The District of Columbia’s Frederick Douglass statue is one step closer to being unveiled in the Capitol now that the Senate has passed a resolution authorizing the use of Emancipation Hall in the Capitol Visitor Center for the event.
The Senate agreed May 16 to a concurrent resolution authorizing the unveiling June 19. The House will consider the resolution Tuesday.
The statue by Steven Weitzman was commissioned by the District of Columbia seven years ago but has been hung up by rules that proclaim only the 50 states may display statues of their favored heroes in the Capitol complex.
Last year, President Barack Obama signed into law a measure allowing the District to display its statue, and passing the concurrent resolution is one of the last logistical hurdles before the likeness of the abolitionist and one-time District resident can be unveiled.
Black Officers’ Demonstration
The U.S. Capitol Black Police Association on Tuesday will attempt to draw attention to what it says is a hostile work environment for its officers, demonstrating at 4 p.m. on the East Front of the Capitol, on the grass on the House side.
Earlier this year, 51 black Capitol Police officers, civilians and employees filed a class-action discrimination lawsuit in D.C. District Court against the Capitol Police Board. It was the continuation of a legal battle that began in 2001, when hundreds of black officers charged the brass with a history of race-based harassment with an Office of Compliance grievance.
While the original case has dragged on for years amid arguments over several issues — most prominently, who has legal standing to be a plaintiff — the latest case focuses on new allegations of a continued pattern of discrimination.
New HouseNet in the House
The House launched a redesigned internal website, HouseNet, on May 16.
Chief Administrative Officer Dan Strodel announced the launch in a May 15 memo, giving out attaboys to the CAO Web development team and sounding awfully excited about the “new and improved features, such as drop-down mega menus that quickly reveal most of the site’s sections and a simplified content management system that allows easy and frequent site maintenance.”
He asked the folks in the House community for feedback — “difficulties, questions, or concerns” — via the HouseNet team’s email address, email@example.com.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.