The 2010 Census figures released yesterday show that Washington D.C. now has 601,723 residents whereas the State of Wyoming only has 563,626. In fact, Wyoming has never had as many residents as the District of Columbia.
So why does Wyoming get two Senators and a Congressmen while Americans living our nations capital have no representation in Congress?
Similarly, while Alaska currently has more residents than Washington D.C., it had far less in the census prior to Statehood.
The situation in Puerto Rico is even worse. 3,725,789 Americans live in Puerto Rico, but they do not have a vote in Congress, nor do they have any influence in the November Presidential election.
When I was an American living in France, I had the right to cast an absentee ballot in my state of origin. Does this make any sense? Should an American in France have more rights than American’s in our nation’s capital, Puerto Rico and the other territories.
An effort to give a single Representative to DC was defeated last year by the introduction of a poison-pill amendment promoted by the NRA.
This year, the House passed the Puerto Rico Democracy Act by a vote of 223-169. However, the Republican minority was able to prevent this bill from coming up for a vote. This act would would have allowed Puerto Ricans to vote on their status and either become a U.S. State, continue as a U.S. Territory, or become an independent country.
If the United States is to be a beacon of Democracy throughout the world, it must allow Americans in D.C. and Puerto Rico the same rights it gives Wyomans, Alaskans and Americans Abroad.