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DC residents having basic rights denied

A+painting+depicts+the+Congress+building+in+DC.+Despite+housing+the+legislative+branch%2C+the+residents+of+the+District+have+no+voting+representation%2C+even+on+laws+directly+pertaining+to+them.+To+them%2C+Congress+caring++is+an+illusion%2C+just+like+the+building+in+the+painting.++
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DC residents having basic rights denied

A painting depicts the Congress building in DC. Despite housing the legislative branch, the residents of the District have no voting representation, even on laws directly pertaining to them. To them, Congress caring  is an illusion, just like the building in the painting.

A painting depicts the Congress building in DC. Despite housing the legislative branch, the residents of the District have no voting representation, even on laws directly pertaining to them. To them, Congress caring is an illusion, just like the building in the painting.

pexels.com

A painting depicts the Congress building in DC. Despite housing the legislative branch, the residents of the District have no voting representation, even on laws directly pertaining to them. To them, Congress caring is an illusion, just like the building in the painting.

pexels.com

pexels.com

A painting depicts the Congress building in DC. Despite housing the legislative branch, the residents of the District have no voting representation, even on laws directly pertaining to them. To them, Congress caring is an illusion, just like the building in the painting.

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Citizens of Washington DC, a district only 60 miles from Patterson Mill High School, continue to have their democratic rights denied. By not giving the people of DC a vote in Congress, we are repeating the same undemocratic behavior we fought in the Revolutionary War.

There are 693,972 American citizens living in the capital of the US. That’s 693,972 people who pay taxes, fight and die in the armed forces, and contribute to the US economy who do not get input in Congress. DC has a larger population than Wyoming and Vermont, two states that have two senators and one representative. The District has lost more people total in the armed forces than 20 other states, yet is still written off as inconsequential and not worthy of representation. Fifteen states have a lower gross domestic product but still get input in legislature. DC does so much for our country, but is constantly treated unfairly and ignored by the federal government. Democracy is rule by the people, but in America, 693,972 people are not given an equal chance to rule.

Despite no representation in Congress, residents of the capital pay the most federal taxes per person in America. When Britain taxed the colonists without consultation, a revolution was started and “taxation without representation” became a rallying cry. Now, the federal government demands the capital to pay high taxes, but never allows them the unalienable right to vote on legislature. The people of DC have taken back the catchphrase “taxation without representation” and even have it displayed on their license plates. After protests, former President Obama ordered for his own presidential limo to have a license plate displaying the saying.

Democracy is rule by the people, but in America, 693,972 people are not given an equal chance to rule.”

DC continues to have their own laws overturned by a Congress that does not represent them. Almost 90% of DC supports statehood, but the legislative branch keeps striking down supporting bills. Congressmen from states can and do challenge laws that DC has proposed and enacted. In 2012, Representative Trent Franks (R-AZ) proposed a bill that would ban all abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy exclusively in DC. No matter what side of the abortion debate a person stands on, it still seems unethical for a Congressman to attempt to regulate such a big issue in a district over 2,000 miles away from his own. In 2015, Senators Ted Cruz (R-TX) and James Lankford (R-OK) got shockingly close to blocking two DC laws designed to increase LGBT+ rights and decrease workplace discrimination relating to reproductive choices. The residents of the capital are viewed as second-class citizens and treated as children who can’t keep track of their money or set their own rules.

The United Nations Human Rights Commission has openly stated how lack of voting representation for the District of Columbia violates the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, a document the USA signed. Additionally, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights of the Organization of American States has expressed that under the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man, America is violating the rights of its capital. This is not normal; other democracies do not deny the basic human right of voting representation to their capitals. It is undemocratic and unpatriotic that citizens of a capital do not get representation that will speak for them on issues such as taxation, war, Supreme Court and other nominations, treaties and more.

Those who oppose DC representation in Congress argue that DC was originally made to be an independent entity from the states. However, they fail to admit that the times have changed. The capital is now a functioning city with many US citizens who contribute to our country. They deserve representation, regardless of outdated intentions. People who fight against DC voting rights fail to mention the most powerful reason they don’t want DC representation; DC is mainly democrats and minorities. The republican controlled Congress doesn’t want more democrats. Their fear of losing power is the biggest reason so many people are without a voice in the legislative branch.

The District of Columbia, a symbol of a country praised for its democracy, has been denied the very thing that makes democracy true. They deserve to have input in the laws that will impact their lives, thus finally allowing them to be equals. We need to give DC representation in Congress. They should receive two senators and an appropriate number of representatives, and the government should issue a formal apology for the abuse and mistreatment of its capital. The federal government of the United States of America has forced the District of Columbia to live under laws they do not get to decide, which is the very cruelty America went to war over in the name of democracy.

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DC residents having basic rights denied