Sunday, April 10, 2011

The Republican House Majority Is Still the District's Overlord

by Bill Adler
Tweeting at @billadler

In addition to announcing the demonstration to bring our trash to Speaker of the House Boehner's house, should the District' trash service come to a halt on All Life Is Local, I posted a message about it our our companion email list, the Cleveland Park Listserv.

Several listserv members wrote to me off-list to protest my message about this protest. Why, they asked, were people going to drop off their trash at Republican Speaker Boehner's house, rather than Democrat Senator Reid's house? The protest was by all appearances very partisan and that upset some list members.

I didn't organize the protest, so I can't speak for the organizers. But I will say that this protest was to have been about how District of Columbia residents are treated by Congress. When it became likely that the government would shut down, District Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton introduced an amendment to allow the District to spend its own tax dollars should worst happen. The Republican controlled House Rules Committee denied that request, in effect telling District residents to go to hell. It's our own money --our own tax revenue-- and we were not allowed to spend it. We're a plaything for Congress and that's anti-democratic and wrong.

I felt like a second or even third class citizen during the debate over the Federal budget. And judging from the number of people who had planned to participate in this protest, thousands of other District residents felt the same.

That's what the protest was to have been about: Letting the world know that we lack voting representation in Congress, but that the District's very reasonable request to be able to continue basic services got a "no" from Congress.

And in case anyone missed the news: The agreement over the Federal budget includes a Republican-sponsored rider that bars the District from spending its own money to provide abortions for low-income women. We're still political pawns.

On Monday DC Vote is organizing a demonstration to protest the District's third class status. We'll have more information about that this afternoon.

No comments:

Post a Comment