Skip to main content

Autonomy for the District of Columbia

WHEREAS, the United States of America was founded on the principle of no taxation without representation, yet American citizens residing in the District of Columbia pay federal income taxes and serve in war without representation in the U. S. Congress; and

WHEREAS, for more than 200 years, District of Columbia residents have been denied voting representation in the U.S. Congress, the very body that has the ultimate authority over the city's executive, judicial and legislative functions; and

WHEREAS, the disenfranchisement of the citizens of the Nation's Capital is contrary to the spirit of liberty and democracy on which the United States was founded; and

WHEREAS, the Congress has used riders on the District of Columbia's local budget, which Congress must approve, to interfere with the District government's decision-making; and

WHEREAS, the NAACP supports the right of all people to participate in their own government, and calls on the Congress to adopt such legislation as may be necessary to grant the residents of District of Columbia full democracy in our national legislature and local control over its local matters; and

WHEREAS, the NAACP upholds the principles of liberty and democracy, and indicates its support for the principle that all American citizens shall elect and be represented by voting representatives in the national legislature, including citizens of the District of Columbia; and

WHEREAS, congressional  interference with the District government's local laws had become so severe that on April 11, 2011, forty-one D.C. residents, including the mayor, six members of the D.C. City Council and two members of the D.C. Branch NAACP, were arrested near the Dirksen Senate Office Building while protesting such interference with respect to the lack of voting rights and budget autonomy; and

WHEREAS, the NAACP calls on Congress to refrain from using its plenary power to advance issues contrary to the will of the District of Columbia's elected government.

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the NAACP hereby encourages its units to advocate that their legislatures pass a resolution to express support for autonomy of the residents of the District of Columbia, in their campaign to right a historic wrong and realize fully the promise of American democracy; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that by adoption of this Resolution, the NAACP urges the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate to initiate immediate legislative action to provide voting rights and full democracy for the more than 600,000 residents of the District of Columbia.