May 02, 2011

Statehood is the answer

We created this simple graphic to illustrate the disparity and unfairness we DC residents face. We are required to pay Federal taxes but are prohibited from electing anyone to the Senate or House of Representatives. Furthermore, our unique status gives a Congress we cannot elect the legal right to meddle in our local affairs to score points with various lobbying groups.

The American federal system separates the scope of local affairs from nation affairs. Americans duly elect one government for local affairs (the city, county, and state) and another government for national affairs (the House, Senate, and president). The 50 states collect taxes, pass budgets, collect garbage, pave roads, provide health services, and educate children without needing Congressional approval for every action.

DC residents elect a council and mayor, but Congress and the president may overturn any act of the elected DC government in a way they cannot for any state. Furthermore, DC residents have been able to vote in presidential elections since the 1964 election, but are denied the right to vote for any Senators, and are granted one non-voting (i.e. politically impotent) delegate to the House of Representatives.

On Christmas Eve in 1973, Congress passed a statute granting DC residents the “privilege” of a limited form of self-government.  The problem with this situation is that Congress can redefine or repeal this statute on a whim without any consent from the 601,723 people it actually governs.

Congress, however, cannot redefine or repeal statehood.

Statehood is the only way to guarantee DC residents our irrevocable and inalienable right to self-determination.  The time has come to admit the District of Columbia and its 600,000 residents as the 51st state.

Categories: Good Goverment, Voting Rights

8 Replies

  1. Give those a little more pop (some colors or something… idk, i’m not a graphic designer) and make some t-shirts and stickers. I’d buy a shirt.

    dano - May 2, 2011 @ 9:31 am
  2. this is awesome! Please get in touch with and !!!!

    Andrew - May 4, 2011 @ 2:23 pm
  3. Great job, and #1 on the t-shirt idea…I’d wear it, and I’m sure many, many others would as well.

    The Brightwoodian - May 4, 2011 @ 2:50 pm
  4. There is an alternative: the “Puerto Rico option.” Puerto Rico residents are US citizens and, like DC, have a non-voting delegate in Congress. But the principle “No Representation, No Taxation” rules there: Because they cannot vote for Congress or President (unlike DC, which has had three electoral votes since the passage of the 23rd amendment in 1961), Puerto Ricans also do not pay Federal income taxes.

    That seems like a fair deal to me. Just imagine how the District would flourish under such a rule.

    In exchange for a tax exemption, the city could also achieve a greater degree of autonomy from Congress by covering all its own expenses. If DC taxes go up somewhat, we’d still all be much better off on net.

    Berin Szoka - May 5, 2011 @ 11:42 pm
  5. DC already has enough power and people looking out for it. Get over yourselves.

    no thanks - May 8, 2011 @ 10:10 am
  6. it’s strange that people with such strong opinions are unwilling to even sign a pseudonymous name to their opinions…

    IMGoph - May 8, 2011 @ 11:29 pm
  7. Berin Szoka, look again. While it’s true that some people in P.R. pay no federal income tax, everyone there pays federal taxes. They pay federal excise tax, gas tax, social security taxes etc…Furthermore, some Puerto Ricans pay federal income tax – such as federal employees. Now, considering how many federal employees live in DC, that becomes a far less appealing option.

    Cap hill - May 9, 2011 @ 11:00 am
  8. To be totally fair, California would be in 36 point type, Texas in 24 point, Florida and New York in 18 point, and so on. DC, Vermont and Wyoming and some of the other small states would be in one=point type (or less).

    Citizenw - February 21, 2014 @ 5:52 pm

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