'NO TAXATION WITHOUT REPRESENTATION' ADDED TO DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA FLAG
BATTLE CRY TO BE HEARD ACROSS COUNTRY
For more information contact: James Jones, Communications Director
202.462.6000 x12 office / 202.557.4864 mobile / firstname.lastname@example.org
October 2, 2002
DC Vote commends the leadership and efforts of Councilmember Phil Mendelson and the D.C. City Council for passing the District of Columbia Flag Redesign Act of 2002 during Tuesday's legislative session. Washingtonians pay the second highest per capita Federal income taxes in the country. They also serve in wars and sit on Federal juries like other Americans. However, since 1801, District residents have been denied the most basic principle of democracy- the right to participate in national government though duly elected representatives.
"Changing the District flag to display 'No Taxation Without Representation' takes our struggle to the rest of the world," said Ilir Zherka, Executive Director, DC Vote. "The new flag will fly over Washington's buildings for people who travel here from around the world to see."
When polled (Richards, 1999), a majority of Americans (56 percent) were unaware of the denial of the fundamental principles of democracy to District residents. When those polled were informed about the disenfranchisement, an overwhelming majority (72 percent) favored giving Washingtonians equal rights.
"Over half a million Americans in D.C. have no voting representation in the U.S. Congress, the body that creates all the laws and policies under which they must live," said Daniel Solomon, DC Vote Board Chair. "While we promote freedom around the world and defend democracy from the likes of Saddam Hussein, it's high time we extend full representative democracy to Americans living in our nation's capital. The new flag will help us carry that message globally."
The addition of the well-known battle cry "No Taxation Without Representation" to the District of Columbia flag will now be sent to the Mayor, where he is expected to approve the measure. Congress will have veto power over the bill for a 30-day period. The concept for the new flag was conceived by John Capozzi, D.C. resident and former shadow representative, last fall. The Act was introduced to the D.C. Council by Mendelson on April 16, 2002, and co-introduced with eight Councilmembers: Sharon Ambrose, Harold Brazil, David Catania, Kevin Chavous, Jack Evans, Adrian Fenty, Jim Graham and Chairwoman Cropp. The bill is co-sponsored by Councilmember Patterson.
A commission with members appointed by both the Council and the Mayors office is being created to finalize the design details for the new flag. The commission should complete its work early next year when the new flag will be unveiled. The original D.C. flag design could be restored once District residents are granted equal voting representation in Congress.
DC Vote is a non-partisan, non-profit educational organization designed to educate the American people about the lack of voting representation in Congress for the residents of the District of Columbia.