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Mayor Proposes New Statehood Plan E-mail
On April 15, 2016, at the Emancipation Day breakfast, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser unveiled a plan to reinvigorate the statehood movement by calling a constitutional convention to update the 1987 constitution passed by the D.C. Council, but never ratified by the voters. On April 21, 2016, at a meeting of the New Columbia Statehood Commission, which consists of D.C.'s statehood senators and representative, the chairman of the Council and the Mayor, she presented her plan in a little more detail. Read more for press coverage by the Washington Post and WAMU of the Commission's meeting and the actions it approved.
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The District is about to declare its independence — from Congress E-mail

The Washington Post published on Emancipation Day, celebrated this year on April 15, 2016 (as April 16 is a Saturday), a extensive piece by reporter Aaron Davis on the District of Columbia's efforts to gain the right to self-government through statehood and all the related rights that statehood grants, such as control over its state and local budget and legislation, as well as voting representation in Congress and an unrestricted vote for President. To find out more, click on read more.

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D.C. Emancipation Day Delays Federal Tax Day E-mail

D.C.'s Statehood Representative, Franklin Garcia describes in the the April 13, 2016 edition of the Huffington Post why all Americans have an extension of time until April 18, 2016 to file their Federal income tax return. The IRS gave everyone three more days because April 15th is the day the District of Columbia's one official holiday, D.C. Emancipation Day, is going to be celebrated this year. D.C. Emancipation Day celebrates President Lincoln's signing on April 16,1862 of the District of Columbia Compensated Emancipation Act  which freed over 3,100 slaves in the District of Columbia. For more information, read Rep. Garcia's article.

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Statehood Hero Jerry Clark Dies E-mail

Jerry Clark (far right) with D.C. statehood activists at 2012 Democratic Convention, Charlotte, NC

Jerry Clark, a long-time human rights and statehood activist, died Saturday, April 9, 2016, at the Virginia Hospital Center in Arlington, Virginia. He had been in and out of the hospital and rehab centers since he had a bad fall and injured his head in January 2016.

Jerry graduated from the Burris School in Muncie, Indiana in 1959.  He received an AB from Princeton University, a JD from the University of Chicago and completed his doctoral studies in Political Science at the University of Minnesota. He was an assistant in the Department of Justice under Elliott Richardson but spent the major portion of his career as the Executive Director of the United Mineworkers Pension and Trust Funds.  Jerry was active in Washington politics, gay and lesbian rights and had long been a leader in the effort to achieve statehood for the District of Columbia.

Jerry was the Chair of the DC Statehood Coalition, and had been active in DC for Democracy as its Chair (2010-2013) and Political Director (2008-2010 & 2014-2016) and was a longtime member of the steering committee. Kesh Ladduwahetty, the current Chair of DC for Democracy, described Jerry as "a dear personal friend as well as a colleague and fellow activist in the progressive movement.  I will miss his calm, measured voice on the phone, his gentle smile, his sagacious advice.  He approached politics on the level of grand strategy, yet fully embraced the grunt work, from canvassing to standing at the polls on election day.  Antony's words in Julius Caesar come to mind: "His life was gentle, and the elements mixed so well in him that Nature might stand up and say to all the world, 'This was a man.'"

His family is planning a major event in July on what would have been his 75th birthday. They are considering having an informal event within a week or so so his friends and family can gather together to remember Jerry and the impact he had on all of us.

Jerry was recently a guest on D.C. (Statehood) Representative Franklin Garcia's DC Statehood Today show:  Jerry's interview starts at the 12:50 minute mark: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D8supGVuuGU.

 
Iowa Congressman's Tweet Causes Stir E-mail

Washington Post reporter Perry Stein reported on March 23, 2016, that Iowa Congressman Rod Blum, a Republican from Iowa who is on the House Committee with jurisdiction over the District of Columbia, tweeted "Washington DC is booming. Tower cranes everywhere. Being built on the backs of US taxpayers. DC needs a recession."  This did not go down well with D.C. residents. For the full story, click on read more.

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