District Roundup-Week of April 19

Civil rights leader passes away

On Tuesday, civil rights leader Dr. Dorothy I. Height died at Howard University Hospital. She was 98. A cause of death was not disclosed, according to The Washington Post. Though Height was not as well known as other civil rights leaders of the 1950s and 1960s, she was president of the National Council of Negro Women for 40 years. Her activism began in the 1930s, and in 1994 she received the Presidential Medal of Freedom. President Obama called her “the godmother of the Civil Rights Movement” in a statement. D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty also declared April 20, 2010 “Dr. Dorothy I. Height Day” in the District.

D.C. voting rights bill momentum stalled

Despite the support of President Barack Obama for D.C. voting rights, the issue never came to the House floor this week. On Tuesday, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said Congress would not consider a bill to give District residents voting rights this session because of issues surrounding a gun amendment. The legislation including the amendment would have eliminated many of D.C.’s gun control laws.

New rules proposed for pedicabs

The Washington Business Journal reported Friday that new rules were proposed by the District Department of Transportation April 23 for pedicabs in D.C.  When the rules are adopted in about 30 days, each passenger must wear a seatbelt. Certain lights, reflectors and brakes must be on the part bicycle, part taxi vehicles too. The driver will be required to wear a reflective vest at all times, and pedicabs will be restricted from being on sidewalks. Pedicab operators also will not be able to drive on D.C. roads with posted speed limits over 30 mph.

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