The slogan on the license plates issued by the District of Columbia has been “Taxation without Representation” for 15 years.
It was changed to highlight how District citizens pay federal taxes but have no voting representation in Congress. Eleanor Holmes Norton serves in the House of Representatives as a non-voting delegate but is not permitted to vote on the floor of Congress.
D.C. Council members believe the slogan isn’t aggressive enough and doesn’t reflect as the protest statement it is meant to be. Ward 6 Councilmember Charles Allen and 10 co-sponsors have introduced a bill to add one word to the slogan: End.
"What we want to say is 'End Taxation without Representation,'" Allen said. "It is something we are actively trying to end."
It is his hope the new slogan “End Taxation without Representation” will spur more conversation about D.C.’s proper representation, or lack of it, in Congress.
"Even at the worst, it is symbolic," Allen said. "I think it is still meaningful."
Some visitors to Washington were surprised the District and its citizens aren’t better represented. One person from Rhode Island called it "ridiculous" and said, "I think the good people of D.C. ought to have their voice heard."
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Eleven of 13 D.C. Council members support the new change, which could be available later this year.
D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser has already indicated her desire to put the issue of statehood for the District on the ballot in November. The District's 672,000 residents pay federal taxes and fight in wars but lack voting representation in Congress.
Statehood advocates argue that making the nation's capital a state is the best solution.