Friends, please listen to a discussion of the DC House Voting Rights Bill and issues related to self-determination for the District of Columbia at 10:00 a.m. I will be a guest along with Tim Cooper of WorldRights. Our host will be Dr. Ambrose I. Lane. Tell your friends. Call in.
Copied below is the letter we will distribute to all Members of Congress Feb. 17/18 You can help.
Call me: (202) 388-6661 Samuel Jordan On Your Mark!
Members of the Senate and the House of Representatives of the United States,
I am Samuel Jordan, a former Chairman of the DC Statehood Party. You have been solicited by the operatives of an expensive public relations campaign to approve H.R.157 and its corresponding proposal in the Senate, S.160. The bills purport to correct a long-term deficiency denying the right to full Congressional representation for the residents of the District of Columbia. Not only does the proposed legislation not achieve the goal of full and equal Congressional representation, but it lacks respect for the documented wishes of the District’s voters who approved by substantial majority the seating of delegates to a constitutional convention in 1980 and ratified a Statehood Constitution for the State of New Columbia in 1982. At no time in their pursuit of passage of the DC House Voting Rights bills have the promoters consulted with the people of the District in order to ascertain their preferences for any significant change in the representational status of the territory. Yet these bills have been proposed in the 109th, 110th and now the 111th Congresses - a period offering sufficient opportunity to the promoters to obtain the “consent of the governed” if that were their purpose.
The principle of democratic representation assumes the election at the ballot box of public servants who will have withstood the scrutiny of the electorate. However, even with the passage of the DC House Voting Rights bills, the District of Columbia will not have increased its control over local matters legislative, judicial or budgetary. These matters will remain subject to the whim of at least 537 Senators and Representatives in the expanded Congress, of whom only one will have been chosen by the governed. Without doubt, this failure of accountability to constituents would be found completely unacceptable by any Member in this Congress. Accountability to the governed, like consent of the governed is not a mere noble phrase, but a grounding principle of democracy.
When we pose the question, “Why Utah?” we are again stunned at the cavalier treatment afforded the residents of the District of Columbia. Democratic principles are not subjects of horse-trading. The posture of “politically neutral balance” feigned by the promoters of the legislation does not meet the smell test, particularly due to the availability to Utah and any of the several states of a proper forum for challenge of apportionments . The one-for-DC-one-for-Utah scheme reeks of political expediency in light of the following: 1. Utah will receive an additional vote in the Electoral College, unlike the District of Columbia whose electoral college votes are fixed by the 23rd Amendment to the Constitution. This feature alone could have been decisive in the event of another close presidential election; 2. The “balancing” element in the bills is reminiscent of the controversial racial “balancing” encountered in the admission of the majority Asian and Hawaiian native territory of Hawaii and “white” Alaska in 1959 - in the reverse order of their application for inclusion in the union. (Many Hawaiians continue to protest the coup, occupation and annexation resulting in the loss of their lands to the United States as acknowledged by Congress in 1993 in Public Law 103-150)
Scheduled for symbolic passage in Black History Month, this legislation falls woefully short of the standards set by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Rosa Parks and the multitude of thousands who held the principles of democracy and political equality so high that they risked their lives in an era that set an unfairly high price on democratic equality for African Americans who are in the majority in the population of the District. The bills before you are racially insensitive and politically and morally inconsequential. They are an affront to the memories of Dr. King and Mrs. Parks and the other heroes and will establish a second class representation for the people of the District of Columbia with their paternalistic failure to consult the voters of the District, an absence of Senators, no autonomy for the District over its own affairs, and the District’s continued subordination to the will of 536 unelected legislators in the US Congress. Respect for the principles of democracy demands your immediate rejection of these bills and commitment to full and meaningful equality for the people of the District with all other citizens of the United States.