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i'm currently on daily blogging sabbatical, but i'll be back very soon.

District Representation – The Washington Post, January 22, 1879
|| 10/1/2009 || 8:16 pm || + Render A Comment || ||

District Representation

The Washington Post, January 22, 1879

With the exception of the Indian tribes, the only community within the territorial jurisdiction of the United States unrepresented in Congress is the District of Columbia.

Territories whose few inhabitants are scattered over a broad expanse like the masts of ships on the ocean, and which neither commerce nor manufactures, send their delegates to Congress to represent their interests, and procure for them such legislation as shall tend to develop their resources and afford encouragement and protection to their people the embryo state advances toward maturity.

States with half the population of this District have their representatives in the House, and have an equal voice in the Senate with the oldest, largest, richest, and most populous members of the family states.

It is only here, at the capital of a country whose government is based on suffrage, that suffrage is unknown.

Holding to the theory that governments derive their just powers only from the consent of the governed, and that the ballot is the proper mode of expressing that consent, our Government denies the ballot to the inhabitants of its capital city.

Believing and teaching that is should be no taxation without representation, and that such taxation is tyranny, our Government levies taxes on the property of this people, and if those taxes are not paid it sells the property under the red flag and the hammer of a Government auctioneer. Thousands of homes have thus been sold here during the last few years.

We cannot see how any man, whatever may have been the result of his observation here in times past, can hold to the Democratic creed, to the great underlying principles of free government, and oppose the representation of this District in the law-making department of our governmental mechanism.

And because out faith in true Democracy is a vital reality, and not a sham, we approve the proposition to have the District of Columbia represented in the House. We see no reason why this community should be an exception to the general rule- why all should have a voice in the Capitol and we be mute.

It may be urged that the horde of negroes who swarm here will be used to elect a delegate who will misrepresent our people. We do not believe it. Intelligence and social influence, if rightly employed, will so direct public opinion that the election will be a fair expression of the wishes of our people.

As the delegate will not vote, and as his influence will depend on his being in accord with the dominant party in Congress, there will be no temptation to resort to any of those schemes and tricks that brought reproach upon popular suffrage here some years ago.

But whatever may be the fears of the timid and doubtful, we see no way in which an honest believer in Democracy can deny representation to this community. The taxpayer has a right to be heard. A delegate can speak for him. Consistency demands that this proposition should not fail for want of the support of Democrats in Congress.


This newspaper article was transcribed from a scan of the original newspaper article. The document was obtained from the Washington Post archives and is in the public domain. It is being republished here in order to continue my advocacy for full representation for the American citizens of the District of Columbia.



The 23rd Amendment – Time Magazine – March 31, 1961
|| 2/14/2009 || 6:05 pm || + Render A Comment || ||

I found this article when I was looking up more information about the Twenty-third Amendment to the United States Constitution:

Thanks to a succession of oversights by the Founding Fathers and early Congresses, the residents of the District of Columbia have never enjoyed one particular constitutional right cherished by all other Americans: the privilege of voting. There was no reasoning attending the oversights; it was just plain neglect.† Last week Rhode Island cast the 36th affirmative vote for the 23rd Amendment to the Constitution, giving 746,000 Washingtonians the right to vote in presidential elections — and three electoral votes. Ohio and Kansas are expected to ratify the amendment this week, making the necessary two-thirds majority for official adoption (only one legislature—Arkansas—rejected the amendment outright, on the ground that 54% of the District’s citizens are Negroes).

But after 161 years, Washingtonians will be limited to voting for the President and Vice President. They will continue to have no representative in Congress, no voice in their municipal government.

†One segment of the capital gained the right to vote in 1846, when one-third of the District’s land area, now Arlington County, was ceded back to Virginia.

What this article shows to me is how racist America used to be….
In some ways, even with an African American president, it still is.
sigh



Related 23rd Amendment Entries:



[FOUND MAP] New York City: The 51st State
|| 12/24/2008 || 6:34 pm || Comments Off || ||

nyc 51st state [FOUND MAP] New York City: The 51st State

I have rallied for years about having DC become the 51st state in America. Even last week I redesigned the American flag to address my feelings toward this subject. However today I came across this map above that mentions the 51st state and predates the organization of the DC Statehood Movement.

In 1969 author Norman Mailer ran for mayor of New York City and one aspect of his campaign was New York City secession through urban statehood. This lovely map shows all the neighborhoods in each of the boroughs and subtly pokes fun at the current “state” of New York City.

I can’t help but wonder, what if this political option was pursued again? Would New York City residents be interested in having federal funds being directed to the city instead of the rest of the state? Political climate aside, would Americans be more receptive if DC statehood was concurrently offered so that the number states is not an odd number? Or is America just stuck at 50 because its a nice number?

When president-elect Barack Obama assumes office, he’ll be the first black president to live in the same federal district that has a majority black population who can never duplicate the steps in his American Dream. His path to presidency included a path no resident of the nation’s capital can follow- he was a United States senator. Without two senators like every other state, the residents of the nation’s capital, unlike the residents of New York City, are still second-class citizens denied the same equality every other American enjoys. Will Obama be a real leader and address this fundamental flaw in our government?

While the map above proposes the concept of urban statehood, there is also the notion of urban / island balancing worth mentioning. The boroughs themselves are drawn as distinct counties and in some respects their natural geographies create urban islands, like Manhattan & Staten, within the unified state of New York City. President-elect Barack Obama comes from a former island territory, now state, Hawaii, which was brought into the union at nearly the same time as Alaska for balancing purposes. Could urban statehood, like that of Washington, DC or New York City, be balanced with statehood for other American islands, like Guam, Puerto Rico, or the Virgin Islands? Or with the islands having a majority population of non-white people, like their urban counterparts, be a lurking reminder that racism still present in America? Should congressional representation be denied to American citizens simply based upon how their geography happens to be located or politically aligned? Sadly, I think thats what we have today and, to me, its veiled racism defended as normal partisan politics.



Click here to read more about the map and view numerous close-up details.



Uncertified Election Results from Precinct #137 in Washington, DC
|| 11/5/2008 || 5:48 pm || Comments Off || ||

precinct137 dc 2008 election Uncertified Election Results from Precinct #137 in Washington, DC

Above is the unofficial results from yesterday’s election. Since I didn’t vote for Barack Obama, I decided to not celebrate last night. It wasn’t my victory. All I can say is that I voted for the other black presidential candidate, the one the media decided to ignore. I’ll probably revisit my feelings toward the 2008 election in a future entry. I’d also like to make another round of maps of where DC residents voted for DC Statehood Green Party candidates. One positive aspect of the election is that the party was able to maintain ballot access for the 2010 elections.



Related 2008 Election Entries:

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Spam from presidential candidate John McCain: Make History Tomorrow
|| 11/3/2008 || 10:05 pm || 1 Comment Rendered || ||

spam from john mccain Spam from presidential candidate John McCain: Make History Tomorrow

This entire election season I have not received any unsolicited e-mails from any presidential candidates or local candidates, until tonight. The image above is a screen grab of the e-mail that I received in my mailbox earlier tonight. Talk about last ditch effort. Below is a screen grab of the WHOIS search of the e-mail’s source:

spam from john mccain ip trace Spam from presidential candidate John McCain: Make History Tomorrow

While this can be spoofed by a mildly intelligent person, I have a feeling that this spam is legitimately from the campaign office of John McCain. It was sent to e-mail address listed on the right side of this blog, which is not an e-mail address I use for communication. This means that the e-mail address was harvested from a spider that was then sold to John McCain’s campaign. Nice job illegally contacting me, but I’m still going to make history tomorrow.

By clicking the “vote” link in the e-mail above the recipient is brought to this landing page:

spam from john mccain landing page Spam from presidential candidate John McCain: Make History Tomorrow

To the unsuspecting visitor the forms that they are being asked to fill out look as though they would help them find their polling place. However, this might just be a covert means to gain voter registration information for future races. This type of clandestine data mining would definitely be considered “the double maverick.”



UPDATE: +5 Minutes
I decided to fill out the information with a fake name, supply the address of a vacant house on my block, and click the button. The resulting map did not load correctly on both Safari or Firefox. Well done!



UPDATE: 11:15pm
Others who are reporting that received spam:
• DailyKos user SoonerG: McCain Campaign Just Spammed Me
• McCain Camp Resorts to SPAM in the 11th Hour
• I just got a spam e-mail from McCain…



Related 2008 Election Entries:

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Third Party Presidential Ballot Access in the United States of America [updated]
|| 10/16/2008 || 12:24 am || Comments Off || ||

presidential ballot access  Third Party Presidential Ballot Access in the United States of America [updated]

At the beginning of September I posted a similar graphic showing the third party presidential ballot access in the United States of America. In the month since, the final deadlines have passed and the updated graphic above shows the final state by state (plus the colony of the District of Columbia) listing of the candidates who have the statistical chances of winning the electoral college and becoming president of the United States.

What is sad about American democracy as it’s presented on television and in the print media is that America consists of Democrats, Republicans, and Independents, and only those parties and no mention of the ones above. All the third parties above are either completely ignored or they are incorrectly lumped together into Independents. The result is a marginalization of all other parties who might contribute to the political discourse.


Related 2008 Election Entries:

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Third Party Presidential Ballot Access in the United States of America
|| 9/3/2008 || 11:07 pm || Comments Off || ||

This entry has depreciated. Please click here to view the most up to date graphic.

ballot access2008 Third Party Presidential Ballot Access in the United States of America

The inverted color graph above from Wikipedia shows the states where political parties in America are on the ballot. Each state has its own ballot access rules and regulations, so unlike the two major parties in America, the smaller parties have a harder time getting access to all states in America. In Washington, DC residents like myself have the option of Ralph Nader or Cynthia McKinney as well as the two major party candidates.

Last week in Denver I went to Ralph Nader‘s rally and found his speech to be quite dull. I have the utmost respect for Ralph and he is one of my personal heroes, but when it comes to perennially running for president, he has nothing new to say and is a waste of time when it comes to growing third parties in America. This was the third political rally I’ve attended with Nader as the keynote speaker and his speech this year was not much different from the one I heard at the Green Party National Convention in 2007. His stance on the issues is 100% in line with my vision, but in most cases it seems that he’s still living out a dream that he is somehow going to crack through the two party system. By running as an independent he is able to keep the alternative voice alive in American political discourse, but by not aligning himself with a specific party he’s denying his supporters a political organization that can promote change from the bottom up, instead of strictly from the top-down. This has been sufficiently called Nader’s Nadir and it’s why I am not supporting him. I believe that changing the political sprectrum in America comes from the ground up through a slow coup of multi-partisan support. Or I’d at least like to believe its possible.


Related 2008 Election Entries:

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Al Franken draws a pretty good map of the United States; then sells it for $200
|| 8/6/2008 || 3:07 pm || Comments Off || ||



Al Franken is running for Senate in Minnesota as a democrat against incumbent Norm Coleman. You can probably request a custom map from his campaign website.



Related YouTube Entries:

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My vote verified by a paper ballot
|| 2/13/2008 || 1:17 pm || Comments Off || ||

this election hack a diebold My vote verified by a paper ballot

An infographic showing how to hack a Diebold Accuvote-TS unit

So yesterday I participated in the DC Statehood Green Party Primary. This election cycle I was offered the opportunity to keep the tab from my ballot. Compared to those generic “I VOTED” stickers, the paper ballot is a much better souvenir because it shows that not only did I vote, I was voter number 2 at the precinct. Here’s the scanned proof:

2008 primary ballot My vote verified by a paper ballot

Judging by the DC Board of Elections and Ethics results for my precinct (below), I can verify that the ballot above was the second and last DC Statehood Green Party ballot given out yesterday. If you scroll down to the bottom of the image, it shows that there were 2 people who voted for Cynthia McKinney and since the ballot above is market 00002, I can only infer that the other voter has 00001.

precinct 137 results My vote verified by a paper ballot

Page 137 of the Pre-Certified Presidential Preference Primary Election Results – Precinct Report

It looks like Cynthia McKinney beat Ron Paul in my precinct (2 votes to 1 one). Only nine people voted republican compared to the two Statehood Green (one being me). Thats some hyperlocal politix.

Related 2008 Election Entries:



I was elected!
|| 12/2/2005 || 9:05 am || Comments Off || ||

Aa I stated before, I don’t know how much work I bit off, but I imagine I’ll find out shortly. At the meeting last night I was surprised to find out that there were only 5 steering committee members for the whole party. I am looking forward to being 1/5 of the folks who run the DCSGP party… The national delegate spot is probably the one I am most scared and excited about at the same time. After the meeting Adam, Scott and I went out for a drink and discussed some future plans like having a green party response at the “Sorry” State of the Union next month. In the process I found two friends of mine who will be excellent can people to out on the ballot next election cycle. I am pretty excited :)



Civic Footprint
|| 10/27/2005 || 6:59 pm || Comments Off || ||

civicfootprint Civic Footprint

I was reading Chicagoist thinking about the annual meeting this winter, and I stumbled on a website called Civic Footprint. It’s ties together maps (albeit ugly) with Police Districts, Wards, Community Areas, County Districts, State Representative Districts, State Senate Districts, and Congressional Districts.

I’d really like to see this type of website replicated because it currently only works off a geo-database populated with Chicago area data. The concept of this website (below the fold) is an excellent way to empower people politically. It gives visitors the ability to become aware of their elected officials. Created by the progressive Center for Neighborhood Technology, I was suprised to find out who the sponsor was….

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Nikolas Schiller is a second-class American citizen living in America's last colony, Washington, DC. This blog is my on-line repository of what I have created or found on-line since May of 2004. If you have any questions or comments, please contact:

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