Tuesday, October 20, 2009

David on Taking Care of Ourselves

“I want to talk about DC politics. First of all, I can’t figure out why people keep electing Marion Barry into an office when they know it’s always going to be drama. But, moving on, we have a lot of people who move here every four years from other areas to work with the government, but they come with their own perception of what DC should be. I don’t go to Wyoming telling people there how to run their state, but those people feel entitled to do it here. Take the DC gun ban as an example. So many of us here fought against having guns and assault weapons in DC, but people from Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Utah and some other states came over and lobbied to allow guns in DC. These people do not have to deal with the repercussions of having guns in our communities.

"You give us voter representation, allow our voices to be heard and stop having us pay federal taxes unduly, then we will have a vote and will be able to take care of ourselves. We are not just an orphan community of people who don't fit into America. We are Americans, born on these shores, and we should be treated as such. The federal government should stop treating DC like we are a child who needs a regular allowance paid out. That’s not how it works. We are the only ones that need to deal with Congress appropriating us money because we are a federal jurisdiction and not a state. I really think that is asinine.

"And DC needs to step up, too. DC should impose a commuter tax because so many people come in from the suburbs to work in corporate or government industries here. That money goes right back out of this city and we have to depend on tourists as well as the weekend drunks, who come in and spend money in Capitol Hill, Adams Morgan or U Street for our revenue. Look at New York City. They make so much money from imposing a commuter tax. DC has 435,000 residents, but Monday to Friday our population swells to almost two million people. That is all money going out of town. We need some of that to start coming back in to DC. People from Congress should pay local taxes also. I understand that they have to pay a state and federal tax, but if you work in DC, you should rightfully pay taxes here. That’s been one of the big hold backs to us getting voting rights because congressmen and senators don’t want to pay local taxes."

Read more about DC voting issues from Ilir.

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