It looks like we are heading into Thursday's House vote with division among our elected leaders in DC. Mayor Fenty and Congresswoman Norton support the Bill even with the gun amendment. Chairman Vince Gray was the first to issue a strong statement against the bill that would preclude the local elected officials to legislate gun laws. Chairman Gray has not wavered or waffled from that position. (Ward 7 represent). Now as for the rest of the Council...
According to news sources, Councilmembers Cheh (Ward 3), Harry Thomas Jr (Ward 5), Michael Brown (at-large), and Kwame Brown (at-large) have all issued statements against the gun amendment. The only actual statement I was able to find online was on K. Brown's website: “I’m against passing voting rights if it means abrogating our ability to protect the citizens of the District of Columbia through constitutional gun laws,” said Councilmember Brown. “But we must stand together in the effort to achieve full statehood. Now is the time for voting rights but if it means we have erode our local governing authority, we must wait for a better opportunity to strike.”
Councilmember Alexander has also issued several statements, so I'm not entirely sure where she stands on the issue. On Thursday I received an email from the Councilmember's office stating that she pledged her support to Congresswoman Norton. Today Washington Post reports, "If the [gun] amendment is not removed, Alexander is non-committal as to whether to Congress should approve the voting rights bill."
The remaining Councilmembers have not issued statements to my knowledge. Interestingly enough the discussion among residents also seems to be divided. Some are willing to compromise and accept the gun amendment in order to get voting rights. Others are saying no compromise. You know where Miss V stands. So where does this leave us? A City divided?