On this day in 1973, Richard Nixon signed the District of Columbia Home Rule Act. This gave the residents of DC the right to elect some of their own local government officials. In particular, this law allowed them to elect a mayor and a “city” council. It’s kind of amazing to think that it wasn’t until this late that they got this right.
But the truth is that Congress continues to mess with the people of DC. The idea of creating DC was to de-politicize it. But at this point, Congress is the one who politicizes the district. I think it is completely unfair and it should change. DC will never have home rule as long as it isn’t granted statehood. But that isn’t going to happen. DC is overwhelmingly Democratic, and the Republicans would never allow the Democrats to have two more Senate seats, even though the Senate is weighted heavily in the Republicans’ favor.
If DC became a state, it would be the third smallest by population — just larger than Vermont and Wyoming. So there isn’t a lot of reason why we should keep DC in their weird limbo where Congress can abuse it in the name of “sending a message” to the folks back home. Of course, before we make DC a state, we should make Puerto Rico a state. The fact that it isn’t is an outrage. But again: we can’t allow states that might vote Democratic. We really do need to destroy the Republican Party before it destroys the nation.