WASHINGTON -- Dozens of DC citizens hand-delivered a clear message at the Capitol Office of Mississippi Rep. Travis Childers (D-MS) today: stop interfering with local issues and concentrate on the issues that affect Mississippi.
The tax-paying residents of Washington, DC – all of whom are denied a voting member of Congress – were forced to take up local issues with Childers, who has inserted himself into DC's local gun control issues.
Rep. Childers is the sponsor of H.R. 5162, the Second Amendment Reinforcement Act, a bill that would legalize assault weapons, repeal the District's licensing and registration system, and roll back important regulations curbing illegal gun trafficking.
In response to Childers' interference in DC's gun laws, residents of Washington, DC lined up outside the Mississippi Congressman's office today and filed in to hand-deliver letters. They requested Childers drop his support of the DC gun bill, meet with local leaders, and champion local democracy in Washington, DC.
Rep. Childers' staff at first tried to prevent DC residents from delivering the letters and the media from covering the protest. Eventually, they relented, but continued to demonstrate indifference to the concerns of DC residents. There was no evidence of "southern hospitality." In fact, Childers' staff called the Capitol Hill police, even though the "File-In" was civil and all the participants, including a pregnant woman, senior citizens, and representatives of civil and human rights organizations, left willingly after making their statement.
"I'm confident that Rep. Childers would not allow Congress to interfere in the local affairs of Mississippi, and we demand that same standard applies to local governance here in Washington, DC," said DC Vote Executive Director Ilir Zherka. "We will continue to follow up with Rep. Childers and ask that he concentrate on the issues affecting the people of Mississippi."
DC Vote is spearheading the effort to defend local democracy in the nation's capital and raise awareness about members of Congress who threaten the rights and safety of DC's citizens. DC Vote also issued an action alert to supporters across the country so that additional DC residents and voters in other states could register their protest as well.