The D.C. Council will once again try to pass a bill allowing green card holders the right to vote in local elections. Councilmember David Grosso (I-At Large) introduced a bill yesterday that would grant permanent resident immigrants municipal voting privileges. Councilmembers Charles Allen (D-Ward 6), Brianne Nadeau (D-Ward 1), Jack Evans (D-Ward 2), and Elissa Silverman (I-At Large) joined him in co-introducing the bill. “What most District residents care about are the tangible things that affect their day-to-day lives, like potholes, playgrounds, taxes, snow removal, trash collection, red light cameras and more,” Grosso said in a statement. “Unfortunately, not all of our residents have a say in choosing the officials who make these decisions. In my opinion, that is unjust.”
The Local Resident Voting Rights Amendment Act of 2015 follows Grosso’s nearly identical 2013 bill, which then-Ward 4 Councilmember Muriel Bowser also backed. A similar proposal was brought forward and ultimately rejected in 2004.
In his statement, Grosso cited 2012 U.S. Census statistics showing that nearly 54,000 D.C. residents are foreign-born, legal non-citizens, and more than 90 percent of that population is of voting age.