“Taxation without representation.” It’s the idea that sparked our Revolutionary War and laid the foundation for the democracy that governs our country today. Arizona joined our Union, and I joined the U.S. Army, for the exact same reason: our country is strongest when its people have a say in the way they’re governed.
During 14 years of service, I came to understand just what it is we servicemembers swear to serve and protect during our time in uniform. The idea of equal representation, no matter where one lives in this great country, certainly comes to mind.
That’s why today, I understand that “taxation without representation” isn’t just a line for our history books, it’s the experience of 712,000 people living in the District of Columbia. In 2021, D.C. residents still don’t have representation in Congress, and their license plates are emblazoned with that famous slogan to show it. That’s why it’s far past time for Washington D.C. to become our country’s 51st state.
Arizona’s senators have the power to extend voting rights, congressional representation, and statehood to the 712,000 residents of Washington D.C. this year. Just as veterans and servicemembers live here in Arizona, tens of thousands of us live in our nation’s capital — and they’re depending on you, Senator Sinema and Senator Kelly, to honor their service and do the right thing. For those veterans and the hundreds of thousands of regular people living in the District of Columbia, I strongly urge you to vote yes on S. 51 and support D.C. statehood, because our country — and Arizona — is stronger when we all have the representation we deserve.
Signa Renee Oliver is a U.S. Army veteran from Chandler,