Statehood for District of Columbia can’t wait any longer

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Recently, President Donald Trump has reportedly floated the idea of buying Greenland, an autonomous territory of Denmark, and making it the 51st state. What the President should be more concerned about is making the District of Columbia the 51st state.

There has been a significant amount of controversy of late over whether the District of Columbia should gain statehood. Republicans in Congress, who oppose the inclusion of the heavily Democratic district, have argued against granting statehood to D.C. But by being denied statehood, D.C. citizens are not fully represented in Congress; they are being taxed without having representation.

Eleanor Holmes Norton, the non-voting delegate representing the District of Columbia in the US House of Representatives, vocalized the importance of D.C. statehood.

“Despite fulfilling all the obligations of statehood, D.C. residents have been deprived of the equal rights in their government enjoyed by other Americans,” said Norton in a statement.

H.R. 51, or the Washington, D.C. Admission Act, has 214 voting cosponsors in the House, needing four more to pass. Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California has voiced her support for the bill; however, Republicans largely stand opposed to the bill as it would likely serve to add one voting Democrat to the House and two to the Senate.

Residents of Washington D.C. have argued for statehood on the grounds that they currently lack full representation because they don’t have any voting members of Congress.

“D.C. statehood is such an important because it gets such little attention in politics or media,” said D.C. citizen Hannah Massling. “As a D.C. citizen, I feel like I have no voice or representation in Congress, and I blame Republicans, because they selfishly value not having another Democratic state over our constitutional rights.”

Residents of D.C. are not the only ones that have been vocal about this civil rights issue. In fact, every major Democrat running for president in 2020 has come out in favor of statehood.

According to a 2019 Gallup Poll, there is more support among those who identify as liberals and Democrats, with the issue polling at 40% and 39% respectively . Of Republicans only 15% are in favor of statehood, and self described conservatives poll marginally lower at 14%. 30% of independents approve of making D.C. a separate state.

A hearing in the House of Representatives on D.C. statehood has been rescheduled for Sept. 19. This hearing is expected to address the case regarding statehood, as well as the steps to address D.C. disenfranchisement.

District officials have been pushing for a statehood bill since the first one was introduced in 1983. Hopefully this House hearing will finally give the residents of D.C. the rights that they have fought so long to gain.

For more information regarding D.C. statehood and to join and support this cause, visit: http://dcstatehoodyeswecan.org/j/