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Council Period 12
Council Period 13
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
|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 23, 2002
Frank Howard 202-496-1292
ADVOCACY CAMPAIGN FOR DC DISTRICT ATTORNEY
"REFERENDUM A" LAUNCHED
(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.
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