Eleanor Holmes Norton – One Cool Congresswoman

DSCN0489, originally uploaded by Prince of Petworth.

I had the opportunity to speak with DC’s Congresswoman, Eleanor Holmes Norton, along with a few other local bloggers. When DCist posts their story I’ll be sure to update with a link because I’m certain their post will be far more comprehensive than mine. Anyway, this was pretty cool. We all met at the fantastic art exhibit, Artomatic, this past Saturday at 5pm. The meeting started by watching a tribute to Congresswoman Norton by comedian Stephen Colbert. It was pretty surreal watching the congresswoman watch the computer screen with a series of her appearances compiled from the Colbert Report on Comedy Central.

Norton was very complimentary to Colbert. She said, “Colbert has single handedly done more than anyone else on getting the word out for district voting rights”.

I had the opportunity to ask the Congresswoman two questions. I asked her what she will do as a district leader should the Supreme Court overrule DC’s handgun ban. She gave quite a lengthy answer mostly focusing on what she did when the Congress attempted to persuade the District to adopt the death penalty. To make a very, very long answer short, she basically said that she doesn’t believe that the Supreme Court will make a ruling without any wiggle room. She believes that even if the Supreme Court overrules the ban the District will still be able to pass very strict handgun controls laws that will make it extremely difficult, not impossible, for District residents to obtain handguns.

As this blog is not very politically focused I also asked her what neighborhood she lives in and what were some of her favorite restaurants and stomping grounds. Norton replied that she currently lives in SE on Capitol Hill. She moved there because she had previously lived in a great Brownstone in Harlem and was looking for a similar type of rowhouse. The closest home she could find to the great brownstones of Harlem was a three story whitestone in Capitol Hill.

I did not know that Norton also grew up in DC. She is a third generation Washingtonian and grew up in our neck of the woods at 712 Kenyon Street, NW. Interestingly, she identified 712 Kenyon Street as growing up in Petworth. I think today most people identify 712 Kenyon with Pleasant Plains or Columbia Heights. I thought it was interesting that she identified that address with Petworth (and she didn’t know I was the “Prince of Petworth” so there was no pandering there). As for some of her favorite restaurants, the Congresswoman replied that she doesn’t have a lot of time to go out.

Like I said, I’ll be a bit lazy because my notes were not spectacular so when DCist and DC Metblogs post their stories I’ll be sure to link. The congresswoman also discussed, the renewal of the $5000 first time homebuyers credit (it will be renewed), future development in DC (across the Anacostia with the future home of the Department of Homeland Security at the old St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Ward 8), Union Station and of course DC Voting Rights. All in all it was a great experience. She is supremely passionate about DC Voting Rights and DC in general. I feel pretty lucky that we have such a determined representative in the Congress. Now if she can only get a vote…

13 Comment

  • […] This past Saturday we were invited along with a few other DC websites to have a conversation with our city’s Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton in […]

  • She is one sorry Congresswoman. Her and Barry need to be put out to pasture. Their best days are behind them.

  • Yes, b/c the gun ban has been very effective in reducing gun crime in the District.

  • I think 712 Kenyon Street is officially “Park View” but generally considered Columbia Heights. At least that’s my impression of the 700 block of Irving where I reside.

  • Congresswoman Norton is one of the smartest Members of Congress. We are very lucky to have her representing us. (Grouping her with Barry is unfair at best.)

  • It’s so funny. Neighborhood names are not really ‘offical’ in any way, are they? I’ve just always associated places with the closest metro stop or landmark.

  • Someone tell me one thing Nortons done for DC other than a yearly cart ride across the mall? She needs to go. Don’t give me this “well she does have a vote” thing either. If she wasn’t such a snot she could work acrosss party lines and get support from other members. My neighborhood has gone to her on more than one occassion for her assistance only to be hammered down with her “I’m personal friends with such-and-such developer, we’ll work it out”. SOMEONE RUN AGAINST HER PLEASE

  • “One cool Congresswoman”? Please. She’s a disgrace. Let’s stick to the hipster blogging and leave political commentary to those who know something about it.

  • Until this is a “real” seat in the House, she will continue to run with little opposition. However, if DC ever gets voting rights I think she will quickly replaced by a more capable candidate.

  • The neighborhood boundaries are actually set by the city. The deed to a house can tell you what legal subdivision a house sits in. Has nothing to do with metro stops or local landmarks.

  • She’s only “cool” if you think making a career out of divisive racism is cool. Hopefully, Barack will get her constituents to wake up to the fact that people like her just dig dirt out from under the feet of the blacks who support her to lift herself up.

  • I work at st elizebeth hospital for 20 year mrs holme told as she would get job at st elizebeth but i drop resume at a trailer for job people live in area. they said contract lose one his employee we be first they call.mrs holme i got federal time 10year need job

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