When I read those words this week, I thought it sounded like a good recommendation for residents of my hometown, Washington, DC, which has in essence been two separate and unequal cities since my great grandparents came here in the 1920s—and it remains so today.
Tourists visiting Washington D.C. this spring to enjoy the profusion of pink, fragrant, cherry blossoms and tour the White House are in for an unpleasant surprise. NBC News reports that due to budget cuts required by the sequester, all White House tours are cancelled until further notice, starting Saturday, March 9th. The cuts will save the U.S. government $74,000 per week — or $3,488,000 per year. Just a drop in the $4 trillion deficit reduction bucket, but what the hey, every little bit helps. You’d think those fanatical budget-balancing Republicans would be cackling with glee while twisting their cold, gnarled, blue-veined hands together in excitement over this latest misery inflicted upon the American people. After all, they’re the ones who’ve forced this highly unpopular sequestration upon us in the first place: 45% of Americans want their elected representatives to vote against it, and only 11% feel positive about it.
The Voting Rights Act effectively attacked persistent discrimination at the polls by keeping close watch, when it comes to holding elections, on those places with a history of preventing minorities from voting. Any changes, from moving a polling place to redrawing electoral districts, can’t take effect without approval from the Justice Department or federal judges in Washington.