DC deserves real representation

Luke Widenhouse, Contributor

As equal and independent human beings, from birth, we possess a right to life, liberty and property. Our highest purpose in life is to pursue happiness, and thus government has been instituted to protect these rights and provide the necessities needed to pursue free and happy lives. Since the government is maintained by consent, representative democracy is the most logical form of government, and what the United States runs under.

Yet the people of the District of Columbia possess no such representation in the federal government.

The facade of democracy is upheld by delegates and shadow senators. These delegates have no right to vote in the whole of the House of Representatives (only in committee), and shadow senators aren’t even sworn in or seated. This is in utter disregard to the principle that the government serves the people rather than the other way around, for without a say in government, the people possess no ability to voice how their government should best provide for them. In the District, we don’t even have a say in taxation; in deciding how our own money should be spent.

The Constitution decrees that Congress has the power to, “exercise exclusive legislation, in all cases whatsoever, over such district (not exceeding ten miles square) as may, by cession of particular States and the acceptance of Congress, become the seat of the government of the United States.” Even if there are arguments to counteract statehood, this is not a question of statehood, but of representation, which is beyond the Constitution, dating to the Declaration of Independence and even to Magna Carta, before the U.S. was born.

DC representation in decisions made by the federal government is essential towards the functioning of the federal government. Without it, a part of the population, no matter how small, is unrepresented in the laws which affect them.