I was horrified to watch President Trump use tear gas to clear peaceful protesters so he could have a photo-op in front of a church. As I submit this, he is still sending military police and helicopters to patrol and terrorize Washington, D.C. residents.

The problem is that there is nobody in Washington, D.C.’s government who can stop this because they lack the basic representation that Americans living in the 50 states have. Without statehood, our fellow Americans do not have Senators or voting Representatives in Congress, nor a governor to say “no thanks” to pepper-spraying peaceful protestors.

My daughter, her husband, and their young children live in Washington, D.C., and I fear for their safety; not from the regular things a mother and grandmother worries about, but from her own government.

Washington, D.C.’s population is greater than the states of Wyoming and Vermont. D.C. residents pay more than $26 billion in federal taxes, more than 22 states. It’s past time to give the people of D.C. equal treatment in our democracy.

Most Democrats in both the U.S. House and U.S. Senate have co-sponsored legislation to give the residents of D.C. the same rights that other Americans take for granted. But our senators, Gary Peters and Debbie Stabenow, haven’t yet. It’s time for them to support full voting rights for the residents of DC. If this week has taught us anything it is that now more than ever, we need to stand for what is right.

Judi Diamond-Falk

New Buffalo

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