Typically when someone has a political issue they want addressed, they make a trip to Washington to either make their case or make a scene. But when you’re DC’s shadow Senator and when your issue is DC statehood, sometimes getting out of town is the best way to make yourself heard. That’s the thinking behind Sen. Paul Strauss’ (D-DC) latest trip to West Hollywood anyway.
He hosted a “Voices of Impact” dinner there at Mari Vanna LA along with The Creative Coalition to educate celebrities about the plight of DC residents, who are the only citizens in the nation who are subject to direct Federal control and who must, in fact, suffer taxation without representation. The Creative Coalition is a group whose purpose is to educate actors, celebrities, and other creative types about political issues so that they can advocate about them. The groups president, Emmy-awarding winning actor Tim Daly was at the dinner. As were Kate Walsh, Omar Epps, Evan Handler, Lynn Whitfield, Mario van Peebles and Danielle Panabaker among others.
Strauss, who has neither a vote nor an office at the Senate, spends most of his time lobbying other Senators and Congresspeople to support DC statehood. By contrast, Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton (D), DC’s actual representative in the House, can vote in committee, but not on the House floor, and has actual offices at the Capitol. Moreover she is actually treated by other Congresspeople like an ordinary member of
the House. Strauss’ plight is a little lonelier. He is seen as a gadfly by most Senators and doesn’t have any role at all in shaping legislation.
No word on how moved anyone was by Sen. Strauss’ appeal, and we at FishbowlDC aren’t entirely sure how much these actors could really do on our behalf anyway. But we are definitely in favor of more sexy celebrities coming to DC, so keep up the good work Paul!