On a cold, rainy and windy day, I generally spend as little time outside as possible. But yesterday, in spite of the damp and dreary conditions, I joined nearly 5,000 people to march to the Capitol and demand the same basic right guaranteed to all other Americans — the right to be represented in Congress.
When I moved to D.C. almost two years ago, one of my biggest concerns was that I would have to give up my right to representation. What was the point of being able to walk to Capitol Hill if you didn’t have a member of Congress to visit?
So when I learned that Public Citizen was co-sponsoring a D.C. Voting Rights Rally, I gladly braved the wind and joined thousands of others in chanting "Free D.C.!" It was quite a sight–a sea of people marching towards the Capitol to demand the right to vote.
"No taxation without representation!" we chanted. This basic principle is found in the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution. D.C. citizens made it clear that they will not rest until that promise is finally kept.
Congress has the opportunity to fulfill the promise now. The D.C. Voting Rights Act, H.R. 1433, introduced by Delegate Norton and co-sponsored by 18 voting members, will give D.C. a voting representative in the House, and a fourth representative to Utah, due to the state’s growing population, and to eliminate the issue of partisan politics (the D.C. rep. will likely be a Democrat, while the Utah rep. is expected to be a Republican). The bipartisan bill has been held up by procedural technicalities, and that needs to end. There is no good reason to continue depriving D.C. citizens of a vote in Congress. I was proud to be part of such a large movement, and I hope Congress got the message: we will not stop until we have voting rights.