The children of Capitol Hill were able to do something uniquely American: call attention to a lack of rights, go forth in protest and win those rights in the end.
Last winter, a group of neighborhood kids defied a sledding ban at the Capitol and slid down the snow on the West Front, arguing it is the closest and safest hill to slide down. And, when this week’s massive, year-end, $1.1 trillion appropriations bill was unveiled, members of Congress agreed. The omnibus spending package extended a provision House appropriators attached in April , which urged the Capitol Police Board to allow sledding on Capitol Hill. The move came after kids in the surrounding neighborhood garnered national media attention for defying the sledding ban. Members of Congress were accused of being the “grinches” of Capitol Hill for instituting the ban.
Capitol Police argued the sledding ban was in place for security and safety purposes, noting there were sprinklers installed in the ground and someone could get hurt. But one tipster also told HOH the Capitol Police informed sledders that an unnamed congressional appropriator had insisted the ban be enforced.
Since the language was to urge, not direct, the Capitol Police Board to look the other way when sledders charge up the Hill this winter, it’s unclear what its final decision will be. But the language shows the department where lawmakers stand when it comes to wintery fun on the Capitol campus.
So, the children of the District will likely be free to take their sleds to the Capitol this winter. Well done, pint-sized patriots. #SledFreeOrDie
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