Activists with DC Vote—whose executive director Ilir Zherka figures heavily into this week’s City Paper cover story by writer Byron Tau —staged a “file-in” demonstration on Capitol Hill yesterday, one by one filing into the offices of U.S. Rep. Travis Childers in protest of the Mississippi Democrat’s efforts to gut the District’s gun laws.
It was Childers’ 11th-hour gun amendment that ultimately cost the District its best opportunity in years to finally obtain a vote in Congress.
Soft-spoken former D.C. Shadow Representative John Capozzi (as seen in the above video) politely encouraged Childers’ staff to have him run for D.C. Council if he’s so interested in local policy. “That seat is actually open right now,” Capozzi noted.
Tau reports that the demonstration represents a return to more direct action on the part of the District’s leading voting-rights advocacy organization, which has relied more heavily on consensus building in recent years, as a viable voting-rights bill had become a priority for the Democratic leadership. Or so it seemed.
Zherka tells Tau, “Given that we’re stuck, and Democrats are either partially or mostly to blame at this point, it seems clear that we need to engage in more aggressive tactics to call attention to Democrats who are stymieing.”