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52 cents in change // 52 centavos en cambio
|| 6/26/2010 || 3:03 pm || + Render A Comment || ||

52 cents in change / 52 centavos en cambio  Nikolas R. Schiller

Following up on yesterday’s design, this iteration includes Puerto Rico’s State quarter alongside the District of Columbia’s quarter with two pennies to represent 52 cents in change. As the most populous American territory, I believe the United States would benefit from allowing Puerto Rico to join the union, if, of course, Puerto Rico chooses to join. Historically speaking, most states have joined the union in tandem with one other state to ensure a balance of power.

Click on either image to download the larger PDF version

52 cents in change / 52 centavos en cambio  Nikolas R. Schiller


Grant D.C. Residents Full Rights – The Oregonian, April 15th, 1992
|| 10/9/2009 || 9:54 am || + Render A Comment || ||

Grant D.C. Residents Full Rights

The Oregonian, April 15th, 1992

Congress can right an old and grievous wrong in coming weeks. It should pass the District of Columbia statehood bill to grant district residents the same citizenship rights enjoyed by all other Americans.

The measure to create the state of New Columbia recently passed the House District of Columbia Committee. The bill should reach the House floor by late May or June.

While the new state would be–unlike any other–entirely a city, the continued subjugation of district residents to a paternalistic Congress is a travesty of democratic justice.

Eleanor Holmes Norton, the district’s nonvoting representative, points out that Washingtonians not only have fewer rights than those in the 50 states, but fewer rights than those in the territories of Guam, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and American Samoa, which at least have local self-governance.

Limited home rule has been a hollow promise. All laws passed by the district’s city council must be approved by Congress. An assualt-weapons referendum overwhelmingly approved by city residents is being challenged by Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif. The district can’t even change garbage-collection days without clearance on the Hill.

D.C. residents pay U.S. taxes without representation and serve in the military with no voice in choosing those who put their lives at risk.

The unique creation of a city-state has led some opponents to suggest joining most of the district to neighboring Maryland. That, however, runs counter to the will of district residents and those of Maryland.

The district meets three traditional statehood tests: Statehood reflects the will of the people; they have agreed to adhere to a representative form of government; and there are enough people and resources to ensure economic viability.

The district’s 608,000 residents outnumber the populations of three states. D.C. households have an average income of $32,106. The district raises 84 percent of its $3.8 billion budget through income, property and sales taxes.

No compelling argument against statehood has been advanced, and no acceptable alternative has been offered. To continue second-class citizenship for D.C. residents is inconsistent with and offensive to democratic principles. It is unworthy of this republic.


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.



The Localized Nationalism of Sports Jerseys
|| 9/30/2009 || 6:47 pm || + Render A Comment || ||

On Sunday I snapped this photograph of a vendor’s rack of soccer jerseys at FiestaDC. As a Latin American street festival, FiestaDC is not only about the sharing of culture, its also about taking pride in one’s own cultural heritage. Many people wore their country’s traditional clothing and brandished flags of their home country, and when I spotted these jerseys, I began thinking about the relationship between sports and cultural identity. I like soccer and all, but I don’t think I’d ever wear a soccer jersey with the American flag on it. Same with a sports team from my hometown, not wearing it.




Rhetorical Question: Which jersey above is an American territory that is treated like Washington, DC as far as congressional representation, but doesn’t have to pay Federal taxes?



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





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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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