Happy Tax Day. For millions of Americans, though mailing in their taxes today might be a hassle, they can rest assured that those dollars help guarantee their civil rights. The taxpaying residents of Washington, DC, however, are denied the most basic civil rights. Without representation in Congress, DC voters literally have no say in the laws they are required to follow. The District is the only jurisdiction in the United States where Americans fulfill all the responsibilities of citizenship but are denied equal rights.
Congress does not need to amend the Constitution or make DC a state to give DC a vote in the House of Representatives. The DC House Voting Rights Act was passed one year ago in the House, but has yet to pass in the Senate.
“No taxation without representation” is a platform of our democratic society. If we are all truly created equal, then every US citizen deserves a say in electing lawmakers. “A ruler is not to be appointed until the community is first consulted" (Babylonian Talmud, B’rachot 55a). As American Jews, we have a responsibility to fight for civil rights and social justice.