D.C. Voting Rights Letter to Obama Denied

Thursday, Apr 21, 2011  |  Updated 4:18 PM EDT
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D.C. Voting Rights Letter to Obama Denied

Getty Images / David McNew

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A letter signed by current and former D.C. mayors showing support for D.C. voting rights in Congress did not make it to President Barack Obama on Thursday as planned.

The letter was to be hand-delivered by former District mayor Sharon Pratt and Mary Washington, the widow of D.C.'s first elected mayor, Walter Washington, to the White House Thursday afternoon, but the letter was turned away because the White House does not accept outside deliveries.

The letter asks Obama to display the District's "Taxation Without Representation" license plates on his official vehicle, as former President Bill Clinton did.

"Although a seemingly modest gesture for a man who has consistently sided with the voices of freedom and championed the causes of human dignity, this action affirms your alliance with President Abraham Lincoln when he said 'Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves'," the letter says.

The letter was crafted by Pratt and signed by Mayor Vincent Gray, former mayors Anthony Williams, Marion Barry and Pratt and Mary Washington.

One notable name missing from that list -- former mayor Adrian Fenty.

A spokesperson for the non-profit group Opportunity Funding Corporation said that organizers were not able to get in contact with Fenty for him to sign the letter.

The spokesperson said Pratt will attempt to hand-deliver the letter to Obama through other means.

Click here to view the entire letter.

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