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My DC license plate redesign was discussed today on the WAMU’s The Kojo Nnamdi Show
|| 12/5/2008 || 6:15 pm || Comments Off on My DC license plate redesign was discussed today on the WAMU’s The Kojo Nnamdi Show || ||

Yesterday I received an e-mail from a friend asking if I knew who was behind the “1/3 Representation Please” poster that has been showing up around town. I responded by stating that I did not know who the person was and sent the friend the two links related to poster. In the response e-mail it was then suggested that I contact the show to further the dialogue. So before the show started I decided to e-mail Kojo Nnamdi with the license plate above and the D.C. flag redesign as attachments and state for the record that I was NOT behind the poster or its placement around town.

The executive director of DC Vote, Ilir Zherka, was the guest on the show during the voting rights segment. Through the years he & I have had a very turbid relationship. We have a differing opinion on the 1/3 representation route his organization is advocating. During the show I paid close attention to his words and realized that he is not advocating for statehood at all, which is very sad because more DC residents want statehood and not fractional representation. During the show’s dialogue, the subject of president-elect Barack Obama changing the license plates on his limousine comes up….

Click here to listen to an MP3 of today’s show. The clip starts out with Zherka speaking about Obama changing the plates, then Tom Sherwood throws in a little bit of history, followed a question from Sommer Mathis, editor of one of my favorite DC blogs- DCist, then Kojo brings up my license plate, and Ilir Zherka responds….

Of note is that he states that his organization is already preparing for a court challenge if the bill his organization is advocating for gets passed in the House or Senate. Frankly I find this both sad and frustrating. Sad because they are knowingly trying to advance a bill that is not constitutional– only STATES can receive representation in the House or Senate. This is also frustrating because it only delays the equality for the residents of the America’s capital city. They could easily be advocating a new bill using a new strategy because there is a new congress, but they are still pushing for a piece of sub-par legislation that will be struck down on constitutional grounds.

After the show Kojo had an on-line chat in which I participated in. Below is the text from the chat:

Chat with Kojo, Dec. 5. 2008

1:01
WAMU 88.5: It’s 1 p.m.! Welcome, early birds. We’ll be starting in approximately fifteen minutes. Be sure to tell us where you’re chatting from when you send your comments and questions…
1:14
Kojo: Welcome all, let the conversing begin!
1:17
Kojo: The last topic we discussed on air today was about DC bars and restaurants staying open until 5am January 17th through the 20th. The point was made that we haven’t done anything the size of this before, which seems to suggest that we shouldn’t do anything we haven’t done before. But isn’t that the point? That for an occasion the likes of which we’ve never seen before, we need to do things we haven’t done before?
1:17
[Comment From Nikolas Schiller]
[Ward One, Washington, DC] Did you ever find out who was behind the posters around town?
1:20
Kojo: Hi Nikolas,
After you indicated thatyou used the term one third of our voting rights before, we were deeply suspicious it was you. But then you said it wasn’t, and since you had come clean earlier, we believe you.
Our main suspect has sent several emails to people which suggest he/she is the author, but since I couldn’t smoke him/her out with allegations of fear of Eleanor Holmes Norton, I won’t reveal his/her name.
1:21
[Comment From Nikolas Schiller]
Thanks Kojo. I have an idea who is behind them as well. I first spotted the 1/3 representation flier back in October: http://www.nikolasschiller.com/blog/index.php/archives/2008/10/21/1527/ — What I found most troubling about your discussion today was DC Vote’s insistence on going down a route where they expect a lawsuit regarding the 1/3 representation. This unconstitutional route only delays equality for DC residents, so why go this route when America & Washington, DC has changed considerably since 1993?
1:34
Kojo: Hey Nikolas,
I don’t remember Ilir Zherka saying during the show that at DC Vote they expected a lawsuit, but I may have missed that. Did he say that, or are you expecting a lawsuit?
1:34
[Comment From Nikolas Schiller]
He said they are expecting a “court challenge” after the 1/3 representation bill is passed in Congress while he was responding to my license plate. I recorded the audio of the show for archival purposes and can send you an MP3 if you’d like to hear him again.
1:43
[Comment From Frank]
I listened today to your input on D. C. voting rights. I support D. C. voting rights, particularly the Davis bill, but I think pushing it into the first 100 day agenda will endanger many bigger issues which are currently on the table, much in the way gays in the military damaged Clinton in a manner from which he never fully recovered. No matter how D. C. people view the subject, much of the nation will view this as a very partisan issue, and pushing it early in a time needed to deal with many very major problems will damage the image Obama is trying to take forward. So I say, cool it until the dog days of next August when the President can assist without hurting his daunting agenda and national priorities image. I think WAMU and yourself should help with broader picture in this case.
1:45
Kojo: Nikolas I’d be interested to hear your take on what Frank just said. I’ll respond also
1:47
Kojo: Frank I think the sentiment about advocates for The Voting Rights bill is that if the Congress does this early, and if the President signs, then the political fallout around the nation will be long gone by the time the next Congressional or Presidential elections come around. They would hate to do it close to an election.
1:50
[Comment From Frank]
Next August is not close to an election, and your comments ignore the deep damage “don’t ask, don’t tell” did to Bill Clinton in the Pentagon. It lasted for eight years. If this damage derails Obama’s Economic and International agenda’s with partisan bickering we will be back to the Clinton/Bush time wasting.
2:04
Kojo: Frank I’m not sure that a vote in the House of Representatives for the District of Columbia can have the kind of effect, in terms of national impact and scale of reverberation, that Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell did. Some people will probably demagogue it to death. But the fact is that the District of Columbia tends to be an afterthought for most people in the nation, and I don’t think a vote in the House can change that perception. Statehood might though.
2:04
[Comment From Nikolas Schiller]
The larger issue here is that Voting Rights, the term, has replaced Statehood, the goal. Go to the DC Government website: http://www.dc.gov and on the top you will see “DC Guide” and when you hover your mouse over it, you’ll see “DC Statehood,” but when you click on it, you’ll be taken to a page that says “DC Voting Rights and Representation”—- not Statehood. The Democratic Party has removed Statehood from their platform, yet DC residents are still electing a shadow delegation that has one purpose: lobby for statehood. Barack Obama campaigned for a “Change in Washington,” but is partial representation through senatorial disenfranchisement the real change DC residents deserve? Or should they be given full equality, like every other American? Obama should not wait around for summer recess, he should speak clearly and eloquently about the ongoing human rights violation currently taking place in Washington, DC and take action to resolve this issue.
2:08
Kojo: Nikolas is it possible that we’re talking here about the difference between strategy and tactics. It seems to be that Statehood and Voting Rights advocates ultimately share the same goal, two Senators and one member of the House. So the strategic objective is the same. The tactical difference, it seems to me, lies in your different interpretations of political reality. The incremental advocates seem to feel that in the past we have overestimated the nation’s and the Congress’s readiness for this. The Statehood advocates seem to feel we underestimate that readiness.
2:09
Kojo: Thanks everyone for your participation. Please let’s converse again soon. I’m out. Take care.
2:18



Post Title: My DC license plate redesign was discussed today on the WAMU’s The Kojo Nnamdi Show
Post Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Posted in: Colonist, In The News, Radio
Last edited by Nikolas Schiller on 1/8/2009 at 12:51 am



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  • thank you,
    come again!