Thursday, September 13, 2007

Democracy for DC

The Senate will consider whether or not more than 500,000 U.S. citizens have voting representation in Congress. One would think this is a no-brainer, but for decades residents of the District of Columbia have had no voice in our government.

DC citizens have died protecting a "freedom" they do not enjoy.

In the WaPo, Marc Fisher spells out why the Senate should act as soon as possible to approve voting rights for District residents. A few of those reasons are:
• Washington is not a community of transients, nor can most of its residents vote "back home." Well more than half of District residents have lived in the city for more than 20 years. And the District's size is no factor here: Wyoming has far fewer residents, yet it has two senators and a representative in Congress.

• District residents must serve on federal juries to enforce our laws, yet, as Zherka says, "don't have a vote when those laws are made."

• D.C. residents pay taxes and contribute to Social Security and Medicaid, yet, unlike all other Americans, play no role in determining how those dollars are spent.

• Darryl Dent, 21, killed when an explosive device hit his vehicle in Iraq. Darrell Lewis, 31, killed in Afghanistan when insurgents attacked his unit with rocket-propelled grenades, mortars and small-arms fire. Kevin Shea, 38, killed in Iraq by rocket fire. These are U.S. service members who gave their lives in the current wars although they hailed from a place where voters have no say in their nation's choices on war and peace.

• It affirms the bedrock principles we're supposed to be exporting to Iraq. "How can we fight to bring democracy to Baghdad and not do the same for D.C.?" asks Rep. Tom Davis, the Fairfax Republican who is the author of the D.C. voting rights bill.
Call YOUR Senator and urge them to vote YES on voting rights for the District of Columbia. It's the right thing to do -- and it's well past time.


P M Prescott said...

James Michener once wrote "There's nothing more permanent than a temporary solution." I am with you all the way on this. Dominici does not represent me or listen to any of his New Mexico constinuents anymore and hasn't if nearly twenty years.

BAC said...

I lived in DC for 13 years, and it is really terrible to not have voting representation in Congress. I would call others to express my opinion, and while I had their office on the phone ask for support for DC statehood. That campaign died, but this seems to have more of a chance.