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This year, like most of the 646,000 or so other people in my city, I paid my income tax to the federal government.

I obviously don't have the data yet for this year, but we do know that in fiscal year 2012, the people of my city returned 20.75 billion dollars in taxes to the federal government—a whopping $33,000 per capita, higher than any state in the union.

And yet, I and my 646,000 fellow Americans have no representation at all in the United States Senate—and only one non-voting delegate in the House of Representatives.

In case you hadn't guessed it yet, my city is the District of Columbia, the seat of the federal government and the home of over 600,000 Americans who are being denied the most basic and foundational civil right of a United States citizen, the right to vote and have that vote count.

People on this site get incensed at the Republican attacks on voting rights nationwide—voter ID laws that predominantly disenfranchise the elderly and people of color, restrictions on voter registration, cutbacks on early voting that make it impossible for some to vote, inequitable distribution of voting resources that lead to six-hour lines, and the purging of voter registration lists based on dubious or outright fraudulent data.

And we are right to be incensed, because these attacks threaten to disenfranchise tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of American citizens who have the legal right to cast their ballots and make their voices heard in government.

Yet at the very heart of that government, the nation's capital, 646,000 Americans are being systematically and openly denied their right to any representation in that government—and unlike the Republican vote-suppression efforts in the states, DC residents' civil rights are denied en bloc and without pretext.

Republicans don't even bother to come up with their usual flimsy bullshit about "voter fraud" in justifying their denying DC residents' right to vote; the mere fact that we reside in the District of Columbia is deemed sufficient reason to strip us of a basic civil right. "If they voted, they'd just vote for more Democrats!" So friggin' what? If that is the will of the people, then don't more Democrats belong in office?

But my criticism cuts both ways—because while (most) Republicans are blatantly honest about denying us our right to vote, most Democrats—including many who are loud and proud in their defense of voting rights in the various states—are conspicuously silent on, or at best paying lip-service to, the disenfranchisement of 646,000+ Americans in DC.

There have been no conspicuous efforts by Democrats in the House or Senate to grant DC the statehood we deserve, and no conspicuous efforts by the progressive activist organizations to push Congress on the issue. Despite the fact that we are living in the backyard of both Congress and these organizations, we're apparently invisible to them.

Here are some things you can do:

  • Support organizations like DC Vote, DC Statehood, and the Committee for the Capital City.
  • Write to your representative and senators demanding that they take action on DC statehood.
  • Put DC statehood on the agenda for your local progressive organization, demand that it be on the agenda for any debates for Senate or House seats, and demand that a pledge for action on DC statehood be a condition for endorsement from your local and state party and any progressive organization.
  • Share items on DC statehood with your friends and colleagues on social networks, and talk about it with people—particularly on this Tax Day of all days.

It's long past time for that to change—and it's long past time for the grassroots to be at the forefront of that demand.

Originally posted to JamesGG on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 08:55 AM PDT.

Also republished by State & Local ACTION Group, DC Kossacks, and Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Shhh (7+ / 0-)

    You will bring on the pepperspray.

    This racist policy of disenfranchising an entire city needs to stop.

    •  Racist, Horace? Did the diary even mention race? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      occupystephanie

      The federal city was designated from the get-go as not belonging to any state, was it not?

      •  Well, wrong design imo. Yes, it is racist, imo, (12+ / 0-)

        DC's population is over 50% Afro-American and 10% Hispanic or Latino population. The diary didn't mention that, and that was good so. Anybody in his right mind can deduct for himself what the numbers mean.

      •  My post didn't mention race... (18+ / 0-)

        ...but I won't deny that it's the elephant in the room with regards to DC voting rights.

        DC is a majority-minority city, and while African-Americans' proportion of the population is shrinking as the city attracts more affluent young white adults, African-American voters continue to predominate as a political power-base in the city.

        I didn't mention race in my post, but I don't think there's really a way to deny the parallels between DC voters being denied the right to vote and the overall historic disenfranchisement of African-Americans since the passage of the Fourteenth Amendment.

        There's no doubt in my mind that if DC were a white-dominated city, we would've had statehood a hundred years ago.

        "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

        by JamesGG on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 11:35:13 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  You are nice to say that DC attracts more (7+ / 0-)

          affluent white adults, but are so polite to not mention that the Afro-American population is pushed out of the city limits of DC into MD and VA neighborhoods, because they can't afford anymore the DC rental or housing market.

          •  MD and VA (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            MPociask
            You are nice to say that DC attracts more affluent white adults, but are so polite to not mention that the Afro-American population is pushed out of the city limits of DC into MD and VA neighborhoods, because they can't afford anymore the DC rental or housing market.
            And those "MD and VA neighborhoods" are, in large part, territory which was part of DC in years past. In addition to granting DC its statehood, that state needs to contain the original territory first allocated for the District -- at the bare minimum.

            "It's high time (and then some) that we put an end to the exceptionalistic nonsense floating around in our culture and face the fact that either the economy works for all, or it doesn't work AT all." -- Sean McCullough (DailyKos user thanatokephaloides)

            by thanatokephaloides on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 02:44:12 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I think you're partially mistaken. (8+ / 0-)

              The land that makes up present-day Arlington and Alexandria in Virginia—everything in former DC south of the Potomac—was once part of the District of Columbia, but that land was retroceded to Virginia in the 1840s.

              But no part of what is currently Maryland was ever allocated to the District of Columbia; north of the Potomac, DC has always had the same borders, as evidenced by the boundary stones set in the 1790s and still following the border between the District and Maryland.

              "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

              by JamesGG on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 02:53:54 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  DC metro (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                mimi

                JamesGG said:

                The land that makes up present-day Arlington and Alexandria in Virginia—everything in former DC south of the Potomac—was once part of the District of Columbia, but that land was retroceded to Virginia in the 1840s.
                First: I was apparently incorrect about any part of former DC being in Maryland. My apologies; I stand corrected.

                About the area retroceded to VA: The reason Arlington and Alexandria went back to VA, if I recall correctly, was so that the people living there would, um, er, .........

                .......... have representation in Congress, the Senate, and the Presidential Electoral College. (The exact issue being discussed in the diary.)

                This experiment was a colossal fail. It needs to be un-done. Restore DC to all of the lands demarked by those same said 1790's boundary stones, and make it a state. The Founders wanted to make sure that no former colony would have legal claim or control over the seat of the US Government; making DC a State would preserve that. The problem arises here that nobody in 17xx were ever able to foresee that DC would ever have more permanent residents than several States do. But that has now occurred, and we need to fix the problem.

                And frankly, I don't think any sort of "hybrid" ideas will work. They've been tried, and all are colossal fails.

                Let's apply the simplest and most obvious fix: statehood.

                "It's high time (and then some) that we put an end to the exceptionalistic nonsense floating around in our culture and face the fact that either the economy works for all, or it doesn't work AT all." -- Sean McCullough (DailyKos user thanatokephaloides)

                by thanatokephaloides on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 05:56:17 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  What was the reason back then (0+ / 0-)

                to retrocede the land to Virginia? Did the people of DC wanted that? Or was it "occupied" by Virginians?

                I would take Arlington and Alexandria back any day if it were for me .... :) (just kidding around, no offense meant).

                •  It was complicated. (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  MPociask, middleagedhousewife, mimi

                  This Wiki does a reasonable job of explaining it:

                  http://en.wikipedia.org/...

                  It was mainly about slavery (what wasn't back then in the political back and forth between north and south?).  Alexandrians were concerned that slavery would be abolished in  the district, VA wanted the Alexandrians votes back to counter the abolitionists in the state, and Congress didn't seem to care about ceding the land back because they couldn't build on the VA side of the river as it was prohibited by law at the time.

                  Voting rights were a secondary concern.

                  "There was no such thing as a "wealthy" hunter-gatherer. It is the creation of human society that has allowed the wealthy to become wealthy. As such, they have an obligation to pay a bit more to sustain that society than the not-so-wealthy." - Me

                  by Darth Stateworker on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 11:04:20 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  thanks .. why was it prohibited by law to build (0+ / 0-)

                    on the VA side? I can try to find out myself, but if you happen to know and read that still... :) I take an answer with a bow and a thank you.

                    •  For some reason (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      mimi

                      Congress passed an amendment to the Residence Act to stop it.  I think it had something to do with a desire to keep all Federal buildings as close to each other as possible for practical reasons, but I'm not entirely sure on that.

                      "There was no such thing as a "wealthy" hunter-gatherer. It is the creation of human society that has allowed the wealthy to become wealthy. As such, they have an obligation to pay a bit more to sustain that society than the not-so-wealthy." - Me

                      by Darth Stateworker on Wed Apr 16, 2014 at 08:50:20 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

          •  True, but I don't think it's the only reason. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            patbahn, NoMoreLies

            DC has a much higher "carrying capacity" than its current population; in 1950 there were 800,000 living in the District.

            So I think it's less that there are too many people moving in, and more that there are artificial limitations—such as a lack of investment in affordable housing, well-off neighborhoods practicing NIMBYism to prevent multi-unit dwellings, etc.—that contribute to the increasing lack of affordable housing in DC that is pushing many lower-income people out of the city and into Maryland and Virginia.

            (And I won't deny that I've got a little bit of a stake in not putting all of the blame for housing costs on the white professional young adults moving into the District, since I'm one of them.)

            "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

            by JamesGG on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 03:00:32 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Plus much of the new comers are building new (0+ / 0-)

              construction.

              I live off Benning RD NE,

              the new comers are populating things like Senate Square,
              the Flats at Atlas, the Giant Building and the new Whole Foods.

              as you point out DC used to have a much bigger population.

              now what DC does suffer from is a lot of vacancy.

              I'd require all housing to have a tenant or have much stiffer rents.

          •  And they can afford MD? (0+ / 0-)

            My experience is that the parts of MD that abut DC are really fragging expensive.

            Sure once I was young and impulsive, I wore every conceivable pin. Even went to socialist meetings, learned all the old union hymns. Ah, but I've grown older and wiser. And that's why I'm turning you in. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u52Oz-54VYw

            by SouthernLiberalinMD on Wed Apr 16, 2014 at 03:03:15 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Well, technically (4+ / 0-)

          I don't think we're majority anything right now. IIRC, the census said that either in 2012 or 2013 the African-American population of DC officially dropped below 50%. We're like California, but a couple years behind.

          Cruelty might be very human, and it might be very cultural, but it's not acceptable.- Jodie Foster

          by CPT Doom on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 12:20:38 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  DC is not really majority anything (0+ / 0-)

          it's now 49% black 51% all sorts

          http://suburbanstats.org/...

          suburban stats shows 50%

          other sites show a bit less a bit more

          The City is changing.

      •  Perfect opportunity to mention one of my (8+ / 0-)

        favorite aphorisms by Charlie Pierce:
        "This is not about race because it's never about race."
        In the U.S. one can count on that being almost always true. Thanks for providing another example for the oppressively long list.

        Support Small Business: Shop Kos Katalogue If you'd like to join the Motor City Kossacks, send me a Kosmail.

        by peregrine kate on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 12:25:56 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  The policy would have been changed long ago (7+ / 0-)

        if the city were predominantly wealthy and/or white.

        Ed FitzGerald for governor Of Ohio. Women's lives depend on it. http://www.edfitzgeraldforohio.com/

        by anastasia p on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 12:25:57 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Think of it this way (5+ / 0-)

        If DC was full of nothing but the Puke favoring demographic of well to do white people, no African Americans, no other Democratic favoring demographic, how long ago do you think DC would've been accorded representation.

        That the Democrats didn't do this long ago when they had full control is unconscionable but was probably not done as a sop to Republicans back then anyway. Nonetheless, that's a Racist reason too.

        Racism defined is the exercise of power by the ruling class to oppress an underclass belonging to a different "race". Is this not what is going on? The power of representation is being denied simply because the powerful don't like how a minority votes. They don't much like the minority anyway, either. It's racist through and through.

        "My one hobby is maintaining a Democracy. If you get these 500,000 soldiers advocating anything smelling of Fascism, I am going to get 500,000 more and lick the hell out of you and we'll have a real war right here at home. - General Smedley Butler, 1933

        by Dave925 on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 02:16:45 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  DC residents used to vote in Maryland (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mimi, MPociask

        until the 30's.

        in fact DC courts used to follow maryland law.

      •  From Wikipedia: (0+ / 0-)
        Unique among cities with a high percentage of African Americans, Washington has had a significant black population since the city's creation. As a result, Washington became both a center of African American culture and a center of civil rights movement. Since the city government was run by the federal government, black and white school teachers were paid at an equal scale as workers for the federal government. It was not until the administration of President Woodrow Wilson, a southern Democrat who had numerous southerners in his cabinet, that federal offices and workplaces were segregated, starting in 1913.[1] This situation persisted for decades: the city was racially segregated in certain facilities until the 1950s.
        I believe that a lot of black people who live here are descended from the slaves brought here to build the city. I could be wrong about that. But yeah, disenfranchising DC is pretty racist in its impacts. If you want to argue about intent, feel free. I think the whole issue has been rendered more or less moot by the fall of representative government in this country generally.

        Sure once I was young and impulsive, I wore every conceivable pin. Even went to socialist meetings, learned all the old union hymns. Ah, but I've grown older and wiser. And that's why I'm turning you in. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u52Oz-54VYw

        by SouthernLiberalinMD on Wed Apr 16, 2014 at 03:02:17 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Great diary! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    occupystephanie, Deep Texan, unfangus

    While I don't support DC statehood, I believe the district should have a full voting member of Congress in the House.

    Guns are never the principal in the commission of a crime, but they are usually an accomplice

    by MadGeorgiaDem on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 11:07:49 AM PDT

    •  DC has more inhabitants than Vermont and Wyoming (9+ / 0-)

      so, why is DC not allowed to have statehood? One voting member in Congress? Are you afraid of two DC senators?
      I would rather be afraid of two Wyoming Senators. Some people have difficulties with the concept of equality, I assume.

      •   Why are you being so condescending? (6+ / 0-)

        I am a lifelong Democrat and I have no problem with adding two more presumably Democratic senators. DC was not designed to be a state. It was designed to be a federal district.

        And for your information, I support full home rule for DC, so please don't presume to tell me what I believe. Thanks.

        Guns are never the principal in the commission of a crime, but they are usually an accomplice

        by MadGeorgiaDem on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 11:26:41 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Sorry, if I sounded condescending, your comment (7+ / 0-)

          seemed to me sounding as if giving DC statehood is out of the question and basically a done deal for good, because historically DC was not designed to be a state. Historically, Afro-American votes were also not designed to be equal.
          I am sorry that this is an issue which makes me mad. Consider me a mad foreigner, who doesn't understand why the citizens of the mightiest country and most beautiful Capitol in the world are not treated equal to citizens in MD and VA or any other US state.

          My apologies for being a MadGermanDem. Seriously I didn't mean to offend you personally. Unfortunately I do often without expecting someone would take it personally and be offended.

        •  I don't find that argument persuasive. (7+ / 0-)
          DC was not designed to be a state. It was designed to be a federal district.
          There are a lot of other things about this nation's "design" that we've changed because we came to understand that they were wrong—things like the direct election of senators, electoral votes for President and VP instead of just President, extending the franchise to women and people of color, etc.

          Why shouldn't we also change the idea that because of the "design" of the Constitution, 646,000+ Americans wouldn't have the full set of rights enjoyed by every other taxpaying American citizen?

          "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

          by JamesGG on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 11:39:02 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Why not in the Senate too? (8+ / 0-)

      I appreciate your support for limited voting rights for DC residents, but why do you think we don't deserve a voice on Supreme Court and Executive Branch nominations, or an equal position with the other states in the legislative process?

      "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

      by JamesGG on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 11:27:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think D.C. is too small to be a (5+ / 0-)

        state, personally. Second, I don't think statehood would get through Congress, but a voting representative just might. I believe in historical context DC was designed to be a federal district so that no state could claim having the national capital. I am all for D.C. having home rule and having a full voting member of Congress. But I'm not at the statehood point yet.

        Even though we don't see eye to eye, I thoroughly respect the points of view you espoused in the diary. Good people can disagree on this matter.  

        Guns are never the principal in the commission of a crime, but they are usually an accomplice

        by MadGeorgiaDem on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 11:35:40 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well, I hope Bernie Sanders runs for Presidency, (4+ / 0-)

          at least I would ask him then, if he shouldn't support DC statehood, why he supports his own state to be a state, while DC he wouldn't support the same rights.  

          And on the other hand, giving up pushing for a change, because someone believes a priori  that the change has no chance to go through Congress, sounds to me one should give up fighting before the battle has even started.

        •  Land doesn't vote; people do. (8+ / 0-)
          I think D.C. is too small to be a state, personally.
          "Too small" how, exactly? We've got more people than Wyoming or Vermont. The amount of land they occupy is irrelevant; the preamble to the Constitution says "We the People," not "We the Land."
          Second, I don't think statehood would get through Congress, but a voting representative just might.
          A voting representative without statehood would likely be found unconstitutional, since representatives represent states. And I think it's pretty clear that even a voting representative for DC wouldn't pass this right-wing Congress.

          I also should point out here that it wouldn't require a constitutional amendment (except for a bit of cleanup to repeal the 23rd) to give DC statehood; all Congress would have to do would be to declare DC a federal territory and subsequently accept DC's longstanding petition for statehood.

          "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

          by JamesGG on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 11:47:01 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Too Small? (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          JamesGG, MPociask, shaharazade, Miggles

          Compared to what? Does this mean compared to the geographical measures or populations of other state that are already States ?

          I was not aware that any of these measures were consideration in representation. Citizens have a Constitutional Right to be Represented somewhere and somehow by people for who they vote into office.

          As was mentioned, the Framers of the Constitution never thought that this document would not need some changes, that's why there is a provision for amendments.

        •  DC too small? (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          NoMoreLies, Miggles, nosleep4u
          I think D.C. is too small to be a state, personally.
          I assume you still dwell in Georgia from your moniker.

          I invite you to please travel to Providence, Rhode Island, and make that point in public.

          Then, when you've done with the small land-area states, I invite you to do the same thing in Cheyenne or Helena.

          "It's high time (and then some) that we put an end to the exceptionalistic nonsense floating around in our culture and face the fact that either the economy works for all, or it doesn't work AT all." -- Sean McCullough (DailyKos user thanatokephaloides)

          by thanatokephaloides on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 02:52:34 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  So big deal if some state gets to claim the (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          NHlib, OrganicChemist

          National capital.   Big whoop.   Revert the distinct to Maryland. It's the simplest solution and shouldn't scare too many republicans.

          Think about the baby Jesus. Up in that tower, letting His hair down so that the three wise men could climb up and spin the dreidle and see if there's six more weeks of winter. -- Will and Grace

          by Rikon Snow on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 03:24:23 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  This is absolutely the best solution... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Rikon Snow

            I would think this could be fairly easily accomplished if enough people got behind it. Unless Maryland is gonna be racist about the whole issue, also...

            I do have a problem with small geographic entities being states and I think that problem will only get worse as time goes by. Eventually Wyoming will gain population because it has the land to. So will the Dakotas and other lightly populated large states. The smaller states are never going to get that much bigger simply because there isn't that much floor space to house that many more people. While DC has some population now, it's ratio will continue to decline as the overall population of the country continues to grow. Today we might be able to say...but look...Wyoming...but that won't always be the case. I think getting deserved representation for the DC population could best be served by uniting it with Maryland - and possibly giving Maryland an extra rep for at least a period of time for their acceptance of the situation.

        •  DC has a larger population than Wyoming (0+ / 0-)

          and Vermont, so size is not an issue.  And why should citizens who live in the federal district of a country have no say just because that is the seat of government?  As a comparison are any of our state capitals denied voting rights just because that happens to be where the governor/legislature is located?

          Imagine if they tried this in Mexico City DF (also a federal district) and attempted to deny the 11 million people who live there from having representation in the legislature.  Deny almost 10% of a country their voting rights just because of where they live???

  •  Good diary, thanks for the links and suggestions (4+ / 0-)

    of active steps one can take to support the cause.

  •  I think that, for electoral purposes (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JamesGG, unfangus, OrganicChemist

    DC should be considered part of Maryland. I.e. have a congressional district for DC, and let them vote in MD's Senate races.

    1. Books are for use.

    by looty on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 11:30:58 AM PDT

    •  DC has been separate from Maryland... (6+ / 0-)

      ...for longer than 36 of the current states have existed as separate political entities.

      Putting aside the fact that Maryland's state legislators don't particularly want DC in Maryland to become another dominant power-base and reduce the political power of existing Marylanders, why shouldn't the same argument apply elsewhere?

      Vermont has fewer people than the District of Columbia; why shouldn't their statehood be contingent upon their merging with New Hampshire and voting for NH's senators, instead of having their own?

      "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

      by JamesGG on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 11:42:09 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I would certainly not oppose (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        OrganicChemist

        redrawing electoral maps so that Senators are more equally representative of the actual population. If that meant combining VT and NH, as well as splitting California and New York up it would be fine with me.

        But realistically, no one is going to redraw state boundaries at this point. I think there is a better chance of giving the franchise to DC citizens by attaching them to an adjoining state.

        1. Books are for use.

        by looty on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 11:58:23 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Separate DC Rep, but vote for MD Senators (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mimi, unfangus, Dvalkure

        That's always been the compromise I think would work. The non-voting delegate becomes a full member of Congress and DC residents get to vote for MD Senator. Seeing as all of current DC was originally given by MD (we gave the VA portion back to VA in the 19th century), we're closer to that state anyway. DC would still retain a modicum of independence and the balance of power would not change in the Senate. It would still take a Constitutional Amendment, however, and I don't think the prospects are very good for that.

        What really incenses me, though, is when I complain about the lack of representation and get told "you don't have to live there." So because I choose to live close to my place of work (I commute by foot most nice days, via bus or train otherwise, and my car sits behind my house for the rare trips out to the suburbs or for vacations) and contribute to the life of our Nation's Capitol, I should be punished? That makes no sense.

        Cruelty might be very human, and it might be very cultural, but it's not acceptable.- Jodie Foster

        by CPT Doom on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 12:18:18 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I think in this case DC should be (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      peregrine kate, Dvalkure, Miggles

      considered part of MD and VA. And then MD and VA would get each one Senator more... :) That would mean we have two US states with three US Senators. Everyone would agree to that, right?

      Sorry for being ... obnoxious.

  •  My suggestion would be to think of (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JamesGG

    some good publicity stunt to highlight your city's plight.

    Like maybe a catchy slogan you can put on your licence plates.

    Which, of course, will only work if you guys routinely drive long distances away from your homes . .. .

    •  Funny you mention that (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NinthElegy, JamesGG, Dvalkure

      I did a cross-country drive for a vacation back in '07. I proudly carried my "Taxation without Representation" license plates. On the drive from SLC to Reno, NV, perhaps one of the most desolate places to be in the country and one without much, if any, traffic, I noticed drivers who were going to pass me getting very close to my rear bumper and then finally going around me (I was only doing the speed limit of 75). It took me most of the day to realize they were examining my license plate, because they'd never seen a DC plate before.

      I've had the same experience with TSA agents at various airports. I travel a lot for work, and at least once/year I get a "people live there?" from airport security when showing my license.

      Cruelty might be very human, and it might be very cultural, but it's not acceptable.- Jodie Foster

      by CPT Doom on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 12:25:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  ok, rec'd and tweeted, but leaving here (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JamesGG

    because I can't talk about this issue without getting impatient and somehow rude. Sorry for all those who feel offended. It's better I drop out of here. I don't know when I last read a diary about this issue. Was it ever discussed on dailykos in earnest?

    •  I feel like I'm the only one around here... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mimi

      ...who ever really brings it up anymore these days, and I don't have that much energy for the cause since I've got so much else on my plate.

      I fought what felt like a solo battle (under a now-retired username) on this site to make DC statehood a serious part of the Democratic agenda back in 2009-10 when Democrats controlled both houses of Congress, but didn't really get anywhere beyond non-DC residents saying "that really sucks, sorry about that."

      "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

      by JamesGG on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 03:03:54 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  do you like to come to our DC Kossack (0+ / 0-)

        meet-up and may be we could talk about what you did in the past? I really miss so many subject areas and DC local policies, for me as a foreigner, who had difficulties to keep up with US news that are relevant for people overseas, DC statehood were nowhere on the horizon to dig into. I also can't vote in the US, so I always try to support whoever seems at least somewhat reliably to support social democratic ideas,  whereever those candidates are in the US.

        In any case I feel many people are very sobered if not depressed about things and I would like to try to fight a bit against that, if I can.

        Nice talking to you. May be we connect at the meeting one day. I haven't read diaries and comments from you consciously, so my apologies for not knowing "what you have or have had on your plate" and what you did exactly in 2009-10.

  •  Unfortunately, you are not alone. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    peregrine kate

    In the current era of extreme gerrymandering, millions of Democrats in states like WI, OH, FL, TX, NC, and PA also pay taxes and have essentially no representation in Congress or their state governments.

    “The future depends entirely on what each of us does every day.” Gloria Steinem

    by ahumbleopinion on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 12:03:51 PM PDT

    •  oh we have represenatation (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Miggles

      a bunch of asshats

      -You want to change the system, run for office.

      by Deep Texan on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 12:30:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  You don't have "essentially no representation." (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sir Roderick

      I agree that gerrymandering sucks and we need serious reform to get rid of it, but even the people in the most gerrymandered districts in those states still have two voting members of the Senate, and still have one voting representative.

      You may disagree with them and you may not have voted for them, but they're still your representative and senators.

      The residents of DC don't even get that.

      "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

      by JamesGG on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 03:06:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  It is this kind of talk (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JamesGG, MPociask

    that attracts the Red Coats to bother the good people of our neighborhood.  Not that I wish anyone a trip to the stocks, but if you continue with this seditous talk I will have to report your to the magistrate.

    God Save the King!

    I am a statistician, not a magician although we are easily confused. I guess that explains why people keep trying to tie me in chains and place me under water.

    by Edge PA on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 01:28:24 PM PDT

  •  I loved the way you frame this, in terms of tax (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JamesGG, MPociask

    receipts to the federal government! Put this way it is horrifying!! I can't believe that many billions! I mean, WOW!

    "extreme concentration of income is incompatible with real democracy.... the truth is that the whole nature of our society is at stake." Paul Krugman

    by Gorette on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 01:38:09 PM PDT

    •  Yeah, that fact really struck me this morning. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mimi, MPociask, Dvalkure, Miggles

      Not so much the raw amount—because of our population, DC's $20.75 billion would make us the #32 contributor if we were a state—but the $33,000 per-capita in federal taxes paid is downright staggering, especially since the top state on the list, Delaware, only pays $24,000 per capita.

      And yet, the people of West Virginia, with their $3,500 per capita federal tax contribution, get the full representation in Congress to which they're entitled (and rightly so).

      "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

      by JamesGG on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 03:10:39 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  It's overrated (0+ / 0-)

    If it's any consolation at all, the rest of us get to vote every two years for a person who acts as our "representative," but those people (even the good ones) are constrained by the fact that little gets done in Congress without passing the big-money vote first.

    “Republicans...think American standard of living is a fine thing--so long as it doesn't spread to all the people... And they admire of Government of the United States so much that they would like to buy it.” Harry S. Truman

    by fenway49 on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 03:05:31 PM PDT

  •  DC Budget (4+ / 0-)

    I've lived in DC for about 3 years now (not long, I know). While in service of the university I attend, I've learned about one serious problem with DC not being a state - not having control of its own funds.

    Remember when the government was shut down last year? All DC funds for fiscal '14 were tied up by congressional failure to pass a budget and the District was forced to use emergency funds to get through the first weeks of fiscal '14. When I say all, I mean all - including revenue collected by the DC government. Think about that.

    Imagine if (your state's name here) state tax, sales tax, parking fines (that's big money here), and any other revenue raised by (your state's name here) were tied up by a body that had absolutely nothing to do with its collection. Imagine (your state's name here) had the money to fund what the state wanted to fund but that money was being held hostage by a body in which you have absolutely no real voice, a body who is insulated from the consequences of its own (in)action. Based on this one condition, I bet (your state's name here) would be screaming for statehood.

    Condemnation of one does not constitute endorsement of another. -me-

    by Graff on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 03:39:33 PM PDT

  •  Compared to everyone else (0+ / 0-)

    if the numbers cited are correct, than giving DC one voting delegate in Congress would put DC ahead of everyone else, since those outside DC get something less than 1 congressperson per 650,000

    Allowing it a Senator would mean others, especially from larger states, are prejudiced.  

    Has DC ever had a Congressman?

    "Q. How many people does each U.S. Congressman represent?

    -- Abilene

    A. As of 7:40 a.m. yesterday [March 2000], that number is 703,709, if you divide the population of 306,113,246 by 435 representatives. Of course, that number isn't totally accurate, since the districts are decided by the Census of 2000. Back then, it was based on 650,000 constituents per district.

    Back when the U.S. Constitution was written that number was about 30,000.

    Each state is guaranteed at least one representative, no matter what its population. States with a single member in the U.S. House of Representatives are Alaska, Delaware, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont and Wyoming. The District of Columbia has a non-voting delegate in Congress who has all the powers and rights of a representative, but is not permitted to vote

    The reapportionment of district sizes probably will take place in 2012 after the final 2010 Census figures are confirmed.

    The number 435 representatives was set by a bill back in 1929. Some groups, including thirty-thousand.org, would like to see that number grow as the population grows. The group appears to support one representative for each 50,000 people."

    Population keeps growing. I'm not sure allowing one Congressman per 50,000 would make things better for most people.  Certainly would be more expensive.  

    “Everyone is ignorant, only on different subjects.” ― Will Rogers (Of course this also applies to me.)

    by MugWumpBlues on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 04:03:57 PM PDT

  •  I think there still needs to be a federal zone. (0+ / 0-)

    That being said, I've changed my opinion on this and I do think that something needs to done. It could be a unique solution too...for instance, DC could have a senator and reps without having to be an official state, though this would require a consitutional amendment.

    While you dream of Utopia, we're here on Earth, getting things done.

    by GoGoGoEverton on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 04:23:55 PM PDT

    •  There's really no way to go about it... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      GoGoGoEverton, Dvalkure

      ...without some kind of constitutional amendment.

      Even those options which would reduce the official "federal district" to the White House, Congress, the Mall and environs, and non-residential government office buildings would require a constitutional amendment for cleanup to repeal the 23rd Amendment, since that district would have three electors but no official voting residents. (The First Family has always remained registered to vote in their home state.)

      The options that wouldn't require a constitutional amendment to put in place, but only to repeal the 23rd, would be to give statehood to DC (my preferred option) or retrocession to Maryland.

      But I point out again that DC has been a separate political entity for longer than 36 of the states have been—and retrocession would, I think, require the approval of Maryland's legislature, who wouldn't exactly go for something that would add a completely new pole to the power dynamic in the state.

      "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

      by JamesGG on Wed Apr 16, 2014 at 06:57:06 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Isn't DC represented by all of Congress? (0+ / 0-)
    •  I wish that were the case. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dvalkure, mimi

      I would love it if DC residents got a ballot in every election with all 435 congressional districts and all 33/34 Senate seats up for election, and our vote counted in each and every one of those races. (I doubt the Republicans would be so pleased with that outcome.)

      Unfortunately, it's not the case at all. We're "represented" by all of Congress in the same way as the feudal serfs were "represented" by their lord; they have veto power over our laws and final approval over our budget, but we get absolutely no say in their composition.

      "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

      by JamesGG on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 09:51:21 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Name a single Congressperson who (0+ / 0-)

      would welcome me into his/her office as a constituent and offer the same services provided to residents of their district/state.  So the answer really is no.

  •  Very strange, not having representation. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mimi, Dvalkure

    I just moved to D.C. last summer.
    Since I follow the news, my head routinely goes like:
    a) Wow that's terrible [whatever issue]. I should write a letter to my congressperson.
    b) Oh wait, I don't really have a congressperson. Great, I'm off the hook!
    c) Oh wait, not great. I actually don't have (full voting) representation in congress. There is literally no way for me to call my senator's office. I could take the metro over there, but there would be no door for me to knock on.

    Here's my other observation- we've got great parks and attractions that are staffed by friendly federal employees! Score. On the negative side, when Congress has a hissy fit, then my local, neighborhood park, is roped off for weeks.

    I think that we need to get ourselves on board with the larger movement to protect voting rights. Protect voting rights for all, and get them for D.C.

  •  could full time DC residents become tax exempt? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JamesGG

    it might actually be a good policy.

    If the city only collected local taxes,  with the
    large federal work force, they would essentially
    stop taxing themselves.

    the deal would be "No Taxes, No Representation".

    Rich people would want to live in DC fulltime
    but then face local taxes (Schools, water, etc)

    the federal work force would move inwards.

    could be interesting

    •  If you think housing prices in DC are bad *now*... (0+ / 0-)

      ...they'd be absolutely astronomical if it became the center of government and the nation's tax shelter.

      Working people wouldn't be able to afford a place in the city as every 1%-er in the country decided that it was a better financial play to pay $5 million for a 300 square foot condo than to pay $10 million in taxes every year. Even those who already own their place rather than renting would be priced out as property values shattered the roof and they couldn't afford the property tax anymore.

      In theory, that's a good idea; in reality, it would make the nation's capital the playground of the 1%, who would of course never approve of local taxes for things like public schools, mass transit, etc. when they could afford private schools and car services.

      "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

      by JamesGG on Wed Apr 16, 2014 at 06:51:04 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  how many of them are there (0+ / 0-)

        ?

        you would have to live here year round.

        •  For a tax rate of zero? Enough. (0+ / 0-)

          It's not like they'd all have to cram into crowded row houses or tiny condos; they'd buy up half a block or three condos right above/below one another, knock down a few walls, and have plenty of space to stretch out—and all with an investment of just one year's worth of tax savings.

          "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

          by JamesGG on Wed Apr 16, 2014 at 07:04:53 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Tricky question. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OrganicChemist, JamesGG, mimi

    I pretty much agree with Congress' original intent when they created the district.

    However, I also see how more than half a million taxpayers are getting screwed without anyone to represent their interests.

    But what do we do?  If we give DC a voting member (or multiple members) of the House - do we then have to do the same for Puerto Rico?  Guam?  The USVI?

    Then what about Senators?  Should non-states get Senators?

    Personally, my preferred solution would be for the citizens of DC to be able to participate as voters in MD Federal elections, since DC was apportioned from MD in the first place.  But I also think VA should have to cede back to DC the area it got back from DC from the retrocession, as many Federal agencies, workers, and Federal lands are also on the other side of the Potomac at this point in the footprint of the original district.  Those folks would vote in VA Federal elections.  The Virginia retrocession is a subject for a diary all it's own, however.

    That solves the disenfranchisement issue of DC voters without screwing with Congress original intent for the district - which I think made sense.

    But then that doesn't solve the issue of all of the other US territories without representation.   Now, these other territories can petition for statehood - something DC cannot do.

    DC is a unique case, hence it requires a unique solution. Voting in the Federal elections of the state(s) that originally ceded the land to create DC solves this without being too messy and causing uproars in other territories that have not attained statehood - and the Constitutional issues that would present.  The district might end up with it's own House members with lines entirely in the city limits, but that MOC would be  considered a MOC from the state the land was ceded from.  There would be no additional Senators added, as the DC residents would vote for the Senators in the state the land they reside on was ceded from.

    I feel sympathy.  I want you all to be able to vote.  But I cannot support statehood or your own House members or Senators.  The original intent of Congress to create a Federal district separate from the states, controlled by the Congress as the seat of our government was an excellent idea.  It prevents a state (or states) from doing the dickout thing: "We have the capital here, WE should get blah-blah-blah treatment/money/whatever because we host the capital."

    "There was no such thing as a "wealthy" hunter-gatherer. It is the creation of human society that has allowed the wealthy to become wealthy. As such, they have an obligation to pay a bit more to sustain that society than the not-so-wealthy." - Me

    by Darth Stateworker on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 08:51:39 PM PDT

    •  PR, Guam, and the USVI don't pay federal taxes. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Miggles, mimi
      But what do we do?  If we give DC a voting member (or multiple members) of the House - do we then have to do the same for Puerto Rico?  Guam?  The USVI?
      The residents of Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Virgin Islands don't pay federal income tax; DC residents are the only non-state residents who pay the same federal taxes as the people of the 50 enfranchised states. I'm all for statehood for Puerto Rico if they want it, though.
      Then what about Senators?  Should non-states get Senators?
      So is this about "states" as nebulous entities having representation, or about their people having representation? The 17th Amendment pretty much settled that as the latter. What is it about DC residents that somehow makes us unworthy of the same number of senators that Wyoming has?
      The original intent of Congress to create a Federal district separate from the states, controlled by the Congress as the seat of our government was an excellent idea.  It prevents a state (or states) from doing the dickout thing: "We have the capital here, WE should get blah-blah-blah treatment/money/whatever because we host the capital."
      The original intention of Congress in creating a separate federal district was so that the host state couldn't literally hold the federal government hostage in order to get what it wanted. I think that was a bit more of a risk back in the 1790s, when there was still a serious question about whether the US was thirteen nations or one nation, than it is today after 220+ years of federalism have all but decided that question.

      "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

      by JamesGG on Wed Apr 16, 2014 at 06:47:51 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  No offense, (0+ / 0-)

        but you're seemingly taking this all personally (and understandably so), and as such, rejecting solutions that would immediately resolve your completely legitimate gripes with sparking Constitutional questions that likely would be answered in the favor of DC statehood.

        IMO - you're much better off and have a higher chance of success in getting your voting rights restored by pushing to revert to voting in the Federal elections of the state that ceded the land to the District.  There is precident for that.  There is no precident in DC statehood.  

        So you have to ask yourself: is this about voting rights?  Or a crusade for DC statehood that involves more than just voting rights.

        I'm sorry if you don't like my hypothesis of what path would be easiest,  or that I'm for sticking with DC being a Federal entity as the Founders intended, but that's my opinion, and it isn't personal.  Nor is it going to change.

        No need to get into a pie fight with anyone over it.  Unless some asshole comes along and says "Screw DC residents, they shouldn't get a vote at all."  In that case, pie fight away with my full support.

        "There was no such thing as a "wealthy" hunter-gatherer. It is the creation of human society that has allowed the wealthy to become wealthy. As such, they have an obligation to pay a bit more to sustain that society than the not-so-wealthy." - Me

        by Darth Stateworker on Wed Apr 16, 2014 at 12:31:30 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Keep beating that drum (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Miggles

      Hundreds of thousands of Americans having no say in their own government makes a mockery of our democracy.  It's not right, and should be stopped, immediately.

      Give the District of Columbia 2 Senators and however many representatives it is entitled too.  If it's wrong for one city to have 2 senators, it's a wrong we've already come to terms with long ago for every other state.

      I also assume you could carve out a tiny Federal Zone - akin to Vatican City - that would be responsible for the security of the Mall, the White House, the Capitol, and the Supreme Court.  

      Do not forget Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands, and the other territories where we rule over people who have no say in the workings of the federal government.

  •  You might want to get used to it (0+ / 0-)

    You are just another example of what it's like to live in a city.  We support the country with our tax base.  We make more money because we live in a city and as a bonus we get to pay higher taxes.  But with the joy of higher taxes we get the promise of under representation and the knowledge that our tax dollars will not be returning to our city to educate our children or employ our police officers but will be sent far far away so that some small town gets new police cars and spiffy new roads.  It's just a fact urban people are the true makers and everyone else is just a................

  •  I was born in D.C. (0+ / 0-)

    In 1959 my mother, who lived on C street, literally bumped into Sen. Jack Kennedy on a windy day. She said to him ( as it was known he was running for President ) "Get us Home Rule and I'll vote for you". He laughed and said " You got it ".

     But, you know, he was just being pleasant to a pretty young woman..

    Only the cool die young ~ R.I.P. my Stevie an Turcotte

    by Dvalkure on Wed Apr 16, 2014 at 08:48:49 AM PDT

  •  To me this is a constitutional-level issue (0+ / 0-)

    But of course it wouldn't be good to start a lawsuit just now, given the Scalia Crazy wing of the Supreme Court.

  •  DC Voting Rights Amendment failed (0+ / 0-)

    An amendment to the US constitution was proposed by Congress, but not ratified by the states.

    The text, taken from the Wikipedia article, was pretty straightforward.

    Section 1. For purposes of representation in the Congress, election of the President and Vice President, and article V of this Constitution, the District constituting the seat of government of the United States shall be treated as though it were a State.

    Section 2. The exercise of the rights and powers conferred under this article shall be by the people of the District constituting the seat of government, and as shall be provided by the Congress.

    Section 3. The twenty-third article of amendment to the Constitution of the United States is hereby repealed.

    Section 4. This article shall be inoperative, unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by the legislatures of three-fourths of the several States within seven years from the date of its submission.

    The Amendment was proposed in 1978. Only 16 of the required 38 states ratified the amendment.

    Unfortunately there seems to be no realistic chance of a similar constitutional amendment doing any better in the near future. Indeed it would probably do worse under present political conditions.

    This is a pretty obvious injustice to the inhabitants of the District.

    There is no man alive who is sufficiently good to rule the life of the man next door to him. Sir Rhys Hopkin Morris, M.P.

    by Gary J on Wed Apr 16, 2014 at 12:00:47 PM PDT

  •  I agree with you, James, in principle, (0+ / 0-)

    but as somebody living in neighboring MD, I'm not noticing that I get much representation either. Not at the federal level. And our politicians are among the better ones of the bunch.

    All that's really going on, at this point, is that you guys are inhabiting a more honest situation than the rest of the country is. With a very few exceptions. I'd say that, on the left, there's maybe 30-40 total people on the Hill that have an interest in actually representing their constituents. And I'm estimating generously.

    On the right? I suppose, in a way, those heavily-gerrymandered Tea Party districts are getting representation. It's via an unfair distortion of the political system, but by packing the crazies into particular districts, they've created crazy districts that then send mostly crazy politicians to DC. And those crazy politicians do basically represent the crazy beliefs of their crazy constituents. So ironically, the (non-rich) people getting the most representation are the people who are most opposed to the government.

    Then there's a handful of left-wingers who try to represent their constituents. And the vast middle who don't give a shit about representing anyone except the very wealthy.

    Sure once I was young and impulsive, I wore every conceivable pin. Even went to socialist meetings, learned all the old union hymns. Ah, but I've grown older and wiser. And that's why I'm turning you in. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u52Oz-54VYw

    by SouthernLiberalinMD on Wed Apr 16, 2014 at 02:50:29 PM PDT

    •  to me it's a matter of principle (0+ / 0-)

      I am used to one man one vote, independent of what size their state or district is.

      That you don't feel represented in MD is an issue that might be a nation-wide feeling in many states. But that has not really much to do with the specific case of DC, I would say.

      DC voters have not the same voting rights like all the other citizens. In any democracy that would be  considered unconstitutional. It looks very bad to any foreigner and mostly they dont understand from the beginning and do not touch or ask soemthing regarding that issue and they never report about it overseas, because it would enhance disrespect for the United States.

      Why have DC citizens' voting rights been taken away or never been given? If you hear the answer, because DC wasn't designed to be a state historically, you ask yourself, why are those people not ashamed of themselves to not find a solution and make amendments to fix the situation. Of course you wouldn't say something like that as a foreigner, but they think like that and then theyr realize that this is an issue beyond their understanding. So, the issues isn't talked about.

      •  Hey, I'm in favor of DC being given the vote (0+ / 0-)

        for fairness' sake, but having the vote doesn't guarantee representation, that's all I'm saying.

        Sure once I was young and impulsive, I wore every conceivable pin. Even went to socialist meetings, learned all the old union hymns. Ah, but I've grown older and wiser. And that's why I'm turning you in. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u52Oz-54VYw

        by SouthernLiberalinMD on Thu Apr 17, 2014 at 06:35:39 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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