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First Second Books

A new nonfiction graphic novel probes democracy's challenges, inspires fixes

How did American democracy get so broken and what are the paths forward to fix it?

These complex questions are explored with levity and clarity in a new nonfiction graphic novel. In "Unrig: How to Fix Our Broken Democracy," the campaign finance reform advocate Daniel Newman dives into gerrymandering, money in politics, voting rights and more — all through comics illustrated by author and illustrator George O'Connor.

Having worked in the democracy reform space for the better part of two decades, Newman says he saw a critical need for material that explained the issues plaguing American politics, while also providing optimism and inspiration for making the system work better. Sales of the books, which start next week, will suggest whether he was right.

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A growing and diversifying economy has 706,000 people living in the city, more than Vermont or Wyoming.

First vote by Congress for D.C. statehood lays the ground for next year

The House has voted for the first time to rectify one of the most counterintuitive quirks of American democracy:

People living in the national capital have less of a voice in the national government than all the rest of the nation — consigned to the same second-class status, taxation without representation, which sparked the Revolution that created the country.

Legislation to change that, by making the District of Columbia the 51st state, was approved 232-180 on Friday, the only passage of such a statehood measure by either chamber in the history of Congress.

But the almost purely party-line tally in the Democratic House will be the proposal's symbolically resonant high-water mark, at least for the year. That's because the Republican Senate had made plain it has zero interest in the measure, even before President Trump made explicit this week that he would veto it.

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