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D.C. Statehood – The Washington Post, January 13th, 1993
|| 10/12/2009 || 10:13 am || + Render A Comment || ||

D.C. Statehood

The Washington Post, January 13th, 1993

It is time to right a great historic wrong. Since 1800, the residents of Washington, D.C., have been the only tax paying U.S. citizens denied representation in Congress. With the election of Bill Clinton, it has become politically possible to give them the status that is their due. We believe now is the time to begin defining and then putting in place an arrangement that puts District residents on an equal footing with all Americans.

It has long been our preference to have this city remain the seat of the national government with increased municipal powers, which, taken as whole, would give residents the same democratic rights enjoyed by other citizens. The goals have included full voting representation in the House and the Senate, complete independence from Congress on budget and legislative matters, control over the local court system including the appointment of judges, an automatic and predictable federal payment formula and the ability to negotiate reciprocal income tax arrangements with neighboring jurisdictions. Achieving each, as a strategy was far more important than what the final package ended up being called. As a step toward that end, Congress passed a proposed constitutional amendment 15 years ago that would have given the city full congressional representation. Only 16 of the required 38 states ratified the proposal, mostly for partisan reasons. Republican lawmakers wanted no more democrats in Congress (and, as some suspect, many legislators wanted no more blacks there as well). The only achievable alternative, if citizens here are to enjoy the full political participation that is there due, is statehood.

Denying District residents the right to send people to Congress who can vote on taxes or decide questions of war and peace while at the same time expecting them to shoulder the burdens of citizenship–including the obligation to pay taxes and to fight and die for their country–is wrong. Forcing local officials to perform their duties under today’s restrictive conditions is no better.

Congress at its whim passes laws regulating purely local matters, including the spending of local tax money. Even the city’s own elected delegate to the House of Representatives can’t vote on final passage of any legislation, including District-only matters.

Statehood opponents argue that the voteless status of the District descends directly form the intent of the Framers of the Constitution-from Washington, Madison and their peers. True, the constitution calls for a federal district (and the statehood proposal allows for one, leaving the `federal seat of government’ to consist of the mall, monuments and principal U.S. government buildings). At the same time the government of the United States moved here in 1800, the largest city, New York, had a population of little more than 60,000. What would Washington and Madison say about a voteless city 10 times larger than that? We know what they said in 1776 in behalf of a colonist population only four times larger that today’s Washington, D.C. They wanted to be among those who governed themselves. So do the citizens of Washington today.


This newspaper article was obtained from the Congressional Record in the Library of Congress related to H.R. 51, The New Columbia Admission Act of 1993. The article is not in the public domain but is being republished here under the fair use doctrine of U.S. copyright law in order to continue my advocacy for full representation for the American citizens of the District of Columbia.



To be hung at a local gallery:
|| 12/20/2007 || 11:43 am || Comments Off on To be hung at a local gallery: || ||

Israel / Palestine 1993

“Israel / Palestine 1993”
Created July 3rd, 2006
Map Source: “Atlas of the Middle East” (1993) by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency.
Courtesy of the Perry-Castañeda Library Map Collection at the University of Texas at Austin.
Cartoon Embellishment: “Handala” by Naji al-Ali (c. 1937 – 29 August 1987)

I signed the loan agreement papers earlier this week and placed an order for the printing of a 48″ x 32″ canvas print. I will post official information once I have the go-ahead.

+ MORE



Israel / Palestine 1993
|| 7/3/2006 || 3:59 pm || 1 Comment Rendered || ||

On Saturday day on I obtained a scanned map of Israel & Palestine from the “Atlas of the Middle East”, published in January 1993 by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency. I was thinking of using the map for something quasi political, but this last week Israel blew up the only power plant in Gaza. An act identified as an international war crime where women, children, the sick, and eldery were all collectively punished through this illegal act on civilians. Israel also abducted 8 elected members of parliament. I can only imagine what it would be like if my city council members were kidnapped. Worse, my good friend was supposed to be going to Beruit next month and I don’t think she’ll be able to go now. I chose to add Naji al-Ali’s cartoon character Handala to this map as my way of showing shame.

From Wikipedia on Handala:

Handala is the most famous of Naji al-Ali’s characters. He is depicted as a ten-year old boy, and appeared for the first time in Al-Siyasa in Kuwait in 1969. The figure turned his back to the viewer from the year 1973, and clasped his hands behind his back. The artist explained that the ten-year old represented his age when forced to leave Palestine and would not grow up until he could return to his homeland; his turned back and clasped hands symbolised the character’s rejection of “outside solutions”. Handala wears ragged clothes and is barefoot, symbolising his allegiance to the poor. In later cartoons, he sometimes appears throwing stones or writing graffiti. Handala became the signature of Naji al-Ali’s cartoons and remains an iconic symbol of Palestinian identity and defiance; the artist remarked that “this being that I have invented will certainly not cease to exist after me, and perhaps it is no exaggeration to say that I will live on with him after my death”.

Yesterday I did run into a wayward and former Seeds of Peace camp counselor at the U-Haul. This did give me some hope…

View Map details:



Of interesting note, the map states clearly:
“The 1950 Israeli proclamation that Jerusalem be the national capital is not recognized by the United States Government”

I chose the placement of Handala so that his head surrounds Israel to point out focus of shame. By adding the character to the map, he becomes a cartoon cartouche. I am not aware of any contemporary maps that have iconic cartoon characters on them.

The points of the found star in the map are interesting. The confluence of the West Bank creates the tips and for some reason the C.I.A. chose to use odd stripes to show the West Bank as a country. Why not a normal whole color like every other country? Cartographic bias?

The best line from this section of the map is:
GAZA STRIP – Israeli occupied- status to be determined.

: zoom out from center :


: zoom out from center :

####
UPDATE 2/1/08

I am offering ten signed prints of ISRAEL / PALESTINE 1993 for sale at the gallery. Printed at 48″ x 32″ with archival inks on stretched canvas, the map is printed large enough so that you can read the tiny print on the original map.

If you are interested in attending the opening night reception, I have added an event invitation on Facebook where you can RSVP.





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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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  • thank you,
    come again!