Here are some rea­sons for DC state­hood

Enterprise-Record (Chico) - - OPINION -

In his let­ter of July 4, An­thony Watts ar­gues against state­hood for Wash­ing­ton, DC. Among his ar­gu­ments is that “DC res­i­dents al­most en­tirely govern­ment em­ploy­ees.”

If DC were a state this would lead to the Fed­eral govern­ment be­ing “co­erced” by be­ing part of a state. In fact, the vast ma­jor­ity of DC res­i­dents do not work for the fed­eral govern­ment: ac­cord­ing to the DC Pol­icy Cen­ter, about 1 in 4 jobs held by DC res­i­dents are with the fed­eral govern­ment. Ac­cord­ing the Of­fice of Per­son­nel Man­age­ment, more Cal­i­for­ni­ans (about 152,000) work for the fed­eral govern­ment than do DC res­i­dents (about 141,000).

An­other of Watts' ar­gu­ments is that DC is “too small” to be a state. He is right that DC is smaller than any state (68 square miles). But size should not mat­ter in grant­ing US ci­ti­zens a vote in Congress. Rhode Is­land (1,212 square miles) would fit com­fort­ably in Butte County (about 1,600 square miles). Yet Rhode Is­land gets two se­na­tors and Butte County — well, we share our two se­na­tors with the rest of Cal­i­for­nia.

In terms of pop­u­la­tion (about 705,000) DC is larger than both tiny Ver­mont and big old Wy­oming, and on par with Alaska and North Dakota. DC res­i­dents, who are fully ci­ti­zens of the United States, are the vic­tims of tax­a­tion with­out rep­re­sen­ta­tion — pay­ing fed­eral taxes with no vote in the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives or Sen­ate. And as our Found­ing Fa­thers said, “Tax­a­tion with­out rep­re­sen­ta­tion is tyranny!” That is the ar­gu­ment for DC state­hood.

— Wil­liam Loker, Chico

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