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Posted at 7:15 PM ET, 07/30/2010

D.C. voting: Consensus would help

By washingtonpost.com editors

By Timothy Cooper
Washington

One of D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton’s fondest expressions, used repeatedly over the past 20 years as she led the charge for D.C. voting rights, has been “kill ’em with your case.”

Unfortunately for D.C. residents, her July 25 Local Opinions commentary, “D.C. voting rights:
Where we’ve been, where we’re going
” posits a new, virtually incoherent strategy for winning D.C. rights that is far more likely to confuse than kill. Her proposal is a smorgasbord of disparate, if not conflicting, strategic choices, each textually and substantively distinct from the other. Such a recipe for moving the city forward is bizarre and all but guaranteed to take us nowhere, because if we haven’t figured out where we’re going, how in heaven’s name are Congress or the American people supposed to follow our lead? With her fresh plan, Norton will succeed only in confounding our clear and compelling case for equal political rights.

Before we slide yet further into strategic disarray, perhaps good-faith efforts should be made to win a citywide strategic consensus on what our goal should be. Only then will it be possible to map a plan to get there.

The writer is executive director of the group Worldrights.

By washingtonpost.com editors  | July 30, 2010; 7:15 PM ET
Categories:  D.C., DC Vote, HotTopic  
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Next: School boards need to hear all voices

Comments

You know, while I've never lived or even worked in D.C., I've lived in the D.C. area for 45 years. And while I'm neither a Democrat not a liberal I instinctively respond to the idea of "taxation without representation" so I supported home rule for D.C. and voting rights for the District.

It never fails to amaze me that the residents of the District are so passive about this issue. There should be frequent demonstrations at the Capitol DEMANDING representation in Congress for the city. Instead, the movement (if one can call it one) sputters on from year to year with the citizen-victims of Washington as mostly passive observers. Where are the leaders when you need them?

Posted by: GWGOLDB | August 1, 2010 6:00 AM | Report abuse

Before coming to DC in 1979, my wife and I lived for awhile in Ottawa, Ontario, the capital of Canada. That's right, Ottawa, Ontario. The center of Ottawa is a small Federal enclave; the rest of the city is part of Ontario, a Canadian Province comparable to a US State. The folks in Ottawa pay taxes and have voting representation the same as any other Canadians. DC was created by taking parts from Virginia and Maryland. The Virginia parts - Arlington and Alexandria - are now back in Virginia and seem to be doing just fine. In DC, why not carve out a small Federal section in the center and pop the rest of us back into Maryland where we would have full voting rights in Congress like other Americans? No amendments needed to the Constitution, a simple Act of Congress would do it. And even the Tea Partiers should support it...after all, wasn't the original Tea Party held to oppose taxation without representation?

Posted by: Leobosner | August 1, 2010 9:58 AM | Report abuse

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