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Advisory Resolution A
Citizens for DC Justice press release
September 23, 2002

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Citizens for DC Justice

Hon. David Catania, Co-Chair
Hon. Williams Lightfoot, Co-Chair
Lindsay Peterson, Vice-Chair
Jay Young, Treasurer
1050 17th St. NW
Washington, DC 20036
t. 202.498.1292
f. 202.482.9878
September 23, 2002
For information:
Frank Howard 202-496-1292


(Washington, D.C.) -- Citizens for DC Justice (CDCJ), an organization formed to promote Referendum A, a November 5 General election ballot question that asks DC voters to decide if they want an elected District Attorney, was launched today at a news conference on the steps of the Wilson Building, DC's seat of local government.

Chaired by DC Councilmember David Catania and former Councilmember and prominent attorney William Lightfoot, CDCJ will wage a grassroots campaign to educate District voters about Referendum A and urge them to vote for it. Councilmember Catania, a strong advocate for the Council Resolution that created Referendum A, which was passed unanimously by the Council in July, said that a wide-ranging group of supporters are participating in CDCJ because they believe a local District Attorney's office is vital step in achieving Home Rule.

"The passage of Referendum A will send an important message to Congress — that the citizens of Washington DC are eager for Home Rule, which was promised us almost 30 years ago. Having our own District Attorney's office is fundamental to self-government. Prosecutors should be accountable to the people they serve," Councilmember Catania said.

Councilmember Catania also noted that a DC district attorney's office would be more efficient than the current arrangement of having local prosecutions handled by both the US Attorney for DC and the office of the District's Corporation Counsel. "A local District Attorney would be more inclined to focus on areas that are important to our citizens such as public integrity issues, quality of life crimes and protecting consumers," he said.

Mr. Lightfoot said that CDCJ is building a strong coalition including representatives of the private and public sectors and many of the organizations that support Home Rule. "Our campaign, which will include mailings, yard and window signs, and phone-banking will also be heavily geared to voter education and contact through our allies," he said.

If Referendum A is passed on November 5 it will be sent to Congress by the DC Council with a request that Congress amend the Home Rule Act to establish an Office of the District Attorney for DC to be headed by an elected District Attorney.

After such Congressional action, the DC Council would decide exactly what form the new office would take. The mayor would then appoint a District Attorney to serve until the next city-wide election in 2006, when the voters would elect their own District Attorney.

Vote YES for Referendum A.

Paid for by the Citizens for DC Justice
Treasurer, Jay Young

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