For decades D.C. statehood advocates have argued that Congress shouldn’t usurp D.C. residents’ power to self-govern. Yet Congress cleared a non-citizens voting bill to undermine D.C. residents’ ability to govern themselves.
In front of the state capital, D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton said in response to D.C.’s latest crime bill, “What is happening in Congress is undemocratic. None of the 435 voting members of Congress were elected by D.C. residents; none are accountable to D.C. residents. Yet if they vote in favor of the disapproval resolution … they will choose to govern D.C. without its consent.”
Can someone explain to me why it’s wrong for Congress to prevent laws that are not only insane but unconstitutional, such as the non-citizens voting bill, or proposed legislative measures that put residents’ life, liberty, and property at risk, such as the D.C. Crime Bill?
While activists argue that non-citizens pay taxes and serve in the military, the only requirement to vote in D.C. is to be a U.S. citizen, 18 years old by the time of the general election, live in D.C. for at least 30 days before the election, and not claim voting residence in any U.S. state or U.S. territory.
In other words, if you live here legally for 30 days according to D.C. statutes, you could qualify for the same benefits as people who have been sleeping in tents in the city for several years.
The leaders on the left don’t see the absurdity of having non-citizens and 30-day residents voting in our local politics. It’s insane that someone who is a transient, unemployed person could use a church or a PO Box to claim residency and bump off a long-time homeowner vote if a thin margin decided the election.
I didn’t vote for Mayor Muriel Bowser, Norton, or anyone serving on the D.C. Council. For me, getting rid of a Democrat for a Socialist is wasted energy.
A better strategy is using the Constitution and our wallets to do what Americans did to Washington, D.C., in the 90s. All the people that had money to move out of the nation’s capital fled, and no businesses wanted to invest. The only people left in the city couldn’t afford to pay taxes to the town and, eventually, the local politicians that made the city unruly to reign in their mismanagement.
I don’t understand blue state politics, but if you want D.C. statehood while claiming you have no representation out of 700,000 residents, you are wrong. Norton and Bowser are the voices elected by Washington, D.C. residents and they’re the representatives they have chosen to make its case for statehood.
Residents should elect people that push policies that create a sound economic environment — a place that is business-friendly not racially divisive.
People should elect someone to Congress that can be taken seriously. Bowser and Norton are not taken seriously, and the people you’re trying to convince have no interest in giving statehood.
Jeffery McNeil is an artist and vendor with Street Sense Media