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Letters to the Editor: Taxation without representation is un-American. Make D.C. a state

Washington Monument
As a federal district but not a state, Washington has three electoral votes in the presidential election but no voting member of Congress.
(Ron Edmonds / Associated Press)

To the editor: As the daughter and grandaughter of Washington “natives,” I was delighted to see your editorial supporting statehood for the District of Columbia.

I grew up in small-town Minnesota but moved to the Washington outskirts at the age of 10. I was stunned to learn that my family members who lived in the district could not vote in federal elections.

By the time I was in high school in the 1960s, the population was majority Black and the district had terrible schools, crime and poverty. No wonder, since in Congress it had an absentee landlord.

Washington is full of people who live and die there. It is not part of Maryland, and yet states with fewer residents still have two senators and at least one voting member of the House — lawmakers who can vote to override the district’s self-government’s laws.

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It is well past time for Washington to have full, voting representation in Congress, something everyone else in this country takes for granted.

Norah McMeeking, Santa Barbara

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To the editor: I think we can all agree that taxation without representation is un-American. It’s time to correct this problem for the people who live in Washington, but I do not see any reason to make it the 51st state.

Take a look at a map of the district. Why can’t it just be incorporated into the state of Maryland? Then, it would get its own voting member in the U.S. House, and voters there would acquire the two senators currently representing Maryland.

I think this would be an easier option than making what is really a city into the 51st state.

Steve Paskay, Los Angeles

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To the editor: Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) is a statesman. However, I do not believe that being an elected official makes it OK for him to broadcast his personal opinion that members of another party (the Democrats) are making a “power grab” in voting for D.C. statehood.

Representation in Congress is a right of citizenship. The words of D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser must be heeded by all citizens: “The whims of the federal government can encroach on our even limited autonomy, and it can do so in ways that are threats to all of the American states and all of the American people.”

Mary Leah Plante, Los Angeles


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