US State Quarters

D.C. Gets 25 Cents’ Worth of Respect – washingtonpost.com

The District has no vote in Congress, its laws can be trampled by federal legislators and even its streets can be closed by the feds on a moment’s notice.

But after nearly 10 years of fighting, the city finally won a new mark of respect this week.

It will have its very own quarter. The measure, tucked into a giant federal spending bill, puts the District on the same level as the 50 states, at least when it comes to the popular coins showcasing home-state icons such as mountains, birds, race cars and fiddles. The D.C. quarter is due in 2009, with a design yet to be determined.

“Can you believe it? How many years have I tried to get that?” exulted the city’s congressional delegate, Eleanor Holmes Norton (D), who has repeatedly introduced bills to get the District a place on the quarter’s flip side.

Despite Norton’s vigorous lobbying and arm-twisting, it was not the District’s quest for equality that ultimately carried the day.

It was Puerto Rico’s.

Yes, the District doesn’t get any respect. People in and outside of the region belittle it everyday. I don’t think that most Americans know that it’s a city without true representation that must endure indignities no state would tolerate.

So what should be on the DC Quarter? Evidently, portraits and flags are not allowed or else I would say Frederick Douglas. I’m certain they will pick something safe like the Capitol, the Washington Monument or some cherry blossom trees. I think it should be simple: “Taxation Without Representation”.

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