to properly administer the affairs of DC.

“In the near future, we will liberate Washington D.C. from the failed experiment of so-called ‘Home Rule’, and we will return our nation’s capital to the American people after the Democrats’ nearly 50-year reign of terror and the leadership failure,” Rep. Clyde continued.

But longtime Democratic District of Columbia congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton condemned Rep. Clyde’s attack.

“Rep. Clyde literally wants the feds to take over running DC as a colony,” Rep. Norton said.

“He wants to remove the limited self-government that DC’s approximately 700,000 residents, the majority of whom are minorities, have had for the past 50 years and give absolute power over DC to Congress and, presumably, the appointed trustees. Congress or the President. ”

Representative Norton continued:

“At a time when we are experiencing unprecedented success on our DC State Bill, we will keep moving forward, not backtracking. We will defeat his anti-democratic efforts.

President Richard Nixon signed into law the Home Rule Act, and the measure gives DC an elected chief executive (mayor) and a legislature (Council).

Rep. Norton pointed out that in signing the Home Rule declaration, Nixon wrote, “One of the primary purposes of this administration is to place the responsibility for local functions under local control and to provide local governments with the authority and the resources they need to serve their communities effectively.

Nixon’s statement continued:

“The measure I am signing today represents an important step in achieving that goal in the City of Washington. This will give the people of the District of Columbia the right to elect their own municipal officials and to govern themselves in local affairs.

“As the Nation approaches the 200th anniversary of its founding, it is particularly fitting to assure the people who live in our capital city of the rights and privileges long enjoyed by most of their countrymen. But the measure I am signing today does more than create a mechanism for electing local elected officials. It also expands and strengthens the structure of the city’s government to enable it to more effectively meet its responsibilities.

DC remains deprived of electoral representation in Congress and complete autonomy, which Rep. Norton called undemocratic.

“Statehood is the cure,” she said.

“Congress has the constitutional authority to grant statehood to DC. DC has a population larger than two states, pays more federal taxes than 21 states, pays more federal taxes per capita than any state, has a budget larger than 12 states, has a gross domestic product greater than important than 17 states, has a triple-A bond rating and federal funds constitute a smaller percentage of its budget than the percentage of total state revenues.

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Home rule

House GOP targets DC Home Rule amid state push

The 2022 midterm elections pose a serious threat to the freedom and autonomy of Washington, DC, as House Republicans want to limit governance in the city if they win in November.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and Rep. James Comer (R.Ky.), the ranking member of the House Oversight Committee, which has jurisdiction over the District of Columbia, have both suggested earlier this month a renewed focus on limiting the city’s ability to govern itself if it gains power.

Going even further, Rep. Andrew Clyde (R-Ga.), a member of the Oversight Committee, told the Daily Caller he was working on legislation to strip Washington entirely of its autonomy by repealing the DC Home Rule Act of 1973. The Home Rule Act allowed an elected mayor and city council to establish policy for residents of the district for the first time in city history.

“That’s nonsense,” Del said. Eleanor Holmes Norton (DD.C.) about the proposal to strip the district of self-governance. But, she added, it’s also “the kind of threat I just have to take seriously.”

The District of Columbia, home to 700,000 Americans, is not a state and, despite the Home Rule Act, is still subject to congressional interference. As the city became home to a large black population after the Civil War, Southern segregationists in Congress sought to limit the city’s autonomy while imposing Jim Crow rules on its population. This desire to crush independent city governance remains in the contemporary Republican Party.

Even if a Republican-controlled Congress approves it, a bill to eliminate the district’s self-governing statute would have to pass the Senate’s filibuster threshold, which remains intact. It would also require the president’s signature, which Joe Biden would not provide. But that it even exists suggests that many congressional Republicans are keen to expand the anti-democratic wave of restrictive election laws the party has passed in district states. And DC — a favorite punching bag of Republicans angry that the city is governed almost exclusively by Democrats — could be at the forefront of those efforts, its statelessness leaving it vulnerable to lawmakers its residents don’t. not elect.

Republicans say their desire to strip the district of its autonomy or limit its legislative powers stems from the rising homicide rate, rising homelessness and the imposition of COVID-related restrictions. 19. But homicide rates have increased in urban and rural communities across the country during the pandemic; homelessness has increased in places where housing costs have skyrocketed due to limited housing; and the district just announced the end of its mask and vaccine mandates for private companies.

But Holmes Norton, who has served as the district’s nonvoting representative in Congress since 1991, thinks Republicans have a more nefarious motive for targeting the nation’s capital.

“My only idea how something as absurd as this could turn out is that they see how close we are to the state,” she said.

Of the. Eleanor Holmes Norton (DD.C.) wears a 51st State face mask during a DC State press conference.

For the second time in 50 years, the district is making a realistic push to become the nation’s 51st state. The House passed a bill to make DC the 51st state in previous and current sessions of Congress. A companion bill in the Senate is now supported by all but four members of the Senate Democratic caucus.

DC residents broadly support the push: In 2016, 85% of voters favored a statehood referendum that would grant full representation, voting rights and self-government to the nation’s capital and people who live there. The majority of DC residents are black or Latino, and the push toward statehood, activists say, is an important aspect of broader Democratic efforts to bolster civil and voting rights in the face of Republican efforts to implement new voting restrictions and other undemocratic measures in states nationwide.

With a statehood bill ultimately set to cross the 60-vote filibuster threshold in the Senate and two Democrats opposing the rule change, support for filibuster reform systematic has become a default position among Democratic Senate candidates. This means that ending the filibuster is a matter of when, not if.

For state supporters, Republican proposals to attack the city’s autonomy are just further evidence of the need to break out of congressional tutelage and become the 51st state.

“If the GOP rolls back Home Rule, we will lose what little autonomy we currently have over core district functions: schools, safety, reproductive rights, COVID protocols, and so much more,” said organizer Jamal Holtz. principal of 51 for 51. , a pro-state group. “We cannot continue to live in fear of the whims of a white member of Congress thousands of miles away. The only remedy to protect 700,000 Washingtonians in perpetuity is to make DC the 51st state.

In a statement, Patrice Snow, director of communications for DC Vote, said: “The announcement of their anti-democratic plot also demonstrates that the movement to enfranchise the 700,000 American citizens paying taxes in Washington, DC through Statehood is vociferous, proud and effective. successfully towards his goal.

This isn’t the first time Republicans have floated the idea of ​​stripping DC of the domestic regime. In the late 1990s, House Republicans talked about doing just that after Congress imposed a financial control commission on the city to take control of its finances during Marion Barry’s second term as mayor. . Norton views the current attack on the city as “entirely different” from the 1990s proposal, as the city currently runs a budget surplus (rather than the deficit it had under Barry).

Many DC-based activists also view statehood as a matter of when, rather than if. And in response, Congressional Republicans who have failed to make legitimate counter-arguments against statehood itself are resorting to an all-out attack on the district’s residents’ ability to govern themselves.

“Their call to overturn the Home Rule Act goes beyond the typical game of using DC residents to score cheap political points at home and into a racist attack on the basic right of representation,” Snow said.

“All Americans deserve the freedom to vote, the freedom to govern themselves, and the freedom to determine their own destiny. It is only because of our lack of statehood that these representatives feel empowered to deny these freedoms and engage in the racist subjugation of American citizens.

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Self government

Reviews | Midterms Are a Dangerous Threat to DC’s Self-Government

Many “ifs” must occur before the city can be stripped of the limited self-governing authority it currently enjoys: House passage of a possible repeal measure, Senate agreement, and presidential signature. So the odds of some House GOP members achieving their goal of killing Home Rule next year are slim with the White House in Democrat hands until at least 2024.

But that’s no reason for the residents of the district to breathe sighs of relief. A Republican-controlled house means big trouble for the district regardless. Today, under the Home Rule Act, all DC council and mayoral laws are still reviewed by Congress, which retains authority over the city’s budget. Let it sink in.

Although DC’s relationship with Congress fell on notable turmoil (the near-final collapse of the city and Congress’s imposition of a Board of Financial Control come to mind), for most of the Nearly 50 years of Home Rule, DC’s elected leaders have managed to exercise their delegated powers without major congressional interference. We can expect a House of Representatives under the hammer of Republican President Kevin McCarthy (California) drive recklessly on the city. Republican Rep. Michael Cloud (Texas) of the House Oversight Committee made that clear in a comment directed to the right. daily call“Keeping the DC government in check will surely be a Republican priority…when the hammers are in our hands.”

Another Republican committee member, Georgia Rep. Andrew S. Clyde, went even further, telling the caller he was working with colleagues on a bill to repeal the 1973 Home Rule Act. . McCarthy’s office did not respond to a request for comment Tuesday on whether he, as House GOP leader, would support a repeal effort.

Having served as a senior official on the then U.S. Senate Committee on the District of Columbia when the autonomy legislation was enacted, and having witnessed and expressed his opinion on an autonomous DC while he was perched on the editorial board of the Post for decades, I can say with confidence and great fear that the prospect of today’s Republican Party holding the levers of power over the district is a nightmare.

An immediate result of the Republican takeover would be a further decrease in the DC delegate to the House. Of the. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D) (or her successor) would no longer have a vote in the all-important Committee of the Whole. The city’s annual budget appropriations bill would be stolen by Republican extremists and stripped of anything objectionable. Expect carefully crafted, locally funded spending programs to be upended or outright rejected by House owners. City officials can expect summonses to House hearings for haranguing and harassment — all for the benefit and pleasure of voters in congressional districts at home. And worse.

Expressing outrage at the threat of repeal, Norton noted the temerity of House Republicans treating the district like a remote colony. The city, she said, “has a population larger than two states, pays more federal taxes than 21 states, pays more federal taxes per capita than any state, has a larger budget than 12 states, has a larger gross domestic product than 17 states, has a triple-A bond rating, and federal funds constitute a small[er] percentage of its budget than the percentage of total government revenue. Norton shouldn’t even have to resort to this argument. District residents should have the right to run their own affairs, with their own money, without Republican overseers, as local communities do nationwide.

Residents of the district, it must not happen like this, at least not without a fight.

Keeping the House out of Republican hands is as much in the interests of the district as it is of the country as a whole.

The city has a role to play in keeping Congress in safe and healthy hands.

DC residents determined to retain the limited democracy they currently enjoy should be prepared to devote their time, talents and cash to the efforts of Pelosi and the national Democratic organizations designed to secure congressional districts across the country. to representatives who understand and respect DC Home Rule and the clutches of McCarthy and his Republican cronies. The city’s political leaders should take the lead in organizing and managing the city’s campaign to stop the McCarthyites from attacking Home Rule.

It will be as crucial a DC undertaking as deciding the future direction of the city in this year’s primary and general elections. Because if the house is captured by the GOP, DC City Hall will be reduced to a punching bag, as locals watch helplessly.

The threat is so serious. It’s time for voters in the district to start acting on it.

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Home rule

DC delegate: Possible bill to repeal ‘radical’ and ‘very unexpected’ domestic rule

Delete Eleanor Holmes NortonEleanor Holmes NortonOfficials Assesses Phased Reopening of Capitol Building from Late March Capitol Marks Two Years Since COVID-19 Overnight Health Care Closed to Public – Congress to Provide COVID-19 MORE Funding (DD.C.) called a Republican’s proposal to repeal Washington’s Home Rule “radical” in an interview with The Washington Post published this week.

Some House Republicans, with the party widely expected to win back a majority after midterms, have signaled their desire to curb the city’s autonomy amid complaints about its COVID-19 policies and crime rate.

Rep. Andrew Clyde (R-Ga.) said it’s “overdue for Congress to repeal the District of Columbia Home Rule Act and resume its duty,” in a recent interview with the Daily. call.

Holmes Norton, a nonvoting House delegate, said such proposals were both sweeping and “unexpected.”

“It’s something to be extremely concerned about because the district could well find itself in the minority next term,” she told the Post. “It’s very radical, and I have to say very unexpected. It will take all the energy I have to make sure that doesn’t happen.

Prior to the Home Rule Act, DC was primarily governed by Congress. The 1973 law established a municipal government with a mayor and council, giving the district autonomy with some congressional oversight.

Clyde, advocating for the repeal of the 1973 law, raised concerns about rising crime and homelessness in DC as well as the Democratic mayor Muriel BowserMuriel BowserDC speaker says Black Lives Matter street will be ‘tarred and feathered’ DC mayor boosts police funding in 2023 budget proposal Barr says there’s no evidence Trump was ‘legally responsible’ of the attack of January 6 MOREpandemic restrictions.

The Hill has contacted Clyde and Bowser for comment.

A coalition of Democrats is pushing the other way, proposing to give DC statehood and more autonomy, something Republicans have long opposed.

The district is deep blue — Democrats have won the last four presidential elections with 90% or more of the vote.

representing Kevin McCarthyKevin McCarthyMcConnell on Republicans backing Putin: ‘There are lonely voices out there’ GOP rises to challenge Ukraine to define itself Ginni Thomas’ activism raises ethical questions for justice Supreme Court MORE (R-Calif.), the House Minority Leader, has signaled his willingness to take greater control of the city — if crime “gets out of control.”

“Last week you had a shooting and a murder in Georgetown. There’s not an element of that community that people feel safe in,” he told the Vince Coglianese Show in an interview. earlier this month, also referencing the shooting of a GOP baseball. practice in 2017.

“Those are the concerns, and if it gets out of control, there needs to be greater scrutiny to keep the nation’s capital safe.”

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Home rule

Luzerne County House Rules Study Issue May Not Move Forward

A proposal to reconsider Luzerne County’s self-government structure failed to pass collectively by the county council during its business session this week.

Another idea to eliminate one of the three public comment periods drew mixed responses.

The review of the bylaws stems from a suggested order asking voters in the November general election if they want to form a government study commission.

Council Chair Kendra Radle said it may be time to re-evaluate the Home Rule Charter as it has been in effect for a decade and questions have arisen about discrepancies between the wording of the charter and the state law.

“While the charter is a great document, I think it has its flaws,” Radle said.

But acting chief counsel Shannon Crake Lapsansky made it clear that the council cannot seek to form a task force focused solely on improving the current charter.

Instead, the review board should have the freedom under state law to independently decide whether it wishes to retain and modify the current structure of the rule of origin, draft an entirely new charter or revert to the old structure, Crake Lapsansky said.

“With full transparency, the government study committee could decide to do whatever they want,” she said.

If the council proceeds to place the question on the November ballot, voters would also simultaneously elect citizens to serve on the study committee. These commission members would have up to 18 months to complete their work.

Any recommended commission changes would need to be approved by future voters to take effect, which happened prior to the county’s January 2012 transition to self-government. The current structure replaced a system that had been in place for more than 150 years and put 11 elected council members and an appointed director in charge of decisions previously made by three commissioners and several elected non-commissioned officers.

Councilor Chris Perry said he would be “totally opposed” to the proposal to ask for a review committee because council would have no way of setting parameters to ensure the internal regime remained in place.

Councilman Stephen J. Urban said he’s never been a charter supporter, but thinks there are other ways to deliver specific improvements to voters. The charter has “good sides and bad sides,” he said, noting that it was always meant to be a “living, breathing document.”

“You may not be sitting here in the future,” he told his colleagues, referring to a potential commission recommendation to get rid of autonomy.

Councilman Robert Schnee repeated his past description of home rule as the “purest form of government” and said he would vehemently oppose a decision that could result in a return to the commissioner system.

Schnee said the county has made “great progress” in reducing inherited debt and getting a credit score under the domestic scheme, and he also believes the charter flaws can be fixed by forming a board committee.

“To go back – that can never happen,” Schnee said, referring to the commissioner system.

Councilwoman LeeAnn McDermott said she believes in fixing the charter but is not going back to the old system.

Also agreeing with this position, Councilman Gregory Wolovich Jr.

He said the board should identify issues and seek targeted corrective changes.

“We don’t have to reform the whole government,” he said.

Public Comment

Citizens have three opportunities to comment — before vote meetings on agenda items only and after vote meetings and business sessions on any county issue. Each allotment is three minutes per person, allowing each individual up to nine minutes in total.

The Council discussed a rule change removing one of its public comment periods, with a future vote required for the reduction to take effect.

Wolovich said the proposal goes against the charter’s mission to increase public participation in county government.

“We are here to represent them. Their voices need to be heard,” Wolovich said.

However, only two other board colleagues — Urban and Kevin Lescavage — seconded his motion to remove the item from the business meeting agenda so that it would not be discussed.

Crake Lapsansky said public comments must be accepted before council votes, but a third subsequent comment period is not legally required.

Council Vice Chairman John Lombardo said the suggestion was intended to streamline council meetings and eliminate redundancy, an issue he and other candidates raised on the campaign trail last year. Most government entities only accept comments before and after they vote, he said.

Lombardo pointed out that he also receives many emails from residents sharing their views on county issues and reviews all public statements before voting, noting that he changed some of his votes based on those comments.

“It’s not to stifle free speech,” he said.

Thornton said eliminating public comments after business sessions will not exclude the public because board members cannot vote on such matters until a subsequent meeting at which comments must be accepted.

Urban said he would only support a reduction in public comment time if the council agrees to deal with the “bigger and meatier issues” first at the council committee level, which would allow for greater public participation. outside of regular board meetings.

Several citizens who regularly attend meetings have urged council to maintain the three public comment periods.

Contact Jennifer Learn-Andes at 570-991-6388 or on Twitter @TLJenLearnAndes.

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Home rule

Census results could affect Carbondale’s bylaws and cut budget | News

CARBONDALE (WSIL)—When a city in Illinois reaches a population of more than 25,000 people, it is automatically listed for self-government.

Autonomy, in its most basic sense, can give a municipality more local control.

“If you are a self-governing municipality, you have powers in addition to those granted to you by the state government. If you are not a self-governing community, the only powers you have are those in the state statutes in the state legislature,” City Manager Gary Williams said.

The town of Carbondale has had an inland diet since 1967, but the 2020 census determined that the town’s population no longer met the requirement.

“Now that we’ve fallen below that threshold, we’re going to be required in November to ask a question about the November election, asking our voters if they want to retain self-rule,” Williams said.

The house rule offers a few advantages.

It requires licenses and inspections for rental homes, and 70% of homes in Carbondale are rentals.

It also gives the city taxing authority.

“In Carbondale, the town has used its local authority to further fund the town government from sales taxes and use taxes, as many people come from outside of Carbondale and spend money here. , and they kept the property tax very low,” Williams said.

However, home rule allows the city to implement taxes such as a 2.5% home rule tax, motor fuel above the state maximum, and a food and beverage tax.

“Just in the original taxes and not the additional fuel tax or other taxes that we use to fund our capital improvement projects, about $8.6 million out of a $25 million budget, so about one-third of our total revenue comes from original sales tax. In contrast, we generate just over $1 million in property taxes,” Williams said.

But city officials want voters to know that self-rule is nothing new.

“In Illinois there are hundreds of self-governing communities. Most of the communities here are self-governing and they were granted self-government through a referendum. Marion is a self-governing community, Carterville, Mount Vernon, Benton, West Frankfort, Murphysboro , Du Quoin, so it’s not a unique concept in terms of running local government,” Williams said.

The vote for home rule will be on the Carbondale ballot in November.

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Home rule

Pittsburgh City Council salary increase reduced due to home charter

Pittsburgh City Council members adjusted the amount of their approved salary increase at a special meeting Saturday because the original amount conflicted with the city’s bylaws charter, Councilman Anthony Coghill said.

Coghill said the original proposal to raise council members’ salaries from $72,000 to $83,000 — a jump of more than 15% — did not comply with the city’s bylaw charter. The council members, taking advice from their lawyer and the city attorney, therefore reduced their pay increase at a special meeting on Saturday.

Council members ultimately voted to give themselves a 6.3% salary increase, bringing their annual salary to $76,544, about $4,500 more than last year.

“The way (the home rule charter) reads is that we must not get a pay raise greater than the city’s average pay raise,” Coghill said. “That’s how we arrived at that number.”

The pay increase for council members, Coghill said, is “a bit lower” than the average pay increase for city employees.

The city council deliberated on the final number in an executive session that was not open to the public on Saturday.

The initial salary increase – which would have raised council member salaries to $83,000 – was incorporated into the 2022 budget by former Mayor Bill Peduto. Coghill said he didn’t know who was responsible for making sure the pay raise was in line with the city’s charter.

Saturday marked the last day the budget was open to such changes, Coghill said, meaning the board couldn’t just wait for its next regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday to make the adjustment.

The municipal council does not often meet on Saturdays. Last year they held two weekend meetings. The first was one of two public hearings to discuss the U.S. bailout, and the second was one of many public hearings on the potential annexation of Wilkinsburg.

Council members said the process of instituting a salary increase was transparent, as the public had an opportunity to view and comment on the budget before it was passed. Board chair Theresa Kail-Smith previously said board members had never heard of the proposed pay rise.

Coghill and other board members said that without a salary increase, the position may not pay enough to attract talented people to run for office. Councilwoman Deb Gross said about half of city employees earn more than council members, according to 2020 data.

Kail-Smith, who called Saturday’s meeting, did not immediately respond to requests for comment on the adjusted salary increase.

Julia Felton is editor of Tribune-Review. You can contact Julia at 724-226-7724, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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Home rule

Trade unionists miss an open objective by refusing the referendum on autonomy

“Obviously there is a red line, which is that we want the Union to stay united. That is very important. But otherwise I am open-minded about how we present positive arguments for the Union.

So said Sir Keir Starmer, Britain’s Labor leader, when he visited Scotland last week. It’s not a particularly new sentiment and has in fact been official Labor policy ever since Sir Keir became leader and asked former Prime Minister Gordon Brown to review UK structures and recommend a lasting solution.

The consequences, however, are widespread and could very well prove to be the central determinant of whether or not the United Kingdom remains united.

There’s good reason to believe Sir Keir will match his words with action. Labor has a history of leading people on constitutional change, rather than being led by them, the most obvious example of which is the creation of devolved parliaments and assemblies in the late 1990s.

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A fortnight ago in these pages I wrote that Labor was the true party of the Union and evidently rather upset many of my former colleagues in the Conservative offices of the Scottish Parliament. I made this point because shouting ‘no to indyref 2’ and waving union flags may be enough to carry the Tories through an election campaign, but it’s not a strategy to mend ties that unite the Union.

The Union is not in trouble because people are magnetically attracted to independence. The Union is in trouble because too few people think it works for them.

Labor seems to have understood this and exhibits the opposite trait to that of the Conservatives. They don’t have the absolutist rhetoric to gain center stage in an election campaign, but they are working on a long-term solution.

All that said, Sir Keir has to be careful not to back into a corner. On the same visit where he promised this quick and decisive handing over of more power, Sir Keir said: “We need change without a referendum”. It is a mistake.

I fully understand the reluctance towards another independence referendum from those on the Unionist side of the fence. They are scarred by what happened in 2014. They worry about the effect on society, which was unmistakably divided and not yet fully healed.

They worry about the effect on the economy – political uncertainty is bad for investing and bad for business. Above all, they are petrified at the thought of losing, after what they considered an unexpected near miss eight years ago.

By ruling out a referendum and simply enacting an overt commitment, Sir Keir (and Mr Brown, who I suspect very significantly influence this aspect of strategy) could quell the constitutional unrest in Scotland. He could push the pro-British polls up a bit and the pro-independence polls down a bit. And it could avoid another referendum on independence. At least for a moment.

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However, assuming Labor wants to close the veil on this issue, lock it up and throw away the key, it is very unlikely to achieve that goal without a second independence referendum.

There is something purgative about not being involved in party politics, or even the overly emotional environment of constitutional politics. It offers a clarity that I often find lacking among those in the bubble.

It is now clear to most people that Scotland has long-term structural problems in its economy, in the way it provides public services, in its transport infrastructure, etc. And it’s also clear to me that we can’t get into these issues, or even talk about them, until we stop talking about the constitution.

And, in the final analysis, there is simply too much of the population that will need an answer to this question by way of a referendum rather than by way of overt commitment in a general election.

The question is, how should it be done? The answer lies in a multi-option referendum. Besides being, obviously, the only way to empower those who believe in independence, those who believe in the status quo, and those who believe in self-reliance (or whatever we want to call the ” devo max” previously named option) a voice, it is also the structure that is most likely to produce the kind of clear and unambiguous result that would throw away the key, one way or another.

The logical structure, which was ‘played out’ by former Reform Scotland chairman Ben Thomson, would be to have two questions rather than one.

The first question would be something like: “Do you support further constitutional changes or do you wish to maintain the current provisions?”

A majority in favor of maintaining the current provisions would render the second question irrelevant, just as a vote against devolution in 1997 would have rendered the outcome of the tax variation powers question irrelevant in this referendum.

However, a majority in favor of a new constitutional change would mean that the outcome of the second question (on which people would be entitled to vote even if they voted against a new change in the first question) would be decisive. The second question would be something like ‘Do you favor independence or self-government’, with the definition of ‘self-government’ presumably set by the Labor government before the referendum.

The separatists, they gave a strong signal last week on what could be the result of such a referendum. When Chris Hanlon, the senior SNP politician, suggested something similar to this option, he was publicly and brutally trampled on by a number of SNP figures.

Why? Because they expect, as I do, that the autonomy option will win a referendum relatively comfortably and effectively end the prospect of independence.

It’s curious, isn’t it, that the thing nationalists are afraid of – autonomy in a referendum – is at the same time something the Unionist community seems so reluctant to do.

Maybe we shouldn’t be surprised. It would not be the first time that trade unionists had missed an open constitutional goal.

Andy Maciver is Director of Message Matters

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