“Don’t tread on D.C., we demand democracy!”
On Monday, DC Mayor Vincent Gray, DC Council Chairman Kwame Brown and council members Yvette Alexander (Ward 7), Tommy Wells (Ward 6), Muriel Bowser (Ward 4) and Michael Brown (At Large) were arrested for protesting the Congressional budget deal that would place restrictive riders on the city’s budget. Forty-one protestors joined them and were also arrested for blocking Constitution Avenue next to the Dirksen Senate Office Building.
President Obama and the Republican-controlled Congress brokered a 2011 budget deal, that will prohibit DC from using its tax dollars to support abortion services for low income women. Additionally, the city will be unable to fund needle exchange programs to reduce the spread of HIV. How typical- to introduce a rider that further cripples the most vulnerable.
At the heart of this story is the status of the Nation’s Capitol. We are not a state and therefore do not have representation or a vote and are subject to having controls placed on our budget. This is a basic principle that I remembered learning alongside the Boston Tea Party. Another protest against unfair taxes and rule…hmmmm.
Do you know how much DC residents pay in taxes? I applaud the Mayor and Council members; I would gladly have joined them.