Jun 29
Free DC! - Statehood Now!

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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

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. A D.C. civics teacher testified at the pening 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 will vote on the constitution on June 24, although they may postpone that date slightly..

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.

Educate Congress and Get Co-Sponsors for the New Columbia Admission Act

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 and Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) on December 18, 2015, so there are now 19 Senate cosponsors from 15 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 ). Next lobby day is Friday, April 15, 2016.

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!

Demand that Council Fund D.C.'s Statehood Delegation

Help make New Columbia the 51st state and have D.C. shed its place as "last in liberty"!

Although many of the both the new and old members of the District of Columbia Council talked about statehood in their inaugural speeches on January 2, 2015, they have yet to put our money where their mouth is. Unlike other jurisdictions that have elected a statehood or "shadow" delegation to head their statehood effort, D.C. has never funded our delegation, except for authorizing D.C. taxpayers to donate to the statehood fund. In fact, until 2008, Congress prohibited the District government from funding efforts to get statehood or voting rights. Unfortunately, the only funding mecahnism that has existed was a voluntary taxpayer check-off on D.C. income tax forms, which has now expired. Unless our government decides to really support our statehood delegation, any words in support of statehood are just that - WORDS. After over two centuries, the people of D.C. must demand ACTION. Now is the time to make our voices heard.

The D.C. Council's Committee of the Whole held a hearing on BIll 20-0171, the D.C. Statehood Advocacy Act, on Thursday, July 11, 2013. The Act was introduced by Council Members Vincent Orange, Jim Graham, Marion Barry, Anita Bonds, and Yvette Alexander and cosponsored by Council Member Kenyan McDuffie. It would authorize a total of $1,105,000 for compensation for the Statehood Senators and Representative ($35,000 each member), their staff ($75,000 total each member), programming, including a website and annual symposium on statehood ($75,000 total each member), retaining a media firm ($400,000) and a Congressional Affairs firm to lobby Congress ($150,000).Numerous statehood activists testified. Their testimony is posted on this website. See the articles below.

A group of statehood activists drafted and submitted a statehood consensus substitute bill that would guarantee that all funds appropriated would be used only to support STATEHOOD. In addition, it would authorize each member of our statehood Congressional delegation to be compensated at the rate of $75,000 a year. Given that Council Members are paid $125,000 for "part-time" positions, this is a very reasonable amount to pay those whom we expect to work both locally and nationally to regain our liberty. In addition, the statehood consensus substitute bill would increase funding for each member's staffing and office expenses to $175,000. In all, the proposed bill would increase the total appropriation by $360,000 to $1.465 million -- only a little more than 1/100th of a penny for every dollar in the District's fiscal year 2014 budget! This is a small price to pay to regain our right to govern ourselves. The text of the proposed substitute bill can be found on this website.

Please contact the members of the D.C. Council and urge them to introduce and pass the statehood consensus substitute bill to Bill 20-0171 and promptly fund our Statehood Delegation for fiscal year 2015 and in future fiscal years until we achieve our goal of statehood. In the past session of Congress, the New Columbia Admission Act gained significant support in both the House and Senate, as well as endorsement by the President, but without more resources, it will be for naught.

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!

Senate Hearing on D.C. Statehood Held September 15, 2014

Senator Thomas Carper (D-DE), chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, held a hearing on S. 132, the New Columbia Admission Act on September 15, 2014. This was the first Congressional hearing on statehood for the District of Columbia in two decades.

The witnesses were D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton, Mayor Vincent Gray, Council Chairman Phil Mendelson, Prof. Viet D. Dinh of Georgetown University Law Center, Dr. Alice Rivlin, Senior Fellow and Leonard D. Schaffer Chair in Health Policy Studies at The Brookings Institution, Wade Henderson, President of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, Roger Pilon, VP for Legal Affairs and B. Kenneth Simon Chair in Constitutional Studies at the Cato Institute, and D.C. Senators Paul Strauss and Michael D. Brown.

On September 10, 2014, the entire District of Columbia Council sent a letter to Senator Carper thanking him for holding a hearing on the New Columbia Admissions Act and urging the committee and the Senate as a whole to "move expeditiously to secure rights for over half a million citizens disenfranchised by their own government" and (B)efore the mid-term elections,mark up this bill, move it to the floor, and hold a vote in the Senate." The letter concludes by saying that "(i)f we are not to have voting rights, we at least deserve to know who opposes our inalienable right."

See articles below for the written testimony presented at the hearing (one article for Committee members opening statements and Panel I's witnesses and another one for Panel II's witnesses) and for an article on the Council's letter.

We need to work to get statehood bills reintroduced in both the House and Senate and new hearings and ACTION on the bills in the new Congress.

President Obama Endorses Statehood for D.C.

On July 21 2104, at a town hall meeting on the My Brother's Keeper Initiative at Walker Jones Education Campus in Washington, D.C., President Barack Obama endorsed statehood for the District of Columbia. When asked about his position on statehood, he said “I’m in D.C., so I’m for it. Folks in D.C. pay taxes like everybody else. They contribute to the overall well-being of the country like everybody else. They should be represented like everybody else. And it’s not as if Washington, D.C., is not big enough compared to other states. There has been a long movement to get D.C. statehood and I’ve been for it for quite some time. The politics of it end up being difficult to get it through Congress, but I think it’s absolutely the right thing to do.”

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 add D.C. statehood to his legislative agenda. 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. Over the past year, 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.

The League of Women Voters of the United States Supports D.C. Statehood E-mail

On June 19, 2016, the League of Women Voters of the United States voted overwhelmingly at their national convention to support statehood for the people of the District of Columbia. The resolution was introduced by the League of Women Voters of the District of Columbia. The League of Women Voters of the District of Columbia was founded in February 1920 to support the struggle to get the vote for women and has actively supported District self-government and enfranchisement since 1938. To see the resolution the convention approved and the League's press release, read more.

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