Residents of Washington, D.C. have no vote in the US Congress. That’s right, the nation’s capital of the United States of America provides a daily lesson of legalized oppression. As a result, over 572,000 people pay almost $2 billion in federal taxes each year, yet have no vote in how that loot is spent. The situation gives new life to the adage, “taxation without representation.” In fact, D.C. residents pay more federal taxes per capita than all but one other state – Connecticut.
In the 107th Congress, election reform passed in Congress but it failed to address the voting rights of D.C. residents in Congress. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton of Washington, DC and Senator Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut introduced the “No Taxation without Representation Act”. That bill called for the full exemption of D.C. residents from federal income tax as long as they are denied full representation in the U.S. Congress. Eventhough this bill was a real tax cut, President Bush opposed because of partisan politics. The “No Taxation” bill favorably passed out of the then Democratic Party controlled Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs. Unfortunately, the bill wasn’t considered for a vote by the entire Senate or the Republican Party controlled House of Representatives.
As the 108th Congress convenes under Republican Party control and President Bush in the White House, please know partisan politics still rule. Over half a million Americans reside in this nation’s capital without a vote in Congress. This means no vote on potential laws and all federal appointments including judges. As a D.C. resident and FAMU graduate, I value your right to voting representation in America’s government. Always use your right. Simply because of where I live, I am denied. The Congress regulates and says no. My representative can’t vote on the house floor and my senators are nothing but shadows.
Again, I value your right to voting representation in America’s government. Call or write your Representative and Senators in support of voting rights in Congress for the residents of Washington, DC.
Roger F. Harris1517 White Place SE #2Washington, DC 20020-5343(202) 575-4042FAMU Graduate, Class of 1995
Roger F. Harris consults FAM 1000 (For A Moment 1000), an initiative that providesinformation about internship and fellowship opportunities for students.