Voting rights of citizens in the District of Columbia differ from those of United States citizens in each of the 50 states. D.C. residents do not have voting representation in the United States Congress. Instead, they are represented in the House of Representatives by a non-voting delegate who may sit on committees, participate in debate and introduce legislation, but cannot vote on the House floor. D.C. has no representation in the United States Senate.
People in D.C. are mad. They have "Taxation Without Representation" license plates, regularly march about obtaining their rights, and want their quarter to carry that motto. Heck, even the Visitor's Center, a few streets from the White House, advertizes D.C.'s lack of representation:
Even the usually very New-York centric New York Times had an article on it today:
This nation’s founders rebelled against taxation without representation, but residents of Washington are still without a meaningful voice in Congress. A bill to give the District of Columbia a voting member in the House of Representatives has taken an important step forward, and it could become law this year. The bill is not ideal, but it would redress a longstanding injustice. Congress should pass it.
Washington’s lack of representation is profoundly undemocratic. Its residents are American citizens who pay taxes, vote for the president and serve and die in the military. Although the city is relatively small, it is more populous than Wyoming and nearly equal to those of Vermont and Alaska.
With Barack Obama, who co-sponsored a 2007 version of the bill, now in the White House and the Democrats in control of both the House and Senate, this could be the moment Washington finally gets its representation.
“It’s 200 years too late,” says Eleanor Holmes Norton, who now serves as the city’s nonvoting member of the House. “But we’ll take it.”
I can't wait. Maybe we should ask for reparation: 200 years of Representation without Taxation.