Sunday, April 10, 2011

The District of America: Congress's Bitch

So DC was abuzz last week with the possible shutdown.  It obviously would have been felt much more here than anywhere else, and so it was all that people talked about.  One of the interesting news items from that week, involved the DC local government, and the fact that they couldn't spend money either, if the budget wasn't passed, because all of our appropriations are approved by Congress.  Even though the city is spending the tax dollars that they collected from their residents, they are in effect a federal colony.

Most people know that DC has no representation in Congress.  Well, we have Eleanor Holmes-Norton, who is a delegate to the House of Representatives.  We essentially have the same status as American Samoa and Guam politically.  She used to be able to vote, as long as it's didn't break a tie (meaning as long as her vote didn't matter).  But the Republicans changed the rules to eliminate even that role.  We're currently like the Holy See at the UN.  Just sort of watching and hanging out.  Washington, DC has more people than Wyoming, but we don't have any Senators and one non-voting lady in the House. 

It's so bizarre, it's almost funny.  But when you realize that you can't call anyone who can doing anything to voice your concerns, it is frustrating.  And the reality is that because DC has been so transient, this issue hasn't been a huge one because people know they're going to go home and have representation there.  But the reality is that Republicans don't want representation for the District, because we have a lot of black people here.  Chocolate City is one of the nicknames of DC.  And black voters are generally Democratic voters, so that causes a problem.  There was a proposal a few years ago which would have given us one voting Rep and Utah would have added one as well, to ensure parity.

All I know is, it's nonsense.  And I hope these people eventually get what they want.

Update: I'm pretty proud of my Mayor today.  For the first time since he's been elected. 


Anonymous said...

So here's a question-- since DC isn't a state; and you have no representation in Congress are DC residents registered to vote in DC? Or are they all transients and transplants and thus registered in other states? Stupid question but I realize that I don't know if DC has electoral votes?

Hero to the Masses said...

Good question, actually. DC has three electoral votes actually. There is a movement to have all of them be cast for ex-mayor Anthony Williams to put the protest movement on national display.

Of course, that's with the understanding that if the race were tight, that Obama would get those votes instead.

Anonymous said...

Thanks! :)

Christopher Taylor said...

Caleb Gibson's friend here. Can I re-post to FB for my District network?

Hero to the Masses said...

Welcome Chris! Post away my friend. Thanks for stopping by. And stay classy.

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