Source: Page 65 of “Our National Capital and its un-Americanized Americans” by Theodore Noyes
DC Colonist Cartoon: “Court Declares State Voters Tax Exempt in D.C.” – Washington Evening Star, March 13, 1940
|| 8/10/2011 || 2:07 pm || + Render A Comment || ||
Source: Page 65 of “Our National Capital and its un-Americanized Americans” by Theodore Noyes
“Official: Medical marijuana in D.C. by May 2012” by Victor Zapana, Washington Post, July 29, 2011
|| 7/29/2011 || 1:35 pm || + Render A Comment || ||
Today I was in the Washington Post article about the progress of the District’s medical cannabis program.
Still, some possible participants — such as Nikolas Schiller — consider the city’s pace “glacial.” Schiller’s group, D.C. Patients’ Cooperative, identified potential cultivation and dispensary sites in the city after the law passed.
Concerned about the program’s pace, the cooperative did not sign any leases, and many of those sites are no longer available. Schiller, the only paid staff member, was laid off by the group’s investors.
This paragraph in article is slightly incorrect. I wasn’t laid off by the group’s investors. As a board member of the non-profit, hired as an independent contractor by the non-profit, I voted to lay off myself with the majority of board members. It’s not that I was failing to do my job properly, rather, after waiting nearly 18 months and seeing no progress, DCPC decided to stop wasting resources on a program that was moving so slowly.
By Victor Zapana, Washington Post, Published: July 29
A year after the District legalized medical marijuana, nobody is legally growing or selling it. Patients once thought that they could be getting the drug by early 2011, but bureaucratic delays and the city’s caution in implementing its drug law have caused some would-be patients and entrepreneurs to fume.
But things appear to be picking up. District regulators are forging ahead despite a recent Justice Department memo that has worried coordinators of medical-marijuana programs nationwide, and city officials said Tuesday that dozens of individuals and businesses will be allowed to apply for licenses to operate five dispensaries and 10 cultivation centers.
DC Colonist Cartoon: “Keep Out of U.S. Elections” – Washington Star, November 5, 1940
|| 7/4/2011 || 1:25 pm || + Render A Comment || ||
This cartoon shows the DC Colonist trying to enter the voting booth, but is told by Uncle Sam to go to the tax or selective service booths. The cartoon implies that the while District residents pay taxes & go to war for America, they are not permitted the sacred right to vote in U.S. elections. Thus DC residents fight & die in American wars and pay taxes to the Federal government, but at the same time, have no say who makes the decisions regarding taxation, war, and peace.
Source: Page 53 of “Our National Capital and its un-Americanized Americans” by Theodore Noyes
Photograph of the Vigil for the 40 Year Anniversary of America’s War on Drugs
|| 6/17/2011 || 10:53 pm || + Render A Comment || ||
Today I setup the sound system for a somber vigil outside of the White House. Forty years ago today President Nixon declared a War on Drugs at a press conference and since then the United States has wasted trillions of dollars on an unwinnable war against the personal freedoms of American citizens. As you can read below, Nixon did not explicitly use the term “War on Drugs” at that press conference but instead used terminology that references combat. I can’t help but wonder, how much longer until this war is over?
Ladies and gentlemen:
I would like to summarize for you the meeting that I have just had with the bipartisan leaders which began at 8 o’clock and was completed 2 hours later.
I began the meeting by making this statement, which I think needs to be made to the Nation:
America’s public enemy number one in the United States is drug abuse. In order to fight and defeat this enemy, it is necessary to wage a new, all-out offensive.
I have asked the Congress to provide the legislative authority and the funds to fuel this kind of an offensive. This will be a worldwide offensive dealing with the problems of sources of supply, as well as Americans who may be stationed abroad, wherever they are in the world. It will be government wide, pulling together the nine different fragmented areas within the government in which this problem is now being handled, and it will be nationwide in terms of a new educational program that we trust will result from the discussions that we have had.
With regard to this offensive, it is necessary first to have a new organization, and the new organization will be within the White House. Dr. Jaffe, who will be one of the briefers here today, will be the man directly responsible. He will report directly to me, and he will have the responsibility to take all of the Government agencies, nine, that deal with the problems of rehabilitation, in which his primary responsibilities will be research and education, and see that they work not at cross-purposes, but work together in dealing with the problem.
If we are going to have a successful offensive, we need more money. Consequently, I am asking the Congress for $155 million in new funds, which will bring the total amount this year in the budget for drug abuse, both in enforcement and treatment, to over $350 million.
As far as the new money is concerned, incidentally, I have made it clear to the leaders that if this is not enough, if more can be used, if Dr. Jaffe, after studying this problem, finds that we can use more, more will be provided. In order to defeat this enemy which is causing such great concern, and correctly so, to so many American families, money will be provided to the extent that it is necessary and to the extent that it will be useful.
Finally, in order for this program to be effective, it is necessary that it be conducted on a basis in which the American people all join in it. That is why the meeting was bipartisan; bipartisan because we needed the support of the Congress, but bipartisan because we needed the leadership of the Members of the Congress in this field.
Fundamentally, it is essential for the American people to be alerted to this danger, to recognize that it is a danger that will not pass with the passing of the war in Vietnam which has brought to our attention the fact that a number of young Americans have become addicts as they serve abroad, whether in Vietnam, or Europe, or other places. Because the problem existed before we became involved in Vietnam; it will continue to exist afterwards. That is why this offensive deals with the problem there, in Europe, but will then go on to deal with the problem throughout America.
One final word with regard to Presidential responsibility in this respect. I very much hesitate always to bring some new responsibility into the White House, because there are so many here, and I believe in delegating those responsibilities to the departments. But I consider this problem so urgent–I also found that it was scattered so much throughout the Government, with so much conflict, without coordination–that it had to be brought into the White House.
Consequently, I have brought Dr. Jaffe into the White House, directly reporting to me, so that we have not only the responsibility but the authority to see that we wage this offensive effectively and in a coordinated way.
The briefing team will now be ready to answer any questions on the technical details of the program.
Back in mid-May, late at night after a few of our friends had gotten out of jail after being arrested outside of the U.S. Capitol demonstrating in favor of voting rights & statehood for DC, Ally B., Adam E., and myself were discussing ways we could do another action. I brought up the idea of using Flag Day as an upcoming day that people could mobilize around and everyone agreed that there was enough time to plan & execute an event. Inspired by Shana Glickfield’s collection of DC Flag tattoos, together we wrote the first press release and since Adam & I were busy working on other projects, Ally did the rest of the organizing for “DC Flag Day in the Flesh“. In all, this was one of the best events I’ve ever helped to organize because we had such a great turnout and very positive media coverage. I’m looking forward to helping organize the second annual DC Flag Day in the Flesh :-) I’d like to get the folks from Guinness Book of World Records to come and document “the most tattooed ‘state’ flags in one location.”
Celebrate Flag Day Tuesday, June 14, 6-8 pm
It is well known that thousands of District of Columbia residents past and present sport DC flag tattoos. In fact, George Washington, whose family crest is the source of the DC flag, would never have predicted that so many would passionately adorn themselves to show their civic pride. Over the years, the “Three Stars and Two Bars” has come to symbolize over 600,000 Americans who can not enact their own laws nor elect voting representatives to the House and Senate.
This Flag Day 2011 we encourage a large gathering of people with DC Flag tattoo’s and those that support them as a way to get under the skin of America and bring attention to DC’s lack of rights in Congress.
Come celebrate DC Flag Tattoos, paint large Give Me a Vote Hands, and find out what you can do to get DC equal representation in Congress.
WHO: Inked, non-Inked, and all who LOVE DC
WHAT: Flag Day DC Celebration, Speakers sponsored by DC Vote, Art sponsored by Give Me a Vote and Albus Cavus, and surprises!
WHEN: Tuesday, June 14, 2011, 6pm to 8pm
WHERE: Dupont Circle, Washington DC, USA
“Home of Taxation Without Representation”
Video by Mike Flugennock
Video by Edgar Elmore
Video by Matt Bevilacqua
+ D.C. faithful get inked, rally for representation – Washington Post
+ D.C. Flag Tattoo Day: Show off your city pride – AP via Washington Post
+ D.C. residents to celebrate flag tattoos – AP via WTOP
+ D.C. residents to celebrate flag tattoos – AP via Federal News Radio
+ Tattooed DC Residents Push for Representation – WMAL
+ Flag day is for… showing off tattoos? – Seattle Post-Intelligencer
+ D.C. Ink: Flag-Tatted to Gather at Dupont Tomorrow – DCist
+ Photo Booth: D.C. Flag Tattoo Day – DCist
+ DC Flag Tattoo Day: Does it Matter If You’re Not Punk? – Washingtonian
+ With flag tattoos, D.C. residents seek representation in Congress – Scripps Howard
+ D.C. Flag Tattoo Day mixes District flag with tattoos – TBD
+ D.C. Flag Day tattoos: The Polaroids – TBD
+ Got a DC Flag Tattoo? Celebrate Today – NBC Washington
+ Showing off some inked skin for D.C. – WJLA
+ D.C. Flag Tattoos We Don’t Endorse, Even for Voting Rights – Washington City Paper
+ Welcome to Our Strife, Tattoo – Washington City Paper
+ Norton Commends Youth Activism and Achievements Today at Two Separate Events, DC Flag Day Tattoo Rally and Ballou STAY High School Graduation – Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC)
+ DC Statehood advocates unveil DC flag tattoos for Flag Day – DC Direct Action News
+ Photos: DC Flag Tattoo Day! Go DC! #dcflagtattoo #dcvote – Vincent Gallegos
+ DC Flag Tattoo Day – Frank Turner
+ DC Flag Tattoo Day – Borderstan
From the Washington Post article:
When Allyson Behnke’s friend was arrested back in May for rallying in support of District representation in Congress, she and a few others started brainstorming ways to raise awareness for the cause in a more entertaining way. Somebody mentioned Flag Day, and an idea tattooed itself on her mind.
GeoHumanities: Art, History, Text at the Edge of Place
|| 5/26/2011 || 4:25 pm || + Render A Comment || ||
My map “The Modern Geographer” graces the cover of this new book published by Routledge. This map was previously used as the cover art for the symposium program that helped lay the groundwork for this book. I received my copy and am looking forward to reading it.
Publication Date: May 26, 2011
In the past decade, there has been a convergence of transdisciplinary thought characterized by geography’s engagement with the humanities, and the humanities’ integration of place and the tools of geography into its studies.
GeoHumanities maps this emerging intellectual terrain with thirty cutting edge contributions from internationally renowned scholars, architects, artists, activists, and scientists. This book explores the humanities’ rapidly expanding engagement with geography, and the multi-methodological inquiries that analyze the meanings of place, and then reconstructs those meanings to provoke new knowledge as well as the possibility of altered political practices. It is no coincidence that the geohumanities are forcefully emerging at a time of immense intellectual and social change. This book focuses on a range of topics to address urgent contemporary imperatives, such as the link between creativity and place; altered practices of spatial literacy; the increasing complexity of visual representation in art, culture, and science and the ubiquitous presence of geospatial technologies in the Information Age.
GeoHumanties is essential reading for students wishing to understand the intellectual trends and forces driving scholarship and research at the intersections of geography and the humanities disciplines. These trends hold far-reaching implications for future work in these disciplines, and for understanding the changes gripping our societies and our globalizing world.
About the Authors
Michael Dear is Professor of City and Regional Planning at the University of California Berkeley. His interests are in comparative urbanism and the US-Mexico borderlands. Recent publications include: Urban Latino Cultures; la vida latina en L.A., The Postmodern Urban Condition, and Postborder City: cultural spaces of Bajalta California.
Jim Ketchum is special projects coordinator and newsletter editor for the Association of American Geographers in Washington, D.C. A cultural geographer with interests in contemporary art and visual culture, his research examines the ways that artists use geographic perspectives and technologies in responding to war. He received his PhD from Syracuse University in 2005.
Sarah Luria is Associate Professor of English at College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts. She is the author of Capital Speculations: Writing and Building Washington, D.C. (University of New Hampshire Press, 2006). Her current book project is a study of land surveying and property making in the work of Thomas Jefferson, Henry David Thoreau, and Robert Moses.
Doug Richardson is Executive Director of the Association of American Geographers (AAG). He previously founded and was President of the firm GeoResearch, Inc., which invented, developed, and patented the first interactive GPS/GIS (global positioning system/geographic information system) technology, leading to major advances in the ways geographic information is collected, mapped, integrated, and used within geography and in society at large. He has worked closely with American Indian tribes for over twenty years on cultural and ecological issues, and is the Project Director of the AAG’s National Endowment for the Humanities funded Historical GIS Clearinghouse and Online Research Forum.
DC Colonist Cartoon: “Disenfranchisement” – Washington Star, November 4th, 1930
|| 5/20/2011 || 11:06 pm || + Render A Comment || ||
Source: Page 46 of “Our National Capital and its un-Americanized Americans” by Theodore Noyes
Subcommittee on Health Care, District of Columbia, Census and the National Archives: Hearing on the District of Columbia’s Fiscal Year 2012 Budget: “Ensuring Fiscal Sustainability”
|| 5/12/2011 || 10:21 pm || + Render A Comment || ||
Today I went to Capitol Hill to attend “the District of Columbia’s Fiscal Year 2012 Budget: Ensuring Fiscal Sustainability” hearing dressed in colonial attire. You can see me in the screen shot from the start of the 2nd Panel:
WASHINGTON- The House Committee on Oversight and Government D.C. subcommittee will host the top two at-large elected officials in the District on Thursday at 8:45 a.m. Mayor Vincent Gray and Council Chairman Kwame Brown will testify at a hearing on the District’s Fiscal Year 2012 budget.
The subcommittee’s chairman, Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-SC., has called the hearing to examine the fiscal sustainability of D.C. spending. In 1995 the District of Columbia Financial Responsibility and Management Assistance Act established a five member “Control Board” to oversee financial matters. The Control Board was disbanded in 2001 when District had achieved four consecutive balanced budgets and met other criteria. There are seven separate “triggers” which would automatically revive the Control Board.
In addition to the two elected officials, D.C. Chief Financial Officer Natwar Gandhi will testify on a separate panel. Full witness list and hearing information can be found below. Testimony will be posted as it becomes available at http://oversight.house.gov/
WHAT: The District of Columbia’s Fiscal Year 2012 Budget: Ensuring Fiscal Sustainability
WHO: Subcommittee on Health Care, DC, Census, and the National Archives, Chairman Trey Gowdy, R-SC.
WHEN/WHERE: 8:45 a.m. on Thursday May 12th in 2154 Rayburn House Office Building
• The Honorable Vincent Gray, Mayor, District of Columbia
• The Honorable Kwame Brown, Chairman, DC City Council
• Dr. Natwar Gandhi,Chief Financial Officer, District of Columbia
• Mr. Jim Dinegar, CEO, DC Board of Trade
• Mr. Matt Fabian, Managing Director, Municipal Market Advisors
• Dr. Alice M. Rivlin, the Brookings Institution; former Chair of the Control Board
Safe Access DC’s Protest at the Department of Justice
|| 5/2/2011 || 10:12 pm || + Render A Comment || ||
Today I attended the Americans for Safe Access demonstration at the Department of Justice Building in downtown Washington, DC.
This was written by Steph Sherer:
Stand in solidarity with me for a National Day of Action this Monday, May 2, 2011. Our community is sick and tired. We are suffering from chronic or debilitating conditions, and we are weary of false promises that do nothing to protect our rights as patients.
After previously giving us a false sense of security, the Obama administration now continues to ignore state laws and raid medical cannabis patients and facilities, while creating new ways to marginalize our community, including issues related to patient privacy, access, banking, taxation, and threats of filing suit against state employees who participate in upholding state law. This community is still under attack.
Just yesterday, our community witnessed raid activity in Washington State and on Monday, our community will lose two more of our brothers and sisters to the failed war on drugs. Dale Shafer and Dr. Mollie fry will turn themselves over to federal agents to serve five-year mandatory minimum sentences for legally participating in state sanctioned medical cannabis programs. Enough is enough and Monday, May 2, 2011 is our time to take stand against federal interference!
Fellow community members and local activists are preparing to deliver ASA’s Cease and Desist to local DEA offices and federal buildings across the country. Commit to do the same. Join activists in several cities across the country. Locations include, but are not limited to, the following areas: Washington State, Oregon, Rhode Island, Colorado, Montana, Michigan, Maine, New Jersey, Washington, DC, California, Arizona, Nevada, and Maryland. To find out what is going on in your area, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or print out the Cease and Desist Order and take it to a local DEA Office or Federal Building near you on Monday!! Remember: if you don’t stand up for safe access, who will?
Special Patients’ Rights Rallies will be occurring in both Washington, DC outside of the Department of Justice at 12pEST (event flyer) and outside of the Federal Courthouse in Sacramento, CA at 12pPST for Dale Schafer and Dr. Mollie Fry (event flyer).
It’s thanks to the support from our members that ASA is able to hold Days of Action like this one. Please consider making a donation to ASA today, so we can continue to strengthen our fight for safe access.
I look forward to participating in our National Day of Action for patients’ rights with you on Monday, May 2, 2011.
I was walking home earlier and spotted this awesome parking job. I can’t believe someone would actually leave their car parked like that.
YouTube Video of Congressman Serrano speaking on the House floor about the need for Congress to respect DC
|| 2/16/2011 || 3:19 pm || + Render A Comment || ||
Thank you Congressman Serrano for speaking up for the 600,000 American citizens of the District of Columbia.
Although planes cannot fly directly over DC, those planes that fly around DC still have their exhaust lines float over the city. I took this photograph because I thought it was interesting the way the lines cut up the sky.
DC Colonist Cartoon: “Election Day” – Washington Star, November 4th, 1924
|| 2/13/2011 || 11:16 am || + Render A Comment || ||
Brief Media Recap of the Townhall Meeting on the District’s Medical Cannabis Program
|| 2/11/2011 || 10:06 pm || + Render A Comment || ||
Before the town hall forum, I was interviewed by Mike Conneen of TBD/WJLA in Adams Morgan.
[UPCOMING] 02/10/11 – Town Hall Meeting on the Implementation of the District of Columbia’s Medical Cannabis Program
|| 1/19/2011 || 10:41 pm || + Render A Comment || ||
As you may remember, I helped organize a similar town hall meeting a little over one year ago. The week after the previous town hall meeting, the District Council introduced amendments to Initiative 59 that substantially altered what was originally approved by District voters over 10 years ago. In May of last year, the District Council approved these new amendments, in July Congress approved the amendments, and starting in August the previous Mayor’s office began drafting regulations to implement the medical cannabis program. Today we are waiting for the Mayor to sign off on the final proposed regulations and begin implementing this important program. In my work with the DC Patients’ Cooperative, I’ve been involved in every step of the process and I’m looking forward to helping host the upcoming town hall meeting. We filled the entire venue last year, so please RSVP.
Thursday, February 10th at 7:00 pm in Pierce Hall at All Souls Unitarian Church located at 16th and Harvard Streets, NW in Ward One of Washington, DC.
The District of Columbia Patients’ Cooperative (DCPC), a non-profit corporation that formed one year ago to provide high quality and affordable cannabis ‘marijuana’ to qualifying DC patients will host a town hall meeting on the implementation of the District of Columbia’s medical cannabis program.
The aim of the meeting is to provide residents with a better understanding of the laws and regulations that were drafted over the last year. The meeting will cover different topics ranging from how the patient registration process will work to the rules surrounding the cultivation and dispensing of the medicine.
The town hall meeting is open to the public and will take place on Thursday, February 10th at 7:00 pm in Pierce Hall at All Souls Unitarian Church located at 16th and Harvard Streets, NW in Washington, DC.
Confirmed Panelist: Steph Sherer, Executive Director of Americans For Safe Access
Invited Panelists: Councilmembers Jim Graham, David Catania, Phil Mendelson, & Michael A. Brown, a representative from the Mayor’s office, and a representative from the DC Department of Health.
WHO: DC Patients’ Cooperative, invited panelists, and members of the public
WHAT: Town Hall Meeting on DC’s Medical Cannabis Program
WHEN: Thursday, February 10, 2011 at 7:00 pm
WHERE: Pierce Hall in All Souls Unitarian Church, 16th and Harvard Streets, NW, Washington, DC
We hope you can attend!
A LETTER FROM DISCOVER CARD FOR THE STATE OF DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA RESIDENTS
|| 12/22/2010 || 10:29 pm || + Render A Comment || ||
Dear Discover Card,
I know its weird that you are given the option to put “District of Columbia” in the field that lists all of the other states in America, but unless a constitutional amendment is passed or Congress votes to admit the District of Columbia as a State, your faux-IRS looking letter is marginally insulting….
this graphic was altered by the removal my street address
This arrived in the mail in the middle of November and I recently got around to scanning this piece of usury awesomeness.
And no, I have zero intentions of taking out a line of credit with 29.9% APR, but thank you very much for the offer. I might, however, take Discover Card up on the offer when the District of Columbia residents become equal to Americans of the Several States…
Map of the Ratification of the 23rd Amendment to the United States Constitution
|| 12/4/2010 || 2:53 pm || + Render A Comment || ||
The 23rd Amendment to the United States Constitution allows residents of the District of Columbia to vote for the President, but denies them any representation in Congress.
The Twenty-third Amendment was sent to the States on June 17, 1960 and was ratified by 3/4’s of the State Legislatures on March 29, 1961, which was faster than the ratification of the Twenty-first Amendment.
The following states ratified the amendment:
1. Hawaii (June 23, 1960)
2. Massachusetts (August 22, 1960)
3. New Jersey (December 19, 1960)
4. New York (January 17, 1961)
5. California (January 19, 1961)
6. Oregon (January 27, 1961)
7. Maryland (January 30, 1961)
8. Idaho (January 31, 1961)
9. Maine (January 31, 1961)
10. Minnesota (January 31, 1961)
11. New Mexico (February 1, 1961)
12. Nevada (February 2, 1961)
13. Montana (February 6, 1961)
14. South Dakota (February 6, 1961)
15. Colorado (February 8, 1961)
16. Washington (February 9, 1961)
17. West Virginia (February 9, 1961)
18. Alaska (February 10, 1961)
19. Wyoming (February 13, 1961)
20. Delaware (February 20, 1961)
21. Utah (February 21, 1961)
22. Wisconsin (February 21, 1961)
23. Pennsylvania (February 28, 1961)
24. Indiana (March 3, 1961)
25. North Dakota (March 3, 1961)
26. Tennessee (March 6, 1961)
27. Michigan (March 8, 1961)
28. Connecticut (March 9, 1961)
29. Arizona (March 10, 1961)
30. Illinois (March 14, 1961)
31. Nebraska (March 15, 1961)
32. Vermont (March 15, 1961)
33. Iowa (March 16, 1961)
34. Missouri (March 20, 1961)
35. Oklahoma (March 21, 1961)
36. Rhode Island (March 22, 1961)
37. Kansas (March 29, 1961)
38. Ohio (March 29, 1961)
The amendment was subsequently ratified by the following states:
1. New Hampshire (March 30, 1961)
2. Alabama (April 16, 2002)
The New Hampshire ratification was somewhat irregular; a vote for ratification was taken on March 29, 1961 but was immediately rescinded. On that same day Kansas and Ohio ratified the amendment making New Hampshire’s second vote that was taken on the following day unnecessary for enactment.
The amendment was rejected by the following state:
1. Arkansas (January 24, 1961)
The following states have not ratified the amendment:
5. South Carolina
8. North Carolina
TO ASK FULL PRIVILEGES IN D.C. SUFFRAGE by Bill Price – The Washington Times, April 10, 1919
|| 11/22/2010 || 2:48 pm || + Render A Comment || ||
TO ASK FULL PRIVILEGES IN D.C. SUFFRAGE – Pleas For Mouthful Portions of Justice Give Way to Demand For Full Meal. By Bill Price, The Washington Times, April 10, 1919
A number of leading officials of citizens’ associations who have been discussing this subject recently in the light of the strongly developing sentiment in Congress for suffrage here have about come to the conclusion that Congress should be asked grant full voting privileges except in such matters as the Constitution reserves to Congress, especially as to exclusive legislation over this slice of Federal Territory.
In halting, hesitating fashion many advocates of suffrage in the District have for a long time recommended asking for a mouthful of justice at a time instead of A WHOLE MEAL. In this manner there would come to Washington citizens in the course another fifteen or twenty years about half the suffrage rights now accorded to other Americans.
T. J. Donovan, the capable head of the Central Citizens’ Association, has recently been going into this subject in detail with other civic leaders, including Theodore Noyes, chairman of central suffrage committee, named by various civic organizations many months ago.
“A very large number of citizens who have expressed their ideas of local suffrage in my presence lately are very definite in their convictions,” said Mr. Donovan today, “that while they recognize it as axiomatic that for all time we must maintain a Federal status in the District, with exclusive right in Congress to legislate, they have no difficulty in harmonizing this with their right to choose the members of the Board of Commissioners of the District, the Board of Education, the Board of Children’s Guardians, the Public Utilities Commission and kindred other administrative officers. None of them can see good reasons why doing of this would conflict in the least with authority of Congress to retain legislative control over the District.
“The President of the United States is really too busy to be compelled to pass upon the qualifications of men for administrative officers, and it is reasonable to assume that all men chosen by the electorate would work in harmony with Congress.”
Mr. Donovan is convinced that the time has come to stop supplication for representation in the Senate and House and the Electoral College for the District. The question, as he sees it, should be submitted to Congress as a demand from American citizens who have done their share in every activity of peace and war, and whose records in money and men given to the Government for the war with Germany were better than those of a number of States of the Union.
“I am confident that when American citizens outside the District comprehend the status of the people here they will absolutely demand that their Senators and Congressmen correct the injustice so long done to the people of this city,” went on Mr. Donovan. “Therefore I say that the time for that justice is close at hand, and that we should ask for all that we are entitled to rather than humbly asking for a bit of legislation at a time.
“Our trouble in the past, and that is now being overcome through the co-operation of all citizens, is that the citizens of the States were not aware of the fact that to be a citizen of the Federal Capital carried with it the stigma of forfeiture of every right our forefathers fought and died for, and which our sons and brothers went overseas and laid down their lives for.
“When they ascertain that the principle of self-determination is to be made by the peace conference to apply to dozens of little nations in Europe and not to the enlightened citizens of the city of Washington, they will have something effective to say. All indications we now have are that they are already beginning to say it.
“Seventeen thousand District boys went into the army to fight for democracy; the more than 400,000 citizens who were left behind exceeded the same number of people in any other part of the United States in Liberty bond and war stamp subscriptions. Thus measuring up to the every demand of their Government, meeting every crisis like real men, is there any longer opposition to Washington people being given the same right of self-determination as the Turk, the Bulgarian, the Greek, Rumanian, Serb, and others?”
District of Columbia Suffrage Bill – The President’s Veto — The New York Times, January 8, 1867
|| 11/17/2010 || 8:29 pm || + Render A Comment || ||
The argument with which President Johnson supports his veto of the District of Columbia Suffrage Bill will not convert Congress or the country to his views. His denial of the right of Congress to legislate for the District is so flatly opposed to the terms of the Constitution, and the ground upon which aid for District projects has always been invoked, that it amounts to little. The provision of the Constitution empowering Congress to “exercise exclusive legislation in all cases whatsoever” over the District, and the fact that its citizens have never claimed the rights which the President now asserts in their behalf, are conclusive against him. The plea that the citizens of the District possess, “as an organized community, the same popular rights as the inhabitants of a State or Territory,” is sustained neither by theory nor usage. Congress has, indeed, conceded certain municipal privileges; but its power to legislate in all matters pertaining to the District has not been disputed by people or President until now.
Certain it is that this message will not induce the surrender by Congress of the authority under which it regulates the suffrage in the Federal District. The right by which it legislates for the District on the other questions embraces the right to legislate on this question, with exclusive reference to the wishes and requirements of the States represented in the Capitol. And nothing is more clear than the fact that the States whose verdict has recently been pronounced are in favor of solving in the District, experimentally, one of the many problems which grow out of the altered relations of the colored people. The pending Constitutional Amendment indirectly encourages the enfranchisement of the freedmen in every State, North and South. It diminishes everywhere the basis of representation to the extent of the number of those who are excluded from the franchise because of race or color; so affirming, indirectly, the principle of impartial suffrage, while recognizing the absolute right of each State to determine the standard of suffrage for itself. What more proper than that the application of the principle should begin in the District whose public concerns are specially subject to the control of Congress?
The president dwells upon the opposition of the majority of the white residents in the District to any scheme of negro enfranchisement. This opposition, however, has never assumed the form of a denial of the Congressional right to legislate in the premises. They are too conscious of the substantial benefits accrue continually from the guardianship of Congress, to impugn its authority in the matter of the franchise. As for the rest, Congress is the judge of what is proper and expedient. And nothing could be more obviously proper than that the Congress which has decreed the civil status of the negro should also affirm his political equality as a citizen, so far as it is subject to the national legislation. In affirming this, Congress simply obeys the will of the majority of the American people, whose utterances the President continues to disregard.
There may be room for doubt as to the expediency of acting on the principle of universal enfranchisement. We should have preferred the application of some test of fitness, whether intelligence or property or taxation, to be enforced alike against black and white. So that the right to vote be shared impartially, irrespective of color, the great point would seem to be gained. Congress has thought differently, however; and as between universal suffrage and the entire exclusion of the freedmen because of color, the Republican Party cannot hesitate in its choice.
The President quotes from MADISON, JEFFERSON, STORY AND KENT in support of his course. But the citations from the writings of these eminent men really have no direct bearing upon the point at issue. They vindicate the value of the veto power and the right of the Executive to exert it; but as neither is disputed the appositeness of the passages reproduced is not very apparent.
The right to veto is as valid as the right of Congress to pass the bill over the veto, and no more so. The debatable part of the question relates to the arguments by which the position of each is upheld. And we apprehend that in this case the popular judgment will be on the side of Congress, and against the President.