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Friday, April 15, 2005

Democracy in D.C. Movement Takes the Field (Tries to Anyway)

Some 570,000 Americans live in the District of Columbia. These people pay federal taxes, yet are unrepresented in Congress. Sound familiar?

Along with its famous cherry blossoms, this spring brings a new baseball team to D.C. - the Washington Nationals (formerly the Montreal Expos). As David Nakamura reports in the Washington Post, the D.C. Sports and Entertainment Commission is looking to sell the naming rights for the baseball field for the three years the team will play at RFK Stadium. If the recent past is any indication, it will probably be a corporation who ponies up the $2 million a year it takes to get the rights.

But maybe not this time. Just as each new spring brings hope to the hearts of even Expos fans . . . let's make that baseball fans, this spring brings hope to the hearts and democratic yearnings of those 570,000 Americans who pay their taxes but have no voice in government. A grassroots group has started an effort to buy the rights to name the field Taxation Without Representation Field (at RFK Stadium).

If successful, each and every telecast of Washington Nationals games will remind viewers that there are some Americans who do not enjoy the fruits of democracy. Hopefully the Beltway bigwigs in their luxury seats get the point and start fighting for a little democracy right in their own backyard.

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