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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

From Outside The Bubble: Dump Tea

< States is not a democracy - not for the nearly 600,000 people that live in Washington D.C. These people live under the tyranny of the federal government. It gobbles up their money and denies them a right to elect a voting representative to Congress.

D.C. residents paid approximately $150 million in federal taxes last year but they had no say on whether their money would be used for an economic stimulus package, a bank bailout, or a war in Iraq. Furthermore, the city is subject to Congress in unparalleled ways because of the constitutional provision that grants Congress the power to regulate the District. The city’s Council does not control its own budget, it is under the authority of the U.S. Congress, and Mayor Adrian Fenty must lobby Congress members from Alaska to Florida even to let him change his city’s trash collection policies let alone necessary education initiatives.

Americans raise bloody murder over the lack of democracy in other countries all over the world but fail to recognize the grievances faced by D.C. residents here at home.

Thomas Jefferson was not successful because he could eloquently craft a sentence. He was successful only because he had the weight of an angry oppressed people behind him. For 200 years D.C. residents have been oppressed and their 600,000 voices have not been able to overcome the other 300 million Americans comprised of some against representation but mostly those apathetic to the cause. It is time for Americans to get their act together and recognize the injustices in democracy occurring at home instead of only those abroad.

After many failed attempts to pass legislation granting the District a U.S. Representative, Congress will again attempt to rectify this wrong during the coming week. There is a debate on the Senate floor over a proposal that would grant one Rep. to D.C. and another to Utah (the next state in line to receive another Rep. according to population size) scheduled for Feb. 23 with a preliminary vote scheduled for Feb. 24.

Many attempts have failed before, but as we enter a new era in American history, it is time to grant all citizens the right to representation.

-Michelle Gajewski is a Carletonian columnist.­

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