As D.C. Braces for Snow Storm Jonas, Norton Reminds Families that Capitol Hill is Open for Sledding

Jan 21, 2016
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The office of Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) today said that she expects that District of Columbia families will take advantage of potentially record-setting snowfall tomorrow and Saturday by grabbing their sleds and heading to Capitol Hill, which is now open for sledding thanks to language Norton got in the fiscal year 2016 omnibus bill.

“Capitol Hill is this city’s iconic snow sledding hill, and Congress got out of the way, allowing our kids to freely enjoy what promises to be one of the best snowfalls in years,” Norton said.  “Last year, when D.C. families came together with strong community support for non-enforcement of the antiquated sledding ban on Capitol Grounds, they empowered our efforts in the Congress.  All families need to worry about now is picking the best time to go sledding.”

Norton said she knows her constituents will take necessary precautions this weekend given the possible blizzard-like conditions on Saturday, but hopes there will be plenty of opportunities to make the trip to Capitol Hill.

Norton’s provision calls for non-enforcement of a 19th century law that prohibits sledding on Capitol Grounds.  The provision, included in the omnibus report language, states: “Given the family-style neighborhood that the Capitol shares with the surrounding community the Committee would instruct the Capitol Police to forebear enforcement of 2 U.S.C. 1963 (‘An act to protect the public property, turf, and grass of the Capitol Grounds from injury’) and the Traffic Regulations for the United States Capitol Grounds when encountering snow sledders on the grounds.”  This was the fastest way to allow sledding in lieu of Norton’s bill to overturn the ban, which would require the arduous process of getting a bill through the House and Senate.  Norton said she appreciated the language of the provision, which recognizes the Capitol’s relationship to its community, and the help she got from her good friend, Representative Sam Farr (D-CA), who serves on the House Appropriations Committee.