Friday, March 20, 2009

DC Voting Rights: Constitution or True Democracy?

One ethical question facing the conscious of the people of the United States and currently the United States Congress, more specifically, is the question of DC Voting Rights. The prominent question in DC Voting Rights is if the United States should stick to its commitment to the United States Constitution, which specifies nothing about the representation of any place other than ratified states. Or should we choose to stick with the ideals of the United States to properly represent all American citizens, giving all Americans an equal chance of having their voice heard?

As a life-long resident of the District of Columbia and a person who has known what it is like to never have a voting member in the House of Representatives and absolutely no representation in the United States Senate, I feel as though the United States is, and should feel, obligated to represent the nearly 600,000 (and growing) people who live in the District and pay taxes to the government in which they are not fully represented in.

Despite what the words of the constitution may say about the District of Columbia, the American ideology has always been to be democratic and give everyone a proper voice in their government. It is, and has been for the past 200 years, hypocritical for the United States Government to not represent the residents of the District of Columbia in both houses of Congress, and this hypocrisy will continue as long as Eleanor Holmes Norton, or whomever may follow cannot walk on the House or Senate floor and cast their vote and give their constituents a voice in the nation in which they work and give back to.

In this time where the American people are questioning their government’s loyalty to the people, it is not time to talk about the logistics of a document that was made to be amended when the time came anyway. It is time to restore the people’s trust in their government, restore the promise that all men are created equal and give the District of Columbia full voting representation in the United States Congress.
For more information on DC VOTE and what you can do to help, visit


  1. I have to strongly disagree with the statements made in this article. I am a resident of the District of Columbia and I believe that we do not need a voting member in the House, let alone the Senate. Over two-thirds of members of Congress reside right here in Washington, DC mostly in the Capitol Hill area and they have been nothing but good to this city. Members speak on the floors of the House and Senate often about issues in the District, considering the fact that many of them reside here and travel to and from their Districts often. Members of Congress have presented bills that assist the residents in the issue they face daily. For example, aid to the public schools and other programs for young people like myself. Eleanor Holmes Norton, delegate to the House may not be able to vote but she can debate. Words are more powerful than an electronic voting machine.

  2. Equality, Nothing More. But Equality, Nothing LESS.

    "Equal Laws protecting Equal Rights [are] the best Guarantee of Loyalty and Love of Country."
    (J. Madison, to Jake La Motta, August 1820)

    Seren Snow appears young and naive; "paternalism" is a concept worth exploring.

  3. Born a Wisconsin native, I have the right to vote by birthright.

    Rights such as the right to Consent to how one is Governed do not depend on boundaries or place of residence. If I lived in Europe or Asia, I would still be voting in Wisconsin. The right to Consent to how one is Governed is inalienable, that is, innate, inherent, intrinsic to membership in the nation. Just as the rights of blacks and women are/were innate, inherent, and intrinsic, even if they went unrecognized and unrespected for decades or centuries... You can not believe, on the one hand, that "all men are created equal" and then deduce that some men have the right to legislate over others "in all cases whatsoever", as was the attempted assertion in both the District Clause of 1789, and the Declaratory Act of 1766.

    Logic and principle require equality. The founders (Madison, Mason, et al.) specifically urged "frequent recurrence to fundamental principles." Fundamental principles such as Consent of the Governed must inevitably and eventually trump such archaic, arbitrary, anachronistic and artificial condtions as slavery, subjugation of women, and the District Clause.