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In D.C. Statehood Quest, Jackson Invokes Higher Law

June 19, 1989|JAMES MARNELL

--The Rev. Jesse Jackson reached for the teachings of the Bible in his call for statehood for the District of Columbia. In a packed church Sunday in Washington, the former presidential candidate and civil rights leader said the city, which has a population of 360,000, deserves "emancipation and empowerment." Although avoiding any mention of reports that he is considering a run for mayor, Jackson compared the drive for statehood to Moses' struggle to free the Israelites and the emancipation from slavery of blacks. "We should be praying, God give us statehood, God give us self-determination," he said. Although Rep. Walter E. Fauntroy represents the capital in Congress, he has no vote. "In every Western democracy, people in the capital city have voting representation in the national Legislature," Jackson said after his speech. Jackson has said that he will move to Washington but that he has made no decision on a mayoral bid.

--JoAnn Pepper has announced that she will seek the House seat left vacant by the death of her uncle, Rep. Claude Pepper of Florida. But if she succeeds in winning the state Democratic Party's nod, there's another uncle who doesn't plan to vote for her. Frank Pepper, the sole surviving brother of Congress' leading elderly-rights advocate, said: "At no time was I ever consulted about her plans, and it appears she has been talked into something about which she knows very little." JoAnn Pepper, 38, the adopted daughter of Pepper's sister-in-law, is a federal probation officer in Miami and has never run for public office. Pepper was 88 when he died last month.

--Three Soviet recovering alcoholics spent their remaining moments in America in Plains, Ga., attending a religious class taught at the Marantha Baptist Church by former President Jimmy Carter. Sasha, Victor and Volodya--their last names are not used because of an Alcoholics Anonymous tradition--have completed a two-month tour of the United States, attending A. A. meetings, visiting alcohol treatment centers and meeting at the White House with Dr. Burton Lee, President Bush's personal physician. They are members of "Moscow Beginners," the first A. A. unit in the Soviet Union.

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