DC Vote's Mission & Work
DC Vote is a 501 (c)(3) educational and advocacy organization dedicated to securing full voting representation in Congress and full democracy for the residents of the District of Columbia.
Working to End Taxation Without Representation in America's Capital
Founded in 1998, DC Vote is an award-winning organization dedicated to securing full voting representation in Congress and full democracy for the more than half a million residents of the District of Columbia. Americans living in our nation's capital pay full federal taxes, fight and die in wars and serve on juries, but are denied voting representation in the House and the Senate.
While DC residents have an elected mayor and city council, all locally passed laws must be reviewed by Congress and the local budget must be sent to Congress for affirmative approval. In many cases, Congress has attempted to include noxious riders on the budget that overrule decisions of the local government. DC Vote is working to end this injustice and to protect DC's local democracy.
As the recognized leader and go-to source of information on the DC voting rights movement, we:
- advocate for enactment of critical DC voting rights legislation
- educate Americans across the nation about DC's status
- work to prevent congressional interference in DC's local democracy
- organize our supporters to contact Congress through call-in days, letter-writing campaigns and face-to-face advocacy
- engage our coalition partners, supporters and pro bono lobbyists to educate Congress
- serve as a resource to elected officials, the media and public
Our efforts led to the historic Senate passage of the DC Voting Rights Act (H.R.157/S.160) on February 26, 2009. We continue to research and explore legislation to provide full local democracy and to make Washington, DC the 51st state in the union. With voting representation equal to that of other Americans, DC will be better empowered to end congressional interference in local matters, have an equal vote on important national issues and tackle local problems with more resources and greater freedom.
A Solid Record of Accomplishment
Founded in 1998, DC Vote is an educational and advocacy organization whose mission is to secure full voting representation in Congress and full democracy for the residents of the District of Columbia, and defend against unwarranted incursions upon DC self-government.
In 2000, DC Vote was instrumental in getting "Taxation Without Representation" added to DC license plates helping to raise awareness of DC's plight.
In 2001, DC Vote held its first Tax Day Protest with local, national and international media coverage.
In 2002, the Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs held hearings on a bill that would give DC residents congressional voting representation.
In 2003, as the nation prepared for war, Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) and Senator Joe Lieberman (D-CT) introduced legislation and were joined by DC veterans urging Congress to bring full democracy home to America's capital.
In 2004, DC Vote brought DC voting rights to the Democratic National Convention where "It's Time," a DC Vote video, aired during prime time.
In 2005, DC voting rights bills were introduced in the House and Senate, and DC Vote worked to build strong bipartisan support.
In 2007, the DC Voting Rights Act passed in the House, 241-177 and received 57 votes in the Senate, just three votes shy of breaking a filibuster.
In 2008, DC Vote went on the road visiting constituents in seven key states to spread the word and build even stronger support, using dynamic tools like our "Demand the Vote" music video.
In 2009, the DC Voting Rights Act passed in the Senate, with a filibuster-proof majority of 61 votes. For the first time in 31 years, a DC voting rights bill passed the Senate, but at the last minute, a gun amendment was attached to the bill and made progress in the 111th Congress impossible.
In 2010, DC's budget was enacted by Congress, free from any riders limiting how local funds could be spent.
In 2011, Congress attacked DC's authority over local laws and budgets in unprecedented ways. DC Vote is leading unprecedented protests in response and will continue to do so in order to defend and promote DC's right to local control over local decisions.
In 2012, DC Vote defended against attacks on Home Rule launched by Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) who introduced a bill to ban all abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy only in the District. Along with our coalition, we held protests in both DC and Franks' home district.
In 2013, After DC Vote petitioned the White House, President Obama ordered that DC's Taxation Without Representation license plates be placed on the Presidential limousine.
In 2013, A local budget autonomy referendum launched by DC Vote was supported by 83 percent of District voters. The referendum will give DC greater control over its local tax dollars.