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Symposium: DC Democracy During the Time of Trump
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When: Friday, April 14th
10:00 am - 6:30 pm
Where: UDC David A. Clarke School of Law, Room 518 (Moot Court Room)
4340 Connecticut Ave NW
Washington, District of Columbia  20008
United States
Presenter: UDC Law Review
Contact: Andrew Coughlin

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Presented by the
University of the District of Columbia Law Review

Friday, April 14, 2017
4340 Connecticut Ave NW, Room 518, Washington, DC 20008

The April 2017 UDC Law Review Symposium will focus on the potential threats to the District of Columbia created by the 2016 election. The District’s pursuit of statehood is threatened by the shift in political power, and the newly elected administration and the Republican-controlled Congress have voiced significant opposition to many of the District’s progressive policies. Topics for the symposium include:

  • Areas in the District of Columbia which are at-risk under the new administration
  • Strategies to advance the District of Columbia’s autonomy
  • Congressional voting rights for District of Columbia residents
  • Statehood for the District of Columbia and the Tennessee Plan
  • Pursuing enactment of progressive legislation (e.g., paid family leave; campaign finance)
  • Charter Amendments (e.g., placing courts under local authority)


Click here to read about the panelists in our event program (pdf)

10:00 am – 10:05 am – Opening Remarks/Welcome

  • Dean Shelley Broderick, UDC David A. Clarke School of Law

10:05 am – 10:25 amOpening Keynote: A Discussion of the New Columbia Constitution, Introduction by Claude Bailey, Partner, Venable LLP

  • Beverly Perry, Senior Advisor, Executive Office of the Mayor

10:30 am - 12:00 pmPanel 1: Protecting the District from Congressional Incursions: Affirmative Strategies and Defensive Maneuvers

  • Moderated by Robert Spagnoletti, CEO, D.C. Bar
  • Betsy Cavendish, General Counsel, Executive Office of the Mayor
  • Natalie Ludaway, Chief Deputy Attorney General, District of Columbia Office of the Attorney General
  • Mark H. Tuohey, Director, Mayor’s Office of Legal Counsel

12:15 pm – 1:00 pmLuncheon Keynote

  • Wade Henderson, President & CEO, The Leadership Conference on Civil & Human Rights

1:15 pm – 2:45 pmPanel 2: Offense v. Defense: A Risk Analysis of DC Democracy in 2017

  • Moderated by Dean Shelley Broderick
  • Jon Bouker, Chair, DC Appleseed and Partner, Arent Fox LLC
  • Mary Cheh, D.C. Council Member, Ward 3
  • Bo Shuff, Director of Advocacy and Engagement, D.C. Vote
  • Walter Smith, Executive Director, DC Appleseed
  • Eugene Kinlow, Director of Federal and Regional Affairs, Executive Office of the Mayor

3 pm – 4:15 pmPanel 3: The Social implications of DC Statehood through the Eyes of Journalists

  • Moderated by Sen. Paul Strauss, Shadow Senator, District of Columbia
  • Martin Austermuhle, Multimedia Reporter, WAMU
  • Aaron Davis, Reporter, Washington Post
  • James Wright, Reporter, Washington AFRO - American Newspaper

 4:30 pm – 5:00 pmCapstone Address

  • Jamie Raskin, U.S. Representative, 8th District of Maryland

 5:00 pm – 6:30 pmReception


The symposium topics will be featured in a special edition of the Law Review to be published in late 2017. The Law Review Editorial Board invites submissions on topics exploring risks to the District of Columbia’s quest for statehood, as well as issues related to D.C. autonomy. Submissions from academics and practitioners are invited and welcomed. Proposals (300-word limit) for the 2017 Symposium Edition of the Law Review will be accepted until April 7, 2017. First draft-in papers are due on September 1, 2017. Please send an abstract (300-word limit) of your proposed paper to, with Attn: Statehood Symposium Chair in the subject line.


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