Taxation without Representation . . . Still?

July 3, 2007

"Through Congressional inaction that denies one of the most basic elements of democratic governance to DC citizens -- representation in Congress -- Congress devalues the worth and dignity of all DC residents. It is unacceptable to continue this injustice." --The Rt. Rev. John Bryson Chane, Bishop of Washington May 1, 2007 letter to the US Senate

As Americans celebrate the 4th of July and the birth of the nation, some in our country live without full voting rights – residents of the District of Columbia. Despite living in the nation’s capitol, Washington, DC residents do not have a voting representative in either chamber of Congress. Yet District of Columbia citizens serve in the military and on juries, pay federal taxes, and are subject to the decisions made by Congress.

DC’s Motto is "Justice for All", but for residents there is no justice without a vote in Congress. Support S. 1257, the DC House Voting Rights Act of 2007.

Congress is very close to at least partially correcting this injustice. The DC House Voting Rights Act would give the elected Representative for the District of Columbia a vote on the House floor. Having passed the House with a solid margin, only one last legislative step remains for this bi-partisan, widely supported bill – a Senate vote.

LET YOUR VOICE SPEAK FOR THOSE WHO CANNOT. Contact your Senators and urge them to support S. 1257, the DC House Voting Rights Act, in order to grant representation to the people of Washington, DC. To send a letter to your Senators, CLICK HERE.

Residents of the District of Columbia – we hope you’ll forward this email to a friend who does have a Senator and will act on it.

Additional Legislative Information

The more than 500,000 residents of the District of Columbia have an elected Representative who cannot vote on the House floor – she is Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton.

S. 1257 is compromise legislation that adds two seats to the House of Representatives. One seat is given to the District of Columbia, which historically is heavily Democratic. The other seat is designated for Utah which was the next state in line to gain a seat during the most recent reapportionment of congressional seats, and is historically heavily Republican. Utah Republican Sens. Orrin Hatch and Bob Bennett are cosponsors of the legislation.

The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee passed measures. 1257 by a vote of 9-1 earlier in June with an amendment clarifying that the bill added a House member, not one from the Senate. Three Republican committee members — ranking member Susan Collins (Maine) and Sens. George Voinovich (Ohio) and Norm Coleman (Minn.) — voted for the bill.

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