Raise Awareness – Encourage Action – Achieve Full & Equal Representation
Most Americans don’t realize that Washington, DC residents are denied representation in Congress.
It is an embarrassment to our democracy. And it is a dubious distinction that we alone hold among democratic nations. If you find it more than a little ironic that the residents of our nation’s capital — a symbol of democracy around the world — cannot participate in the democracy in which they live, you’re in the right place here at the DC Voting Rights Project.
Join us and help create “the more perfect Union” our founding fathers imagined.
As it stands, each Election Day, when the rest of the county chooses who will stand up for their interests in the House and Senate, residents of the District of Columbia, who live in the very shadow of the US Capitol, vote for a Delegate to the House of Representatives and powerless “Shadow” Senators and a powerless “Shadow” representative. None have the right to vote on legislation being decided in Congress. Instead, Members of Congress who do not represent District residents, determine how our taxes are spent even though we serve in the military, pay more federal taxes than several states and have a greater population than Wyoming and Vermont. Members of Congress who were elected without a single vote from a DC resident routinely introduce legislation that dictates DC social policies — like rejecting a needle exchange program that would have helped control the AIDS epidemic, compromising women’s health initiatives or imposing gun policies at odds with the will of the people.
It’s not democratic and it must end.
We’ve been at meetings with Congressional staffers and asked them why residents of the District of Columbia should pay federal taxes but be denied representation. A long awkward silence follows. Everyone in the room knows the role that taxation without representation played in our country’s struggle for our independence. Yet this affront to our founding principles has been allowed to endure for hundreds of years right here in our national seat of government – by Democrats and Republicans alike. So, with no-one in Congress representing us, nothing will change unless we stand up for democracy.