The National Association to Restore Pride in America’s Capital, Inc. was incorporated in the late 1990’s by a small group of concerned Washingtonians, who had learned from experience that many of DC’s outward appearances reflected poorly on its unique role as the capital of the US and free world. Behind the glow of the white marble buildings and symbolic monuments of the compact “federal city”, lay an impoverished, squalid inner city surrounded by one of the world’s most prosperous metropolitan areas.
After ten years of argument and analysis, NARPAC’s efforts had produced few if any better statistics on public education, public health, crime, poverty, unemployment, or commuter gridlock. DC is still stuck with an inefficient Metro system that caters to the suburbs but fails to encourage inner city development; a crumbling public school system badly oversized for its slowly declining minority student population; and its self-defeating refusal to press for either a) taking transfer of poorly utilized federal properties (including two abandoned airfields!), or b) removing onerous building height limits (outside the “topographic bow”l), each of which could be hugely valuable revenue-producers.
The sad fact is that the District of Columbia is America’s only core city that lacks the supporting resources of its own suburbs or its own state. While naïve city activists push for “independence” (to become America’s smallest, poorest, sickest, dumbest, most crime-ridden state), what DC really needs is to be adopted by the rich, competent neighboring State of Maryland -- that now benefits disproportionately from its proximity. DC is the only American city “managed” by the 545 members of Congress who override the local government and treat DC as a personal plantation for socio-economic experimentation they couldn’t get adopted nationally, or even in their own home states.
And why exactly is DC in this artificial, politically impotent, socio-economic plight? Because our Founding Fathers wanted to be sure that our Seat of Government was in a neutral territory large enough (up to 100 square miles) to contain the capital city, and several other towns as well – such as Alexandria, Georgetown, and Tenleytown, which are now small neighborhoods in a 3000 square mile metro area. And how is this requirement codified? In the longest paragraph of Section 8, Article 1 of our beloved, infallible, seriously outdated Constitution.
It is now clear to NARPAC’s founding fathers that America’s real, broader, national embarrassment is the inability of the US Congress to conduct its elections and its essential business by 21st Century global business standards. Its entire “operating system” is over 200 years out of date in a global world of ever-faster, more complex, multi-faceted change, with ever-declining implicit morality. If we don’t upgrade and re-boot Congressional rules to stop its shabby practices, our future national prominence will surely be eroded. We must reactivate our mummified, deified Constitution into a living document that can guide our future governmental activities in a competitive world. NARPAC will offer supporting argumentation and analysis – and welcome your help!
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