The recent riots in D.C. have clarified a serious issue…
Very enlightening interview with the D.C.’s shadow legislator – Sen. Paul Strauss.
Beyond being taxed without representation, (an issue “real” patriots should be concerned about), the recent riots clarified why continuing to deny statehood to DC. is dangerous. Though larger in population than two states and almost 60 countries, D.C., as a city, lacks a governor with the ability to call up the D.C. National Guard, leaving that power with the federal government. So while our president was mesmerized by the televised spectacle of real-time insurrection in his name, the Capitol Police force was overwhelmed, and a city with over 712,000 people was left helpless for three hours as riots carried out.
D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser is both rightfully angry and exasperated. At a Thursday conference, she said, “We must get statehood on the President’s desk within the first 100 days of the 117th Congress. Congress must immediately transfer command of the District of Columbia National Guard from the President of the United States and put it squarely under the command and control of the District of Columbia.”
Asked how she would have responded to the riot had she been a governor instead of a mayor, Bowser said, “We would not be restricted in any way for how to deploy the Guard, so we wouldn’t have to clear a deployment plan with the secretary of the Army.”
Call your legislators!
Minimal script: I’m calling from [zip code] ensure that Rep./Sen. [___] will be an original cosponsor for the new Washington D.C. statehood bill, as well as for H.R. 1- For the People Act of 2021.
- DC. Statehood bill: The Washington, D.C. Admissions Act isn’t posted on congress.gov yet, but last year’s version – HR. 51 – was cosponsored by both Reps. Brownley and Carbajal, and they may well have already committed to signing this version. The Senate version – S.631, was cosponsored by both Sens. Feinstein and Harris. However, it never hurts to ask again.
- HR.-1: HR 1 only has two cosponsors, and they’re not ours. It’s early days in a brand new Congress but it was H.R. ONE for a reason.
- Rep. Julia Brownley: email, (CA-26): DC (202) 225-5811, Oxnard (805) 379-1779, T.O. (805) 379-1779
- or Rep. Salud Carbajal: email.(CA-24): DC (202) 225-3601, SB (805) 730-1710 SLO (805) 546-8348
- Senator Feinstein: email, DC (202) 224-3841, LA (310) 914-7300, SF (415) 393-0707, SD (619) 231-9712, Fresno (559) 485-7430
- and Senator Harris: email,DC (202) 224-3553, LA (310) 231-4494, SAC (916) 448-2787, Fresno (559) 497-5109, SF (415) 981-9369, SD (619) 239-3884
- Who is my representative/senator?: https://whoismyrepresentative.com
This is a really interesting video on the fight for our 51st state.
(More detailed read from Indivisible here.) “American democracy is built on the promise that all people should have a say in our federal government through elected representatives who can then create and execute laws on behalf of the people. However, that is not the case for the 700,000 Americans who live in the District of Columbia, who lack equal voting rights compared to their neighbors across the country. In fact, D.C. residents lack a voting representative in the House and have no representation in the Senate at all. Making D.C. the 51st state would go a long way towards making the legislative branch more representative of the country as a whole.
In addition to being a critical democracy reform, D.C. statehood is also a racial justice issue. Historically, racist politicians have prevented D.C. from becoming a state to prevent D.C.’s Black residents from building political power, from the days of the Emancipation Proclamation to the present. D.C. has long been a majority Black city, and the current population is still made up by a majority of Black people and people of color. If D.C. is granted statehood, it will be the only state in the nation to have a plurality of Black residents.
The District’s lone representative in Congress, Eleanor Holmes Norton (who has no vote on the House floor), is already preparing her D.C. statehood bill for introduction in the 117th Congress. In the 116th Congress, Congresswoman Norton broke the record for original cosponsors with 155 Democrats signed on, and we need to help her break that record again. It is critically important to get every single Democrat signed on as an original cosponsor of the D.C. statehood bill. If Democrats care about fixing our democracy and ensuring racial justice for all, then they must support statehood for D.C.”
Image in header by Tyler Merbler