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Letter: Next 27th representative should help D.C. residents

With the resignation of Congressman Chris Collins from the U.S. House of Representatives on Sept. 30 – one day before pleading guilty of conspiring to commit securities fraud and making false statements – Western New Yorkers will experience a (relatively) short period of “Taxation Without Representation” in the House.

As of today, 713,175 area residents have lost their voice in the lower House of Congress for upwards of 459 days – unless Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, Democrat, calls for a special election.

I know that this realization must sting – along with the shock of watching a corrupt lawmaker wade through the penal process – but your political situation is only temporary.

Although born in Buffalo and raised in Hamburg, I have spent more than half of my life living in Washington, D.C. – where being denied budgetary, judicial and legislative autonomy has been the law of the land for more than 218 years.

Washingtonians have only a non-voting delegate elected to represent them in the House, as well as a dedicated, unpaid three-member congressional statehood delegation who are not permitted on the House and Senate floors to represent their 711,571 constituents on issues presented before Congress.

I do hope that when Western New Yorkers once again gain the congressional representation that they constitutionally deserve, they will consider the political fate of those American citizens who currently reside in our nation’s capital – Washington, D.C.

Residents of the District of Columbia have been left out of our Republican form of government for more than two centuries and deserve the same voice in the national legislature afforded to those who reside in New York and the other 49 states.

I sincerely hope that your newly elected representative will vote in favor of the Washington, D.C. Admission Act, H.R. 51, and finally include D.C. residents in the best democracy in the free world.

Democracy begins at home and D.C. residents deserve statehood, too.

Karen A. Szulgit

Washington, D.C.

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