Sep 25
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

D.C. Statehood Rally Wednesday, Sept. 28, 1-5:30 p.m.

As part of the "Breaking Through Power" Conference, on Wdnesday, September 28, 2016, from 1:00 to 5:30 p.m. there will be a D.C. statehood rally and conference at the D.A.R. Constitution Hall, 1776 D St. NW, Washington, D.C. This is the schedule:

D.C. Statehood - Why and What It Takes

1:05 pm - 1:25 pm Why Now is the Time for Statehood

(invited) Mayor Muriel Bowser & D.C. Council Chair Phil Mendelson

1:25 pm - 1:35 pm Getting Statehood through Congress—Strategy and Resources

D.C. Delegate Eleanor Olmes Norton

1:35 pm - 2:05 pm The Case for Statehood—Ending the Colony

D.C. Senator Michael Brown and D.C. Reprsentative Franklin Garcia,  Mark Plotkin, Moderator

2:05 pm - 2:55 pm Mobilizing for Action in The District of Columbia and the Nation—When, How and With What

Rev. Grayson hagler, Plymouth UCC, Keshini Ladduwahetty, Chairperson, DC for Democracy, Anise Jenkins, Stand Up! Free DC!, Scot McLarty,  DC Statehood Green Party, Josh Burch, Neighbors United for DC Statehood

2:55 pm - 3:15 pm Building Support for Democracy with the D.C. Establishment

Anthony William, former D.C. Mayor & Executive Director Federal City Council

3:15 pm - 3:45 pm Voter Suppression

Hillary Shelton, NAACP Washington Bureau Director

3:45 pm - 4:15 pm The Best D.C. Constitution, The US Constitution and D.C. Statehood

Betsy Cavendish, D.C. General Counsel (to Mayor); Alan Morrison, Professor, GWU School of Law

4:15 pm - 4:45 pm Making Statehood a Presidential Priority—Mobilizing for Statehood Nationwide

(Invited) Senator Ed Markey (D-MA)

4:45 pm - 5:30 pm The Winning Strategy—And a Proclamation

Ralph Nader

Cost $10. For more information and to register, go to: https://www.breakingthroughpower.org.

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 referendum language approved by the Council is:

"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."

D.C. voters have to vote for all 4 items as a unit. In order to amend the constitution approved by New Columbia Statehood Commission on June 28, 2016, District residents will have to convince the Council to amend it.

Register and testify at Council Hearings Sept. 27 and October 6!

At the request of the Mayor, Chairman Mendelson introduced Bill No. 21-826, the "Constitution of the State of New Columbia Approval Amendment Act of 2016." The Council has scheduled two public hearings on the bill,. The first is at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, September 27, 2016 and the second is at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, October 6, 2016. To testify, call Evan Cash at 202-724-8196 or email him at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Witnesses will be allowed 5 minutes, or less if there is a large number of witnesses. Written statements can be submitted to the Committee of the Whole, Council of the District of Columbia, Suite 410, John A. Wilson Building, 1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20004, before 5 p.m. on Thursday, October 20, 2016.

The Council only has about seven weeks between when the members return in mid-September from their summer recess and the election. In that period, they must hold the hearings, markup the bill which includes the Statehood Commission's constitution, and hold two readings and votes on the bill, which must be two weeks apart. In addition, there needs to be time to print the constitution and make it widely available to the voters so they can have any idea what it is before they are voting on.

This is a tall order for Council Members who have not really been involved in the process so far. In addition, there is very little time for the public to really have much input. We need your help to educate the Council. Please read the constitution and comment at the hearings. The constitution can be obtained online at http://lims.dccouncil.us/Download/36236/B21-0826-Introduction.pdf (Bill 21-0826) or through the Legislative Services Division (Room 10) of the Secretary of the Council's Office. Printed copies may also be available at D.C. libraries.

If you or any organization you belong to would like someone to come speak to you about the bill, please email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . The bill contains the text of the constitution and the version of the bill the Council approves will be the constitution to which the referendum on refers.

Statehood activists want to see the Council amend section 2 of the bill to amend the amendment provision in Article VII, section 3 of the Constitution, which now only allows the new House of Delegates to amend the Constitution, to allow the voters to propose amendments to the Constitution by proposing that a constitutional convention be held or through the initiative process. In all cases, an amendment proposed by the House of Delegates, a constitutinal convention or an initiative must be subsequently approved by the voters.

In addition, we would like the Council to amend the bill to provide that within 90 days of the passage of Bill 21-826, the Mayor and Council shall establish a procedure for electing representatives from all eight wards to a constitutional convention and provide adequate time and resources for them to perform their duties.

We also want to make sure that the admission act approved by Congress provides for a referendum to approve the constitution and boundaries referenced in the act, which may or may not be revised by Congress, subsequent to Congress' approval of the admission act but before the President proclaims that New Columbia is admitted as a state. This second referndum is requied by the bills now before Congress. However, a new Congress will convene in January 2017 and a new "New Columbia Admission Act" willl have to be introduced in both houses at that time.

See articles below on the Council's action on July 12, 2016 to approve the referendum language.

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, 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. Attorney General Karl Racine Supports Statehood E-mail

On August 31, 2016, the Washington Informer published an article by reporter Lauren Poteat about D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine's comments on statehood during an interview by Maria Leonard Olsen on WPFW's "Inside Out" program.


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