Democrat Eleanor Holmes Norton

Eleanor Holmes Norton

Birthdate: June 13, 1937
Birth Place: Washington, DC, United States
Residence: Washington, DC
Religion: Episcopalian
First Elected: 1990
Gender: Female


Party: Democratic
State: District Of Columbia
Office: House
District: At Large


Undergraduate: Antioch College

Degree: BA

Graduate: Yale University

Degree: MA

Graduate: Yale University

Degree: LLB

Eleanor Holmes Norton was born in Washington, D.C., where she currently resides. She earned a bachelor's degree from Antioch College, and both a master's degree and a law degree from Yale University.

Norton worked as the assistant legal director for the American Civil Liberties Union from 1965 to 1970. She also headed the New York City Human Rights Commission from 1970 to 1977. In 1977, President Jimmy Carter appointed her chairwoman of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

She was elected in 1990 as the district's non-voting delegate in the House of Representatives.

Norton is divorced and has two children.


Eleanor Holmes Norton has pushed for full congressional voting representation for the District of Columbia since joining Congress in 1990. The city has been denied voting rights in Congress since 1801. Norton can vote in committee but not on the House floor.

In May 2006, she joined then-Rep. Tom Davis in crafting a bill that would give the district one vote in the House in exchange for adding a seat for Utah. The district is overwhelmingly Democratic, while Utah is solidly Republican.

The bill passed the House but was rejected by the Senate. A similar bill passed the Senate in 2009, but it included an amendment that would have repealed the city's strict gun-control laws. Norton and city leaders withheld their support because of the gun amendment, and the bill never made it to the House floor.

As Congress looked to set a budget and avoid a federal shutdown in early 2012, Norton and D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray fought back against a proposed part of the budget deal that sought to restrict district spending on abortion. The restriction was ultimately included in the final budget.

In 2002, when the U.S. Postal Service unveiled its "Greetings from America" stamp series honoring the 50 states, the nation's capital was nowhere to be found. Norton led the push to change that, getting a district stamp a year later.

Norton also has championed tax credits for first time homebuyers in the district and tuition assistance grants for city residents attending colleges across the United States.

Economic development is a key priority for Norton. She helped obtain $100 million in federal funds in 2008 to move the Department of Homeland Security to the campus of St. Elizabeth's Hospital in the district's economically depressed southeast.

During the 1990s, she helped steer the city through a serious financial crisis, in which the city was overseen for two years by a president-appointed financial control board.

Norton launched her political career during her college years at Antioch College in Ohio, where she served as president of the local NAACP chapter and member of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee.

Source: Associated Press

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