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Timeline - 215 Years of the District of Columbia's Efforts to Restore Self-Government E-mail

The residents of what is now the District of Columbia lost their full democratic rights to self-government and a government of, by and for the people over 200 years ago.  Ever since then, they have been demanding that Congress restore the full rights of American citizenship.

What to Do for D.C. Statehood this month! E-mail

D.C. Voters Overwhelmingly Approve the "Advisory Referendum" on Statehood

On November 8, 2016, District voters overwhelmingly voted for statehood with 87% (or 244,134) of those voting on the referendum approving it and 13% (40,779) opposing it. 26,154 voters (8.4%) either did not vote on the referendum or otherwise spoiled their ballot. D.C. voter turnout was very high in this election with over sixty-five percent of registered D.C. voters voting!

By approving the referendum the voters advised the D.C. Council to petition Congress to approve an admission act. This is the first time since 1982, when they ratified the 1982 constitution, that District voters have had a chance to vote for statehood.

The text of the referendum was:

"To ask the voters on November 8, 2016, through an advisory referendum, if the Council should petition Congress to enact a statehood admission act to admit the State of New Columbia to the Union. Advising the Council to approve this proposal would establish that the citizens of the District of Columbia ("District") (1) agree that the District should be admitted to the union as the State of New Columbia; (2) approve a Constitution of the State of New Columbia to be adopted by the Council; (3) approve the State of New Columbia's boundaries, as adopted by the New Columbia Statehood Commission on June 28, 2016; and (4) agree that the State of New Columbia shall guarantee an elected representative form of government."

For a discussion of the referendum, see What's the Advisory Referendum on Our Ballot? by David Jonas Bardin below.

Mayor's Statehood Initiative

The "Statehood Constitutional Convention" organized by the Mayor through the New Columbia Statehood Commission finished its 3 day - 10-12 hour total! - "convention" Saturday, June 18, 2016. Laura Fuchs, a D.C. civics teacher testified at the opening session on June 13 and pointedly noted that this was really a "townhall meeting," not a "convention", and that "citizens" are not "delegates" when no authority and no vote over the content of the constitution has been delegated to them. Only the members of the New Columbia Statehood Commission (the Mayor, Chairman of the Council, and 3 members of our statehood Congressional delegation) have a vote. The Commission amended and approved the constitution on June 28, 2016.

For more on the effort and the "convention," see "The Mayor's initiative and D.C.'s statehood constitutions,"  "Reactions to othe 'Constitutional Convention," and "Public Comments on Draft Statehood Constitution" below.

D.C. Council's action

At the request of the Mayor, D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson introduced Bill No. 21-826, the "Constitution of the State of New Columbia Approval Amendment Act of 2016." The Council held two public hearings on the bill. The first was on Tuesday, September 27, 2016 and the second was on Thursday, October 6, 2016. Video of the September 27, 2016 hearing can be found at

Chairman Mendelson announced at the end of the October 6, 2016 that he had introduced a resolution, PR21-0913, the "Constitution and Boundaries for the State of New Columbia Approval Resolution of 2016," on Wednesday, October 5, 2016. The resolution contained the text of the constitution as approved by the Statehood Commission on June 28, 2016. However, instead of the boundary between the new state and the federal distirct approved by the Statehood Commission on June 28, 2016, and then amended in two places on September 14, 2016, the metes and bounds of the boundary were those proposed by John Loikow, a professional geographer and cartographer. He had analyzed the boundary approved by the Statehood Commission and prepared a commentary of the proposed metes and bounds, the issues some parts raised, and offered alternative wording.

To see the boundary he proposed, go to Boundary Between the Seat of Federal Government and the New State below.

On October 18, 2016, the Council marked up this resolution, instead of Bill 21-826. As a result, only one reading (vote) on the resolution, instead of two on the bill, was required. The original resolution can be found at: http://lims.dccouncil.us/Download/36406/PR21-0902-Introduction.pdf. The Council also made a number of amendments to the Constitution. The constituion as amended by the Council can be found at http://statehood.dc.gov/sites/default/files/dc/sites/statehood/publication/attachments/Pre-enrolled-Constitution.pdf and also as the "Pre-enrolled Version of the Constitution Approved October 18, 2016" below.

See the articles below on the Council's action on July 12, 2016 to approve the referendum language, the hearings on September 27 and October 6, 2016, and the Council's action on October 18, 2016 to approve Resolution PR21-0913, which includes new metes and bounds for the boundary between the new state and the federal district and an amended constitution. See D.C. Council Passes Resolution on State Boundary and Constitution below for press coverage of the Council's action on the resolution.

Educate Congress and Get Co-Sponsors for D.C. Statehood

On January 13, 2015, D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton reintroduced H.R. 317, the New Columbia Admission Act, in the House of Representatives with a record number of cosponsors - 93! In her introductory remarks, she noted that:

“Statehood is the only alternative for the citizens of the District of Columbia. To be content with less than statehood is to concede the equality of citizenship that is the birthright of our residents as citizens of the United States. That is a concession no American citizen has ever made, and one D.C. residents will not make as they approach the 214th year in their fight for equal treatment in their country. This bill reaffirms our determination to obtain each and every right enjoyed by citizens of the United States, by becoming the 51st State in the Union.”

Since then, 36 more cosponsors hae been added for a total of 133 from 33 states and 4 territories! To see the full list of cosponsors, go to "How Can I Help? at the left of this home page and click on "Statehood Bills."

On June 25, 2015, Sen. Thomas Carper (D-DE) introduced S. 1688, a Senate companion bill, with an historic number of cosponsors. Seventeen Senators joined Sen. Carper in introducing the New Columbia Admission Act.  They are: Sens. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Chris Coons (D-Del.), Richard Durbin (D-Ill.), Al Franken (D-Minn.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Harry Reid (D-Nev.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.). Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) joined the list on July 23, 2015, Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA), and Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI) on September 9, 2016, so there are now 20 Senate cosponsors (not including the sponsor Sen. Carper) from 16 states. Sen. Carper's June 25, 2015 press release can be found at below.

If you would like to help in either the House bill or Senate, please contact Elinor Hart ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ) or Josh Burch ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ).

In the last Congress (2013-2014), there were only 15 original cosponsors on H.R. 292, the New Columbia Admission Act, when it was introduced, and three on S. 132, the Senate companion bill. By the close of that Congress, there were 112 cosponsors on the House bill and 20 on the Senate bill. Thanks to all the work statehood activists have done over the past two years, including supporting the Senate hearing in September 2014, we now have a record number of original House cosponsors. We need your help keep the momentum going!

Listen to "Shadow Politics" with D.C. Sen. Michael Brown Sunday 7 p.m.

D.C. Senator Michael D. Brown with special Co-Host Kathleen Gomez has a weekly internet radio talk show on BBSRadio.com (station #2) on Sundays from 7 to 8 p.m. EDT. The call-in numbers are: 888-429-5471 (toll free US/Canada); 530-413-9537 (line 1); 530-763-1594 (line 2); 530-763-1594(line 3); 530-763-0341 (line 4); SKYPE: BBSRadio2. They celebrated one year on the air on April 13, 2014!

For more information, see articles below.

District residents and supporters of D.C. statehood need to continue the momentum.  Besides participating in this month's events as listed above, below are ways you can help get Congress to admit the State of New Columbia as the 51st state:

1. Please call the White House comment line (202-456-1111 M-F 9-5) early and often and ask the President to speak our on the need for D.C. statehood. He should realize the irony of his eloquent words at the opening of the Smithsonian's new museum on African-American history and culture which is located in the one place in America where the people are denied the right to self-government! Please ask your friends and neighbors to also call. This is something on which the number of commenters really counts. Please call often. It is outrageous that the District Government is constantly under the threat of being shut down because the Congress fails to pass a budget on time. Only statehood can free D.C. from having its operations halted because Congress has not done its job and make the people of D.C. full and free Americans.

2. If you have family and friends around the country ask them to call their Senators and  Representative to support D.C. statehood and introduce or co-sponsor the New Columbia Admission Act. It you would like to help in the effort to get Congressional co-sponsors, email us at:  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

3. Please get any organization to which you belong -- citizen and civic associations, political committees, labor unions, clubs, veterans groups and any other activist group -- to endorse D.C. statehood and to send a letter to that effect to the President and Congress. Many of these groups are part of national organizations. We need to get the local chapters endorsing statehood and then get them to put statehood on the agenda of their national parent organization. We have already done this with the National Association of Active and Retired Federal Employees (NARFE) and thte Episcopal Church of the United States, among others. The D.C. Federation of NARFE endorsed D.C. statehood in March 2009 (and again at its convention April 9, 2011) and the NARFE national convention endorsed it in August 2010. The Episcopal Diocese of Washington endorsed D.C. statehood at its Januray 2012 and 2013 conventions and in July 2012 the 77th General Convention of the Episcopal Church approved a watered down resolution endorsing statehood and other interim measures. The Progressive Democrats of America have included support for the New Columbia Admission Act in their monthly Congressional letter, which they hand deliver to hundreds of members of Congress.

4. We also need contributions to help fund our struggle for statehood. You can contribute by sending a check payable to D.C. Statehood -Yes We Can!, to Wallace Dickson, Treasurer, D.C. Statehood - Yes We Can!, 1707 Columbia Road, N.W., suite 314, Washington, D.C. 20009.

Please help us in any or all of these ways.  With your help, the 680,000 plus residents of the District of Columbia can regain the right to self-government that Congress took away from us over two centuries ago! D.C. Statehood now!

D.C. Statehood - Yes We Can!

Fight for D.C. Statehood! E-mail

No where else, but in our nation's capital, do Americans lose their democratic rights merely because of their choice of residence. No where else do American citizens have all the responsibilities of citizenship, but few of the rights.

District citizens pay full federal taxes and serve in the military and die for our country but have no say in whether we go to war, what those taxes are, who serves on our federal courts or in the President's cabinet, or whether the United States should enter into various treaties and international obligations. We can't even spend our own local tax money freely. Congress is implicitly our "state legislature" and does whatever it wants here, even things it would not dare to impose on their constituents back in their home states.

To find out how you can help, please read more.

D.C. Statehood Rap E-mail

Washington Post reporter David Nakamura covered D.C.'s 2009 Emancipation Day and D.C. rapper Rasi Caprice's rap "Free D.C." It should be the D.C. statehood anthem. To listen, read more.

D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton Protests D.C. Budget Priorities E-mail
D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton has protected the District of Columbia’s budget autonomy referendum and Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Act from being overturned in the fiscal year 2017 continuing resolution (CR), released December 6, 2016, which funds the federal government until April 28, 2017. She also got a $ 19.995 million federal payment in the CR to cover Presidential inauguration expenses.
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