WE HAVE NO IDEA how Greater Washington or the world will react to the news, but Georgetown--once a municipality, always a division much unto itself--may be on the verge of an identity crisis: there is afoot--are you ready?--a move there to secede from the District of Columbia. The proposal is made (and not in jest) in a newspaper editorial by the editors of The Georgetowner. Entitled "Our New Year's Resolution: An Independent Georgetown," this front-page statement argues for the pursuit "of all possible legal and peaceful means" to sever Georgetown from the District.
Deliberately left unclear is the form of government Georgetown might choose. There are many intriguing possibilities, ranging from kingdom to 52nd state (after D.C. turns into "Columbia," Georgetown could become "Vendoria"). At any rate, here's the written gist of the case: "If the citizens of the District can establish their political rights through referendum and petition to Congress, the citizens of parts of the District of Columbia should have the same opportunity, particularly if there is a fundamental difference between the former group's vision of government and the latter's. We sincerely believe this to be the case." 4 That "fundamental difference," by the way, awaits elaboration in coming editions of the paper. But the suggestion is made that "once we are severed from the District, we can again hold our own elections for mayor and council and restore to Georgetown a government whose interests would truly represent those of the people of this our town."
One option offered--Annapolis, take note--is for Georgetown to request reaffiliation with Maryland after a separation of nearly 112 years.
And before long, maybe even already, one segment of Georgetown--say, the people above P Street--will decide that they are totally out of political synch with the people Below, in terms of traditions, income levels, desire for a waterfront view and interest in underwriting any programs for less favored peoples, nations or even city blocks.
Obviously the bid here is for attention, which the editors readily acknowledge. Perhaps those who live beyond Georgetown's borders did not realize how neglected, downtrodden, helpless and even different these people feel every day. It's enough to make you cry.