Of course D.C. deserves voting representation

Democracy denied: The home address of every resident of the District of Columbia is determined by its position relative to the United States Capitol—the Rotunda, here, is at the intersection of the city’s four quadrants—yet D.C. residents have never had a representative with full voting rights in this building.
Democracy denied: The home address of every resident of the District of Columbia is determined by its position relative to the United States Capitol—the Rotunda, here, is at the intersection of the city’s four quadrants—yet D.C. residents have never had a representative with full voting rights in this building.

A friend of ours from the Washington DC 3rd Ward asked us via Facebook for our opinions on voting rights—and possible statehood—for our former home, the District of Columbia. D.C. is currently denied full voting representation in Congress. Like territories such as Puerto Rico, D.C. residents elect a “delegate” to the House of Representatives. This delegate, currently Eleanor Holmes Norton, can propose legislation and vote in committees, but she cannot vote on the House floor.

Here are our responses to that inquiry. While Susan and Dustin agree D.C. residents deserve full voting representation in Congress, we disagree on the best mechanism to achieve it.


Dustin: Grant D.C. statehood

Of course residents of the District of Columbia deserve full voting representation in both houses of Congress. And the best way to achieve this is by making D.C. a state.


Susan: Amend the Constitution

Of course residents of the District of Columbia deserve voting representation in Congress—but D.C. doesn’t have to become a state to make that happen. Amend the Constitution instead.


This article appeared on pages 18–20 of Issue 6 | April 2012.

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