Eleanor Holmes Norton May Soon Have a Real Job
The National League of Cities just endorsed a measure to give Washington DC a seat in the House of Representatives, balanced by an extra seat in Utah, until the next census revamping. So that’s a nice step.
Let’s be clear about what I mean when I say compromise. As a moderate and someone afraid of myopic extremism, I very much like practical compromises. But for our system to work, there must be some basic ground rules that we cannot compromise on. Everyone gets an equal vote, so they have an equal say in our government.
The idea of giving Utah (the next state on the list if votes were re-apportioned) an extra vote is fine, because we still have the same system distributing Congressman, equally decided (albeit very weirdly) for everyone. I understand that it would be an important part in maintaining political balance.
But this proposal does not create any Senatorial representation or state government for DC (it would still be run by the congressional DC joint-committee, which increasingly ignore the wishes of DC citizens or city council). DC citizens would still be less than any other American citizen in how their tax dollars are spent. This should not be compromised, they are full Americans, and they deserve full representation.
In related news, apparently one of the efforts the Governator is trying to push through is a panel that objectively sets California’s Congressional districts, while the current system heavily favors incumbents (not maximizing Democratic seats, just keeping incumbents safe). It’s probably just a wish, but if he did so, I would certainly have to swing my opinion of the Governor into decidedly positive.