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A GUIDE TO THE CONGRESSIONAL RACES: DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

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TIME

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

Population (1994): 570,000 (down 6.1% from 1990), 0.2% of U.S. total

Voting-age population: 452,000; 1994 turnout, 40%

Median age: 33.5 years

Median household income: $30,116 ($2,148 below U.S. median)

Unemployment: 8.8% (3.2% above U.S. average, March 1996)

Last presidential election: Clinton (D): 85% Bush (R): 9% Perot (I): 4%

Congressional delegation: One Democrat, no Republicans

When Pierre L’Enfant’s design was laid out, Washington was meant to be a haven of logic and order, with straight, broad thoroughfares befitting the capital of a new democratic nation. Under federal control since its inception, the District wasn’t granted suffrage until the 23rd Amendment in 1961, and didn’t obtain self-rule until 1974. In recent years, Washington once earned the dubious honor of being the murder capital of the U.S., and it mimics the Third World with its two distinct societies: the affluence of the mostly white northwest and the equally extreme poverty of mostly black Anacostia, where infant mortality is twice the national average.

ELEANOR NORTON (D) District–At large

BORN: June 13, 1937, Washington EDUCATION: Antioch College, B.A., 1960; Yale U, M.A., 1963, LL.B., 1964 FAMILY: Divorced; two children RELIGION: Episcopalian MILITARY: None OCCUPATION: Professor; lawyer POLITICAL CAREER: U.S. House, 1990- ADDRESS: 1111 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington 20036. Tel.: 202-463-0184

Norton, a popular civil rights advocate, represents what has been termed a “dysfunctional polity”: mired in debt, Washington was declared insolvent and had a financial control board imposed upon it by Congress in 1995. But without a vote, she serves constituents who have the distinction of being the only federally taxed citizens of the U.S. without effectual representation.

THE ISSUES

Budget NO Medicare NO Defense YES Abortion NO Guns YES Gays YES Bosnia NO NAFTA NO Welfare NO Medical Leave YES (For an explanation of these issues, see the front of this guide.)

QUOTE OF NOTE: “Do not compare the District of Columbia to Detroit, New York, Atlanta or San Francisco, unless you give the people I represent the same citizenship rights and the same aid those cities get.”

SPRAGUE SIMONDS (R) District–At large

BORN: July 24, 1964, Greenwich, Conn. EDUCATION: Connecticut College, B.A., 1986; Georgetown U, M.B.A., 1991 FAMILY: Single RELIGION: Episcopalian MILITARY: None OCCUPATION: Business financial analyst POLITICAL CAREER: Advisory Neighborhood Commission 3B 1994-, chair 1995- ADDRESS: P.O. Box 5577, Washington 20016. Tel.: 202-298-9601

As a financial analyst, Simonds knows as well as anyone that Washington is a fiscal disaster. He would like to see this oddly American city-state get a federal tax cut so that families and businesses will want to return. He also proposes hiring a city manager to manage the District’s fiscal affairs, and says Washington’s substandard services can be improved by increasing spending on police and fire forces.

THE ISSUES

Budget YES Medicare YES Defense YES Abortion YES Guns YES Gays NO Bosnia YES NAFTA YES Welfare YES Medical Leave YES (For an explanation of these issues, see the front of this guide.)

QUOTE OF NOTE: “I am confident that I can provide the much-needed new leadership and innovative solutions that will make the District of Columbia a better place to live for all residents.”

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