The District of Columbia occupies an unusual space in American politics. It is home to the capital of the US and the many groups,
organizations, and companies related to it. Its status as a federal enclave means that it is not a state, but is self-governing. It also means that its nearly 660,000 residents have no formal representation in Congress, and are solely represented by a non-voting House Delegate.
Unfortunately, this means residents are unable to bring grievances to influential Federal officials or reap the benefits that Senators and Representatives are able to provide.
Historically, however, DC residents have not always lacked representation. Those in DC did have formal representation in the 1790’s, but lost their right to vote for Congressmen in 1801 after the passage of the Organic Act. This occurred just ten years after the ratification of the U.S. Constitution and a mere 26 years after the famous declaration by Sam Adams, “No Taxation Without Representation". Ironically, a version on the motto became the slogan on DC license plates in 2000.
FairVote, and many other organizations such as DC Vote are working to help residents of D.C. gain meaningful representation in Congress.
For more information, visit DC Vote.
Image Source: Rich Lipski/The Washington Post