DC Vote Petitions White House to Place DC’s Taxation Without Representation License Plates on Limo Before Inaugural Parade


Photo by PoPville flickr user ekelly80

From a press release:

DC Vote has filed a petition on the White House website asking that the Taxation Without Representation license plate be placed on the presidential limousine prior to Inauguration Day.

The presidential limousine currently displays DC plates that do not carry the Taxation Without Representation message. District residents pay federal taxes and serve and die in wars, but have no vote in Congress. The District adopted Taxation Without Representation as its official license plate motto in 2000 to give the country a visible demonstration of the political reality in the nation’s capital.

“With the help of thousands of Americans who believe in equal rights, we expect to see the Taxation Without Representation plates rolling down Pennsylvania Avenue during the inaugural parade,” said DC Vote Communications Director James Jones.

The early response to the petition has been strong. So far, nearly 3,000 people have signed it on the White House on-line petition site. If 25,000 people sign by January 18th, the administration will provide a response.

“We are beginning a major new, nationwide social media push to reach our goal prior to the inauguration,” Jones said. “The support we have received from people across the nation sends a strong message to the White House, but we need to maintain the momentum.”

The petition provides an opportunity for the people of DC and for supporters of our fight for full democracy everywhere to elevate the struggle for full democracy to a new level. DC Vote is very grateful for President Obama’s support for our struggle for equal rights. He has stated publicly that we should have the same voting rights as all other Americans. Displaying the Taxation Without Representation plate is simply an expression of the truth about DC’s political status.

13 Comment

  • The president simply doesn’t care, unfortunately.

    • Emilie504

      He does have a lot on his plate, but how difficult would it be for him to tell some WH employee to make it happen. It’s just a little thing. And if he doesn’t care, just do it.

      • Exactly. So much for all the “Hope” that those of us who helped elect him had. If things don’t change fast, his presidency will be remembered as a weak one.

      • figby

        I’m sure the president “has a lot on his plate,” no pun intended. But it’s not like he’s personally going to be out there, screwing on the new plates. He has people to do that and he said he would get it done and never did.

        He’s happy to tie up our taxpayer-financed police force all the time, and block our streets for his date nights out. And he is our neighbor. He should have done this already.

    • No president cares about DC, really, at least not DC as a hometown or as a real city. They come and go, but DC is just the ceremonial backdrop they limo through for a few years; as long as what they see from the car windows – if they bother to look out – seems OK, they don’t care. A few have made some attempts – Kennedy didn’t like what he saw from the limo so he got the PA Ave redevelopment going – but for the most part, R or D, they will return to their real home as quickly as they can after their term is up.

  • Lame. I have Federal representation and can vote for President, not that my Presidential vote matters one wit:

    > Dem will win in landslide, so no need to cast Dem vote
    > Dem will win in landslide, so pointless to cast GOP vote

    That being said, the best outcome would be to eliminate the “taxation” — I’d be happy w/o state-level representation if it meant no Federal taxes!

  • “The presidential limousine currently displays DC plates that do not carry the Taxation Without Representation message.”

    This isn’t promising. It doesn’t hurt to have a petition, but presumably somebody in the White House decided _against_ having the “Taxation Without Representation” plates in the first place (as they’re the default), right?

    I’ve always felt somewhat iffy about having “Taxation Without Representation” on D.C. plates in the first place. I understand the goal… but let’s face it, a lot of people in the U.S. are pretty ignorant about D.C. voting rights and don’t understand what it means. I think the message would’ve been clearer (albeit not as succinct) if it were something like “We’re Stuck With Taxation Without Representation” or “We Dislike Having Taxation Without Representation.”

    Usually the slogans states put on their license plates are positive things, like “First in Flight,” “Land of Enchantment,” etc. I bet there are some dumb@sses out there who would see “Taxation Without Representation” and say, “What’s so great about taxation without representation??”

    • If I remember correctly — Clinton had them on his limo and Bush removed them. (Go figure.) So it’s possible that when Obama took office, the people in charge of squaring away his plates just stuck with what was already there.

      As far as “Taxation Without Representation” — before I moved to DC I remember seeing this on license plates, scratching my head and eventually doing more research, at which point I learned about the situation here as far as voting representation. So to the extent that it piques people’s interest, I guess it works.

  • DCVote is right there, in the fray, fighting for our rights.
    What a stunning victory this will be – a cryptic message on a license plate that no one looks at anyhow.

    Pop Quiz:
    As the presidential limo drives by, do you think most people are
    (a) looking in the windows to see the president? or
    (b) reading the license plate?

    Rather than waste time on this sort of non-symbolic non-issue, DCVote should just disband.

  • Offtopic, but how about petitioning the DC DMV to put “Taxation Without Representation” on all DC IDs and driver’s licenses? Most states put their state motto on theirs and, given how much we hand over our IDs these days, it would really get people to notice the DC motto, especially those out of town.

    • How often do you show your DC driver’s license to someone in another state? That is, aside from traffic cops and bar bouncers, both of whom are probably a little too busy at that moment to stop, ponder, and discuss the local politics of somewhere they don’t live.

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