What to the Washingtonian is Your Fourth of July?
Over the next few days, barbecues, parades and fireworks displays will take place across the United States in honor of Independence Day. Citizens of the America will be celebrating their independence and a legacy of standing up for what is right, and just and equal. But what does the 4th of July celebration mean to Washington, DC residents who still are not treated equally because we are denied rightful and just representation in the United States House of Representatives. Hundreds of years after our forefathers declared their independence and fought bloody battles to ensure that their children, grandchildren and every generation to be born or to come to the New World would be given equal representation their dream of no taxation without representation is still not a reality for hundreds of thousands of District residents.
The men and women we elect to govern our city in council and in the mayor’s office pass legislation and budgets that are subject to review and approval by members of Congress who may or may not spend even half of their time in Washington., who owe DC residents nothing, who do not live the Washington experience, who have no one in DC to answer to on their election day, who do not speak for Washingtonians. Yet, they get the last word on what is best for us.
While a force to be reckoned with, our representative/delegate to the U.S. House of Representatives, Eleanor Holes Norton can advocate until she is blue in the face, speak until her last breath is gone, persuade as if she was a student of early Greek rhetoric but she still doesn’t have a vote on the House floor.
There is a grave injustice that exists, and in all places, the very Capital of the greatest nation on Earth. American troops have been deployed many times over to many parts of the world to, by presence or by force, guarantee that a proper democracy and democratic government was put in place and the spirit of democracy wasn’t just on paper but in the deeds of the leaders. Yet, right here in America no troops have been sent to do the same thing. Full voting rights for District residents are only fair, just and what our forefathers would have wanted. Until that day comes, the holiday in these four quadrants is mostly just about the barbecues, parades and firework displays not independence and freedom.