I’d like to thank Representative Bentivolio from Michigan for drafting a horrifically asinine bill which would prevent the District from using speed cameras. This bill is a horrible intrusion on the District’s limited Home Rule, it’s a waste of Congress’ time, it’s an insult to his constituents, and it’s a stark reminder of why we all should be focused on statehood here in the District. Until we get statehood members of Congress will continue their shameless attempts to micromanage the District simply because we have no legal way to prevent it. Representative Bentivolio clearly doesn’t care about the needs and concerns of his constituents so instead he’s decided to follow the Trent Franks model of meddlesome grandstanding and has decided to pick on the District. As Senator Tim Scott said while he was in the House, members of Congress pick on the District simply because they can.
While I think the bill is terrible (I like speed cameras & think people should follow the damn speed limit) and that most members of Congress will roll their eyes at this and it will go nowhere it is a reminder of why people like me are ‘statehood absolutists.’ Statehood is the only bill before Congress that would prevent this bill from ever being offered not to mention being passed. Currently, there are several bills before Congress that attempt to improve upon our disenfranchised status but only one of bill would prevent the bill Representative Bentivolio drafted: H.R. 292: New Columbia Admission Act (aka DC Statehood Bill). Delegate Norton has introduced a slate of bills aimed at incrementally improving our status but none of the following bills in the House of Representatives would prevent Representative Bentivolio or his small-minded meddlesome colleagues from imposing their laws on us:
Even if we passed all of the bills listed above Representative Bentivolio could still pass his anti-speed camera bill into law. So when you wonder why some of us are stubborn “statehood absolutists,” it’s because of people like Representative Bentivolio! It’s because there will always be Rep. Bentivolio’s who use the District for their own pet projects, to boost their egos, and to cater to narrow interest groups in their home districts. I and many others (aka “statehood absolutists”) focus only on statehood primarily because it is the only bill that will make us full and equal citizens but it also would achieve all of the things above at once and would finally be the protection we need against Representative Bentivolio this Congress and someone else next Congress. And yes, the statehood bill is the only bill of those listed above in both the House and the Senate, and thanks to great citizen activists it has more cosponsors than any of the other bills. Statehood is our best path forward!
In closing, thanks to Representative Bentivolio for making it crystal clear that statehood is the only bill that we should be focusing on primarily because it’s the only bill that will make us equal but also because it’s the only bill that will protect us from people like him. And that might be reason enough to support statehood!
Brookland, Ward 5
PS- Since through his spokesman he says he’s standing up for the “rights” of citizens I’ve requested a meeting with his office to discuss my (our) RIGHT TO VOTE.