PRESS RELEASE: Norton Bills Pass Committee to Pave Way for Franklin Park Revitalization

Thursday, July 20, 2017

By Roquois Clarke

The following is a July 19, 2017 press release from Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC):

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The office of Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) announced that the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee (OGR) today passed two Norton bills by voice vote.  H.R. 2897 would clarify that the District of Columbia and the National Park Service (NPS) have the authority to enter into cooperative management agreements (CMAs) to maintain and invest in NPS properties in the city, such as Franklin Park, which would benefit the District.  D.C. currently plans to enter into a CMA with NPS to revitalize Franklin Park, with assistance from D.C.’s Downtown Business Improvement District.

The Frederick Douglass Bicentennial Commission Act (H.R. 2989) would establish a commission to honor and celebrate the life of Frederick Douglass during the bicentennial anniversary of his birth, in 2018.  Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) is the sponsor of the Senate companion to Norton’s Frederick Douglass bill.

“I am grateful to my good friend, Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-SC), for scheduling my bills for consideration by the committee, and I thank my colleagues for their bipartisan support,” Norton said.  “Our efforts to rehabilitate Franklin Park and, with it, a section of downtown D.C., have taken a large step forward.  This bill also opens the door for D.C. to work with NPS to improve other neighborhood parks in the future.  We are also on our way to establishing a fitting honor for Frederick Douglass and his life’s achievements during the 200-year anniversary of his birth.  I appreciate that this bill was considered by the committee in time to prepare for the Douglass bicentennial.  Because both bills are noncontroversial, I will seek early passage on the suspension calendar on the House floor.”