Yesterday was April 17, the deadline for filing 2011 federal income taxes.
Most of the 600,000 residents of the District of Columbia filed their federal income tax returns before yesterday's deadline—and while we don't have data for 2011, the data for 2009 reveals that DC residents paid $3.6 billion in federal income taxes that year.
And yet, DC residents had to knock on Congressmembers' doors yesterday just to beg them to let us spend our own city tax money as we'd like—a perfectly representative anecdote for the basic civil rights being denied to 600,000 American citizens.
The word "representative" there is ironic, since we don't have any voting representation in Congress—only the nonvoting Eleanor Holmes Norton in the House, and bupkis in the Senate.
Taxation without representation... where have I heard that phrase before? Maybe that orange squiggly thing will remind me...
One of the less well-known memorials in Washington, DC, sitting in the wooded area just south of the Reflecting Pool across the street from the new memorial to Dr. King, is this stately and elegant stone memorial:
(photo removed for copyright)
That is the DC World War I memorial—paid for by the citizens of the District of Columbia and dedicated in 1931 to the memory of the 499 citizens of the District of Columbia who gave their lives in service of their country in the Great War.
It's a clear sign to the hundreds of thousands of tourists who visit our nation's capital every year that the people who live in the city they're visiting have fought, bled, and died for their country just as much as anyone from Alabama, Nebraska, Oregon, or New Jersey.
That makes it an implicit argument that we residents of DC, like the people in the 50 enfranchised states, are also entitled to the things every other American takes for granted: a voting representative in Congress, two voting Senators, and full home rule.
Reposted from IMGoph by NolanEditor's Note: Our first diary on DC politics! -- Nolan
On April 26th, voters in the District of Columbia will have the opportunity to fill a seat on the District's council. With your help, we can get a true progressive elected to this seat. His name is Bryan Weaver, and you can donate to his ActBlue page here.