Monday, April 16, 2007

All politics is local - the disenfranchisement of the District of Columbia

Monday is DC Emancipation Day and it is being celebrated with a rally and march on Congress in favor of the District of Columbia Fair and Equal House Voting Rights Act of 2007. The Act would give DC a single voting Representative as well as giving Utah an additional Representative. It would permanently enlarge the House of Representatives to 437.

You see, the 500,000 residents of the District of Columbia have no representation in Congress, even though we pay federal taxes. Oh sure, we have a non-voting member, Eleanor Holmes Norton, but no one to truly exercise power on our behalf. While some Republican Representatives have declared that all 435 members represent DC, as everyone knows, when everyone is in charge, no one does the job. (Learn what happened when Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Tex.) declared he represented DC.)

The DC Voting Rights Act of 2007 has been before the House already this session, but because of some Parliamentary Tango by Republicans, it was tabled until after the Easter recess. Some Republicans Expressed Support for D.C. Voting Rights, but President Bush hypocritically Issued a Threat of Veto on D.C. Voting Rights. Apparently he believes Baghdad Bob should be able to have a say over his government, but yours truly, Expat Teacher, shouldn't.

Therefore, the march today is to show that DC residents are not second class citizens. The DCist has a very strong and clear list of why we are marching, that includes We're Too Close To Stop Now, District Residents Exist, The Cause is Right, They Don't Represent Us. They also wrote a very solid editorial supporting District voting rights. The Seattle Post Intelligencer wrote an Op/Ed proclaiming, "District Of Columbia: Fix Inequity."

There are some very interesting and confusing Constitutional issues related to governing the District, that are explained in A History of Congressional Interest in D.C.

Please support DC voting rights by calling your Representative now! You can call the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 or use this Search Engine to find your elected House Representative.