Did you know that more than half a million Americans live in Washington DC and have no voting rights in Congress? Yes, DC was established by our ancestors as a federal district to be governed by Congress and 660,000 residents of our nation’s capital do not have democratic representation in the United States Senate or House of Representatives. People who live in DC pay the second highest federal income tax per capita in the country, but they have no vote on how the federal government spends their tax dollars and they do not vote on important issues like health, education, Safety Social, environmental protection, crime control, public safety and foreign policy.
An amendment to the Constitution needs to be passed to give DC voting rights. Congress has passed laws to modify the structure of the DC government in the past. In 1961, the 23rd Constitutional Amendment gave DC residents the right to vote in presidential elections. In 1973, Congress passed the District of Columbia Home Rule Act giving DC the right to a local government (mayor and city council). For decades, DC residents have written letters, protested, and filed lawsuits to change the city’s voting status.
Unfortunately, to date, they have not been successful.
This is a partisan issue. Republican leaders will not support a local referendum because the District of Columbia is more than 90 percent Democratic and its representation would benefit the Democratic Party. Lacking representatives with voting power, the District of Columbia is often neglected when it comes to federal appropriations. Many of the District’s decisions are also at the mercy of right-wing ideologues in Congress, and as you can imagine, they don’t show much of that. Republicans have stopped everything from common sense gun laws to women’s health care to efforts to reduce drug abuse, claiming that the District is an exception to their notion that communities should be able to govern themselves. themselves.
What can you do to help?
- Sign the national petition
- Call the White House comment line and let the President know that you support the DC Voting Rights Act
- Contact a member of Congress and tell them to pass the DC Voting Rights Act
- Pass the word
About DC Vote
Founded in 1998, DC Vote is a national citizen advocacy and participation organization dedicated to strengthening democracy and ensuring equality for all in the District of Columbia. The organization was formed to develop and coordinate proposals to advance the cause. Citizens, advocates, opinion leaders, academics and policy makers are encouraged to participate and participate in its events.