PRESS RELEASE: DC GOP Statement on Implementation of Initiative 71

February 26, 2015

DC GOP Statement on Implementation of Initiative 71

WASHINGTON – The DC Republican Party issued the following statement today regarding the implementation of Initiative 71:

Today the District of Columbia Republican Party urged Republican members of Congress to keep their hands off of the implementation of Initiative 71. The Chairman of the DC Republican Party, José Cunningham, noted, “The District of Columbia Republican Party has long held that local decisions be made at the local level. Whether we agree or disagree with a specific law or action here in the District, the people closest to that decision should decide how they want to live their lives. Initiative 71 was approved by more than 70% of District voters.”

Supporting Cunningham’s statement, the District of Columbia Republican Party Platform contains the following language:

“We urge Congress to enact legislation proposed by Republicans that would provide the District of Columbia local government budget autonomy; increased local legislative authority; Home Rule Charter amendments that increase the accountability of the local government; and exemption from federal income taxation until District citizens are granted voting rights in Congress and local autonomy.”

The DC GOP will likely maintain such language as it reviews the platform in advance of the 2016 Republican National Convention.

DC Republican Party Executive Director Patrick Mara stated, “This current Initiative 71 implementation situation highlights the need for a real advocacy effort on Capitol Hill. We can’t continue to simply drop off folders at front desks or repeatedly react to the latest Congressional reach into the District government and expect to have a different result. If we want different outcomes, the District government must focus its energy on a sustained, strategic and professional advocacy effort.”

Citing previous local advocacy efforts, Cunningham continued, “Former Mayor Anthony Williams would meet nearly monthly with the Bush White House. The DC Tuition Assistance Grant program was the result of a Republican Congress. Former Representative Tom Davis (R-VA) introduced his voting rights bill several years before Congresswoman Norton cosponsored it. Let’s use these events to once again start building our advocacy efforts on the Hill and with the Executive Branch.”

For further information or comments, contact Patrick Mara at (202) 276-5859 or

The DC Republican Party is made up of registered Republicans living throughout the District of Columbia in all eight wards who are nominated and elected to serve as members of the central committee.

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