Support of Full Voting Rights for All Citizens of the United States, Including the Residents of the District of Columbia
WHEREAS, over half a million people living in the District of Columbia, capitol of our democratic nation, are denied voting representation in the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives; and
WHEREAS, District of Columbia residents are denied local governmental autonomy and must submit their local budget for approval to the U.S. Congress where they have no voting representation; and
WHEREAS, District of Columbia residents share all the responsibilities of American citizenship but are denied equal civil rights with their fellow Americans living in the states; and
WHEREAS, District of Columbia veterans fought and died to defend America's democracy in every war since the War of Independence; and
WHEREAS, District of Columbia residents pay over $3 billion annually in federal income taxes; and
WHEREAS, our nation is founded on the principles of "one person, one vote" and government by the consent of the governed; and
WHEREAS, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights of the Organization of American States found the United States to be in violation of international human rights law for its disenfranchisement of District of Columbia residents; and
WHEREAS, Article I, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution gives Congress the power, "[t]o exercise exclusive legislation in all cases whatsoever, over such District as may become the seat of the government of the United States," and "[t]o make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing powers;" and
WHEREAS, the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution provides all citizens of the United States of America with the guarantee of the equal protection of the laws, and gives Congress the power to enforce such guarantee; and
WHEREAS, there are serious efforts in many states to re-enfranchise non citizen immigrants permitting them voting rights in national, state and local elections.
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the NAACP affirm its support of full voting representation for the residents of the District of Columbia by endorsing Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton's and Senator Joseph Lieberman's "No Taxation Without Representation Act" (H.R. 1285 and S. 617, respectively) and other similar solutions for full voting representation for District of Columbia residents; and
THEREFORE, BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that in order to ensure bi-partisan support in the United States House and the United States Senate for the "No Taxation Without Representation Act," we strongly encourage our members to contact their members of congress and their senators to ask them to be a co-sponsor of this important legislation; and
THEREFORE, BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that with national polling data showing that most Americans are unaware of the disenfranchisement of District of Columbia residents, and that when informed about supporting voting rights, the NAACP through its national, regional and local officers and its members, will work to better raise awareness and to educate the American citizenry about this injustice and take action towards a solution.