Posts Tagged Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton

UPDATE: Norton, Scott, Van Hollen Call on Congress to Consider Recommendations of Frederick Douglass Bicentennial Commission’s Preliminary Report (August 2, 2018)

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Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton with community members in Old Anacostia, December 2017.

Norton, Scott, Van Hollen Call on Congress to Consider Recommendations of Frederick Douglass Bicentennial Commission’s Preliminary Report, Issued Yesterday

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) and Senators Tim Scott (R-SC) and Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) called on Congress to take up the recommendations made by the Frederick Douglass Bicentennial Commission in its preliminary report to Congress, which was submitted yesterday.

Norton, Scott, and Van Hollen are members of the Commission, which is chaired by Kenneth B. Morris, Jr., the great-great-great grandson of Frederick Douglass and Co-Founder and President of the Frederick Douglass Family Initiatives.

The Members issued the following statement:

“Frederick Douglass was one of the greatest Americans in our history and deserves a fitting recognition from Congress and the federal government to honor his life on the 200th anniversary of his birth.  The preliminary recommendations made by the Frederick Douglass Bicentennial Commission include new and creative ideas to ensure the American people learn about Frederick Douglass’ unique legacy.  Congress can start by taking up the Commission’s recommendation to award the Congressional Gold Medal to Frederick Douglass.  We look forward to continuing to find ways to honor Douglass throughout the rest of this year.”

“On behalf of the family of Frederick Douglass and the Bicentennial Commission, I am delighted that Members of Congress are committed to lifting up the life and legacy of my great-great-great grandfather during his Bicentennial year and beyond,” said Chairman Morris.  “I look forward to continued collaboration with my fellow commission members and Congress as we help to deepen and broaden efforts to recognize his continued relevance today.”

The Commission was created by the Frederick Douglass Bicentennial Commission Act (P.L. 115-77) to plan, develop, and carry out, as well as recommend to Congress, programs and activities to honor and celebrate the life of Frederick Douglass during the bicentennial anniversary of his birth in 2018.  The House version was introduced by Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton and Congressman Andy Harris and the Senate version was introduced by Senators Chris Van Hollen and Ben Cardin.  The Commission’s preliminary report was due by August 1, 2018.  The final report is due by June 1, 2019.

The members of the Commission, as of August 1, 2018, are:

Senator Tim Scott

Senator Chris Van Hollen

Representative Andy Harris, M.D.

Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton

Dr. David Anderson

Naomi C. Earp, Esq.

Kay Coles James

Alveda C. King

Kenneth B. Morris, Jr. (Chair)

Dean Nelson

Star Parker

Sylvia L. Quinton

Dr. C. James Trotman

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Will Old Anacostia & Washington, D.C. join Fell’s Point, Baltimore and Easton, Maryland in hanging banners to honor Frederick Douglass Bicentennial celebration?

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Washington Informer, June 14 – 20, 2018. page 21

In this week’s edition of The Washington Informer is an article I wrote, “Activists Call for Douglass Banners in Old Anacostia to Hail Bicentennial Celebration,” with quotes from Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, Honorable Ken B. Morris, Jr., Chuck Hicks and Duane Guatier of the Anacostia Arts Center.

The article has precipitated discussions as to how to make the presence of banners a reality. In order to advance the conversation I share a couple ideas:

Throughout the neighborhoods of Washington City a residual spirit of Dr. Frederick (Bailey) Douglass touches extant churches, schools, cemeteries, bridges, landmarks and buildings. Both local and national activism efforts required Dr. Douglass to remain familiar with the Federal City, as well. The United States Capitol, White House and Treasury are all places Dr. Douglass was no stranger.

Therefore distinctive Douglass banners could be placed in minimally three (3) separate locations throughout NW, NE and SE Washington:

  1. Lower Georgia Avenue & upper 7th Street NW — Frederick Douglass and Howard University
  2. Capitol Hill Historic District — Frederick Douglass and Reconstruction (editor of the New National Era & relationship with Congress)
  3. Anacostia Historic District — Frederick Douglass and Family; Frederick Douglass and local activism

For the installation of Douglass banners in Washington City to occur there must be a sense of purpose and urgency upon a number of elected officials, bureaucrats and community partners.

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Frederick Douglass banner in Easton, Maryland. Photo William Alston-El.

Washington City has the collective sophistication and enough collective coin to make this easily happen and happen quickly. Ideally, installation before July 4th would have been poetic but as we are in mid-June that won’t happen.

It appears there needs to be coordination on the Douglass Bicentennial between the offices of Mayor Muriel Bowser and Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton. With the municipal support of Bowser and the federal support of Norton the placement of banners can be achieved.

I can personally attest, and the record reflects, Congresswoman Norton has been a lioness on the Hill advocating and uplifting the legacy of Dr. Douglass for many years now. The relocation of the Douglass statue from Judiciary Square to the Capitol’s Emancipation Hall was largely due Congresswoman Norton’s leadership. Norton is truly a Douglassonian. However, there is only so much she can do as her office has larger issues to contend with under the Trump Administration.

William Alston-EL and I attended the opening of then-Mayoral candidate Bowser’s Anacostia field office many years ago. Other than light conversation I do not know Mayor Bowser and her level of commitment to Douglassonianism and the uplifting of fallen history.

Photo: Sam Ford, ABC 7

As part of President Trump’s inaugural parade the DC government (city council and Mayor) displayed a Douglass banner across their stand. The convenient ceremonial pageantry is not what is needed now.

What is needed is leadership and coordination between local ANC Commissioners  (Wards 1, 4, 6 and 8), Business Improvement Districts (BIDs), DC Office of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA), DC Commission on Arts & Humanities (DCCAH), Office of Planning’s Historic Preservation Office (HPO) and a bevy of community organizations from Shaw to Capitol Hill to Old Anacostia.

It is time for Washington City to join Fell’s Point, Easton and Rochester in uplifting Frederick Douglass.

JM


Editor’s Note:

Below is the image the National Park Service has used to commemorate the Douglass Bicentennial. Potential banners could be two-sided, with this image or a unique image on one side and a geo-specific or thematic design on the reverse side.

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Open to Public but must RSVP: Norton to Speak at Congressional Ceremony Commemorating the 200th Anniversary of the Birth of Frederick Douglass (Wed., February 14, 2018, at 5:30 p.m. in Emancipation Hall)

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Michael E. Crutcher, Sr. of Historical Presentations and an impersonator of Fredrick Douglass at unveiling of Douglass Statue at Emancipation Hall. 

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) will speak at a congressional ceremony honoring the bicentennial of the birth of Frederick Douglass on Wednesday, February 14, 2018, at 5:30 p.m., in Emancipation Hall of the Capitol Visitor Center (First St NE).  The event is being hosted by House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and Congressional Black Caucus Chairman Cedric Richmond (D-LA).

The event is open to the public. Those wishing to attend must RSVP to Joe.Picozzi@mail.house.gov by Tuesday, February 13.

The event will take place near the Frederick Douglass statue, which represents the District of Columbia and was placed in the Capitol by a 2013 Norton bill, making D.C. the only jurisdiction that is not a state with a statue in the Capitol.  Douglass’ home in Cedar Hill in Southeast D.C. is a National Historical Site with thousands of visitors every year.

The event will feature the swearing-in ceremony of Norton and other members to the Frederick Douglass Bicentennial Commission, which was established by a Norton bill.  The Commission will plan, develop and carry out programs and activities to honor and celebrate the life of Douglass during 2018.

“I thank Majority Leader McCarthy and Chairman Richmond for leading a fitting celebration for Frederick Douglass in the Capitol near his statue, donated by D.C. residents, who voted for Douglass to represent them in the Capitol because of his strong advocacy for their equal rights,” Norton said.

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Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton presents Frederick Douglass Celebration (Wed., February 14, 2018 @ Ron Brown Preparatory High School)

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We are told this free event is open to the public but folks will need to tender a form of identification.

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Program for FREE Frederick Douglass Bicentennial Community Conference (Sat., Dec. 9th, 9am – 4pm @ DC Prep — 1409 V Street SE]

cover _ Draft _ Program _ FD Community Conf _ 12.9.20187_1p. 2 _ Draft _ Program _ FD Community Conf _ 12.9.20187_1p. 3 _ Program _ FD Community Conf _ 12.9.20187_1

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FREE Frederick Douglass Bicentennial Community Conference (Flyer) – Saturday, Dec., 9, 2017 @ DC Prep – 1409 V Street SE

RD_Fred Douglass Community Conf_Flyer_12.9.2017

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DCist: Norton Wants To Establish Commission To Honor Frederick Douglass

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AP Photo/Carolyn Klaster

 

While many will celebrate Valentine’s Day on Friday, perhaps by getting married, let’s not forget that it’s also the birthday of Frederick Douglass—the legendary Civil War-era statesman and social reformer.

To mark the occasion, Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) introduced a bill yesterday calling for the establishment of a Bicentennial Commission to find ways the federal government can honor his life during the 200th anniversary of his birth in 2018. The commission would explore different ways to do this, including the “issuance of a Frederick Douglass bicentennial postage stamp, the convening of a joint session of Congress for ceremonies and activities relating to Frederick Douglass, a rededication of the Frederick Douglass National Historic Site, and the acquisition and preservation of artifacts associated with Frederick Douglass,” Norton said in her statement for the Congressional Record.

“Douglass dedicated his life to achieving justice for all Americans,” Norton also said. “He lived in the District of Columbia for 23 of his 57 years as a free man and was deeply committed to obtaining equal congressional voting and self-government rights for District of Columbia residents.” Douglass’ Anacostia home, Cedar Hill, is a National Historic Site, and a statue of Douglass from D.C. was finally moved to the U.S. Capitol this summer.

Contact the author of this article or email tips@dcist.com with further questions, comments or tips.
By Matt Cohen in  on Feb 12, 2014 11:22 AM

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Norton’s Long-Fought Effort to Bring D.C.’s Frederick Douglass Statue to the Capitol Ends in Victory

Before the Frederick Douglass statue at One Judiciary Square moves to the US Capitol he takes time to read a new book about his life and times in Anacostia. Photo_ John MullerFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                       

May 21, 2013

Norton’s Long-Fought Effort to Bring D.C.’s Frederick Douglass Statue to the Capitol Ends in Victory

WASHINGTON, DC – The House today passed a resolution (S.Con.Res.16) authorizing the use of Emancipation Hall next month,Wednesday, June 19, 2013, to unveil the District of Columbia’s Frederick Douglass statue.  The resolution, which passed the Senate last week, was approved in the House by a voice vote and does not need to be signed into law to take effect, marking the final step in the long-fought effort of Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) to allow the District, like the states, to have its own statue in the Capitol.  During House consideration of the resolution today, Norton spoke and thanked the Republican leadership and Representative Candice Miller (R-MI), chair of the Committee on House Administration, for her help in bringing the resolution to the floor and Ranking Member Robert Brady (D-PA) for his longstanding commitment to placing a D.C. statue in the Capitol.

“Today, after years of work, our city receives closure that residents will be represented in the Capitol with a statue, like each of the 50 states,” said Norton.  “Next month, on June 19, we will celebrate this long-sought symbol of our American citizenship.  There is no better figure to represent our city than Frederick Douglass, who made the city his home and was deeply involved in D.C. government and in the civic affairs of the city.  Douglass is not only one of the great international icons of human rights, he is remembered in the District also for his outspoken dedication to democratic self-government and congressional representation for the city.”

Norton found a number of allies in the House and Senate to help the District get its own statue in the Capitol.  Last Congress, Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY), chairman of the Rules and Administration Committee, sponsored a stand-alone bill authorizing the move of the Douglass statue to the Capitol.  The House companion to Schumer’s bill, sponsored by former Representative Dan Lungren (R-CA), then-chairman of the Committee on House Administration, and co-sponsored by Norton, was signed into law by President Obama on September 20, 2012.  Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), then-chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government, earlier had included a provision in the fiscal year 2013 appropriations bill, approved by the full committee, authorizing the move of the Douglass statue, but the bill was not considered on the Senate floor.

The Douglass statue will be only the fourth statue or bust in the Capitol that honors an African American.

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 www.norton.house.gov

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Senate Passes Resolution for Frederick Douglass Statue Unveiling in Emancipation Hall on Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Before the Frederick Douglass statue at One Judiciary Square moves to the US Capitol he takes time to read a new book about his life and times in Anacostia. Photo_ John Muller

WASHINGTON, DC – Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) thanked her colleagues in the Senate for passing a resolution yesterday authorizing the use of Emancipation Hall on Wednesday, June 19, 2013, to unveil the District of Columbia’s Frederick Douglass statue, marking the first time that the District, like the states, will have its own statue in the Capitol.  The resolution is expected on the House floor soon but does not need to be signed into law in order to take effect.  The Congresswoman particularly expressed her gratitude to Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY), chairman of the Senate Rules and Administration Committee, for sponsoring the bill and to Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), who jumpstarted the effort to move the statue into the Capitol as chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government, which has jurisdiction over D.C., when the subcommittee’s s fiscal year 2013 appropriations bill, approved by the full committee but not considered on the Senate floor, included a provision authorizing the move of the statue into Capitol.  Schumer then sponsored a stand-alone bill authorizing the move and the House companion to Schumer’s bill, sponsored by former Rep. Dan Lungren (R-CA), then-chairman of the Committee on House Administration, and co-sponsored by Norton, was signed into law by President Obama on September 20, 2012.

“Our country has always recognized our residents as American citizens when the country goes to war and in the obligation to pay federal income taxes,” Norton said.  “Because D.C. residents have met every obligation of citizenship, they have tried for years to be represented in the Capitol with a statue, donated by them, like each of the 50 states.  Today, with vital assistance from Senators Schumer and Durbin, the District is close to realizing this long sought symbol of their American citizenship.  Frederick Douglass is one of the great international icons of human rights, but D.C. residents chose his statue to represent our city in the Capitol because of the boundless energy he dedicated to the right of D.C. residents to democratic self-government and congressional representation.  Our residents, who have no elected senators of their own, are deeply indebted to Senators Schumer and Durbin for their generous efforts.”

The Douglass statue will be only the fourth statue or bust in the Capitol that honors an African American.

 

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 www.norton.house.gov

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