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HOME RULE FOR THE DISTRICT! GRAND MASS-MEETING OF CITIZENS AT ODD-FELLOWS’ HALL [The Washington Times, 1/20/1880]
|| 11/1/2009 || 1:21 pm || + Render A Comment || ||

Scan of a Suffrage Meeting notice from the National Republican Newspaper from 1880

HOME RULE FOR THE DISTRICT!

GRAND MASS-MEETING OF CITIZENS AT ODD-FELLOWS’ HALL

“No taxation without representation.”
“All governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed” – Declaration of Independence
“No man is good enough to govern another without his consent” – President Hayes

A GRAND MASS MEETING OF CITIZENS, IRRESPECTIVE OF PARTY
Will be held at
ODD-FELLOWS’ HALL
Seventh street, between D and E, on
Friday Evening, Jan.23, 1880, at 7:30 o’clock.

Addresses in favor of SUFFRAGE will be made by ROBERT G. INGERSOLL, THOMAS J. DURANT, J.F. KLINGLE and others.

All invited. Reserved seats for ladies. Members of Congress, you who have established this despotic appointive government over us, are respectfully invited to be present.

LOOK ON THIS PICTURE:
Debt of the District of Columbia in 1871, after 70 years under an elected government…….. $3,000,000
THEN ON THIS:
Debt of the District of Columbia in 1880, after 9 years under an appointive government……… $24,000,000

FIVE HUNDRED of our best citizens are houseless and homeless to-day in consequence of excessive taxation imposed upon them by this anti-American government.


This advertisement was obtained from the Library of Congress’ Chronicling America collection and was originally published on January 20th, 1880 in Washington, DC. It is being republished here in order to continue my advocacy for full representation for the American citizens of the District of Columbia.



The sign I posted outside of MTV’s Real World DC house is transcribed in today’s Washington Post
|| 8/16/2009 || 3:01 pm || 2 Comments Rendered || ||

Last month's photograph of the sign I wheatpasted outside of the Real World DC house in the Dupont Circle neighborhood of Washington, DC

Last month I posted the photograph above in my entry about adding some political commentary to the area around the Real World DC house in the Dupont Circle neighborhood of Washington, DC. This morning a friend of mine left a somewhat cryptic comment on my Facebook page telling me to check section E6 in today’s Washington Post. I ran downstairs, opened the paper up, and let out out a hearty laugh.

Transcribed near the end of Dan Zak’s article, Neighborhood Watch: MTV Is in the House, and Everyone Else Just Wants to Be, is the text of my sign:

Reality Bites

Sometime in July, a sign is posted on the base of the lamppost on the northeast corner of the intersection. In simple black lettering on a plain white background, it reads, one word per line:

IN
THE
REAL
WORLD
ALL
AMERICANS
DESERVE
FULL
REPRESENTATION
IN
CONGRESS.

In the next section of the article there is choice quote from some teenagers from Maryland:

“It’s been 23 years. . . . D.C. is a treasure. . . . They’ve been to New York, like, five times. . . . It’s the capital. . . . It’ll be a really good representation of the city. . . . I talked to the cast before and they’re really down to earth.”

(underline added for emphasis of the Congressional lack thereof)

While I was not identified as the creator of the sign, even though a simple Google Search would have brought the author to my website, and the author only mentioned that there was one sign (there are 8 still up last time I counted), I’m very pleased that my sign was mentioned in today’s article. In that respect, the ten dollars spent making those signs & purchasing the wheatpaste was completely validated— my message made it into the Washington Post. But the real question is if the message will make the cut and be mentioned in any of the episodes set to air on MTV in 2010?


Since the sign(s) has been up now for just about a month, I figure its time to remove them and put up something new. I already have the next flyer made, but I’m debating if I should put them up or not. The flyer is a bit over the top, but well, umm, so are most of the people mentioned in the article. But unlike the ones who actually give two shits about the show, my aim is not to get in the house or hang out with the cast (I really could care less about that), but to use their presence in Washington, DC as a vehicle to get out the larger message of DC residents being second class citizens denied representation in Congress.


Click on the screen grab below to read the last page of the article:

Screen grab from the Washington Post article about the Real World in DC where the text of my sign is transcribed

What’s interesting about the text on-line versus the text in the printed article is that there is extra space between lines of the poster in the on-line version captured above. These extra line breaks actually make the point of the poster appear more important on-line than it does in the print edition, which does not feature extra line breaks. But since the print edition of the Washington Post is not delivered outside of the Washington, DC area, this typographical difference carries significantly more weight on-line than in print. In that respect, I must thank the web editor at the Washington Post for giving the text of my sign a little bit more emphasis than it would otherwise have received if it were identical to the print edition.


UPDATE – After I posted this entry, I went back to the Washington Post website and found that the poster was briefly shown at the beginning of the video portion of the article:

Video still of the poster being shown on the video that accompanies the article


Welcome to DC, we have no vote, we have no voice.
|| 1/17/2009 || 3:07 pm || Comments Off on Welcome to DC, we have no vote, we have no voice. || ||

I spotted these prints by “Hear Our Voice” outside of the Convention Center today. They all mention something about DC’s lack of representation in Congress. My favorite one features Michelle Obama and says “Michelle Obama rocks the mic. DC has no mic.” Read more about these posters here.



YouTube Video of Newschannel 8’s coverage of the “YES WE CAN – DC STATEHOOD NOW” poster
|| 1/15/2009 || 11:50 pm || Comments Off on YouTube Video of Newschannel 8’s coverage of the “YES WE CAN – DC STATEHOOD NOW” poster || ||

I was able to snag this video from the Newschannel 8 website and upload to YouTube. I know its not quite legal, but neither is being denied representation in Congress.

Below is the text of the article:

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Yes We Can – DC Statehood Now!
|| 1/10/2009 || 1:29 pm || Comments Off on Yes We Can – DC Statehood Now! || ||

Yesterday I spotted this sign on K Street. They were put up so that people coming to DC for the inauguration will be reminded of DC’s second-class status.



DC.gov website confuses Statehood with Voting Rights & Representation
|| 11/14/2008 || 6:52 pm || Comments Off on DC.gov website confuses Statehood with Voting Rights & Representation || ||

The other day I was looking around on the DC government website and noticed this lexical ambiguity. When a visitor hovers their mouse over the “DC Guide” section they are given the option of learning more about DC Statehood. However, when a visitor clicks on the link that says “DC Statehood,” they are taken to a page that only mentions the word “statehood” once and uses the term voting rights. Instead of being given more information about how citizens can achieve DC Statehood, visitors are given cursory information about voting rights and the struggle of DC residents to attain representation in Congress. Moreover, the text incorrectly explains the role of the shadow delegation– that are elected to lobby for statehood, not “lobbies Congress on District issues and concerns.” I am not going to expound on the difference between Statehood & Voting Rights in this posting because I have already written at length about the difference between the two in earlier entries (see list below). However, the more important issue, and the reason I am posting this, is to shows how little effort the DC government is currently putting into DC Statehood, especially now that there is a favorable climate for the enfranchisement and that goal of DC Statehood is undermined by using “Voting Rights” as the method of providing equality for DC residents. I believe the page should contain more information about the history of DC’s struggle for self-determination and more information about routes to achieve statehood.



UPDATE – The DC Government has updated their website to include https://statehood.dc.gov

Related Colonist Entries:

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What D.C. Statehood Would Mean To Black America – Ebony, October, 1990
|| 11/11/2008 || 10:11 pm || Comments Off on What D.C. Statehood Would Mean To Black America – Ebony, October, 1990 || ||

Today I posted the article below to numerous DC neighborhood yahoo groups. The aim was to get people thinking about what the coming administration might be able to do for the disenfranchised Washington, DC residents. I’m hoping some people see the importance of the next few months and are motivated to demand full representation in Congress.

“There is no Black America… there is the United States of America.” but do residents of Washington, DC get to participate?

Below is the e-mail I sent out:

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The Organization For Security And Cooperation In Europe Continues To Press The US Goverment on Full Congressional Representation for D.C. Residents
|| 8/6/2008 || 2:11 pm || 3 Comments Rendered || ||

Last night the graphic above was forward to me by my friend and fellow activist, Timothy Cooper of World Rights, an NGO that works to promote and protect human rights under principles of international law.

I have worked with Timothy on many different human rights demonstrations in the past involving the OSCE. He was quoted in David Montgomery’s article about me as saying “Nikolas looks better in a Colonial outfit and a tricorner hat than practically anyone I know.” Timothy Cooper is also one heck of a piano player, but what I respect him for most is his ongoing work on behalf of the disenfranchised residents of America’s capital city.

As one of the few activists who have succeeded in placing the international spotlight on Washington, DC’s lack of voting representation, this press release below shows that he’s been continuing the fight. In the Needs Assessment Mission Report[pdf] published by Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe’s Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights there is a specific paragraph that I don’t think would have been included without his diligence. It references the 2006 OSCE Declaration that we helped lobby for; both on land and water.

W O R L D R I G H T S
Human Rights Advocacy Worldwide

For Immediate Release

Date: August 4, 2008
Contact: Timothy Cooper
Tel: 202.361.0989

ORGANIZATION FOR SECURITY AND COOPERATION IN EUROPE (OSCE) PRESSES UNITED STATES ON GRANTING D.C. RESIDENTS FULL CONGRESSIONAL VOTING RIGHTS

Washington, DC—In a “Needs Assessment Mission Report [pdf]” issued by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) on July 28, 2008, the OSCE concluded that “[w]hile the United States of America has a long-standing tradition of democratic elections, several issues raised in previous OSCE/ODIHR reports, and those highlighted by OSCE/ODIHR NAM interlocutors, merit further attention.” Among those issues raised in previous OSCE reports is the continuing denial of full congressional representation to the nearly 600,000 residents of Washington, D.C. In its last election observation report issued in 2006, the OSCE called on the U.S. government to grant D.C. residents full congressional voting rights. The United States is obligated to guarantee full representation in Congress to the residents of the District of Columbia under the 1990 OSCE Copenhagen Document, to which it is party.

The new report’s Executive Summary notes that “only citizens of states are entitled to vote for congressional representation with full voting rights, leaving approximately 600,000 US citizens in Washington DC alone without full representation in Congress….”

The latest report’s findings also state that “[a]ccording to the Constitution, United States citizens who are not citizens of one of the 50 states are not able to vote for members of Congress who have full voting rights in Congress. It is estimated that up to 600,000 citizens in Washington DC alone, without including citizens in US territories, are subject to US laws including taxation and permitted to vote in the presidential election, but cannot fully exercise their voting rights for Congressional representation.”

Worldrights lobbied the OSCE/ODIHR for many years to draw its attention to the willful disenfranchisement of D.C. residents by Congress and the Executive Branch.

The report may be found at: https://www.osce.org/odihr/ or by clicking here[pdf]



The current Democratic Party leadership mentioned in the graphic above have been advocating 1/3 representation for the residents of Washington, DC for far too long. What is funny about the graphic to me is it uses the 1/3 meme that I’ve been pressing for the last few years:

First with the license plate:

Which received mention in the Washington Times

Then the D.C. Flag

….and now the graphic above employs the concept of being begging to the 1/3 meme. I wonder what meme will be next? I can only hope the Democratic Party leadership changes their direction in favor of what Washington, DC residents voted for: statehood or at least full representation in Congress (not one token vote in the House of Representatives and no Senators).



Related OSCE Entries:

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The Dr. Bill Show!
|| 6/9/2008 || 9:00 pm || Comments Off on The Dr. Bill Show! || ||

I’ve been at odds with DC Vote for years. While we are on the same side regarding the importance of congressional representation for DC residents, I’ve been quite dissatisfied with their approach toward bringing true equality. As an ardent supporter of statehood, I’ve been annoyed that DC Vote has been a puppet of the Democratic Party and has wantonly gone after partial representation instead of full representation.

Last year I modified their logo to create a 1/3 fraction because of their support for the constitutionally dubious Norton-Davis bill that would give DC a token vote in the House of Representatives, but no representation in the Senate, or 1/3 representation. This was followed up by a nice phone call from the executive director of the organization asking me nicely to not screw around with their copyrighted logo (free speech rules!). I even created multiple designs of the DC Flag that had only one out of the three stars filled in to show my fractional contempt. However, my best creation was the modified DC license plate that said “TAXATION WITH 1/3 REPRESENTATION,” which was ultimately mentioned in the Washington Times.

Worse is that DC Vote has been able to conflate “voting rights” with “statehood” in public discourse to the point that people use the words “voting rights” incorrectly. The inherent irony is that they’ve been advocating for a voting right (singular) because they are staunchly in favor of giving Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton *a* vote in the House. In my opinion, “voting rights” (plural) involves DC residents having Congressional representation in both the House and the Senate. I remember when we marched at last year’s rally, I had to stop people from chanting “Give us the vote” because they were naively advocating for partial representation when we were holding a large flag that said “DC STATEHOOD NOW!


Earlier this afternoon I noticed an advertisement on Wonkette for “Dr. Bill” and after clicking on it I was brought to DC Vote’s website to watch a flash version of the video above.

Frankly, I really like the video and that’s why I am posting it here today. With my reservations about DC Vote aside, I actually like this video as a means for explaining the disenfranchisement of DC residents. There is no mention of any constitutionally dubious legislation, rather its a simple & straightforward video that makes a strong case for giving DC residents representation in Congress while making fun of America’s worst president.

If you are reading/watching this from outside of Washington, DC, please share this video with your friends. If you think “change” is coming to Washington, maybe it should start with the enfranchisement of DC residents.

Related Entries:

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DC Residents say they want full democracy, like New Delhi.
|| 5/26/2008 || 1:26 pm || Comments Off on DC Residents say they want full democracy, like New Delhi. || ||

[download pdf]

This article is a great primer on the disenfranchisement of Washington, DC residents. However well-crafted or edited, I genuinely have issue with this one statement– the only place where the word STATEHOOD is mentioned in the entire article:

While many Congress members support a vote in the House for Washington residents, statehood is less popular because it would mean adding two senators from one city in an upper chamber that has only 100 members for the entire nation. And although the population of D.C. is greater than the state of Wyoming, the District lacks characteristics normally associated with states such as diverse geography with both urban and rural areas. Yet, these definitions of what constitutes a state are not written in the Constitution.

Statehood is the easiest answer, but the hardest solution to obtain. The League of Women Voters gave up on Statehood in the 90’s and were most recently in favor of the constitutionally dubious 1/3 representation bill. What I find sad is that the words “An Equal Constitutional Rights Amendment” are used in place of an actual bill. So instead of working for statehood- a singular goal- they are currently advocating what? A to-be-drafted bill that will probably only give partial equality? It’s rather sad. I mean, come on. The Democratic Party, DC Vote, the League of Women Voters, and the ilk are not able to change anything because they gave up on what DC residents voted for. Instead of not wavering and clearly stating one precise goal: statehood, they have sought “incremental” answers that have missed the mark. Its just so happens that most of these incremental steps are unconstitutional. Politics might be the art of compromise, but equal representation is the basis for politics. Statehood might be the most difficult solution to the DC Dilemma, but it provides the residents with full equality that no “voting rights bill” can match.

Below is the article:

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  • thank you,
    come again!