Welcome to the DC Statehood Coalition
where you can learn more about what it will take to create the 51st State.
The people of Washington, DC deserve the same rights as Americans living in the 50 states. We want full voting representation in the US Congress and an end to Congressional interference in our local government.
We can do this by creating the 51st state from the residential and commercial areas of the District of Columbia, preserving a smaller federal district as the nation's capital.
PLEASE SIGN OUR STATEHOOD PETITION HERE
NEWS FROM THE 51st STATE
Keep up with DC Statehood Bill News!
Known officially as the State of Washington, DC Admission Act, the legislation from DC Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton -- HR 1291 -- now has 141 cosponsors from 38 states as of November 30 (setting new records for cosponsors every month). A companion bill from Sen. Tom Carper (DE) -- S. 1278 -- now has 20 cosponsors as of November 14 (tying the record set in the previous Congress). For the full list of cosponsors for the 115th Congress (and previous Congresses), see here.
DC residents came out in force on Capitol Hill in February, April, June and July to educate Congressional staff on how to defend DC Home Rule and our plan to fully enfranchise District residents. And we'll be back this fall for another go-round!
Panel Discussion on Regaining Local Control of the DC Court System at UDC David A. Clarke Law School on November 30
Attendees heard from advocates, academics and formerly incarcerated residents about the challenges facing the DC justice system given the federal US Parole Commission's sole authority over DC resident prisoners. Many recounted parole hearings and efforts to obtain legal counsel in prisons far from home (unlike states, the federal Bureau of Prisons determines the location of imprisonment for all incarcerated DC residents). Judges in the local DC courts are appointed by the President and Congress. In addition to advocating for equal rights for Washington, DC through statehood, panelists encouraged the audience to press elected officials to move forward with stand-alone legislation to return authority over those convicted of local crimes to local DC officials.
#DCforPR Fundraiser a Big Success!
Thanks to all who came out to the Unidos por Puerto Rico fundraiser at Red Rocks on October 5, sponsored by Americans for Self Rule, DC Vote and Neighbors United for DC Statehood. With your help, we raised over $2,000!
Milestones in Colonial Rule: US Attorney for DC
In the second week of September, DC residents witnessed the appointment of the newest US Attorney for the District of Columbia, Jessie Liu, a former Deputy Assistant US Attorney General under George W. Bush, and member of President Trump's Justice Department Transition Team. Unlike other US Attorneys, the US Attorney for the District of Columbia manages both federal and local criminal cases.
Milestones in Colonial Rule: 2017 DC Budget Riders
The second week of September also brought news of passage of a series of DC amendments to the 2017 House Appropriations Bill. The bill would prevent the DC Council and Mayor from implementing 2 laws which have already been passed locally, along with 3 other measures. First, the Reproductive Choice Non-Discrimination Act (RHNDA), designed to prevent retaliation by employers against employees, and Second, the DC Death With Dignity Act, a law designed to give local residents the right to make their own end of life choices in consultation with their doctors.
House members voted on a largely party-line vote to include 3 other measures in the bill: a ban on the use of local funds to pay for abortion services, a ban on the use of local funds to implement a law creating a tax and regulatory system for cannabis, and a repeal of the DC Budget Autonomy law, approved by referendum in 2013 and subsequently upheld as lawful in the courts.
Congresswoman Norton has said she is confident that she will be successful in removing these measures from the Senate version of the bill. As we've said so many times before, good luck!
For a more fuller rundown of similar measures this year, see farther down ("Congress Goes to War with DC (Once Again)").
DC Home Rule Meets the Emoluments Clause:
DC Attorney General Karl Racine made national news with his announcement of a lawsuit filed together with MD Attorney General Brian Frosh against Pres. Donald Trump alleging violations of the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution of the United States for income accrued by the President through his Trump International Hotel on Pennsylvania Avenue, which today hosts many of the international delegations which come to meet with officials at the White House. This lawsuit follows a lawsuit filed by Washington, DC hotel and restaurant operators. The Trump Organization has announced plans to build another hotel in Washington, DC.
Congress Goes to War with DC (Once Again)
A slew of proposals for new federal laws intended to strip DC residents of their local lawmaking rights have come out of the new Congress on a wide variety of issues big and small:
DC residents came out in force on Monday, February 13 to rally against a House disapproval resolution designed to overturn DC's Death With Dignity Act passed in December 2016. The disapproval resolution passed markup in the House Oversight Committee on a largely party-line vote. (Similar laws exist in CA, CO, OR, VT and WA, where Congress is prohibited from overturning local laws.) DC activists returned to Congress for lobby days in February and June, meeting with more than 80 House and Senate offices to discuss our concerns and to explain the Washington, DC Admission Act.
- Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) introduced a bill designed to permanently prohibit the spending of any local DC taxpayer money on abortion services, reclassifying local DC abortion-related matters as solely a federal government issue.
- The House passed HR 7, designed to prohibit the spending of local DC tax money on abortion-related services. The vote was a party-line affair. See the full results here. So far, the Senate has not taken action on the matter.
Second Amendment/Gun Control:
- Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) introduced a second bill intended to nullify DC laws prohibiting assault weapons, large-capacity magazines and other registration requirements, while prohibiting the District of Columbia from passing any local gun laws in the future. A companion bill was introduced in late March in the House by Rep. Tom Garrett (R, VA-5).
- Following the tragic shooting on Flag Day of a group of Congressmembers, staff, Capitol Hill Police officers and others at a baseball field in neighboring Alexandria, Virginia (a state with few restrictions on gun possession), Congressman Thomas Massie (KY-4) proposed another new provision intended to require the District of Columbia to allow concealed carry by any person holding a conceal carry permit in any other state.
Flushable Paper Products -- huh?:
A dispute between DC Water and Sewer administrators and the manufacturers of "flushable" wipes led to a particularly petty showdown with Congress when the Association of Nonwoven Fabrics Industry (INDA) appealed to longtime DC Home Rule foe Rep. Andy Harris (MD-4) to prohibit the DC government from enforcing a local law establishing a standard for flushable wipes.
See more on our Recent Developments page.
Check out our 51st State video!
Inspired by Last Week Tonight Host and Former Daily Show Correspondent John Oliver, who devoted an episode to the absurdity of the political status of the residents of the District of Columbia. See the full Last Week Tonight clip here (and note that some of this late night HBO language may not be suitable for young kids). We turned Mr. Oliver's new and improved "50 States Song" into a proper 51st State Song. To see the revised lyrics, please click here.
Statehood marchers at the Capitol Hill Parade, July 4, 2015.
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