In 2008, the residents of the District of Columbia strongly supported Barack Obama’s campaign for president. 91% of District residents voted for him and all told roughly $42 million dollars was donated to his campaign from sources within the District of Columbia (of course most of that money was from fat cats on or associated with K St.). The residents of District overwhelming looked to a President Obama as someone who would lead the country and support our push for autonomy. We gave him money, we organized for him, and most importantly we voted for him and we got the same thing from him that all other Presidents have given us: nothing.
We have had nice talk from Presidents and Congress before what we want now is concrete action to make us citizens with the same full privleges as those in the other 50 states. The president cannot give us statehood, or full voting rights, or autonomy with a stroke of a pen but he could become our voice, he could use the bully pulpit of his office to speak up for DC voting rights, autonomy, and hopefully statehood. He has the power and the office to educate 300 million Americans about their disenfrancised brothers and sisters here in DC. He speaks about democracy in Iraq and Afghanistan but has yet to say a word about the lack of democracy in the city where he lives.
Here are a few questions that we each should think about individually and maybe collectively as we approach a new election cycle:
- Because he used us as a bargaining chip in budget negotiations should we still overwhelmingly support him?
- Has he done anything to even imply that he supports District autonomy or more importantly statehood for New Columbia?
- What is more symbolic to the nation in 2012 all of us overwhelmingly voting for him again when he’s done nothing but bargain our autonomy away to Speaker Boehner or withholding our money and our vote?
Here’s the link to find out more where money from the District was spent in 2008: http://www.fec.gov/disclosurep/PState.do?candId=P00000001&electionYr=2008&contbrSt=DC
Neighbors United does not support any candidate or political party but the above questions should be asked of a President who claims to be a friend of DC autonomy and full voting rights.