News & Politics

DC Activists to Complain About Rats and Potholes to Congressman Who’s Trying to Stop Marijuana Decriminalization

Representative Andy Harris is about to find out what it’s actually like to be DC’s local legislature.

Harris. Photograph via Facebook.

A few weeks ago, Representative Andy Harris—the Maryland Republican who’s trying to strike down the District’s newly enacted marijuana decriminalization law—told WAMU that for people who live “in the federal enclave, then Congress is your local legislature.”

But now a group of DC activists, miffed by Harris’s outright dismissal of the DC Council, intend to make him pay for that remark by taking their municipal complaints to his Capitol Hill office. DC Vote, a group that lobbies for statehood, is asking its members to visit Harris in the Longworth House Office Building with their concerns about potholes, rats, building permits, parking tickets, and other things that DC residents ask their legislators on the council to deal with on a daily basis.

“Since Harris clearly takes our well-being to heart, let’s bring our community concerns to him,” the group says in a press release. “Be creative! Feel free to bring props, but keep in mind that firearms, explosives, and other dangerous materials are prohibited.”

District activists have been trying to mess with Harris since about a month ago when he introduced his amendment that prohibits the District from spending any money on enforcing the decriminalization law—but the 57-year-old anesthesiologist has yet to flinch. His remark about Congress being DC’s local legislature came about a week into a boycott of the Eastern Shore, which sits in his district. So far, Maryland’s coastal communities don’t appear to be feeling any sudden economic hardships, while Harris has taken several opportunities to remind his critics about his medical degree.

DC Vote is asking supporters to gather outside Harris’s office (1533 Longworth) at 11 AM Thursday. His aides did not respond to phone calls seeking comment.

Find Benjamin Freed on Twitter at @brfreed.

Staff Writer

Benjamin Freed joined Washingtonian in August 2013 and covers politics, business, and media. He was previously the editor of DCist and has also written for Washington City Paper, the New York Times, the New Republic, Slate, and BuzzFeed. He lives in Adams Morgan.