P O S T E D B Y S T U A R T
This past November, the official website of the multinational force in Iraq, Operation Iraqi Freedom, told the story of Sargeant John Eldridge, 372nd Military Police Battalion, 89th MP Brigade, who had been deployed for a second time and would miss sharing Thanksgiving dinner with his family.
This story about the Washington, DC native concealed a great irony. He had been sent overseas, according to official reports, to fight for the cause of democracy, but back home he and half a million fellow Washingtonians would be barred from full participation in the democratic process: residents of our nation’s capital have been denied a voting representative in Congress since 1801.
Perhaps, as one wag suggested, the U.S. Marines should have invaded the District of Columbia.
Those who live in the seat of American democracy pay their taxes, are called for jury duty, and serve in the armed forces, but are denied the most basic of democratic rights.
Representative Tom Davis (R-VA) was part of a congressional delegation that went to Hong Kong and pressed leaders there to allow democracy. Davis said a senior Hong Kong official told him, “Give your nation’s capital the right to vote and then come talk to us about democracy in Hong Kong.”
DC Vote is sponsoring a Voting Rights March on Emancipation Day, April 16, 2007, starting at 2:30 p.m. For more information visit the DC Vote website.