Local Residents Voting Rights Amendment Act of 2019

Introduced: October 8, 2019

Co-introducers: Councilmembers Elissa Silverman, Robert White, Brianne Nadeau, Jack Evans, Brandon Todd, and Charles Allen


Summary: To amend the District of Columbia Election Code of 1955 to expand the definition of the term qualified elector to include permanent residents for the purpose of local elections.

Councilmember Grosso's Introduction Statement:

The second bill is a re-introduction of the Local Residents Voting Rights Amendment Act of 2019, along with Councilmembers Nadeau, Evans, Robert White, Todd, Allen, and Silverman, which will include more voices in the day-to-day decisions that affect every resident of the District of Columbia.

“All politics is local” is a refrain often heard within the U.S political system. What most D.C. residents care about are the local issues of city life that affect them.

This includes our public schools, taxes, having access to quality health care, crime rates in neighborhoods, and so much more.

All of these issues are important to voters in the District of Columbia but unfortunately, not all of our residents have a say in choosing the officials who make the policy decisions that will directly impact them. In my opinion, that is unjust.

This bill allows permanent residents in the District of Columbia, who are not yet U.S. citizens, the right to vote in our local elections.

These residents may be well on their path to U.S. citizenship. This bill will allow them to legally participate in our elections for Mayor, Council, State Board of Education, ANCs and Attorney General.

While our rallying cry for statehood has included the mantra “No taxation without representation” the same can be said for our legal permanent residents who use our streets, send their children to our schools, and pay taxes just like any other resident—and deserve a voice in our democracy.