DC battles its democratic deficit and fights to become 51st state

With no votes and no senators, Washington, DC’s non-state status has long been an issue for its 712,000 permanent residents

People burn copies of their income tax returns during a “taxes paid, representation denied” rally in Washington DC in 2002. The long-running campaign for full congressional representation in the US Congress for those living in the District of Columbia has been given fresh impetus. Picture: Getty

One of the first things any visitor to Washington, DC will notice, regardless of season or political cycle, is the proliferation of yard signs and bumper stickers that declare “No Taxation Without Representation”.

Yard signs come and go. They’re a fleeting part of the US’s biennial political landscape. But in Washington, DC, signs protesting against its exclusion from the democratic process have been around for decades. The message is even stamped on every licence plate ...