Read more for a list of Emancipation Day events sponsored by the DC Statehood Coalitioin, the D.C. Government and the African American Civil War Memorial & Museum.
From DC for Democracy on statehood events this weekend:
This weekend, Democracy Awakens!
Democracy Awakening is a national convergence in Washington, D.C. of more than 200 organizations (including DC for Democracy) from April 15 - April 18, to press Congress to pass reforms essential to ensuring a nation where everyone can cast a vote that counts and the power of people’s voices is not measured by the size of their wallet. This historic mobilization will unite the fight to protect and expand our right to vote with the urgent necessity of getting big money out of our elections.
Saturday, April 16, Noon - 6pm: Workshops, Teach-ins & Art at the intersections between voting rights, money and politics and the struggles for a healthy living planet, criminal justice reform, a fair economy, workers rights, empowered young people and more. This will take place at All-Souls Unitarian Church (1500 Harvard St, NW), and will include:
Sunday, April 17, 1-4pm there will be a Mass Rally and March for democracy at the U.S. Capitol.
- Separate & Unequal: DC’s Renewed Struggle for Voting Rights & Equality, a workshop at 2pm, Eaton Room. The workshop will explain the history of second-class citizenship of D.C. residents, and the emergence of the statehood movement in the 1990s. Explore the recent circumstances that led to a renewed commitment to statehood, the nuts and bolts of creating the state of New Columbia, how we achieved significant momentum in the U.S. Congress since 2010, and the prospect for further advances in 2016. Presenters will include: Johnny Barnes (Living With the Law); Franklin Garcia (D.C. Shadow Representative); Anisa Jenkins (Stand Up! For Democracy in DC); Kim Perry (DC Vote) and moderator Eugene Puryear (DC Statehood Green Party).
- Small Donor Democracy: Bringing a National Movement to District Elections --3pm, Eaton Room. The workshop will focus on small donor empowerment solutions generally, and the DC Fair Elections Coalition in particular. Presenters include Delvone Michael (DC Working Families); Ericka Taylor (DC Fair Budget Coalition); Congressman John Sarbanes (MD-3); and moderator Emma Boorboor (U.S. PIRG).
- DC State Breakout -- 5pm, Tupper Room. Don’t miss your chance to connect with others and take a stronger more unified movement group and plan home to your state or city. Facilitators will outline 1-2 winnable efforts for voting rights and money in politics reforms in each state, together we’ll come up with a game plan for how to work together after the mobilization and win.
Monday, April 18, 10:30am - 4:30pm: Congress of Conscience Lobby Day & March around the Capitol. Some volunteers will engage in advocacy/lobbying while others will engage in non-violent direct action. Statehood groups are planning to participate in advocacy only. If you are interested in joining the statehood groups, please contact me at
(with "statehood" in the subject line).
Find out more about Democracy Awakening here.
D.C. Government's Emancipation Day activities:
For more informaition on these events go to: http://emancipation.dc.gov
04/16/2016 - 10:00am
African American Civil War Memorial Wreath Laying
04/16/2016 - 1:00pm -3pm
Emancipation Day Parade
04/16/2016 - noon lineup1:30pm
Truck Touch and Festival
04/16/2016 - 2:00pm
The Role of Frederick Douglass in Emancipation
04/16/2016 - 2:00pm
African-American Women During Slavery and Freedom
04/16/2016 - 2:45pm
Emancipation Day Concert
04/16/2016 - 9:00pm
Emancipation Day Fireworks 2016
04/17/2016 - 1:30pm
Emancipation Day Wikipedia Edit-a-Thon
04/17/2016 - 3:00pm
A History of Racial Passing in American Life
04/17/2016 - 6:00pm
African-American Music from the Civil War Era
04/24/2016 - 2:00pm
The History and Role of the Mount Zion United Methodist Church
American Civil War Memorial and Museum Emancipation Day Events: afroamcivilwar.org
Join us for the following events on April 16th, in celebration of DC Emancipation. This event is free, RSVP on http://www.aacwmdcemancipation.eventbrite.com
African American Civil War Memorial Freedom Foundation, 1925 Vermont Avenue, NW, Washington, D.C. 20001; 202-667-6771
Voting Rights Legacy of the USCT
Lecture by Hari Jones
DC Emancipation Day Presentation
DC Attorney General Carl Racine
Processional from Museum to Memorial
Drill Presentation: School of the Soldier & Wreath Laying Ceremony
Andrew Green, USCT
Reading of Names of the first 3,100 freed
John Muller wrote in DCist that though Frederick Douglass's statute may now be moved to the U.S.Capitol, his legacy in support of D.C. suffrage and self-government should not be forgotten. As Frederick Douglass wrote in 1892, "The District of Columbia is the one spot where there is no government for the people, of the people, and by the people. Its citizens submit to rulers whom they have had no choice in selecting. They obey laws which they had no voice in making. They have a [sic] plenty of taxation, but no representation. In the great questions of politics in the country they can march with neither army, but are relegated to the position of neuters."
Over the past 172 years, the Democratic Party's platform has addressed the political status of the District of Columbia in a number of ways. From 1988 to 2000, the Democratic party unequivocably endorsed statehood for the District of Columbia.
Prior to that time, it supported the 1978 constitutional amendment to give D.C. full representation in both the House and the Senate in Congress, an unlimited vote for President (not restricted to the number of electoral votes of the least populous state as in the 23rd amendment to the Constitution), and a vote on constitutional amendments (even though we did not have a state legislature). That amendment died in 1985 when not enough states ratified it wihtin the seven years allowed in the act.
The Democratic Party has also supported full home rule for D.C. and voting representation in Congress (both Houses) and more recently (2004-2012), D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton has changed the platform plank from an endorsement of statehood to one only endorsing a vote in the House (through legislation and not a constitutional amendment) and partial temporary legislative fixes such as budget autonomy.
Below are excerpts from all the Democratic Party platforms between 1840 and 2008 that mention the District of Columbia.
On November 10, 2011, D.C. Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, Mayor Vincent Gray, and Council Chairman Kwame Brown joined Bob Vogel, Superintendent of the National Mall and Memorial Parks for the U.S. Park Service in reopening the District of Columbia World War I Memorial on the Mall. The District of Columbia, like all the states, funded and buit its own memorial to its soldiers who fought in the "Great War." The memorial was built on the Mall and the National Park Service was charged with its maintenance. After falling into great disrepair, the Congress authorized the cleaning, realnscaping and repair of the memorial. For information on the efforts by some to make it the "national" World War I memorial and deprive the residents of D.C. of their memorial to their soldiers, see the November 10, 2011 article by Tom Howell of The Washington Times entitled "D.C. fights for World War I memorial."