An announcement came late in the afternoon that the White House would, at least as far as the license plates on the President’s limousine, take up the cause of Statehood for the District of Columbia, and put the tags that read “Taxation Without Representation” on the Presidential limousine. Nicknamed “The Beast,” President Obama’s Cadillac limousine will sport tags carrying the District’s unofficial official motto instead of the old “A Capital City” plates that were used by the Bush Administration and the first Obama Administration.
President Obama will be the second president to use the license plate to advocate for DC statehood: briefly in 2000 before he left office, President Clinton added the Taxation Without Representation plates to his road transport instead of the “Celebrate & Discover” tagline. The plates were removed when President Bush took office in 2001.
Last week, the DC Council sent representatives to the White House (Mary Cheh, Ward 3, and Phil Mendelson, Chair) to lobby the Intergovernmental Affairs office. At the end of the meeting, both remarked that the meeting had been productive, but produced no specific results. Today those results were more specific. In addition, local advocacy group DC Vote managed to garner more than 3,500 signatures on the White House petition website to push the President. While that total fell radically short of the 25,000 necessary to be issued a response by the White House.
As it turns out, DC got a small victory despite the small turnout. Look for this to raise discussion points across the US that the city remains the only part of the country that pays Federal taxes but has no congressional representation. Didn’t know that? Tell your friends and family.