It has been over two centuries since the Revolutionary War, but the cry for “no taxation without representation” is still echoing loudly across the District.

In an effort to win voting representation in Congress, volunteers for the activist group DC Vote gathered on the Hill on Tuesday- tax day – to encourage senators to bring the D.C. Voting Rights Act up for discussion.

“`Taxation without representation is tyranny’ was sort of the rallying cry for the founding of our nation, so it’s a little bit disturbing that still today, for 207 years we haven’t had a vote in Congress,” said Nell Schaffer, a student outreach coordinator for DC Vote.

The volunteers with Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.), a longtime advocate of the District’s right to a Congressional vote. The volunteers also delivered letters to Senate members, urging them to support the bill.

Norton represents Washington, D.C., in the House of Representatives, where she can vote in House committees but is not allowed to cast a vote in a decision of the full House.

“This is already two centuries past due,” said Jaline Quinto, communications manager for DC Vote. The D.C. Voting Rights Act would give voting power to one representative of the District in the House. Norton and Congressman Tom Davis (R-Va.) sponsored the bill in the House, which passed it on April 19, 2007. The bill is currently being filibustered in the Senate, where it has been stalled since September. Three more senators must vote to end the filibuster in order to meet the 60 vote requirement before the bill would be eligible again for discussion in the Senate.

DC Vote members have also been campaigning outside of Washington, D.C., in “target” states, whose senators voted last September not to discuss the D.C. Voting Rights Act. Members traveled to Montana, Oregon and New Hampshire on “public awareness campaigns” and are planning a trip to Mississippi.

About 15 volunteers also went to Union Station and the National Capitol Post Office to “spread the word,” Schaffer said.

“We are a democracy. We are based on voting, and yet it’s kind of ironic that people in the very heart of democracy, the nation’s capital, don’t have a vote in their own national legislature,” Schaffer said.

“I think it’s about time that if we are paying our taxes, that we have people that can go and die for their country in the District, that we as a first-class citizen just like everyone, should have the right to have a voice in Congress and in the Senate,” said Donna Olson, a D.C. citizen and volunteer for DC Vote.

“I think that in the end democracy is going to prevail,” Schaffer said.

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