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Rename Pennsylvania Avenue? D.C. Statehood Advocates Push 'No Vote' Theme

3 years ago
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Activists for Washington, D.C., statehood are pushing the notion of symbolically renaming Pennsylvania Avenue -- the grand thoroughfare running past the White House and up to Capitol Hill -- to highlight the city's lack of representation in Congress.

Alternatives like "No Vote Street," "Unconstitutional Avenue," and "Statehood Way" are said to be under consideration, according to the Associated Press and Newser.

D.C. Council member Michael Brown is one of those behind the idea, which, even if approved by the council, would have to survive scrutiny in Congress.

As a unique federal city, Washington does not have senators or a full voting member in the U.S. House of Representatives. Eleanor Holmes Norton, the city's elected "delegate" in the House, has no vote on the final passage of legislation. Since 2008, she has been permitted to vote on amendments to spending and tax bills; however, the new Republican majority has indicated that will end in the new Congress, the Washington Post said.

D.C. statehoodNorton isn't giving up. "We will be making every effort to retain our vote . . . and to convince our Republican colleagues that this vote benefits the reputation of the 'people's House' by maximizing the participation of members for the greater benefit of the American people," she said.

The lack of full voting rights in Congress is an irritant for some of the city's 600,000 residents, many of whom have put license plates on their cars with the inscription "Taxation Without Representation." Some activists think Washington should become the 51st state -- the nation's first city-state.

Brown said the name change for the famous street would be symbolic, with ceremonial signs hung under the existing Pennsylvania Avenue markers, the AP reported. But a Republican Congress, already unsympathetic to Norton's voting situation, could regard such a move as political mischief and overrule it.

Folo Tom Diemer on Twitter http://twitter.com/tomdiemer

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