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, Douglass Commonwealth (DC) Admission Act, HR 51, the legislation from DC Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton passed the US House of Representatives 216-208 on April 22, 2021. The legislation has been reintroduced in the Senate by Sen. Tom Carper of Delaware as S. 51 with 46 (at last count) Senate cosponsors.
No More Excuses For DC: Protesters Rally at White House on November 17, Multiple Arrests
Multiple local residents and allies from around the country gathered outside the White House on Wednesday, November 17 to demand that President Biden use the full power of his office to force action on a set of voting rights bills that have been stalled in the Senate for months in 2021, as in previous Congresses, These bills include the DC Statehood bill. S. 51.
DC Statehood activists were joined by voting rights allies from various states, along with groups including the Declaration for American Democracy coalition, People for the American Way, League of Women Voters, Black Voters Matter, Rev. Dr. William Barber II and the Poor People's Campaign, DC Vote, Greenpeace, Union of Reform Judaism, along with many others.
A group of protesters remained outside the White House fence along Pennsylvania Avenue, and were ultimately arrested.
Read more here, here and here.
March on Washington for Voting Rights and DC Statehood on August 28
Saturday, August 28 will mark the 58th anniversary of the 1963 March for Jobs, Peace and Freedom. This year, voting rights and civil rights activists are partnering with DC statehood activists to bring all of these issues together on a single stage with a combined March and Rally on the National Mall beginning Saturday morning and running much of the day with a long list of prominent speakers, including our own #DCStatehood activists. Sign up to attend at marchonfordc.com and see more details on locations under Upcoming and Ongoing Events over on the right side of our homepage -->
SENATE HEARING JUNE 22!!
The Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee (HSGAC), chaired by Sen. Gary Peters of Michigan held a hearing on the DC Statehood bill, S. 51, on June 22 at 10 am. This will be the first hearing held in the Senate on statehood since 2014.
Legal Scholars Agree: DC Statehood Is Constitutional!
On Monday, May 24, 39 scholars representing over 25 law schools sent an open letter to Congress concluding that persistent accusations that the DC statehood bill is unconstitutional are simply wrong: "The DC Admission Act complies with the [US Constitution's] District Clause because it provides that the Capital...will not become part of the new State and will remain under the sovereignty of the federal government." Regarding arguments which hold that the borders of the District of Columbia may not be changed, they add: "The plain language of the District Clause...does not mandate that the District be any size or shape, except it limits the maximum size of the federal enclave...."
Regarding repeated claims that the State of Maryland's approval would be required for the territories of the Capital and the 51st state to be split apart, the scholars explained: "Maryland expressly relinquished all sovereign authority over the territory at issue when the federal government accepted it." And finally, regarding arguments that the 23rd Amendment would effectively bar the creation of the 51st state, the scholars concluded, "By its plain terms, the Amendment poses no barrier to Congress’s admission of the Commonwealth into the Union." See more on the letter with analysis by the Post's Greg Sargent here.
US HOUSE PASSES HR 51!!!
On Thursday, April 22, the House of Representatives passed HR 51, the Washington, Douglass Commonwealth Admission Act by a vote of 216-208 (6 not voting). This is just the second time in history that DC Statehood legislation has passed either house of Congress (HR 51 passed the House for the first time on June 26, 2020). See here for details on the House vote.
We remain hopeful to see the Senate bill, S. 51, return for a Senate hearing, markup and eventual vote in the Senate later this year. Check here to see if your senators (if you live in a state) are supporting S. 51.
House Oversight Committee Hearing and Markup on HR 51
On March 22, and then on April 14, the House Oversight Committee took up HR 51, the Washington, D.C. Admission Act (passed in the House in June 2020). Witnesses at the March 22 hearing included DC Mayor Muriel Bowser, DC Council Chair Phil Mendelson and other DC officials, as well as residents with important personal stories such as veteran Harry Wingo.
Much of the unfriendly questioning was reserved for Mayor Bowser, challenged on DC's partisan leaning, its relative lack of industries found in other states and inability to establish a state capital city separate from the rest of the state. Rep. Ralph Norman (SC-5) and Rep. Jody Hice (GA-10) questioned DC's lack of airports, landfills or car dealerships (there are car dealerships, in fact). The Heritage Foundation's witness argued that the Founders never intended that residents of the District have the same voting rights as other Americans, glossing over the fact that HR 51 separates a reduced-size District of Columbia from the neighborhoods where DC residents actually live. The Post's Aaron Blake took notice of the dramatic changes in attitudes toward DC among Congressional Republicans, from broad support for full Congressional representation in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s to claims of a "radical leftist agenda" for similar legislation today. HR 51 passed the Oversight Committee 25-19 in a vote on Wednesday, April 14.
S. 51 Support Growing in the Senate!
S. 51, the Senate version of the DC Statehood bill, introduced by Sen. Tom Carper of Delaware, who has championed DC Statehood alongside DC Delegate Norton in the Senate for many years. S. 51 has 45 cosponsors, but some senators need some extra nudging to cosponsor after early pledges to support.
3 Democrats and 1 allied Independent in the Senate have yet to cosponsor. These Senators include:
Sen. Mark Kelly and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (Arizona)
Sen. Angus King (Independent) (Maine)
Sen. Joe Manchin (West Virginia)
See more on the full list of cosponsors and not-yet-cosponsors on our Cosponsors page here.
What does the Capitol Insurrection have to do with the need for statehood for the people of DC? See more here.
US Census Releases 2020 Population Estimates
The US Census Bureau released its annual state population estimates in December, recorded on July 1 of each year. This most recent estimate puts Washington, DC at 712,816. As has been the case for many years, this number puts the District ahead of Wyoming (582,328) and Vermont (623,347), and only slightly behind Alaska (731,158) and North Dakota (765,309).
See more here (December 31, 2020 post)
NEW! The DC Statehood Movement: A Recent(ish) History
In DC Statehood terms, of course, recent is a relative concept. Fifty Years and Counting is the history of our statehood movement, from a provocative 1970 essay to the historic House vote for statehood in June 2020. You can read this history (in twelve chapters) here.
Upcoming and Ongoing Events
Wednesday, November 17 No More Excuses Protest Outside White House Highlights #DCStatehood Alongside National Voting Rights Movement
Wednesday's Rally and Demonstration outside the White House brought out a strong crowd of committed #DCStatehood activists and voting rights allies who showed President Biden and national leaders they were willing to be arrested for their cause and that the continuing stalemate over a set of bills now before the Senate has not been forgotten. DC residents and our national voting rights allies demand action after years -- or centuries in the case of Washington, DC -- of diversion and delay.
The demonstration began with a Rally at Black Lives Matter Plaza which then proceeded to Lafayette Square, where the crowd heard from a wide variety of speakers both from the DC area and from around the country who traveled to DC for the event.
"We need President Biden to use the full power of his office to move the Senate to act and protect our freedom to vote. That's why I'm risking arrest again."
Jana Morgan, Director, Declaration for American Democracy
"We will continue to be in the streets fighting for our voting rights until President Biden and Senate Democrats take action. Instead of spending time and energy trying to end our movement, the White House should be using that energy to end the filibuster."
Cliff Albright, Executive Director, Founder, Black Voters Matter
"Voting rights, including those of the 700,000 disenfranchised residents of Washington, DC. must be guaranteed by the federal government now. If all Americans, particularly those that live in DC, aren't given the ballot, no one truly has freedom and justice."
Bo Shuff, Executive Director, DC Vote
"I'll be damned if I'm going to have my grandchildren asking, 'What did you do when they curtailed your vote?' ... And Mr. Biden, I'm just going to say it -- Quit talking s***! ... Get this through! The filibuster, we don't need it."
Joe Madison, Civil Rights Activist, Host, Joe Madison Show
See more on Wednesday's rally in this piece from Black Star News.
Check out our newest #DCStatehood video!
Our newest video, Justice for DC, is on YouTube and features interviews and recollections from a variety of Washingtonians who explain the difference between being a resident of a state and a resident of the District of Columbia, and why they want Statehood.
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.
Tom Sherwood @tomsherwood
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