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Why Urbanists Everywhere Should Be Fighting for D.C. Statehood E-mail

In the blog Next City, Aaron Wiener describes the effect of the stranglehold by Congress on the District of Columbia and why urbanists everywhere should be fighting for D.C. statehood.

 

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Liberate DC: New Columbia as the 51st State E-mail

D.C. resident and Libertarian candidate for D.C. (statehood or "shadow") Representative to Congress, Martin Moulton wrote the following article on the need for D.C. statehood for the Voices of Liberty (Ron Paul) website:

http://www.voicesofliberty.com/article/liberate-dc-new-columbia-as-the-51st-state/

Updated: September 17, 2014 by Martin Moulton

Liberate DC: New Columbia as the 51st State

September 17, 2014 – As we mark the 13th anniversary of the tragedies of 9/11 and the travesty of yet another United States President failing to justify launching an attack in a foreign country, in another extravagant and bloody gambit to dictate democracy abroad, it’s time to focus attention to how our Federal government practices what it preaches right here at home. Surrounding the US Capitol and White House are more than 646,000 law abiding, tax paying American citizens who do not enjoy the democracy which even citizens in Baghdad enjoy; these Americans are subject to taxation without representation — something our county used to battle viciously against. On Monday, September 15, the Senate held a hearing on S.132, the New Columbia Admission Act of 2013 to restart the effort to do some nation building at home by establishing New Columbia as the 51st State.

Although the facts are often lost in most political discussions about the balance of power, the establishment of the District does not require a constitutional amendment. In 1846, Virginia retroceded its portion of the District of Columbia from the Federal District of Washington DC. In order to grant the citizens of District of Columbia equality with those in the existing 50 states, the Federal District can simply be reduced once again to include primarily the Federal government buildings which would remain the District of Columbia, a strictly Federal jurisdiction, within the boundaries of the State of New Columbia. See proposed map.

In addition, when republican dominated Hawaii and liberal Alaska received statehood, no one expected that their political leanings would radically flip; so, the District’s future as a majority Democrat jurisdiction will be open to whichever party — Democrat, Republican, Libertarian or Green — speaks effectively to the needs and values of its diverse residents.

Instead of spending trillions more in US tax payer dollars and sacrificing the lives of more brave US service women and men to show the world how much they believe in Democracy, Congress should simply vote to pass S.132 and its House companion bill, H.R.292, to show the world that even Congress’ immediate neighbors are entitled to democracy and equal rights. Libertarians realize that citizens are best served by small local and state governments. It’s time to #LiberateDC and remove the redundancy and expense of Congress micromanaging laws already passed by locally elected officials. The Economist Intelligence Unit ranks the U.S. 19th in its index of the World’s leading democracies. The United Nation’s recently acknowledged that DC’s status diminishes our entire Nation as one of the world’s leading democracies and champions of human rights. The current Senate bill has unprecedented support on Capitol Hill. The time has come to do more nation building at home.

 
Critics of D.C. statehood cite specious objections E-mail

On September 17, 2014 (Online; September 18 in print edition), the Wahsington Post published columnist Robert McCartney's article entitled Critics of D.C. statehood cite specious objections, such as Grave Snowplow Threat in which he analyzed Roger Pilon's arguments opposing statehood for the District of Columbia.

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The District’s fight for 51 stars E-mail

In the Washington Post's "Close ot Home" opinion section, D.C. Senator Michael D. Brown ties the writing of the Star Spangled Banner by Lt. Francis Scott Key, a member of the Georgetown Field Artillery of the D.C. Militia, who was on official duty when he went to Baltimore to rescue Dr. William Beans, a Maryland doctor who had been arrested by the British forces during the War of 1812, to the need for Congress to admit the State of New Columbia and bring "liberty and justice all" to the citizens of the District of Columbia.

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Mark Plotkin: We need a floor fight for D.C. statehood E-mail

D.C. commentator, Mark Plotkin, wrote an op-ed that was published in The Washington Post on Sunday, August 26, 2012 about how we need "A floor fight for D.C. statehood" at the 2012 Democratic National Convention in order to get D.C. statehood back into the Democratic platform.

The Democratic Party endorsed D.C. statehood in its platform in 1988, 1992, 1996, and 2000.  D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton, when she was one of the vice chairs of the Platform Committee in 2004 and 2008, took statehood out of the Democratic platform and inserted a plank on "voting rights" (for her) instead.  On September 10, 2011, the Democratic National Committee passed a resolution endorsing statehood that says:

"THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Democratic National Committee endorse and encourage citizens and their members of Congress to support full democracy and statehood for the District of Columbia that will guarantee to the residents of the District of Columbia full Congressional voting representation, budget autonomy, and all of the rights that the people of the 50 United States enjoy." (bolding added)

The D.C. Democratic State Committee proposed language taken from that resolution as the D.C. plank for the 2012 platform.  Del. Norton revised the language to delete statehoood and submitted instead the following:

"Equal rights for all American citizens has become a revered American creed. Every citizen of the United States is entitled to equal citizenship rights, including the 600,000 residents of the nation’s capital who pay federal taxes without representation. The American citizens who live in Washington, DC like the citizens of the 50 states, should have full and equal congressional rights and the right to have the laws and budget of their local government respected without congressional interference."

When a number of District residents objected to the deletion of D.C. statehood from the platform, Del. Norton said that she would try to get it back in, but nothing has happened. This is why Mark Plotkin has called for a floor fight on the issue at the Democratic Convention in Charlotte next week.
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