Juneteenth celebrates freedom. But what is freedom to an American without the full rights of citizenship? The +700,000 residents of DC are still waiting for an answer.
- Statement of Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton on S. 475, the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act, June 16, 2021
- “Today’s bill making Juneteenth, when the last slaves got word that slavery had ended, a federal holiday has unique meaning for the District of Columbia because the slaves here were the first, not the last, to be freed. The reason, of course, is that the District was and is a federally controlled jurisdiction. The District celebrates the emancipation of slaves here on April 16 every year.
- Juneteenth should remind Congress that it’s time for the first to be freed to finally become equal to other Americans. The House understands that with its passage of the D.C. statehood bill. So does the Senate, with a hearing on our D.C. statehood bill scheduled for next Tuesday, June 22.
- With the President, the House, and the Senate all believing that the residents of their nation’s capital should in every way be equal to other Americans, we rejoice this Juneteenth knowing that we are close to adding the 51st star to the flag.”
- From Mayor Muriel Bowser’s office – Emancipation.dc.gov
- “One result of the intense struggle over slavery was the DC Compensated Emancipation Act of 1862, passed by the Congress and signed by President Abraham Lincoln. The act ended slavery in Washington, DC, freed 3,100 individuals, reimbursed those who had legally owned them and offered the newly freed women and men money to emigrate. It is this legislation, and the courage and struggle of those who fought to make it a reality that we commemorate every April 16, DC Emancipation Day.
- Though the Compensated Emancipation Act was an important legal and symbolic victory, it was part of a larger struggle over the meaning and practice of freedom and citizenship. These two words continue to be central to what it means to be a participating member of society. We invite you to think about what these concepts have meant in the past and what they mean to you today...”
- Statement by then-Rep. Mike Pence in 2007:
- “The fact that more than half a million Americans live in the District of Columbia and are denied a single voting representative in Congress is clearly a historic wrong, and justice demands that it be addressed.”
On Tuesday, June 22, the issue of DC statehood will appear before the Senate’s Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. During the House Oversight Committee hearing in April, GOP representatives presented such bizarre requirements for statehood on live TV, we despaired for the teaching of American civics. Assuming a repeat from the Senate’s own GOP fabulists, you may want to create your BINGO cards now with the help of “6 collossally Stupid Arguments against DC Statehood” and or other resources provided below. Or use ours.
Minimal script: I’m calling from [zip code] to [thank Rep./Sen. [___] for being/ask Rep./Sen. [___] to become] a cosponsor of Sen. – S.51 – Washington, D.C. Admission Act and ending this example of racial injustice in the very heart of our nation. Freedom without full rights, including taxation without representation, is not true citizenship. I’m joining Rep. Holmes, Mayor Bowser and 2007’s version of Mike Pence in recommending the immediate correction of this historic wrong.Continue reading “D.C. statehood is in the Senate on Tuesday, 6/22! Pile on! YES on S.51!”