DC residents rally outside White House
||Sunday, June 26, 2011
Hundreds of activists in Washington have gathered in front of the White House to protest against the District of Columbia's lack of Congressional representation.
Waving Washington DC flags and signs with the “Taxation Without Representation” slogan, demonstrators demanded US President Barack Obama and the Congress to grant the city a vote in the House.
“We are 600,000 residents who do not have a vote in Congress,” Eugene Dewitt Kinlow, director of Public Affairs, DC Vote, told Press TV.
“We want to be just like every other American and have a vote and a vote that counts,” he added.
Though DC's Representative Eleanor Holmes Norton gives voice to its residents, she does not have voting power like other Congressmen and women.
“My voice by itself is certainly not enough. We are here today because the president really needs to hear the voice of the people. If my voice isn't backed up by the people I'm not sure anybody's going to pay any attention to me,” Norton said.
In addition to Delegate Holmes Norton, DC Mayor Vincent Gray made an appearance at the rally and spoke about President Obama's broken promises to the people of his adopted city.
“We simply want him to stand up for us and stand for the people of this city who gave him 93 percent of the vote in his last election,” Gray told Press TV.
Obama has long endorsed voting rights for the District, but some residents are still unhappy over the short-term spending measure he signed in April. The bill prohibited the District from using its own taxpayer funds to provide abortions to low-income women.
The demonstrators also voiced their grievances over budgetary issues.
The city's budget has to go through the federal government for approval -- another source of contention for the residents.
The protest was organized by DC Vote with support from a coalition of around 100 local and national organizations.
Protesters say they will continue to fight for the right of representation in the government so that they can also partake in what is supposed to be a democratic system for all Americans
This article also appeared in:
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (PA)