Snowfall and frigid temperatures this weekend didn’t stop many D.C. residents from doing their thing outside, whether it was jogging near the Lincoln Memorial in shorts or skiing around the Capitol, WUSA9 reports.
The freezing weather also didn’t prevent hundreds of District residents from participating in D.C.’s Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Peace Walk across the Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge alongside King’s family members. This year, the event fell on the day before the Senate was set to start debates on legislation over an issue particularly close to the late civil rights icon’s heart: voting rights.
The John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, passed by the House last week, is due for a Senate vote. The bill would restore key anti-discrimination protections from the Voting Rights Act of 1965 that were struck down in a 2013 U.S. Supreme Court case. One of these provisions would prevent states that have a history of voting discrimination from making changes in voting policy without clearing them with federal officials. Now is a particularly critical point to pass the legislation: In just the past year, at least 19 states passed 34 laws restricting voting access, and more are coming in the 2022 legislative sessions.
But without the support of Democratic senators Joe Manchin III of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, Senate Democrats won’t have the majority needed to change the filibuster rules to keep Republicans from blocking the move to a vote with endless debate starting today. If Manchin and Sinema act on their public statements denouncing any change to the filibuster, “history will not remember them kindly,” said Martin Luther King III during his speech at Union Station after the march.
“I can’t think of another time in my life when we were at a juncture like this—where we have the opportunity for us to do the right thing and act on the side of justice and democracy,” D.C. resident Monsignor Raymond East, pastor of St. Teresa of Avila Catholic Church in Anacostia, told the Post during the peace walk. He recalled experiencing King’s historic marches as a teen. East and other speakers called for a related right for voting access: The District’s long fight to gain statehood and congressional voting representation.
In Other News …
D.C. Council candidate Nate Fleming, who is running for an at-large seat, was carjacked in Northeast D.C. on Saturday. At a gas station on the corner of Nannie Helen Burroughs Avenue and Minnesota Avenue NE, four masked men wearing hoodies jumped out of an SUV and approached Fleming, who was just about to leave the station, according to a press release Fleming issued Saturday. One of the men demanded Fleming’s keys at gunpoint; Fleming handed them over and the men drove away with his car.
Fleming, D.C.’s shadow representative in Congress from 2013 to 2015 and a former staffer of Ward 8 Councilmember Trayon White, used his experience as an opportunity to talk about his campaign promises, including investments in programs like universal after-school, summer youth employment, and young adult employment as strategies to address the root causes of crime in D.C.
“We must attack public safety as a short term issue, but we must recognize that violence is a symptom of long term issues like educational inequality, lack of economic opportunity and the lack of mental health care resources in our communities,” Fleming said in the statement. Police said the suspects were seen in a black BMW 328i with a Virginia license plate, and ask that anyone with tips call the D.C. police department, WTOP reports.
—Ambar Castillo (tips? firstname.lastname@example.org)
- To see today’s COVID-19 data, visit our coronavirus tracker.
- Some DCPS teachers are wearing red today as part of a Week of Action that calls for more COVID protections. [WUSA9]
- A car struck and killed a pedestrian at Georgia Avenue and Elton Road in Silver Spring in the same spot another pedestrian was killed in a hit-and-run one year ago. [Bethesda Beat]
- Starting tomorrow, you can request up to four free COVID-19 tests to be sent to your home via a federal website. [WJLA]
- Virginia Gov. Glenn Yougkin invoked MLK’s words in an executive order banning critical race theory. [Post]
- ANC 6B sends letter asking for more cops following ‘acrimonious meeting.’ [Hill Rag]
- AG Karl Racine is accusing a developer of mailing 100,000 homes misleading overdue property taxes. [Informer]
By Mitch Ryals (tips? email@example.com)
Some jerk ripped an embroidered sign from the wall at Jane Jane on Jan. 12. […]
If potatoes are your love language, listen up. A pop-up launched in Shaw this morning […]
- Burmese restaurant Thamee is closing permanently on H Street NE. [Washingtonian]
- How restaurants and other businesses fared checking proof of vaccination over the weekend. [WBJ]
By Laura Hayes (tips? firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Nikole Hannah-Jones, creator of the The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story and Howard University’s inaugural Knight Chair of Race and Journalism, quoted Martin Luther King, Jr. extensively in her MLK Day speech; some accused her of dishonoring the civil rights icon. [Huff Post]
- Maia Kobabe’s Gender Queer: A Memoir has been pulled from Loudoun County schools libraries for its depictions of sexual interactions. [Post]
- A Q&A with Lisa Stephen Friday, writer and star of the rock musical, Trans Am, premiering at Keegan Theatre on Jan. 29 [DC Metro Theater Arts]
By Sarah Marloff (tips? email@example.com)
- Keira D’Amato broke the American women’s record in the marathon on Sunday, running the Houston Marathon in 2:19:12. D’Amato, a Northern Virginia native and former American University runner, is a full-time realtor, mother of two young kids, and only received her first pro sponsorship last year. [Women’s Running]
- The Wizards’ 117-98 win over the 76ers yesterday wasn’t how Joseph Blair expected to earn his first NBA win as a head coach, but the former Harlem Globetrotter made the most of his opportunity as an acting head coach after Wizards assistant coach Pat Delany entered health and safety protocols. Wes Unseld Jr. is also in the protocols. [NBC Sports Washington, Bullets Forever]
- With several unrestricted free agents on the team, the Mystics will likely look quite different than last year’s team by the time the season starts. [Swish Appeal]
By Kelyn Soong (tips? firstname.lastname@example.org)