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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.

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

D.C. Council's "Advisory Referendum" on Statehood

The D.C. Council ignored citizens' request that the November referendum be a questions of statehood yes or no and not require D.C. voters to sign a blank check and ratify "a Consitution of the State of New Columbia to be adopted by the Council...."

The resolution requires the voters to (1) support statehood; (2) give the Council a blank check by ratifying a constitution to be approved by the Council at some point in the future; (3) approve the new state's boundaries before they are negotiated with the Federal government; and (4) agree that the new state "shall guarantee an elected representative form of government" (when the constitutional phrase is "a Republican form of government" ).D.C. voters have to vote for all 4 items as a unit. They can't vote for statehood but against giving a blank check on the constitution.

Council Chairman Mendelson claimed the Council would approve a new constitution by November 8. However. the Council only has about seven weeks between when the members return from summer recess and the election. In that period, they must properly notice the hearings, hold them, markup the Statehood Commission's constitution, which was only released July 12, and hold two readings and votes on the bill, which must be two weeks apart. In addition, there needs to be at least a week, maybe more, for the Board of Elections and Ethics or the District Government to print the constitution and make it widely available to the voters so they can have any idea what it is before they have to vote to ratify it on November 8.

This is a tall order for members who have not really been involved in the process so far. In addition, there will be very little time for the public to really have any input. As a result, this will be a constitution written by an oligarchy of 13 people, who have had little time to give much thought to the many issues involved. No democracy for the people of D.C., or what else is new in the colony!

See articles below on the Council's action on July 12, 2016.

To read the Statehood Commission's Constitution, go to: http://lims.dccouncil.us/Download/36236/B21-0826-Introduction.pdf. It will be the Council's BIll No. 21-0826.

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 amended and approved the constitution on June 28, 2016. The Council will consider a resolution on the referendum on July 12.

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!

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 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.

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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.

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The statehood convention that wasn't E-mail

Longtime statehood activist, Timothy Cooper describes in an article that was published on July 13, 2016 in The Hill's blog why the Mayor's initiative did not really include a a real constitutional convention and how that shortchanged the people of the District of Columbia in having much of a say on the constitution she and the other members of the New Columbia Statehood Commission approved.

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